We have big dogs.  We need a yard.

At T’s old house, the first place we lived together, we built the dogs a large run attached to the garage where they could hang out during the day.  And they could run around the neighborhood a little if we were home.

In Paradise, they had the run of two decks and a small, fenced garden during the day, and we were far enough off the beaten path that they were allowed to roam in the woods next to the rental house when we were home.

In Eagle Mountain, we rented a house with a yard.  But it was smallish, and very difficult to get to.  There was a gate from the outside, that iced shut in the winter, and a small sliding glass door out from the basement.  Once the dog door panel went into the slider, only Cara could squeeze through the remaining gap.   So I almost never went into the back yard, unless it was to clean up dog poop, and T pretty much only went back there to mow.  And, to be honest, both those activities didn’t happen quite often enough.

We have always had to find other places — river trails, dog parks, athletic fields, back roads — where we could exercise the dogs.  Or we throw toys up and down hallways and stairs inside the house.

Yesterday I had a revelation.

the obnoxious squeak

I got home, and as usual the pups were bouncing off both me and the walls in their excitement to see someone after sleeping on the couch all day.  Diezel brought me his incredibly obnoxious squeak (we have several, and this one is the loudest and most annoying), and I thought about tossing it in the house a little, but there were simply too many boxes in the way.

And then I realized.  We have a yard.  A big one.  That isn’t completely covered in poop (yet).  And all we have to do is walk out the kitchen door.

I threw the obnoxious squeak once, and the dogs ran and ran and ran in circles, chasing each other at top speed, vying for control of the toy.  The dogs on either side of us got in on the excitement as best they could, barking from an upper deck on one side, and with his nose stuck through a hole under the fence on the other side.  I threw the squeak a dozen more times, with lots of running and bounding and chasing and rolling onto backs and pinning.  10 minutes later, both dogs were breathing hard, and Diezel laid in the grass for a rest before bringing the squeak back to me, his usual sign that he’s getting tired.  Happy and panting, we all went inside.

I think we’re really gonna like it here.  *smile*

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