Puppy-proofing the backyard

Friday we got our grown-up furniture for the living room delivered. I put Gus in the backyard so he would be out of the way and not try to eat the delivery guys. He was fine as long as I was in the kitchen where he could see me.

When the furniture guys were done I went to see them out, which meant going out-of-sight of my vicious guard dog. The guys were getting in their truck, I shut the front door, go to the back door to let Gus in…and he is not there. Where is he? In the front yard barking at the delivery truck as they drive away! He had pushed through one of the screens in the back porch, the side that is not contained by the fence, jumped out and run around to the front!

See how the fence starts at the back corner of the house?

Gus exit-point

Well I had errands to run that afternoon, so rather than leave him in his kennel inside, I moved our patio chairs in front of the broken screen, thinking that would deter him enough to stay in the backyard. WRONG. Two hours later I come back to find Guster hanging out in the front in the shade. NOT GOOD. He had pushed through a different screen this time, the one that I did not put a chair in front of. Who knows how long he had been loose, I’m just glad I didn’t come home to find him in the middle of the street. Obviously, we would not be able to leave him outside until the backyard was puppy-proofed.

Second Gus exit-point

It took us 4 tries to Gus-proof the backyard in Orlando, with various failed solutions including zip-ties and aluminum screening. The final solution involved a sheet of plexi-glass and paving stones under the gate so he couldn’t dig out. Clearly, it was going to take more than just replacing the screens to keep him contained, now that he knew he could escape through them.

We discussed putting in windows, but realized it would take a professional, since there have never been windows in the frame, so it would be a from-scratch job. Eventually we would like to put in windows and make it more of a sunroom than a porch, but that is for the future.

Finally we came up with this.

Sucessfully Gus-proofed

“What an ingenious solution!” you say? “Why, yes, but what is it?” you say? What you see there, my friends is ornamental wrought-iron garden fencing. We simply attached them to the wood frame of the screens, and voila! Puppy-proofed.

Attatchment with wood screws and washers.

I will probably get some ivy and train it to climb on the fencing, just to disguise it a bit, but for now it doesn’t look terrible and we can once again leave Gus outside without fear!

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