Good (Humane) Riddance
When Dan Laxton was laid off from his job at MCI, he decided to put
his business skills to another use: keeping geese on the run.
In his old gig as an escalation specialist, Laxton made sure that local
carriers installed phone service for MCI’s government customers at the
promised time, alerting higher-ups if there was a delay. However, after he
read about a local housing development’s decision to kill a flock of geese
that was dirtying its grounds, he decided to put his knack for handling
urgent matters to another use. Today, the animal lover runs Gone in a Zip,
a thriving outfit based in Woodsboro, Md., that gives property managers
a humane alternative to killing their geese. His customers range from the
U.S. Army to a local restaurant.
On a busy day, Laxton might have his two border collies chase geese
onto a pond in a public park. He’ll then put a coyote decoy on the grass to
keep the birds from flying back to land and will often jump into a kayak or
use a small, remotely controlled boat to get the birds to take flight.
Keeping geese on the go is a competitive field. Last year, the “Miracle
on the Hudson” incident, in which a US Airways flight struck a flock near
LaGuardia Airport and lost power, resulting in an emergency landing on
the Hudson River, called attention to some of the hazards posed by geese.
Despite the challenges of his job, Laxton has no desire to return to
“I’ve grown accustomed to being my own boss,” he says. Not to mention
that staying a step ahead of his feathered friends is a lot more exciting than
sitting behind a desk. “It’s a blast.” goneinazip.com
22 Arrıve • May/June 2010 • amtrak.com
Those of us who truly appreciate
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But Albany-based Mode Cosmetics
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Available in drugstores,