Thursday, August 25, 2011

Older Dog Wisdom - Tux 28: Mama's Lessons

As Tux, Grace, and I rounded the bend of the park path, we came face to face with a gaggle of geese sunning themselves in the outfield of one of the baseball field. There must have been a dozen of the big birds resting there. One goose, apparently the designated perimeter guard, started waddling toward us. 
Tux was stunned. He’d never seen a creature as large as this one who didn’t have four feet. Sure, he knew what birds were. Hadn’t he chased Robins and Cardinals out of his yard for years? But these creatures? They couldn’t possibly be birds - they were way too large. How could they possibly get off the ground? I didn’t have the heart to remind him that he’d flown in a jet - twice - and it was much larger than any of these geese. He and the jet had managed to stay in the air for fifteen hours without a problem.

What did the intrepid hunter do next? Why he went into his three-point stance, of course. Then he began to stalk the guard goose, placing one foot ever so slowly in front of the other as he began his approach.
The goose, for his part, couldn’t believe the audacity of the Cocker Spaniel - intrepid hunter or no. He quacked once alerting his fellows that there was an intruder. Several goose heads swiveled in our direction.
Grace, on the other hand, simply sat down to watch the unfolding drama. By now, she’d seen her brother stalk a wadded up piece of paper, a fallen tree branch, three crazy daschunds, and even a drooling devil dog which had attacked us. She wasn’t sure how this would play out, but she knew it would be amusing.
I kept thinking of all the stories I’d heard about geese being used as watchdogs and attacking intruders of their turf. While the baseball field could hardly be called their turf, if possession is 99% of the law, we were on their turf. How was I going to get Tux and Grace out of harm’s way if the geese attacked? I had no answer to that question.
Luckily for all concerned, nature called. Tux lost his bad-dog attitude and look when he squatted to pee. Somehow a male dog squatting to pee just doesn’t send the right vibe to a militant goose.
The geese all took to the sky suddenly. Apparently, break was over and they needed to return to the business of flying northward. There was much flapping of wings and honking both of which startled Tux. He actually ducked as the guard goose flew over his head. I was most grateful that the geese didn’t have a call of nature. The image of 12 geese pooping on our heads wasn’t a pleasant one.
Lesson Learned
Before you decide to be a tough guy make sure you remember you mama’s lessons about using the bathroom before embarking on a journey.

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