FENCE of LOVE
Fence of Love
Adopting a dog? Have you considered the safety of your new family member? Having a fenced yard is often a requirement when adopting a cuddly canine. Breeders, foster volunteers, shelter personnel, animal control officers, and experienced adopters all agree that the safest and most obvious home for a rescued pup includes a fenced area.
Thoughts to “chew” on:
New-to-you animals are not yet familiar with the neighborhood or their family. Limitations need to be established from day one. They need boundaries and a masters’ loving attention to create a mutual bond and to feel secure. Fences are an act of love.
Dogs allowed to wander or are tied out unsupervised are at great risk of getting lost, stolen, injured, attacked by any variety of animals or peoples, poisoned, or worse, hit by a vehicle.
Left to explore without you, dogs may become exposed to rabid animals bringing a fatal disease home. They can become ill from eating spoiled food from outside garbage. Did you know that toxic plants and poisonous frogs appear as tasty treats to dogs? Simply inhaling a pile of ants can cause an allergic reaction making a four-legged friend deathly ill. Not a pretty picture!
It may be a common occurrence in rural places to let dogs run free, however, it is a fact that in some areas, farmers are allowed to shoot marauding animals, including dogs, if their livestock are threatened, and ask questions later. I will never maraud again.
Aggressive behavior may also develop with dogs who are chained up outside. Over time, a lonely defensive dog will develop the undesirable fight reaction of the fight or flight response, right? I said RIGHT?
Now that you are convinced you need a fence before bringing poochie home, here are ideas on location, location, location.
Okay, so the first thought on location is that a fence doesn’t have to encompass the entire yard. It can be a portion of the yard. This is where size matters! When fencing an area, it must be a large enough space to provide comfort for exercise, fresh air, clean water and plenty of room to eliminate, defecate, pee, poop, whatever you call waste. Secondly, the location should be directly accessible from the house to ensure safety for your dog and convenience for you, the owner to clean up the peep and poo! This is never a fun job but necessary. Lastly, the location of the fence should provide for shade and shelter from the sun and other elements. Include a chair or bench, heck go all out and create an outdoor boudoir in the area so everyone can be comfortable.
The type of fence you choose may depend on aesthetics or based on financial factors. Choices include wood stockade, chain link like the picture shows, a combination of wooden posts with wire, or a prefab portable kennel. The wood fence will provide the most privacy. The caution with chain link is that there are some ingenious dogs of Houdini descent that can climb a chain link fence up and over. You may want to think about the bottom of the enclosure to prevent the digging of underground escapisms. All fencing should be at least four feet high, preferably six feet and include a lockable and un-lockable gate.
Remember, the outdoors is a temporary haven for your pooch, not a permanent home. Dogs are inquisitive, social creatures and need love and attention. They will take their cue from you. Bark up the right tree, and prepare a safe, comfortable environment for your new companion. Your pet will return your thoughtfulness with unconditional love that only a dog can give. Article By: Gloria Yarina and Fern Goodman
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Sonny, my boy, a rescued Brittany, Florida 03/2004 to 04/2017 Sonny passed over the Rainbow bridge in true Sonny fashion, no fuss, calm, dignified, easy going way.
Quality time for me had been spent outside with my three precious dogs. I would unwind as I watched them run, hunt and play. They ran like miniature stallions; they hunted with a resourceful vigor; and they played with the focus of a scientist. In respite they would lounge in the middle of the yard finding a sunny spot by the fence on the cool dirt, under the palms, or by their mom (me). I’d beam with joy when the three of them surrounded me to rest on the patio. It was a tranquil, nirvana-like feeling to have three dogs interacting without any aggression or fighting. Sonny, Jen, and Lady were a perfect pack.
Sonny, the oldest, was always wise beyond his years. He was an odd looking little boy with a fuzzy cotton ball coat which acted as natural dust collector. He was bow legged with toes out. He had a calm, balanced demeanor. Needing little attention, he was always near, yet rarely touching. Well trained with a Canine Good Citizen Certificate (earned at 1 ½ years old) he naturally never pulled on a lead. The camera captured Sonny as a happy boy, concerned, sad, occasionally handsome, but always charismatic.
My life with Sonny began:
“While fostering my second Brittany our state coordinator sent all volunteers a photo of a 12 week old puppy, looking for his forever home. His mother and two of his siblings had been surrendered and they had already been adopted. He was the runt, last dog left. Having no plans to ever raise a puppy again, I still asked about his personality. He was described as a middle of the road type dog. PERFECT, what I always dreamed of. I had to meet him.
Training a puppy, what was I thinking? WOW, what work! Would I be able to exercise him enough? Were there other challenges? Yep, he had mange, a tick magnet, developed a limp with his growing pains, had a calcium deficiency, a heart murmur and broken teeth. Luckily, we got everything under control. Sonny stoically withstood being medically probed, creams applied, and medicine given.
Sonny’s personality developed into one of the most flexible dogs I have ever encountered. His easy-going nature, his fearlessness, and his joy of play readily welcomed every dog (and human) into his home. He shared his toys, food, humans, and furniture, whatever. Sonny made sure each dog was exercised to their individual ability. When he played with a puppy or small dog, he somehow became a small dog, laying down flat on the ground. Sonny could take on the big dogs, too. He seemed to puff his chest out. Labs, Setters, Aussies, bring them on; he played on their level. If a dog wanted to dominate, Sonny was ok with that. If they were submissive, he encouraged them to relax, be comfortable and secure. With Sonny’s expert help, confidence was quickly built. He showed other dogs how to sit, come and generally how to behave in and out of the house. It all seemed to come naturally for him.
Sonny had been a great addition to our family and a super asset to rescue work. With his assistance, fostering was more rewarding and easier. He had a job to do. He trained, exercised and offered friendship. Sonny really enjoyed his work.
My little Sonny-boy is gone, and I miss him more than any words can describe. Will the tears ever stop? His picture hangs by my bed with his bright shining eyes now watching over me. I say goodnight to him each and every night.
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