It’s always incredible to see how caring animals can be. They’re often more emotionally intelligent than we give them credit for, and have the ability to form real loving bonds.
Like one goodhearted goose, who loyally waited outside a hospital room after her longtime mate was undergoing surgery — a heartwarming sight that moved the whole veterinary staff.
Vets at the Cape Wildlife Center, an animal hospital and education center in Barnstable, Massachusetts, know the geese who inhabit the nearby pond quite well — and noticed that a Canada goose they call Arnold had developed a serious limp that caused him to fall down.
The staff decided to bring him in for an examination, and discovered that he had two open fractures on his foot that exposed the bone. “Our best guess is that a Snapping turtle or other predator attacked him while swimming,” the wildlife center wrote on Facebook.
To save Arnold’s life, the team decided to perform surgery on his foot.
“In order to save the foot, and give him a chance at survival, we knew we had to perform surgery to amputate one of the digits and suture the other wound closed,” they explained. “We gave Arnold antibiotics and pain medications and fasted him for surgery the next morning.”
But as they prepared to perform the surgery the next morning, they got an unexpected visitor: “We heard a faint tapping at the clinic door.”
They looked at the clear glass door and saw another goose trying to get in — was Arnold’s longtime mate!
The female goose, who the vets say they’ve seen with Arnold for years, had somehow tracked her companion down, and now seemed pretty eager to be by his side.
They said she was “agitated” that she couldn’t get in, as if very worried about what they were doing to her beau, and seemed to be “attempting to break in” to the clinic.
It was unlike anything they had ever seen before. “We often have people ask if they can visit the patients they dropped off, but today we had our first animal visitor!”
They went through with Arnold’s surgery, and say that his mate stood there watching the whole thing, never moving.
The surgery was a success. And when Arnold woke up, the vets decided to let him have a moment with his loyal partner.
“For the safety of our patients we do not accommodate visitation requests, but in this case we had to make an exception!” they wrote.
They decided to let him recover by the door so the geese could see each other, and they had a sweet moment of contact. “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 isn’t out of the woods yet. He will need a few weeks of recovery and further treatments, so he will stay in the hospital’s care.
But his mate is still waiting right outside, and the vets are doing everything they can to keep her mind at ease: “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.”
What a sweet goose. It’s clear she cares so much about her mate, proving how loyal and loving animals can be.