Man and goose make for odd couple, fast friends - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Man and goose make for odd couple, fast friends

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Every day, retired avionics engineer Ari Pieniek puts his two dogs, Blaze and Michael, into his car and drives to Grand Park for a walk. There, Ari meets his good friend, Abe, for a little company on his walk. But there's one catch: Abe is a goose.

"It's been about two years since he adopted us," Pieniek says. The goose, who Pieniek gave the name Abe, waits at the lake in Grand Park every day to walk alongside Ari and his two dogs. Blaze and Michael, both large breeds, seem to enjoy the goose's company.

Ari brings a bag of corn and other grains to feed Abe and the other birds in the park. He used to bring bread, but learned that the traditional food for feeding fowl could actually hurt their digestive system. He doesn't like to over feed the birds though, claiming that they should learn to feed themselves.

Pieniek's friendship with Abe has a deeper meaning because of Ari's former profession. Devoting a large part of his life to the science of flight, he has a great appreciation for birds.

"I feel great. You know we learn a lot [about flight] from them," Ari says, "I enjoy it. I guess they know I'm an O.K. guy."

The friendship between man, dog, and bird is a rarity, but not unfathomable. Dr. John Coulter, a veterinarian with Grand Strand Animal Hospital, says the friendship between the three species stems from first impressions.

"The goose can imprint upon the dog. If they do not feel threatened, then they can gravitate toward each other."

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