Cattle Dogs & Quarter Acre Blocks
The house next door was vacant for three years and then, last year, the new neighbours moved in and brought with them a cattle dog. I had been remarkabley clairvoyant about this.
“All good things come to an end,” I’d cliched pessimistically as I heard the auction being called next door. The clincher statement of mine was, “what’s the bet they own a yappy dog.”
I was in the middle of my thesis on the day they moved in. Bark, went the dog, barkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbloodybark. All day.
Driven spare, I took my laptop and drove out to Berrima to write the remainder of my day’s work by the river.
These days, I’m pretty sure the neighbours are quite aware of our dislike for vociferous dogs, and they tell it to quit as it starts up – when they’re home, that is. At 8am every morning the cattle dog and the horrid terrier mop thing at the property behind us commence a saliva-fest din through the paling fence. If left alone it goes for an hour. The introduction of a hose with a power head attachment has cut that time to five minutes, long enough to haul on my hotpink crocs and unreel the hose. What delight to witness the super tampon-quality absorbancy of a maltese terrier-cross. More delightful to hear the owner let it into the house dripping wet.
“Oh, Archy, you’re all wet!”
Really? I’ve just gernied the fleas off your pooch.
Today, however, it was cattledog’s turn to make me think evil thoughts. The electricity man came to check the meters and, living in a cul-de-sac, the timbre and timing of the cattledog’s barking let me know whose meters were being checked, and when (somehow, I doubt this would take place in the event of an alien invasion. That would probably be the one and only time he’d keep very quiet).
When the electricity man went away, the dog continued. Hanging the washing out makes me furious at the best of times; a dog haranguing you for being in your own yard, well, watch sparks fly. Hose didn’t work (too much hedge and aimed at the wrong angle), neither did yodelling like a fishwife. And then I remembered the supersonic antibark device. I turned it on just as Howie the Cat walked around the corner of the house.
Cats, at the best of times, jump and twitch at unseen forces. A plastic bag that ‘suddenly appears’ can rattle a poised moggy and make it skip frames of time and space. This morning, Howie dipped and blinked to each pulse of high frequency, then figured it must have come from the back step because he leaped over it to get inside without his feet touching the tiles, and thus he was saved!
Did the device work? Well, there has not been a peep from the cattledog since. Unfortunately, I can’t blame him anymore for my procrastination.