BARNSTABLE, Mass. — A pair of geese displayed the power of love and gave new meaning to the phrase “through sickness and health” after workers at a Massachusetts animal hospital prepared a goose for surgery and were surprised to find his mate waiting outside the operating room the next day.
The Cape Wildlife Center said Arnold, a Canada goose that has lived in a pond near the facility with his mate for several years, had developed a significant limp Tuesday and kept falling over. They were able to capture the wild waterfowl, brought him in for an exam and determined he had two open fractures on his foot.
“This means that the tissue and skin has been pulled away leaving the bone exposed,” the facility said on social media. “Our best guess is that a Snapping turtle or other predator attacked him while swimming.”
They gave Arnold antibiotics, pain medication and got him ready for surgery the next day.
“As we prepared to sedate Arnold and get him ready for surgery, we heard a faint tapping at the clinic door,” the center said. “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 watched the entire surgery never moving from the doorway. Canada geese are believed to mate for life and will mourn the loss if a member of the pair dies, according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.
The facility normally does not allow visitation requests, but made an exception. When Arnold awoke and with the wound bandaged, he was moved closer to the doorway so he could be in sight of his dame.
“His mate immediately calmed down and began to groom him through the door,” the wildlife hospital wrote. “They both seemed much more at ease in each other’s presence.”
The surgery was a success and the foot is expected to heal. However, it will take several weeks for Arnold to recover before he is ready to rejoin his dame.
“We will do our best 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,” the hospital said.
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