I went on a long-haul animal pickup today on behalf of Hope for Wildlife to retrieve a lame goose under the care of some people in Clark's Cove. It was their belief that she had been hit by a car, since they had found her in the street, and she wasn't comfortable standing up. When I spoke with one of these people, she reported that the goose was docile, friendly and responded well to attention. As a wildlife rescuer, I worried about that, since it means she has been habituated to us. But Hope for Wildlife keeps a flock of lame geese on the farm, so habituation isn't necessarily a bad thing in this case. If she's lame but can eventually walk, she'll probably find a home there.
The road between Bridgewater and Clark's Cove was long and mostly empty, and the sun shone the whole way down, so I was gifted with a bright, winter drive through Nova Scotia wilderness. Clark's Cove is right on the ocean too, so at the end, there were gray stones and yellow scrub and blue water. The address provided me was a seafood processing plant, which was problematic for my vegan sensibilites, but I resolved to take my victories where I could and act wholly for the welfare of the goose.
Fortunately, the fishermen felt the same way, and so did the company secretary. In fact, they were like a gaggle of concerned mothers, clucking at me about how they wanted the best care for their goose, how they hoped she would find sanctuary and how the village had collected a little money for her ongoing care. The company secretary pressed an envelope into my hand with a significant sum inside, and the blue collar girl in me was moved by the kindness of these people who had given from their paychecks to care for an animal they loved.
As for the goose, she chatted me up on the way home, honking from inside her crate every time I spoke on the cell phone. I had a few minutes to stop home before I passed her to another Hope for Wildlife volunteer on the road, and I checked the Internet to see if I could find out what sort of goose she was. I think she's a Greater White-Fronted Goose, perhaps lost on her way south for the winter. Later, my fellow volunteer commented that she had never seen the goose's like before, and she's a raptor specialist who knows her birds.
I'm worried about our girl tonight. Those legs of hers need to be mendable if she is to live at all. But I saw her stand up in the crate, so I have reason to hope for her recovery. I'm also deeply moved by the hospitality the village of Clark's Cove showed for its guest; lost and wounded, in need of a place to rest and a little food. That gives me hope, too.