Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hou-doggie? Dog-dini?

I'm not quite sure what to call him but I can tell you that lately all my creative brain power has gone to this gorgeous face and keeping him safe.

Apparently after 3 and a half years of happily living in the backyard with no troubles (excluding the odd hole and terrorized squirrels) Scooby decided to wander out and visit the neighbourhood!  We have no idea what prompted this escape and the following ones (6? 7? I think I've lost count!) but we have now spent the last 2 months plus a bit trying to make our green chain link fence so he can't get out. Or is that make over?


First you have to understand that this fence is not the best. We have five sections of fence around our backyard. The back, the east side and the east gate section are all made from good quality chain link and was well done. The west side and the west fence are...umm....crap! Seriously this section looks like it was made from stuff found at a garage sale or on a scrap heap or in a junk yard or something! The uprights aren't straight, the fence leans and the chain link is never quite big enough!
When we first got Scooby I was rather leery of the fence which led us to put him on one of those long leads attached to the closeline. He then proceeded to wrap himself around anything and everything he could reach in the back yard; the grape arbour, the patio posts, the clothesline get the picture I'm sure. So, we had to abandon that, and let him loose in the yard...and that went really well! He never dug under the fence, he never tried to jump the fence, in fact he never seemed to really think about the fence.

Until recently.
He started by going through a section in the gate, then beside that spot, and so on and so on!

At first we tried to patch (with wire fencing zap-strapped on!) the pieces he was going through but very quickly we realized that patch work fixes just weren't going to work and another solution had to be found.

I thought about replacing that section but I wasn't sure we could afford to hire someone to do it and when I asked around...our fence was too small for any larger contractor to bother with and we didn't know anyone who could do fence work who was smaller or a handy man. I suppose I could have advertised or something but I'm kind of a hands on type of gal so I started thinking. I also thought about running a whole new section of fence, but that would entail concrete and this is just not a good time of the year for that and we needed a solution ASAP.

Here's what I came up with - planks!
Yep, I decided to put a wood fence up ...over, the chain link. See, chain link (as I discovered) isn't the best fencing for dogs. On top of everything else....they can climb it. Since one of Scooby's escapes was up and over a piece of fence, I decided that planks were the way to go.
Now I had a format, and the start of a plan but how to get the planks up? Well here's what my crazy brain came up with.
First - uprights; attach wooden uprights to the current metal upright with u-bolts to start and later with zap straps. The u-bolts led to more problems than I wanted and the zap straps were not only cheap but fast!

Then - screw cross pieces of wood to the uprights (those cross pieces are horizontal by the way, I used my level, it's true!)

3rd - screw planks to the uprights.

Voila! A fence.
By using the existing infrastructure I made a new fence by myself (with Miss S's help - it's her dog after all!) and did it without having to dig or take down the old fence and make the yard even easier to escape!
Here's the first section we finished - the gate part. If you look closely at the left hand side you can see how straight the fence is....not. The plank is straight. The upright you can see is attached to the metal post so....Fence, not so straight!
Then Scooby did this down the other section of the green fence.

How you ask? Well I caught him trying to make another and he did it by grabbing fencing in his mouth and then flinging his rather large body side to side until a hole opened up big enough to squueze out of. Our neighbour apparantly caught him too and yelled at him. That didn't stop him for long though.

So here's our "wonderful" fence, hopefully complete. Hopefully this is the end of my fence building career.



  1. Hou-doggie indeed! Your little escape artist. Well I think he'll be pretty stumped getting out through wood planks :-)

  2. He sure he found a new way out :-(