Monday, December 30, 2013

Doggone Dogs

Some of you may remember that we had to kennel Sedona and Kersey while we were in escrow on this place. When we moved the animals onto the property, they were barking at night and one of the neighbors complained to the real estate agent. The last thing we wanted was to get off on the wrong foot with a new neighbor. We were living in a hotel so having the dogs with us wasn't an option. We put them in a kennel.

Initially, when we moved into the house we had the dogs sleeping in the laundry room at night so they wouldn't bark. It worked okay from a barking standpoint but Sedona hated it. Every night I called and every night she took longer to arrive, despite there being treats once they settled on their beds. At some point, she stopped showing up at all. I think she heard me calling and hid. Meanwhile, Kersey was all wagging tail and panting happiness, begging for her treat and Sedona's. Eventually, we stopped bringing the dogs in at night. They love sleeping on the porch so we put their fluffy beds outside the great room door. Sedona slept up against the door while Kersey hauled herself up onto the wicker furniture. Sometimes, we would wake and hear them barking, the sound fading as they chased some animal away from the house. The barking would stop pretty quickly (unless it was an instance of all the neighborhood dogs joining in the chorus), we would roll over and go back to sleep.

Yesterday morning, the neighbor called to Brett over the fence. He said that the dogs have been barking out close to their house and keeping them awake. When the dogs chase raccoons and other animals, they do seem to head out his direction. His house sits pretty close to our property line, next to the dressage court. Brett asked Marv (another neighbor) if he heard the dogs and he said yes, he had heard them the other night and when he looked outside he saw Sedona and Kersey chasing what looked like a fox into the back pasture. We decided to start bringing the dogs in at night again.

Later yesterday afternoon, I noticed Sedona standing alone with her tail drooping to the ground. Kersey was nowhere to be seen. Kyle and Camille had told me that Kersey figured out how to get into the oak pasture and had been swimming in the water trough. Sedona declined to follow Kersey since Jackson has chased her on more than one occassion. Sedona won't go into the pasture when the horses are there. Kersey either forgot about being chased or the call of a frigid swim was stronger than her fear. So, when she went missing Brett figured she had gone into the pasture and slipped out under the fence in one of the many low spots. Sure enough, an hour later the same neighbor and his wife came walking up the driveway with Kersey on a leash. They were friendly, with laugh lines around their eyes, and said Kersey was running the fence line trying to figure out how to get back in. She isn't the brightest bulb, but she's so cute and sweet that we just smile and scratch her belly. They mentioned the barking again. I wanted to hide under a rug.

Last night I went out on the porch at bed time to bring the dogs into the laundry room. They followed me around the house to the back porch and then Sedona stopped. Her tail dropped, she lowered her head and looked up at me with dread. "Seriously? You are going to make me go in there? Why am I in trouble?" She wouldn't eat the milk-bone cookie I offered. She circled three times, lowered her body onto her bed, crossed her paws and stared at me. I opened the window so they would get fresh cold air and went off to bed.

At 4am, Camille was awakened by the sound of the laundry room window screen clattering onto the porch. A few minutes later, Kersey started whining and crying. When the noise didn't subside and she didn't hear us get up (whoops, slept through it), she decided to go downstairs and investigate. She met Kyle on the landing, pulling on his sweat pants, and together they went to investigate. Sedona had jumped out of the window leaving Kersey behind. Since Sedona was not going to come back in, they let Kersey go outside, closed the window and went back to bed. At 5am, Brett and I woke up to the sound of them barking. They were clearly outside -- so Brett went downstairs to see how they got out. We figured they both went out the window since the screen was on the ground but we couldn't figure out how they shut the window behind them.

Of course, all the mysteries were solved in the morning. Tonight the dogs will sleep in the barn. Tomorrow, Brett will work on building a secure dog area that incorporates the side porch that they love so much. And we will pray that they don't bark.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

3 comments:

  1. Good luck! Another project for Brett.

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  2. oh, that's tough. mine go in and out as i let them and sometimes, as you said, the entire neighborhood gets riled up and the barking goes on and on. but all of our neighbors have dogs that bark so we don't complain about each other.

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  3. Oh I do not envy you. Trying to get a dog not to bark at night is like trying to make a cat stay awake. I bet times like this make you wish your closest neighbors were a mile away. Good luck.

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