Lifting the latch on the wobbly gate for what seemed the millionth time, my children gathered around to give advice as I tried to remember whether the trick to opening it was to push or pull. My eyebrows knit as I attempted to slide the lever forward to juuuuusst the right spot that would allow us entrance to the neighboring alley on our daily sightseeing walk downtown. Three sides of our yard are bordered by six-foot privacy fence, allowing not even a glimpse of what’s happening nearby unless it’s from the elevated patio area in our backyard or the upstairs deck. The back fence, though, is only four feet tall, three-inch gaps between slats allowing a great view of the garden, alley, and friendly pets of all sorts living nearby.

Fences. We use them to keep things in as well as out. I’m grateful for ours, as the Great Pyrenees puppy coming home to us in August is of a breed rumored to have little respect for boundaries, needing strong ones in place to prevent her becoming lost or injured—even at a young age. The four-foot section of our fence is going to need some reinforcements if it’s to accomplish its task of protection.

 

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