Sunday, May 12, 2013

Annie the Destroyer

This is Annie. Isn't she all cute and innocent looking?

Annie doesn't like to stay in the yard when I'm not home. I have a doggie door, so it's not like I throw her out back and she can't come inside. She can be inside as much as she wants on soft doggie beds or even the sofa. But no. Annie must explore! All my neighbors have me on speed dial. It takes a village to keep this beagle contained.

At some point Annie decided to go into the crawl space under my foundation. From there, she can escape through a ventilation hole under my front porch. There are several points of access to the crawl space in the back yard. Once I realized how Annie was getting out, I covered the holes with vinyl trellis. That stuff is tough! I learned how to drill into the concrete block and set screws in. I was very proud of my handiwork. No way she could get through that!

A couple days later I came home to no beagle in the yard. I found this:

She must have worried at it for hours. You can see scratch marks in the siding. Anyway, one of my neighbors had her, and also Lola, because wherever Annie goes, Lola goes. Sam the elderly GSP is always sleeping in my living room, clueless. He's a good boy!

Next I covered the above hole with a board. A thick piece of plywood. No way she could get through that, right? All was good for the next several weeks. No escapes. And then...

She ripped the board right off the foundation. All the screws were still screwed into the concrete. Look at the top of the board! Again, that must have taken hours.

Next, I bought a couple two by fours, cut them in pieces to size, and screwed those across the opening with LONG concrete screws. That has actually worked! I can see bite and scratch marks on the boards, but she's not able to make any headway. There have been no escapes via the crawl space since.

No escapes; but that doesn't mean she's not trying. I discovered this today:

She was trying to get into that little trellis-covered opening. In the process, she tore up the siding. Now I have to find siding and paint to match. Sigh.

I found Annie on Craigslist, and this is her third home in her four years of life. I am determined that this will be her forever home. All I have to do is be smarter and more tenacious than a beagle. It's so much harder than it sounds.

She's also a digger, and has dug her way under my fences on many occasions. I've finally hit upon a solution that seems to be working. I took chicken wire and laid it flat next to the fence all the way around the yard. I pounded it into the ground using landscape staples and camping spikes. Then I lined all the fences with landscape ties pushed up right where the fence meets the ground, partially covering the chicken wire. She hasn't been able to dig anywhere I've done that. I missed a few spots, and that's where she has dug. I am feeling good now that I have found all her secret spots.

It's a good thing she's so freakin' cute!


Cindy D. said...

New to your blog, just was cruising the internet and ran across you.

I have 2 words for you.

Hot Wire.

You can get the low voltage and I guarantee it will stop her with out hurting her. My mom is a lab breeder and she has it around every fence at her house. I have it around my dog yard as well.

There is nothing better and the peace of mind makes it worth every penny you will spend. Run 2 strands, one low and one just a little higher so that there is no way for her to go under or over.

halfpassgirl said...

I have thought of hot wire and am keeping the idea in my back pocket if my current lockdown procedures continue to fail :)