Many of our CSA customers and Friends of Near River will remember that a year ago we bought a Mareema puppy to bond with our chicken flock - they are great guard dogs. Unfortunately, that dog was killed by paralysis ticks, a very real problem not only here on the Mid North Coast, but up and down the eastern seaboard.
So a little over four weeks ago we decided to start looking for a replacement. Besides keeping the wildlife away from the poultry and vegetables, I could use some added companionship during the week while Therese is in Sydney - it's not as crazy talking to a dog as it is talking to 75 chooks.
After about 15 minutes spent searching the web, a suitable prospect was there on my screen - a 2 y.o male Border Collie Belgian Shepard cross - perfect. Made the arrangements to collect him, and aside from a minor problem of him jumping out of the back of the car while we were crawling along the M5 freeway, we made it home.
Everyone meet Max - here he is relaxing at the end of the day, and hard at work supervising during the day.
And he really is perfect - well trained, doesn't hassle the poultry, still thinks he can catch wallabies, and does catch rabbits.
The only downside are the ferocious paralysis ticks that are around this season. They've had a good go at Max already, so it's a regular body search for these tiny assassins, at least daily.
For any of you with pets living on the eastern seaboard beware - this is shaping up to be an intense season for ticks. Here are some links for further information, and check your pets regularly. We'll be doing that with Max.