Coyote Run Golf Course is giving Wiley the border collie, its longtime mascot, a break after more than 13 years on the job. The official golf course dog responsibilities now fall to Beatrix, a six-month old rescue dog believed to be a Treeing Tennessee Brindle.
Coyote Run Golf Course is giving Wiley the border collie, its longtime mascot, a break after more than 13 years on the job.
Wiley’s routine of chasing geese, squirrels and other critters from the lakes and grounds of the course at 800 Kedzie Ave. in Flossmoor has ended, mostly because his hind legs are giving out, said Dave Ward, superintendent of golf for the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District.
Although Wiley is registered to the park district, he is Ward’s dog.
The official golf course dog responsibilities now fall to Beatrix, a six-month old rescue dog believed to be a Treeing Tennessee Brindle. Ward didn’t want another dog, so Beatrix is owned by Phil Knight, assistant superintendent of golf, whose wife agreed to have another dog in the family.
“It’s actually a blessing to bring your pup with you to work,” Knight said.
Beatrix answers to Trix or Bea. She’s been on the job about two months.
Ward brought Wiley on board in January 2005 when Coyote Run was about to open that summer. He believed having a dog would be a good way to reduce the geese population, a major problem on golf courses. Wiley went through training with a dog trainer. Ward said he is a very smart dog. The border collie breed needs to run, and this job suited Wiley, who did a phenomenal job on the course.
“We’re lucky to have five lakes and not a goose problem. That’s pretty rare,” Knight said. “As long as the geese know there’s a predator on the premises they’ll find someplace else to nest. The fight is to not get them to nest. Once they do that it’s really hard to get rid of them.”
Ward, Knight and the Coyote Run work crew arrive at 4:30 in the morning and Wiley and now Beatrix are carted out to the course and allowed to run. The working dog will get a second run in the late morning or early afternoon.
“They’ll come by in the morning and chase off any (geese) that have been there overnight. Generally, by day there’s not a single one on the course,” Knight said.
Ward said the geese are not afraid of the golf carts, but they are afraid of the green John Deere crew carts because they instinctively know those are the carts that Wiley, and now Beatrix, ride on.
Wiley became such a beloved figure that he got a restaurant at the golf course clubhouse named for him. Ward said there’s no intention of changing the name of Wiley’s Grill.
Even though he’s deaf and has bad legs, Ward loves the dog, He still brings him to work, although the job is less strenuous these days.
“He’s an old man who deserves a break,” he said. “Wiley runs a little bit, but he’s not particularly interested in geese any more. He’ll sniff a little over here and over there” and the rest of the day he hangs out at the office or the garage.