Guns and My Father

My father had a sporting Blue from the University of Western Australia in rifle shooting.

He was a gentle man who never hunted. All the following is reported from conversations with him. I never in my life saw him with a gun.

He told me that he had never killed anything except in the process euthanasia on his brother-in law’s property in WA on a couple of occasions. I did see him once, when I was a child, euthanize our pet dog who was suffering with distemper. ( We had no vet in our largish town in those days.) It was done very gently using exhaust fumes from a car.

This Uncle of mine in WA, and his wife who was my father’s sister, owned a farm. They were significantly older than my father and he spent many school and University holidays with them. They had a wonderful dog. I have seen a picture of this dog. He was reputed to be a pure dingo, found abandoned as a pup and raised by hand, and indeed looked exactly like a pure dingo. This dog, whose name was Bruce, was a legend in his neighborhood. He could open and close the gates on the property, gates which were unlatched by the raising and lowering of a bar.  He was a very good sheep dog and had been well trained. He was so intelligent and physically able that he could, single handedly, move a flock of sheep from a nominated paddock after a distant voice command. He protected the sheep well from predators of all types ( I assume including dingoes.)

One day he was found dead on the farm. He had been shot. Presumably this was done by a passing stranger with a gun who did not know the story. Probably he mistakenly thought he was doing the unknown owner a favour. 

My father never shot a gun after that.

PS. All my life he had to encourage us to “talk in his good ear” as he suffered some nerve damage to one ear from his prior years of competition target shooting.


About Anne Powles

I am retired from paid employment. During my working life I have been variously and sometimes contemporaneously, wife, mother of four, lawyer, teacher and psychologist. I have also been a serial education junkie. As are we all, I have been an observer of the world around me. Here I have recorded some of my memories, observations and theorisings.
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