Measuring With Frogs, Swimming With Geese– A Peek Into The Life Of Two Dogs On Virginia’s Eastern Shore

by: Marlene email


Little Honey getting modeling advice from Pumpkin, May 2010

In July I posted a little story about how my daughter  “measures”  her dogs by posing them next to a couple of funky yard ornaments,  two frogs to be exact.   A couple days ago  it was time to  take the autumn measurements  of  these two bronze  Newfoundlands.   But  the very sweet Pumpkin,  now two plus years and the feisty Honey,  nine months,  had to be coaxed into primping  for the camera next to the quirky tall metal frogs.     They just really were not in the mood for a photo shoot .  Being a bit breezy that day on the Eastern Shore of Virginia,  dry leaves were gently fluttering down from many of  the trees,   rustling and swirling all across the backyard.   Both of   “the  girls” ,  as my husband likes to call them,  were infinitely more interested in chasing  leaves rather than posing docilely for the camera.  Leashes had to be produced and many commands of  “sit” and “stay” were given before a semi-satisfactory shot was obtained.  But the principal objective was finally met,  leashes removed  and off they set  in a mad dash,  crossing  the lawn in wild pursuit of who knows what canine goal.  Chasing deer is their very favorite pursuit.  If they see a deer in the yard,  usually following a little trail down by the water,  they give  great excited barks  and set off  at a gallop trying to catch one– apparently they will never learn that  deer run  multiples of times faster than dogs,  or maybe they’re  just doing the dog version of the 50 yard dash.   Anyway,  I  think they would probably freak out if they actually  ever really got close to  one.  Fortunately there’s no worry about that happening because  deer are so agile they could just jump past a mere dog in a single bound.   Which reminds me of  a  “dogs interacting with other animals”  little story my husband related to  me  the other day.


Honey and Pumpkin, Measured With Frogs, November 2010

Pumpkin and Honey,   being Newfies,  and Newfies traditionally being water rescue dogs,  both adore swimming.  In the summer they love to go down to the inlet and swim in the salt water and do so just about every single day.  Last week,   my husband and the dogs were just sitting out on the deck,  enjoying some late day sun.  This being the time of year that flocks of  geese start  returning to the Eastern Shore to enjoy our mild winters,  a large flock passed overhead,  honking loudly as geese always do,  aiming  to set down in  the water just off our backyard.   The dogs stood up,  cocking their heads,  listening to all the noise  and then bounded  off for the shoreline,  which is about 350 feet from the deck.   By that time the geese,  with their  usual fanfare,  were settling down in the water  just off the area where  the dogs usually enter to swim.   My husband followed the dogs  on down,  hoping to get a good view of the flock,   assuming the geese would take off as soon as the dogs arrived on the scene.   But the geese didn’t seem to mind the dogs,  actually totally ignored them .   Into the water went Pumpkin and Honey,  quietly ,  not barking or carrying on at all.   And then they proceeded to swim along with the geese,  who were bobbing around not more than 20 feet away from them !   I have never heard of such a thing before but  my husband swears,  Scout’s Honor and pinkie swear,  that every word is true.  I can tell you that a human can’t get anywhere near that close to a flock of geese because the whole flock  will take to the air in a flash,  wings beating,  loudly honking.   And if only my husband  had his camera with him,  I would have loved  a  shot  of  Honey and Pumpkin,  slowly swimming with geese.


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