It turns out that our dog, Roxy, is a digger.

We have a large mound of soil sitting beside our driveway. We’ve been chipping away at it for as long as we’ve been here. Since she was a wee pup, it’s been the place Roxy is allowed to dig.

There’s a plan for 2021 that includes Roxy’s digging. I plan to flatten this soil mound and provide us with a level space for setting up tents and BBQs. I’ll plant some of my citrus around it to provide extra shelter. Roxy’s digging will come in really handy for this project.

When her digging is constructive, it’s helpful. But occasionally, it’s really not.

We built Roxy a house and run under our cabin. It’s a cool spot where she can see what’s going on. The problem is, it’s bare-earth under there. So Roxy, with hours to spend by herself while we take care of human things, gets to digging.

She dug her way right under the door.

We filled it back up with earth from the mound, and added some big rocks. That’ll stop her, we thought.

We thought wrong.

Roxy just dug around the rocks. We’ve come home to an alive, but traumatised and rather-plucked duck twice now (sorry Lemon and Humpy). She gnaws at their wings and plucks all the feathers out of their bum. We’re quite lucky she didn’t kill them.

Feathers everywhere: The kind of sight you don't want to arrive home to

Feathers (from one of our favourite ducks) everywhere. This duck was OK and still lives.

Roxy's hole - large enough that she could squeeze herself under the door

Roxy’s hole – large enough that she could squeeze herself under the door.

We put the ducks behind an electric fence with the chickens and turned to that great human invention: concrete. I picked up three bags of quick-set concrete from the local Mitre 10, and got to digging myself.

I removed the rocks and dug the hole out to an even size and width. Then I filled it with bigger rocks. Then, Richard and I covered those rocks in two bags of concrete.

Roxy's hole, dug out to a more even size

Dug out to a more even size.

Large rocks added to the hole to take up the bulk of the space

Large rocks added to the hole to take up the bulk of the space.

Hole filled with quick-set concrete

Filled with quick-set concrete.

Not getting out under this door anytime soon

Not getting out under this door anytime soon.

It took less than 20 minutes and $20 to Roxy-proof the door. She’s had absolutely no luck in that spot since.

Roxy’s taken to digging a new hole right in the middle of her house now. She buries and digs up her toys, and once and a while we tell her how marvelous her hole is. As long as it doesn’t go under the boundary of the house, it is marvelous. But we also have an extra bag of concrete tucked away, just in case.