Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dog-sized holes

So we have a dog-sized hole in our roof awning. How it got there is part of a larger problem.

Medium-sized dog has a couple of issues. One is that he hates dogs (this may include an element of self-loathing here, it's hard to tell). The other is that he suffers from both separation anxiety (which means he gets extremely nervous when we leave the house without him) and a completely contradictory impulse to run free in the neighborhood.

The separation anxiety was really bad for awhile. Medium dog tore up a kennel, tore up a door, tried to throw himself through a window, chewed up the inside of our car, and howled like a banshee every time we walked out the front door. We wound up at a vet psychiatric, who put Medium Dog on prozac and gave us a rigorous training program to follow. It worked like a miracle. Within a few months, Medium Dog was much happier and we could leave the house again.

But this didn't do much to fix his escape issues. He jumped our 4 ft fence easily, so we raised it to 6 ft. He went over the 6 ft. fence like it wasn't even there, so we raised it to 8 ft. This only slowed him down slightly, plus he figured out how to open the front door and let himself out. We got a different style doorknob for the front door and paid fence guys to come and put up a 10ft fence. Medium dog found the low point on the new fence and jumped over. We build up the low point and put an electric fence about 8 ft. up on the 10 ft fence. So far so good, until the day a windstorm blew the gate open....

So Medium Dog's latest trick was to push open a window on the second floor, walk across the first floor roof, then jump off the roof, crash through an awning, and land on the back porch. He wasn't hurt (thank dog) and he didn't escape (because the back porch is in the back yard, so he was still behind the fence), but it does mean that the upstairs windows will need to be locked at all times.

So yes, dog containment is an ongoing project around here...

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