NOTE: The header today is our granddaughter Jordan. She and her brother Matthew were spending a weekend with us last fall, and they took turns taking the kayaks out a little beyond our seawall. They had so much fun – and so did BeeBe and G-Daddy!
In Robert Frost’s poem, “Mending Walls”, there is a line that reads, “Good fences make good neighbors.” We could debate that point for several hours, but for myself, I tend to agree. Fences make good boundaries and are also fun to stand and talk across – but fences have other uses also.
If you’ve been reading this blog and looking at the pictures for the last couple of weeks, I’m sure you’ve noticed we are totally fenced in – both sides, front and back. A lot of people wonder why we need that fence on the water side, so tonight I thought I’d tell you the story of our backyard fence.
The fence wasn’t there when we bought our house in 1996. In fact, we lived here almost 12 years without it. It was Bear who caused us to first start thinking about putting one up. When we decided to get a golden retriever, the first thought that went through both our minds was, “He’ll be in the water all the time, and our house will always smell like wet dog.” NOT a good selling point for a big hairy dog.
By the time we found Bear and brought him home, someone had already come out to give us an estimate on putting a fence across the back of the lot. Amazingly though, Bear showed no interest in getting in the water. He was perfectly happy to lay out on the grass gazing across it, or amble down to the seawall to have a drink, or trot happily across it on the dock, going to the boathouse to jump on the pontoon for a ride. But he never showed any inclination to jump in. “All right!” we said, “No fence!”
About a month after Bear came into our family in January of 2008, Ted was outside working in the yard, and Maddie and Bear were outside with him. I was sitting on the sun porch reading and occasionally glancing up to look out at Ted or the dogs or the water. So it was that I happened to see Maddie prancing along the seawall, as she often did, looking for something to chase. But for some reason (it had never happened before), she slipped on the bricks of the seawall and fell into the lake. I even heard the splash. I was out the door in two seconds, screaming to Ted that Maddie was in the water. Our seawall goes straight down, with no steps or ramps. Although the water isn’t deep, to a dog like Maddie with little three-inch legs, it was way over her head. By the time Ted got to her, she was frantically swimming up and down the wall trying to find a way out. I still shutter to this day to think what probably would have happened if we had not been in the yard when she fell in.
The next day we ordered the fence installed. Sometimes it’s a nuisance, and our kids laughingly call our place the Horton Penitentiary. But that’s ok. ‘Cause fences make good neighbors – and safe little dogs.
Jason and Blair will arrive back on Friday afternoon to spend the weekend. The weather is supposed to be awesome, and having them here will make it perfect. I might drive back to Atlanta with them Sunday afternoon to spend the night and bring home my mom’s car, which Blake drove this summer while he was home from China. I’ll have to wait and see how Bear is at the end of the weekend. Please keep him in your prayers as he has been sick since Tuesday night. I took him to the vet today, and lab work came back normal. He came home with meds for his symptoms, but tonight he is really sick. My worry is that he has gotten into something toxic. If he isn’t better Friday morning, I will take him back to the vet for more tests.
Hope your weekend is filled with all good things, and I will see you back here, good Lord willing, on Monday – although it might be Tuesday, if I get to go to Atlanta. God bless.