If you’ve been trying to prepare for what seems to be already here – as by making provisions to provide your own food when you can no longer afford to buy food – it might be worth considering making another investment.
In a dog.
If that sounds counterintuitive – dogs eat lots of food, which you will have to provide in order to keep the dog operational – consider what you get in return for the investment.
First and above all, a security alarm that will go off even if the power isn’t turned on. Even a very friendly dog that won’t bite – or who isn’t big enough for his bite to be of much consequence – will usually bark. He will let you know there is something you should know. Whether it is about someone – or something – that might otherwise go unnoticed, until it is too late.
For example, if you have chickens or ducks (maybe both, plus geese!) as we do. We let our birds free-range – that is, we let them forage for food in the yard – because it is healthier for them, better for the eggs they produce, nutritionally as well as insofar as how they taste – and free for us. But it comes with a cost – one you’re more likely to end up having to pay, if you haven’t got a dog. That being the loss of some or even all of your birds to a fox or some other predator, who may kill them all before you even notice.
The presence of a dog – even in his physical absence (as when he’s in the house, with you) acts as a deterrent to foxes and other predators, who can smell his presence, even when’s he’s not around at any given moment. The dog’s poop and pee lets them know he’s nearby and that is often enough. If he is an outside dog, even better. Very few predators – even bears – will attempt to breach a coop if there is a barking dog letting you know they’re there.
The same is true as regards the more dangerous type of predators. The ones who may try to breach your home. These can get inside your home while you are asleep – and by the time you wake up, it may be very much too late. A dog inside the house may not be able to stop the predator – but his bark should give you the time to be ready to do just that. Instead of waking up to find a creep with a gun standing over your bed, the creep may find himself looking down the barrel of your gun, as it ought to be.
The creep will probably not even try to breach if he hears a barking dog. It is a much more effective deterrent than one of those octagonal blue signs at the head of the driveway. Creeps of this variety know well that when seconds count, help – as from the security company – is only minutes away. Probably longer, as the security company has to first call the crime historians we call “police,” who then have to respond. If you live in the country, that kind of “help” may take half an hour or longer to arrive. Hence crime historians.
This assumes there are crime historians around in our not-so-good-looking future. It is not improbable that there won’t be. In which case, it is even more probable you will not be able to call upon them for help.
But your dog will always be on duty. And that means you’ll be more likely to be ready. His mere presence is apt to cause a two-legged predator to try elsewhere, for just that reason and also because it is hard to know, in the dark of night, whether an unknown dog’s bark is worse than his bite. That plus a few plainly visible brass (and plastic) casings littered around the apron of doors and windows where predator are apt to notice them is arguably the best kind of security.
It’s why we recently added a dog to our menagerie of beasts, which of course includes us. It is a symbiotic relationship that everyone benefits from. The birds give us eggs and meat. We give the birds food to eat and a place to safely sleep. The dog – a mixed lab-sheperd, who is only about five months old and already more than 50 pounds – gives us (and them) security as well as companionship.
We named him Pace – because he does that. He also licks – but Pace and Lick was too long. He also barks – and even though he’s sweet-natured as labs almost always are – anything on four legs or two that doesn’t know that might think otherwise when they hear him, in the dark of the night.
. . .
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