Friday, July 19, 2013

Of Wild Dogs, Geese and Heavenly Silver Linings

Papa goose -- In Memoriam
Three geese a swimming, Harlem Meer
Cago (front) making cautious acquaintance with three new geese. Harlem Meer.
Tales of a Wild Dog and a Wild Goose

National Geographic aired a truly fascinating documentary last night about "Solo," a wild dog who lost her pack and ultimately formed an alliance with Jackal parents and helped to raise their pups.
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It reminded me of the many blog entries I have written over the years of the "strange alliances" that ducks and geese often form when losing their mates or flocks -- including several recent ones about "Cago," the loner Canada goose at Harlem Meer. 
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Cago recently formed an alliance with the four domestic ducks at the Meer and also was relied upon by a mama mallard to watch her ducklings when she chased away mallards.
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But, there is potentially good news for Cago now:  
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A flock of three geese flew into Harlem Meer yesterday.  (Yes, some geese are already flying now!)  And though a bit wary and nervous at first whether the new geese would accept him, when I left, all four geese -- including Cago -- were grazing together.
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But, it is not certain yet, whether the three new geese will stay long enough for Cago to be fully accepted into the gaggle.  Much remains to be seen.
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"Tale of the Wild Dog" had a similar scenario when a pack of wild dogs wandered into the vicinity of Solo and her pack of Jackals.   But, since the dog pack was so large, Solo determined they might kill her and made no attempt to be accepted.   When the show ended, Solo was still with her family of Jackals.
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It might work out that way for Cago, too.  He may have to stay with his duck friends a little longer -- especially if the new geese take off after only a day or two.   But, it is too soon to tell.
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It seems easy to take with a grain of salt or evaluate as too anthropomorphic, my stories about individual geese and ducks and their relationships.  (Even I question these and my own observations sometimes.)
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But, more and more, I see similar stories on Nat Geo which (at least to me), help to confirm personal observations and assessments.
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Tale of the Wild Dog was particularly enlightening -- and somewhat validating.
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Animals, whether geese, ducks or wild dogs are incredibly amazing in terms of smarts, anticipation and planning -- and the strange alliances they sometimes make for the sole purpose of survival and attachment.
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Thank You, New York Times
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The realization of some geese flying now and the possibility of a new goose family for Cago to join was not the only good news yesterday.
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There was also this important Editorial from the New York Times:
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Although USDA wildlife kill stats presented in the piece are grossly under reported  (USDA WS kills more than five million animals a year, not the "2 million" over 12 years cited in Editorial),  the heart of the New York Times is in the right place and needs to be commended.   One can write letters@nytimes to submit comment. 
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For stat information regarding how many and which animals USDA WS killed in 2012, please refer to their own document:
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It is critical to respond with comments or Letter to the Editor to articles and Editorials pertaining to geese and other wildlife in order to both, keep the issue alive in the press and also to correct inaccuracies (as well as in this case, thank!).
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Two Geese Flying Upon Silver Linings
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Special thanks for the kind words and sympathetic thoughts from Mary, Rebecca and another person in blog comment to news of the death of Papa goose.
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It is said that one needs to seek the silver linings of dark clouds.
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I am grateful Papa knew human kindness and mercy in the end and did not suffer a long time. His death, though needless and tragic, was not one of brutality, terror and slaughter at the bloody and merciless hands of USDA WS and their spineless accomplices. 
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Up to the end, Papa was very much in charge of and respected by his flock and was always magnanimous and trusting towards humans -- something that probably cost Papa in the end. He, like his beloved Mama, will forever be missed. I pray there really is a heaven and that somehow Papa is again with the love of his life, Mama.
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It was strange, but perhaps telling, that when found and rescued, Papa had walked down a small, winding pedestrian path that Mama sometimes walked upon last summer.
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It seems Papa knew his time was near and with fading breath and strength, set upon the special path to search for Mama.  
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If there be a God (and I believe there is), these two beautiful, soulful and devoted lovers are once again together. 
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And they gloriously fly upon the silver linings of a bright, magnanimous and forever welcoming heaven.   --- PCA
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1 comment:

rebecca said...

So beautifully said. I too believe there is a heaven where a loving God is watching over Papa and Mama and all the beautiful geese that have suffered death here on earth at the hands of unevolved self-serving human beings. RIP sweet ones until we meet again.