Monday, May 25, 2015

Too smart for her own good

I just finished filling yet another one of Belle's bolt-holes under the fence with big rocks. This was a good hole, I have to admit. It took me quite a while to find it, and in the meantime, she was enjoying pretty much free reign of the adjoining woods and yards. This one was tough, too. I'd walked the pen line half a dozen times and not spotted it, because she'd just dug out enough under the bottom of the fence so that she could push the fence out when she wanted to leave, but absent the pushing on it, the fence just dropped back into it's normal straight alignment and I couldn't tell just walking past it, especially because there was a log on the other side of the fence (put there by me months ago specifically to prevent push-outs) but the log had moved back from the fence a bit, just enough to allow this particular push-out while also helping camouflage it wonderfully.

So I found this one the old-fashioned way: I walked up into the woods behind the pen, letting her see me. Then I called her. Sure enough...she went right to her escape hatch and came out to see me. So she got some petting and a cookie, and her latest hole got filled in with big rocks.

And as much as I appreciate the helpful advice offered be several of you to just bury the bottom of the fence, it's on very rocky terrain with lots of trees and tree roots added in, and a suitable fence-trench cannot be dug onto this ground. So the bottom of the fence necessarily sits on the ground, depending on tautness of the fence-line and rocks and logs along the lower edge to keep tunnelers at bay.

And to be fair, neither Murphy nor Lagniappe before him were diggers, so Belle represents a new sort of challenge here.

But Belle did get her comeuppance yesterday during another one of her excursions. I put the dogs out, had my breakfast, filled their dishes, and then brought them in for their breakfast. However, when I opened the door to the pen...just one dog was in the pen--Murphy--and Belle was sitting nicely just the other side of the fence, as if she expected me to just bring her dish out and reach over the fence to set it down in front of her. So I brought Murphy in, and Belle, knowing the game well, ran around to the kitchen door to be let in as well.
Before I got to the door, however, Murphy raced into the kitchen for his breakfast. Rather than going to his bowl though, he stopped, looked at Belle standing outside looking back in, and it was as if a light bulb came on in his opportunistic little head. Right in front of Belle, he walked over to her dish, looked at her again, then took a bite of her food.

Belle. Went. Nuts.

Now Murphy's not stupid. He knows that she's going to get in sooner or later, and that when she does, she's going to kick his ass. So he takes one more mouthful and heads on over to his own dish and his breakfast.

I had to leave her out there for a few more seconds just to cool her down before I could bring her back in. There was no canine retaliation but hopefully she learned a thing or two about sneaking out before meals at least.


  1. We had an escape artist too.
    A bare wire and some 48VDC is a wonderful deterrent.

    Unless they insist, then 120Ac is even better. they won't get withiong 2 feet of the wire.

  2. I think that you hit on a winning strategy.

  3. Would a cheap dashcam pointed at the suspect areas work?

  4. I think you need to get them on this training program...

  5. Sounds like a tension wire on the bottom of the fence would help.

  6. Consider driving some rods along the base of the fence, on the outside, and wiring them to the fence bottom. I forget what they are called, but you can find them in the construction/lumber area of the typical building supply store. Solid steel with cross holes at one end, with point at the other. About 2 ft long. Install one or two a day, so it's not a big project.

    Putting them on the outside will help keep her from pushing it outward, if you leave some overlap. The wire will keep her from lifting the fence, if it has any slack.

    Put enough of them in, and eventually she won't be able to dig under, unless she digs tunnels.

  7. I swear your dog stories are parallel with mine.

  8. 2'tall heavy duty wire fencing (think chicken wire but heavy duty), wire it to the bottom of your current fence so that it overlaps the bottom of the current fence by 1', the remaining foot bent at a 90 degree angle on the ground inside of the pen. Then, on top of that bent portion place concrete blocks, spaced a couple inches apart.

  9. LOL! I can so visualize that!

  10. Oh man... Good one!

  11. Anonymous8:50 PM

    +1 LL

  12. LOLZ....Murphy is so funny.