Day of the Heron (oops – Anhinga) & Sheba’s Future

On edit: Reader Gene Masse has identified this bird for me. Here's his comment: "That is a Anhinga. It is in the Cormorant family type of swamp bird. They eat fish. He was fishing. Also known as a snakebird because they sometimes swim with only their head and neck above water."       I will confirm that I saw some birds swimming with just their heads above water. They looked really strange, but I had no idea that they were the same kind of bird!

On edit: Reader Gene Masse has identified this bird for me. Here’s his comment: “That is a Anhinga. It is in the Cormorant family type of swamp bird. They eat fish. He was fishing. Also known as a snakebird because they sometimes swim with only their head and neck above water.” I will confirm that I saw some birds swimming with just their heads above water. They looked really strange, but I had no idea that they were the same kind of bird!

Today was another grey, chilly day.  Not pleasant to be out in.  But since we must walk the dogs no matter what the weather, we walked down to the canal today in hopes that I would find a decent photo or two.

1I’m no good at bird identification.  I’m think this is a heron, but don’t know what kind of heron.  Anyway, this guy was a perfect model.  I suppose he was craning his neck all around looking for something to eat, but it sure looked like he was posing for me.  I took over 40 shots of him, and each one was different.  I finally picked the ones I liked best to share with you.2

The situation with Sheba is coming to a crisis.  We must keep her tied up while in campgrounds, and it is seriously depressing her.  She cries and whimpers when she sees squirrels and birds that she can’t chase.  I think the squirrels know she can’t get to them, so they scamper around just out of leash range and it drives her crazy.3

Finally this afternoon she gave up.  She just curled up in a ball, ignored everything that went on around her, and looked like the picture of depression.

Then, of course, when we do walk her, she goes ballistic.  She needs to run so badly, so she jerks and yanks us around so wildly that it is dangerous to us.  Ron has a sore shoulder, probably from being yanked so hard so often.5

So we have decided that we either must give up camping or find another home for Sheba.  Since camping is the only thing that we enjoy doing together, and since we don’t have that many more active years left, we’ve decided to try to find her a new home.7

This is not the way I wanted things to turn out.  It feels like a no-win situation.

The only positive thing that might come of it is that Sheba might find younger, more energetic owners who will run and hike with her and shower her with all the love that she deserves.

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16 Comments

  1. Ann

     /  December 14, 2012

    Gorgeous bird photography! The best!

    Very sad about Sheba….

  2. Carla :) ~cozygirl

     /  December 14, 2012

    oh Sheba…sounds like she needs that open farm with acres to run. You sure gave it your best and we know you shared your love…has to be a heartfelt decision. May you find the best home ever…xxooo

    • She does, Carla. And maybe livestock to herd. She is so gentle and loving under her boisterous exterior. Thanks so much for the good wishes for her.

  3. I think you are making the right decision for Sheba. They need lots of room to run and chase. They are herding dogs. I wouldn’t want to have to give up my dog either but if it is in Fred’s best interest I would do it. Broken hearted but do it none the less. Good luck in finding her a new home.
    You pictures are fantastic.

  4. Gene Masse

     /  December 14, 2012

    That is a Anhinga. It is in the Cormorant family type of swamp bird. They eat fish. He was fishing. Also known as a snakebird because they sometimes swim with only their head and neck above water.

    • Thank you, Gene. I saw a couple of birds swimming with just their heads above water, but wasn’t close enough to get a clue of what they were! It looked really strange!

  5. Great photos of the heron! I had a similar experience a few years ago when we went to a local lake and the blue heron was putting on quite a show – worthy of a National Geographic special! He(?) posed this way and that, with ‘one-foot balancing’ acts, and showing off his profile. He even caught a fish and made quite a production of swallowing it (of course, I felt bad for the fish). Unlike you, however, I did NOT have a camera with me ! It was so frustrating! Even though we’ve seen the blue heron(s) again (and did have a camera), none has never put on a show like that one!

    I agree that Sheba should have a chance to run free. Remember, you generously gave her a great start! You must enjoy your camping trips and your time together,and not be stressed out. I’m sure you’ll find a great home for her!

    • Kathy, when I was looking at the bird, I noticed it had webbed feet, so I thought it might not be a heron, but didn’t know what else it might be. One of the comments above, by Gene Masse, identified it as an Anhinga, a member of the cormorant family of swamp birds.

      I think I would have died if I hadn’t had my camera with me this time. I can imagine how you must have felt not being able to capture the heron’s display. It really does look like they are deliberately putting on a show for us, doesn’t it?

      Thanks so much for the kind words about Sheba. I do believe that I have given that little 6 week old, 6 pound free free Walmart parking lot puppy a good start. I knew she was not a breed that we should get, but thought maybe we could make it work — a good home for her and more exercise and activity for us. 🙂

  6. Marcia GB

     /  December 15, 2012

    It must be very hard but I think you’re making the right decision. Sheba needs to run and you need to camp, so finding her a forever home with lots of room to roam is for the best. Sorry you have to make this choice 😦

    • Marcia, it is such a relief to me that you understand that we did not make this decision lightly. I feel so sorry for Sheba under her present circumstances. She is such a good girl, such a gentle and loving personality. She just can’t help her desperate need for a more active life and freedom to run.

  7. Elizabeth in NC

     /  December 15, 2012

    Sounds like you are making the best decision for everyone concerned…but nonetheless I am sure it is hard!!

  8. Sheba is a special dog, full of energy but loving……here’s hoping that the right person will unite with her and provide a “forever” home.

    • Lynne, she is so special. So loving. I believe that we will find the right home for her as long as we are patient and do our part of the footwork. 🙂

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