Pest control

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People ask me from time to time about how we’re enjoying house living, so I thought a post about it might be nice. (Not to mention giving you a break from hearing about bike riding. Win!) The short answer is that we’re loving it. I had no idea how much I hated our last place (and I knew I hated it) until we moved here. There are a million reasons, (not waking up to my bed shaking from the upstairs neighbor’s sexual escapades springs to mind… ), but I think having a yard is probably the biggest difference. Before, taking the dogs out involved getting dressed, leashes, navigating random homeless/crazy people and dogs and was a huge pain in the butt. Now, it’s a simple opening of the back door. Everyone is happier with this arrangement.

At first, Smokey Joe wouldn’t hang out in the yard without one of us back there. (He’s a city dog) He would run out, pee, and then race back in. Wally can spend a long time out the by himself wandering around, sniffing everything and barking at other dogs/children through the fence. Even George likes to hang out back there, after a lifetime of being an indoor cat. (I was initially nervous about him getting out of the yard and running off, but he’s perfectly content to stay within the confines of the backyard.)

Our yard has two trees in it. One is an apple tree that’s producing a mind-boggling amount of some kind of apples. (I need to ask the landlords if they know what kind they are.) and a second tree that I thought was just a tree until I noticed a couple of plums on the ground. I initially thought the children next door might have tossed them there, since I’d never seen any evidence of flowers or buds on that tree. But no, there were plums in it. Not a ton of them, but a few. I was very excited about the prospects of eating fruit grown in my yard.

Until the next day, when I noticed both dogs milling around under that tree in the familiar “I’m about to eat something that you don’t want me to” posture that every lab dog owner knows. I shooed them away to find about six of the tree’s dozen plums on the ground. Each had been chewed on by what I’m guessing is a raccoon. The rest came down in the next two days. Stupid raccoons and their nocturnal tree climbing! No plums for us. Not to mention the terrible dog farts that eating half of an under ripe plum produces. Grrrr…

But the final straw came with a different garden pest. As some might remember, we planted some tomatoes back in June. They’ve been coming along pretty well, especially one of the cherry tomato plants. We’ve harvested a handful of them already and they are delicious. There was another dozen or so on the vine on their way to ripening, so I was looking forward to them. Then I noticed a certain large black dog taking an interest in the plants:

Sure enough, he’d eaten ALL of my tomatoes! Bad dog. So, we will have to build some sort of Wally fence to protect our tomatoes. Because now that the plant has fed him delicious tomatoes, he’s going to be relentless. Maybe Home Depot has some sort of spray to stop lab infestation…

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