Stray dog protects American Rose Center gardens

Stray dog protects American Rose Center gardens

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The American Rose Center in Shreveport has over 60 gardens on 118 acres. The crew does what it can to keep the beautiful blooms well manicured, but hungry critters have a tendency to feast on the blooms overnight.

According to Craig Reiland, a horticulturist with the American Rose Center, deer can damage thousands of dollars worth of roses in a very short period of time.

This is where Rosie comes in. Rosie is a stray who showed up at the gardens a few years ago, and she has taken it upon herself to protect the gardens. The working dog may look timid, but she has corralled deer and shooed away various wildlife over the past few years from eating the precious plants.

"We have seen, and especially the grounds crew have seen a decrease in damage from the deer, probably in the last few years," says Reiland.

Rosie has become more than a designated member of the staff, she has become a part of the family at the rose gardens, and was particularly close with one member of the grounds crew.

"William was a very special individual. He was a gardener who had been here for 6 to 8 years, and she just took to him naturally at first," says Reiland.

William passed away earlier this year from an illness. The staff says Rosie still seems to miss him, but she has become closer with other members of the crew. And no matter the weather or circumstances, she continues her daily watch of protecting these precious plants.

"One thing you can count on for sure, is Rosie's here. She'll do her job," says Reiland.

Staff members advise those visiting the gardens to keep from feeding Rosie. She is still a stray, and although sweet she can get a little skiddish around strangers.

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