Dog versus the bogeyman in the garden
They are not usually allowed to dig or sit in the garden but they figure the rules are more relaxed if I am doing both.
The dogs’ assistance with gardening tasks varies between direct and indirect involvement.
Often it takes the form of finding a sunny spot and keeping a keen eye out for bogeymen.
Dog owners will most likely know what I’m talking about when I say the world is inhabited by bogeymen visible only to dogs.
Most of these happen in puppyhood (just ask the dog about Scary Rubbish Bag or Scary Stump) and disappear as you socialise puppies so they become comfortable with encountering new things.
Some, however, remain. The dog encountered Scary Potting Mix Bag just a couple of years ago, for example. What was different about that particular bag you would have to ask him.
The she-wolf also knows about bogeymen. She will often tilt back her head and glare into the middle-distance at something only she can see. Often, however, this will resolve itself into something she has heard before us, like the rattling of a trailer in the vineyard behind us.
I created a bogeyman recently, much to both my and the dog’s surprise. I was digging out convolvulus, which has been a problem plant along one fenceline some time.
I had it under control in one area, only for it to sneak into another garden and gain a strong hold. I wanted it gone before spring and a couple of weeks ago I was on a roll.
I cleared a large area of the creeping roots that grow just below the surface. The dogs were thrilled; bare dirt. They are not usually allowed to dig or sit in the garden but they figure the rules are more relaxed if I amdoing both.
While the she-wolf satisfied herself by curling up behind me, the dog decided I was digging a new hollow just for him. When I paused to survey a bit I’d just finished, he dived into the hollow. I tidied up around him and moved on.
I find gardening can sometimes be almost a full body immersion experience, say, for example when you are trying to reach stubborn weeds in a garden full of trees with low branches.
An unexpected outcome of this is that you are very well camouflaged when in this position. Which is how the bogeyman came to visit the dog.
He was dozing, curled up smugly enjoying the spot he had claimed and had not realised I was digging nearby until I yanked on a particularly long convolvulus root and it scuffled the leaves around him.
Once he realised his bogeyman was just me, he was quick to join me in the new exposed soil area in case it was more interesting than his.
I did not fully realise the extent of his interest until the full body immersion because a little more intense.
While I was stretched out full length pulling out convolvulus root, the dog was ‘helping’ me expose the roots behind me more.
Unfortunately, in the process, he was burying my legs.
As I said, the dogs often help in the garden. Sometimes, however, we have different opinions on what is actually helpful.
Dogs often think they are being helpful when they dig in the garden.