pro-forma ritual of household security
Friday, April 29 2011
Late this morning an ebullient UPS man pulled his big brown truck into our driveway to deliver a replacement for the Subaru's rotten and impossible-to-permanently-repair fuel filler pipe. As he did so, Eleanor and Sally charged towards him, barking and wagging their tails, partly as a pro-forma ritual of household security but also in excited anticipation of the biscuits that UPS delivery people usually carry. This was the first time we'd had a UPS delivery since I'd installed the invisible fence designed to keep Eleanor from attacking cyclists, and to get to the UPS delivery guy, Eleanor would have to cross into electrically-forbidden territory. She ran happily towards him, but after crossing the wire I saw her stop, turn around, and retreat. Evidently it was working, something that up until this point I couldn't necessarily take for granted. Though I do seem to recall her reacting somewhat to shocker collars in the past, Eleanor is not especially responsive to pain, and it would have been entirely possible that (at least in this stage of her life) even a persistent shocking in her throat wouldn't stop her. The fact that she seemed to observe the reality of the invisible gave me hope that she either is or soon will be over her habit of chasing cyclists. Indeed, she hasn't done more than look at the few cyclists that have come through since last Sunday, which indicates that perhaps she'd learned her lesson just from how mean I'd been to her immediately after the last time she'd chased a cyclist. Still, when she's in a mood to chase cyclists, she gets a demon look in her eye and charges as if by reflex. I'm nervous that a shocker collar won't be able to stop that kind of crazy.
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