I suppose you are all wondering whatever happened to Sandy’s electric fence?
As you know, I bought it a couple of months ago and brought it home to examine.
The first thing I realised was that I didn’t have enough wire. There is a little transmitter that is mounted in the house, and connections on it for two wires. The idea is that you feed a single strand out of one connection and run it around the perimeter of your acreage and then back into the second connection.
I had one hell of a job finding the right wire to complete the loop, but as you know, I found it eventually.
I connected the new wire to the old and carried on around the perimeter until I came back to the transmitter. I connected the wire. I switched on. Nothing happened. Eventually I traced the fault back to the connection I had made between the two wires, and that of course was in the middle of a bramble bush. Many scratches and much blood later, I got the little light on the transmitter to glow. Great! Now to try it out.
There is a little tester that can be connected to the dog collar to see if it’s working.
The only thing I could think of was that the battery in the collar was dead, so I removed it and started on another marathon hunt. It transpired that the battery is a very unusual size and no one stocked it.
After trying countless supermarkets, hardware shops, chemists and others I eventually found a solution. Instead of using the battery I was supposed to use, I made one up out of a little stack of those fiddly little silver pellet batteries. I found a size, that if I stuck four of them on top of each other, I would have the right voltage and a perfect fit. I stuck them together with sticky tape and put them in the collar. It worked perfectly!
Now the next problem I had was the small matter of training.
When I got the box originally, there was a DVD in it with full training instructions. Of course it was American, and in true American fashion, they assumed that we all have “yards” with no fences. why the fuck do they call them “yards”? Yards are for rubbish and storing timber and the like. Anyway the bloke in the video had planted the wire around the perimeter of his “yard” and proceeded to teach the dog that any time it approached the perimeter that it was time to turn back. My problem was that my perimeter was all brambles, nettles, bushes and undergrowth and there was no point in trying to teach Sandy that she wasn’t to stroll through that lot, as she wouldn’t try anyway. She’s not fucking stupid. I could have tried training her that she wasn’t to approach the area where she usually got out, but she knew that was verboten too.
In the end I just said fuckit and stuck the collar on her and let her loose.
She was out in the garden for about three minutes before I heard the first scream. It worked!!! Ten minutes later, I heard the second yelp from a different direction and a little puff of blue smoke arose from behind a rose bush. This was good stuff.
Since then she is very wary about approaching any of the boundary. She hasn’t been out on the road since.
I did have a couple of small problems. To complete my wire loop, I had to run it around the outside of the house, and in a couple of places the signal reaches indoors. This means that Sandy’s collar beeps at her and give a warning even when she is inside the house.
We have had a very happy couple of weeks.
Sandy is free to wander the estate without being watched. She loves the freedom. Every now and then she comes across another loop of the wire and comes in somewhat chastened and smelling of singed dog-hair.
Pity about her food though.
Her feeding dish happens to be in one of the signal areas.
I keep meaning to move it, but I keep forgetting.
All in all, I would call the dog fence a
yelping roaring success.