They get to spend most of their time in the dog run because of their unfortunate love for pulling things off the washing line (primarily Apocalypse Pup) and their unfortunate enthusiasm for killing blue tongue lizards (primarily the Labrador of Doom).
The thing about the dog run is that is has a few gum trees in it.
It has a few dips and bumps and strange topographical features.
This means that when Mum has gone in to the run* she has only been able to tidy the parts of it that she can get to safely.
So for Mother's Day this year I decided that my good deed for the day was to tidy up the dog run.
There were three key areas which I was calling The Elephants Graveyards of Poop.
The dogs had of course chosen to locate these pooptopias in the weirdest parts of the enclosure.
Places my mother would not be game to fight her way through to.
Behind the various clumps of trees or near the little drop off.
I picked up somewhere around 10 to 20 kg of poop**.
Three reinforced garbage bags and some very unlucky disposable gloves sacrificed their lives to the cause.
I also found several toys that the kids from the house behind us had lost over the course of the last 5 months, the remains of what must have been the more delicious of the toys that the kids from the house behind us had lost over the course of the last 5 months, a stash of bricks from a building project that probably took place about 20 years ago, and the treated pine palings from our old pool fence which was taken out about 15 years ago at the same time as the old pool***.
The palings were the most startling thing to find, they were piled up under a drift of eucalyptus leaves so thick that given a few centuries archaeologists would be identifying them as a specific historical strata that could tell us a lot about the local culture.
I also had to spend a bit of time with a shovel digging out the area behind the gate because there had been some sediment creep and it had become impossible to open the gate further than about 70 to 100 cm**** wide in recent months.
Now there is a nice flat area to swing the gate open over which hopefully won't give the dogs 'diggy' ideas.
So at the end of the process I had thrown out:
- more poop than I have ever wanted to see or handle in my entire life
- old bones that had been hidden but which were no longer safe or delicious
- bits of dead toys and scraps of material
- palings from the old pool fence which we can't burn because arsenic!
- a bunch of kindling that had been thoughtfully dropped by the eucalyptus trees
- actual chunks of good quality firewood that I expect my brother had forgotten he had chainsawed up out of larger bits of eucalyptus tree
- old palings from our wooden perimeter fence which wasn't treated pine so we can burn it
- a huuuuge pile of leaves
Of course, this was just the beginning.
Next weekend I have to go back in there to burn the metric butt-tonne of leaves, have another rake around and make sure we don't have any more archeological layers of extra items hidden in there.
And the gum trees are trying to increase their numbers which will only lead to danger and sadness so there will be a sapling massacre which will then have to be turned into more firewood and stacked up neatly with the rest of it.
Then, smoky, dirty and exhausted, I'll probably take the dogs for a walk.
Because I am a masochist apparently.
*Which doesn't happen as often as it could because the dogs get really extra excited about this kind of thing.
There is Five Minutes Of Frantic Bouncing when you let them into the main yard, try get them ready for a walk or join them in the run. No matter how we try and train them out of it, their excitement will not be tamed!
**That's 22 to 44 lbs of poop, for you Imperial scum!
***The pool was an above ground construction which was murdered by a tree from the yard behind us. The tree's roots grew up under the pool and pierced the pool lining and the whole thing went the hell remarkably quickly.
****27 to 39 inches or 2.3 to 3.3 feet, whichever makes more sense to you guys.