Most of The Compound has privacy fencing around it–the kind of wooden fencing that I never saw until I moved to Texas, where it’s practically standard except in the poorest or wealthiest neighborhoods. You see it in those, too, just not as abundantly. However, the area where we live also has many homes with iron fencing, and when we had work done on the property in the summer of 2000, we decided we wanted an iron fence at least across the front and down one side of the house (the other side already had it).
The contractor we selected for all the other jobs agreed to install the fencing, too. He went on a hunt for vintage or salvaged fence that would match our house and the existing fencing. When he couldn’t find exactly what he was looking for, he finally hired an elderly man, who did welding jobs for him, to custom-construct the fence. This gentleman came to measure the property and talk to us so he’d know exactly what we wanted. He did an outstanding job, and when it was completed, he told me one of the specifications he’d set for himself. He’d met our dachshunds, Pete and Stevie, and this was how he made his decision for spacing the pickets. As he told me, “I wanted to make sure your little ones would stay safe inside the fence.”
Sadly, Pete died on August 18 of that year, and Stevie died five days later on August 23. I remember sitting on the front steps and staring at the new fence that would have enabled them to spend so much more time running around the yard chasing lizards and squirrels or checking out the other dogs and their people who passed by. In the years since, I have often thanked the two of them for their legacy. Many Compound dogs and fosters have been able to enjoy playing, exploring, and sunning while also keeping an eye on the world around them. And thanks to one tradesman and his pride in his work, only Lynne’s Paco is able to slip out–and when I call him, he promptly walks to the gate and waits for me to open it so he can come back in. Apparently that space only works one way.