|found on Amazon|
I check in at Buzzfeed every other day or so, simply because time has no value unless we waste some of it. And what's better than the Internet for wasting time?
Not to be too sub-referential here, but the line of thought leading to this little essay began a few days ago when a group of friends complained about their dogs bolting when unrestrained. It happens. I assume even highly trained dogs can jump the gun when the right stimulation occurs, not that I've ever had a highly trained dog.
In the conversation, I suggested a "predator call." It's essentially a whistle that makes the sound of a rabbit, or some other prey specious, in distress. We have about three around the house, not rabbits but rather predator calls. I carry one in my pocket. They're cheap. And they work, if you reward the dog when it returns.
Back to Buzzfeed. This morning there is a video entitled "Man Uses PA System to Herd Cattle."
Ah, city folk, with their comment We've reached a new definition of "cowboy."
Forty years ago, probably even longer ago, but that's when I remember using one, there were "cow horns" on the market. A vehicle horn, of course, has its own distinctive sound. Remember the sound of European emergency vehicle horns? A cow horn is simply a vehicle horn tuned to mimic a cow's moo, and in fact, probably tuned in some manner I am not able to explain to make a moo that no cow, calf, or bull can resist. Help? Hmm, maybe not. I doubt cows are empathetic. It's probably food or sex.
My father installed a "cow horn" on a 1969 GMC pick-up. It was possible to gather up the cows for work or for feeding simply by driving into the field and pressing a button. Feed 'em, and you've got yourself a herd of cows that will come when called.
Even if you have no cows and need no cow horn, I do think you should get yourself a predator call if you own a dog. It's a great tool.
And yes, I do realize predator calls are mostly meant to lure coyotes within range of a rifle so that they can be assassinated, and I really don't have anything against coyotes, although one did eat a cat I liked very much. I will go so far as to say I like coyotes, at least as long as they don't bother me, but I also like predator calls.