Daisy, the bloodhound puppy who came to live with us in early March, has been a bundle of energy since she joined the family. When she wasn’t bouncing off the couch or the walls, her exercise had been limited to long walks in a field at the end of a leash. While she enjoyed being outside and getting fresh air, there was definitely something missing.
Sometimes a dog just has to run.
That’s where our good friend Les Lyons entered the picture. Les owns a fencing company, appropriately called Lyons Fencing. He is also a dog person and a supporter of Chain Free Bristol, an organization dedicated to banning the lifetime, unattended chaining of dogs.
Our dogs weren’t chained, but they were certainly in need of some freedom. When we hired Les, that freedom wasn’t far away.
As the fence was going up, we would watch from the kitchen window, anticipating what it would be like to have a yard full of dogs running and playing. We never dreamed it could be so much fun.
The first time we let Daisy Duke out in the yard, she ran and ran. And she keeps on running. She runs with sticks, tennis balls, a soccer ball or a small log. Sometimes, she even brings them back. Usually, we have to chase her, but that’s part of her game.
We have to bribe her with treats to get her to come back into the house, and sometimes that doesn’t even work. She’d stay out all day and maybe even all night if she could.
Daisy Duke, who turns 8 months old at the end of May, and her step-siblings Fern, Bones and Piper, have all been enjoying the great outdoors. They play harder and sleep better which means everybody in the house sleeps better.
Now Daisy Duke has a pool, too. We bought her a kiddie pool to see how much she would like it, planning to get a bigger one if she did. She had to wait until her vet gave her the go the go-ahead to get wet after she was recently spayed.
Once she was cleared, she took to the water almost immediately. After about five minutes of curious trepidation, she was in the pool, splashing and trying to get the decorative pineapples painted on the floor.
As it turns out, Daisy Duke is a water dog. And, yes, she will get a bigger pool.
These days, when she’s not trying to break land speed records, Daisy Duke can be found with her brother and sisters in the brush near the back of the yard. Her nose is usually to the ground and tail in the air as she reminds us she really is a bloodhound when she’s not being a clown.
Sometimes a rabbit sprints out from the bushes and makes a mad dash under the gate before any of the hounds can catch it. We suspect someday the dogs will win that race and we’ll be presented with a cotton-tailed trophy.
It was a simple decision to get a fence, and once we did, our dogs’ lives changed so much for the better. We should have done it many years and many dogs ago, and the fact that we didn’t is my fault. But now that we have, there’s no looking back. There’s too much fun to be had.
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Joe Avento is the Sports Director for the Johnson City Press and Kingsport Times News.