Chasing geese is an 8-year-old dog’s favorite sport


Quincy’s job is to keep geese off a golf course in Virginia. On some occasions, that leads him to leap into a lake. ( Lentz Wheeler)

I met an amazing 8-year-old athlete this week. He has an eagle eye, runs every day and is an excellent swimmer.

He’s Quincy, a three-color border collie who has patrolled the Springfield Golf & Country Club in Virginia for the past six years.

Quincy’s sport (his job, really) is to keep the golf course free of geese. The big birds love to hang out at the course because of its three lakes, marshes and green areas. But when the geese walk around — there is no polite way to put this — they poop all over the place.

That makes the course messy. The club’s golfers don’t like walking or putting through goose poop.

So when Lentz Wheeler, the golf course superintendent, goes out in a cart to inspect the course every morning, Quincy runs ahead. If the dog spots any geese, he’s off, chasing them even if he has to leap into a lake.

Don’t worry: Quincy is trained to chase but never hurt the geese. After a while, the birds get the idea that they are not welcome and fly off.

“It’s a humane way to get rid of the geese,” Wheeler says.

When I met Quincy, it was clear that he is happy and loves his job. He is devoted to Wheeler and gets to chase geese as well as an occasional fox or groundhog. The golf course is Quincy’s 157-acre playground.

Like many athletes, however, Quincy has had to deal with injury. He had an operation for a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in one of his legs last summer. After the operation, Quincy stayed in Wheeler’s office at the golf course. Wheeler came in early every morning to help the dog with stretching exercises. In two months, Quincy was walking the course. Before long, he was back chasing geese.

“He recovered faster than RGIII,” Wheeler says, referring to the Redskins quarterback.

Still, Quincy is getting older and slowing down. Wheeler notices that Quincy takes shortcuts and saves himself steps when he can. (“He’s super intelligent,” Wheeler says.)

So the club might get a new border collie this fall, and Quincy might retire in a year or two. Quincy will stay at the club, hanging out with Wheeler and teaching the new dog the tricks of chasing geese.

“He’ll ride more and run less,” Wheeler explained as we rode in a cart with Quincy curled at our feet.

Springfield Golf & Country Club hosted the Bobby Bowers Memorial tournament this week. The area’s best young golfers (ages 10 to 18) had to contend with Springfield’s sand traps, water hazards and slick, sloping greens.

But one thing they did not have to contend with was goose poop. Thanks to Quincy.

Bowen writes the sports opinion column for KidsPost. He is the author of 19 sports books for kids. His next book, “Double Reverse,” will be published in August.

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