Thursday, January 17, 2013

It was a day to remember..

Now if this were a romantic novel, that would be a good day to remember.  Yesterday and this morning are ones that I'd rather just not happen. My ducks and geese were ambushed by the two dogs that live next door.
                             a bit blurry, but the 4 ducks this morning - injury free but wary. 

Now a bit of story on those dogs: they are hunting dogs specifically trained to hunt geese and ducks. The youngest one luvs ducks. I've encountered the youngest one before, and she's very well trained as a hunting dog.

So there I stood yesterday, waiting to put peanut butter on my toasted bagel.  That's when I hear a ruckus outside and see the ducks running heads in the air towards the back. I turn to see large birds flying to the Northwest out of the other window.  It was only when I saw Buddy's big white butt flying over that I realize, that OH SHIT, those are my geese flying 20' over my head and off into the blue! What is going on???

So I ran outside and see the youngest dog with one of my ducks in it's mouth by its' neck.  I holler the dogs' name then 'DOWN!" and she puts the duck down on the ground and it scurries off.  I see the elder dog by the burn pile about to grab another.  "DOWN!" I holler again.   I look up the path to the CRP fields and see Sissy's white butt scurrying down the path.  She can't fly due to the fact she's blind in one eye, but man she was a'truckin' down that path! There is a definite female wiggle to that girl.........

As fast as I could, I hollered for Alex's help, got on snow boots and my down coat and went after Sissy. I told Alex to get those dogs out of the yard any way that he could. Whatever he did worked, because by the time I got to Sissy and picked her up, he was at the beginning of the path waiting for me.  I handed Sissy to him with the direction to put her in the pen and corral the ducks.  I went in search of the other 5 geese, doing my best goose honks that I could.

I got a response from what I think was Ron about 1/4 mile away. So I trudge down to them, see Ginny, Sweet Pea, Buddy and Ron all together.  Alex helps me get them herded back to the house and I end up trying to spend the remaining 2 hours before sundown finding Percy.

I could not find him. I searched for tracks, I honked, I 'Ockled' (his favorite call), Hell, I even sang 'soft kitty'.  Nothing. I cried, fearing he was dead.  When Dave came home, I was a basket case.  I wanted Percy to come home.  I did not sleep well last night, my mind was racing on where or what was going on with him. It's my responsibility to keep them safe and I failed.

At 4 am I woke and could not get back to sleep. The couch seemed like a good idea, so I came downstairs and put on the heating pad. It helped me get back to sleep for a few more hours. When Dave came down to leave for work, I woke up kissed him and dozed for a 1/2 an hour.  When 7 am came, I stood up and looked out the window to gauge the time before sunrise.  I  *thought* I heard a honk, but perhaps my mind was just wishfully thinking.

But no, there he was: Percy was pacing by the chicken coop honking.  I was so excited to see him that I threw on my down coat and wellies over my nightgown and ran after him.  The goose got a hug from me and I plopped him in the pen with the others, just so relieved he was alive and fine.

Percy this morning after I let them out.  He's preening himself.   In fact the rest of the flock spent a lot of the day preening, when they weren't resting.
Top to bottom: Ginny, Ron and Sweet Pea.
Don't let the names fool you, they are all male. And they are all very protective of their girl, Sissy.  I was much relieved that when they flew over the house, they flew together.

Dave and I will be having a discussion on whether or not to clip their wings this weekend. It's painless and will not hurt the geese, but will render them unable to fly any distance.  We will be discussing whether or not that would be beneficial if the dogs get over to our place again.

I start spring semester in a week, and will not be here to go after them again IF the dogs get out and ambush them again.  We're going to have to have a talk with the neighbors...

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