The Chronicles of the Arkansas Living in South Dakota – Part 3 – Old Fence

When we moved to South Dakota, we did not have a house yet. We had contacted a landlord and we approved. We went with the faith that we would be able to get a house very fast. Surprisingly, everything fell into place rather easily. We rented a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house with a fenced yard. The size and fenced yard was a must for my large family.

Everything seemed perfect until everything started to come apart at the seams. Okay, so not everything fell apart, just the old fence. I was so excited to get a fenced yard for our two large dogs, that I never really examined the fence. Then, it happened. Our smaller dog, a black Labrador retriever mix, named Smokey, pushed some of the boards of the fence aside to go on an exploration of the neighborhood. Pretty easy fix, right? No, actually. It just kept escalating.

It went from pushing the fence to breaking off pieces of the fence. When my dad was visiting, we patched up the spots with chicken wire. This worked for a little while until he started breaking other parts of the fence. We tried covering the spots with cardboard because if he can’t see through the chicken wire then maybe he wouldn’t try to break through it. Yet again, that did not last.

Now my old broken down fence is filled with holes, cardboard, and chicken wire. No matter what I do, he continues to find new ways to get out. I am beginning to think that I will have to pay for a whole new fence. The lease we signed wasn’t the greatest either. It said not only do we pay a rent for the dogs, fifty dollars each a month, but any damages they do is all on us. So, even though I will be paying them $1,200 in a year, I will still have to fix or pay all damages.

This week has been the worst with my battle with the fence. Now, our dog Smokey will come back when you call him or just show up at the front door after a few minutes, so I am not worried about losing my beloved pet. I have just been stressing over the amount of money it will cost me to fix this already old broken down fence. Plus, I am worried that my neighbors will get tired of seeing my dogs run around the neighborhood.

This morning did not go as planned at all. I fixed the fence again like a band-aid on a gaping wound. I let both dogs outside as usual, and in a matter of minutes, Smokey had escaped again. I opened the front door and called his name. Like always he came running into the house. I was in a hurry to get all of my kids ready for school and into the car. This meant that when I finally walked out the door with two of my kids that were already ready, I could see my other dog, a Great Pyrenees named Max, two houses down. I should mention that Max does not usually play the fun game of escaping the fence. He usually stays behind even though he is definitely strong enough to break any part of the fence and leave whenever he pleases.

So, I called Max back home. He comes willingly, but once he gets to my yard he realizes how much fun it was to pee on every plant in the neighborhood and tries to turn to leave again. I had to run and grab him. After dragging him back to the house, I thought my problems were over. Of course, I was wrong.

My son did not close the front door correctly and right as I was about to get into the car, I see both of my dogs come out of the house. I run as fast as I can, which is not very fast by the way and still manage to grab them by the collar. I drag them both back to the house. This is not an easy task since Max is twice as big as Smokey. So, in the end, I look like Quasi Moto when I am awkwardly dragging them back to the house.

Now I am stuck with a fence full of holes and two large dogs who will need to go outside again at some point during the day. Do I yet again patch the fence with what I have or do I get out leashes and walk them in my own backyard? I don’t have the finances at the moment to do a real fix to the fence but I do know that is definitely in my future. This house was a blessing at first but now I am ready to leave.

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