Mr. Bryant and ADR spent so much time on the fence, that there was nothing for it but to create gates that were amazing works of art. They had planned for three walking gates in the fence, and then one large gate that runs across the driveway.
Back in December after the fence was done, there was a two week period with no gates. Every time little Bella needed to go outside (and that was every 20 minutes), I had to bundle up, leash her up, and out we went to walk around the cold yard. Many times it was rainy, but it always seemed to me to be freezing for those outside trips. We had piles of coats on every chair, scarves and hats and mittens on every table. I was not at my happiest with stuff everywhere, on top of more stuff, not to mention having to go out for a walk every 20 minutes.
I complained to Mr. Bryant, and he took action at his first opportunity. He, Bella, and ADR created a "Christmas Miracle" back in December, and put up temporary barriers across all the gate spaces. Mr. Bryant did make one working gate, back at the back driveway. He called this gate "Rosie's Gate," as she is always in and out this gate when she visits. The gate was very plain, though, and not to his liking because it didn't close as securely as he wanted, and the lock was makeshift. We really want these gates secured, so this has been a source of concern for months.
The security matters to us, like many things, because of our history. Years ago, before cell phones (seriously, there was such a time), we had two amazing dogs - a Newfoundland (Christmas Carol "Chrissie") and an Australian Shepard "Buck." Chrissie was the younger of the two, and pretty sweet most of the time. She was happy and loving with a Newfoundland's great heart, and the most beautiful Newf I ever seen, in a very rare color called Cream. She was most precious to me and I miss her still to this day.
Buck was another matter. He was large for an Aussie, black with a white blaze on his chest. He had been mercilessly teased by construction workers in a new development when he was a little puppy, and the teasing had made him afraid and super super protective. It took him a long time to trust people, but once he trusted you, he believed in you without question for the rest of his life. He was the most dedicated dog I have ever known. He held my heart.
I knew we were safe as long as we had Buck, because NO ONE could come into the yard or the house uninvited - not even family. He meant business, and he loved us to complete and total distraction. He was deeply loved and I miss him still, oh so very much.
Back then, back there, we had a fenced in yard for two reasons - we had an in ground pool and we had the dogs. The gates were always closed and we had Beware of Dog signs up on each gate. One day while we were at work, someone came and opened the gate. We think they were going to take a dip in the pool, but the dogs surprised them and when they took off running they left the gate open. The dogs were out - and it was hours before we got home to set things right. Buck wouldn't even let the postman up on the porch to deliver the mail. It was mayhem, and we nearly lost them both that day, as we lived on a busy neighborhood cut through street. When I think about it my heart gets tight again, even now.
So now that we have puppies again after all these years, we need the gates to have locks, to close even when they aren't pushed. We need good strong gates that no one uninvited can open. And we need gates that are works of art. That show our love of mixed natural materials. That tell our story, that allow Mr. Bryant time to play with welding, and that give the puppies a way to see out. The gates, they are taking some time to make. In fact, only one is almost done - and the rest are still in design and materials collection stages.
Above, you see Rosie's Gate. Still not done, but much closer. Up on hinges in its space, with a solid lock to keep the puppies safe. I do love it, with the wood and the metal, the textures, the excellent workmanship. Mr. Bryant said it was so heavy he could hardly lift it, but is swings gently on the hinges, like it weighs nothing.
More to come as the finished product is ready. :)