17 January 2010

Chasing Ducks...

Ducks can fly. They can swim. They do both well, though some may argue that a duck is horrible at flying. Watching a duck try to take off into flight is like watching an old, unbalanced prop plane take off... The duck flaps and flaps its wings and then eventually becomes airborne. I guess we could compare a duck to one of those sea-planes then. Since I'm not an airplane specialist or even willing to google right now. I will stick with my term of sea-plane. We all know what i'm talking about.

Nonetheless, a duck should have a sheer advantage over a dog, whether by land or by sea... Right? Well I'm not so sure. I have two not so small dogs... they are not small by any means. I love my dogs. Am quite attached to them actually. The town I live in, like most towns, has a leash law. I am constantly reminded of this law every time I take E&M on a walk because by walk what I actually mean is, lets go run around the back yard as fast as we can. And they are soooo fast. I can't even keep up on my bicycle - THATS how fast they are.

Here is what my back yard is like.. I live on this wonderful plot of land that backs up to a field and behind my home about 50 yards back is a creek. If you walk along the embankment that follows the path of the creek you will eventually hit an even larger field, and then continuing on, a field larger than the previous two. This creek eventually joins another creek, and when I follow the latter creek upstream, we hit the first pond. Oh the wonderful duck filled pond. Canadian Geese are frequent occupants of this pond too, but they are much smarter than the duck and once the dogs hit the water, the geese take off, not to return.

Ducks are not that smart. I am stating this from pure observation, and it is by no means my scientific point of view. Swimming is great exercise for the dogs and tires them out, so once we hit the pond we stop, I stand around and watch as my dogs swim after the ducks, knowing that a duck can fly, so hardly worried about the repercussions of what might happen. The pond is quite nasty and there are cans floating around as well as other stuff, but the girls don't seem to mind. Marley will spend all day swimming after the ducks. She will chase them one way, they will flap and fly, then she will catch up and they will flap and fly the other way. El tends to want to run around the pond knowing which way the duck is being chased, she is prepared on the other side to catch. They are quite the team. Only once has Marley caught a duck and it was in a situation where the duck was trying to get into its little duckie den underneath a lot of brush in the woods beyond the pond. Ellie let me know that there was trouble, and i was able to catch her in the act, and like a child with its hand in the cookie jar, she released just long enough for the duck to get to safety.

Today that didn't happen quite like that.
I let them chase and swim for about 20 minutes or so and i took my eye off of the pond for a minute to let the sun catch my face and enjoy the 60+ degree weather we are receiving this weekend. Suddenly i opened my eyes and realized, i can't see Marley anywhere. E. is easy to spot because of her black and white color. M. on the other hand is a brindle which translates into camouflage. She really blends quite nicely into the woods as well as the ponds. Well the stupid ducks must have tired of playing this swimming game of chase, and had waddled to "safety" into nearby bushes that were bordered on the other side by a brick home. Dumb move duck. Dumb move. The ducks were cornered. Seconds later, as i'm still trying to figure out where M had gone, I see ducks flying out of the bushes, quacking in what I can only imagine to be a frantic cry for help. Marley was quick on their tail... and then. I couldn't look but i had to act.. Marley had a duck in her mouth, and I could see where this was going. I don't think she means to hurt the duck. She just wants to catch it. This is a game to her. She doesn't play fetch often, but chase the duck [insert squirrel, rabbit, bird]. Now that is fun. A sick feeling came over me as well as an overbearing sense of pride in my baby girl! I scream MARLEY NOOOOOOOOOOOO! And she dropped it, let it go, it swam off, and them Marley continued into the water in her pursuit. This is where I tell you about the lady that yells from across the way. "YOu know there's a leash law" Me: "I know. Thanks".. Ready to go home as to not cause more trouble I urge M to come out of the pond and after several attempts of getting her attention, i break her trance, and we run back down the path, back to my field, back to the creek and back to the house.

I don't know what will come of my dogs in the next few months. Do they move to the desert? Do we find a new home and I have to let them go? I just really can't say for sure. I just wanted to share what I observed today, how stupid these ducks are, and how wonderfully awesome my dogs can be.

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