It is a general rule of the universe that, when possible, children and dogs should never be involved in moving day. And if possible, you should keep them away for a couple of days on either side of the actual move. Fortunately, Bill's parents understand this universal rule and took the kids and the dogs to their house for five glorious days.
Then last Tuesday came and the dogs (and kids) arrived.
They explored every inch of the house, took an experimental poop on the hardwood floor, and generally gave the new place a doggie thumbs up.
In the old house, we had a fully-fenced back yard, although it was pretty small (especially after we took half of it and fenced it off for a garden). In the new house, there is also a fully-fenced back yard that spreads out over an acre of space, with trees and grass and brick walk-ways and lots and lots of room to frolic.
So of course it was only two days before Maya came to the conclusion that this spacious expanse wasn't adequate and burrowed under the fence into sweet freedom and oncoming traffic.
Picture me (in slippers) and Bill chasing down a happy-go-lucky black dog with a cheerfully wagging tail. All. Over. The Place.
She trotted into neighbors' yards. She bounded along the sidewalks. She skittered across the very busy road. She galloped just out of reach, paying no attention to the road or the cars flying along it.
She nearly gave me a heart attack.
Eventually, Bill got the car and pulled up along the street. When she saw the tailgate opening up, she raced towards it and hopped in as neat as you please, expecting to go for a ride. I almost throttled her, but managed to cheerfully praise her for getting in the car while keeping my murderous glare to myself.
Thus began three days of exile in the stable yard.
We had a problem. There were 400 yards of fencing to fix and a dog just itching to have another go at the neighborhood. So until we could get things sorted, we had to corral the dogs in a safer location. No more prancing in the backyard for now!
The solution was to take Maya on the leash (Gracie had no interest in leaving the property, so she got to roam free) out to the stable area, which already had mesh wiring to keep the ponies and chickens inside. The dogs seemed to know it was originally for horses, since they raced around the perimeter like entrants at the Kentucky Derby.
A solution is in progress.
The fence itself is in great shape -- it's just that the dogs can dig under the bottom board and wriggle underneath. We decided to add goat fencing -- a thick-gauge steel mesh alongside the wooden fence. It abuts the ground (and is staked to the ground at regular intervals, so that the dogs can't just push it aside) and should keep the creatures inside.
Of course, the role of mesh that we bought was just short of what we needed, so there is part of the yard that it still un-addressed. But the dogs (so far) haven't shown interest in that part and so hopefully we can get some more fencing purchased and installed before they discover it.
In case you are thinking about adding goat fencing to your dog-containment arsenal, please note: all the fencing in the world doesn't help if your children leave the front door ajar and permit the dogs to freely exit your property. Don't ask me how I know or I might start banging my head against the wall. Again.