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Here in South Carolina we can go thru times where it can sometimes rain over a several day period and as you know Border Collies get frustrated when they have pent up energy from not being able to run for a few days. (she is an indoor dog, but usually gets plenty of outdoor time)

 

That is why I decided to cover her yard with some large tarps, it has the added benefit of giving my dog and I some shade on the hot summer days :)

 

My original construction was working fine for normal South Carolina weather, but when we recently had a very rare heavy snow it collapsed about 2/3 of it, so I don't recommend using PVC without additional support if you live in an area that gets snow.

 

I am getting ready to put the canopy back up but with additional support underneath the PVC framing, I likely will be building a 12 foot long wood roof frame (rafters to a ridge board) on top of 4x4 posts on both sides of the yard at the midway point and then running wire cable from the ridge board of that to 4x4 posts I'll put at both ends.

 

If anyone has other support ideas to consider please let me know, thanks !

 

Here are two photos of the original construction, one of the PVC frame before adding the tarps, and one of the covered frame. (the high roof allows plenty of room for me to be in there standing up throwing Frisbees and balls for her to catch, the fence is 4 feet high, the center of the roof is about 9 feet high)

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That's all very nice and a great deal of work, but how about just donning a raincoat (or other suitable wear) and taking your dog for a walk or a playtime? Or am I missing something?

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Sorry it collapsed under the snow. Sounds like an excellent set-up where no white stuff is expected. That type of awning is used extensively in the NW, primarily as a temporary seasonal structure for livestock to shade-up. They go up pretty quickly.

 

I helped a sheepdog trainer/mentor construct a wood pole structure for handlers/dogs to get out of the weather while waiting their turns. Had a roof and walls on three sides. We used remnants of his ancient barn, likely built in late 19th century. Some of the beams appeared to be hand split and shaved. Anyway, we used plenty of wood roof rafters, and covered them with plastic tarps he had used for hay. I thought it looked robust, but apparently neither of us were engineers. A heavy wet snow fell that winter, and then it rained on top of the melting snow. As I recall roofs of businesses and homes in the area were collapsing, and our hastily built shelter did, as well. Snow can absorb an amazing amount of water, making it incredibly heavy per cubic foot. He said, "It wasn't the snow, it was the rain", and he was right. Whether it be in the NW or South Carolina, reasonable light design can't survive an event that occurs maybe a couple times in 100 years.

 

Your new plans sound more substantial. You might consider having a long-poled snow roof-rake handy in winter months. That way you can pull-down some of the snow load before it builds-up too much. I would think they could be found online. Every hardware store sells them around here.

 

Nice idea to keep animals out of inclement weather. -- TEC

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That looks like a lot of work and money. Does she really hate the rain? I would just build a little shelter for yourself to be out of the rain! Spend the money to fence your entire yard so she has more room and you can be comfy in a covered area throwing her toys. :)

 

My dogs have always loved going out in all kinds of weather-rain (we were just walking in sideways blowing rain the other day) or snow (I love when we come in and he is almost entirely white with snow).

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Just learn from my mistake and use extra support under the PVC or to be on the safe side you can always remove the tarp from the frame during the time of the year it is more likely to have a chance of snowing.

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What an awesome idea! I'm going to me nudging my husband in this direction-- we're in NC and it gets pretty dang hot out here too in the summer.

 

Just learn from my mistake and use extra support under the PVC or to be on the safe side just remove the tarps from the frame during the time of year when it is most likely to have a chance of snowing.

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That's all very nice and a great deal of work, but how about just donning a raincoat (or other suitable wear) and taking your dog for a walk or a playtime? Or am I missing something?

 

It was some work but not as much as it might seem.

 

She likes to be out for an extended time and the uncovered yard can get muddy in many places, so it keeps a large area from getting drenched and suitable for staying outside for a while.

 

Also, being in direct sunlight here during the summer can get very uncomfortable very fast (especially with her black fur) and the shade from the canopy can make a big difference in how long we can play outside at a time.

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Sorry it collapsed under the snow. Sounds like an excellent set-up where no white stuff is expected. That type of awning is used extensively in the NW, primarily as a temporary seasonal structure for livestock to shade-up. They go up pretty quickly.

 

I helped a sheepdog trainer/mentor construct a wood pole structure for handlers/dogs to get out of the weather while waiting their turns. Had a roof and walls on three sides. We used remnants of his ancient barn, likely built in late 19th century. Some of the beams appeared to be hand split and shaved. Anyway, we used plenty of wood roof rafters, and covered them with plastic tarps he had used for covering hay. I thought it looked robust, but apparently neither of us were engineers. A heavy wet snow fell that winter, and then it rained on top of the melting snow. As I recall roofs of businesses and homes in the area were collapsing, and our hastily built shelter did, as well. Snow can absorb an amazing amount of water, making it incredibly heavy per cubic foot. He said, "It wasn't the snow, it was the rain", and he was right. Whether it be in the NW or South Carolina, reasonable light design can't survive an event that occurs maybe a couple times in 100 years.

 

Your new plans sound more substantial. You might consider having a long-poled snow roof-rake handy in winter months. That way you can pull-down some of the snow load before it builds-up too much. I would think they could be found online. Every hardware store sells them around here.

 

Nice idea to keep animals out of inclement weather. -- TEC

 

The rain adding a lot of weight to the snow does make a lot of sense.

 

Thanks for roof rake idea, but this recent rare heavy snow started while I was sleeping and had collasped about 2/3 the roof by the time I went to undo the tarps.

 

I think my idea for added support should be ok for the usual very light snow we might sometimes get, but I still might consider removing the tarps temporarily if any of that rare heavy snow is predicted again in the future.

 

I had hoped any snow would have mostly slid off such a curved roof, but it was the type of snow that stuck to even some side surfaces, so you can be sure I'll be more careful in the future :)

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That looks like a lot of work and money. Does she really hate the rain? I would just build a little shelter for yourself to be out of the rain! Spend the money to fence your entire yard so she has more room and you can be comfy in a covered area throwing her toys. :)

 

My dogs have always loved going out in all kinds of weather-rain (we were just walking in sideways blowing rain the other day) or snow (I love when we come in and he is almost entirely white with snow).

 

My dog loves to play in the snow (during the few very rare times we actually had enough snow to blanket the ground) and she does't mind light rain, but (usually) not heavy or driven rain.

 

The canopy keeps a large area from getting real muddy and messy (and thereby keeps us out of trouble with my wife from us tracking mud in the house :) ) but also makes it a lot more bearable to stay outside longer during the hot sunny summer days.

 

(during the summer in the sun her black fur really absorbs the heat, I could tell a big difference from when she was sitting next to me in the sun and when I petted her side facing the sun it was very noticeably warmer than the shady side, so being under the canopy in the shade can make a big difference, I remember last summer when it was so uncomfortable outside from the ot sun she was wanting to go back in the house after just a very short time)

 

It was not as much work as it might seem, and the PVC was not too expensive, and I found a place online where I got two large tarps (each 20x40, thought the finished size is a little shorter) for only about $38 each with free shipping.

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I would like to actually hear an update on your little darling! How are things going?

 

Thanks for asking G !

 

I didn't mean to go so long without posting here, life gets busier than usual sometimes, but I'm looking forward to retirement :)

 

Xena has been doing very well, she still has her occasional rowdy moments, but overall has much improved behavior.

 

Her recent yearly check up shows she is blessed with good health, the vet said just work on getting her to lose about 5 pounds so I am measuring out her food a little more carefully.

 

She is a smartie, very loving, and the vet made a comment saying she is sure a happy dog :)

 

I could go on and on about her unique mannerisms, ect,

 

(I'll see about posting some more recent pictures soon, and even a short video clip of her playing in the snow chasing snowballs)

 

She is a beloved member of our family.

 

So how are your darlings doing ?

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  • 4 weeks later...

We had a very rare heavy snow (very rare for our area) some weeks ago and it collapsed the PVC framing.

 

I put half of it back up and found out that very strong wind gusts can do the same so I put two vertical 1 1/2 inch PVC pipes to give the extra support needed to keep the PVC frame from flexing too much in wind gusts.

 

I had a lot of treated lumber from another past project we decided not to do for now and I am in the process of making a wood canopy frame starting from the far end. It will be covered with chicken wire and the other tarp will go on top of that.

 

I will eventually extend the wood frame further and further till the entire thing is a wood frame.

 

Here are some photos of the start of the wood frame as well as the PVC support posts to make the PVC part wind resistant in the meantime.

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I would like to think so :), but I do believe she feels loved and that she does appreciate the shade when the tarp is up because during the time it was back down before I got it back up again she would at times try to find whatever little patch of shade she could, like next to the plastic chair, or at the far end of the yard when the trees would start to offer some shade at that end of the yard when the sun was getting low enough.

 

(I just remembered her vet saying on a previous visit that Xena sure is a happy dog, so that was good to realize the vet pays attention to the emotional condition of the dogs as well as the physical stuff)

 

When she was sitting next to me in the sun I could feel a big difference in the temperature on her fur from the side facing the sun and the side facing away from the sun as her black fur absorbs heat much more easily, so it does not surprise me she likes to have some nice cooler shady areas to cool off after being in the sunny areas :)

 

(and of course there is the very nice benefit of having extended outdoor non-muddy play times even when it is raining :))

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Here are a couple of pics to show the progress so far on the wood frame (I still need to add ties to several of the rafters, as well as extend the framing closer to the halfway point for now)

 

 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Meant to do an update sooner, but been busy trying to get some other yard stuff done :)

 

Eventually I plan to extend the wood frame roof the rest of the way, but I am finished for now.

 

Here are some photos showing the finished (for now) wood frame as well as some photos showing the finished (for now) project with the tarp roof attached over the wood frame part connecting to the original PVC half left from the original project.

 

Xena definitely enjoys being in the shade on the hot sunny days :)

 

 

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Thanks !

 

(even though it was made for Xena, I'm in it with her regularly also to play Frisbee or ball with her and my wife calls it my "man cave", in fun of course :)

 

 

(I also plan on having a lounge chair in there so I also can relax in the shade outside after doing some yard work, and I plan on getting a raised canvas bed for Xena to lay on when she wants to relax after playing for a while :)

 

 

(I'll have to see about later on getting my wife to take a picture of me and Xena both relaxing in there, me on the lounge chair and Xena on her raised bed next to the lounge chair :)

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