Thoughts on “The Invisible Fence”


On April 4, Seth Godin (the writer I aspire to be like) wrote “The Invisible Fence” (Seth’s Blog: The invisible fence ). In his usual eloquently terse style, he said:

“There are very few fences that can stop a determined person (or dog, for that matter).

Most of the time, the fence is merely a visual reminder that we’re rewarded for complying.

If you care enough, ignore the fence. It’s mostly in your head.”


It caught my eye because I once upon a time I looked into invisible fences for my dog, pictured above. Also pictured above is my son, and to say the two were thick as thieves is an understatement. Aside from the times he was at school they went everywhere together. TheBoy thought the dog was his responsibility, at least that’s what we’d told him. But our dog new better.  TheBoy was her Human, a responsibility she took very seriously.


Which is why the “invisible fence” rep stood in my driveway, looking over at the dog and her Human, and telling me not to bother. “Dog’s like that,” he informed me. “they guard their flock no matter what. If she hears him and decides she needs to be there, a 10 foot brick wall won’t stop her, let alone a shock collar, no matter how high you turn it up.”


“What it WILL do, though, is make her think twice about coming back.”


Years later, with the dog laid to rest and her Human almost grown, that comment has stuck with me.


How often, I’m left wondering, do we build fences?

Fences around our work

Fences around our teams

Fences around our interactions

Fences around our relationships

Fences around our heart


Fences which, as Seth writes, are mostly in our own head.


And, like the salesman told me that day, fences which do nothing to keep others locked inside artificial boundaries, but which do an amazing job of keep them from coming back once they are free?

Source: solarwinds GEEK SPEAK


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