Ian left for Hangout Fest with some friends on Thursday morning and won’t be back until Monday night, so I’m solo-parenting* this crazy dog and let me tell you—this shit ain’t easy. I’m used to doing the morning and day routines, but usually Ian is home in the evenings and will entertain her for a bit to give me a break. But for five days, it’s just me. And the cats are no help, the little bastards.
My plan was to take Stella out to the park today and then walk around the North Shore (and make a stop at the dog bakery over there), but it’s cold and has been raining since 9 a.m. so we’re stuck indoors. I did take her for a mile walk this morning—in the rain, mind you—and I hope it quits raining later so I can get her evening walk in, too. I can definitely tell a difference in her attention span when she hasn’t gotten her walks in.
She has a million toys, but she’s a puppy so keeping her attention isn’t exactly easy. Even when I’m engaging her with toys or little training sessions, she loses focus very easily and it wears on me—especially at night when I’m tired and just want to chill out for a bit.
Ian and I decided back when we adopted her to go ahead and have our backyard fenced in, since the fence that was here when we moved in was purely decoration. Our yard has a slope to it and the fence is vinyl, so there were a ton of gaps where the bottom of the fence didn’t meet the ground due to the slope. It’s less than six months old, but it has no value as a fence. Besides the giant gaps (two of them I could have crawled under), it wasn’t closed at the driveway so she could have just walked right out. And since we live off a fairly busy road, we decided we didn’t want to take any chances. After getting a few estimates, we hired a company to build us a wood fence that will be flush with the ground and have a gate at the driveway. I’m losing the ability to pull my car up partly into the backyard, but I’m glad to trade that for being able to exercise Stella off-leash.
Unfortunately all the rain lately put the fence company behind schedule, so they didn’t get started until yesterday. It took all day to get the old fence taken down and set the posts for the new fence that’s going up. The posts have to set in the concrete, so they’ll be back Monday to finish up. Originally I thought it would have been nice to have the fence for this weekend, but it’s all muddy and gross outside so I probably wouldn’t have had Stella out there much anyway.
I was impressed with the guys’ care in taking down the old fence, though. I told them we were going to be selling it on Craigslist, so they saved every single screw that came out of it for me. I also told them not to worry about the posts since those were concreted in and I knew it would be a pain in the ass to deal with them, but they actually took great care in removing all of them—they even knocked the concrete off the bottoms instead of just shaving the post off at the ground. Hopefully they are just as careful with the new fence they put in Monday. We might end up with the best-looking fence on the block.
*Obviously this isn’t the same as being a real single parent, but give me a break here. I’m exhausted.