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Annie & Gall
Annie & Gall

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Patches & Bubba
The Border Collie Chronicles

Observations from (arguably) the World's Smartest Dogs;
(but, without question, the bestest friends!)
or, Life As We Understand It, as told from dad's shop.

Posted 1/4/2012



Dog Houses and Toys vs. Food and Bones

By Rooney


Wow!  Dad said he’s going to implement some cost saving measures around the place.  He called a meeting the other day and explained that there was an economic reverse in the financial viability of tree farms (due to the general downturn in the global, but specifically, US, economy).  The good thing for us though, is that since trees are a perennial, and not a perishable, commodity we shouldn’t lose any money … we’ll just experience a delay in the receipt of said funds.  So, we all need to come up with ways to cut costs for the next little while … who knows, it might even make us into a leaner, meaner – more effective and efficient batch of BC’s!!


So dad, and his advisors[i], came up with some cost saving measures that we are to implement immediately – they believe that these will do the trick.  I think that some are pretty smart, but others … well, you be the judge:


  • Reduce the amount of time that we spend patrolling our territory.  Absolutely no one can stay the night out in the tree trap (unless either the Pope or his friend, Ronnie, signs off on our travel authorization).  BUT – and this is a big butt (hee, hee), we must increase the number of rabbits and other varmints (the ground squirrels are now becoming a problem) that we catch.  After discussion amongst ourselves, we suggested consolidating operations … I mean, the garden is in the SW Central part of the place, and the trees are pretty far north (and east too!).  It really does take additional resources running back and forth, and a consolidation of these two locations would result in a tremendous costs savings!  However, the “committee” decided that consolidation would cost too much – so that idea is axed!

  •  Tell all the rabbits and varmints that they now need to come to us from now on (instead of us going to them) since we are now conserving funds … but since we want to help them so bad, please use your funds to come on over!  Yeah, right!!

  • Dad chose not to breed Gall (this was probably her last chance, she’s almost six, you know) since we couldn’t justify another “team” of BC’s (even though I am getting older and will retire one of these days) – but he also refuses to get rid of those empty dog houses that cost us rent and electricity each month!  Kinda sounds, to me anyway, like he is trading “blood and bones” for "bricks and mortar” (well, really, it’s angle iron and sheet metal – they are old oil field ‘dog houses’ that came from the bird yard) – bricks and mortar just sounded better!

  • Dad did decide to limit the number of times the RCD takers come by, but … (what … oh, that’s the Rabbit Census Data Takers.)  Sorry – I thought you had been paying attention … anyway, the RCD Takers don’t come as often as they used to, but dad still spends a bunch of money each year convincing them to do it again and in the process of selecting them (and there really are a lot of them in our area!)  This expense doesn’t even include all of the reports that are required to be filled out about the whole process – and then, the review of the process after the process has been completed!  Then, it seems like there is a lot of time training the new RCD Takers on how to do their jobs after we’ve already spent a lot of time convincing them to be an official RCD Taker and electing them!  And believe it or not, some of dad’s friends RCD Takers are only figureheads – that is, they just pretty much do whatever they are told!  Wow … seems like all that time, effort and MONEY could be used elsewhere, doesn’t it!

  • Dad, in his infinite wisdom, has also told us what tools that we can, and can’t, use in completing our jobs.  Now, I love dad a lot and he usually has a pretty good grasp on what we do – but, he didn’t even visit with us before making these decisions on our tools.  When I tried to explain that a properly prepared, fully functional CPA is of the … (what – no that’s not a Certified Public Accountant – but, those are good too!) – a CPA, in this context is … well, it’s really too complicated to explain to you lay people – suffice it to say – a good CPA is of the upmost use to an effective and efficient BC crew.  A good CPA will adequately lay out all of the details needed by all members of the crew to adequately complete their required tasks.  No mistakes, no errors, nothing bad!  (If you are still curious about what a CPA is – ask your BC!  They know!  A Labrador would also know … but don’t ask your Yorkie … Geeesh!)

We fully understand that the times right now are tough … the immediate future looks like it will stay tough!  We’re more than willing to draw up our belts during this time where everyone is sacrificing.  There are a lot of folks out there that don’t even have any rabbits to chase … we’re probably pretty fortunate that we at least have a place to lay our heads and get a bit of groceries to eat.  We know that dad is doing everything possible to keep this ol’ deal running as smoothly as possible – if we all do our part save some money, we’ll be fine … WAIT A MINUTE!  What the *&^%%$#@ is THAT!  A 55” Smart TV??!!  AND accessories!!!!  That must be for someone here at the place!  Surely dad wouldn’t be spending money for stuff like that when we’re under this current budget crunch – I mean, dad said that he didn’t even have enough money for treats this last year (he gave me some time off, then kept me so busy since I am understaffed that he took away my annual leave and my comp time too)!  Heck, if he wants to spend “technology money”, I have a work laptop that is essentially a boat anchor since the battery is ABSOLUTELY DEAD (and I am one of a handful that actually uses the laptop as a laptop – I cover a lot of territory and don’t leave it hooked up all the time!!)  No … the TV IS dad’s … I can’t believe it … we’re supposed to all be supportive of the current financial situation and be willing to sacrifice, and dad thinks that the best thing to do is to buy fancy, smart TV’s?  This is silly ... it’s actually pretty insulting to all of us that are “Doing more with less, and Les still refuses to show up!”!  It’s starting to get pretty hard to ride for this Brand[ii]!




The TV




The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.

Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC), 55 BC





[i] One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothin' can beat teamwork.

Edward Abbey (1927 – 1989)


[ii] Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.

Thomas H. Huxley (1825 – 1895)

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