Dogs as gardeners

All dogs are great gardeners. They love to dig and they enjoy discovering the strange things their owners put in the ground. I believe they think it’s a game –we bury something and they are supposed to find it. And they’re GOOD at finding it.

And then often the thing they find tastes good too. Almost always, actually. Which is why I have been known to hysterically call my vet and ask if, for instance, day lily corms were bad for small poodles, since Jamie Lee, my little café au lait colored poodle loved them.

The answer is yes in quantity. No if just one corm. What dog, however, is willing to do something in a limited quantity? No dog I’ve ever known. Not even poodles. If it’s something forbidden, they’re going to eat as much of it as they can. The most picky poodle who would not think of touching her dog food because it was the same old boring kibbles will eat the most disgusting thing she can find in the yard.

Thus I have learned to be cautious when working in the yard with a dog. And, I bet the dog would say, grumpy. I am really grumpy when some four legged creature comes around behind and undoes what I have taken so long in doing, like digging where the lettuce seeds have been sown.

Lauren has been doing the planting around here since my knee injuries. She has tried to work with the dogs helping her but where Luka will lie down and supervise, Button feels she has to graze and taste things.

discussing a break-in plan

discussing a break-in plan


two dogs, consulting

two dogs, consulting

Consequently,  Lauren has put a lot of her careful, grown-from seed, vulnerable herbs and tomato plants in planters on the deck. They are fenced off from curious dogs which, the dogs tell me, is very rigid. Button SWEARS she will not eat anymore of the fertilizer or mulch.


And Luka reminds us she is a GOOD dog. Although she has been known, at Button’s urging, to sample something intriguing, like mulch or tissues or the cloth cover for the drum. Which did not digest as well as she apparently thought it would.

So the dogs are perturbed at Lauren’s recent invention – putting the planters with trellises across the deck to keep dogs from eating what was in them. I think it’s brilliant. And I have a private bet on with myself as to how long it will take Button to figure out a way through that barrier. I know she is working on it.