Friday, 16 February marks the beginning of the Year of The Dog in the Chinese Zodiac. Readers might think that our Council already had a Dog of a Year last year. Sadly for the Council the year ahead already looks like it will be more of the same, but this time a Mogrel Dog Year, with a repeat of the same irritating bites coming thick and fast from the same plague of "usual suspect fleas" that annoyed it in 2017, yet this time it will be with more numbers and driven by a voracious and insatiable hunger for change. As an introduction to the year ahead: 2018 is actually a Mountain Dog year. Mountain Dogs are not tame village dogs. They are wild dogs with no owners and become dangerous when cornered. Mountain dogs stand sentry at passes and gateways and serve to block your entry. The Dog Year ahead implies for all that they might encounter some obstacles before executing their plan. They will need to use their wisdom to remove the blockage first, and then they will see the wide-open road. Sounds OK to me. In general it is predicted to be a year of obstacles however depending on what your own particular Chinese sign is there will be an assemblage of other pluses and minuses to look forward to as well. What lies ahead in 2018 for Eurobodalla Shire Council? ESC was proclaimed by the NSW Government in 1906. Born in 1906 that makes Eurobodalla Council a Fire Horse. Smart, charismatic, lively, overflowing with enthusiasm, but stubborn. However the Fire Horse is a self-centered. Fire Horses are really more cunning than intelligent, and that is probably why most Fire Horse people lack real confidence. The Horse (in general) likes to have a certain amount of freedom and independence in their life. They hate to be bound by the rules and regulations of society; they like to think that they should only have to answer to themselves. Despite this, they still like the support and encouragement of others. Success means everything to the Horse which means if they fail at something it is disastrous to them. The Horse horoscope for 2018 predicts that the year may be marked with important surprises. To many that might sound good but to a Horse … they abhor the unforeseen however the zodiac guidance is that it will be in their best interest to act quickly when changes come to disrupt their schedule and quick modifications will play in their favour if they take up the challenge. There are consequences if they do not. So there it is in a nutshell – the 2018 prediction for Eurobodalla Council in the year of the Dog. Now that the community understands that the Council is a Fire Horse and will act accordingly; and that this is a year of the Mountain Dog who likes to sit at the gateway and block passage; we can see that Council, like a Fire Horse, will continue to remain behind its fortress and station the dogs at the doorway so that no-one may pass. The community can do one of two things. Identify who the Dogs are and give them a treat. It is far easier to win over a dog with a morsel than to prod it with a stick. While many n the community would love to prod our councillors with a big stick maybe throwing some morsels might be a good idea. A good start would be to softly remind the Dogs who actually pays for their food. The other way to get to the Horse is to distract the dog while others go around the back and come in through the many cracks that are now appearing in the Horses stable walls, helped through the widening gaps by a host of disgruntled stable hands. And this whole thing will be watched over by Gipa, the village wise man, who sits under the banyan tree at the front of the Horses fort offering much information about the Horse when asked the right questions.