The backyard

We spent a good amount of time in the yard this weekend; lots of work to be done. We've been in this current house now about 3 years; and there is a never ending stream of fix-ups to get done. This weekends fix was a fence replacement; we'd taken down an old dilapidated fence that had been given a heavy white coat of paint to hide its truth when we moved in, so it had to go. Once the fence was down I realized that our two old girls; Tilley and Jessie could possibly fall down the hill and not be able to get back up. The fence it at the top of a small but steep hill; unfortunately not usable land so it is simply fenced off.

We have a pretty nice sized yard; for Southern California that is. Back in Canada we had 3 acres; and boy do I miss it. Having dogs and land is a wonderful thing but it is not a prerequisite. I don't know how many times people have said to me "we can't have a dog; our yard is too small." A yard should never be thought of as the only source of exercise for a dog. Even dogs that live with huge properties love to get out and see the sights; it's good for them. Imagine never going anywhere? How awfully boring and sad for a dog. Dogs love to check things out; especially new things.

A small yard should not hold you back from getting a dog. There is a whole big world out there for you and your dog to investigate and stretch your legs. Dogs need mental stimulation along with there physical exercise. When you look at a backyard and see only a small area with no room to run; there is also no external stimulation, you must get out and explore. I know lots of people who do not want a big back yard; the bigger the yard the more work to be done. Many of these folks are out all day with their dog and the yard is simply a place to piddle when needed. If I only had my Jack Russell living with me I could suffice with a 12" square of grass as a yard.

It truly amazes me how builders put 4000-5000sq ft homes onto tiny little pieces of land. The yard is big enough to go out into and turn around and go back into your monster house. Back ways round if you ask me but no one is asking me right? So if you are one of those with a tiny backyard; don't let that get in your way of enjoying life with a dog. Much of our quality time is spent at home snuggling on the couch or bed. I enjoy our yard with the dogs; they typically watch me as I garden and there is enough room for some short ball tosses or a brawl now and again. But we get out; even with these three oldies it is important to get out of here and smell new smells; see new sights.

A yard is simply that; a outdoor space at home. And although home is where your heart may be; there are a lot of parks and open spaces outside of that yard to run and explore in.

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