Is a fascinating place for my dogs.
They are now excluded from the shrubbery, have been fenced off from the top lawn, and are banned from swimming in the pond.
The former came about because Molly, my Black and White Springer, is intent on getting through the fence to sort out the upstart of a dog next door, who has the audacity to patrol the other side of OUR fence.
As soon as BJ the interoper appeared in the garden, Molly would trample over the border plants, barge through the shrubs and flatten any young shoots growing near the fence, in her urge to protect us from this fearsome Scottie.
The fence is 5 feet tall, and runs the full length of the shrubbery. Molly would patrol it hourly, Sniffing the air at intervals, stopping only to shoo off a visiting bird, that mistakenly thought that OUR garden was a free landing site.
She's just as bad with the squirrel.
The squirrels feeding box is positioned at the bottom of the garden. in a tree, out of the way of cats and dogs, The food for the squirrel box is stored in a garden bench/storage box, on the patio. The squirrel is well aware of this makes a daily trip to see if he can raid our 'store' to top up his.
He never can, but he keeps trying.
Molly does the squirrel run every morning, as soon as she is let out, it's a ritual, she does a quick sniff round the patio, a sortie, down the garden, then back up for a more detailed survey of the area.
The squirrel sometimes infuriates her by sitting on the fence, and sticking out it's tongue, before disappearing, back to it's tree. It will return later, when Molly has finished her patrol, had breakfast and made her report.
Maisie, My Liver and White Springer, isn't interested in wild, fearsome interloping Scottie's at all.
She only pays a passing interest in squirrel scents, doesn't bother with birds, and can take or leave slugs and snails.
Her passion is, THE POND!
It's odd really, she never used to bother much with it, but recently we dug it out and enlarged it, She watched us intently, and after finding a few dozen fat slimy frogs, wallowing in the mud at the bottom, and having observed slippery, wriggling, bright coloured fish, caught in nets, and deposited into plastic containers, before being returned, a few days later, to the nice, clean, sparkling water, AND having witnessed polythene bags, full of illegal immigrant, new age traveller fish, that were obviously squatting on OUR pond, released to cause trouble, she is now obsessed with getting them back out again.
She is a nuisance really, the second she's out in the garden she's pondside, head hovering a few millimeters above the surface of the water, then she'll rush round to the other side of the pond. and perform a similar minute inspection, I'm sure she counts the fish.
All that was fine, we could put up with that, but then the Heron found us, and ate the two biggest fish. So we put up heron wire, at different heights around the pond, It seems to have worked as we have lost any more fish, but we do have to replace the wire every few days as an excited Maisie, gets tangled up in it, in her quest to find the gypsy fish.
Yesterday though, was the final straw.
Last week we fitted a new pond filter, the old one had failed and the water was beginning to bear an uncanny resemblance to pea soup.
It took just over a week for the water to clear so we could see the bottom of the pond. We could see the fish swimming again, but so could Maisie.
We heard the splash from indoors, and rushed out to find a soaking wet springer, running crazily round the pond, a murky, dark, dirty, pond, that matched the colour of the soil in the borders.
A quick look around and the reason for this became apparent.
Maisie has, for a day or two now, managed to work out that if she put a paw on each of sunken plant containers on the shallow, shelf end of the pond, she can peer out, further into the depths to see where the squatter fish are.
Every time she did this, the plant containers moved a little closer to the edge of the shelf, until eventually, they fell in taking Detective Maisie with them.
So the filter is now working overtime again, cleaning up what now resembled Brown Windsor soup. I think I preferred the pea colour to be honest.
We have purchased a little power spray, filled it with water, and every time Maisie nears the edge of the pond, we give her a squirt. She likes to be wet, so it doesn't bother her too much. But it does startle her, and makes her move back, away from the Heron trip wire, and more importantly, the pond edge..
Both my dogs are avid, ardent froggers. but that's a story for another day.
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