The hazing began today for the Geese of Burns Park. A handler with two dogs has been hired to scare the geese off of the property.
The dogs' crate gates were thrown open Wednesday morning and afternoon, and the two border collies went to work chasing the geese to a nearby pond.
The dogs' names are Heck and Bud. Their handler, Gary Westbrook, says the natural herding dogs terrify the geese but are very gentle. They're also very persistent. Every time the geese flew to another location, Westbrook would pack up the dogs in his golf cart and arrive at the new spot just minutes later.
Often the geese would land in a pond where the dogs couldn't get to them. That's when Westbrook would pull out a motorized boat and harass the geese with it instead.
Though Wednesday was only the first day on the job, Westbrook says it was a good start, and he's confident that he can get rid of the geese.
"They'll learn the dogs. They'll learn my vehicle, and they know it's time to leave when they see us pull up."
The North Little Rock Department of Parks and Recreation will have to do some extra work in order to help the dogs do their job. A dam on Victory Lake is covered in brush too thick for the dogs to work in, but it's a suspected nesting ground for the geese. Parks and recreation plans to clear the area in the coming days, helping the dogs become more effective.
Lose a Goose will be working in Burns Park for the next two months, after that, the city is looking into getting its own dog to continue the work.