Dog-gone Geese

Canine keeps fowl off football practice field

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

Canada geese had overrun a playing field intended for BC Eagles until the recent arrival of the Athletic Association's newest mascot, an exuberant, nine-month-old English setter.

Since the dog arrived at Shea Field in late August, the pesky geese have stopped flocking there, to the relief of groundskeepers who had been required to clean up after the birds, reports Athletic Facilities Maintenance Supervisor Norm Reid.

"It used to take two hours a day to sweep up all the goose droppings," said Reid, caretaker to the high-spirited young canine. "We haven't had to sweep at all since the new dog got here.

"Once he sees a bird, you can't get him to stop chasing it," he added. "When there are no birds to chase, he chases butterflies."

Members of the football team with the new English setter. So far, the dog has been successful at chasing geese from the Shea Field practice area.

The off-white setter had the name "Blaze" when he arrived from a kennel in Middleboro, but a "name-the-dog" contest will be launched on the Athletic Association's World Wide Web site [http://www.bceagles.com], according to Sports Information Director Chris Cameron, who says he personally favors "Dog Flutie."

BC carpenters plan to build a special doghouse for the pet, who already enjoys his own wading pool at his day pen at Shea Field, to which he is confined by an invisible electric fence.

"After he gets all hot running around, he hops in the pool," said Reid. "It's the funniest thing in the world."

The dog eats dinner with the Athletic Department maintenance crew, and in the event of inclement weather, has a special area in the Zamboni room in Conte Forum. Reid said he brings the setter home with him to Bedford on weekends and takes him "back to work" on Monday.

Reid has been bringing his own English setter, Tucker, to Shea Field for the past year, but the savvy geese had been returning after the close of the working day at 5 p.m. Now the new dog has picked up the "second shift" and, said Reid, "has been doing a great job."

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