Grit Blogs > Rosedale Garden

Some Folks Are Just Low Down and Mean

A photo of MaryI had a senseless act to happen to my hooligans.  Someone chased them around a hay field two weekends and shot my Blackie with a shotgun. I'd been working on my underground fence for a week trying to find a break somewhere on 3.5 acres.  The old transmitter wasn’t giving a break in the line signal, but Patches would be waiting for me by the side of the road each day when I came home from work.  I decided to replace it, and as soon I plugged it in, it alarmed that a break in the line existed.  I spent days digging up connections and bypassing each section with a new wire.  Each time I bypassed a section and plugged back up the transmitter, a break in the line alarm was received, so off to repeat the process on another section.   I had one more section that I planned to check Saturday.  The break had to be in this section. 

When I went outside to get the paper Saturday morning, Patches and Levi were just laying in the driveway looking forlorn. Usually all three act like it’s been months since they’ve seen me, even if it’s only been five or ten minutes. I couldn't find Blackie and rode the main roads looking for her. Before going down into the creek bottom I decided I needed to bypass the last section of wire trying to find the bad area so the other two wouldn’t follow me.  While I walked down to the end of the property I heard Blackie bark at me from across the creek. I told her to come home and she just sat there with her tongue hanging out looking at me. I knew something was wrong and started back to the house. She started continuously barking.  I had to go through a couple of neighbor’s property to get to her.  When I got out she showed me she couldn't walk.  I called my veterinarian office telling the receptionist I think she had been shot and ran by the house to get my purse.  I didn’t think about changing my dirty jeans and torn up yard shoes.  I just wanted to get her some help. 

At first the vet thought one of her feet was broken. After taking X-rays, she came back in and said your first diagnosis was right and took me back to see them. She had 3 or 4 dozen shots in her.  She’s been on antibiotics, pain killers and something for the swelling since then.  From a dog that usually gives me a lot of trouble taking pills, she seems to perk up when I reach for the pill bottles.   Can dogs get hooked on pain killers? 

After we got home I went back to work on the fence checking the last section. I expected the fence to be working after bypassing this section, but it said that the remaining wire had a break, and all sections had been checked.  I then took a section of wire and laid it in a circle in the garage, and the box said there was a break in this short section also.  When I plugged in the box I used the electric cord from the old box, maybe the cords were different.  When I plugged in the cord, the transmitter wouldn’t even power up.  I had a bad transmitter out of the box.  I contacted Petsafe very irate asking if they are letting their customers do their quality control now instead of hiring someone.  After going back to the big box store and exchanging transmitters, the new one worked, but the collars were only working within a few inches of the wire instead of ten feet as before. 

So it was back to square one bypassing sections again.  The first section I bypassed, the transmitter was working.  This section was also the first one with the defective transmitter, so if the defective transmitter was working, I would have found the break the first of the week and my dogs wouldn’t have been across the creek to get terrorized. 

The company had recently started using a solid plastic coated wire instead of the multiple small stranded plastic coated wires that I had installed when I first installed my fence five years ago.  I had replaced a section last year along the creek with the new wire due to groundhogs, landscapers and this woman with a John Deere tractor and mad tiller. I noticed at that time several sections of the wire had corrosion issues and wondered if that was the reason a switch was made to the solid wire.  My next few off days will be spent replacing all of the old wire instead of just the corroded bad section.  In the lower forty, I can come in about 5 feet from the old wire and dig a trench with my middle buster.  The part around the house, I’m digging up the old wire with a shovel.  You can’t place new wire close to an old wire, as the signal to the collars will be cancelled. 

Patches hasn’t been doing her Trigger impersonation since Blackie was shot and was favoring one back leg.  I took her to the veterinarian to get her yearly shots and tests and asked them to check her out. What was so funny, here I'm telling them when we checked in that I think she's been shot also as she's having problems getting around and she then crawls up on the benches around this dog and foal statue and then crawls up with the bronze.  My suspicions was confirmed, she also had a few buckshot in her. 

Next week my income tax money goes to replacing sky lights that the contractor installed upside down and threw away the outside brackets, and also sealing up the valley where the porch comes into the main roof at an improper angle.   I had planned to use next year's refund to replace my garage doors.  Last night while closing down the door on the side where I’m over wintering my plants, I heard a crunch and glass breaking.  The cheap doors the contractor installed had come out of the track again, this time it was fatal.  A few years back I had the doors braced to keep them from wobbling so I could get a few more years out of them.   

There is one bright spot, my daffodils, star magnolias and plum trees are blooming. Spring is getting close.  The daffodils that I saved from the old home sites are blooming. I’ll add to them again this year. In a few years it will be wall to wall daffs.  The piece of Bridal wreath spirea twigs that I also dug up at one of the old home sites is blooming.  Nothing as hardy as the old antiques. 


 Bridal Wreath Spirea 

 Apricot Whirl 


 Anemone Lord Lieutenant