Friday, December 09, 2011

Fame & Fortune:Tempered with a Little Shock

Alrighty….time to update the old blog. I’ve been a sucky blogger again this week, but what else is new? That’s the norm these days, so we will just go with it. Yet again, I do not have a topic of interest (Note to self: check WebMD for ADHD self-evaluation) that is riveting enough to fill an entire blog entry. So, yet again, you—my loyal readers—will be getting a condensed version of the multitude of thoughts that run through my head on a daily basis. This should be fun.

1. My youngest children are going to be in a play at school next week. Their classroom is putting on a production of The Three Little Pigs that will, no doubt, be fabulous. Sophie and Nicky have the dubious honor or playing…wait for it…brick walls. Seriously. My children are going to be brick walls. Obviously, they have made quite an impression on their teacher. Broadway, here we come! And yes, I am taking off work to see my children stand still perfectly still and say nothing. Theater at its best!
2. I received confirmation in the mail this week that Lucas is signed up for the winter term at Foss Swim School. We signed him up in a last-ditch effort to find something—anything—that interests him beyond staring at a computer or television screen. Lucas has flat feet and is a bit…ummm….awkward. His podiatrist told us years ago, when he was being fit for his second pair of foot orthotics, that he will likely never excel in sports. Because of the shape of his feet, he can’t run or even walk for long distances without a lot of foot pain. So any sport where he would be required to run is pretty much out of the question for him. But it’s okay. He possesses not a single iota of interest in anything even vaguely athletic. However, the boy likes the water. He could spend all day at the pool and never once get out of the water. So I started thinking. Hmmm….a boy that is somewhat of an airhead. A boy with little interest in athletics. A boy with little interest in anything at all, for that matter. A boy that is tall and long and lean and lanky. Why, he could be the next Michael Phelps! That’s what I am banking on, at least. Foss Swim School, here we come!
3. You guys know I love my dog, right? I love her dearly and she is in need of a new collar. She’s a wiggly little thing and manages to wiggle herself right out of those collars that slide back and forth to tighten. Somehow, she manages to slide it loose and wiggle right out. So I recently went in search of a collar with a buckle. Believe it or not, these are not easy to find. Even in one of those huge pet warehouse type stores, I could only find the sliding collars. So I did what any self-respecting shopper would do…I turned to the internet. Just now, as I was procrastinating about writing this blog, I logged onto to see what they had in the way of collars. Imagine my surprise when the first two things that pulled up were a choke collar and a shock collar. WHAT?! Amazon sells choke collars and shock collars?!? Who in their right mind—and with a single ounce of compassion in their hearts—would think that choking or shocking a dog into submission is the way to handle your family pet?? I can’t imagine ever putting a choke or shock collar on my dear Stella. One look at her sad brown eyes, and I would be a heaving puddle on the living room floor. Does Amazon know how inhumane these things are? A dog is the only creature on this Earth—with the exception of your momma…maybe—that loves you more than it loves itself. How in the world could you look at your adoring, tail-wagging, little pup and then choke her? Or shock her? I don’t get it. Shame on you,!

So that pretty much sums up my thoughts for the day. I have two children well on their way to a career on Broadway and one who I anticipate will be winning multiple Olympic gold medals some day in the near future. So, I guess all is well in the Pierce-Ralph household.

For today, at least.


Madgew said...

My neighbor uses a shock collar or you would hear her dog all day and all night. He is neurotic and the only way any one can stand him when the family is away is to use the shock collar. He now doesn't even bark but just whimper when he is left alone. They give him calm down medicine. He needs a lot of attention and has anxiety attacks but they don't want to put him to sleep. This is humane to all of us in the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes shock/choke collars are necessary. I am surprised that you would express such a strong opinion considering you've had your own issues with difficult pets. Haven't you recently had to give two away due to behavior issues?

Just Margaret said...

I love the swimming thing. My boy is so uninterested in all things athletic, I hope he finds something like that one day. :)

Shannon Ralph said...

Madge--I love you, but we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

Anonymous--Not sure who you are, but you obviously read my blog. As such, you know that it was a heart-wrenching decision to get rid of both of our pets. We adopted a dog from a rescue organization, unaware that she suffered from severe separation anxiety. We worked for a solid month trying to deal with her anxiety before making the tough decision to return her to the rescue. She has since been adopted by a family better equipped to handle her anxiety. I understand she is doing very well. Our cat was in imminent danger of being killed by our dog and had already been severely injured. She was entirely too agressive toward dogs. We surrendered her to the Humane Society after she passed a physical that ensured she would stay there until she was adopted and would not be euthanized. She was adopted into a family without dogs the very next day.

In both of these situations, we made a tough decision for the welfare of the animal. I can't think of a single instance in which a shock collar would be necessary. I stand by my "strong opinion." Please forgive me for taking a stance on behalf of those with no voice. As I said, my dog is a member of my family. I would no sooner put a shock collar on her than I would my children. My son suffers from anxiety. He acts like a raving lunatic at times when he is feeling especially anxious. Perhaps a shock collar would calm him down? Break his spirit? Shock him into submission?

I stand by my stance that anxious, nervous, scared creatures (of either the human or canine persuasion) do not need to be tortured into obedience.

Wiley said...

Shock collars are absolutely horrible and inhumane. However, "choke" collars are not. When used correctly, they do not choke a dog, they basically make a loud clink that helps snap a dog's attention back onto its owner when it's been doing something undesirable. Lots and lots of compassionate and human dog trainers use "choke" collars. If someone is squeezing breath out of their dog with one, they are not using it correctly.

Wiley said...

*humane, not human. Most dog trainers do tend to be human.

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