Monday, July 23, 2012

And Along Came Gus...

Gus left, and Woody, grown up now
Maintaining a good dog team has to be worked at all the time.
When I lost Khan last September I bought a $400 huntaway novice.
He was coming along pretty nicely, had an exceptional balance in the yard, was a tiger on cattle, and was starting putting up runs on hillsides of over 200m.
But as the past tense reference indicates, yes, he's history, bowled on the road by a passing car, bane of my life in this world where increasing numbers of city workers live out here for the "rural experience", but bring their city manners, attitudes and sense of "rights" (to do any speed up to the 100 kph speed limit) with them.
It seems my place in the firmament is to never impede their progress by having any of my livestock activity in their path, even though I might use the road for stock movement an average couple of times a week, while they use the road twice a day to and from work in the city, while they pay no rates on their rented houses, and I pay over $12k per year and increasing.
The law is all dogs have to be under control, which a dog loping over the road to take a leak isnt, and I had to cough up the $2000 worth of ridiculous panel beating fee for damage to the car.

Anyway, along comes Gus, who I paid a grand for, bit of a hot-head straight out of the kennel, but a faithful and thoughtful worker, and enjoys 'backing' mobs in the yard for a pat on the head. Arrived here a bit on the lean side, so feeding him up.

Looks like there's little option other than keeping myself and my stock-work out of the way of passing traffic as much as possible, and continually work at keeping the dogs off the road.
The arrogance and self-righteousness the motoring psyche has garnered itself, and worship status of the motor vehicle when behind the wheel, is a sad reality of modern life.

"They" win, I lose.


Sometimes I wonder whether the paranoia we have over farm security gets too much attention, certainly it has its pitfalls.
I recently installed a Chamberlain Wireless Motion Alert System, $459 incl, from the CD Field-days Target site. The price I paid included required batteries, and 2 sensors that have a range of 800m.
I set up one sensor about 200m away, and it works. Even grazing farm animals walking within the 10m scope can set it off.
Main problem is, the home base receiver beeper isnt very loud, cant be heard 2 rooms away, and only just wakes me from sleep.
The receiver plugs into the power which, when all's considered, is an achilles heel for all toys electronic, although it does have a battery backup. Sometimes I suspect it can disconnect, and have "re-learned" the connection just to be sure. Bit of a nark having to bring the sensor back home to do it.

Its hard to beat a couple of Dobers or Rotties running round the house, or a snarky Jack Russell.
Even an alert challenging farm dog.

One piece of gear I have found useful is a Dorcy wireless LED floodlight, $46 from the local industrial safety shop.
Its got a good and reliable sensor range, and behaves itself turning off.
Running off 3 'D' batteries, its not exactly floodlight intensity, but it hurts to look directly at it and provides plenty of illumination to find keyholes in the dark, or light up dark corners.
Unlike a conventional security light, you dont need to be a registered electrician to put it up, and frankly, I havent found those lights all that reliable anyway.