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CULT: dog attack update

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: CULT: dog attack update
  • From: storey@aristotle.net (J. Michael, Celia or Ben Storey)
  • Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 17:05:28 -0600 (MDT)

Ellen's note about Gus the Australian Shepherd destroying her sister's iris
bed reminded me I never told you good folks how I resolved my problem.
Remember, I returned from vacation to find newly set out rhizomes of
TOMOKO, GINGER SWIRL and AMBER TAMBEUR uprooted and yellow as corn husks.
Dog feces lay nearby, and the whole bed reeked.

The next day FRENCH PERFUME was uprooted and stinking as though it had
spent the night rolling in some Parisian gutter. I spread a commercial dog
repellant, but at 6:30 a.m. the next day it was evident the dog had not
been repelled. So I tried more repellant. No luck. Then I tried bobcat
urine. Then I asked y'all for advice. Someone suggested pungee sticks. That
sounded a bit drastic, but I did spread load of pine cones around. When
they had no deterrent effect, I began staking out the bed. For a week I got
up every morning at 5 a.m. and waited, leash in hand, various versions of
the devastatingly polite rebukes I meant to deliver to the dog's
ill-mannered owners roiling through my fevered brain.

He finally showed up one afternoon, a medium-large black Lab. He did
something I've never seen a dog do: He nosed the neighbor's gate latch to
open it. In he went. On the other side of their yard, he found another gate
latch and opened it same way. Out he went.
After making a beeline down the storm drain, he lumbered up past my crepe
myrtles and was snuffling around preparatory to you-know-what in the middle
of my iris bed when I caught him.

Friendliest animal you've ever seen. His collar said he was a hunting dog,
and it listed a phone number. So I locked him in my back yard - which has
been dog-proof for 20 years - but before I got halfway around the house,
there he was, drooling on my heels. So I took him inside the house, called
the number, got no answer. But the address was only a half-mile away, so we
piled into the car (he loved that) and drove him home.

Their back yard contained a series of chainlink baffles, tall fences nested
one inside the next, obviously installed on the theory that some dog had
been climbing out. There was even a roofed kennel under the deck. I left
him in there with a note explaining his escape skill; and I haven't seen
him since.

So, based upon my experience, I think the best way to deal with a returning
dog is to catch him, and if possible, take him home and tattle on him. It's
more time-intensive than putting up a little fence, but a fence wouldn't
have stopped this guy. Forget commercial repellants.

Little Rock

P.S. The tattered remnants of TOMOKO, GINGER SWIRL, FRENCH PERFUME and
AMBER TAMBEUR were set upon by crickets and polished off. But the rest of
my TBs survived unharmed.

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