A Return to the Dog Run

With the weather well into the 100s for several months, the dogs have been living in the crates in the house while im at work. It is not the quality of life i want for them but there’s just no way i can leave them out when the weather is like that. The chickens were struggling daily to survive and i was having to make them ice baths. I wasnt sure if they would make it through to autumn. This year was one for the history books. It was hotter and dryer than usual. There was no way i was leaving the dogs outside. September was full of days in the nineties and sometimes above 100. Then just like that, October was here and the days were between 89 and 55 degrees. I was bewildered. I forgot what it was like to be able to walk outside and not feel your skin cooking. It kind of caught me off guard. But, as soon as i saw a whole week’s worth of days in the forecast listed below 90 degrees fahrenheit i decided to reopen the dog run for day use. That meant setting it up so that they would be self sufficient without me for a full day.

First everything had to be scrubbed. Unfortunately we couldnt make use of the rain water in the stock tank because the bottom of it was so grody it had turned the water a rust brown. I dumped the rain water from that and the big anti flip dog bowl under the tree and then sat out there with various scratchy sponges and scrubbed and scrubbed until the gunk was mostly removed.

Cashew had to spend the afternoon in the crate while i fixed up the dog run because i put the nasty grody sponges way up a tree trunk and told both of them not to touch them. I went inside to get water to rinse the containers of their filth and when i returned a very guilty Cashew was standing near a way too clean sponge with a new hole in it. She had eaten a good amount of the filth trying to make a chew toy out of the cleaning sponge. And thats why she had to be crated for me to get any work done.

Sili was my only remaining helper.
She helped by supervising.
I think it was at this point that she realized what i was doing.

Once i rinsed the containers i filled the 44 gallon stock tank with 17 buckets of sink water and purchased another bath fountain to be used as a water agitator overnight when the dogs werent using it. I also filled the anti flip dog water bowl with filtered well water. Then i placed their actual dog bowl out there and filled that with filtered well water.

I decided not to trim the cedar branches in the dog run, low as they were hanging, because they seemed to be providing good shade for the dogs. In light of the oak wilt the trees were experiencing, i felt it necessary to keep the cedars as bushy and all encompassing as we could get them in there.

I tried to unbend the warped stained pieces of wood that used to decrease the evaporation of the stock tank during the day. They got a little straighter but not much. I placed them over the stock tank during the day and removed them at night so they didnt hinder the fountain.

In the back you can see the elm tree i planted to help provide shade in conjunction with the cedars since the oak that stands near them is dying. It is healthy and doing well so far. I hope it survives the winter and continues to get bigger next year.

I dug out the apparatus made of zip tied hangers to keep the fountain in the middle of the stock tank and made use of that nightly. I bought more AAA batteries. Then i put Cashew and Sili in the dog run and announced to them that they’d be staying outside during the day again.

After the first day out in the dog run they went right back in the crates in the house. They immediately got too big for their britches and let their new-found freedom go to their heads. When i came home they didnt listen to a thing i said. Cashew took off into the woods. Sili refused to get out of my bed. Neither of them would crate up for meals. Cashew decided to eat hers before given the command and refused to stop eating when scolded. It was really just mass chaos and both of them were ignoring my existence. Have you heard of the saying, “if you give them an inch they will take a mile”? Well that’s what happened, and it flew with me about as well as an ostrich tied to an anvil. Their butts were right back in the crates the next day even though the weather was just beautiful and cool due to a one day cold front. They missed the best day of the forecasted week, and i didnt care. If they were going to forget themselves in the dog run they wouldnt be out there.

They also received a bark box from an extended family member who graciously gifted us a three month subscription. I withheld their treats and toys until their behavior showed signs of improvement. The following evening i was able to give them their october crinkle toys and they each shook for a lamb jerky treat. Because they listened well to commands and followed orders when they were given, they spent the rest of the week in the dog run and got pumpkin pie dog food topper courtesy of their extended family member and the bark box company. Cashew ate every last crumb. Sili ate the part touching her food.

If the forecast predicts a storm or the weather is set to be in the thirties, i will leave the dogs crated indoors during the day. Otherwise, they will now be outside. I pray every morning before i leave for God to separate them from all venomous snakes, poisonous frogs, and poisonous mushrooms. Lord i love them but i cant watch them every moment so i leave them in your hands. Watch over them. Protect them from themselves. Keep them safe.

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