All About Animals: Don’t Mess With Albert

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In the wee hours of the morning, I hear him sound off. Like a well trained sentry, he alerts me. From the house, I can see a car approaching, headlights on high beam. The newspaper is being delivered. As I make my way down our long driveway in the dim morning light, I can see him floating leisurely in his pool, tiny slivers of ice surrounding him. As I scoop up the paper, I see him beckoning me to join him. “Hey, Chic, come on in – the water’s fine,” he announces. “Thanks, but, no thanks, Albert. I’ll pass!” I waved as I retreated back to the house and the warmth of the woodstove. “Sissy!” I heard him mutter sarcastically. “I heard that,” I retorted!

Albert is always the first “person” that you’ll meet when you arrive at Bella Vista Farms. He’s the greeter, so to speak. His sweet smile and very vocal personality are immediately evident. But don’t let

that pretty face fool you. Behind those marble like eyes and cute little grin lurk a force to be reckoned with.

You see, Albert is our trusty “watch goose.” I’ll warn you now, don’t mess with Albert! Albert takes his job seriously, alerting us to any guest, passerby, airplane, or coyote. If you should enter the gates uninvited, Albert will call for back-up – the Gentle Giant dogs that call Bella Vista Farms their home. Yes, they would protect me, but my money is on Albert!

In the six years that Albert has been protecting the farm, many flocks of geese have invited him to fly away and join their flock. He always laughs, then goes back to his comfy straw filled barn, fresh water, tasty meals, and, of course, that sparkling clean pool. “I live the life of Riley here. Why would I ever consider leaving?”

Albert protects all of the animals here on the farm from chickens to horses and everything in between. We all feel secure knowing that he is on duty. He struts around, checking every nook and cranny, working 24 hours a day.

Albert is a guard goose extraodinaire, a mighty might with wings like a steel trap and a strong beak that most bears would envy. He is always on high alert to dangerous situations.

This brings to mind just one act of his bravery. Last summer, I was doing morning chores at my usual fast pace when Albert stepped in front of me, blocking my path. He stood his ground, honking and flapping his wings wildly, not letting me pass. I stopped dead in my tracks. Had I not heeded Albert’s frantic warning, I would have stepped directly on a 45 inch rattlesnake, coiled and ready to strike! Yikes! Good job, Albert.

Our entire farm wants to give Albert a huge thank you for his dedication and relentless protection.

But please remember, if you visit the farm…..Don’t mess with Albert.

Chic Miller
Since 1990 Chic Miller and her husband, Bob, have owned and operated Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary, a 501(c)(3) non-profit animal sanctuary on Gas Point Road in Cottonwood. The Millers care for hundreds of abused and neglected animals. Animals that come to this sanctuary remain there for the rest of their lives. Chic is a retired nurse and takes care of all the medical needs for the injured and ill animals. Aside from a few volunteers, Bob and Chic take care of all the daily chores. The Millers care for hundreds of animals, including dogs, horses, ponies, pigs, llamas, goats, cats, chickens and yes, even a one-legged turkey. Chic Miller can be reached at 530-347-0544. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to help support Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary.
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5 Responses

  1. Avatar sue says:

    Delightful read!

  2. Avatar Peggy Elwood says:

    I had an African Gray goose like that back in the 80’s…he would have fought to the death for me…I still miss him greatly

  3. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    What a wonderful story. It reminded me of learning years ago that geese have been used as guard animals in other countries for years. I had a hard time believing it though my Polish grandmother had a “guard” peacock which would sound the alarm when ever strangers came on the property when I was a child. I was amazed to read about the rattle snake warning you received from Albert. Thank you Chic.

  4. Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

    I hope all who read Chic’s article noticed the end explanation of who Chic and Bob are and that the sanctuary is a non-profit. If you have a coin or two to spare, every dime donated goes to the care of the animals lucky enough to have been sheltered and fed by this remarkable couple.

  5. Adrienne Jacoby Adrienne Jacoby says:

    What a delightful and . . . make no mistake about it . . .. cautionary tale. Here’s to all the Alberts in the world that mostly protect humans from themselves.