"This is a beautiful, charming and heartwarming book about Ms. Plum's friendship with an injured Canada goose. We highly recommend it!" Love Canada Geese

This story is simply hilarious!


By Susan Bergsmith

Dante's first day
I have intended to share my story for months now, but now find myself in
need of advice.  
In April of 2006, I found a Canada gosling in my pasture.  He appeared
to be no more than a day old, and walked up to me as I approached him.
We have many geese in our area, sometimes for a quick visit on our tiny
pond, and in the spring they nest along the adjacent creek and river. He
was a ways away from our pond and neighboring creek, but I explored
them anyway, in hopes of finding his family or sign of a nest.  I found no
signs of his family.
Of course we took him in, and fell in love with him.  After two days of 
caring for him (along with our two children, a dog, three cats, and eight 
chickens), I saw several goose families at the creek.  The goslings were
the same size as our "Dante."  My daughter and I tearfully took him to the
creek, in hopes of doing the "right" thing, but he wanted nothing to do
with them, and they were of course quite wary of us, so did not get close
enough to see him.  We realized then that he was definitely ours. I 
decided he needed a little friend to keep him company.  He was always
peeping loudly if not being carried around the house, or played with on
the lawn.  I bought a domestic gosling (a Shetland) from a goose
breeder.  Dante and "Louise" took to each other immediately.  

Dante and Louise
We read and researched everything on geese, both wild and domestic, and have taken the best possible care of our beloved geese. As much as I adore them, I have always hoped and planned that they could eventually join the flock next door, where we could continue to watch them and still have them in our lives. There is one large Embden who lives among them, and even two hybrids. I didn't think it was too far-fetched that they could be accepted into the group.

Hello neighbors!

Dante and Louise in June, 2006

Dante and Louise, 4 months old

Dante loves violin music, Louise is still undecided
I have enjoyed caring for them more than I thought  possible.  We go for 
runs (flights for Dante), walks to the pond, extended grazing and visits to
the creek to watch the other geese.  

Flying lessons
I still keep them in a pen, because when they are left out, they stand by
the front door and honk, waiting for me, and eventually try to cross the
street when they see people there. They have come close to getting hit
by cars this way.  Also, we have many predators (foxes, raccoons,
coyotes) that I know would eventually get them at night, especially 
Louise who can't fly.  She started laying eggs a few weeks ago, but isn't

Dante by the creek in December
I've been willing to live like this, despite the time involved. I really think that in a year or two they might be more independent and take to a life by the water (rather than the front door or street). However, over the last three weeks Dante has become aggressive. He has viciously attacked my daughter, son, husband, friendly dog, cats, and a neighbor's three-year-old daughter.
My visions of spending another wonderful summer with them wandering
about the garden and property with us has gone down the drain.  I can't
keep an aggressive gander around my family and neighbors, and I can't
stand to see him kept in a pen for his life (or most of it).  He should be
outside flying and grazing. He watches with great curiosity the geese
flying overhead while Louise concentrates on eating. If I were a single,
childless person, I would devote my life to these geese, but I have to
prioritize my human children (and husband!).  

Dante is very, very gentle and sweet with me.  I think the only reason he
has attacked others is because he was protecting me.  When I'm 
walking the geese to the creek, we cross a dirt road, and if a car drives
by us he flies in a circle around me! It is very endearing, but also a
problem as you can see.
He is a great forager.  In fact I have always fed them very little
commercial food, even when they were little.  I initially did it to avoid the 
possibility of angel wing, but I also thought it was best that they eat what
the wild geese thrive on.  It just made sense to me. So when they are in
their pen for hours at a time, I provide them with clover, grass and
dandelion greens.  I supplement with cracked corn, but I do think he
would be able to feed himself just fine if left with only natural vegetation.  
I have no idea what to do.  Advice would be appreciated!

TRAGIC AND VERY SAD UPDATE: Dante was killed while crossing 
the road about a month after Susan contacted us.