Spouse writes: Ben Franklin ain’t got nothing on me, at least in the electricity test-subject arena. I don’t even have to fly a kite in a thunderstorm to test electricity. I just need to walk out to the side yard where we keep the electric poultry netting/fence. The electric poultry netting is 4 feet high and surrounds the chicken/goose night-time pen in a rough circle 250 feet in circumference. The fence is battery powered and solar charged. The energizer (marketing-speak for the thing that zaps the hat off your head) is made specifically for securing chickens from predators. Of course this means it costs twice as much as your garden-variety cow/horse/stupid-nephew fence zapper. [Yes, Uncle Lynn – I am looking at you. I will NOT test a fence for you ever again.]
There is one downfall to this electric fence. Since it operates by shocking anything that completes the circuit (i.e. anything touching the ground), grass and weeds will short out the fence and reduce the hat-knocking-off effectiveness. So we need to mow or weed-whack the area under the fence regularly. To check the fence at the furthest point from the zapper to see how well it is working, I usually test with the back of my hand. Since I usually wear rubber soles shoes the zap is mostly harmless.
Last night, however, was a different story. We had come back from our neighbors’ wonderful Halloween party (D.A. can write that post) around midnight. While checking on the geese and chickens I noticed that the zapper was not turned on, so I flipped the switch. Bandit, our faithful yet attention-starved dog (from Bandit’s point of view anyway), came up next to me and nuzzled my hand for some scratchin’ behind the ears. As I obliged I guess I brushed up against the electric fence. I say "I guess" because all I remember is blinding pain and then loud yelping from Bandit. It appears that four dog paws on slightly wet ground is a good conductor. The shock went from my hand - that grazed the fence for testing - through to the other hand scratching poor Bandit. After yelping several times in surprise and pain, she took off running.
When I found her later she did not appear amused.
My dog glance translation is a bit rusty, but I think she said that if she ever finds my shoes without me in them, she will deposit a generous amount of processed dog food in them.