When Boredom Strikes

Blind dog guides by goose, Story of Boxer and Buttons’ friendship

When Baks the blind dog was left blinded after an accident, his friend Buttons became his seeing-eye-goose by hanging on to him with her neck and honking to direct him.

Given that dogs and geese don’t really get along all that well, that is already extremely unusual. For instance, the National Park Service declared at the beginning of 2015 that they would be using dogs to corral geese that gathered on the National Mall because the birds were stepping in too much geese poop and leaving too much behind. Additionally, a New York carpenter created some fictitious wooden “dogs” in 2006, according to the New York Times, with the express purpose of frightening geese away from public parks and similar areas. Given that dogs and geese don’t get along, Baks and Buttons’ friendship is already peculiar. But things get weirder.

Since Baks’s accident in 2010 that left him disabled, the two have been friends. However, despite what the picture above might imply, Baks did not lose a leg in the collision; it was just taken from an unusual angle. Here’s another picture of the two where you can see that Buttons is a very good sport and that Baks has all of his legs and a playful sense of humor:

Blind dog guides by goose 1
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What then became of Bak? He lost his sight in the accident. That’s where Buttons made his entrance.

The two were living in Poland in 2011 when the above-taken pictures were taken, along with their owner, Renata Kursa. According to, Kursa informed reporters that Baks did very little following the accident, choosing instead to primarily lounge around and (to somewhat anthropomorphize his actions) mope.

Buttons’ efforts brought about that change. Although this isn’t the only instance of dogs and geese getting along (here is another), Kursa claimed that “gradually Buttons got him up on his feet and starting walking him around.” It is also most likely the only instance of a seeing-eye goose.

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When it comes to relationships between dogs and service animals, the dog usually acts as the guide. However, in this instance, the roles are reversed (with a goose as the other party). The two are frequent playmates, and Baks has been given “a new lease on life” by the friendship with the bird, according to Metro UK. In the words of Discovery, “the four-year-old goose [. ….Buttons is Baks’ best friend and docent. She now guides her friend with impaired vision everywhere, either by hunching over him or by honking to indicate where to go.

However, the friendship is reciprocal. As numerous media outlets noted, Baks has also had an impact on Buttons; the two of them enjoy pursuing postal workers together as one of their favorite activities.

Some rural Chinese police departments decided to use guard dogs in 2013, but they used geese instead of dogs. This actually makes a lot of sense, according to an Audubon Society official interviewed for National Geographic. To begin with, geese typically have excellent hearing and vision, and when they begin to honk, they do so loudly. Furthermore, they are inherently territorial, so if someone walks into the area they are “guarding,” you can bet they’ll notice and raise the alarm.

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