Monday, October 06, 2008

EMPS #6: Good Fences Make Good Dogs

...Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

--from Mending Wall by Robert Frost

Looking through our fence across the alleyway to neighbors' fences.

For Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot #6: Fences And What's Behind Them, Carly wants us to photograph, well, you know, fences, and what's behind them. Oh, that's easy! Let's start from my own back yard:

On the other side of this fence is a real barker.

Here is the fence between our yard and that of our neighbor to the north. Unlike our pool, the one you can almost see through the slats here sometimes has water in it, and occasionally laughing children. But at night, a dog lurks behind this fence. As a puppy it used to bark all night long - poor lonely thing, but very annoying for us! Now I think it mostly barks at cars and cats, and anything else it thinks it heard or saw or smelled. This usually sends Pepper roaring into the back yard and up to the fence seen at the top of this entry. There she peers out and sniffs and barks furiously. Across the alley, behind the wooden fence, another dog usually joins in.

Pepper usually stays there, on guard, until Cayenne and I go out to get her, whereupon she wants to be rewarded for her vigilance. This happens several times a night unless I close the door to the laundry room, thus blocking access to the doggie door. Still, at least the dogs aren't getting into fights, or roughing up the neighborhood's half-feral cats.

Two fences between us and our neighbor to the south.

On the south side of the house are two chain link fences, ours and our neighbor's. His fence is close to the side of his house, making kind of a dog run for Tootsie, a black lab (or possibly a lab cross). She is usually out there, but wasn't when I took this photo. Tootsie is friendly and lonely and a sweet dog, and getting old now. She doesn't bark nearly as much as she used to. But if the other dogs get much of a barkathon going, Tootsie joins in.

Miko's Corner Playground, as seen through the fence.

Now we're off to the dog park again, this time with an eye for what encloses it. Here's the view from the parking lot. On this side the fence consists of oblong metal bars painted reddish tan, with a decorative metal arch over each section and the occasional concrete pillar in between.

The inner gate of the north entrance (large dog section)

The double-gated entry is similar, but two-tiered.

A chain link fence makes good neighbors of large and small dogs.

On the north side of the main enclosure is a chain link fence. Beyond that is the small dog section. I've seen dogs almost as large as Pepper in there, and the occasional toy dog or puppy on our side. Generally, though, the other enclosure fills up with poodles and pugs and pekes and so on. Some of them like to race Cayenne and Pepper along the fence line, knowing they're completely safe from the larger dogs. Cayenne and Pepper love this.

Pepper is unconcerned about what lies beyond this fence.

On the west side is more chain link fence, providing a view of more grass and trees and some halfway decent sunsets. What you don't see so much is Country Club Road, which is perhaps forty feet from this fence. The fence is fairly high, and there is no gate on this side. I'm grateful that this off-leash facility has such good fences that I need never worry about Pepper running into the street. She might get away in the parking lot (she hasn't, but it's conceivably possible), but that's quite a bit less dangerous. The traffic is much slower there, the street is far away, and dog owners are constantly on the watch for each others' pets as they're coming and going.

Cayenne, Pepper and friend are safe inside these walls.

The south, east, and part of the north part of the oval-shaped park have the bars and arches I highlighted earlier, interspersed with concrete and stone pillars. The view is rather beautiful, with the possible exception of when a large party takes over a picnic area nearby. Even then, it's mostly the loud music that can get annoying. Fences like these don't block sound. But they can keep the dogs happily ensconced in a place filled with grass and trees, running water and interesting smells, and lots of dogs and people to be their friends.

Be sure to check out Carly's original entry if you're interested in joining in on this Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot. And don't forget to stop by her blog again on Monday for links to this week's participants as well as next week's topic.



Carly said...

Hi Karen

Good strong fences keep the puppies safe and out of trouble. I always enjoy seeing the puppies having fun. Very cool dogs. Good fences!


ChrisseasCorner said...

Karen, I simply loved your fences... marvelous darling!

Soulfully Blonde said...

love the sun setting in your pictures towards the end!

Wammy said...

Lots of sturdy fences you have. And dogs and fences...that is a good thing. We need a fence for our beagle. She is so quick to run out the door the minute you aren't paying any attention. Your area looks nice and dry...warm infact.

Tammy said...

You have quite a variety of fences and doggies near you. The dog park is really cool!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Karen, Thanks for sharing a look at your fences! They do have their purpose:)

Kiva said...

You're right, it's easier to let them play when they have good sturdy fences surrounding them. That last picture looks ethereal with the rays of light shining on the puppies.