Gardening with dogs

Having a garden and having dogs: Is it possible?

New garden beginnings and dogs

We love dogs, and we love gardening, and sometimes, I feel like these two loves are at cross-purposes with one another.

Exhibit A: I planted a forsythia bush and two blackberry bushes in our yard. My naive self thought, Hey, the dogs aren’t too interested in watching me plant these things; they will probably leave them alone.

Result: I go inside for 30 minutes. Come back out. Little Demon Child (aka Eden Loretta) has ripped out a blackberry bush, strewn it across the yard, and chewed the root ball in half.

Solution: Guion fenced off the back portion of the yard to make our garden area.

New garden beginnings and dogs
New garden fence.
New garden beginnings and dogs
Raised beds in progress. Right now, it looks like we’re making mass graves.

He also installed tree cages around our fledgling shrubs in the dogs’ part of the yard. For now, the cages have seemed to deter the dogs from getting at the plants. My only fear is that when we take the cages off, once the plants are mature, is Eden going to go back after them?

New garden beginnings and dogs
Dog-proof (hopefully) cage around forsythia bush.

I really want to plant along this side of the fence, because the neighbors have, like, 30 children and several terriers who run around off-leash and make Pyrrha CRAZY (and the kids terrify her). As Jessica (My Imperfect Dog) predicted, Pyrrha is unleashing her fear/anxiety about the kids/dogs beyond the fence onto unsuspecting Eden. So, I want to create a hedge, and we’re now contemplating making that side of the fence solid (e.g., so the dogs can’t see through the slats at all).

New garden beginnings and dogs

All that to say, this crazy yard is still a work in progress. The garden fence is very sturdy, and the dogs are respectful of it, so that’s something. But how do you handle this tension, between your yard and your dogs?

New garden beginnings and dogs
Don’t trust this one.

Do you garden? If so, what are your tips for salvaging your garden while still allowing your dogs to frolic in the yard?

Pup links!

Floppy, cuddly German shepherd puppies. Click for source.

In rescue news, the anticipation is killing me. I applied too early, I think, because the groups have been super-responsive and they’ve all told me that nothing can really happen until our home visit. Even still, I obsessively check the postings of dogs up for adoption (like, several times a day), which is really just making me more anxious. I need to stop. I need someone to block these rescue groups’ websites and Petfinder and the SPCA… for my own sanity!

Anyway. Here are some happy and interesting dog-related links from around the Web this past week:

Crufts Show Dogs Disqualified. This has been the big news in the dog world this week. While I don’t want to open a can of worms, I’m curious what you think: Are independent vet checks a good idea at dog shows? I don’t know anything about the show world, but I am all for improving the breed standards of many purebreds raised only for their looks. I hope that that will eventually be the outcome of this controversial decision. (The Bark blog)

Dog-Friendly Yard Work. Advice from Maureen Gilmer, horticulturalist and dog lover, about dog-friendly plants and other projects for your garden this spring. I’m happy to know that dried rosemary can act as a flea repellent; we will be inheriting a huge rosemary bush with our new house. (The Bark)

Mudley. Part of me has always wanted a big, slobbery Newfoundland… (Shirley Bittner Photography)

Ollydog Mt. Tm Running Belt and Leash. This looks like pretty serious gear, but I can imagine that it would be really great to have while hiking or running. (Dog Milk)

Cheap and Easy Training Treats. Kristine shares some of her ideas for inexpensive, make-at-home treats. I will definitely be trying some of these in the months to come! (Rescued Insanity)

Impeccable Style. I actually really like this line of preppy/nautical-looking dog products, from the company Milk and Pepper. (Under the Blanket)

Canine Comforts. A beautiful suite of dog beds and bags from Cloud 7. The photography for their ad campaign is also beautiful–so natural-looking. (Design Hunter)

Guess the Genotype #56. I was going to guess that the breed was a mini-borzoi, but that’s kind of what it is: Has anyone heard of the silken windhound before? Despite the goofy name, I’m intrigued… (Musings of a Biologist and a Dog Lover)

Why Calling Her a Pit Bull Matters. A thoughtful and well-expressed post about why a pit bull mama calls her girl a pit bull, and not an AmStaff or other breed euphemism. (Save the Pit Bull, Save the World)

My Other Best Friend. One blogger’s reflections on her relationship with her dog, Bodhi. (Elephantine)

Charlie at Home. Our wonderful wedding photographer shares some photos of her sister’s sweet dog, Charlie. (Meredith Perdue Photography)