Thursday, February 17, 2011


It was bound to happen.

I got a call this afternoon from a local well-digger, who was finally ready to come fix SurvivalDave's well. SurvivalDave is my (geographically) closest neighbor - I rarely see him, but he now owns free-and-clear the useful parts of an adjoining parcel of desert land that some family including him fixed up for Y2K, then let fall to ruin. Family conflicts ensued, and through a long, painful process SD ended up owning the part that contains the (now decayed) infrastructure. He's been trying to get it back into shape.

The well guys wanted me to come unlock one of the utility sheds, so they could work on the well. SD gave me the key to it some months ago. So I loaded the boys into the Jeep, went and did that little chore, and came home.

LB, for reasons probably very clear to him, made a break for the meadow. I called him - he ignored me. I called him with anger in my voice - his speed increased. I reached for the zapper gadget in my pocket. I pushed the first button - the one marked "non-lethal."


As I mentioned earlier, I was very interested to observe the effect of the shock collar on LB, and now being in plain but receding sight LB gave me a perfect observation platform. He didn't yelp, roll around, burst into flame, become a big, black, furry barbecue before my eyes, or do any of the horrific things I'd half feared.

But he sure did stop.

He looked around, clearly wondering what had just hit him. Then - you could almost see him shrug - he started moving forward again. I called him. He kept moving.


He stopped. He didn't know what this was, but it wasn't on the script and it wasn't nice. He looked back at me. I called him again, finger still hovering over the button.

He turned around and trotted back to me. I praised him mightily, and let him inside.

I gotta get me one of these.


MamaLiberty said...

Kool! Now if we could just figure out how to attach a similar collar to each and every politician.

The big fight would, however, be to see who gets to hold the remote. LOL

Joel said...

Actually, ML, we'll have to manufacture remotes by the gross because everybody will want one.

We can save money on them, though, because that model won't need the settings wheel. They'll just come from the factory locked on "11".

Plug Nickel Outfit said...

That's gotta' be satisfying - the way that collar worked. I remember going into a pet shop around 20 years ago looking for one of those collars for my willful dog. The two people behind the counter looked at me like I was trying to buy a bunch of puppies to skin and sew into a coat. I even bothered to explain to them that I was going to try it on myself before I tried it on my critter - still just reproachful glares all the way out the door. I notice you didn't try this unit on yourself, Joel - or if you did - you didn't choose to entertain us with that tale!

Anonymous said...

Plug Nickel Outfit,

Sigh. Nothing much changes. I've been on discussion lists focused on certain willful breeds of dog, and the debate over shock collars (for either bark control or long-distance obedience training) still gets emotional.

I've never used the type of collar Joel is using -- but it sounds like a great way of handling LB, under the circumstances.

I've used an electronic anti-bark collar -- and like you tried it out on myself first. OUCH. But sometimes, for some dogs, OUCH is the only thing that'll get through their heads, sorry to say.

I've also used electronic fences (in conjunction with physical fences, for dogs who tend to jump or dig out), which use shock collars. Despite the fact that the entire idea of those is to train the dog to heed the warning tone and never actually get shocked people still go nuts.

MamaLiberty said...

Yes, Joel... the 11 setting sounds about right. And the more remotes the better!

I had electric fence on my little farm and it worked well for the horses and cattle, but the goats tended to challenge it at every opportunity. They were generally smart enough not to touch it with their noses or other tender parts, and could actually bring it down if they worked on it. I spent each morning looking for the condemned section of fence, and fixing it.

I had a big buck once. He seemed to like the buzz of the electricity and would spend quite a while each day with a horn laying on the top wire. But one day he happened to pee when he was doing that and hit the bottom wire with it. The resulting explosion of sight and sound is something I'll remember the rest of my life. I felt sorry for him, but it WAS darned funny.

He never went anywhere near that wire again.

The Grey Lady said...

Joel for your amusement: Mounting evidence that some folks overindulge their pets or signs of the apocalypse? A toy every dog needs...apparently.

Beware things that are seen can not be unseen.

The Grey Lady said...

Just because you were talking about doggie gadgets and aids. :O)