Monday, September 29, 2008

Silence of the Dogs

Our Little Black Dog has been getting louder and louder, and higher and higher pitched with his 'I'm going for a ride in the car and I'm very excited' song.

It started out funny and cute, but has been getting harder and harder to take, although you'd reckon that with the residual hearing difficulty that I'm experiencing after this 'flu that I'd be fine. I haven't been, and the LBD doesn't stop for anything - there is no command that will make him cease and desist, and turning the stereo up to drown him out only works if I'm in the mood for whatever CD I forgot to take out of the car last time I felt like music on a trip.

During the weekend I'd had enough.

Some years ago I'd borrowed a friend's anti-barking collar (a collar that she had for her dog - I'm confused about the possessive - it was a collar belonging to her, but for the dog so should that properly be 'a friend's dog's anti-barking collar'? Nevermind. You know what I mean). It was a static one as opposed to the citronella ones that I would have preferred, but what do I want for nothing? Particularly as not all dogs respond to collars, and I didn't want to fork out heaps of money for something that may not work.

Not wanting to electrocute the LBD, I tried it on me first, and was reassured to feel that even the higher settings were no worse than a combination of the sensation of being zapped by static electricity getting out of the car on a windy day, and the unpleasant buzzing feeling when a physiotherapist uses that strange electrode machine on me. That was physiotherapist, not psychotherapist. Just so that's clear.

It is, however, a surprise when I'm digging around in the LBD's cupboard for a brush or something and accidently get myself with it unexpectedly. It's the surprise and discomfort, not the pain. I was fine with that on the LBD's behalf. After all, the point is that it is unpleasant so that he stops. I also like that it sets itself down a setting if he stops barking/singing for a certain period of time. And he has additional protection provided by the Border Collie mane around his face, and down his little white chest.

So, dog in the car, collar on the dog, people in the car and off we went. It didn't trigger for the little squeaky noises, and that was entirely fine. I don't have a problem with the little squeaky noises.

Then there was a soaring crescendo of canine chorale, culminating in a note I'm not certain any soprano of my acquaintance could reproduce. In fact, I'm not certain I could hit it on my flute, even if I could remember the fingering for the top octave. I'm surprised the windows of the car didn't shatter, and I'm glad that I don't carry crystal goblets around with us. And that was that. Silence. Beautiful silence.

How sorry am I for ending the vocal career of our LBD?
...Approximately Not At All

(No animals were injured during the making of this post. Slightly uncomfortable, very surprised, but not injured.)


Givinya De Elba said...

Hello Jen, Loved this post! "Beautiful silence" is an attractive prospect. And you say they only makes these contraptions for dogs? Hm. Well. Nevermind.

Hippomanic Jen said...

You can borrow it whenever you would like. Afterall, you do have a dog. I know this. But wouldn't you prefer the one that has a button that you can set it off with. BAD SONNY (, I mean Puppity Doggity)

Crazy Sister said...

I just love that you tried it on yourself first! That's responsible pet ownership!

You're such a funny writer.

Dee said...

Wow, it worked? Mum is using a collar on her Border Collie, it emits a high pitch beep, not sure if its woking toally, she barked at me today and I heard it go off. I think a zapper might work on her.