a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: *#%$*@ Puppies!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

*#%$*@ Puppies!

Boost is mostly a very good girl.

I've been patching my lawn with pieces of cut up sod, laboriously, one small piece at a time, plus some larger bits. Lots of hard work. I've also been planting pots full of flowers and (finally after almost 4 years) a single annual border on the far side of the back yard.

To top it off, this week I worked 3 days up in San Mateo all day, which meant that the puppy was loose and unsupervised for several hours each day with little or no exercise or attention before I raced out the door to get to the client site. This morning I did take them shopping with me--mostly involved staying in the car, but I took them out individually for some training and visiting the pet store (2nd pet store in which Boost has been freaked out by--what, a magazine rack? a wastebasket? she is so spooky about so many things, which worries me more and more, having been around a lot of other nonspooky 5-month-olds recently). But that was it, while I slaved away putting down more sod and digging more dirt out of an old planter in preparation for laying down bricks, and so on, and THEN I left them again for about 4 hours while I went to a meeting up in Mountain View.

Boost is usually very good. And although I've held my breath and girded my loins (yes! I've finally figured out how to do this! for only $10 you too can learn the secret by purchasing my personal how-to manual) every time I've walked through the door upon coming home, the lawn has been intact, the flowers have been intact, the house has been intact (with no apparent accidents in the house, either), the assorted tools and supplies sitting in various places in the yard and on the deck have been untouched, and so on.

About 9:00 this evening I got a phone call from a friend and started chatting. Realized that Boost was digging in the lawn around the edge of my new large sodded area, where I've so carefully been building up the soil height to match! I chased her away from there and filled in the hole as best I could while still chatting and went back up onto the deck. (It's such a nice evening out, couldn't ask for a more pleasant evening, but it's dark so I can't see much in the yard.)

While talking, I noticed that there seemed to be one section of lawn that looked a little lumpy near where Boost was currently cavorting--sure enough, apparently while I was filling in the hole, she had gone behind me and uplifted a roughly foot-square bit of sod (but irregularly shaped to fit a specific bare patch) and had dragged it around the yard. So I chased her away from there and put on my gloves (still chatting) and again painstakingly eased it into place, lifted the grass around it, staked it down, and so on. Took off the gloves, washed my hands, went back out on the deck.

There were unidentifiable noises coming from the other side of the hot tub. So I strolled over there (wireless phones are a great invention) and, sure enough, she was in the process of digging up a large area of my flower bed, which has just been in long enough to start to look established instead of freshly planted. I chased her away from there and tried to restore a bit of stuff in the dark, one-handed, and as I turned, Boost raced by me dragging something large and dark that in no way resembled a dog toy.

I followed her across the yard (in the dark hoping not to step in any dog deposits) and got just close enough to see that it was a roll of landscape fabric--has been sitting there for a couple of weeks, at least, while I gradually take pieces out of it--and tried to approach her in a nonthreatening manner to prevent her from running, but apparently this was her time to be full of piss & vineger, because she dropped it, but immediately grabbed *one end* of the fabric and took off across the yard at a full run, unrolling thirty or forty feet of landscape fabric joyously behind her before I was able to get into a position to stomp on the fabric and bring her to a halt.

Still chatting, I returned to the deck and slowly and carefully rerolled all the fabric--

I think she was taking those five minutes to make up for all the long hours in which she's been SO good on her own. Carnfounded dog.

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