In 1983, my dog Duchess got out or her fence in an absolutely bizarre and unexpected way and was killed on 31st Street even though both I and my best friend, Danny, were looking for her from almost the minute she got out. Now, though many years have passed, the thought of her untimely death still pains me greatly.

If you like animals and are willing to help as many as possible, the city is not the place to do it, not only because of the constant proximity of automobiles, but because not everyone loves animals the way I think they should.

Therefore, when I was able to move to the country or semi-country, it was a great blessing to me and my animals. I found a place in South Kansas City which was on a dead end street and had no neighbors on three sides for miles. It was a long way from any major street. It was a place where my dogs could be dogs without bothering anyone and where I could be fairly well assured that they would not be in danger even if they got out of their fence.

All of that came to an end, however, when the State of Missouri built 150 Highway in my back yard. To be fair, the highway is one hundred or so feet away from the edge of my fence, but still it is just a few seconds away from my fence in terms of what big dogs can do. Furthermore, the fence that the state built along the highway ends where the property where I live ends.

In short, my rather idyllic place to live turned into a nightmare of worry about what might happen if my dogs somehow got out of their fence - not to mention the constant noise from the highway and worry that road chemicals might eventually seep into the rock table above me and into my environment. Of course, as I update this post, all of my dogs have died, so that aspect of the highway is much less of a concern. I do love dogs and would like to have dogs again, but not without making sure I have a really good fence.