We have worked hard over the past week to install fencing around the portion of the larger yard that either didn't have it or had it in bad condition. Teddy had already gotten out twice, and we couldn't have that keep happening. He's a good guy, but he doesn't know his boundaries yet, and he's very quick on his feet and hard to catch. Training has started, but we're nowhere near a reliable "come" cue yet.
This got me to thinking about things we put up with related to our dogs. I have tons of desk work. I am, in fact, running far behind today because of time spent on fencing. I can't make it up tomorrow because I have to travel back to Edmonds to do a big group book signing. So I am stuck here until I do what has to be done. All because I had to drop the desk work while my brother was available to help, and go out and work on fencing.
Then of course the dogs need their exercise, so yesterday afternoon time was taken off to let Teddy have his first go and staying in the yard off-leash. That meant we had to be out there with him, trying to keep him within visual range. We have a couple of small sections of woods, and some buildings behind which he can disappear, and we weren't sure yet that we had fixed all the weak points in our containment. So we traipsed merrily from one end of the (4 acres) yard to the other, over and over, following Teddy's eager explorations. This despite the fact that the weather had turned typically northwestern and saw spitting rain.
Teddy had a grand time. He and Nestle almost initiated play. (I expect that will come when the exploration isn't so very enticing to Teddy.) And about the umpteenth time we maneuvered around near the front door, I opened it, called Nestle in, and Teddy came with him. . . for which he got rewarded with whipped cream.
We will have a few more supervised outings, then will hope that there are no as-yet-unfound weak points, and just go about our business as usual with us and the dogs out in the yard, without having to chase the little white streak hither and yon.
Do I resent spending the time to make the yard safe for Teddy? No. I regret the confluence of events that mean I can't make up the time tomorrow, but those are the breaks. It's worth it to see the little guy running around in utter joy at being free. He's very funny to watch run, with his little stumpy legs, but boy, he can cover ground!
I find dogs so enticing, beautiful, funny in so many ways, the payback is always more than the effort.