by Chrysa Smith

They look innocent enough–sitting there, peacefully enjoying their little slice of God’s green earth. And their owners? Nowhere in sight. And for good reason. They have taken the worry out of their furry friends jumping over fences, burrowing under fences, running out into the street—-because they have the peace and security of an invisible fence.
Aah, good for owners. Horrific for dog walkers.
As a bully taunting one of his classmates, I have learned that invisible fences turn canine cuties into inmates on cell block D (for dog), as soon as one of their ‘free’ friends walks by. They bark, they taunt, they walk to the very edge of the driveway, the curb, growling, howling, barking at the innocents just out for a nice, peaceful walk. And that is what turns the nice, peaceful walk into something completely different—a horrific experience.
Case in point- There are at least two invisible fence homes I pass on my regular walking route in my neighborhood. As we approach, I cringe, pull back, get a good handle on the leashes and stand firm. Because if those dogs are out, they will taunt and antagonize my dogs to pull me and my limbs over to their yard—because they’re doing time—under house arrest—with all visitors seeing them in and on their terms. It’s not the dog’s fault. He wants to sniff, wag, visit with others walking by. It’s only natural. The trouble is, he’s in lockdown. He’s limited by his concrete curb and the zap he’ll get if he dares cross the line.
I understand the convenience of not having an obstructive six foot structure in your yard. I really do. But I also think it highly irresponsible to install an invisible fence, let your dog out, and be nowhere in sight, inside or out, to pull back your dog when he’s causing havoc with the neighborhood mutts. All of the responsibility lies with the dog walker, to keep her brood pulled, tugged, nudged away from the bully—-who knows he’s under the protection of the correctional institute, wants a visit (conjugal or other) and is frustrated as hell that he can’t be the social animal he wants to be.
That’s not a dog’s life. And if I were one, I’d certainly have a bone to pick with my owners, less I also turn out to be bad to the bone.