Boys and dogs both need room to run.
Seven months ago we moved from a good sized lot in the suburbs to 5 acres in a semi rural area. The first thing we did was to put up a fence (in the snow) so both the dog and the boys could have the run of the land and still be contained. At our old house we had a little back yard that the boys and dog would play in, but it was fairly small, and only so much adventure can be had in a small space.
Now they have about 2.5 acres fenced in. The dog that never really wanted to be outside without us there with her will gladly spend time alone in the yard. She “protects” our yard from the robins, searches for moles, and hunts down gardener snakes. If there is no “protecting” to be done, she will bark at the neighbor’s sheep or our chickens, trying to use her powers of telepathy to get one of them to fly to her over the fence. She has enough room to reach her top running speed and not have to turn, and the look on her face when she comes running and jumps all the steps up to the back porch is one of sheer doggie happiness.
The boys, all three of them (the two monkeys, and the husband) have great adventures out there. The boys have made a good sized hole in the yard that they use as a dig pit. I’m not sure how they do it, but they can become covered in dirt in less than a minute flat. If they put socks on, when they come back inside those white socks are black…in the summer, when I am lucky to get a pair of sandals on them, they come in with “hobbit feet” pitch black from the dirt.
We have a creek on our property which the husband, boys and dog all adore playing in. The 5yo hunts for “treasure” in our field and back in the tree line, and will bring home animal bones, rusty rebar, tin cans etc. They have seen a beaver hauling a tree branch to his home, rabbits, deer tracks, hawks and all sorts of birds. They catch snakes, lizards, frogs, worms and bugs. They carry around stick and rocks and are happy to pitch in cutting down weeds.
No matter how much I clean, my carpet and floors are continually covered in dirty foot prints, and the walls and doors with dirty hand prints…but I wouldn’t’ have it any other way. Their childhood will pass to quickly , and soon these little boys bringing home rocks, will turn into big boys bringing home girls. They will eventually learn to keep (most of) the dirt outside, but for now I am happy that I can give my boys and the dog room to run.