We lost a goose this weekend.
I have been around a lot of animal deaths in my life and although it is always a tragedy, it’s also part of the cycle. I have held the bridle of my pony as he was euthanized, I know that death will happen when you live on a farm. But the way that we lost our male goose has me particularly upset.
I had checked on the geese around noon and both were happily playing in the culvert by the road, enjoying the running water. They regularly play down there and although it’s close to the road, we are in a fairly suburban area and traffic is slow. Most people who drive this road expect to see our geese at this point.
The next time I checked on the geese was only an hour later, the mid-day noon hour. The only predator I can imagine in our area at that time of day would be a dog, and our geese have met many dogs and always end up dominating them. Certainly if a dog had attacked, I would have heard their screaming, and there would be feathers everywhere.
This leaves one culprit: a human. After walking the road for about an hour looking for signs of Mr. Goose, the only evidence I could find was a single car track that went onto the soft shoulder and then back onto the road again. I don’t know if someone saw our geese and thought of Christmas dinner, found that they were friendly (I’m guessing Mr. Goose walked right up to the car), or if someone hit them and instead of telling the owners, grabbed the carcass and ran.
It’s this kind of behavior that surprises and disappoints me. It may seem like just a goose to some people, but my geese were hand raised from chicks and were bonded to me as a mother, and life-bonded to each other as mates. For this particular homestead, it is the equivalent of taking a dog or a cat from the house. I don’t care how hungry you are or how funny you might think it is, it’s stealing a pet.
Lady Goose has been calling for her mate constantly since his disappearance. Geese are a monogamous species, and her distress is very clear. We are hoping to get a new mate for her which she will bond with over time, but it’s a very difficult period.
I would very much appreciate people sharing this story, because although I’ll probably never find my goose I do want to share my story and hopefully prevent something like this happening in the future.