Dottie Preparation

by Nick on Jan 1, 2010

This spring or summer Claire and I are planning to build a cedar fence which will extend our backyard to enclose a large cottonwood tree on the south side of our property.  This will allow us a lot more living and gardening work space plus the shaded comfort the tree will supply.  Because we were planning on building a new fence in the spring, we were not planning to repair a mortarless section of the existing block fence.  That was until we knew Dottie might be coming to live with us.  Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. we realized that we needed to fix the fence before Dottie and her human companions came to inspect our back yard.  After a trip to the hardware store, some trial and error with the cement's consistency, and a few hours in the cold wind, our block fence was finished just before sunset.  This was my first time doing any masonry, and I was quite impressed by Claire's knowledge and experience building a patio as a child with her father.

A condition for our adopting Dottie was that we provide a place for her to be able to stay warm when we are not home.  At least for this first winter on really cold days she will be staying in the kitchen where we have built some wooden gates to keep her from getting to the rest of the house.  On warmer winter days Dottie will be staying in an insulated dog house we built for her.  My sister Maggie and brother-in-law Leni had a dog house which they no longer needed, and were kind enough to drive it down from Los Alamos where they recently moved.  Leni and I removed the top of the dog house brought in the walls several inches, and added recycled paper insulation (GreenFiller) we purchased at the hardware store.  (For those of you playing at home, the R-value for this type of insulation is 13-60 depending on the thickness of the wall.)  We then added a recessed roof, added insulation to the top, and put the original roof back on.  It turned out well, and I am thankful to have been able to work on this with Leni.  The final step is to line the floor with cardboard.  We chose this type of floor insulation because it has a reasonable R-value when stacked several inches, and is easy to replace should Dottie, ahem, eliminate on  her bedding.

And for those of you who read this far, here are some pictures of Dottie!

One Response to "Dottie Preparation"

  1. Nick Says:

    I wanted to make the dog house out of papercrete, but ran out of time before needing to start planning for next semester. Last year we met some people who have done a lot of work with papercrete down in TRC. --For those of you not from New Mexico that is Truth or Consequences-- They have a great blog and here is a link to an post about a papercrete dome they built to house their solar powered battery system.

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