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TOOTIES

By Donna and George Hooker

June 2008

We found Tooties when she was about two days old. She still had her egg tooth. From that moment on, she has been our baby. She is so imprinted on us that we have never been able to go anywhere since we've had her. We would not trust anyone to take care of her the way we do.

She was raised in the house and has her own room that she sleeps in at night. She has her own bed and sleeps all night. She is outside during the day and has the run of our home. She loves to sit on the roof and has a special spot up there. She will fly all around the house and has never left. We had to teach her to fly and to eat, just like her mom would do for her.

She loves the grass and we make her mud holes so she can play in the mud. It is cute when she stomps her feet in the mud  hole then dabbles it in with her beak.

She comes in the house throughout the day. When she wants in, she honks at the door and we let her in. She comes in for lunch. She loves meat and yogurt  and eats cereal in the morning with her daddy.

"Oops, I landed on the car!" This photo was published in a photo book.

She comes in for dinner, too.  She knows when I'm in the kitchen cooking. She comes in and tugs at my shirt till I give her something to eat. One of her favorite is dry bread crumbs. When we feed her, we give her little pieces so she won't choke. Unlike ducks, geese don't need to wash their food down. They have a crop and need gravel to digest their food. We have gravel areas for her so she can eat it for her digestion. When she is eating in the house, we always have water for her and she will rinse out her beak or drink the water after eating.

We bring her in when it starts getting dark. She does not like to be outside on her porch after dark even though she has a light. Her porch is just outside the laundry room door.

BATH TIME: She has a big 300 gallon pool sunk into the deck. We drain and clean it every other day. She loves it when we clean her pool. George lifts her down into her pool when it is filling. She loves to bite at the water coming out of the hose. Then, when it is full, look out! Here comes the big bath! She flaps her wings hard on the water and gets us drenched. She goes underwater and swims all around her pool several times, then comes up and heads out the door and flies around honking and lands in her favorite spot on the roof and starts preening. She is such a ham! You can tell she is so happy.

Her porch is carpeted to protect her feet. She has two beds and a heat lamp if needed and in the winter her pool is heated.

She comes in before dark and we have everything ready for her. I put sheets on the sofa and this is where she likes to be, next to my husband watching TV and sleeping till bedtime. She is such a nut. She is so smart. She loves to preen George's hair; it is so cute.


When it is time for bed, she knows it. George lifts her off the sofa and she walks down the hall past all the cats and into her room. We sit with her every night for about 30 minutes, then we tell her it's time to go to bed. By then, she is sleepy and we turn the light off and tell her "Night, Night" and we go to bed in the room next to her. She has a night light so it's not too dark for her.

Then, the next morning, I get up and go in and she is ready to go out and get into her pool. I follow her down the hall through the living and family room and out to her porch and she jumps into her pool.

And our day starts all over again.

We live out in the country in Oregon. When we go to town, she stays on her porch contented until we get home. She gets along great with our seven cats when she is in the house. A couple of them sleep right along beside her.

Tooties enjoying a flying walk with Dad!

   GOOSE HUGS: Tooties likes to hug us. She will run her beak up our arms, in your clothes and especially in her daddy's moustache while she's making cute little sounds. She moves her beak back and forth, too. It is like she is loving on you.


Tooties' Mom and Dad

FEATHER ART: I keep all her feathers when she molts. I am a local artist and I paint wildlife, backyard birds, waterfowl, African wildlife on her feathers. The one below of Tooties is called MISS TOOTIE'S.

Recently, Choo and Earl ordered Tooties' painted t-shirts and a framed feather artwork from me. They want you to see how it looks on them:


I take orders so if you'd like to order Tooties' feather art or a painted t-shirt, please contact me at: ILMGOOSE@aol.com

Tooties hates the snow! She likes to roost on the roof in a special spot so she flew up there after our big snow of 8 inches a few days ago and walked over to her spot and stood there and looked at it as if she was thinking it was gone. It was funny to watch her. Then she proceeded to smash down the snow flat by walking on it back and forth. Then, she laid down and wiggled a bit and put her feet up in her pockets to keep them warm and put her beak in her feathers and went to sleep. We laughed so hard. She was determined the snow wasn't going to keep her from her favorite spot. I check on her about every 10 minutes. When I go out and look at her upon the roof, she will open her eyes and look at me but she won't take her beak out of her feathers to acknowledge that I'm even there. She is in her own little world. But we keep watch on her closely as the eagles are in now and we had one stalking her about two weeks ago. She puts her wings straight down by her sides and her neck and head are down very low and she spreads out to blend with the surroundings. We call her to come down with daddy and until the eagle leaves she won't budge. I make noise so the eagle won't come down too low. It is so scary. If we're not outside at the time the eagle flies over, she honks in a way that means GET OUT HERE so that we know we'd better get out fast.

We shovel the snow off the backyard in a certain area so she can graze. I do this everyday now that it is snowing. I am so sore from this shoveling! She knows that she can go in that one large spot to get her nummies. That is what we call her grass. I will tell her to come get your nummies and here she comes ...what fun she is! Tooties will be 8 years old May 8th. When I say to her, "You're an old goose, Tooties," George says, "You're not old. You're daddy's baby!" and she just coos at him. No kidding! She goes over and starts preening his hair!

Tooties has so much love for us, as we do for her. She loves people, too. When we have company, they have to go see her first so she knows who's here. Otherwise, she will honk like crazy.

 


Tooties eating yogurt!

When Tooties was sick last January, we offered her Baytril. She takes her antibiotics in her yogurt. Little does she know that her yogurt has medicine in it. She eats raspberry and peach yogurt from a spoon, a little bit at a time and she kind of sucks it off the spoon with her big ole bill. When she wants more, she throws her head back and George gives her more.


I wish everyone could know a Canada goose as we do. So loving, so smart, so precious. We are writing a book about our life with Tooties, our precious little goose.







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