Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Visitors

We have a pet containment device called "Invisible Fence®." It is an electrical wire that marks a  border that activates a beep from a receiver on the dog's collar.  The dog has a few seconds to move back from the line to stop the beep or a mild electrical charge "zaps" her.

We had an invisible fence installed when our dog came into our lives eight years ago.  It runs generally all along our property borders.  The fence company taught us how to train the dog and even came to our home three or four times to work with us working with the dog.  Since then, she has never tried to cross the property line.

Various animal visitors have also learned where our pup's boundary is and occasionally taunt the daylights out of her.  There are a couple feral cats, several birds, and many squirrels that take great pleasure out of teasing the dog.  The cats and squirrels, possibly other animals, walk right along the other side of the line.  Our dog, Mariah, chases them but always stays on her side.  Birds will fly just above the ground from one line to its opposite and then light, waiting patiently for the dog to get there.  Then fly back, again challenging her.

I was reminded of all this the other evening when we heard a ruckus in the front yard.  On the other side of the line was a flock of turkeys.  Big turkeys.  Very big turkeys.

Mariah was trying her darndest to let them know they weren't welcome in her yard.  They paraded up and down the neighbor's driveway but didn't enter our yard.  We have taught Mariah that she won't get into any trouble for barking at intruders, animals or people, when they come into our yard, but she will be called into the house to quiet her for neighbors' sakes.

She has learned well and frequently tells the intruders to go away and then just turns and runs to the front porch where she knows we'll be waiting at the door.  She did that the other evening when those turkeys were deciding on where to go.  Once Mariah was in the house, the turkeys disappeared into nearby woods.

I didn't see an episode a few days before, but my wife tells everyone interested about what she calls a funny, funny sight.  She was outside as was the dog when a large duck came waddling up the driveway.  Before she had reached the line crossing the driveway, Mariah raced right to that line barking loudly and menacingly.  It did not scare the duck and it began running toward the dog.

The dog stopped barking, ears popped forward, and she turned and raced toward the front porch.  She obviously didn't want anything to do with that duck.  My wife laughs every time she tells the story.

Except perhaps those turkeys, which were getting their first impression of the 'vicious' animal nearby, I don't think there are too many animals in our neighborhood that have any fear of our hunting dog.