Jon de Vos: Satan sighted in Fraser home
December 7, 2007
“Say, what kind of dog is that?”
“Oh, she’s a mix.”
“What breeds, do you know?”
“Yeah, she’s part Basset, part Satan.”
The other day my wife and my Basset Hound were frolicking outside in a gently falling snow. I looked out the window at the bucolic scene right out of a Thomas Kinkade painting. My heart wept for joy as the waning rays of the evening sun dappled the trees while the birds scurried about gathering the last bits and seeds before nestling into the pine boughs for the night.
Chirping happily, a beautiful red-headed Pine Grosbeak settled lightly on the Basset’s head and everyone broke into a chorus of Louie Armstrong’s 1967 hit, “What a Wonderful World” . . . uh, wait a second, that must be in some other parallel universe. Back in this universe, the Basset casually reached over and wolfed down the Pine Grosbeak that had strayed within striking range.
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My wife’s shriek could only be described as “substantive” as she began prying grisly bird body parts and feathers from the determinedly clenched jaws of our somewhat deranged hound dog. A dog, determined at all costs to keep her winged prize.
The mutt has consumed her weight of library books at about twenty-nine dollars a pound. She’s nearing a similar total of Netflix DVD’s at anywhere from seven to nineteen dollars apiece. My wife’s new cowboy boots, my cordless drill, every pencil in the house, two French cookbooks, three fancy checkbooks, four cardboard boxes of fish food, five brand new gloves, six “episodes” with the sugar canister, seven lovely slippers, and now, the damn thing has eaten the partridge in the pear tree.
So we bought a Scat Mat to help us through these rough times. The Scat Mat is a plastic mat that gives you an electric shock when you touch it. The point of the Scat Mat is not training or discipline but revenge. What? You ate another library book?
Okay, what do you think about nine volts of raw electricity applied to the soles of your little feet? What do you think about that, little Miss Couldn’t-Help-Myself?
Simply put, the Scat Mat’s purpose is to electrocute misbehaving dogs. It modifies the behavior of misbehaving pets through electro-convulsive therapy. As the literature says, “If your pet begins to repeat an unwanted behavior, simply place a Scat Mat in the spot where it occurs. After your pet encounters the Scat Mat a few times, it will develop an aversion to that location. After a while, you’ll be able to leave the ScatMat switched off, and just the sight of it will continue to modify your pet’s behavior.”
There’s a counter on the Scat Mat that tells you how many times there’s been an attempted breach of security. The other day I turned it on to run out to the library to pay for another book. I was gone for about an hour. When I returned, the counter was standing at twenty-one. Scat Mat meets Stubborn Mutt.
Then I read that Scat Mats can be joined with extensions to increase the coverage of the area to be “protected.”
I idly wondered if the Scat Mat company had ever considered going into flooring and countertops. I called them and asked if they had any larger mats, oh, maybe
acre-sized, for instance, something that would plug directly into the power grid.
I looked at her, sprawled out on the floor, nothing between her corpulent butt and the cold tile floor except a thick wool blanket. She didn’t look like you would imagine the spawn of Satan to look like. The Scat Mat hasn’t phased her but we have noticed a difference. Now she walks around with her hair standing on end.
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