Blondie’s Miffed About Digging

Cochise tells the tale

Blondie is a gregarious gal and likes to break out and run off to play with vagrant dogs that wander through our realm. She uses any means possible: climbing, digging, leaping, wiggling, any means she can come up with. She has lead HairyFace on many (not so) merry chases as he tried to track her down and get her back where she belongs. Sometimes that worked, sometimes he had to give up, and sit and fret about her well-being until she decided to come home on her own.

digging in for a runHaving the big (1/3 acre) fenced play yard has helped settle her wander-lust. At least now she has room to do some serious running. She likes to run! It’s funny when she does because she gets down low, with legs out wide. She can corner on a dime! And she’ll be grinning ear-to-ear as she zigs and zags around the yard or runs The Maze (Hairy’s garden boxes).

But the gorgeous spring weather seems to have ramped up that old wander-lust.

The neighbors across the road have several small dogs that stay in the house most of the time. When they need to “go” they just get turned loose to run where they please. Often, they please to come taunt us big dogs.

I get all territorial and fierce, especially if HairyFace is watching: gotta put on a good show as Guardian of the Realm. If he’s not paying attention I usually downgrade the alert to fall in with Blondie’s “come play, come play” invitation.

This morning one of them was over here singing, “Look at me, look at me, I can go anywhere I want! Too bad you’re locked up in there or we could go run the woods together!”

That was too much for Blondie and she began excavating a route under one of the gates where we like to lay in the sun. We’ve killed off all the grass there, so the digging is easier … and we’ve kinda started testing that route by surreptitiously removing some dirt under one end of the gate.

HairyFace caught her with her head under the gate and claws scratching away like a mole. He scolded her, then gathered up some tools and supplies to address the issue.

Blondie says, “Oh, sure: when I’m digging in the dirt it’s ‘Bad girl, Blondie. No digging, Blondie. Bad girl!’ But when YOU do it, it’s just FINE!”
Of course what she's really miffed about is not the scolding but the fact that Doug was digging in and pinning down a landscape timber under the gate to thwart any further excavation.
Of course what she’s really miffed about is not the scolding but the fact that Doug was digging in and pinning down a landscape timber under the gate to thwart any further excavation.
“Oh, what might have been …”

HairyFace says he’s going to haul in more dirt to fill in the depression we’ve created in front of the gate. This was not so much an attempt at digging out as it was just scratching up the dirt to get a fresh surface to lay in. When we do that, because of the slope here, wind and rain carry the loose soil away and leave just the hard-pan clay. The more we scratch, the worse it gets.

digging hairy has thought about leveling it up, laying in poultry mesh, pinning that with landscape staples, planting grass seed, covering that with some good soil, covering that with straw, and hoping the whole lot doesn’t get washed away in the first hard rain.

The poultry mesh would stop us from digging: our claws would get snagged in the stuff.

HairyFace says that sounds like a good plan initially, but after a while that mesh will start to rust away. In time it will be gone, but for a while it will become fragmented, pointy, rusty metal just under the grass. If we dig there then, we may tear up our paws on that rusty wire. Not good!

NiceLady has suggested that they put down pavers in the area that’s all rain eroded, hard clay. HairyFace agrees that’s a good idea, but it will take a lot of pavers because they’d need to do the dog track we’ve worn into the dirt too.

I don’t like the those rocks, but I can walk the balance beam.

They could dig that out, lay in landscape timbers on either side and fill the space between with rock to make a path. That would be good. As long as they don’t use crushed limestone like they did on the path around the house: that hurts our paws. Pea gravel – like what’s in the dog pens is comfy, but washes away easily. Maybe a larger form: small river rock. Something smooth so it doesn’t hurt us, but heavy enough to stay put. That would work.

You’ll have to excuse me now: I have to go tell HairyFace about this idea. Maybe he’ll give me a cookie!

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