Thursday, July 8, 2010

If a dog screams in the forest...

Okay, so before you judge me for using shock collars on my dog, let me just explain that we have exhausted every other option. Shock collars are a second to last ditch effort (last ditch being large amounts of quaaludes and martinis), and only meant for obstinate little brats like Maybe. Also, a little refresher in case you didn't know, our dog Maybe has been attacking our other dog Buster for the last seven months. Let me also justify my actions further by saying that Buster is not the only dog Maybe has attacked, so we felt it was necessary to deal with her aggression problems in general.

Anyway, so we got these collars. Only $260 on ebay, a steal, I know. Two come in the pack, and they have a remote with two buttons, one programmed for each collar. When our militant trainer, Scott, came over to show us how to use them, we first had to determine the "threshhold" for each dog, or the level at which the dog reacts to the shock. The collars go from level 1 to 127, so it's a pretty wide range. Maybe's ear twitched a little at 26, so Scott decided that was the minimum she would need to correct her behavior. Buster, on the other hand, spun his head around and then rolled over on his back at 18, so either he's a drama queen or a big sissy, although the two are not mutually exclusive.

We gave the dogs the opportunity to roam around the living room a little bit with the collars on, something they have not done since January. Scott had control of the remote so we could watch how he handled the inevitable brawl. Sure enough, Maybe attacked Buster after about five minutes, and after that, my memory is kind of a blur. It happens so quickly, it's like a Viet Cong guerilla attack. The only problem now is that Buster is actually bigger than Maybe by about 10 pounds, so he had her pinned in a matter of seconds. There was gnashing of teeth and clumps of fur flying all over the place, and this whole time, one wouldn't have even noticed that Scott was lighting Maybe up like a Christmas tree. Ultimately, he had to turn the collar up to level 75 before she even started slowing down so he could break them up, and I'll tell you what, I have never heard a noise like that come out of a dog. It was like this hiss-gurgle-scream, and she was reeeeeeeeeaaally pissed. However, I can't deny the fact that after she was struck by lightning, she didn't so much as bat an eyelash at Buster for the rest of the night. So thanks be to God that Benjamin Franklin harnessed the power of electricity so that I could live out my yuppie dream of having tiny dogs that like to snuggle.

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