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Let’s Talk About Aggressive Dogs and E-collars

Bee chair

We finally broke down and put an e-collar aka shock collar on Bee last night. We’ve witnessed aggressive behavior on several occasions, but we were easily able to correct her. Her outburst yesterday was way over the top. Frankly, yesterday’s behavior qualifies her as a borderline red zone dog because it was dangerous.

Mason and I were sitting on the deck, enjoying the pleasant temperatures of a late summer evening. As usual, Meadow, Adriana, and Bee were throwing down in the mosh pit. Occasionally, we’d glance at the dogs playing, but mostly we were enjoying the sounds of the numerous birds chattering back and forth, the cicada’s underlying buzz.

Adriana’s frightened screeching broke through our peaceful evening like a car alarm. From my chair, I saw Bee on top of Ade. I don’t know what started it, but Bee clamped onto her neck and whipped Ade’s head back and forth. Our deck sits at the top of the yard, about fourteen feet off the ground. Bee and Ade were fifty yards away. It took Mason fifteen seconds to get off the deck and down to the yard. The whole time Ade’s screaming got louder and louder. Those fifteen seconds felt like a hundred years, every second ticking like a decade.

Finally, he grabbed Bee, wrenched her off Ade. Adriana bolted for the rusting swing set, taking cover under the sliding board. The second Mason released Bee, she shot at Ade, clenched onto her ruff and shook her like a ragdoll. Some trigger had gone off in Bee and she wasn’t stopping until she inflicted pain. Bee outweighs Ade by twenty pounds. And Ade isn’t a fighter. She assumed the same submissive pose wolves have assumed for hundreds of years, crouching down on her back. But Bee wouldn’t stop. Ade’s weakness only infuriated her. She just kept attacking.

By the time Mason got Ade in his arms, I was in the yard, my sight zeroed on Bee, who circled Mason and Ade. I tried grabbing her, but Bee is way faster and easily skirted my reach. Even with Ade in Mason’s arms, Bee wasn’t done. The moment she lunged at Ade, I got a hold of her and threw her down, pinning her against the ground. I’m not a strong woman, but adrenaline is like a power surge, and someone was hurting my girl. Bee instantly submitted.

As soon as we got everybody inside and calmed down, Mason dusted off the e- collar and strapped it on Bee. I’m thrilled to report that Ade is fine. Her neck was pretty bloody last night, but the wound isn’t nearly as bad as it initially looked. She’s been avoiding Bee, but who could blame her? As far as Bee is concerned, I’m worried about her future. Who is going to want a dog with that kind of trigger? Who is going to be responsible enough to handle a dog like her? Ninety percent of rescue agencies in the United States won’t accept a dog with aggression issues. In the worst cases, euthanizing them is the only option.

I’m trying to remain hopeful about the e-collar. I keep thinking about Todd Langston’s advice. He says e-collars can produce amazing results, even with the toughest dogs. Let’s hope he’s right because I don’t even want to think about the alternative.

Shady Update


I think our foster puppy Shady Shae might have found a home, and we haven’t even put her up for adoption yet. When we were driving up the Pacific Coast earlier this month, she stayed with Judy. Judy also fosters dogs for ICHBA. Like us, she recently lost an elderly pack member and another one isn’t far from the Rainbow Bridge.

In the five days I was away, Shady wormed her silly little self right into Miss Judy’s heart. Judy said having her around was like, “a breath of fresh air.” She asked me if I’d “mind” letting Shady live with her so our ear-licking, couch-pooping puppy can win over Judy’s husband. I told her that of course I minded. But I’m thrilled for Shady. I can’t imagine it’s going to take very long before we hear an official announcement. I’ll keep you posted.

Shady Shae aka Q-tip

Shea tongue

Each morning our foster dog Shady Shae jumps on my head and sticks her tongue down my ear. If I let her work on it for too long, she’ll start nibbling on my lobe. Shady loves cleaning out ears. I’ve caught her cleaning out Meadow, Ade, and Dawn’s ears on multiple occasions. And she won’t stop until they give her the warning growl, like “knock it off, kid.” Me? Well, I’m queen freak. I let her go at it until I get out of bed. She’s cuter than any Q-tip.

Shady Throwing Down in the Mosh Pit

My office has one window. It looks over the backyard aka the mosh pit. Mason has threatened more than once to turn my desk around. Whenever he walks by my office door, I’m never writing but staring outside. He’s got a point. But who could blame me? Over the last two weeks it’s been a particularly entertaining view. I watched our foster puppy Shady Shae learn about throwing down in the mosh pit:






Farnival Update

DSC_0838(Shae Daisy a.k.a.Shady)

The last month has been crazy. Between Dessie dying, working in Denver, and my vacation, I am so behind on schoolwork that I need to shut everything off for the next two weeks and make catching up a priority. I’m sorry y’all but I’m really overwhelmed, and it’s important to me to do well during my last semester. Heck, I even told Donna I can’t participate in Shady’s now weekly trips to the library! Yep. That little shit is becoming a local star at the Springfield Public Library, chilling with a whole posse of five-year olds, and I can only participate from the sidelines. My deadline is exactly two weeks from today. Wish me luck. I have thirty-five pages due. I’m on page eight.