Gon the goose is only four months old, but he’s already a bit of a celebrity in Leduc. He can be seen shopping in local stores, and taking a stroll on city sidewalks.
The story of Gon
It all started when Brad Young agreed to hatch four eggs for a friend. The fourth gosling couldn’t get out of his shell. Young thought there wasn’t any hope for the baby bird.
“I got him out and I noticed his legs were bad and I felt really bad. I didn’t have it in me to cull him, because that’s usually the standard procedure for a bird like this. I didn’t have it in me so I put him in the incubator.”
He named the gosling Gon.
“I named him Gon because I honestly didn’t believe he was going to make it. He was so weak and in such hard shape, and so just Gon. Gon goose. And I just wanted him to be as comfortable as possible.”
The other three geese went off to their new homes, but Gon stayed on at Young’s home.
“The first few days there was no improvement at all with his legs, and it was about the fourth or fifth day, I was making coffee in the morning, and I heard him in the closet just peeping away. I open the closet and he came stumbling out, and it was just the best feeling in the world.”
When Young realized the gosling had imprinted on him, a process where a baby goose would normally follow an adult bird to provide them with safety, he decided to keep the baby.
“When I tried to walk away or leave him somewhere he would run after me and make a racket and catch up!”
Now the two are inseparable.
Life with a goose
“If I’m getting a shower like if I’m in there for 15 or 20 minutes, he has to come wait with me.”
Young works from home as a computer technician, so keeping Gon with him during work hours isn’t a problem. And outside his home, the community has been accepting of the bird as well.
“I’ve contacted so many stores, the grocery stores in Leduc and I am allowed to bring him in.”
And while Young may be spending most of his time with a bird, he says Gon makes sure he gets out to visit with his own kind.
“I wake up in the morning and he’ll call out to me like, ‘Hey let’s go! Let’s get up and do something.’ There’s no room for depression, or having a bad day, because you kind of can’t. He doesn’t allow it.”
Young says Gon could live up to 30 years if he stays healthy, and he’s looking forward to a lifetime of companionship with his new feathered friend.
“Have you ever seen the Grinch stole Christmas? Remember that feeling when his heart started swelling? That’s how I felt when he came stumbling out of the closet.”
With files from Nicole Weisberg