As I wait for Zac at Davis Upholstery to gather foam for the finishing touches on the lounge, I can’t sit still. Not that that’s a new thing. I’ve been a functioning ADHD’er from the beginning. Bethany and I talked about this last night actually. I was always told in school (K-12) that I generated too much energy, and whether I focused that on positive or negative things (I’m fairly certain they were insinuating that I was flirting with the latter) would define the trajectory of my life. So folks, breaking news: instead of becoming a drug addict or a criminal mastermind, it seems I’ve settled on just making stuff. How boring.
Anyhow, we try to avoid using the air conditioning when we aren’t home. That, mixed with the September heat in California, makes for a really hot dog. Hamlet isn’t stoked on sitting in the Tiny Shiny oven all day so she convinced me to get some supplies for a 50ft dog run in a semi-shaded area up on the hill between the bushy fig tree and the towering pre-historic Yucca.
- 1 – 50 lb bag of Fence-Post Concrete
- 1 – 65 ft of 3/32 Vinyl Coated Steel Cable
- 8 – Crimping Fasteners
- 2 – stainless steel Screw Link Carabiners
- 1 – simple clasp carabiner
- 1 – stainless steel welded ring
- 2 – 8in. stainless steel Eye Bolts w/ nuts
- 1 – 3/8 in. drill bit (not pictured)
- 1 – 8ft. Redwood 4×4
- Power Drill
- Circular Power Saw (or Handsaw)
I started by cutting the 4×4 in half length-wise to achieve 2, 4ft. beams. At the end of each beam I used the 3/8 in. drill bit to drill a hole for the eye bolts to attach to the beams.
After attaching the eye bolts to the beams, it was time to dig! I channeled Zero from the novel Holes to dig each post hole. After digging a foot or two, I set the poles and Bethany dumped half of the bag of concrete in each one followed by some water for a “stiff mixture” per the directions on the bag. We let the concrete sit for a few minutes and then leveled each pole and made sure the eye bolts on each pole were facing each other.
Concrete setting time: 3 college football games, one Victorian ecocriticism panel, & 2 beers.
Next, grab some scissors, splicers, clippers, or a knife, and remove the vinyl from the steel cable so that it will fit within the crimp. Once you’ve set the cable in place, hit the crimp with a hammer until it closes around the cable.
Then, attach the cable to the carabiners and the carabiners to the eye bolts for the main run area.
Oh, and don’t forget! The additional 15ft of cable needs to be crimped around the welded ring, which will slide along the main run, and then connected to the simple clasp at the other end so that it can be attached to the dog’s harness or collar.
Put it all together and you’ll have a happy dog!