Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Our Vineyard Protectors

We thought we'd be making a name for ourselves in our neighborhood as that nice couple growing the beautiful vineyard. Turns out, we might be making a better name for ourselves as that nice couple with those two adorable big dogs.

Okay fine.  That nice vineyard farmer and his wife who's always chasing after those two gigantic dogs that she has no control over. 

With nearly 13 acres, our dogs have plenty of room to run and play.  The problem is they don't know which 13 acres.  A number of recent incidents lead me to believe our neighbors must think we are completely nuts.

  • My neighbor and his two small children came to our door on Saturday morning returning Belle, who had broken free of her tie-out without our noticing.  I answered the door in my pink fuzzy bathrobe as they explained that Belle had run over to their yard to play soccer with the little kids. 

I never would have put her as a soccer player, but maybe we have a Pele on our hands. 

  • When I took them out early one morning for what I thought would be a quick bathroom break, I wore Aaron's size 12 tennis shoes and my pink fuzzy bathrobe, simply out of convenience.  Tux saw a bird, and took off, breaking free of my kung fu grip on the leash.  And since I was using one of those coupler leashes, Belle went with him and they chased a bird three doors down.  As a size 6 foot myself, I might as well have been wearing clown shoes and a red ball on my nose while chasing them across the neighbor's front lawn. 

  • Tux is a peeping Tom.  

He will peak through our bedroom window and wait for our neighbors to come outside.  Or their dog.  I'm not sure which.  But, I believe he is one set of binoculars short of the neighbors getting a restraining order.  We're still working on manners with him.  He doesn't know it's impolite to spy. 

  • Last Saturday night, I chased them 1/2 mile down the gravel road, through the full length of the grass-strip runway in the airport next door and down the long gravel driveway of some neighbor's house across the way that we've never met.  I lurked in their backyard as I whispered sharply, "Tux. Belle. C'MERE" and lunged towards them to grab their collars while nervously eyeing the large living room window facing the backyard, wondering if anyone was watching.  Or calling the police. 

  • On Sunday, when the dogs saw a bird while I was "walking" them on the leash, they pulled to the point I couldn't hold on anymore.  I let go, only as an alternative to taking a nose dive and being dragged into the neighbor's cornfield.  I ran back to the house, panting, and told Aaron to get the 4-wheeler.  When we retrieved the dogs, who still had the leash attached, I drove the 4-wheeler home while Aaron rode on back holding the leash with the dogs running and panting alongside down the gravel road.  If you really want to tire out your dogs, walk them next to a 4-wheeler. 

These dogs are smarter than we originally thought.

I find their bird chasing annoying.

Aaron finds it brilliant.

Birds + Grapes = Not much of a wine business

It is apparent now that Tux has surpassed me in weight.  And power. And he knows it.  Every day seems a bit more difficult with the two of them on the leash, and quite frankly, I can't walk both of them at once.  Tux knows that if he really wants to chase that bird, I really can't stop him.  And apparently he doesn't care if his mama makes a fool of herself in front of all the neighbors.  I never thought I would meet so many neighbors because they've found me in their garage trying to capture my dogs.  That's usually where I end up catching them because they end up in a space where they can't run. 

It's a great first impression really; Trespassing on other people's property, trying not to be noticed, and then introducing yourself when they find you in their garage. 

Now if only we could find a way to let our dogs, run, play and chase birds in the vineyard, but find a more effective way to teach them our 12.5 acre boundary.  A way where I can get some of my dignity back.   


And so, this weekend's project is to install an invisible fence.

Around ALL 12.5 acres. 

We just have to convince our accountant it is a business write-off.  It's for our vineyard protection and bird defense!