Ditch’s Christmas Message

Hey! It’s me, Ditch.

You remember me.

I was the tiny pup the boss found a few years ago in the water table that some sod had dumped. He rescued me, called me Ditch because he thought Watertable was silly even by his standards. Thought he give me a chance of being a sheepdog but then folk reckoned I was a Rottweiler. But I never was. Classic sheepdog with a bit of Beardy judging from my shaggy coat.

I’m big though. The boss had three nice kennels for Gin, Sue and me but I was very snug in mine. He and Jane could hear my tail banging away at night because I’m always happy. Didn’t matter where he put my food bowl in the small run, next day I’d piddled in it. He’d get grumpy tipping it out and going to sluice it clean. He wondered if I might be diabetic because in the summer there are always drowned bees in it. Does smell sweet though.

So, he finally felt sorry for me and has bought a set of kennels that are way bigger, up off the ground and get this; have insulation to keep us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Life just gets better and better.

Gin was his mainstay, but she had an operation in the year and the vets took out her female bits and pieces because she had cysts. Now she’s getting fat and just cruising.

But you know the old saying; “You snooze, you lose”. I was already getting pretty handy but I’m now his main man and he uses me most of the time. Sue who is a result of a moment of inattention by the boss’s wife when Gin and I shouldn’t have been off together and is still learning the craft.

All the work I’ve been doing has kept me a bit pooped and I’m calmer and more focussed on the job now. He tells Jane that I’m not the best dog he’s had but I’m in the top five.

Here’s a good story. See how the editor has used my photo because as I’m writing the column? Every month or two, the boss gets rung up by Jesse Mulligan from Radio NZ to talk about the stuff that matters to farmers. Steve likes to remind the Aucklanders that if they like to eat food, its growers and farmers who bring it to their table. He tells them we do want to make the world a better place, but it can’t happen overnight.

Last week Jesse pulls the boss up when he tells him he’s 60 now. Jesse doesn’t reckon he looks 60 in the photo in the column and the boss admits it’s old. Maybe 10 years. Claims he’s not vain, just useless and been meaning to update it for some time, given the ravages of time. Maybe next year.

Talking about being 60, the boss can’t quite believe that’s snuck up just like that. Where did the time go, he asks? He reckons he’s been lucky with the body as going not bad and still feels like about 20 in his head. He took a whole bunch of family and mates up to The Chateau for a birthday bash but us dogs didn’t get invited.

Reckons it has been a big year what with the party organising, a son’s wedding, hosting a niece’s wedding, building a house and running 3500 stock units on his own but it doesn’t do him any harm. He’s just finished being club captain at the Waipukurau Golf Club so that will take a bit of pressure off.

He talks to me when we are out on the bike but doesn’t realise I understand. Just can’t talk back but I’m working on it.

He’s still no fan of Trump and says the House of Representatives are soon to impeach him. Says the Senate won’t do it as the Republicans think they are better with Trump for their own re-election prospects but wonders why vice president Pence doesn’t seize his opportunity and get his mates in the Senate to do it and make him president. Mind you, he could be even worse.

He talks about Brexit, whatever that is and says it’s a debacle and feels sorry for the common people who are collateral damage in a power play by a bunch of egotists and idiots.

He feels terribly sorry for the Australian farmers and the folk who are dealing with the bush fires. It’s been several weeks now where we see the smoke from those fires from 3000km across the Tasman. Vast swathes of forests with that smoke giving us hazy days and amazing sunrises and sunsets.

Mind you, he’d love to see the NZ cricketers beat the Aussies in the boxing day test and win that series, so his sympathy goes only so far.

He is very pleased with the way the cricketers have carried themselves after that long night when they were robbed by a rule from winning the world cup and the way they just lift their cap to the crowd when they get a century compared to prats like Warner the Aussie who jumps and bounces all around like a kangaroo when he does something.

The All Blacks didn’t win their World Cup either, but he says worse things happen at sea. Not sure what he means.

However, the women netballers won their World Cup.

It’s a busy time of the year and I know cockies get fairly stressed with Christmas coming up. But you guys need a few days off anyway and like your partners tell you, you’ve known all year it was in the diary. So, make sure you have some time off and have a good festive season.

Oh, and don’t forget us dogs are quite partial to those leftover pieces of turkey, ham and lamb on Christmas Day.

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