Geese Herding ?

Are you a border collie owner (and despise geese)?

You know those geese that plague you every summer at the Res, the ones that steal your Cheetos while you're reading?

Joe Connelly, the head of recreation in Arlington, has borrowed an idea that has had success in Winchester -- why not use a particular pooch to send pecking geese packing from the Res and Spy Pond?

The dog he's seeking is a border collie, and Connelly wants to know whether there is a dog owner out there who will lend a hand -- or a paw.

If you are an Arlington resident who owns a border collie and would be interested in assisting the Town of Arlington Park and Recreation Department with a geese-control experiment, contact Superintendent of Recreation Connelly at 781-316-3881 or e-mail him.

After doing some research on the Web, Connelley said, it was clear to him that the best and most cost-effective way to get rid of Canada geese is a dog, particularly a border collie.

Connelly said he contacted the Winchester Country Club, whose personnel use a dog for geese control, and they say they have had great success.

If the Town of Arlington were to buy a border collie, Connelly estimated the cost at $1,500 to $3,000. Then the town must come up with a way to house the dog and find someone to let the dog do perform its geese-seeking mission a couple of times a day, he said.

So after talking to the Park Commission and the Department of Public Works, Rec Department employees arrived at this experiment: if someone in town has a border collie, perhaps the town could offer them a small stipend to patrol a couple of areas in town this spring and summer. That way would could see whether a dog will help solve the problem before the town considers buying what would be the first Town Dog..

"It is a somewhat out-there idea to solve a tricky problem," he said. "All we can do is try."


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