Damn Dogs

I gave up many years ago on keeping pets, essentially because they are pains in the ass. In the case of dogs they dug in the garden, bothered the neighbors, or chased the sheep I used to keep. In the case of cats they tend to scratch things, like the woodwork. Additionally, having either requires that provisions be made for their care if one goes away for more than a day or two.

Even when I had pets, and for many years I had a very nice, well mannered, obedient dog I adopted from the Portland, Oregon pound, I did not allow them,or their passengers and detritus in the house.

So here I am living in an apartment in Merida and I’m having to live with dogs. Yes, that’s right, dogs. My neighbor has acquired another Miniature Pinscher, a female puppy named Yucca. Don’t get me wrong, both Dusty and Yucca are very sweet dogs. None-the-less, they are pains in the ass.

Yesterday upon my return from my language class I found Yucca crying, trapped inside my garden fence, where Dusty had taken her; and where they both had spent time cavorting through my garlic and onions, breaking the tops from perhaps 80 % of the plants. Dusty also spent a bit of time digging up the small lettuce plants and the carrots seeds, for the second time in two weeks.

I accepted that the tomato plants contracted Tomato Mosaic Virus and ordered resistant seeds. I accepted that the Cantaloupe contracted Downey Mildew and ordered resistant seeds. I have accepted that the Iguanas don’t mind the garlic and hot pepper infusion I sprayed on the cantaloupe and watermelon plant leaves and relocated my plantings. Determining that the garlic, hot pepper infusion did not dissuade the Iguana, I planted watermelon, cantaloupe, and cucumber seeds in an existing garden bed closer to my apartment. Not more than five minutes after I had planted the seeds and returned to my apartment, Dusty dug up the seeds and laid down in the cool, wet soil in which I had planted the watermelon seeds.

I can accept the challenges to gardening posed by natural factors, such as disease and wildlife. I cannot, however, accept the challenges posed by pets, whose presence here is a choice, and not one of mine.

So my opinion that pets are a pain in the ass, and not worth keeping, has been reinforced. I have basically given up on trying to garden here. I will wait until I am living elsewhere and free of damn dogs, not to mention their inconsiderate owner, to resume gardening. Hopefully it will be soon.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Damn Dogs

  1. El Macho Grande

    I wouldn’t blame it on the dogs. You’re the one that moved in with your big Yanqui plans to grow your own food. It sounds like the iguanas are pretty mean too. So are the tropical aphids. This may be nature’s way of tell you to give up on growing your own food. Grow orchids instead–All they require is fresh air and rain and probably a little bird or iguana shit which the animals will provide for free.

  2. You Know Me

    Since I wrote my dog rant the older of the two dogs has dug up the freshly planted carrot seeds twice more. So he didn’t learn from the first time I caught him in the garden and sternly told him “no”. He also didn’t learn from the second and third times when I caught him inside the fence and spanked him on the butt. The fourth time I caught him I really spanked him. He’s aapparently a slow learner. The female puppy seems to have learned from her first time in the garden when I simply scolded her.

    So I think I can certainly blame it on the dog which doesn’t learn. Living in an apartment one is not able to choose one’s neighbors or whether they keep pets. Of course, I fail to understand why anyone who lives in a city would keep a dog.

    I will not give up on growing vegetables. It’s something I enjoy doing and don’t think it has anything to do with my gringoness. It’s a hobby that brings me satisfaction.

    I have found the aphids can be controlled through the application of the garlic/pepper/soap infusion spray and the Iguanas are kept at bay by the neighborhood stray cats.

    My second crop of cantaloupes, planted in soil improved with compost, are doing really well with only an occasional Iguana nibble. Likewise my second crop of cucumbers is doing well.

  3. El Macho Grande

    Try a sturdier fence then, if you’re going to be incorrigible, because the neighbordhood dogs are going to sneak in and wallow in the cool, moist soil you’ve built up with your composting operation.

    I used to enjoy growing vegetables at the Rhode Island Avenue place. Our present home has enough space for a garden, but very little sunshine penetrates the big maples. So I’ve learned to enjoy the shade grow hellebores and hostas and a lot of native wood land plants. There is room for sage and rosemsry and a couple of chile peppers and parsley. But no tomatoes or squash. And I gather the neighbors’ bagged oak leaves for composting. And the task of removing the exotic bush honeysuckle jungle and English Ivy, etc. gives me time to dig as much as I want.

  4. You Know Me

    In an amazing coincidence, within minutes of receiving notice of your earlier comment I received an email message from one of the Elma Planning Commissioners with whom I worked.

    He indicated he has similar problems with neighbors’ pets in his gardening efforts in Elma.

    Dogs are trainable using negative reinforcement . Some are just not as smart as others so it takes repeated applications of escalating degrees.

  5. El Macho Grande

    Keep trying.

  6. You Know Me

    Incidentally, today I thinned my onions of fully grown purple onions which I grew from seeds planted in December.

  7. El Macho Grande

    Well, that’s good news

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