Monday, June 29, 2009

On getting close

I almost included this in the fence post (ha! I pun!), but that was getting too long, so I broke it out to its own entry.

I think a lot of this obsessing (five feet? five and a half?) comes from the face that the longer you think about something, the more idealized it becomes. Like little kids and christmas. We've been working slowly towards this dog since before we were married. Now that we're actually getting close, it feels like everything needs to be perfect, since we took so long getting there.

It doesn't help that in reading on the internet pretty much falls into two camps: 'I'm lazy and ignorant and have no idea why my outside-only untrained dog smells bad and barks' and 'I run a dog-related business from my home. Anyone worthy of a dog should be at least as perfect as me. Preferably a little more.' (ok, maybe that last part is only implied)

So I get these Ideas in my head that maybe we should have a seven foot fence. With wire buried three feet underneath, plus a designated digging area, and probably a pond*. Also, unless one of us can switch to working from home ** the dog needs to go to daycare every weekday so it isn't alone. Except, there aren't any places that are either on the way to work, or have long enough hours that we could reasonably drop off before - pick up after. So I suppose I have to quit my job, which I don't want to do, particularly before we have kids. But if we have a dog, we probably can't have kids anyway, since, if a place says 'won't adopt to homes with small children' it's probably verboten to add small children after the fact as well. So, I guess we really don't deserve a dog after all.

Yes, really, this is what it's like inside my head some days.

Maybe I'm too crazy to get a dog.

* actually, we have a small pond already, and a digging area would be completely reasonable if the dog likes to dig.

** this would be reasonable given our professions, but very bad given our work habits

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fence me in

Time to get serious again.

To get a dog, we need a fence.

One, because I like the idea of sending the dog out the backdoor to do his business without having to put shoes on.

Two, because we are too close to the busy road for me to really be comfortable letting him free range.

Three, because I hope in my silly little head that while it won't prevent deer from getting in, it may 'encourage' them to just eat the things on the side they're already on instead. (ok, so that has nothing to do with dogs)

and Four, because if we end up talking to a rescue instead of just the pound, they all say we need a fence.

Which brings us to the question of 'how high'?

Obviously, the answer to this question is 'just a little higher than the dog cares to jump'.

Which is hard to answer when you don't have a dog yet.

So the better answer is 'as high as the rescue people say it needs to be'. Except that question leads you back to either the first, unhelpful, answer or 'over six feet'.*

Which is nuts. I have seen a seven foot fences two places. The first is itty-bitty inner city lots where you don't want to see into your neighbor's yard, or the busy street. That makes sense. You want to keep the outside out as much as possible, and the yards are better measured in square feet than acres.

The only place I have seen that tall of a fence surrounding something as big as what we are fencing is a bonafide prison. That is not happening. Because it would look like a prison and cost (I'm estimating here) one million dollars. **

So, right now we're nittering back and forth around five feet. We want the wire to go down to the bottom, so it's not overly tempting to squeeze/dig underneath. Would it look stupid for the wire to be higher than the top rail? Since the wire comes in even feet, and the rails are six inches, if the wire hits the bottom of the rail, the fence will be something and a half feet tall. Is four and a half too short? Is five and a half overkill? If we go with five and a half, we have to get the six foot posts... how much do those cost?

It's terribly frustrating to be having to make these decisions based on a random imagining of how high an imagined dog might like to jump. Particularly when the contractors seem fairly convinced that a four foot fence is the best size ever, and doing something else is just plain weird. ***

* Another place it might go is 'that's hard to answer before you know what rescue you're using, which is hard to know before you know which one has the dog you want, which is hard to find out before you get started on the fence that will take a long time to build, in which time the dog you want may not be there anymore' yeah, that one was helpful.

** But seriously, fences are fraggin expensive. We're looking at close to 10k for a not-seven-foot-tall one.

*** And that's after they've stopped laughing at you for not wanting to let your dog run loose to begin with.