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Mary Ellen and Miss Wings
Mary Ellen
Tips 'n' Tales Newspaper Columnist with Miss Wings


Canadian Family Outing with Babies
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 Photo by Coleen©
A Canadian Goose family taking a leisurely stroll on a busy highway.

TALES
 
Coleen was driving into town to run errands when she saw a road hazard. Concerned, she stopped her car, grabbed her camera and began flagging down cars and trucks!

They must have been lost! Meandering across the highway were a pair of Canada Geese parents and their seven yellow downy goslings.

Yes, Spring is here, and the babies are arriving!  They can pose a problem for traffic creating unexpected traffic jams, known as gosling-jams!

The young Canadian family were in the middle of the road, hidden by a sharp curve, and at the bottom of a steep hill.  A scene set for disaster. Coleen was worried they would be killed by the cars and trucks barreling down the hill.

"I stood on that busy road, playing crossing guard," recalls Coleen. "I stopped a fully loaded gravel truck, a truck towing a good-sized fishing boat and many cars to save the geese and their babies.  The parents were confused and not sure what side of the road they wanted to be on. Back and forth they wandered, while I stopped vehicle after vehicle.  I must have been quite a sight; like a 65-year-old, white haired Mother Goose protecting her flock!  

And...Believe it or not! Everyone stopped and climbed out of their vehicles with radiant smiles on their faces to watch the feathered family.  Even the bearded-big-burly gravel truck driver climbed down from his massive truck, with his small digital camera and took photographs! In all, there were 20 people standing on the side of the road watching the wonders of Mother Nature.

I wish I had taken a photograph of the people. I saw ripples of joy pass across their faces as they watched the miracle and difficulties of parenthood--and life unfold in front of them.  Have you ever tried to herd a two year old child, well, this many goslings was proving to be as challenging.

The group of humans stood quietly watching this act of Geese-parenthood and reminding all of us of our responsibilities to the children around us.

For twenty minutes, the geese did not want to leave the center of the road, they wandered side to side as we took time from our busy day...and patiently waited."

For the rest of the world watching, the people in the Pacific North West are often seen standing guard in the middle of a street, directing traffic, during spring baby season.  In Vancouver, BC, Canada...the busy causeway through Stanley Park is famous for coming to a complete stand still, in rush hour, while Canadian Geese parents direct their small families across the road to swim in Lost Lagoon.

Watching wildlife makes us paws and ponder why we are called humans...and humanKIND.  Coleen once again shows us why.  Geese mate for life and can live for forty years.  We can all take a valuable lesson from them. 

photo submitted by Coleen

 
Geese Tips
 
Do NOT feed geese, or other birds, bread or crackers.  This gives the birds a full stomach and falsely so. Geese are herbivores and much prefer the nutrition of whole wheat or cracked corn. Goose food can be purchased at feed stores.  And it is cheap to buy!
 
Also, under no circumstances should they be given cat/dog food, sunflower seeds or fish of any sort. As much as people enjoy seeing them eat these things, they are really harming the geese.
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Pet Painting Tips

We are careful about toxic plants around our pets, but have you considered the type of paint you are putting on your walls, dog houses and pet enclosures?
 
The off gassing, the fumes your paint emits may be harming your pets...and you.  It does not dissipate over night.  Surprisingly, it can off gas into your environment for weeks!
A recent ANIMAL WELLNESS magazine's article, Case of the Bald Akitas describes two dogs who lost all their fur as a result of the toxins emitted when their home being repainted. 
 
Three years ago, our cats became asthmatic after we painted the inside of our home. So, now we only use low VOC paints.  We built our cats an outside enclosure so they can get outside for fresh air and rebuild their lungs.  And the paint used is going to be low VOC.

Paints contain solvents; oil paints more than water-based paints. John Hopkins University discovered that some paints contain 300 toxic chemicals and 150 carcinogens! And that is just one can! 

The Animal Wellness article mentions puppies becoming ill after their whelping box, that had been painted weeks prior to their arrival, off gassed making them extremely ill. 

The paint used was oil based, and the pet guardians had wrongly assumed the paint would dissipate prior to the puppies birth. 

An interesting note, is both the family in the article and ours used Arsenicum homeopathic remedy to help our pets regain their health. 
Check the internet and ask at the paint stores for their products that have environmentally friendly components
 
Disclaimer: This story is for informational purposes only  and not prescribing.  Always consult your Veterinarian and follow your instincts.
 
NOTE:
An extensive list on inside and outside plants toxic to pets

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