"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A little white dog and a little white fence.

I've read several blogs recently that have shared their experiences with pets in the garden.  At Gardening Gone Wild the design workshop of the month is pets in the garden.  I found this a very interesting topic since we have a pet and a garden and yes, I've definitely had to design things specifically around her.
Our dog Gracie is a 4 year old Bichon Frise.  We really never planned to get a dog, but after meeting my brother- in -law's Bichons we fell in love with the breed.  Here she is when we first went to the breeders.  Before I go any further I must say I highly recommend this breed.   She is very good with kids, friendly, only barks when someone comes to the door, loves to play, doesn't shed and this breed is hypo-allergenic.  
When she was a puppy she liked to chew and eat everything:  plants, rocks and sticks.  I was with her constantly while she was outside to monitor what she was into.   
She eventually outgrew this phase and also decided she really didn't like being outside all that much.  She liked to follow the neighborhood cats around our yard that would visit.  She liked to relax on the chaise lounge chairs in the sun, but that was about it.
That was until she discovered our raised vegetable beds.  About 2 years ago my oldest daughter finally had her first successful crop of carrots growing.  She would check them everyday just waiting to pick them.  Unfortunately Gracie discovered them too and  I came out one day to find her pulling and eating every single carrot.  My daughter was understandably upset.  On top of that I found that there are several fruits and vegetables that are unsafe for dogs to eat, some that we grow.  Among the list are grapes, onions, tomatoes, apple seeds, cherry and peach pits.  I wanted to keep her safe as well as out of trouble with my daughter.
Here's the little carrot eater in action, eating this nose right off the snowman!

We decided to put up a little white picket fence along the side yard where the raised beds are to keep her out while we aren't supervising her.  I actually like how it ended up looking, and now it functions to keep her out and also acts as an entrance to the vegetable garden.  
Pin It


  1. I love those little dogs - they are sooooo cute.

  2. I looked up the breed and they sound super cool, Catherine and man, do they look cute! But to me dogs and cats are adorable as long as I don't own them. LOL! Coz I still cannot get over the fear about them from my childhood. I'm more of a bird guy and weeks before I did get one baby budgie!

  3. Those puppy pics are too cute. And just love the one of her on the chaise lounge. We too have learned the hard way that Diva Dog has a fondness for purple carrots--not orange though. She won't dig them up but will sneak them from the basket right after I've harvested them.

  4. I think its a great idea, Catherine:) Very practical, in fact. You've killed 2 birds with one stone, so to speak! (That phrase sure doesn't go well with us bird-lovers, does it?!!)

    Your baby doggie is adorable. I love the breed as well. We had a miniature poodle that color who honestly, looked just like him. We kept his hair clipped into the puppy cut and he was so adorable. Poodles don't shed either and are so friendly with people (at least, most are). He died at 13.

    But of course, now we have another one! Only James is a Standard Poodle and he does present issues in my garden! I have metal edging from Lowes or Home Depot...about a foot tall, surrounding each garden area in the back yard. I don't particularly love it, but it's not an eyesore because it's copper/brown color and blends in w/the mulch. James does jump in and out of the gardens, occasionally, but it is better than the way he runs in circles and makes a big path in the rest of the yard!!

  5. Hilarious, a veggie-snarfing dog! Too cute, but good that you got the fence up. Dogs don't always realize that what they're eating (know any who have eaten an entire box of toxic-to-dogs chocolate and ended up in the pet ER? I sure do!) might not be good for them. Cute post!

  6. I am always concerned that somebody reaches over the low fences and snatches up the dog, or worse, little kids. I have a 6 foot high fence with locked gates and still worry.

    Abraham Lincoln said, "Hello," all the way from Brookville, Ohio in the U.S.A. And his wife of 53 years said hello too.

    Pat and Abe Lincoln
    Brookville, Ohio

  7. Clever! I had a Bichon and it is the GREATEST dog. I had a home daycare and he was wonderful with the children of all ages!! He used to sit in the middle of the water fountains and bird baths when he got hot.

  8. So glad to learn more about this breed. We have a dachshund, but our mason was asking about hypo-allergenic dogs for his teen son. I'll pass the info along. Gracie is just precious!

  9. Who could pass up a puppy this cute? I won't show this post to my teenagers. They'd go berserk asking for a dog. We do cats, but human nature being what it is, more is always better. The picket fence is the perfect remedy.

  10. Catherine I loved this post! I love the picture of the little "carrot bandit" eating the snowmans nose!

    I think your picket fence/garden gate is adorable. It says to me come in and see what's inside.

  11. She is a adorable. Something tells me your daughter forgives her for eating the carrots.

  12. Funny dog eating carrots! We had a cockapoo named Nika that looked a lot like Gracie, but bigger and with black ear pinnae. She always looked like she was earing ear muffs.

    My cats are forbidden to leave the house, and show remarkably little interest in doing so. They have plenty of entertainments in the house to keep them engaged and occupied (i.e., me).

  13. Phillip - They are a cute breed that's for sure! Hard to resist as we learned.

    Chandramouli - I don't think this dog would hurt a fly, very sweet. I'm always a little nervous around big dogs. My daughter has begged for a bird, but for now this dog is enough.

    Curmudgeon - So your dog lets you do the dirty work so she can reap the rewards. She's smart :)

    Jan - I think the miniature poodles look very similar, almost hard to tell apart sometimes. I know the standards are very smart and nice dogs too. It sounds like you had a great solution to keep James out of your beds. I hope you will share his pictures sometime :)

    Karen - I guess she's a health nut. I know of several dogs that got very sick from chocolate. I'm guessing you had a personal experience with this.

    Pat and Abe - I worry about that kind of thing too. Luckily the fence around our yard is high, and she doesn't really like to be outside unless we're with her.

    Darla - Your dog sounds cute, I can just picture it sitting in a fountain :) Bichons really are great dogs.

    Mildred - Dachshunds are very cute! I love the no shedding part about Bichons, and I hope your mason finds a great dog.

    Grace - I would love a cat again someday. I was like a kid when I saw my BIL's dogs. Just too sweet to pass up.

    Susie - I was actually glad she got herself in trouble since it ended up making the garden look nicer to me.

    Tina - Thanks. She was forgiven, she is best buds with my girls!

    Chuck - I think it's safer to keep cats inside anyway. I've seen pictures of yours before and they are cute. Do your indoor plants keep them entertained as well? :)

  14. I've been wondering what kind of dog you had. The photo on the sidebar looked a little like my Lhasa Apso. I know someone with a Bichon tho and I agree with you about them being great pets. I think the white picket fence idea was perfect and looks great too. I bought a book last year to give as a gift (to another dog lover) called "Dogs in their Gardens." It was written by Page Dickey. Your post reminded me of it today.

  15. A Bichon won Best in Show a couple years ago, didn't he? They are cute, even if they eat the veggies. And the fence she inspired is delightful.Our big brutes of dogs don't necessarily eat, they just tromple all delicate vegetation.

  16. I just love white picket fences. Yours turned out so charming. I love how it divides the yard into rooms. Very well done.

  17. Kathleen - I'm going to look for that book. Something about having a pet out there enjoying it with you makes it all them more fun. Lhasa Apso's are great dogs too. I don't think they shed either if I remember right.

    Melanthia - I think a Bichon has won before. She's small enough that she doesn't do too much damage. It would be hard to have bigger dogs to work around especially two. They are all worth though aren't they? :)

    Debbie - Thanks. I like how it feels like another room too, especially since our yard is small. It makes it feel a little larger.

  18. Hi Catherine, oh how cute, both the fence and the liitle dog! You made a great compromise with the fence and it does look fantastic and very cottagey.

  19. Catherine, What a CUTE little pup! Just adorable. Thanks for the post about dogs in the garden. :-)

  20. LOL, I love the photo of Grace eating the snowman's carrot nose!! Classic. Did she tell you any little white lies that it wasn't her?! ;-)

  21. Frances - Thanks!

    Shady Gardener - She is a cutie, that helps get her out of trouble sometimes too.

    Monica - Funny, but no white lies :) Definitely caught in the act both times!

  22. I didn't know they were hypoallergenic. Do they shed much? I want a doggie so badly. Love your white picket fence. Cute pictures.

  23. Anna - No, they don't shed at all! They need to be groomed every couple of months. I think you should get one :)

  24. Gracie is darling! What is it about little white dogs & veggies? My sister's Malteses used to go crazy for raw veggies, while my dogs always turned up their noses at them. Your solution for keeping Gracie out of trouble is charming.

  25. I want one so badly! I'll forward this to my husband. I can't believe they don't shed! Awesome.


Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment. I try my very best to answer any questions you may have, but usually don't have time to respond to each comment. Please leave a link to your blog so I can visit you in return.