Muddy feet finally overwhelmed my resistance. Half a dozen times a day or more, wiping them there chunks o'mud off each dog's four little mud collectors. And all the footprints from their ins and outs through the doggie door that I couldn't catch or wasn't there to catch--wiping down the floor and wiping and wiping and wiping-- And the last couple of weeks of sometimes never-ending rain were the last straw (the last mudglob?).
I've muttered threats for over a year to buy a dumptruck full of mulch to cover the dirt in the yard until it can be all dug up, reirrigated, conditioned, and lawnized. Finally did so over the weekend. Wanted something biodegradable, not too expensive, and that my Fine Agility Dawgs could run and jump on with impunity. Decided on wood chips--what they called Pro Shred (if my feeble memory serves me well). Supposedly it's dyed--although they couldn't tell me with what, they assured me it's nontoxic to all living things, just "makes it last longer." I bought their line as well as their mulch.
The mulch arrived Saturday morning, and I spent the day in the yard finishing the removal of all of the old decrepit landscape fabric. It was, and has been all along, an agonizing chore because thousands of roots had grown through it, clutching it tightly to the ground. In each case, either the root or the landscape fabric had to be cut to make a few inches of progress. But now it's done!
Also sledged & hauled away a few linear feet of concrete edging that had lingered after the first demolition last spring and that had been blocking the path of some agility layouts.
On Sunday, ten fine friends appeared at ten in the morning. We got a shovel/haul/rake assembly line going and were done by 11:30. Took us longer to order and consume pizza and chitchat about what studly mulch haulers we all were.
(Thanks, Steph, for the 2 preceding photos--I was so busy being the Evil Overlord of Mulch and directing the minions that I got a before shot only--nuthin' at all of the slave labor.)