Ollie and the duck hunt

After Ollie’s recent fruitless search for bears, he seems to have devoted his hunting attentions to ducks instead. This has been helped by a small family of ducks, who have taken up residence in the nearby river. As they are nearly always to be found congregating in the same spot, Ollie has quickly realised that he no longer has to search up and down the river, hoping to find their place of choice. He can now almost guarantee to go straight to their spot under some overhanging branches, flushing them out with little effort.

For their part, the ducks appear to have become accustomed to the wrinkly intruder, and no longer fly off squawking when he appears. Instead, they just swim off in the direction of the road bridge, always managing to stay just ahead of the excitable dog. He makes so much noise jumping and splashing, he could never hope to surprise them anyway. He has never managed to catch a duck, and I feel sure that he just sees the whole escapade as a frustrating game of chase. If he gets too close, they quickly turn around, and escape him by swimming into the dense reeds.

After a hot night, the weather changed today, with three hours of rain, followed by a damp and grey afternoon. It was still warm enough though, and Ollie was soon in the river shortly after we arrived at the Meadows. After a splash around at the bend, he set off with some purpose, and I concluded that he was on a duck-hunting mission. He found the usual spot, and waded in. The ducks meandered off, showing no alarm, and with an air of resignation. They headed to the deeper water under the bridge, but this time Ollie was more determined. He followed them into the unfamiliar area, and soon the water was over his head, leaving him no choice but to swim. He came spluttering back to the bank, soaked through, and shaking himself from nose to tail.

I walked him into the open areas, where the late afternoon sun would help to dry him. After lots of rubbing his face on the grass, followed by increasingly violent head-shaking, I concluded that he had got water in his ears, which drives him to distraction. I got a tissue, and wiped inside as far as I could, but he ran off afterwards, still shaking his head for all he was worth. Even after we got back home, he was shaking enough to expel tiny drops of water, so Julie and I cleaned his ears again. We now have to hope that he doesn’t get yet another ear infection, or it could turn out to be a very expensive duck hunt indeed.

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33 thoughts on “Ollie and the duck hunt

  1. Ducks are funny creatures our one likes to antagonise the chickens even though she couldn’t actually harm anyone with her beak. She keeps winding them up until they peck and hurt her and still she pops her head in the air all aloof. Ollie definately wants to steer clear of ducks in future! All the best.

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  2. Pete, I have a picture in my mind of Ollie wearing an inner tube paddling the waterways trying to catch up with the ducks… Thank you for such a lovely Ollie adventure. Take care from Laura ~

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      1. Oh no… I’m so sorry to hear that… poor Ollie, I hope it’s not too costly at the vet for you.. Over here it’s outrageous. Take care my friend and speedy recovery for our beloved Ollie

        Laura ~

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        1. It was 130 Canadian dollars Laura. He has tablets for the itching, and antibiotics for the skin infection too. Quite cheap for Vets in the UK. We are not even bothering to claim on the pet insurance. He has a review in 10 days, when hopefully he will have improved. It is an allergy to something, possibly grass pollen, maybe nettles, all combined with the seasonal moulting, and the unusually hot weather. At least we know he has been treated, and he appears to be better already.
          Best wishes, Pete.

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          1. That’s wonderful news that Ollie is getting better on his meds. They are loved as family and we can’t stand to see our loved ones sick.. Get all better soon, Ollie.. πŸ™‚

            from Laura

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    1. Thanks Olga. He scratched out a lot of fur last night, and what with that, and his ears, I think I may have to keep him out of the water for some time. He is off to the Vet this afternoon, yet again.
      The photos will come. It has been very dull and showery of late, so when the light is better.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  3. I know how annoying it is to have water in my own ears, but at least I can put a Q-tip in there, poor Ollie needs some sort of ear plugs for his hunting trips!! πŸ˜‰

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      1. I know they make “Mutt Muffs” for dogs afraid of loud noise [like thunder], figured they would have something for water too? Let me know what you discover.

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  4. πŸ™‚ My Mum’s dog, now deceased, would have said that the most important thing as far as ducks and squirrels are concerned is to ensure that both are kept in their place. Ducks belong in water. Squirrels belong in trees. That is their place and for as long as they stay there, they can be tolerated. Just woe betide them if they should trespass elsewhere. Bit like cats, really. True hunting, on the other paw, is a much more serious business that is reserved purely for prey one has some hope of catching – rabbits, for example.

    Listen and learn. As Ollie’s pack leader, I consider it your bounden duty to pass on these pearls of wisdom from the ancient spirits πŸ˜‰

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  5. Yu could try human ear drops, we use them on Jackie when she has problems with her ears (about every six months) and they work a treat. You don’t want to have to stop Ollie’s fun.

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    1. We have all sorts of ear-drops Eddy. Some are to stop build-ups in his ears, others are antibiotic should he get a recurrence. The main problem is the head shaking. Once he feels the irritation, he shakes his head so violently, he even gets ‘cauliflower ears.’
      I’m hoping it was a one-day thing, as he seems OK this morning.
      Cheers mate, Pete.

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  6. There’s that smile pasted on my face every time you write about Ollie’s escapades. I am amused and it’s about time you take those photographs of Ollie…still waiting πŸ™‚

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  7. I also hope that Ollie the Duck-Chasing Water Dog doesn’t get another ear infection. We don’t want him to associate an infection with the noble art of duck chasing, as that might stifle his enthusiasm.

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