A couple of years ago, I started hanging up feeders to attract local wild birds into my yard. Since then I have gotten a lot of feathered visitors, like blue jays, house finches, American goldfinches, sparrows, red-winged blackbirds, orange-crowned warblers, cedar waxwings, and northern cardinal; just to name some of them. We also had nests with mourning doves, white-winged doves, grackles, and cardinals. Every day they came over for a snack.
Last year, my Gollie (Golden Retriever-Collie mix) took a nap on the deck. The birds must have been tweeting so loud, that Ranger woke up and got annoyed by them. He got up and barked at them. All the birds, except one, flew to other trees in the neighbors’ yards. But this one bird, a male northern cardinal, was brave enough to look at Ranger and gave him a piece of his birdy mind. You should have seen that look in my dog’s face, when the cardinal sat face-to face on the patio table, and told him to be quiet. Ranger trotted ‘defeated’ back to his spot, where he took his nap, laid back down and watched the bird closely, while the cardinal ate some sunflower seeds.
Because of this little incident, a lot has changed in our backyard. From that day on, Ranger and the cardinal were friends and respected each other. The cardinal can hop all over the deck and look for some seeds, while Ranger watches the bird without moving a muscle. And the other birds? They feel more comfortable being around my dog, as well. (March 2015)
UPDATE: Today, I was watching a Northern Cardinal eating seeds at the feeder. It brought memories back, when Ranger was still around. And it reminded me of this story, above. There are days, we all miss Ranger very much. He was an amazing pet. R.I.P. Ranger!