Monday, August 18, 2008

More on Nelson...

I’m not really sure what’s up with Nelson - looking back there have been a couple of red flags that could have indicated that he might have wanted to snack on a neighbor kid. But in all honesty, he put all his heart into telling that boy to go HOME the other day.

Nelson and the other two members of the Shih Zhu Brigade share an invisible fence; they have a huge area in which to roam, play and do their business. All together they have over one and half acres to romp on, which is tons for three miniscule dogs and their favorite pastime is Patrol.

Patrol involves lots of running, and barking menacingly at any man or beast that dares to walk or bike within their sight line. One sounds the first bark alarm, then the other two high-tails it over and joins in. They bounce right up to the boundary of their fence and they know exactly where the zone is – how they can hear the warning beep over the barking is beyond me, but they can.

I’m a big fan of the show The Dog Whisperer and thinking over how Cesar would address this problem with Nelson, I’m thinking that Patrol is a contributing factor to Nelson’s problem. I’m guessing in his little doggie brain that he sees the yard as his turf and safe zone and everything beyond is just scary. Without realizing it, we’ve allowed him to become very territorial and anything that steps into the yard is a threat to him.

Because Nelson has had this huge area to play in and two constant buddies at his side, I have neglected to take him for walks. Walks and exercise are something that Cesar is a big on, while Nelson is very active and plays outside a lot, he rarely goes on walks. So, I’ve starting walking him in hopes that it will help to burn off some excess energy and to help him see that the world on the other side of the underground fence is pretty cool too. Nelson gets to go places quite a bit, but always in a vehicle, so in addition, I also hope that by walking he’ll see that people that he sees from the yard are friends and not foe.

But of course, we hit a small snafu with our new walking regimen. When we first installed Nelson’s underground fence we had the “volume” on his collar, so to speak, turned relatively low. So, if I wanted to take Nelson on a walk, or to a neighbor’s house I could simply hold Nelson really high over my head and lift him out of the zapping zone of his fence. Well, a few months ago he started breaking through his fence to follow Rea when she left on her bike, so Danny had to turn his collar up and I didn’t realize that I could no longer lift him out of the zone.

Well…let’s get say both Nelson and I are very aware of that fact now. And Nelson thinks DAMMIT.

I’m truly worried by this development with Nelson – Danny, Rea and I love him so. (Syd not so much.). The thought of not having him around – I can’t even go there. And, I don’t want to limit him from playing with Scout and Trooper at will, but am afraid that may happen. Obviously Patrol will have to be monitored or eliminated completely, I just have to figure out a way to do that. One thing at a time.

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