Thursday, July 12, 2012

Doing Battle with a Porcupine with a pair of wire cutters and will power

I look....and feel as if I have been in a fight with a porcupine.

I have mentioned several times about my dogs; Buddy is a mixture of probably every type hunting dog the Good Lord made. Rambo is a border collie, possibly Saint Bernard mix. He's big, he's sweet and he is terrified of the sounds of thunderstorms, fireworks and gunshots. The only thing that scares Buddy is fireworks. But Buddy loves to run, and this front yard a quarter of an acre, fenced is not enough room. He will run around the yard and then jump the four foot high fence better than any squirrel.

When ever a storm would come up or someone had visited South Carolina or neighbors decided to target practice Rambo would jump on the front door wanting in. If we were here to let him in he would lie down in the bathroom and no one would know he was in the house. Several times we actually forgot he was in here right up until someone would go to take a shower only to have problems opening the door because Rambo was stretched out in the way. If no one was here- a terrified Rambo would manage to escape.

I had to do something.

A while back we ran an electric wire around the yard hoping that if they hit it once the memory alone would stop worked for Rambo. Buddy watched us run the wire and hook it up to the charger. He watched as Rambo walked up and got shocked. Buddy was released from his chain. As we watched he started at the halfway point and ran across the yard. As he reached the fence he jumped and caught the top of the fence, pulled himself over while going under the electric wire. We watched as he disappeared into the woods. I won't repeat the words I heard coming from my husband. When Buddy was caught he went back on the chain. The squirrel have been tormenting and teasing him ever since.

Everything was fine until Rambo recently discovered the electric wire wasn't charged. That night there was a thunderstorm. I figured Rambo hit deep within the storage building. The next morning I was sitting here talking with my husband when I heard a noise that sounded like something was drinking out of a container of water in the backyard. Jumping from my chair I headed for the back door. There was Rambo looking up at me. Getting him in the house I wondered how he got out, and what was I going to do now that he knew he could escape.

We found where there was a hole in the fence so I repaired that as best I could. Rambo still got out. I had no choice. Over a year ago I had purchased two rolls of fence wire with the intention of cutting it in half and attaching it to the top of the existing fence, increasing its height. James had instantly voiced his opinion and I had abandoned the idea. Now I knew I was going to have to do that after all.

Fetching the wire from the building I located an old pair of wirecutters. I cut a long section of wire from the roll, first by cutting it in half and then separating it from the roll. Carefully I attached it to the fence using the wires from the fence itself. One by one I bent them into place around the old wire. This was going to take a while. Once I had that first section up I did what I knew I had to do as soon as possible. I got James and brought him out to where I was working and showed him my handiwork. At first he was not happy, but I showed him how I was doing it so that there were no gaps anywhere. There was no way that either of the dogs could get between the two wires. Once he understood that he accepted my project. He didn't offer to help, but he didn't argue about it any longer.

Since I started so late that first day I only got the two sections up but I figured out what I was doing-I hoped.

When I got in from work the next afternoon I rested for a bit, drank a cup of coffee, answered a few phone calls and figured I'd put off working on the fence as long as I could. All day at work I tried to figure out what I had done that had rubbed a blister on my finger. Once I picked up that pair of wire cutters and began to work I knew. Needing to finish the fence in an attempt to keep the dogs in I ignored the pain and worked at cutting and attaching wire until it was too dark to see. Crossing the yard I was content with what I had accomplished. Fearing a thunderstorm I closed Rambo up in the storage building. I was glad that I did because it did come up a rather nasty storm that night. The power went out not once but twice. I wasn't worried, I knew Rambo was safe, he was probably afraid, but he was safe.

The next afternoon I was back at work. I slowly made my way around the yard attaching the new fence wire to the old. Fence wire that has been cut, has a sharp edge. Thankfully I wasn't having too much trouble as I worked. Once or twice I stuck myself but I shook it off and kept working.....right up until I ran out of wire.

After I got off from work the next afternoon I went by the local handy dandy home improvement store and garden center. I purchased a roll of wire and some small support rods. As I crossed the parking lot with my purchases I was planning on finishing the job quickly. In my distraction I managed to stick my finger with a wire protruding from the roll. Being that I take a low dose aspirin I bleed more easily. I looked like I had done serious damage to my finger as the blood ran down and dripped off. I carefully as possible pushed the cart with one hand to my car, there I loaded my purchases and then again with one hand pushed the cart to a buggy corral. Back in the car I managed to find a paper napkin. Wrapping it around my finger I held pressure on it for a moment. Once the bleeding was stopped I started the car and headed home.

Phone calls and other distractions kept me from finishing my project. There was always tomorrow, Lord willing. Closing Rambo up in the building for the night I headed for bed.

After work I went straight to work. I was so close to being finished I was determined to get it done. It got a bit more difficult here as I was working on the front section of the fence where everyone could watch my progress--or lack of. The wire took on a mind of its own, fighting me all the way. I got wrapped in the wire, it tangled in the old wire, it tangled up in itself and every sharp edge that could either stabbed, jabbed or cut me in some way. I carefully stepped around flowers, wires and a curious dog. With James's help I did finally get finished today. The wire is up all the way around the yard. I didn't want a fence that high around my front yard, but if it keeps the dogs in the yard so be it. I do plan on re-stretching the electric wire and getting another charger. Once the electric fence is again "live" along with the higher regular fencing hopefully my two escape artists will remain where they belong in the and sound.

So yes- it was worth it feeling as if I have done battle with a porcupine. These two are my pets, my friends, my responsibility and I will do my best to keep them safe. Even if it means going outside my comfort zone and once again entertaining my neighbors.

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