Old Mack’s Tales

July 6, 2011

I built a higher gate, but Walt cleard it with ease!

Filed under: Opinion and Memoir,Short Stories — Ron McKinney aka "OldMack" @ 12:53 pm
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My new Five Feet High Gate!

By OldMack July 7, 2011

 Walter is taking the PTSD Insanity defense to get off my shit list.  The fireworks affect that dog the same way they do me; I want to bark, chase down the culprit setting them off and bite his leg off.  On the 4th Walt cleared the 4’ high gate with ease.  Our patriotic neighbor who has never served on jury duty, much less in a war, beat it inside his house and slammed his door, leaving Walt on his lawn baying as if he’d treed a coon.

 Buddy, our runt pit bull followed Walter by slithering under the fence and between the two of them kept our neighbor penned in his house for an hour or so.  Buddy came home of his own accord, barked at our front door ‘til I let him/her in.  But Walter was by then rattled by the public, professional pyrotechnical display lofted by the City.  So I had to take a choker leash and go fetch him.

Walt has had some good training by his previous owner, and I’m not speaking of his penchant to sleep in his master’s bed (I’ve already broken Walt of that by kneeing him in the chest and screaming: “Get off my bed, Walter!”  Walter knows how to “heel,” to “Sit,” to “Stay” and to “Lie down.”  Now, if I can break him from leaving our yard by vaulting the elevated fence, he and I may become pals.

 Our house is sited on its lot with nine feet of clearance on its west end to the neighbor’s line fence.  Heretofore I’ve made do with a four-foot picket fence and gate on that side.  Sunday I planted new posts, set them in concrete, and built a six-foot fence.  Monday I hung a new gate, 42 inches wide and six feet tall on that end of the house—devising a latch that would open from both sides was the tricky part of that job.

Yesterday I came back from Home Depot with a ten foot long 1” x 10″ plank.  I removed the eight-foot long gate and grafted the 1 x 10 to the bottom of its pickets.  That gate is wide enough to drive my truck into and out of the back yard towing a boat trailer, so I support its weight with a cable and turnbuckle from heavy, stainless eye bolts (one screwed into the concrete block wall of our bedroom and the other end attacked just east of the middle of the fence’s top rail.  It was one helluva chore for this old man to maneuver that monstrosity onto a pair of saw horses (I blame the heat, not my deteriorating muscle mass).  I re-hinged the gate to the posts so the Walter-chewed tops of the pickets now stand half a foot higher than our neighbor’s chain-link party fence (behind which “Leo” the blue-grey pit bull lives—Leo was fascinated by both the process and my half naked body oozing sweat—it may be the only fat white male body the dog has seen).  Walter came to see what I was doing and he and Leo trotted along the party fence.  I was a bit stunned when Walt raised his leg and let loose a stream of steaming piss, which Leo lapped up as if it were beer.  Dogs never cease to amaze me with their curious antics, their one-upmanship tricks; I’m sure it’s a machismo thing.

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