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Grace - A story by Danette. Feb 2023

Walking our dogs along Lake Terrace Road in Burwood, I felt compelled to keep walking further up; It was like we were being pushed along, and we soon discovered why. I spotted a Canadian goose sitting funny. It soon became apparent that its wing wasn't right, and I knew we needed to do something. I took my dogs home and came straight back to assess the situation. It turned out to be a juvenile goose with very loving and protective parents.

Its wing was broken. Luckily, the SPCA ambulance was parked up, releasing a duck back to the wild, so they kindly joined in, but the family was quick, and the rescue seemed impossible!

After a bit of research, we learned how intelligent these beautiful animals are, and this was demonstrated as each time we went down, they recognised us and outsmarted us. The dad goose was always watching and would quickly shepherd the family away.

Each morning and evening, I headed down, armed with food, and looked for an opportunity

to catch it. I was also contacting people, doing research, and trying to put together a plan. The HUHA wildlife vet in Wellington was incredibly kind and helpful. Offering advice and trying to connect us with people in Canterbury. Canterbury Tails jumped at joining the rescue team and got a post out to call on people who could help - the call to action was heard. Annabelle saw the post, and her father, David, texted me. We met up that evening and I know now why people use the saying "a wild goose chase"... these beauties are quick and so intelligent (even injured).

Luckily, David and Annabelle were also unwilling to give up and came back the next night with x2 kayaks. We thought this would work for sure, but they gave us the slip a few hours later, and we couldn't relocate them. We stopped for a half hour and decided to meet back at 8 pm - David was encouraging, and with the two guys in kayaks and Annabelle and myself on the bank, we got our baby goose in a net (we had purchased a large net during the week so we could capture safely with kindness and David got a net as well!).

It was very emotional after a week of spending hours down there - so many tears. The fantastic people at Animal and Bird hospital had been offering advice all week, and David and Annabelle kindly took the goose home for a sleep in the barn. Tucked up safe for the night, he was brought back into town in the morning and taken straight to Animal and Bird. We discussed amputation, but the infection was nasty. The fracture was super severe, and our young goose didn't have much chance. The vet recommended that going to sleep was the kindest option at this point as it was suffering so badly. So heart-breaking, especially after David and Annabelle shared how cute and beautiful our goose was in the barn - a bond had been formed.

Our goal was to fix the wing and release it back to the protective parents. David and Annabelle had been willing to give the goosie a home if needed, and Canterbury Tails also had lined up a place for goosie to go for rehabilitation after surgery.

We will check on the parents, as we know they will be grieving.

They did such a good job keeping their wee one safe.

We named our goose Grace.

We are sorry Grace that your life ended so soon, and we took you from your family. The vet explained that you would have died a horribly slow, painful death, so we are relieved you are at peace.

Fly free Grace, we send our aroha. E te Atua Manaaki mai E te Atua Awhina mai E te Atua Aroha mai Ake! Ake! Amene

Thankyou to everyone involved in helping Grace. This is a testament to the strength and tenacity of one woman, Danette, who wouldn't give up.

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