When Mike and I were in Peoria last Thursday helping with a relative having surgery, we received a phone call from Katherine that a goose had been killed. A wild predator was ruled out because the geese are in an area that is enclosed with woven wire. That only left Porter and Trouper. Porter is three years old and has never laid teeth on an animal here. That left Trouper as the likely culprit. A few days earlier I had seen him run at the geese, but he turned at the last minute and left them alone. I had also seen him snap at animals but never actually make a connection.
As we were driving home that night, we received another phone call. A second goose had been found dead. Katherine then locked up both dogs. When I arrived home, I had to pack and leave for a homeschooling conference where I was speaking on Friday and Saturday, so I didn't have time to investigate. While I was gone, Mike said he let the two dogs out of the barn and came inside for about two minutes. He heard a racket and looked outside. A dog was on top of a goose, although he couldn't tell which one. He started screaming, and the dog left the goose. Later, he let the dogs out one at a time, and nothing happened. Sounds like classic "pack mentality," but that doesn't make the situation any better.
What is especially sad is that one of the murdered geese was a mama making a nest. I had been so proud of her because she'd chosen to go into a little chicken coop to make her nest, so we would be able to close the door every night, keeping her completely safe from predators. How ironic that her seemingly brilliant idea was what caused her demise.
What to do now? Trouper has incontinence, which makes it a challenge for him to spend any time in the house. I had not bought the belly bands that someone suggested because I kept thinking that it was a temporary problem. It's muddy outside this time of year, so Porter doesn't really like coming into the house because we always clean his feet. He had been happy to stay outside with Trouper, and they'd been spending the nights together in the barn office. It seemed like a great solution until geese started getting killed. Now the two dogs spend their time locked up unless someone is out there to supervise. I don't want to bring Porter back into the house, because Trouper would be lonely. And although he didn't attack any geese when Mike let him run around alone, I'm not convinced that it's a good idea to leave Trouper unattended around any fowl.
I need to find a new home for Trouper, although I know his resume isn't great. Being incontinent makes it harder to find him a city home. His habit of chasing poultry makes it unwise to send him to a country home. He is a very sweet dog though. He really likes to please people and comes the moment I call him. His pelvis seems to have healed fine -- as evidenced by his newfound love of chasing poultry. If you know anyone who might be able to give Trouper a good home, send them the link to this post and have them contact me.
To read more about Trouper, you can check out this post about how we found him, his first vet visit, and another post about his recuperation.