Even though a Canada goose named Arnold is already cute, the fact that his partner came looking for him when he was hurt makes us love these two sweet birds even more.
In what they called “a first” for their animal hospital, the Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts, posted the story on their Facebook page.
“We often have people ask if they can visit the patients they dropped off, but today we had our first animal visitor!” they wrote. “For the safety of our patients we do not accommodate visitation requests, but in this case we had to make an exception!”
Arnold is a Canada goose who lives near the facility on a pond. He is part of a pair of wild geese that have been together for a long time and are now married. The centre said that geese usually stick together, but one of their workers noticed that Arnold walked with a “significant limp” and kept falling over. They were able to catch him and take him to a hospital to be checked out.
“Upon exam our veterinary team found that he had two open-fractures on his foot,” they wrote. “This means that the tissue and skin has been pulled away leaving the bone exposed. Our best guess is that a Snapping turtle or other predator attacked him while swimming.”
The staff knew they had to cut off one of his toes and sew up the other wound to save his foot and help him live. He was given antibiotics and painkillers, and he was set up for surgery the next morning.
Then his partner came to the door.
“Today, as we prepared to sedate Arnold and get him ready for surgery, we heard a faint tapping at the clinic door,” the centre wrote. “We turned to see that his mate had waddled up onto the porch and was attempting to break into our clinic! She had somehow located him and was agitated that she could not get inside. She remained there throughout the entire procedure, watching us work, never moving from the doorway.”
Arnold’s surgery went well, and when he woke up, the staff let him rest by the doorway so he could see his partner.
“We opened the door and gave Arnold his flow-by oxygen in the doorway. His mate immediately calmed down and began to groom him through the door. They both seemed much more at ease in each other’s presence.”
“Arnold will likely need several weeks of treatment in our hospital before he is ready to rejoin his mate in the wild,” they added. “He will need to be kept inside for the majority of this time in order to keep his wound sterile and prevent infection. We will do our best to get him back out quickly and will perform bandage changes and treatments in view of the doorway when possible so that his mate can check up on him. ❤️”
Even though I try not to put too much of a human spin on things, it’s so sweet to see animal partners care for each other so much. Canada geese stay with the same partner for life, and when they lose a partner, they are known to cry alone. It’s so sweet to see Arnold’s partner come to find him and comfort him while he’s getting treatment.
The day’s feel-good story, indeed. We hope you get better quickly, Arnold!