If our week was written in diary form, it might look something like this:
Monday – a 3-story hemlock falls into the goat yard, missing goats, dogs, house, and fence by inches. Philip spends Monday evening cleaning up (while Andi has a speaking engagement) so that we can get to animals and so that they don’t eat too much hemlock.
Tuesday – Philip is sick from the strain of Monday and yet prepares for work anyway only to see the dogs loose in the front yard. He returns them to pasture, and then, they escape again. Philip captures them again and has to take to the couch because he’s not feeling well. Later, our neighbor tells us that the hemlock Philip carefully placed in our burn pit might injure his cattles, who graze nearby, so they move all the hemlock for the second time. Philip feels awful; yet, he and I must capture the dogs and patch the fence 4 more times that day.
Wednesday – Dear friends are here for the night, and P goes to work until snow closes his office. The dogs escape again, this time in snow, making their location harder to ascertain. They are reinstated into the pasture, and we commence patching the fence more and more – tools used – boulders, boards, fencing, briars.
Thursday – I wake Philip because the dogs have escaped again. We patch more and manage to keep them in the pasture while we enjoy a lovely Thanksgiving with them. Also, we watch Dumb and Dumber.
Friday – I wake Philip again when the dogs come over the gate in the front yard. I’m able to contain them but need Philip’s help to mend the gate. Despite our boycott of Black Friday – in solidarity with the people of Ferguson and because we think it’s a little nutty – we head to Tractor Supply to buy the necessaries to put up electric fence. We are about half-way done with the fence when we hear a ruckus in the chicken run and find Meander chasing and carrying our chickens. We lose Rose to fright or injury. Meander spends the day inside, and we spend the rest of Friday hanging the electric fence. I am asleep by 9:15.
Saturday – I wake Philip again because this time Boone is trying to squeeze himself into a space about as wide as my thigh and has required that I lift all 140 pounds of him so that he doesn’t break the paw he has gotten stuck in the gate slats. We spend the morning building a 5′ gate out of solid oak that he can not climb, squeeze through, or push over. A few hours escape to a local craft fair and lunch with Philip’s Mom. Then, we return to install the invisible fence around the chicken run only to find that we don’t have the necessary battery for Meander’s collar that makes the fence effective. We visit 4 stores to get the battery and come home at 9pm. We are both dead asleep by 10pm.
Sunday – I wake at my usual 6:30 and find everyone sound in their pasture. Meander tests the invisible fence and quickly finds it working. I feed and water everyone while Boone tries to nose past me out the gate. He does not succeed. Everyone is safe and sound. . . . although Boone put forth his best effort to climb that fence. Now, I’m on the couch with Meander – who is wrapped like a burrito. Philip slept until he awoke naturally, and Xander the rooster is crying victory, victory, victory.
Sometimes, I suppose, it takes a great deal of strife for us to be grateful for the rest, huh?
By the way, if you need advice on electric fencing systems, gates, or predator protection, let us know. We have knowledge we never wanted to gain, but we’re happy to share it.