A New Path

The sheltered area on the right side of the picture is under the back deck, an ideal place for the dog mats and their food dishes. From there to the backyard it used to be all grass, until Emma came to live with us. She made her own roads all over the yard, wore the grass down and carved her own path into the dirt by the back door.

That dirt was tracked into the house faster than I could vacuum it up. Something had to be done.

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We shoveled out a path that was a bit wider than Emma’s own homemade runway, and it was my job to lay bricks on either side of it. “I put two bricks at the side,” the Captain said. “Did you move that one to the middle of the path?”

“Nope. Ask Emma.” She’ll steal anything – caps, gloves, underwear, and now bricks.

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The dogs kept getting underfoot so I gave them a short timeout while I took their picture.

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The Captain had cut a stick 40 inches long for me to use as a measure so the path would be the same width all along. He painted the ends black so I’d know this was the special measuring stick.

“Where did you put the stick?” I asked.

“Over by the wheelbarrow.”

Mistake!

We had to go looking for the stick. Lying in the grass some distance away was the measuring stick with most of the black missing on one end, and now measuring only 36 inches.

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Underfoot again, Ruby is trying to be a black and white spaniel instead of liver and white. Check out the feet that will want to curl up on the living room rug later on.

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And this little hellion (below) is dirtier than her black coat allows us to see, but if you click on the photo you’ll see the dirt magnified. Look on her feet, her nose, the ends of her ears, and the flag on her tail. She’s SO dirty. But that’s what happens when you run under the shovelful of flying dirt that is heaved out of the path to make room for the crushed rock.

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To help keep the weeds down, we put down some landscape matting that is supposed to let water through but keep weeds down.

The Captain will finish filling up the path with crushed rock, but then comes the dilemma. Do we let the dogs inspect the new path  while we go into the house? Emma is a thief, a chewer, and a notorious hole digger. Do we dare leave her out here? I have a picture in my mind that I can’t shake off. It’s an image of Emma having dug a  deep hole in the middle of the crushed rock path, grabbing a hold of the landscaping mat and running around the backyard with her prize trailing behind her like a bridal train.

Life was easier when we had cats.

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46 thoughts on “A New Path

  1. John

    No question about cats being so much easier to care for than dogs. Depending on your experiences of course. Having had dogs for so many years now I believe the next pet will be a cat. Nice work on the path. 👍🏻

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I love them both, but I don’t remember our cats chewing up my slippers or dragging one of them to another place in the house (I can often be see walking around with one slipper on, looking for the other.

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      1. Luanne

        They are easy in that you can get a rest without a cat bothering you all the time. But they are not easy in that people think you can just let them be on their own and they need love and affection and taking care of their health and picky eating habits.

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        1. wordsfromanneli Post author

          I find it exasperating when people say cats are independent so they just stick them outside and make sure they have water. They can find their own food. Others will put the food down but they haven’t heard of animals needing love and affection.

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          1. Luanne

            Have you noticed that the more animals get that love and affection (and care) the more responsive, shiny, and even smart they appear? It’s true with humans, too, as evidenced by those extreme cases of child neglect you hear about every so often.

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        2. wordsfromanneli Post author

          So true. My friend has adopted some dogs that are in rough shape and after a few months with her you wouldn’t know it was the same dog. The love and affection she gives them is paid back many times over.

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  2. Dina

    Haha, I’m quite familiar with problems like this. That’s the retriever for you. 🙂 Lovely, utterly gorgeous dogs and what a great new path you got for your clever helpers, Anneli!
    Wishing you a relaxing weekend,
    Dina & co

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I’ve set up their two wading pools but the water was muddy in no time. I’ll work on that more when the weather warms up a bit. For now, it’s a little rubber washtub in the laundry room and they get a foot bath before coming in to destroy the house. I think Emma is due for a complete shower though.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      We thought of that, but we weren’t sure how far we wanted to go with the path. This way, it’s semi-temporary and we’ll see how it works out. Cement may still be an option for later on. I would like that better, actually, but there’s also a time factor right now.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      That’s because I made them sit still for a minute (well, maybe 30 seconds). You need to see Emma in action. I think you have an idea, going by what you’ve said about Felix. They are both still looking for mischief.

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  3. debiriley

    great post and photos! wonderful dilemma too… cats or dogs.
    I’ve had both and sometimes at the same time. now with 4 shelter rescue cats for the last 7 years…… And. they are just as bad as 4 bloody Kids!! whiners, bullies, mama’s boy, piggy pants, chew my plants, my art brushes, ready to pull my hair out….. (my dogs weren’t pests!)
    But, I love them 🙂 and they are funny!

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      LOL! You reminded me of how my cats used to get up on my lap when I was writing something and they’d try to get onto the page, and if that didn’t get my attention they’d chew on the pen as I was writing. I guess when it wiggled they thought I was playing cat and mouse. They were pests but we loved them just as you do yours.

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  4. reocochran

    Your dogs are definitely independent and naughty as the “dickens,” Anneli! They get underfoot, steal items, bite off inches and those feet are decidely dirty and yucky bodies, too. Of course, they both are cute and put “Who me?” looks on their faces and appear irresistible sitting and looking well behaved, upon picture-taking moments! 😀

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