Thursday, December 12, 2013

Invisible Fences Suck

We had quite the horrifying experience tonight. I took the girls out for a short run (we have a few inches of snow on the ground now and it was about 13 degrees, so yes, I'm nuts) and something terrible happened when we were only about a half block from home.

A car drove past us and just after it went by I heard this horrible noise. My first thought was that it was like what it sounds like when you drive over one of those large snow/ice chunks that falls from the wheel wells this time of the year, but I hadn't seen anything like that in our path on the road. I turned around to look and my stomach sank as I saw a dog rolling out from in front of the car.

I stood there dumbstruck not knowing how to react to what had just happen. The person in the car also had no idea what to do as they stopped and didn't move for some time. We both watched the dog get up and run around the corner with its hind end tucked under him. Thankfully the owner popped her head out to call him inside at that point and I got to be the person to tell her that her dog had just been hit by a car. I felt so bad for her.

I couldn't just ignore what had happened, so I ran the girls home, chucked them in the door and then ran back to the house. The owners were coming back outside (dressed this time) to look for him, as the dog ("Sam") had not come home. I explained what had happened and that's when they told me about the invisible fence that was supposed to be keeping their dog safe. It would seem that the battery has died.

I hate those things. Hate them, hate them, hate them. In my years at the shelter and anywhere else anyone ever brings them up, I do not hesitate to share my full opinion of them -- and now I guess I have another story to back that up. Tonight's failure aside, they will never keep things OUT of your yard and thus they are NOT a safe alternative to a solid fence. Ever. They are too prone to failure. There are too many dogs that will take the shock to get to what they want. It's just not worth the risk. If you can't put up a solid fence for whatever reason, use a tie-out and supervise your dog.

We found Sam about a block in the other direction. There were some other people who saw him out running and were trying to catch him, but he was terrified and wouldn't let anyone touch him. He did eventually come running when he realized it was his family calling for him and thankfully he appeared to be moving okay. I told them to keep an eye on him and hopefully they will take him into the vet to get checked out.

In other news, I took Kizzy and Kaiser to open ring time at Family Dog Center again last night. Someone had moved some stuff around, but I found the course maps from Sunday and was able to set the Elite Regular course (with the exception that I left the set of 6 weaves because I was lazy). At first I thought it was going to be another private ring rental for us because nobody was there, but thankfully someone did show up after our first spin through the course -- and it was the best thing for us because it was a dog that SET KIZZY OFF.

I have no idea who they were, as I've never seen them before. I guess she doesn't compete, but she should because the dog ran really nice. I was just switching dogs when they came in and when Kizzy saw the black lab she started screaming like you would not believe. Thankfully they seemed to think it was funny, but it was a little embarrassing...

I had Kizzy's attention for about three obstacles before she bolted out of the ring to investigate. The other dog's handler was able to keep his head up so that he wouldn't eat the annoying little dog running around at his feet and I was able to eventually round Kizzy up and go back into the ring. I made that turn very short and just ran the perimeter of the ring with her and praised her oodles and oodles.

On her next (final) turn into the ring Kizzy did stop to look out of the ring a few times, but for the most part she was super awesome (and made it through the Elite course perfectly, I might add!). It was a good experience for her -- we need more dogs like that one to show up while we are working and Kizzy needs to figure out that leaving the ring doesn't get her out of anything. I hate that she's learned she can squeeze under the ring gating....

Kaiser was his super-duper awesome self. Man, a few years ago who would have ever thought he'd become the dog he is today?  :o)

I set up a ring rental for Saturday so that everyone can come and play. I know that the same course will be set, so I might try to find something AKC or USDAA that has the contacts in those locations and set up something different. I already told Travis I'll need him to help me pull out the teeter, as it's been quite a while since Kizzy has seen that now. I'll also need to pull out the chute since she hasn't seen that away from home yet. Should be fun!

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