Saturday, May 8, 2010


(That is the gap in the fence mentioned in this entry.)

Upon finding out that Abby could jump the backyard fence, my mom purchased a new fence that was not only higher but enclosed a greater area of the backyard than the old fence had. This new fence would not only be able to keep Abby contained but would give Abby much more room to play in the back. This would also keep Father inside as well. As noted before, the new fence was at least a foot higher than the old one. Initially, at least, only one of our three goals was reached with the new fence. Abby did have more room to play. It also gave her more room to go to the bathroom. She would prefer to go towards the back as far away from the house as possible so she would have some privacy when she did her business.

However, on the other two goals, the fence failed us. Father wasn’t able to leap the fence and nor was Abby, but Father was able to climb over the fence. And climb he did. When he grew older and was not as energetic, Father would crawl under the fence if he was too tired to climb over. I never bothered chastising Father for absconding from the backyard. I was impressed with his physical prowess and thought it was cute too. I also realized that Father’s semi-feral background made it difficult to contain him as if he were a typical house pet. Once an animal has had a taste of freedom such as Father, containing a dog in the confines a yard or a house can make the dog feel trapped and imprisoned. I realize allowing a dog to roam around unleashed is illegal and there could have been consequences if Father were to have hurt someone or someone’s pet, but it was a chance I took with a type of ‘conditional’ ownership I had with a pet like Father.

As noted before, Abby could not jump the fence, but for a while, a short while when my tiny angel really was physically tiny, Abby was able to squeeze through the fencepost and a wall to break free herself. When she did abscond from the backyard, she didn’t go far. She stayed in the side yard or front yard. I don’t know what she gained from the experience, but I’m sure boredom and curiosity were driving forces behind her escapades outside the backyard. The last time Abby took one of her babygirl trips out of the backyard, not only was she caught red-handed, but she was stuck outside of the fence and had to directly face her naughtiness. My mom told me that as she was driving up the driveway, she saw Abby out of the fence and running in the side yard. Abby, once she saw my mom’s car, hustled as fast as she could to the gap she escaped from and tried to get back in the backyard. For some reason, she was able to exit the gap but not able to go back through. My mom caught her and told her she was a bad girl. But don’t feel too bad for Abby. My mom’s disciplining Abby was toothless and weak. It drove me nuts considering how she disciplined me and my brother while we were growing up. She was quick to use a belt or switch, too quick often times. While raising Abby, though, I was the disciplinarian and not her. I hated that role, but sometimes a stern tone or even a spank was the only way to get through to Abby. I loved her a whole lot, but she could be so head-strong.

We addressed the issue by placing some cinder blocks in front of the gap. In a month or so, that gap would be a non-issue. Baby-girl kept growing and growing and eventually expanding and expanding. She was no longer a tiny angel in the literal sense, but in my mind, she was always my tiny little angel.

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