Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Horse is a Horse, Of Course Of Course

Except when that horse is a dog.

I have a very large dog that lives in my backyard. For many years I didn't think she was that smart, but apparently she's not quite as dumb as I thought.

This is the horse:

Her name is Zoe and she is very sweet. Unfortunately she thinks she's about four pounds and should be an indoor lap dog. I do not agree with this analysis.

As I have a pool in my yard I didn't want her to have full run of the yard, so she has a pen. Lately she has not exactly wanted to stay in the pen. In order to mow her pen the lawn guy has to move the fence to get the lawnmower in. At first this wasn't a big deal, but as the years have gone by the stake that the fence is attached to hasn't gone as deep into the ground and the gate has not shut as well.

Last year the gate wouldn't latch and she got out. That was fixed by weaving a leash through the fence and gate. That worked until very recently.

About two weeks ago I had put her back in the pen after the big storm and a few minutes later she was roaming the yard. I realized that she had managed to crawl under the fence to free herself. Following the disaster that was that storm and the clean up that followed I wasn't up to figuring out how to get her to stay in the pen, so she was a happy indoor dog for a few days.

A few days later I realized that she absolutely could not live in the house and I had to figure something out. I just needed to block where she was getting out. I have a very heavy bench that generally sits by the pool. I picked it up and hauled it to the back of the property (where the gate is) and used it to cover the hole. Success!

Today was lawn day, so Zoe got to be an inside dog for the day. Usually she goes right back out at lunch, but I had a lunch date with the lovely Katie Dodd, so she got the whole day inside. When I got home everyone went outside and Zoe went back in her pen. A little while later I was inside mentally preparing to clean the pool filter (more on that in a bit) and guess what I saw outside my bedroom door...Zoe. I grabbed the leash and back to the pen we went. I put her in and sealed the gate with the leash not knowing how she was getting out.

I said earlier that she was smarter than I previously thought, however she is not brilliant. My fluffy dog, Ty, is pretty small and can squeeze between the gate and the fence to get in to visit Miss Zoe. Apparently Zoe had been watching him go in and out and decided to try it herself, successfully. What was not successful was that she did it while I was watching. I put her back in the pen and moved the bench over and put a large tree branch over the part that was exposed that I thought she might be able to crawl under.

I go back in to change clothes to clean the pool filter. I look outside and there is Zoe. I am a little irritated at this point and head back to the pen to figure out what she's doing now. Apparently I put the bench over part of the gate, but she could still wiggle out. I then began the search for items to keep the gate closed. Luckily I happened to have some rubber bungie cable that I use for the pool cover sitting in the pool cabinet. I had left the leash on the gate this time around, so Zoe got walked with a bungie cable.

I got her back in and this is the finished product:

I added the stone just in case she tried to crawl under again!

Poor little Ty Ty will not get to go visit in the pen anymore, but that's the price we pay to keep the horse in the corral!

In other news I think I've finally got this pool thing down! I noticed a few days ago that there was quite a bit of dirt in the pool. I didn't really think all that much about it because of the leaves that had fallen due to the storm and they kept flying back in anytime the wind blew. Then I started to notice that this dirt was accumulating at the corners of the pool. I knew it had to be a little bit of algae and I knew what had to be done: filter cleaning. I had not done it this year and I've known that it needed to be done, but I was putting it off as long as possible. I won't go into details about the process, but you can read about them in the 2010 pool drama, here, here and here if you want a little laugh. Let's just say there was no drama to cleaning the filter today! I simply backwashed, used my ratchet to get the seal off, pulled the guts out, hosed them off, put everything back together, filled the pump basket to prime the pump, turned the pump on and it was perfect! It was crazy. I just new that I would be cursing and mad by the end of the evening. I managed to have the horse situation and the filter cleaned in 38 minutes! I was SHOCKED! I then brushed the sides to get the algae into the water so it would make it through the filter. I should have a perfect pool in a day or so! Woo hoo! I really like the pool when it doesn't make me cry.

In neighborhood post-storm news, thirteen days later the city finally removed all the tree branches from the neighbors to the south's front yard and the neighbor to the north finally got the tree that landed on their car removed. With my freshly cut lawn our cul-de-saq finally looks good again!

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