Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Tragic Story of Sophie the Goose Part 1

A baby picture of Sophie, and a blog post from the first day we brought her home can be found here.

I am very late on this post. Sometimes it takes a while to talk about something that affects you so negatively. So here we go: 
On May 9th, 9:50pm. I go out to close the coop and let the dogs out to go potty. I notice our large male goose Sophie is missing from the coop. This had become a usual thing. Since the sun has been setting later each day, the geese and ducks seem to think it's ok to stay out later than dark! They are usually very good about going in on time, away from danger prowling at night.
I went inside to grab a flashlight and Kelsi to help me look for Sophie. Pierre has been laying eggs so we figured maybe Sophie was in the bushes guarding a nest. We searched unsuccessfully for a few minutes. We then heard Juliette barking a long way off in the distance, up the mountain a bit, and much farther than she usually goes late at night in the dark.
In the photo above Kelsi and I were standing at the "feathers" label and we heard Juliette barking up at "ridge 1". This is a great distance from where we were standing. The photos shown do not do a great job of depicting the distances from where we are standing to the top. It is actually really far up there! 
We started running up the road on the right side of the photo above, still following Juliette's barking. This road is 100 or so yards long and very steep. It took us a few minutes to get to the top. When we reached label 'road-2' our lights were shining into the valley between 'ridge-1' and 'ridge-2' and all we could see were multiple sets of eyes that were reflecting from our flashlights, circling the valley with Juliette barking somewhere in the mix of it all. We heard multiple yelps from the coyotes while running up the road on our search for Julies. This was the most intense few moments of my adult life. Hearing the coyotes, hearing Julies barking in the mix of all those eyes. Worried that they were killing our dog! Pitch black out. Very scary stuff.
When we finally reached 'Road-3' we found Juliette at this spot! We sat down to rest for a moment. Still vigilant, shining our lights around, looking for coyotes. While still at 'road-3' we saw eyes reflecting at us from 'eyes-2'. I had my handgun on me but I have little experience shooting at night and I didn't feel confident shooting at eyes of an unknown animal reflecting at me from the flashlight. Just then we heard a yelp from the coyotes and the eyes disappeared. 

We retreated down the hill cautiously. Looking for any signs of Sophie. 
On the way down the hill we found these. Obviously this photo was taken the next day.
More feathers
The death was confirmed by the discovery of Sophie's wing. We were devastated when we found this.

The last photo or video of taken of Sophie was from the day before. 
Kelsi was taking photos of Pierre who had made this wonderful nest out of sticks. Pierre started yelling at Kelsi to go away. When this happened.
Sophie was always so good to Pierre. 
Now Pierre lays here in her igloo nest. All alone. To hear how this change has affected Poor Pierre, tune in tomorrow for a long post full of cute pics and a nice video. It will be a lot less depressing than todays post.

Thanks for reading

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