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Monday, July 16, 2012

When They'll Swim...

A big thank you to Teddy Moritz for this story about her mini dachshund Fitz.

My smallest dachshund, Fitz, is a good and willing swimmer, like her dam, Gavia was. And Fitz purely loves to chase Canada Geese. I once did some control work on a private lake and was allowed to shoot the geese. I let Fitz try to retrieve them to the canoe but she usually ended up using them as a life raft while I paddled to her. Once she was in the canoe with the dead goose she'd pluck as many feathers out of it as she could.

Where I live now the geese are often in the peach orchard or in the soybeans, both of which are bordered by a lake with heavy vegetation around the shores. It's a fairly big lake. Today when I was driving one of the dirt roads I noticed there were about fifty geese in the soybeans. I let Fitz out and she could see them even though the soybeans are almost taller than she is, which isn't very tall. She immediately ran through the field chasing the geese, who acted confused about this tiny predator but they took to the air anyway. The guys picking tomatoes in the next field cheered Fitz on. She came back tongue lolling and eyes bright.

We continued around the bend to the peach orchard, the lake on our left. I saw a big flock of geese on the ground amongst the peach trees. Being flushed with victory, I let Fitz out to chase them. She willingly participated and raced after the geese. Many of the geese were flightless goslings and molting adults, so this group. also about fifty or sixty birds, ran for the lake. They have one trail down through the greenbriar and trees so there was a bit of a bottle neck at the opening. Fitz thought that was great but the birds got through to the water with Fitz after them. I figured she'd bark from the edge of the lake, as she often does when she sees swimming geese. I waited a bit for her, then called her. No Fitz, and she's very voice obedient. After about five minutes I began to be worried about her. I didn't hear any thrashing and squawking in the bushes so I knew she hadn't caught a gosling. I made my way down the path and called and called. The geese were half way across the lake, in a big group, still gabbling about the chase. I kept calling but Fitz didn't come. This was not good. I saw an old dock further down the lake, behind a house.  I went out on the dock so I could see the entire lake. Well, I finally saw Fitz. She had swum after the geese and they had her surrounded, or she had them on the run, one or the other. She was still swimming after the geese and they just paddled out of her way, which made her more determined to catch one. Remember this dachshund weighs six pounds on a fat day, and she just turned nine years old.

I called and called and I guess Fitz finally got tired because she turned and swam back to me. All I could see was her tiny head above water and an entire flock of geese following her, presumably to make sure she was truly leaving. When she got to the dock I hauled her out and she immediately turned around and began barking at the geese. As they came closer she was ready to jump in again but I picked her up. She squirmed and cried to get back at the birds but I held onto her. I wish I had my camera when I saw her out in the middle of the lake surrounded by geese.

When they'll swim, dachshunds can hardly be stopped.

Teddy Moritz

I found this picture in my archives. It shows Fitz retrieving from water.


Lindsjö taxar said...

How great to see a dachshund retrieving from the water. Not usaul thing for a dachshund. Great work.

Stan said...

Teddy, you just have the best stories and adventures!!

Teddy said...

Stan, email me privately and I'll tell you some more stories!