Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Birding with Dogs . . .

Birding with dogs is not easy unless, I guess, you're birding by ear.  But I'd argue that my two dogs, Rosie (the lab) and Henry (part border collie, part pointer) can even distract me from birdsong. You see, my dogs assume our outings are devoted to their exercise, exploration, and fun! Meanwhile, I delude myself into believing that I can also, on occasion, raise binoculars to a bird or--if the Fates allow--even snap a photo. What a joke. Try aiming your camera on a Great Blue Heron rising from pond or lake while leashed to 140 pounds of dog (combined weights). Inevitably, the critical shutter "click" gets preempted by an important canine message: "Let's go this way!"  And away I am swept.

The obvious solution is to untether myself from the dogs. And, I do, but the general public does not look favorably upon a free-roaming pack of dogs . . . okay, two dogs do not a "pack" make . . . but you understand. Even then, my radar must be scanning for unsuspecting walkers, bicyclists, or Heaven forbid--other dog walkers!   While human strangers usually know protocols for passing one another on trail or path, the same cannot be said of canines.  Merge unleashed dogs willy nilly and mayhem will result.

So what to do?

Go birding without the dogs. Ahhh! That's it! I'll leave the dogs at home, but . . .  I'm not sure they'll let me.

Until next time . . . Keep birds in your heart even if you can't photograph them. 

p.s. The image to your right is not a seal. It's a happy, wet dog.

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