Thursday, May 7, 2009

Zapping-A-Dog Yet Again

I've discovered some more bits of advice for owners of the wireless fence: it's a good idea to remove the correction collar when taking your dog ANYWHERE outside of your yard regardless of whether or not you first remembered to turn off the transmitter--but especially if you didn't

Couple of examples...

My dog is fond of daily walks in my neighborhood, but there are a couple of different routes I can take her on depending on my mood. One is downhill for the first half, then back up, and the other is uphill for the first half, then back down. Since installing the wireless fence, we've only gone the downhill route, which passes by fewer houses than the uphill route. A couple days back, I took her out (making certain to turn off the transmitter first) and we went the uphill route. Everything was fine on our way up the hill, but upon our return trip, Sadie strayed too close to the property line of a neighbor who, it turns out, has the wired version of the invisible fence installed. Sadie stepped onto his driveway and crossed the wire he'd embedded in it, which put her in the warning zone of his yard. Her collar immediately began beeping, causing Sadie to freak out because she didn't know which way to run. I didn't realize what was happening, at first, because I had my earbuds in, but I could see the dog was distressed, made the proper deduction and unhooked her collar without shocking myself.

Example Two: Sadie LOVES to go on car rides. So while the weather is still fairly cool, I've been taking her on all my errands. One day, two weeks back, I decided my car had reached the saturation point of exterior filth and was in need of a scrubbing. I thought it would be fun to go through a car wash and see what Sadie thought of it. I paid the automated system and drove into the car wash, and it started up, at which point Sadie freaked out. She whined and growled and barked as the rag rollers began slapping against the windshield and roof. After a few seconds of this, though, she leaped from the back seat into the front and climbed into the front passenger floor, where she curled up, practically burying her head beneath her paws. She only stayed there for a few seconds, though, before jumping into the back seat again, where she worriedly growled at the massive creatures attacking the car, then jumped back in the front floor. This happened three or four times during the process, but we were sort of in it for the long haul at that point, so I could only pet her try and reassure her that it was okay and that she was a good dog. We think the front passenger floor is her place of refuge, because that's where she used to always ride when she was a small puppy and that's where we found her cowering one day this winter when we parked near the door of a Cracker Barrel and suspect she was startled by the other customers walking past the car or by someone trying to talk to her through the window.

Jump ahead to yesterday. I have an errand, I have a dog that wants to go, I let her in the car, back out of the garage and head down the driveway like normal. Just past the warning flags, Sadie wedged herself atop the arm rest between the two front seats, right in my way.

"Get in the back," I told her. She didn't budge. "Get in the back!" I said, pushing her with my elbow. She remained. "Get in the damned back!!" I shouted. This time, she leaped between the seats and hopped into the front passenger floor, where she spun around facing me, then sat down in her best straight-backed "LOOK, I'M BEING A GOOD DOG" pose and appeared very very concerned. Only then did I notice the beepbeepbeepbeepbeep coming from her collar and realized I'd forgotten to turn off the transmitter.

I stopped the car, pulled the collar off of her and then spent a minute apologizing, saying things like "I'm sorry, I'm sorry! Pa did not mean to shock a dog!" while she did the I'm a Good Dog dance all over the front seat.

No comments: