dianne salerni author
dianne salerni author

Which pet do you think would make the better “guard animal” for your house?

An 80 lb German Shepherd with sharp teeth?

Or a 10 lb black cat?

If you picked the dog, you’d be wrong – at least in our case. Since we lost Maui and adopted Sorcia, we’ve been robbed blind … of fish.

Last week I reported the loss of our beautiful 8 lb golden koi. Now most of the rest of the fish are gone as well. It’s like the Rapture happened after all, but only the fish got to go. However, I suspect the fish have gone NOT to a better place, but into a heron’s tummy.

A heron has terrorized our neighborhood goldfish ponds for years, but he always left us alone. We figured this was because our pond is sheltered under the deck and too close to the house for the bird’s comfort. But I also saw Maui take him on and chase him off the property – never mind that the bird was WAY bigger than the cat.

Maui was hit by a car about 18 months ago (breaking our hearts), and then we got Sorcia. Since then Mr. Heron views our pond as an All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet. Where is Sorcia while the bird is chowing down? I don’t know – maybe snoozing in the garage?

A neighbor suggested stringing fishing lines across the top of the pond. That’s probably one of the first things we could try. My husband checked out the internet for suggestions, but what he learned only confused us more.

1)Herons don’t like ponds that are sheltered under an overhang.

Well, this one got over it, or it’s not a heron after all.

2)Once a heron has discovered a good source of food, he will return again and again, emptying the pond.

Yeah, we’re at that point. There’s nothing left in our pond but 1-2 inch minnows.

3) Herons usually cannot carry off really big fish and will often eat them on the premises, leaving carcasses behind. If your fish are disappearing completely, without a trace, then it might be a land predator, such as a raccoon.
Great. Now we’re not sure what kind of enemy we’re fighting. The fish have been disappearing without a trace.

4) The very, very best thing you can do to keep away a heron or a raccoon is buy a great big dog.

Sigh. That’s a big FAIL, Sorcia. Shame on you.