Anniemal cum Duck herd Utah fowl in perpetuity. Film credit, Jim Hutchins, auteur.
Note to The Shriek readers: The duck has a mind of its own and we have only nominal
control over its next move. However, if your ACD is eager to take part in the Société initiation,
e-mail wayoutacd <at> aol.com. If you have completed photos, e-mail them to ssp <at> email.unc.edu.
The Shriek staff refuses liability for any psychological trauma encountered by Australian Cattle Dogs
in the enactment of this secret ritual.
(To complete the e-mail addresses, take out the spaces and replace the <at> with @)
The fabulous ANNIE Hutchins is queen of a new domain, and nothing could make it better than sharing it with a special Duck. Click on the photo for a larger image, and you will see the office in the background that is now Jim's working abode, with the mountain Ben Lomond looming farther back. Does it look like Jim misses Mississippi? (except, of course, Rosemary, Dylan and that Roxy girl.)
Utah Mountain Duck Dog ANNIE: "Nothing better than a late summer day, the mountain breezes, and a duck suit. ... OK, I can take a joke. Very funny. Kindly remove the duck suit immediately."
A visit to Jackson, Miss., soon-to-be-former home to the Hoffman/Hutchins pack, would not be complete without a Duck's tour of the family's agility equipment. Left, the Duck shows off her questionable hips (what hips?) as she waddles over the A-frame. Above, the canard makes it to the end of the tunnel but pauses to admire how its yellow enhances her own.
In an unembarrassed nod to the Duck's extremely feminine, come-hither appeal, DYLAN Hoffman smiles the smile of the male cattle dog who has surrendered all sense to the pull of his nether regions. The prurient among us who assert they have reached or exceeded 18 years of age may click on Dylan's smirk to see why. (The Duck does her best to hide her face behind her beak so as not to be recognized in such a compromising situation.)
ROXY Hutchins pauses on the dogwalk while she instructs the Duck on proper technique. Yes, a pause on the dogwalk is not proper until one reaches the lower contact point, she says, but all bets are off if a photo op is in the works. The Duck, mouth agape, seems to be showing a fear of heights.
Editor's note: Lack of water, electricity and phones delayed the transmission of these photos by Chaffin Bozeman from Mississippi in the aftermath of the hurricane, but the following is a partial account of the Duck's adventures during the Storm of the Century in the Deep South.
Pictured above, RUGER Bozeman (lab x ACD), (left) dutifully retrieved all of the ducks from the lake and herded them into a nice circle. LILY Bozeman, the Black Heeler, and Madame leDuck were among the flock. Lily had much rather have been in the water than on land posing for photos. Ruger was quite proud of his accomplishment.
Please note that Ruger braved the wrath of Hurricane Katrina to protect his flock. He and Lily were safe and sound and under mom’s feet for the entire storm. They were a little perturbed that they were not allowed to go outside and play or fetch the enormous trees and limbs that were being thrown across the yard by some mysterious force. However, there were plenty of sticks to fetch during the next day’s clean up efforts.
The Duck flew fowl of luck and ended up in the path of Hurricane Katrina before she could begin the next leg of her journey. She was evacuated to Arkansas with ROXY Hutchins and DYLAN Hoffman and returned to Mississippi after the storm passed, but due to damage to the family estate, she and the rest of the pack decamped for Utah. Stay tuned for the next chapter in the Duck's adventures. Click here for an audio cattle dog souvenir that the Duck sends you from her Southern journey.
And here is the Duck's photojournal of her heroic, traumatic flight from Mississippi that eventually spanned eight states, some more than once: (Mississippi > Tennessee > Arkansas > Tennessee > Mississippi > Tennessee > Arkansas > Oklahoma > Texas > New Mexico > Colorado > Wyoming > Utah) by the time she found safety in Utah. After having been through her ordeal, the Duck urges anyone who has not donated something -- anything -- to Hurricane Katrina relief, to do so right now. Here's a link to the PayPal site that will send all monies to the United Way Hurricane Katrina Response Fund. Click here to go to a page that features several relief organizations providing services for Katrina's four-footed victims.
1. The Duck rode shotgun, and, securely seatbelted in, planned the route and used her own hardwired, in-flight navigation systems.
2. The Duck searched for water and wondered why her quest brought the comment "Rubber Ducky."
3. A particularly shocking moment in the migration occurred when the Duck, once again searching for just a bit of water in which to swim, caught sight of a sad, bedraggled Duck on the edge of the porcelain pond. "Why, you look like you've been rode hard by cattle dogs and put up wet," she gently quacked to the unfortunate soul.
4. A brief respite before another hard day on the road, and the Duck used her time to correct the human navigation system and watch just a bit of Looney Tunes before settling in on the (goose)down pillow. "Quack uack uack uack uack ..."