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Posts tagged “geese

Here and There

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Coming

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and going!


Going Places

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My dog doesn’t herd geese very often. They don’t excite him much and he gets bored. But I get a real kick out of watching geese operate as a group. I mean come on, if you’ve never followed behind a gaggle of geese for the better part of an hour and not cracked up then you’d better check your humor meter. The waddling, the hissing, the honking! You’ve gotta laugh. But I’ll tell you what’s NOT funny. Clipping goose wings. Yeah. I volunteered for that chore once. Now there’s a little event I’m not gonna to sign up for (again) in the near future. And to think I was worried about them pooping on me! See those long graceful necks? Well let’s just say those suckers have reach and they can BITE! I was afraid I might hurt them at first, until they got nasty with me. Then all bets were off. Catching a goose and holding it to be clipped makes dancing with wolves look like beginner ballet. Think of any time you’ve ever watched somebody try to catch a chicken, only two times bigger and about a gazillion times meaner. It really should be a rodeo event.

So for the most part this is how I like my geese: On the go!

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Goose Parade

Incoming!

Oh-oh! Now what?

Everybody, take a hard right!

And off they go!


Duce on Goose

This is Duce, a Bouvier des Flandres, which I could never own because I’d have to look up the spelling every time I wanted to refer to it in writing! Duce is one of two big beautiful boys owned by Lou, who is eighty-four years old. Lou comes down from MA every week so his boys can have their herding lesson right after mine. I’m not sure who I love more, Lou or the dogs. Sometimes I like to hang around and shoot Lou’s dogs working various livestock. This day it was geese. Duce is wearing a drag line because frankly, he’s been a little on the naughty side lately. But don’t go feeling sorry for the geese. Those honkers can take care of themselves!

Ever try to catch a goose? It’s not one of the easier things I’ve ever done. And yes, when they stretch out and hiss at you it’s scary and makes you want to turn and run the other way like a little weenie.  Every time my dog tries to nail a goose (and they all pretty much give it the old college try at some point) he just comes away with a mouth full of feathers. Yuck! Once, during a herding instinct test I saw a goose grab a Polish Lowland Sheepdog by the ear and clamp down until that big shaggy dog squealed like a baby. So I don’t feel too sorry for the geese! The one disadvantage geese have is that they sometimes tip over. I mean, it’s not like they have arms to help them balance when they get jostled too and fro. But herding geese through a tight space is a little like trying to pick up mercury; they just keep multiplying and dividing. Geese also think nothing of using each other for a ladder or a bridge. If one goose tips over the others will just gladly march right over the top of it. But geese more than compensate for their lack of physical finesse with their capacity for making noise. Good grief! Can you hear me now?

Duce is a pleasure to watch. He’s athletic and moves with a lightness and grace that defies his size and strength. But don’t mistake his cute, curly Wookieness for a pushover. He’s not. In fact, he’s a bit of a handful. But he adores Lou. In fact, this spring Lynnette has had one heck of a time getting Duce to leave Lou’s side to go work the livestock. At his age Lou isn’t very keen on playing bumper cars with geese or sheep, so Lynnette is going to handle the boys. But Lou and the boys went south last winter and spent several months together in an RV. When they came back, both Ace and Duce were a tad over-bonded to Lou and he’s having a heck of a time getting them back into work mode with their handler. Lou will be entering the boys in some upcoming trials and I’m looking forward to seeing their progress. I hope to have some photo ops as well, which I’m fairly certain they’ll be more than happy to provide.

(Click to enlarge)

Top photo: (Cropped)

Canon EOS 7D
Date: 7/26/10
Time: 10:41 AM.
Shutter: 1/320
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure: P
ISO: 400
Focal length: 85mm

Bottom Photo: (Cropped)

Canon EOS 7D
Date: 7/26/10
Time: 10:36 AM.
Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure: P
ISO: 400
Focal length: 85mm