Doggy Mods

I'm a bird pouncer.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then being a dog lover is at least a kissing cousin. The ability to tinker with and modify things is not so much a skill that dog lovers develop, it’s a survival mechanism. Each dog that comes into our home tests not only our training skills, but carpentry, construction, organizational, and puzzle solving skills as well.

Elbee, my most recent addition, is no exception to this rule. Being a 20lb dog in a house full of 40lb dogs, Elbee presents some challenges of scale. For instance, while all of our other dogs are allowed on furniture, they were too big to scrounge around on end and bedside tables. Elbee has no such problem. This creates an organizational challenge for us so that we make sure he doesn’t get into something he shouldn’t while training him not to chew on discarded Q-tips.

A construction and carpentry challenge awaited us as well. We love enjoying a cup of coffee on the front porch in the morning while watching the birds dart around catching their morning fare. The problem is that our porch is six feet off the ground and Elbee, the terrier terror, wants to do more than bird watch. Our other dogs, almost twice his size, were not able to fit through the pickets on the porch. Elbee had no such problem, nor any compunction about leaping off the porch to harass the local fauna. Needless to say, the picketing on the porch has been updated to reflect the new spacing requirements.

Of course we’ve had a few puzzles to figure out as well. Our previous addition to the household, Tosha, was the first real escape artist we had. We spent diligent hours patrolling the chain link in the back yard for weak places where Tosha would squeeze through, and fixed them as best we could. While Tosha can no longer squeeze through herself, that didn’t stop her from showing Elbee places where he could.

Luckily one of the first things I did with Elbee was train a recall. That came in handy, especially when I was out in the back yard working on the fence and noticed Elbee watching me, from about 100 yards outside the fence. Luckily he decided to throw me a bone and came back in, the same way he got out.

We’d love to hear about some of the doggy mods you’ve had to make. How have your dogs helped your carpentry and construction skills? Has your puzzle solving improved because of your dogs?

Commiserate & celebrate with your fellow dog lovers.



3 thoughts on “Doggy Mods

  1. Actually, most of the mods we did were for health reasons. Plastering all floors with rugs, making a ramp … all to protect Jasmine’s legs post op etc.

  2. This made me laugh. We have spent two years “Mirri-proofing” our garden. When we moved in we put up 5 foot fencing – perfectly adequate for our three dogs. Then along came Mirri the lurcher – and we soon realised that – with the incentive of a fox or a squirrel on the other side – she could clear that with ease. So it went up – 6ft, 7ft.. and each time we thought we’d cracked it but no. Finally we fixed it with an overhang – 2 foot wire panel at a 45 degree angle to the fence. She tried to clear it. First time she bounced off the overhang, looked confused, tried again. Bounced again. Shook herself off with a “I wasn’t bothered about that squirrel anyway” look and walked away. She hasn’t tried since. Success – I hope!

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