Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Phoenix, 1; tomatoes, 0

Wish I had before and after pictures to go with this post but it didn’t happen that way.

I have . . . um . . . HAD . . . two cherry tomato plants in a big planter on the west side of the house. That is the extent of my vegetable garden. Phoenix and Jamie will both pick tomatoes off the vine as soon as they get ripe. Last year, I think they ate more tomatoes than I did.

So this year I put an old ex-pen around the planter as they started to ripen. It is a very heavy-gauge wire 36” tall ex-pen and it totally surrounded the planter with just a little overlap. Last night I was working in my flowers and the dogs were in the yard with me. Phoenix disappeared around the corner of the house. I knew he was going to try eating tomatoes and I knew he couldn’t get at them so wasn’t worried.

Then all of a sudden I heard a big CRASH, followed by a lot of metallic clattering and him screaming. I ran around the house. He had been trying to get tomatoes through the ex-pen and got his collar caught on one of the hooks, panicked and was now dragging the whole thing around the yard, attached to his collar. He couldn’t get away from it and couldn’t get it loose. He wouldn’t stop running so I could help him.

Finally, he got himself in a corner of the yard, totally freaked, panting hard, wild eyed. I got his collar loose from the ex-pen and was ready to sit with him and calm him down but he bolted across the yard . . . to go eat tomatoes!

No trauma there. Honestly, he recovered just like that. No harm, no foul.

If it had been Jamie, I’d have had to take him to the emergency clinic, treat him for shock, administer tranquilizers, etc. and he wouldn’t have gone near that side of the house for six months.

The planter had been knocked over, most of the dirt fell out of it and one plant was broken off at the roots. The other plant took a big hit, not sure it’s going to recover enough to produce much of anything. Good thing there’s a garden market on my way to and from work. I HAVE to have fresh tomatoes.

My dogs rarely wear collars unless we’re going somewhere. Nix had his on last night because we’d just finished a training session. I’m feeling guilty about the whole accident, even though he didn’t get hurt. The ex-pen is back in the garage. The tomatoes, or what is left of them, are fair game. I'm thinking next year, that garden market can grow the tomatoes for me.


  1. I haven't tried it, but I've seen one and it appears to actually work:

  2. JL!! Is NOTHING safe in Iowa County!! Jamie is WAY to smart to have that happen to him. Jamie would just dig UNDER the X-pen!!! G

  3. I don't think you can blame yourself for that. It was a freak thing-most dogs wear collars all the time. I don't know if my dogs like tomatoes-but I grow all my veggies on the outside of the fence! I'm sure our piggie would eat them if I didn't! Never a dull moment in your house huh? Makes for some entertaining reading though.