Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How to Zap-A-Dog Yet Again, Pepe (a.k.a. "Even more Electrical Problems")

Monday night we went to see the new Trek film. I met the wife at the hospital and we drove to the movies from there in her car. On the way home, she lamented that she wished we didn't have to go back to pick up my car, cause that would add another ten minutes to the trip home.

"How bout I just take you to work in the morning and pick up my car then?" I offered. She accepted.

In the morning, we got ready to go and decided to pop by Biscuit World on the way. We decided to let Sadie ride along, because she's a big fan of Biscuit World ever since the day the lady at the drive-through line fed her six pieces of bacon. This act of generosity permanently marked the location on Sadie's internal map of great places to go. She piled in the back of the wife's car, the wife got in the front and I was about to climb in when I remembered I'd not turned off the wireless fence. I stepped back inside, flipped the switch and then went back to the garage where I was met with a series of painful yips and yipes coming from the car. The wife didn't know what was going on at first and thought perhaps the dog had found a bee in the car. I knew instantly, though, that it was Sadie's shock collar.

As she's been taught, Sadie dashed out of the car, no doubt thinking it had somehow become off limits despite its lack of warning flags, and began dancing wildly around the interior of the garage.

Now what I should have done was run back inside and switch the transmitter on again. What I did instead was rush into the garage and try to capture the dog to remove her collar. This was far easier in concept than execution, because the dog was jumping around, fearfully trying to get away from whatever was attacking her and looking at us both in confusion as to what wrong she'd done to deserve such a fate. Within a few seconds I had captured her, but couldn't find the clasp on the collar and managed to get shocked a couple of times in my search for it. Once I got it off, the thing continued to buzz until its 30 second time limit ran out.

My theory on why the collar had begun to shock her is that the wireless fence, when switched off, sends a signal to the collar to go into standby mode, not shocking the dog until such a time as the transmitter signal (or that of another transmitter) is detected. I further think that the metal of the car's frame may have interfered with that signal reaching the collar, so when the transmitter stopped the collar deduced that it was now outside of the boundary and began to shock the dog.

So, reissued memo to self: remember to take the damned collar OFF before going anywhere.
As for my Trek review...

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