Ditch’s Diary Parts 1 and 2

I’ve been given the opportunity to fill this slot seen as the boss is away.
In case you haven’t heard of me from the boss’s earlier column let me fill you in.
I can’t remember how I ended up in the water table between his two little farms but I do remember being with my mum and my siblings one day and then next thing I knew I was dumped there and had a cold and lonely night.
I was frightened, thirsty, hungry and feared for my life and then out of nowhere came this farmer walking some bulls along the road, heard my wails and scooped me up and popped me into his jacket.
Later he gave me milk, food and comfort.
He and his lady speculated on how I’d come to be there and what sort of dog I might be. I had no idea myself.
I found myself in a warm kennel next to his sheep dog Gin but she completely ignored me for the first couple of months.
One day the boss let me out for a run as he shot past on the bike knowing I was still too small to follow him so I just mooched around for a bit and then went over to Gin’s kennel and worked out how to lift the pin to let her out hoping she might play with me.

She didn’t but the boss was annoyed with himself for not putting her away properly.
This happened a couple of times until he saw me doing it. Now he just lets me out and it’s my job to let Gin out for a run.
She’s now my best friend and we play a lot but as I’m now bigger than her at over 30 kg after just five months of age she gets a bit knocked around and will jump up onto the four-wheeler to get away from me and I’m too clumsy to get up there myself.
The boss reckons I’m the clumsiest dog he’s had as I seem to be able to knock over my water bucket even though it is attached to the kennel and sometimes I’m so eager to eat as I’m always starved, I tip up my food bowl scattering the contents.
Then the vet said he thought I might be a Rottweiler when he gave me an injection. This caused a bit of consternation so the boss wrote a column and quite a lot of people wrote and said not to worry as they had had Rotties and they worked out fine but some had to be kept away from the stock.
A few weeks ago, the boss took me over to the yards on a leash to see what I thought of sheep. Just between you and me, I found the experience terrifying.
Those big eyes and they ran hither and thither. I tried to get out through the rails but he held me on the leash so when I realised I had to stay in there with these nasties, I laid down on the ground and put my big paws over my head. He was trying to get his phone to take a photo of me in my distress and good job, he dropped it on the concrete and cracked the screen.
He’d read that the Romans used Rotties 2000 years ago to herd the cattle for their armies as they conquered Europe so he next took me out for a run and then we went through a paddock of these huge beasts.
Talk about pooping myself Trev. I took one look and shot straight through a fence and headed home.
But next time he took me over to the yards Gin was there and when I saw how much fun she was having I just lost myself in the moment and barked and barked and ran around and would have had a good go at those silly sheep if he didn’t keep hold of my leash.
It was the most fun you could possibly have and I felt a bit embarrassed about my fear last time.
Today the boss took me on a stock drive down the road all by myself. Just him and me.
At first I didn’t want to go anywhere those bulls and he had to drag me along but after a while I quite liked just walking along behind them.
Except when I went in front of the boss and he pulled hard on the rope and said, “Get in” in a loud and scary voice.
Later he finally got me to bark and the bulls ran away at a very pleasing pace. Every time I barked he said “Speak” so I did and I’ve never felt more of a team than in that moment.
After an hour, he was very pleased with me and let me off the rope to see how it would go.
It was fantastic. I just ran into that big mob and barked and ran around and barked and ran around and he shouted and called my name and bulls ran everywhere and I just had the best of times.
Then for some reason he caught me and tied me up again and we just walked along behind the mob again until they went into the paddock and I got to ride home on the back of the ute.
Then he gave me a whole lot of love, some extra food and honestly, I’m completely shattered and think I’ll go to sleep now.

Ditch’s Diary Part 2

Boy oh boy oh boy. There’s lot been happening since my first diary entry. I don’t know where to start.
For those who missed my first entry just so you know what’s going on, I should tell you that the boss found me dumped in the water table (he thought Ditch was easier to say) out on the road as a tiny puppy.
The big joke was that the vet and several others told him I was a Rottweiler which put the cat amongst the pigeons. The boss’s wife would take me out for walks and as I got bigger because I’m a bit clumsy, I’d come running to her and knock her over. She told the boss she was worried I might decide to rip her throat out while she was on the ground but he said that was just silly talk. I was far more likely to lick her to death.
But its turned out to be utter nonsense. Sure, my face looks like a Rotty and I’m real big but I’m definitely some sort of sheep and cattle dog with a hairy coat.
I’m obsessed with sheep and cattle which is a good thing but honestly when I see them, I forget all those many times on the lead and the sharp tug and “GET IN” in the shouty voice and just run up and down the fence and bark my head off until the boss finally catches me.
I heard him saying that it was a good thing I haven’t learned how to get through a fence yet.
And just as I was about to learn that skill so I could have a proper go at those silly sheep, the nice new-collar thing the boss had given me gave me a sharp little bite the next time he yelled “Get in” and boy did I get in.
Its only done that two or three times again but when the boss says, “Get in” I go straight back to him and he pats me and makes a big fuss. He even lets me go into the paddock with the sheep now and I watch those things very closely but I stay near him just in case.
But here’s the big news.
His other dog Gin seemed to be getting old before her time and having trouble jumping up on the ute and bike.
Last week he went to let her out of her kennel and she had been sick. He noticed her stomach was fairly blown up and because he’s lost a couple of dogs from twisted stomach he took her straight into the vets.
The young vet inspected her tummy and asked a few questions finishing with “when was her last heat?” The boss made a funny noise, said about 45 days ago and immediately ran his hand along her belly.
The vet took Gin away for a scan and came back and confirmed she was full of pups.
The boss explained that it couldn’t be possible as he had her shut up while me and his son’s visiting heading dog Mate had a run. He even wired her door shut as I can open her latch from the outside.
He said he did feel a bit guilty about Gin being in the kennel between me and Mate but that was the usual sleeping arrangements. But there was sound netting between the kennels
The vet told him she had been called upon to disentangle dogs and bitch’s a couple of times who had managed to overcome that minor obstacle.
The boss could understand that a bitch might press herself up against the netting but a dog wouldn’t be able to lift himself up at all given the low roof.
The vet just shrugged, said “Where’s there’s a will there’s a way” and reiterated she’d seen it with her own eyes.
Cruelly I heard the boss say he hoped the puppies will be black and white like Mate and not look like me. He’ll just have to wait a few days to find out, won’t he?
When he got back from the vet he noticed something odd on the ground. It was a large and very rotten fish. The very same fish some prankster had put near his letter box back at Easter. The same fish he’d got one of his son’s mates to bury as a punishment for being sick on the carpet after they’d had a party.
The same fish that Gin had dug up the night before and sampled which explained the sick in the kennel.
Now it seems I might be the only active dog available now. A prospect I’m very excited about.
However, the boss seems less excited and I heard him say to his wife today, “If during a farming career all your dogs are always average, it’s probably not the dogs.”

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