When I was walking Trooper this morning, this is what I saw . . . a goose that looked like baling twine was coming out of her back and attached to the pond aerator, which she was dragging from one side of the water to the other. She looked exhausted with her wings hanging down. The ice that had formed on the feathers told me that she had not held her wings against her body for quite some time.
I tried to hurry Trouper, but he's an unfixed male dog, and thinks he needs to pee on at least a dozen things. But as I tried to rush him, I also had no idea what I would do for the goose. The ice was so thin on one side that I could see air bubbling underneath, and if we approached the goose on the safer, thicker side of the ice (which was also on the shallow side of the pond), the goose would swim to the other side where the ice wouldn't hold anything heavier than a goose. I know someone an hour away who scuba dives and has wet suit, but what were the odds I could contact him and that he would available? We could lay a ladder across the ice. At least if the ice broke, the person would have something to hold onto. Not a great option. Jonathan fell through thin ice once, and it was not something I ever wanted to see again.
So, I called Mike, who is normally home on Fridays, but had to give a special presentation this morning. No answer, of course. A few minutes later, the phone rang. Mike was done with his presentation and noticed the missed call on his phone. I explained the situation to him, and he suggested that we use the tree trimmer (with a 12-foot long handle) to attempt to cut the baling twine. Being the safest option we had, Jonathan and I decided to go with it.
I stayed in the house because we were expecting someone to arrive at any minute, and I needed to be available to open the gate for her. Jonathan had no trouble hooking the c-shaped blade under the baling twine. Cutting it was a challenge. Just as I realized that the tree trimmer was not going to cut the baling twine, the gate intercom dinged. I hit the remote opener, grabbed a pair of scissors, and ran out the door. Before I could get to the pond, Jonathan had caught the goose and untangled the baling twine from her wing. He said she had a small cut on her wing, but otherwise seemed okay. She immediately ran to to rejoin her flock.
When things like this happen, it reminds me that when you share your life with animals, you have to know that if anything can happen, it will. Mike had used that baling twine to lower the aerator into the pond. He's made a loop on the end, which is what the goose's wing caught. The odds are probably several million to one that a goose would be diving in just the perfect spot to catch that loop. But odds mean nothing if you're the one. I'm glad that we were able to save the goose, and Mike is already trying to figure out how he can retrieve that baling twine and cut off the loop, so that this doesn't happen again.