If you are planning to visit Tahoe, watch your step, the lake has a goose poop problem.
Canadian Geese are crowding the shores and devouring grass at Edgewood Golf Course in Stateline, Nev. But, the resort has a secret weapon. His name is Luke and he is a three-year-old border collie.
When the bird droppings start to pile up, Luke and his owner Ken Bednar go to work.
“We work off hand signals," said Bednar. "I get Luke close and when I give him the sign, he chases after the geese.”
Chasing geese off the golf course is really the only humane way to get rid with the birds. Luke has been chasing geese for the past three years, but Bednar and his other dog started after he retired in 2009.
"I went from land development to chasing geese," said Bednar.
Work has been steady ever since.
The goose population is a real problem in Tahoe. Each bird can eat up to three pounds of grass a day and a lot of that digested grass ends up right back on the ground or in the water.
"Because of the golf course, they have a never-ending supply of food," said Bednar.
Goose poop can create algae problems in the water, but the real concern is geese and aircraft collisions.
“Geese flocks can take out a plane," added Bednar. "It's dangerous. They have dogs like this in airports all over the country.”
The goose problem is so bad that the USDA and Nevada Department of Wildlife do an annual goose round up.
Biologists cage as many birds as they can and relocate them. Back in June, Luke helped scientists by herding about 100 geese down the shoreline into a cage.
"I can’t take the credit, my wife trained both me and the dog," Bednar joked. “I do play a little golf now and then, but, not very well.”
Luke, on the other hand, requires a few pets for his services.
Border Collies are bread to herd animals and Luke's work at Edgewood doesn’t go un-noticed. Celebrity golfers like Larry the Cable Guy and Jerry Rice have thanked Luke for clearing the green of geese.
“His favorite celebrity is Olivia Munn,” said Bednar.
Just in case you're wondering, Luke's bark is bigger than his bite. He loves chasing birds, but he's never caught one...yet.
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