Thursday, June 4, 2009

"She's Resting in the Euphorbia"


Within the first half hour of her life with me, Miss Krispy Kreme had located a space the size of a pea under my brother’s yard gate and shot to freedom. She could seemingly shrink, like Alice through a keyhole, to the smallest possible size to magically disappear in no time flat! Thankfully my brother lived at the end of a cul-de-sac, but there were a couple of cars…moving slowly…on the street. So I was able to signal them while Krispy ran like a gazelle – leapt, really – to nowhere since she didn’t know the neighborhood. Fortunately there were a variety of neighbors out in their yards and one was able to catch her while she was going full speed before disaster struck.

Having really worked my cardio (which was already in pretty good shape) chasing after my new girl and then feeling my panicked and racing heartbeat begin its descent to normal, the decision had been made for me: Krispy would need a Maximum Security Dachshund Fence.

Fast forward a week: Krispy Kreme, so named for her lovely English Cream longhaired coat of fur, was resting comfortably and partially hidden by the Euphorbia bush. It was more than twice her height. And there really wasn’t room for her in the bush. But as she had done under the blasted gate, she made room for herself. She had explored some of the yard earlier: the grass – always tickly to the tummy, the flagstone walkway (easy on the feet) and pebble path along the lavender allĂ©e – best place to pee. The euphorbia bush wasn’t really an ideal place to rest given the somewhat stiff branches and leathery leaves, but she obviously found it safe and comforting in the great outdoors at Casa Marcine. Nestled in the center, she was almost completely masked from view except for the bit of red leash sticking out from her trail to the “secret spot.”

“Where’s Krispy?” someone asked. She had been following me from the rose bushes, where I’d been pruning back the shoots sticking out from the front of the climbers and pushing the long tendrils behind the trellis slats to aid in structure development. And then I worked on the low-lying periwinkle/vinca minor to trim off all the shoots overhanging the flagstone walkway. At each station Krispy had sat patiently (or stretched the leash a bit to explore) while I worked yard maintenance (known occasionally as “gardening”).

Krispy seemed to enjoy following me around and could not yet be trusted to stay within the yard off-leash with my “pass-through” style fence that permitted all manner of animals (mostly small ones) to in- and e-gress the premises with great ease. Cats particularly were fond of this elegant, but semi-useless fence because they could leap through with no effort.

Originally designed to keep the aging Miss Ginny “in” but permit unobstructed views of the garden from without, the half-dozen lateral redwood two-by-twos were arranged Mission-style with equidistant spacing approximately sixteen inches high – just enough for a mini-dachshund to stand on hind legs and long for whatever’s on the other side. The top lateral rail then caps the fence at thirty-something inches in height. There’s gobs of room for a cat, dog or adrenaline-infused opossum to pass through between the top of the two-by-twos and the heavy top rail.

The fence project has yet to be undertaken but supplies have been purchased. In the meantime, her recent Houdini behavior meant she’d need supervised exercise in the yard. Fortunately, no guard towers with revolving beam lights are required to ensure Miss Krispy Kreme stays in the yard. She was very happy to walk or sit by me as I worked the local pruning scene, pitching bits of vinca or rose cane into the yard scraps bin.

And there she was: She’d explored the carpet of vinca that was shoulder high – dachshund shoulder high. Oh! What’s this? She seemed to be indicating. I can disappear in this funky green jungle; how perfect! “She’s resting in the Euphorbia,” I answered. Everyone had already been trained to keep an eagle eye out for her location. We wanted no further surprises since that unpleasant incident down the rabbit hole.

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