This photo was taken last summer. Tilley loved the grass and spent many hours soaking up the sun on her back just outside the kitchen window where I could watch her.
Sitting at a clients kitchen table, I glanced outside to see her two pit mixes soaking up the sun. They were sprawled out on a nice outdoor dog bed and looked very comfy, nice to see. But in an instant the owner was up and yelling at one of the dogs, "OFF THE GRASS." "What's wrong?" I asked. "I don't want them on the grass" she explained. What????????? "Why?" I asked, not understanding what the heck was going on. She explained that she didn't want the dogs peeing on the grass. "Okay, where do they go?" I asked her. She told me that they only are allowed to go on walks. Really? I was shocked and a little disturbed.
To me grass is grass. Yes I like to have a nice lawn and I actually work hard at keeping it semi green. Do I care if the dogs pee on the grass, no. I cannot even imagine the inconvenience of having to walk the dogs for them to relieve themselves. I truly enjoy being able to just open the door. I mean not allowing your dogs to go on the grass would be much like living in an apartment. What if someone has an upset stomach? Then what? The joy of grass and dogs is the fact that you can hose. I have the hose going all the time, especially first thing in the morning when their pee is the strongest. I'm not out there every morning of course but if I happen to be out when they pee then I hose it off.
I like my yard to be usable so I also pick up after them regularly. If they go when I am out there then it is picked up immediately, no poop lying around for days. My yard is small so if I don't pick it up, it is likely to come into the house at some point, more work for me and gross. I also find that there is no lingering smell if you hose the grass off frequently.
I love to garden so when I'm in the back so are the dogs. We spend a good deal of time out there in our backyard. I do not allow chemicals in the backyard on my grass. No, my grass does not look like the gorgeous rolling greens on a golf course but it is healthy grass that won't hurt my dogs if they eat it. I also like to keep baby fresh grass growing in a pot for those time when they feel the need to snack. They love to nibble on grass and are constantly looking for the good stuff.
There is just too much chemical fertilizer and weed killer out there now. Who knows what long term effects it will have on us all, including our dogs. I know that several times when we've visited a park that is clearly over fertilized that Luke has had a seizure shortly after. We don't visit those parks again. If I feel the need to give my lawn some nutrients, it gets a dose of organic stinky stuff and is quickly hosed in and gone. But that is a very rare occasion.
Just yesterday as I was putting in some new flowers, both Luke and Elsa were sprawled out on the grass beside me. They were soaking up the sun and enjoying the sound of the birds at the feeder. Watching them as they relaxed and enjoyed the day made me smile.
It's grass, just grass. There for all to enjoy and use.