Faith 0, Humanity 2

So the dogs and I went out for a meet and greet at a local pet store yesterday, right? While we were there, Hunky had an appointment to get groomed in the hopes that a professional could get the extra hair out of his coat that is currently covering my furniture and kicking up my allergies.

Our appointment was at 1:45. I brought his rabies certificate in as requested, discussed with the groomer what I needed done and what I didn’t need done, and left him in their care. I was concerned, as I always am when I leave my animals with people I don’t know…and to make it worse, they were adamant that if he was on the grooming table I should make sure he couldn’t see me. They seemed concerned that he would get very excited when he saw me and try to jump off the table. I mentioned that he couldn’t see that far or through a glass window anymore anyway, but I don’t think she believed me.

Back to the meet and greet…Daisy was anxiously waiting for me and Jeany looked like she was miserable. Status Quo. We met and we greeted (how tempted was I just now to type “gret?”) and all was well until a strange little man with a little too much bling on his hands and an aversion to looking any of us in the eye approached the table. It seems that he was a representative of an invisible fence company, and wanted to try and convince us that an invisible fence was the only way to go if you love your animals.

I’m going to take a second, dear readers, and mention that if you (or someone you love) has an invisible fence and you (or that special someone) can sleep at night knowing that you’ve strapped an electrode to your dog that would make you almost wet your pants were you to hold it in your hand and approach the perimeter, or that while your dog can’t leave the yard without a zap the other neighborhood dogs who are irresponsibly left to run loose can enter your yard and harass your dog at will, or, even better, that if your dog is a greyhound that can be at full speed in three strides so you’re basically playing Russian roulette with his or her life that he or she will be moving so fast through the perimeter that the only pain he or she will feel is when he or she is struck by a car outside of the perimeter of that bloody stupid invisible fence…then have at it. But never, ever let it be said that someone doesn’t know my opinion on invisible fences…and that my opinion on the fence colors how I feel about someone who would leave their “beloved” pet behind one, waiting to get shocked.

Whew! Okay, so back to yesterday. Fence Man tries everything that he can to convince us that as a group we are mistreating our hounds because our group does not adopt to people that use invisible fences for containing their animals.

Let me say that again…we do not support invisible fences. I’m sure we all said it numerous times yesterday…so one wonders why Fence Man continued to try to sell it to us?

Fence Man made outrageous claims, our favorite being that he could personally guarantee that the fence would work for each of our hounds. Is that right? You can guarantee that my dog, who, by the way, can be at 40 mph in three strides from a standing position, will be contained in your fence? Is that because you ramp up the voltage to get my dog’s attention? Is that really a selling point? Oh no, he assured us, it’s because he personally trains the dogs and the owners on the proper use of the fence. It’s a week long training.

Seems to me it would take about five minutes. Put electrode on dog. Take dog to perimeter. Watch dog writhe in agony. Take dog away from perimeter. Watch dog go back in house and never ever leave again. All done! Dog contained.

My argument about the dog being at 40mph in three strides was the only one that he didn’t have an answer for, by the way. We told him they will ignore it if their prey drive kicks in and they take off after something. He countered that his training would break them of that habit. Habit? Um, sorry Fence Man, that’s actually thousands of years of instinct. We told him about the other animals being free to wander in and out of the yard. He countered that under controlled situations that was never a problem. I’m sorry, isn’t the reason for this torture device so that it will control the situation and I don’t have to lift a finger?

Finally Fence Man was reduced to lying. Outright lying. He told us that he worked with “that big group in Greensboro, NC” and that he had personally trained lots of their greyhounds with the fencing and that “they totally support me and what I do.” He then wanted to know what was wrong with our group. Now there are two fairly large adoption groups in Greensboro and I am about 95% sure that neither of them would support this kind of “fencing” for their hounds they adopt out. When we confronted him with his lie, he resorted back to insulting us. “I can’t believe you don’t really love these dogs.” “It’s just ridiculous that your group wouldn’t take advantage of a free offer to show you how well this fencing will work for your dogs.” He finally left after saying the bit about the free offer again and being told that our group did not support his fencing, but if he wanted to talk to the group’s director that he was welcome to do so.

Oh, and on the way out, we saw him with a nice 40lb bag of total crap dog food that he was taking home to feed his beloved dog that was probably bald around the neck from being zapped when it tried to escape.

Well, okay, but it was Beneful dog food. That part is true.

After all that ruckus things settled down and I waited for them to bring my handsome and no longer shedding boy out to finish him up so that I could show him off to everyone and not drop enough fur to make a new dog in the process. No Hunky. Dropped off at 1:45 and it was now past 3pm. She had told me it would take about 3 hours to do a groom on him which I thought was suspicious because it doesn’t take me that long when I’m chasing him around the yard with a hose trying to wash off the soap! But I digress. One of the other ladies went in and asked after him, to be told that he was in the back drying off and then he’d be done.

What? In the back drying off? Isn’t that why they have those drying machines, so that my dog doesn’t have to drip dry? Unless they put him under a dryer like my mother used to sit under when I’d go to the beauty shop with her, they let my dog drip dry because I watched the girls that were working…working on other dogs. I ran to the toilet and when I came back, one of the ladies at the table was holding my Hunky, my gorgeous…fluffy…slighly damp Hunky. Hunky was fluffy with visible loose fur in his coat and still damp in spots almost three hours after I left him with these people.

Oh, and let’s talk about the “fragrance” they left on my dog. On second thought, let’s not, it made my head pound just riding in the car with him on the way home yesterday. Thank goodness he loves his dog bed that has cedar in it.

Apparently when I didn’t want them to do his teeth or toenails (teeth don’t need it and he hates them to be brushed and his toenails are always potentially ready to shatter) I also excluded him from a certain package of service that includes de-shedding treatment of some sort. Hunky got brushed (I’m still not certain of that), bathed, “fragranced” (he smelled like a man on the pull, all he needed was a gold chain and some Colt 45) and was so happy to see me I thought my heart would break.

I have to admit here, dear readers, that I might have done something I shouldn’t have. I went in to get Hunky’s rabies certificate back because without that we don’t get into England in January and there was no one at the desk. I’m sure that they have to keep it on file, so I hope they had already xeroxed it because I snatched it and headed back out the door.

My poor boy. My poor nerves. I was literally (Susan? LITERALLY!) shaking by the time I got home. And I will never, EVER subject any of my dogs to that again unless the groomer is someone I know personally that I know will not make my Hunky into Leon Phelps. Seriously. That is disgusting.

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