homework random travel

dogs vs. lawn

April 26, 2012

My hood in Boston is called Jamaica Plain. It’s where people come to adopt dogs and/or to start a family. Dogs and babies. Across the street from us is a dog grooming place and right next door to that is an organic baby clothes store. Up the street is a vet and just beyond that is a people vet, or doctor’s office.

We have a yard which is kind of rare in these parts. It’s not huge, but it’s large enough that we can let our dogs out to run around and/or to terrorize the two Basset Hounds and Beagle on the other side of the fence.

I heartily agree with Cosmo and Sophie that the dogs on the other side of the fence suck. A mere clinking of a glass in our kitchen is enough to set off these vociferous assholes. Cosmo’s trick is to walk over to the fence and get them going and then to casually walk away while the hounds continue to incessantly bark it up.

I had two knee surgeries last year. Nothing serious, just an outpatient medial meniscectomy. It was just about a year ago that I had the first knee done… I came home retarded out of my mind. I just wanted to come home and sleep off the surgery. Just a long peaceful sleep. Instead I came home to our neighbor’s Basset Hounds and Beagle…


“I’m going over there!”

“You can’t go over there you just had surgery.”

“This is bullshit! Why does she have her dogs outside?!”

“It’s nice out.”

“I’m trying to sleep!”

“It’s 2PM. Close the Windows.”

“It’s HOT! I’m going over there!”

“You can’t drive.”

So I drive around the block to our neighbor’s house who happens to be working in her front yard. I imagine I looked like some crazy person–with a full-on splint running up my leg–exaggerating my exit from the car with limbs flailing all over the place. I mean, this poor woman had a sheer look of terror in her eyes as I menacingly lurched up her walkway.

I actually think her first words were, “Is it the dogs?”

She ran into the house and returned with a piece of paper that had her pager, home and mobile number apologizing profusely the whole time probably just praying to God that I wouldn’t stab her with her own potting shovel.

[Side note: when I had my second knee operated on the staff asked if I had a reaction to any of the medications the first time around. My wife told them I was “a little ragey“. I was much calmer the second time.]



Our yard has pretty much been a dirt pit for the past few years. But… something magical recently happened. Despite our lack of precipitation this winter these weird clumps of grass started to show up. Heidi’s theory is that our super high maintenance Buckeye tree made divots with it’s spiny armored “seeds” and that the grass has somehow been able to forge a home into the earthen dents.

Our Buckeye tree is MASSIVE. It’s fucking ridiculously huge. If hurricane Irene had hit JP we would’ve been destroyed. The worst part about this tree is that it’s constantly shedding some sort of completely useless garbage. The nuts have these evil pointy casings. To make sure our dogs don’t step on them we are constantly raking thousands of these things. I don’t even think the squirrels want these nuts. OK, enough tree bashing.

What’s so lame is I meant to talk about my ridiculous attempt at trying to grow grass as a dog owner and honestly there isn’t much to tell.

I decided to dig up all of the mystery clumps of grass and consolidate them into the center of the yard. I then aerated the surrounding dirt and planted some “super shade grass seed”. Watered it. The big challenge right now is keeping Cosmo and Sophie out of what I call “the danger zone”.

I put in some garden stakes and marked off the danger zone with some hot pink twine which I am pretty sure they can see. So far they have been pretty good. (Cosmo more than Sophie.)

And then I took some photos… I know what you are thinking. Why are there more photos of Cosmo than Sophie? It’s mostly because Cosmo sits still and Sophie (like me) is constantly moving. He is also ridiculously photogenic… you may have seen him on the Trader Joe’s “Organic Dog Treats” before it was discontinued. (Was not his fault! You can’t compete with lesser expensive peanut butter treats!) (Don’t worry, he’ll return I suspect.)

I’ll let you know how my grass project goes. Stay tuned.


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1 Comment

  • Reply born to run (I was not) | david the tornado November 10, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    […] About three years ago I had not one, but two… two medial meniscus tears. Two surgeries which kept me from running for about a year–which was fine, I hadn’t fully become the obsessive runner I am today. You can read how well I handled the first surgery here. […]

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