For Daisy Duke, every day's a garden party

Joe Avento • Updated Jun 10, 2020 at 3:55 PM

Last month we mentioned Daisy Duke’s athletic prowess and she must have been reading because she’s added to the list.

Boy, has she added to the list.

Apparently she wasn’t given enough credit for her exploits. She wanted to make sure we knew and she did it in the only way she knows how — destructively.

We planted our garden shortly after Mother’s Day. Before the plants went into the ground, we built a fence around it.

Ostensibly, the fence is to keep rabbits and other vermin out. In reality, the garden’s biggest threat is an 80-pound bloodhound who is part Houdini and, as it turns out, part Olympic hurdler.

The fence went in before the plants. It stands almost four feet high.

After it was installed, we turned to go back inside the house. By the time we got to the top of the steps, you-know-who was in the garden.

She looked up at us like “What?”

Everything’s a game for Daisy Duke.

We had a feeling she thought the fence was installed as a test of her ingenuity. It was a challenge and she’s not a dog who ever backs down.

When she was yelled at to get out, she backed up two steps, took a short, running start and hurdled that fence. She looked as graceful as a deer.

It was surprising to say the least, especially considering clumsy and goofy are words used to describe our hound more often than not. Graceful? Not so much.

We knew we had to come up with something else. Installing a taller fence would be too expensive at this point, so this was going to take some thought. We decided to attach sticks to each corner of the fence and run several rows of red yarn from stick to stick, in effect trying to add to the height of the fence.

All we did was add to the challenge for Daisy Duke, who, as we have learned over the past two years, never loses.

Installing the sticks and yarn took 15 minutes. It then took her exactly 30 seconds to fly over the fence.

As she cleared the wire, looking like a champion hurdler, she broke through the yarn like it was the finish line. She was genuinely proud of herself, until she heard our reactions. “Bad dog!” she was called, along with some other choice words you wouldn’t say in church.

We have tried to stay ahead of the trouble, keeping a close eye on the garden when she’s outside. It’s not unusual for somebody to ask “What’s Daisy Duke up to out there?”

We immediately check the garden. If she’s not inside the fence, everything is deemed to be OK. She might be running through the yard with the dryer vent she pulled off the house or a drainage pipe she dug up. But she’s not in the garden, and to us, that’s a victory.

So far, knock on wood, we’ve kept her out  — mostly.

The tomato and cucumber plants are very small. Hopefully they will continue to be safe and grow. If Daisy Duke knows what’s best for her, she’ll leave them alone. After all, nobody enjoyed our cucumbers as much as she did last year.

Maybe she’ll be less tempted by the garden now that she’s getting a new neighbor.

For a while, Daisy’s best friend has been a small dog who lived with the family behind us. They would meet at the fence shared between our two yards and run and bark at each other.

Daisy has about 72 pounds on her much older friend, but that never mattered. He gave her as much grief as she gave him. It was fun to watch them go back and forth.

The old friend and his family have moved and we recently met the new neighbors — and their dog — when they stopped by to visit their soon-to-be new home.

Daisy Duke is about to get a new playmate, and this time it’s going to be loud. The hound-mix and our girl ran along the fence, jumped, bayed and barked.

It was loud. Much, much louder than it’s ever been. Daisy Duke seemed excited to have a friend closer to her size and very much ready to play.

The other dogs in our house are getting older and don’t share Daisy Duke’s zest for life. In fact, they shy away from her for the most part. We have proclaimed them couch hounds, so any new friends are much welcomed.

The new neighbors are scheduled to move in sometime in the middle of June and Daisy Duke can’t wait.

We’ll see what the other neighbors think when the action starts for real. Hopefully the dogs will get used to each other and settle down.

This will be a work in progress, much like the garden fence, much like everything else Daisy Duke does.

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