Those of you who have seen my posting on my Facebook page know that I had a bit of an issue with the daycare where I've been taking Todd. When I arrived there on Tuesday to pick him up, he had on a 'no bark collar.' When I asked why he was wearing one, the girl told me that it was because he'd been barking constantly. I have to admit I was taken back by their putting one on him, but tried to not make too much of an issue about it. The staff member told me that they'd tried squirting water at Todd to get him to stop barking, but he just played with the water--Which he does. Then it was mentioned that they MIGHT use a small shock collar on him if he continues to bark all the time. When I was told that, I remained polite, but made it pretty clear that I really felt that this type of correction was inappropriate to use on such a young dog. I was then told that Scotties can become incessant barkers and that it was the only way to teach them not to bark. Needless to say, I was upset by this whole thing.
Not having a place to leave Todd, I took him back to the daycare on Wednesday. The whole day all I could think about was the bark-collar, and how I am Todd's owner and his best advocate, so of course I felt guilty all day and worried about him. Last evening when I picked him up I asked if the bark collar had been used. They told me that it hadn't but that Todd had spent part of the day alone in another room, and part of it with another terrier mix. More guilt thinking that he was by himself.
For several other reasons, I had already been considering taking Todd to another daycare, and this past Monday I set up a consultation with a new one for next week. All of this just confirms what I've been thinking and feeling. But it's also a reminder to follow and act on my instincts when it comes to the care of our dogs and to remember that I'm their voice when someone is trying to quiet theirs.