Release the Hounds

When Kristin and I brought home our first dog eight and a half years ago, we were living in a two-story townhouse in Greenville, NC. The yard wasn't fenced, but we had a small deck and were able to put up a "dog runner" that stretched from a corner of the house to a tree in the yard and Kimo (and eventually Annana) would run and frolic in the yard while attached to this overhead cable with pulleys and leashes. Keeping the two dogs separated was a chore that required constant tending to early on, but as time wore on the dogs became very skilled users of the dog runner and were able to keep themselves untangled very well. Even when playing fetch, which always surprised me.

We installed a similar system in the yard of the duplex we rented when we moved to Bellevue, WA and although they didn't have the deck to sit on, they felt right at home with their tethered playtime. But I always felt bad for them. I so wanted them to have a fenced yard they can run and play in without having to be leashed to something. The house we bought two years ago didn't come with a fenced yard and trips to Hawaii and Costa Rica, not to mention buying two new cars last year, kept the fence on the backburner.

I'm happy to say that dish is finally getting cooked!

The fence construction guys came by yesterday to drop off the posts and today they're going to sink them and concrete them in. They tell me the fence will be done by Friday. I don't know how much the dogs really minded the overhead pulley system, but I do know that for two years now, they haven't gone outside off a leash attached to mine or Kristin's wrist. They haven't gotten to take a nap in the sun or play fetch or chase stupid cats that sneak into the yard. And now, come Friday, they'll be able to. I feel like I'm about to give someone the ultimate Christmas gift. I'm simultaneously thrilled that we're finally getting the fence installed while also very sad that the dogs are already cresting the hill of middle-age.

The fence is a six-foot cedar "estate" style fence, per the neighborhood's design guidelines. The dogs won't be able to jump over it and while we don't have the biggest yard in the world, it's large enough to play fetch and for Kristin and I to sit on chairs and just watch the dogs run and play. I'm just sorry it took so long.

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