San Diego, CA, August 26, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- Elizabeth Bublitz, owner and creator of Pawfriendly Landscapes, was featured in the NY Times on Wednesday, August 20, 2008 about creating dog friendly yards. Bublitz was interviewed by Sheba Wheeler for the NY Times series on creating environmentally safe yards.
According to Ms. Wheeler, Elizabeth Bublitz, owner of Pawfriendly Landscapes in Golden, Colo., creates aesthetically pleasing, functional yards that cater to a dog's habits rather than fighting them. The cost for her services ranges from $1,000 for smaller projects to more than $50,000 for high-end landscape makeovers.
Most people use their yards only when the weather is nice, but dogs use them year round, Bublitz says.
"The turning point for me was realizing that my back yard really did belong to my dog, Barney," says Bublitz, a member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. "After that, I just started using materials and techniques with him in mind."
Before Bublitz meets with clients, she asks them not to clean or pick up anything from the yard so she can study the pet's behavior before designing the new landscape. If the dog has a favorite spot to eliminate waste, Bublitz will tear out the sod in that spot and replace it with rock. She uses larger rocks such as cobble because pebbles can get stuck in an animal's paws. If the dog tends to eat rock, she uses bark, pavers or concrete, which can be easily hosed clean.
Bublitz has even gone so far as to place statuettes or planters in a landscape for dogs with what she calls the "fire-hydrant complex." She also installs ponds for water-loving pooches.
Does your dog like to dig under the home's foundation? For this common problem, Bublitz puts fabric, chicken wire and then pea gravel down on the ground. Dogs don't like the chicken wire texture on their paws, so that discourages them from digging – a technique that could save homeowners from structural damage caused by moisture seeping into the foundation through the dog's holes.
Chicken wire tacked onto privacy fences stops escape-artist dogs. When dogs dig for shade, Bublitz plants more trees. And when dogs run up and down the fence, usually killing the lawn in the process, Bublitz designs a 3-foot-wide "racetrack" path by removing grass, putting down fabric and then more chicken wire to prevent digging. Nearby shrubs can conveniently hide the path.
"The dog is actually making your yard prettier," Bublitz says. "You end up adding interest to space with organic shapes and water features."
Although Bublitz specializes in dog friendly yards, she refers clients to her colleague for feline issues. John Kuepper's business, Cat-Man-Do, was born from the tragedy that many feline owners face.
Kuepper's company now constructs enclosures that make it safe for cats to roam in the back yard without leaving the property. This infrastructure generally attaches to an existing privacy fence while an indoor system keeps cats active at home. The kits cost $300 and up.
These kitty playgrounds have posts and perches to keep cats entertained. Even dogs up to 20 pounds can take advantage of Kuepper's new tunnel system.
"I am doing triple the amount of business I was doing last year as people become more aware that it is possible to let your cat out and keep it safe," Kuepper says.
McKay's home now features a waterfall and two ponds connected by a stream.
Eight trees were moved and planted elsewhere so PJ could have ample room to run without obstacles. Landscapers also installed a paw-friendly cobblestone walkway.
A specialized Trex decking system provides PJ with shade and protection from the elements, and a new third deck off the master bedroom gives the pup a comfy place to sleep outside.
Friends have called McKay and her husband "crazy for pouring all this affection onto an animal when you could be feeding kids in Afghanistan." But simply put, "PJ is a family member," she says.
"When preparing for a pet to come into your life," she says, "you have to take the same precautions you would if a parent or relative were moving in."
For more information, please go to www.pawfriendlylandscapes.com or http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dws/fea/pets/stories/082108dnlivlandscaping.390ef70.html