I sometimes wish that Bassets came with a full instruction manual. When I got my new power saw this week it came with full instructions on how it operates and what to look out for in terms of health and safety and when things go wrong. We got no such thing when Fortnum and Mason arrived but a cheery wave and smile from Nikki the breeder “call us if you have any questions, I’m sure you’ll work it all out…..!”
Although we have worked it out it tends to be after much trial and error. There is one area I am still failing in terms of basset training – keeping them out of the flower beds. Loyal bloggers will know we installed some basset fencing which also doubles up as rabbit protection. At the time I was concerned about how high this fencing needs to be. I have come to learn it’s not the height that matters but rather the strength of the materials and it’s capability to withstand over 30kg of basset moving slowly in order to exhert maximum damage. Let’s just say our early fencing was a little on the light side and Fortnum and Mason smile every time they push it over with their paw and step onto it in order to enter the forbidden garden zone.
I tried yelling at them to get out. Deaf ears. I’ve occasionally sprayed them with water from a hose. What’s a little water when there’s fun to be had. I’ve tried begging and pleading and they just look at me as if to say “get off your knees you’re embarressing yourself”.
So, more drastic action was needed. New basset fencing.
According to my Domestic Executive DIY manual careful planning is the key to success. I have therefore set up some prototype fencing this time to test it against Basset attack. This time we’ve gone from sticks and wire to posts and mesh. To be precise 50mmx50mm posts with plastic guttering protector stapled to the posts.
I think it’s fair to say the posts are a hit. Much more solid, quite architectural in fact. The mesh did however fail at it’s first Fortnum test. It isn’t that easy to see and he simply walked through it breaking it off without much effort at all. Mason crawled under it – although he jumped the gun on the testing period as I’d intended to put two layers to cover the whole of the post area.
This early testing has proven that we need more robust fencing materials – probably metal mesh that won’t break so easily. I rather fancy putting a mini picket fence but pickets only come at 900mm height which would mean a huge amount of wastage. A simple rail system is a possibility but that requires quite a lot of joinery effort and lots of painting.
I’m back at the Domestic Executive DIY design board on this one but rest assured I’ll keep you posted on what we decide. In the meantime Fortnum has learned that dumping toys, bones and shoes into the flower bed off the veranda is a good place to hide them and gains a huge amount of attention from me as I leap in to fetch them out. Great game of owner fetch eh!