If you own property anywhere in Canada, let alone Eastern Ontario, you know all about geese. Sure, they’re a Canadian treasure gracing our golden dollar coins, but that’s because they have a great marketing team. The reality is a lot messier as these transients tend to drop their luggage anywhere they please without a care or a concern for anyone else who follows. All it takes is a small flock of these frequent flyers to turn your well-kept greens into a spotted eyesore, making them Public Enemy #1 in our books.
It’s a fact every golf course must face when they return from their annual pilgrimage to the southern States. Every year, we hum and we haw on what’s the best way to keep these flying hobos and their litter off our nine holes. There are easy ways to deal with the problem, yes, but we wanted to find a convenient and easy way to handle this matter without resorting to drastic measures.
Meet the solution, a shepherd mix dog named Dante. Geese – and birds in general – do not like dogs for the sheer reason that dogs LOVE birds. Chasing them, that is. Brought to us by her owner (and simultaneously our Hotel Manager, Joost Asselbergs), Dante has already worked miracles in the two short weeks she’s been on staff… and she is considered part of the team. While her title is unofficial, as Calabogie Peaks’ resident goose chaser she also works part-time as our cheerleader with people lining up to take her on patrol around Ironwoods in search of those hollow-boned trespassers. The beauty too is that she never really has to do anything – her mere presence alone upsets them, causing them to flap away unhappily squawking something about their squatting rights. Plus she tends to help out with landscaping as well when there’s a loose stick around.
On her downtime, she parks herself in the shade at the back of the main hotel or chilling out in one of the cottages with Joost as they plot out their plan of attack for the next day. Not to worry, Dante has no interest in the restaurant or any of the public areas frequented by our guests. After all, she’s a professional goose chaser and like all professional dogs, she doesn’t have time to goof around. Don’t let that tail wagging fool you. It’s hard work to defend these greens from dark-billed troublemakers and all she asks for in return is a pat on the head and a treat. I just wish I could get a treat at the end of my day.
Dante gets ready to get to work for another shift of goose chasing. Oh, and there’s Joost too. He helps.
The key to her task is to chase away all geese without tearing up the greens… which she does a top grade job, I must say.
There is no path she won’t check, no bush she won’t sniff to root out every last goose on the premises.
One of the best qualities about Dante? She’s a rescue dog and there’s nothing better than giving a pup a second chance at a happy life. When you’re looking at adopting in the future, remember to consider adopting a rescue dog from your local chapter of the Humane Society or other recognized pet adoption