Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The mighty fence hath been restored!

And there was much rejoicing....(Yay!)....

Yes, the contractors arrived bright and early this morning and reassembled the panels that had been dislodged from their posts, using the technique I originally suggested -- big freakin' screws instead of puny nails. The lead contractor told me that they usually nail the panels on so that if someone/something hits a panel at high-speed that only the panel would come down and not the whole fence. I found that quite laughable and even showed him how laughable it was since nothing had hit the fence (except air, or maybe a leaf....perhaps a squirrel) and yet the panels were all falling down.

He admitted he was quite shocked when he arrived and found my custom-made drive-gate was twisted and warped and there was no good explanation for it. So, they poured more concrete into the post holes that had settled and leveled them. They also added more dirt in places that needed it (so glad I saved the huge pile of dirt from the first go-around). And they went to purchase new panels to reconstruct my gate so that it now operates correctly and doesn't look as if it will allow half of the wildlife of our neighborhood a way into the yard.

The part of today's adventure that didn't thrill me was my "alarm" system to let me know when someone unknown has arrived at the house. Since my medication makes me incredibly sleepy each morning, I dozed-off on the couch while waiting for the builders to arrive. Actually, I'd already dozed-off before Youngest Son left for school and he had to wake me to let me know he was leaving so I could watch to make sure he got on the bus. Then I dozed-off again.

Harley, the Schnoodle which is a cross between a poodle and a schnauzer (a terrier), is usually the first part of the "alarm" system. She sits on the couch and watches out the windows or lies beside the door in the dining room so that she can see anyone or anything passing by the house. Her terrier instincts give her the predisposition to growl and grumble at anything walking within her line of sight. It doesn't have to be on our property -- if she can see it and she doesn't know who it is or what it wants, she doesn't want it around. Many leaves and bunnies and people walking in the park across the street have been given fair warning from her growling (even though they can't hear her). It's her growling that usually alerts Celeste, my trained service dog, to see what the fuss is about and make sure there is no real "threat" to the house or those of us in it, especially me.

Celeste being a Beauceron definitely classifies her as a large dog. She's every bit of 85 pounds of muscle and alertness. And she has the traditional markings, cropped ears, and deep stare of a herding dog that usually sends humans walking the other way if she stares them down. But when needed, she can bark and it's a low, powerful bark that can be heard very well. It's the combination of Harley, yapping like an idiot and giving an intruder the thought of a small dog that wouldn't do much harm, and then Celeste's booming bark, which to someone who's not heard it would translate to, "I will eat your face off if necessary, and I believe it is," that makes a wonderful "alarm" system. And it's proven itself effective, too.

But this morning, when I was sound asleep on the couch in the comfort of knowing that these two loony dogs would do their job and let me know when the contractors arrived, nothing happened. They just sat there. Oh, they may have run to the door and saw the men getting out of the truck with tools and starting to fix the fence -- but neither decided to inform me. The incessant yapping and loud barks never came. I was finally awakened by Celeste licking me from chin-to-forehead to wake me up because she wanted to go outside. You can imagine my surprise, as well as the contractors', when I opened the back door and found their truck parked in my driveway and they found two dogs barreling out the door into the yard to go "walkies." The guys had been there long enough to remount all of the panels of the fence and neither dog had bothered to let me know.

Once I was awake, however, they wouldn't leave me alone. You'd think I'd been away on safari and they were just thrilled to see me. When the contractors left to buy more materials, neither dog did anything. But when they returned, both dogs started their yapping and barking as if to say, "See! We are good at this and look at them tremble before us!" There was no trembling -- the guys outside had already known to ignore them and went about their work.

Now they're still sitting and staring at me wondering where their treats are for scaring-away the intruders who simply left on their own after we inspected the fence and made sure the work was done correctly. If it weren't for that dopey look they get in their eyes at times like this, I'd probably have to be upset. And with one dopey-eyed dog on each side of me, that's a hard emotion to bring up at the moment.

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