Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Bringing a puppy into the house has created a dilemma. Well, it's not so much a dilemma as it is a question that needs answering—Where to take the dog to pee and poo. We have a fenced-in yard, but the space within the fence is filled with swimming pool, which is surrounded by brick patio. That isn't conducive to potty training, and we don't want to take the dog for a walk every time he has to do his business, so we designated a section of planter for that sort of thing.
At one end of the patio, there were small evergreens, but Husband thought they were ugly and had them removed, so I turned the space into a small and untended herb garden, filling the space with sage, oregano, parsley and thyme. And there was a lavender bush and some petunias there as well.
Then came the puppy. He ran and played and plowed through and soiled so that you wouldn't want to use the herbs even to look at, even if you could find a seemingly untainted leaf. If I were to snip some sage for the stew, we would never know if that was the leaf he had peed on or pooped on or tramped on with his big, dirty paws after peeing and pooping.
So, I decided to completely sacrifice the space to Baxter, and I suggested covering the whole area with Astro-turf. I had seen the fake grass used for a dog run on an HGTV show and thought it might work. The space is 4 x 20, but 4 x 15 is a standard size grass rug, so that's what we ordered.
Following manufacturer's instructions, we installed it this way—we started by digging out a few inches of soil and hauling it away. We tamped down the remaining soil with a heavy tamper thing, rolled out a sheet of weed blocking material, spread a layer of gravel dust, tamped the gravel dust, rolled out the turf, trimmed it to fit, pinned it with landscaper pins, spread out a layer of sand and swept the sand into the grass. Voila. A dog toilet.
It took several hours, and we were both a little ailing. Husband had a pain in his side as if he had broken a rib, and I have unhappy knees when climbing hills, but we did the job ourselves. When I say "we," I mean WE. I helped with the shoveling and the hauling and the spreading and the tamping. I did most of the tamping, in fact, because of Husband's rib or whatever, and I did the sweeping for the same reason.
I'm not one for hard labor, but I don't mind getting dirty, so it was sort of enjoyable. My father would have been proud. At the end of the project, we thought about how sore we'd be the next day, but it was a job well done. And the best part is that Baxter actually uses the place to do his business. Granted, he was a little hesitant for the No. 2 task, but he's adjusting.
at 9:57 AM