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A Remarkable Animal-Human Friendship

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One of the most unbelievable animal stories to have hit the web in recent years is the remarkable friendship between a man and a goose at Echo Park Lake in Los Angeles. The goose -- called Maria until it was discovered she was actually a Mario -- developed an intense crush on a retired investor named Dominic Ehrler.

"When she first started following me around like a dog I got goose bumps," Ehrler said. "David Foster, one of the parks people here, finally introduced me to her. He said, 'You know you're being stalked! Her name is Maria.'" Soon she began greeting him every morning as he arrived at the park around 8 am. Their daily routine generally involves a side-by-side walk around the park's perimeter as Ehrler feeds her tortillas.

Maria is incredibly possessive of Dominic -- going so far as to peck and bite strangers or other animals who come too close to him.

And parting is always a sweet sorrow. Unless he's able to slip out while she's sleeping or a park staffer is available to distract her, Maria will fly alongside Dominic's scooter as he takes off, usually trailing him for about two blocks.

"I was just amazed -- I couldn't believe my eyes," said motorist Ricky Scott. "I didn't know geese were that human-friendly."

Do you have an incredible story about a special animal-human bond? WebVet would love to hear! Share your experiences by emailing us at barbara@webvet.com

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