Tag Archives: Jobs

A Working Dog!

Dog chasing geese.
Zekie chasing geese off our neighbor’s pond.

Spring is officially here! And with it comes geese trying to make a home by our neighbor’s pond. The goal is to keep them away and prevent them from laying eggs nearby. Once they have a nest with eggs, there is no getting rid of them for quite some time.

Why wouldn’t you want the geese to stay? Two words. Goose poop. They leave it every where and all around the pond. These are Canada Geese and they are large birds. With correspondingly large poop. Walking in the area can become like looking out for land mines. And once the eggs are laid and hatch, the geese may become aggressive trying to protect their eggs and young.

I recently learned that when the goslings are about two weeks old, the parents lose their long wing and tail feathers and cannot fly until they grow in again. This takes about three to four weeks. The young geese stop growing in size and are able to fly when they are just over two months old. The goose family is likely to stay until the end of summer when they move on to look for other food sources. So, you can see why the earlier you get the geese to move on, the better. Otherwise you will have them around for a long time and your pond will not be usable.

This is Zekie’s second year as a goose chaser. Geese stopped at the pond several times last spring as well. Our neighbor bought a couple of large plastic swan decoys and put them on her pond. Swans are supposed to trick the geese and keep them away. The geese did not fall for it. They are apparently smarter than us, as we did. For a couple days I discussed the nice swans over at the neighbor’s with my husband. It took that long for me to notice the swans were not moving. They did bob on the water and move a few inches, but they were always in the same general locale. Upon getting closer, I could see there was a thin rope keeping them in place. Mystery solved. But, I was disappointed not to have beautiful swans living nearby.

Last spring, after the faux swan caper failed, the neighbor called and asked if we could walk some of our dogs around her pond to get a predator smell in the area and see if that would keep the geese away. That’s when my husband offered the services of our dogs to see if the geese could be chased away. The first time I took Baxter and Zekie. The dogs chased the geese around the pond until they went into the water and floated towards the center. At that point Baxter was done. No water for him. Zekie waded in the water a few inches and stared intently at the geese. The geese didn’t leave until after we did.

When the geese showed up, our neighbor would call on the phone and ask for the dogs. After a couple times, I started taking only Zekie, because he would jump in the water and head towards the geese. On his last visit to the pond last year, he swam towards the geese and followed them even after they were airborne. Zekie was giving chase to those geese and barking at them, telling them off as he ran. He chased them to the next property which was a few acres away and finally returned to my callings. His tongue was hanging down to his knees but he had an enormous grin.

Today was Zekie’s first encounter with geese this spring. I had to tell him a couple times to “get those geese”. It still only took him about 30 seconds to get the couple airborne and flying away. Zekie is so proud to have a job to do. I imagine he’ll get to “work” a few more times before the pond stays clear. Below, you can see how happy he is to have done his job and be running back to me!

Dog returning
Zekie returning after getting rid of the geese.

Please note, no geese were harmed in the clearing of the pond. They always fly away well before he reaches them.

Life Journies

After I retired from my job of 32+ years as an Environment Scientist, I always knew that I would move on to something else. I just wasn’t sure what it would be. I decided that my best move would be to try everything! You only live once, right?

My first attempt at something new was to set up an Etsy site to sell Arts & Crafts. My Etsy site is still open and you can view my offering at the link below. https://sanctuaryacres.wordpress.com/2019/12/16/sanctuaryacresshop-on-etsy-is-open/ I will be posting new items soon with a Spring/Easter theme. Keep an eye open.

Then I took a test to be an on-line proofreader. I need to do a little brushing up on my grammar before I can pursue that option. I will continue to pursue it.

Another career option is, I have always wanted to write a book. So I started doing it! This will take a while and any pay off would be quite a way down the road. I am writing two books so I can switch back and forth between them depending on which one I am in the mood to work on. Both are non-fiction and I am drawing on my life experiences to write them.

Recently, I checked into the possibility of taking a position with a group that has you take a working border collie and chase geese off of airport runways, golf courses, etc. for their clients. The current opening is too far away for me, but I did fill out an application in case they have a position open up nearer to my home.

One of the other options I had considered was teaching. So, tomorrow will be my first assignment as a substitute teacher! I am very excited. This photo was a few years ago when Shelby & I were volunteering to read books to kindergarteners for an hour each month. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to this new job tomorrow. Unfortunately, Shelby will be at home.

My first class will be middle schoolers. I like to work with this age group as they develop their personalities and discover who they are. There is a chance to affect their lives and motivate them. I plan to try a class with each grade at some point to discover just which age group I prefer to work with. I’m sure they all have their positives.

I do not know what I will end up focusing on in the long run, but I am enjoying the journey. I still have other options to try. Life has so many possibilities and opportunities that I can’t decide where to point my energy. I know I will figure it out. The process is the point of this journey.