Monday, March 30, 2009

My Awful Dilemma

Today I have to report that I spent the weekend doing what I said I would never do. My husband and I installed... an underground fence. But I suppose a little back story is required here, so here it goes...

For the most obvious of reasons, I am no fan of the "electrified fence." I love my dogs like children for heaven's sake! Why on Earth would I want to send an electric shock coursing through their little bodies? It seems so sadistic and unkind! After all... I live on thousands, nae millions of acres, where my dogs should be able to run free... right? I remember when I was a kid, growing up on a farm in North Georgia, we had electric fence to keep in the cows. I remember being horrified at the thought of that... not understanding the destruction a cow could do to ones valuables not to mention the harm it could do to itself... and I would often think of how terrible it would be if said cow, stupid as they can be, got stuck in the fencing! I remember envisioning some scene out of "Frankenstein" with a mutant, block-headed cow roaming the pasture... frightening the other livestock. Again I digress... why do I do that? So, even though it's not quite the same as electric fencing... it still serves the same purpose, to create a barrier for the animal. Didn't I move here for my dogs to live the country life? Didn't I dream of the day they could run free

Well, the problem is Ruby..........

Ruby was bred to RUN! She is faster than fast (bred to run down a deer,) and very well camouflaged in the woods. And, part of that instinct to run down said prey means that Ruby wants to chase! So, here enters the problem! I am fighting nature and admiring it at the same time. Isn't her graceful leap and run behavior one of the reasons I fell in love with her kind to begin with? Of course it is.... but, she has started giving chase to cars! So here is the thorn in my side...

We have about 300 feet of frontage on a gravel road that dead ends in the National Forest boundary. Seems harmless enough right? I mean you can barely even see the road and when the trees leaf out it's almost impossible! But, Ruby is a dog... not a little person in a fur coat... thanks Cesar!http://http// And, I can't reason with her. From time to time we do get the occasional car that drives down our road... maybe looking for access to the forest or UPS delivering goodies... and it is these rare occasions that present grave danger to a dog like Ruby. My UPS guy reports that Ruby is the fastest and "scariest" dog he has ever seen. He knows what a sweetie she is now but, he got the scare of his life, the first time she jumped out of the woods into plain sight and gave chase down the road. Of course I fear that she will trip and end up under the tires of the truck... that's why we are doing this. But, I also have to fear those who don't know her. See, Weimaraners were bred to protect their people. They look fierce and can be fierce if they think their people are in danger. Many a delivery guy and handyman have seen this first hand. So, I worry that if someone is walking down the road, looking for the George Washington... I mean "Ruby's" National Forest... that they may be seen as a threat to Ms. Ruby.Believe me she is so sweet... and I don't think she would ever hurt a soul... but this is a liability that we all carry as dog owners, and we better take our responsibility seriously!

So, we are installing the fence. So, far... the Springer brothers don't stray too far and are not a concern, so they won't need to wear the receiver collar. And, Ruby will not be restricted on the whole property... she is only being denied access to the road... the rest is still open to her. And I will have to come to terms that sometimes we must do the difficult thing to produce something good. If she becomes a "Frankendog" in the process... I'll be sure to blog and let ya'll know.


  1. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog. I love your blog too. It seems like you are new to it but it looks great! You have such cute dogs.

    I look forward to coming back and visiting.

  2. Well, I am here to check out your site, very cute. My daughter had to install a wireless fence for her Cocker Spainel and we just recently got a collar for my little Sophie who will be a year old next week. It only took one shock per dog for them to know what the beep means.....look out because you're about to get shocked. My poor Sophie jumped in my car which blocked the signal and got shocked and she couldn't figure out why and ran under the trailer full of shingles whimpering. I about cried for her. We also love our dogs almost as much as our daughter. We had to had our beloved Blackie put to sleep in January, he had prostate cancer and it about killed us. He was the absolute best dog ever, hands down. I will be back to keep up with your blog for sure.

    I just noticed it's you, your husband, son and three dogs. Well, it is my, my hubby, daughter and three dogs.....and two cats...........and two birds................and 13 daycare kids.

    Oh, and me and my hubby do sleep with my little Sophie. Shadow at 146 pounds is too big, and Motley can't jump up on our daughters HIGH bed:(

  3. Hi Rachel! Thanks for visiting my blog! How old is your Ruby? She is a beauty! Sadie is 6 years old...we rescued her last year, she needed to be re homed because her former owners were moving to PA. She's a bit overweight and we are working on that, due to the fact that she was not spayed and has a lot of loose skin around her belly we think she may have been bred a few times. We absolutely love her...she does have separation anxiety really bad and doesn't run away when we let her loose on the trails...unless she sees a bunny....LOL.

    Where she used to live she was always kept outside with another dog...a Dalmatian. Since living with us she has become quite the INSIDE dog...I also have 2 cats, once of which dislikes Sadie a lot!

    Does Ruby hog the couch like our Sadie does? How wonderful that Ruby has a pack....I really enjoyed your blog!



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