Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Chapter 10 – Looking for Clues

As security tightened around the encampment, it became increasing difficult to figure out how Riggs kept getting to the other side of the fence.
There were a couple spots in the wooden part of the fence where she got under. I added pressure treated boards in these areas and that seemed to stop the problem.
She started to nose at the latches on the chain link gates. You’ve seen them – the ‘U’ shaped latch that simply folds over the gatepost.

We installed clips on all of them to keep them down.

One afternoon I was in the garage, leaning into my car organizing and gathering things to bring into the house. Riggs walked up and poked me with her nose… a friendly greeting. She seemed winded, as if she had been running. She runs a lot – really fast -- in great circles. It’s rather comical. I am hoping to get a clip of it sometime.
I pat her head and leaned back into the car to get a couple more things.
Then…. I stopped – froze, my head tilting to one side my eyes gaze quizzically up to the left, one eyebrow raises. If I were a cartoon you would see the light bulb glow over my head.
I turn, ever so slowly, and nonchalantly – patted Riggs on the head again… and GRABBED her collar.
The garage is not inside the fence.

Once again, we walked the fence line. Looking for breaks, or a ditch, or a hole of some kind. It wasn’t until I came back twice and noticed the big back gate was off its post hinges and just resting in an upright position.

From what we could gather – she squeezed under the gate lifting it off its hinges.
Then the gate …just out of shear luck landed in such a way that from a distance you couldn’t tell it was off the hinges.
After some pondering, I installed an extra post hinge upside down on each gate, restricting the gates from any upward movement.

The subsequent breakout stunned us. After fixing the big back gate, there was about 5 inches of space between the ground and the bottom rail. Now remember, the gate no longer has any give upward at all.
But there was a cat. A cat on the other side of the gate. And Riggs still had the memory of getting under this gate. And – there was a cat on the other side of the gate. I saw her run full out towards the gate and chuckled to myself, knowing she would be foiled.
But that 75-pound dog squished herself down to an unthinkable size and squeeeeeezed herself out. Did I mention there was a cat on the other side?
I would not have believed it if I didn’t watch it happen with my own eyes.

I put a 4x4 piece of wood there temporarily. She moved it.
I put a rock against the 4x4. She rolled the rock and moved the wood.
I put a 2x6 against the fence and the 4x4 against the 2x6 and a rock against the 4x4….

Finally, my exasperated wife added to that 2 cinder blocks. So far this is working like a charm.

I will estimate $45.00 on various gate parts, and more pressure treated wood.
But I still need to come up with a more permanent solution for that gate.

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