Steve the Goose is making quite the name for himself.
“He follows me around the yard, whether I’m mowing on the tractor, he goes up and down the rows or if I’m in the garden, he’s in the garden with me,” Shymko said.
“He’s just great. If I’m sitting on the deck reading, he’ll come and sit beside me and if I go in the house he pecks at the rear window.”
Shymko’s two youngest children brought the goose and his mate, Lulu, home from a nearby sanctuary. The pair raised goslings together until Lulu passed away four years ago.
Since then, Steve has been successfully flying solo — even though he can’t actually fly — making friends with bunnies and the family dogs.
Shymko said that’s why his sudden disappearance a month ago was so shocking.
“I woke up in the morning and came out and he was gone,” she said.
“I asked (my sons), ‘have you seen Steve?’ and they said no and I noticed some feathers so we came back here right away.”
But Steve was indeed gone. The family took off on ATVs to search the area around their property before Shymko felt she had to go to social media.
“I was kind of nervous putting anything out there because I didn’t want people to think I was crazy looking for a goose,” she said.
“But within two hours, I had hundreds of people responding and wanting to come out and look for him. It was great, and it was just positive hoping he was okay.”
The search party grew and continued into the afternoon, until Shymko said she received an email from a friend that indicated a fox had been spotted down the road – carrying a white goose in his mouth.
“We just figured he was gone … we were sad. We were actually quite devastated,” she said, adding hundreds more messages of support came in after she updated everyone online.
“We thought he was gone — until the next morning and Steve was at our back door, pecking, wanting to get in.”
Against all odds, Steve managed to escape the fox and waddle back home. He was dirty, ruffled with a lot fewer feathers and a little blood on him.
“The vet was going to come out here if he didn’t heal, but he started healing and yeah – he’s great,” Shymko said.
While Steve is still a little nervous in his familiar surroundings, he’s become a star on the internet. His survival story has gone viral, making international headlines and being featured on The Dodo.
“I honestly just think he was such a positive light in such a dark time,” Shymko said, adding she’s received letters from seniors sharing their stories of growing up with geese.
From that attention, a stranger began a social media campaign for Steve the Goose to be the next mayor of Moose Jaw.
Shymko said she only became involved with the campaign after the original organizer became inundated with messages and media requests.
There’s now Steve the Goose for Mayor merchandise, and Shymko’s daughter created lawn signs.
With a local election looming this fall, it’s important to note — of course — that as a goose, Steve can’t become mayor.