Saturday, June 26, 2010
or The Geese Police
(The above photo was taken years after Father had died.)
One evening after the sun had set, the dogs wanted to go out and use the bathroom. My mom was out of town, but I’m not sure where she was vacationing at the time. What I do know is that it was in the fall sometime before I moved to NJ, so the only dogs there were Abby and Father. When I opened the side door leading to the backyard, instead of Father jauntily walking which could almost be described as hopping, he accelerated into a full sprint and made a beeline straight to the pool. Also at this time, I heard wings flapping from what sounded like a large bird, accompanied by the sounds of water splashing in the pool and squawking. I’m almost certain it was a Canadian goose. In a nearby lake, there is a flock living there, so it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility that one of them could have flown over, saw our pool and decided to hang around. I have seen Canadian Geese in our front yard a few times as well.
The goose escaped unscathed, but what a dramatic moment that was! To see Father take off like a bat out of hell set the tone of that event. Then to see Father run straight towards the pool confused me even further because Father is scared of the water and is an awful swimmer. And yet there he was running straight to the water. Hearing a large bird flapping in your backyard is a little discombobulating too. This was the first time I had seen a Canadian goose in our yard, and he was making quite a commotion.
I’ve always wondered that if that bird were in the pool by the time Father reached it, would Father have leapt in to attack it? I have little doubt Father would have gone after this bird. There were a couple of times when Father accompanied me on a run which took me by the goose’s lake when I had to call off Father from attacking one of them. When you’re by yourself, those cocky little bastards can be mean as hell by hissing at you and extending their wings as you go by. But when Father was around, they were scared shitless. When Father ran to the pool that night, I was certain he was going to try to kill this bird (actually there may have been two), because the way he ran was the same as when I saw him chase after a squirrel and kill it or chase a cat and try to kill it.
I also wonder if Father could have killed the bird without drowning. Like I’ve said before Father knew how to kill and would have sunk his teeth around that goose’s skinny little neck and choked the life out of it. A full grown goose would have been five star dining for Father, a feast of a lifetime.
Looking back, this was another example of Father earning his keep. Had those geese established a nest in our backyard, I’m pretty sure it would have been illegal for us to disturb it. In places where Canadian Geese have become pests by camping out at parks, corporate grounds and golf courses, getting rid of them can be a headache. An effective way to drive away these birds is to use dogs. For the sake of civility and public relations, certain dogs such as border collies are used for the task, but I imagine Rottweilers or chows would work just as well even though they would try to eat those birds instead. Border collies love to run and have an almost instinctual drive to herd animals. Canadian geese don’t like dogs, especially those who are trying to round them into a herd, so eventually they get the message and find somewhere else to live. I guess these geese received the message loud and clear because they never came back or at least in Father’s lifetime.