She and Basil just love to meet at this point in the fence:
And our favorite puppy neighbor has been chewing and chewing her way through the fence in order to try to get closer and closer to Basil:
Well, over the past 6 months, she's done enough of that chewing to break down a portion of the fence — creating a permanent entry point into our backyard with full access to Basil!
We are sure both of the dogs felt a sense of victory (even though this was all Ladybug's victory, not Basil's), though as owners and neighbors on either side of the fence — we all felt a little deflated. As she's been chewing, we've been nailing slats back to the fence and building barriers to keep them away from destructive behavior as well as we could. Needless to say, the dogs won this round.
Our house came with a wooden fence on either side of yard — the shorter side is build slat to slat, more like a classic privacy fence. The longer side has alternating slats on either side of the fence, creating the feel of a privacy fence, but more spaced out. We're not sure if this was done to just stretch out the materials or not, but that's what we've got!
Down the road I'd like to do something completely different with this fence, but for now, we just needed to get a fix in place to make it functional again.
Roger, our neighbor and Ladybug's owner, and I came up with a plan to repair and patch this area of the fence. There had been a weak point in this spot, partially due to one of the anchor posts being loose, making it off level and allowing the fence to sag. We decided to remove the entire post, reinstall a new one, set it in concrete, then repair and reattach the surrounding fence with a few batch slabs to the newly set anchor post.
To get things started, we needed to break away the remaining fence from the weak anchor post. Then we began rocking the post back and forth to try to pry it from the ground — this is where the toughest part of the job came in. Eventually, the post lifted right out of the ground. We realized there was no concrete surrounding it previously and that the base of the wood had rotted, which is probably partially why it became weak and sagging.
Because of the rotted portion, we'd actually only lifted the healthy segment of wood out of the ground and needed to dig down deep to get the remaining post out. We broke one of our two shovels in the process and both alternated turns on either side of the fence trying to dig and loosen up the remaining wood:
After what seemed like forever, we finally got it loose and pulled it from the ground.
Roger had the new post ready to go, so we immediately wedged it into the ground where the hole from the other board was removed and began to sledge it down as far and tight as we could go using — you guessed, a sledge hammer.
Once the post was in the ground steady and tight, we leveled out the board before mixing up a healthy batch of quickrete (quick drying concrete) and filling in the area around the bottom of the board.
Here's where we let out one of those Tim the Toolman Taylor type "ARGH ARGH ARGHHH's," knowing it would take years of chewing for Ladybug to break through the setting we'd just grounded in place.
After the quikrete set up and dried (about 30 minutes), we filled in and packed down dirt into the remaining hole and got started on patching the fence slats to the newly set anchor post.
But not before I added a little decoration to the post:
The fence patching was the easy part. We just screwed in 3 small patch boards in line with where the other horizontal boards had been and then screwed new slats on either side of the anchor to bring the remaining fence back in place.
While not our ultimate solution for the look and feel of the fence in our backyard, in the end everything was much more secure and functional.
After the job was complete, Roger came over and tested out the new bottle opener, enjoying a couple cold beers and admiring the work we'd just done. Ladybug was crouched up next to the fence on the other side and we chuckled to ourselves thinking, we won this round.