Fate again was not kind to Mr. and Mrs. C. G. Like the year before, momma goose was not to see baby goslings grow up to become fully grown geese.
After spending several weeks incubating her eggs, one-by-one each gosling hatched and each quickly died. When the last tiny gosling passed away, Mrs. G. left her nest and spent the next half-hour walking around with her mate, the exercise must have felt wonderful to her. Refreshed from her walk, she returned to her island nest and began to bury it and the remains of her babies, giving her lost goslings the respect she felt they deserved. Once her task was done she rejoined her mate and together they waddled solemnly around our neighbor's yard.
At this point I would like to rant. I like animals and am fond of pets, however I cannot understand why anyone would take on a pet only to neglect and ignore it.
Somewhere in our area there is a person or family that owns a dog, the dog has a collar and what appears to be a tag, it obviously has a home and yet it is always wandering up and down our street. Our neighbor to the North of us (not the neighbor with the pond and the geese) often throws out bits and pieces of food to this vagabond dog.
It's clear that the dog is not well care for, he's dirty, probably has never been bathed, and his claws are in dire need of a trim. I know about the claws first hand, one day he jumped on me begging for attention and accidently clawed the side of my left knee, leaving me with a three inch scar.
Many times I wonder if the dog's owners ever miss him . Do they worry that he could be hit by a car ? Why have a pet if they're not concerned about it and are not committed to taking care of or protecting it? Perhaps I just don't understand this mentality ?
Now on with the story:Unfortunately, as momma and papa geese were bereaving, this stray dog trots into our neighbor's yard, he smells the remains of the goslings and proceeds to swim across the small pond and onto the island. There he quickly sniffed out the burial spot and began to unearth the dead goslings and consume them. In little time he had unburied the 4 tiny bodies and disposed of them via his tummy.
When the last morsel was swallowed he swam back to the "mainland" and proceeded to play "catch the big geese". A couple of minutes of the dog's harassment was all it took for Mr. and Mrs. C.G. to call it quits and fly away.
Eventually our neighbors came out and chased the stray out of their yard and then they closed and latched their gate. It would surprise me if Mr. & Mrs. Goose return next Spring. Two consecutive nesting failures and an attempted attack by a stray dog is enough to discourage even the most stalwart of geese.
All that remains is a patch of goose down and feathers.