Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Zap! and I'm a Be-och

We finally broke down the other day and installed an electric fence for the dogs. Well, really, it's only for our young dog, Baci - the older one, Tyler, doesn't wear the collar needed to activate it because he's not a freakin' Houdini dog. Plus, he's well-behaved, and too old to be such a troublemaker. Baci, however, has been continually getting out since we moved in, and getting bolder each time it happens! He jumped the stone wall, so we put up the fence and dealt with the corresponding debacle. He figured out that there was a space behind the lilac bush in the corner of our backyard, wedged beside the garage, so we put up a blockade. He shoved it aside over a period of days (I imagine, since I can't see behind the shrub without crawling back there) and got out again. I piled leftover landscaping stones in front of the space. He made a new one. And so on.

The real problem here is that the fence on that side of the yard is our neighbor's ancient decorative wire fence. Since their yard is higher than ours, most of that side of our yard is bordered by a 2ft retaining wall and then the fence on top of it, which so far had been working out. In two places, however, their yard meets ours at ground level, and the previous owner's dog had already started the busting-through process (evidently their dog was out ALL the time), so ours just continued it. I know if I had continued the wire-fence fight, he would have just found another spot, and another, and another. So, we gave up and installed the invisible fence. It's just a wire that runs the perimeter of the yard, and extends to include our front porch, and he wears a special collar with two small, dull prongs on it that, when he gets too close to the wire, give him a shock. I put it on the lowest setting, and tried it on my own hand first - it's not painful, just surprising (hence the term shock, I guess).

Anyway, I still feel like a shit. I mean, the fence isn't in a place where he'll get shocked unless he tries to get too close to the regular fence, like within about six inches, so he doesn't feel it unless he does something naughty, but he's been zapped a few times so far. The first couple of times he was just terrified, and then spent the rest of the night looking at me reproachfully and avoiding me. He wouldn't leave if I went to him, but he didn't follow me like he usually does, and there was no laying at my feet that night. I wish I could explain to him that this is much, much better than him getting hit by a car, or lost.

The evil side of me wishes that there was something like this for kids. As in, if they fight, ZAP! If they sass me, zap zap! And if they hit each other, they light up like Christmas trees! Bwahahahahaha!!!!!! And THEN ... oh.... ahem! what was I saying? Oh, yes, the dogs. Right.

Anyway, yesterday seemed better, and he wasn't totally terrified of the yard. I can tell he's still wary, though, and he's still a little scared of the front porch. I'm hoping it will wear off soon. I don't want him to be scared, and I'm actually hoping that we won't need the collar forever, although he already knows the difference between having it and not, and acts differently when it's off, so we'll see. Just like a kid when its parents aren't looking.


Swistle said...

I would love SO MUCH to have something like this for the kids. So much.

Creative Kerfuffle said...

i almost peed my pants laughing at that. i have twins of your dogs evidently--the old one and the houdini. the hubs built a little dog lot inside our fenced in yard and so far she's not figured out how to escape. i love the idea of shock collars for the kids. really, that would be great. shock collars and microchips so when they get older you know where they are 24/7.

Kelsey said...

I would like to use one of those for our dog, but we live on a pretty busy street and I don't trust him with it - he's too impulsive. Fortunately he doesn't do any escape trick with our fence.

Kristin.... said...

Oh yes, let's work to design one for the kids. Partners? :)

Erin said...

The title of this post made me laugh OUT LOUD when I realized what the post was about. Haha! Don't worry, your pup will be just fine. It's for his own good in the long run... way better than getting smooshed by a car.