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An Unlikely Herder of Ducks


Pushkin was a pug who was my constant companion when, as a girl, I lived on a farm in Michigan. My mom gave me the job of looking after the two dozen ducklings we got one spring. They were little fluff balls, very cute, but Pushkin thought we were trying to replace her. She tried all that first day to make quacking noises, as if to say, "If you'd only TOLD me that's what you wanted, I would have done it!" I decided that I would teach her to herd the ducks. Pugs are loveable little clowns, and no one really thinks of them as working dogs, but hey, I had read Lassie Come Home, so why not? Why not? Because Pushkin was not a Border Collie! I wantched her with the ducks, though, and found that she liked to play with them. So over the next few weeks, as the ducklings grew into big white ducks, I trained her to get them to go the direction I wanted by lightly bopping them on the tail feathers with her paw. She loved doing it and we would herd them all over. One day, the ducks got their revenge for being annoyed by this dog no bigger than they were: While Pushkin was standing at attention, wagging her curly tail, one sneaked up behind her, and grabbed that wiggly worm of a tail it in its beak. Pushkin jumped about a mile in the air! And that's the story of the world's only working pug.



Christine G.
Brookline, MA

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