Widowed Geese Get a Second Chance at Love: 'They Never Leave Each Other's Side'

The resident goose at an Iowa cemetery has recently found a spark again after meeting another lonely feathered friend

<p>Riverside Cemetery</p> Widowed geese find love at Iowa cemetery

Riverside Cemetery

Widowed geese find love at Iowa cemetery

Blossom, the resident Goose at Riverside Cemetery in Marshalltown, Iowa, was heartbroken and lonely. After her mate, Bud, died in the summer of 2022 she spent hours staring at her own reflection in the shiny sample headstones outside the main office.

“She was just so very lonely,” says the cemetery’s general manager, David Shearer, 61.

“We thought, ‘She needs a partner," says Dorie Tammen, 68, the former general manager of the cemetery. “I really didn't think we'd have any trouble finding one for her.”

Tammen wrote a "personal" ad for Blossom, posting it on the cemetery’s Facebook page on Feb. 10, 2023, indicating that Blossom was looking for companionship and “occasional shenanigans.”

Meanwhile, about an hour away in Runnells, Iowa, a goose named Frankie had recently lost the love of his life. His mate had been sitting on their eggs when “something got her,” says Deb Hoyt, 66, executive director at Healing Hearts with Horses.

Frankie, too, was heartbroken. “He was alone and he was just lonely,” Hoyt says.

Hoyt saw Riverside's Facebook post and immediately reached out to Tammen. She brought Frankie to meet Blossom on Valentine’s Day 2023 — but it didn't go quite as planned.

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When they arrived at the cemetery, Hoyt opened the dog kennel she was carrying Frankie in and he took off.

“He was mad and he flew off,” Hoyt says. In fact, the goose flew all the way across the cemetery's lake and disappeared.

“We searched and searched and searched and we could not find him. It was raining and it was cold and I was just devastated. I was just so heartbroken. And my husband was heartbroken. I'm like, 'What were we thinking? We're idiots! What did we do this for? He's probably dead somewhere,' " Hoyt recalls.

<p>Riverside Cemetery</p> Widowed geese find love at Iowa cemetery

Riverside Cemetery

Widowed geese find love at Iowa cemetery

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The next morning, Hoyt was lying in bed praying when Tammen called her with good news: Frankie was found, the birds had been introduced and they'd instantly fallen in love.

“They saw each other, and it’s been love ever since,” Hoyt says, adding, “We've gone to visit him several times.”

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The pair now spend their days roaming the large, park-like grounds, swimming on the cemetery’s two-acre pond, Lake Woodmere. They are joined by ducks, two swans and other Chinese geese. “They fit into our menagerie,” Shearer says. “They have fun. They're just happy.”

Cemetery staffers share updates about the "love birds" on Facebook, posting photos of them napping, basking in the sun, snacking or video like this one of the pair "taking a romantic walk in the rain."

“They never leave each other's side,” Tammen says. Though she's retired, she lives three blocks from the cemetery and often walks her dog through the grounds.

“It clearly made Blossom happy,” she says. “They're always together. They're never apart.”

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