‘We heard a faint tapping’: Goose Finds Injured Mate at Wildlife Hospital and Won’t Budge From the Door

No one writes romance novels about geese, but maybe they should.

Unlike many of their fickle human counterparts, geese mate for life. So, when they honk, “ ’Til death do us part,” they mean it—which would explain why when a Canada goose named Arnold wound up in the hospital, his Mrs. marched up to the threshold demanding visitation rights.

The pair of wild geese are longtime residents at a pond close to the Cape Wildlife Center (CWC) in Barnstable, Massachusetts.

Though well-known to the facility’s crew, the avian inhabitants have generally declined human interaction, preferring to keep to their own company. When the crew noticed Arnold was limping and injured, however, they stepped in to intervene.

After a literal wild goose chase that eventually ended in his capture, an exam revealed the wounded gander had two open fractures on one of his feet, likely caused by an underwater predator. With the webbing and skin pulled away leaving the bones exposed, an operation to repair the damage was in order.

The following day, as they were prepping Arnold for surgery, staff members heard a faint, inexplicable tapping at their door.

“We turned to see that his mate had waddled up onto the porch and was attempting to break into our clinic,” Cape Wildlife Center posted to their Facebook page. “She had somehow located him and was agitated that she could not get inside.”

Once she’d tracked him down, Arnold’s stalwart missus stood watch throughout the entire procedure, refusing to budge from her vantage point by the doors.

In post-op after the successful procedure, Arnold was placed in close proximity to his grateful spouse. The natural order was soon restored as she quickly settled in to attend to the needs of her still-wobbly hubby.

“His mate immediately calmed down and began to groom him through the door,” CWC wrote. “They both seemed much more at ease in each other’s presence.”

Although it will take some weeks for Arnold to recuperate, he’s expected to make a full recovery. When he’s deemed sound, the staff will return him to the wild, and then he and his mate can get back to the business of living their honking happily ever after.