New Problems and New Challenges: Ignore or Confront?

by Ken Mueller on March 28, 2012 · 8 comments

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2012 03 26 11.38.48 New Problems and New Challenges: Ignore or Confront?We’ve lived in our current home for three years now. We have a nice little fenced in back yard, perfect for our dog Shadow. He likes to go out there and run around, bark at who knows what, and just chill.

When we first moved in, we were a little concerned because the fence between our house and our one neighbor is only about three and a half feet high. Shadow is a rather large dog, and we were convinced that if he put his mind to it, he could probably jump the fence. The only hope that we had is that he is a major wuss. We lean short baby gates against door frames to keep him out of certain rooms. He could easily jump them, or even knock them over just by brushing against them, but he never does.

He’s not very smart.

So we figured our back yard was OK. And it was. He would stand up and put his front paws on the top of the fence and bark at the cat next door, but never made any move to jump. If a crazy cat isn’t enough to make him leap the fence, nothing is. But he never jumped the fence.

Now, we’re not so sure.

The other day we went out in the backyard, and there was Shadow. In the neighbor’s yard. Looking at us. Wagging his tale. He even seemed a bit confused. We checked the two gates that lead to the neighbor’s yard, and they were both locked tightly. There doesn’t seem to be any place that a 95-pound chocolate lab could craw under the fence. So either he was teleported over there by aliens, or he jumped the fence.

If he jumped the fence, we could have a problem. And we’ll have to solve the problem. I have no idea how we’ll do that, but we can’t ignore it, or we’ll lose our dog.

And yet that’s what a lot of businesses are doing as they face new problems and new challenges in a world where many of us are living a portion of our lives out online. Social media gives our customers and the general public a voice. It gives them more access to us on a variety of levels.

Sure, you can ignore this. You can pretend that they aren’t saying things about you online, but that doesn’t mean it will go away. I can pretend that Shadow wasn’t over in the neighbor’s yard, but it wouldn’t be true. I have to deal with it, and find a solution that makes everyone happy.

Without thinking it through, there are a number of options, of varying degrees of feasibility:

  • make the fence higher
  • an invisible fence between the yards with a special dog collar
  • hook Shadow to a lead

None of those are great ideas. The first two involve logistics and expenses that certainly aren’t optimal. The third sort of defeats the purpose of having a fenced in yard, and will limit Shadow’s freedom greatly. I don’t want that.

So for the time being, we will keep an eye on him, monitor his behavior, and respond when necessary.

We don’t want to over react, and we certainly don’t want to limit his freedom.

Building a strong social presence online is like building a yard and inviting your customers to bring their conversation into that yard. But when we invite them in, it’s not to control them or limit their freedom.

New problems and new challenges.

Are you ready to deal with them? Or are you more likely to ignore them?

 

 

 New Problems and New Challenges: Ignore or Confront?
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7 comments
Faryna
Faryna

Once upon a time, I had a pair of Brazilian Filas. Filas are big dogs and they can kill - usually they only do so in a hunt or to protect their family from clear and present danger. Did I mention the breed was created originally to hunt, track, and supervise human slaves? [grin]

 

We also had a 3 and a half foot tall chain link fence and I had my concerns. I had considered tripling the height of the fence because the bitch had no problems taking a 10 foot short cut (up or down) from the living room to the front door in our split level, brick colony.

 

But the dogs NEVER went over the fence. For me the great test was when a bunch of neighborhood kids came around the backside of the fence with their pockets full of rocks. The dogs took some damage as they stubbornly stood their ground, they barked from our side of the fence, but they didn't go over. I never gave raising the fence a second thought.

 

I also never locked the front and back door. [laughing] But I did have signs posted every ten feet across the fence: Trespass at serious risk to your life.

 

Of course, the Fila breed is not just legendary for their power, speed and agility, but they are best known for their loyalty and affection for their master. They are always an enthusiastic puppy-at-heart beside their master - content to doze at your feet for most of their life and ever eager to please you.

 

The filas even did some service. A brown-skinned friend had his car break down on some Virginia back road in the middle of the night and he was getting hassled by a few fellows looking for fun. Road side service wouldn't get there for three hours, so I showed up in an hour with shotguns and the Filas. Fortunately, I never had to brandish a shotgun, the dogs did all the talking.

kmueller62
kmueller62

@ShakirahDawud Thanks, Shakirah!

Shonali
Shonali

One of our dogs (Chuck) was a master at getting over, under and through fences. Particularly when we lived in California; I can't tell you how many times he escaped. He'd basically dig a huge hole and get out. We tried everything we could think of, and then we finally had concrete poured about two feet into the ground. That's what finally worked. So just a thought for your Shadow-fencing problem.

And to everything else - yes. :)

kmueller62
kmueller62

@ErinMFeldman thanks for the RT!

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @Shonali Ha, he hasn't tried it again since Monday when this happened. The funniest thing was we went out, and he was on the other side of the fence, wagging his tail, and looking a tad confused. I'm pretty sure he had no idea what he did. 

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  1. […] New Problems and New Challenges: Ignore or Confront? Shadow and the Fence We've lived in our current home for three years now. We have a nice little fenced in back yard, perfect for our dog Shadow. He likes to go out there and run around, bark at who knows what, and just chill. When we first moved in, we were a little concerned because the . make the fence higher; an invisible fence between the yards with a special dog collar; hook Shadow to a lead. None of those are great ideas. The first two involve logistics and . […]

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