Local News

Topsy Keeps "Birdies" Off Seymour Johnson Golf Course

Posted July 28, 1999

— A four-legged employee is making a name for herself at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. The base golf course is using a dog to do a job better than any human could do.

Topsy's face may be cute to most people, but it strikes fear in the hearts of geese and other nuisances.

Since Topsy moved in at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, the golf course's geese have flown the coup.

"Before we got Topsy, during the summer, we'd have 300 geese on average on the golf course. They would eat the turf and then leave droppings all over the place," explained Mike Spence, course superintendent.

Geese may be annoying to golfers, but they can be deadly to pilots. The birds can shatter windshields and ruin an engine if they hit a plane just right.

Topsy has harassed the birds so much at the golf course ponds that they leave most of the base alone.

"When we do have some fly in, she works them for about two hours. The geese leave, and we usually don't see any more for a couple of months," said Spence.

The 7-year-old border collie stays there all the time and is already achieving a star-like status among golfers.

"Everybody walks up to her and pets her. She's a real nice dog," said golfer Nathaniel Burgess.

Either way, the pay is good. Topsy takes kibble for a paycheck and has not complained yet.

The base paid a little more than $2,000 dollars for Topsy, fully trained.

Golf course workers say she is still just a pup at heart, and they are expecting several more years of "goose-free" golfing.


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