Friday, February 19, 2016

stray dogs and lily ponds

Last summer a couple of stray dogs showed up, dumped I suppose by those who, instead of giving their pets up to a shelter, drive them out to the country and abandon them. I'd say the pets are better off without those owners except they aren't. They were pretty harmless until about the first of the year. The two moved into the far end of the Wild Space by the road that my street dead ends into and have had a litter of puppies, four of them.

Now they are running at and barking at people who walk past there on the road and they hang out in my absentee neighbor's yard driving Minnie nuts. She does her job, barking like mad and chasing after them to run them off.

Recently, though, they have discovered my water lily pond which is outside the fence around the Little Backyard. I can see it from where I sit if the back door is open and the other day I looked up to see the big black dog frolicking IN the pond. I chased it off and looked to see what damage and the pot of horsetail was knocked over as well as the two pots of water lilies. I righted all the pots and for the next few days kept finding the pots knocked over and the water level decreasing.

Earlier this week, I repotted a few cuttings into bigger pots and set the pink Turk's Cap on the ground next to the water lily pond where it would get more sun. The next morning, the pot was knocked over and emptied of all the dirt and the little plant was no where to be found and the horsetail was once again knocked off the little shelf and into the deeper part of the pond.

Yesterday, after spending a fun morning in the shop with my new friend and fellow artist Kathleen playing around with making molds out of silicone caulk, I walked around the back to find that those dogs had not only knocked over all the water plants again but had gotten into the natural filter for the pond which is sort of like a miniature pond where another pretty little flowering water plant grows and torn them to shreds and dug around in it.

Well, I needed to clean that out but it wasn't how I had planned to spend the rest of my day. The plants will recover once I get them planted in there again as they are almost like weeds but I had to completely empty the filter, rinse it all out and off, and relayer the volcanic rocks and pebbles.

I'm really pissed off now so when I had finished doing that and dredging all the leaves and crap out of the pond, I got some hardware cloth and chickenwire out of the barn and covered both the pond and the filter, leaving the pot of horsetail on the little shelf at the narrow end. This morning, I checked it out to see if they had tried to get in it again (the chickenwire and hardware cloth were still in place) and the pot of horsetail was missing. 

not so pretty now

I looked around to see the now empty pot about 30 feet from the pond in my neighbor's yard and not one sign of the horsetail.

Vindictive little bastards.

I don't know what to do about the dogs as they are getting braver (though they still run from me when I yell at them) and when those puppies grow up it's going to be a 6 member feral pack and that's if the female doesn't have another litter. There is no county dog catcher, they will tell you to catch the dogs for pick up. There was a feral dog pack here when we first moved here but my neighbor Jimmy, who is a deputy with the sheriff's department and who lives across the road, 'took care of them'. By that I mean I think he shot them though I neither witnessed it nor heard it but one day they were here and the next they weren't.

Wish I had some firecrackers. It's what I used the last time to keep them out of my yard.


  1. Those white flowers are great, they almost look like a Clematis. Sad when people discard pets, I was given a pair of black kittens this last week, no idea where they came from.They just showed up at the farm. Many think farmers want more pets, but that brings up a total of 11. That's a lot of shots. Six live in the big barn and you barely see them.

  2. It's disgusting when people decide they no longer want their pets. There are so many options which are better than abandonment. I hope you can find a safe, workable solution.

  3. I am sorry you are being pestered by stray dogs and have your gardening efforts destroyed.

    Still, there is something about the matter which would not happen here. Anyone who sees a stray dog (any sane person/dog lover) would ring the nearest shelter who would pick it up as soon as possible. The dog would be enticed with food into an enclosed space and could easily be caught.

    Leaving dogs to roam freely is asking for trouble, it’s not something I’d be tempted to allow, whether they were on my land or not.

  4. So infuriating! And what DO you do? I am not a heartless person but when an animal is never, ever going to be a pet and has to live wild, I do not have much tolerance. I could never shoot one myself but if someone else did it, I don't know that I'd be too upset. I think there is a country mindset about animals which is different from the mindset of people who live in town.
    Or maybe I'm just a cruel beast.

  5. I'm afraid of dogs so I'd probably never leave my house! It is a conundrum - I'm afraid I would just put my head in the sand & not care as long as someone "fixed" the problem for me. Sigh.

  6. I guess these sorts of things happen when you live in the country. Probably a fair trade-off avoiding many of the more urban problems.

  7. We don't have trouble with dogs here -- at least, that I know of. We were overrun wiht feral cats, but they started disappearing. Then, one night, I saw a coyote ambling along through the parking lot. That solved that mystery. I'm not sure the coyotes would solve your problem, though. You do need a solution, or there's going to be trouble down the road. (No pun intended)

  8. I'm sorry for your dilemma. It would drive me nuts. Not to make you worry more, but I think you're right - things will only get worse.
    Maybe out there in the blog world there's some clever person with a solution.

  9. That's a problem from my childhood; even if animals are dumped out here, they are generally quickly caught by folks who don't want to deal with them. Like you, we have no "dog catcher." The county officials will pick up an animal you trap and cage, that's all. Have you considered a live trap? After the authorities have made two or three trips, they may find it easier to catch the remaining little bustards themselves, than keep making trips to carry off the latest live trap.

  10. Oh, I am the wrong one to comment on this. I believe that dogs are the closest things to angels on earth. I have had five dumped dogs at one time and to a dog, they were wonderful, loving pets that brought so much joy to my life.

  11. This is so frustrating and so sad. I can't stand people doing this kind of things to animals, and creating problems for other people.

    I feel terrible for the dogs. And a bit scared of what might end up happening to them, too...

  12. I live across the road from two farms; no one has lived in one for many years and the 100 or so acres are for sale. Unkind, black hearted people see the empty barns and dump all kinds of animals off because they no longer want them. Some are taken in by kind folks and others fend for themselves until Mother Nature or a fast car steps in. What you have there is a dangerous situation that must be solved sooner than later. Perhaps the puppies can be saved before they become too wild.

  13. When puppies they are mischievous, but when adults they can be dangerous and do far more damage, where will they get their food..some neighbors chickens? You should have animal control come out. It is important that they be dispatched or found homes before summer gets really underway.

  14. Ugh. That is a bad situation. I just don't see any solution short of trapping the dogs or fencing in your yard (an expensive option!). Sorry I can't do better than that!


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