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Man explains love for a goose in Echo Park

February 14, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
It's a popular spot for runners and walkers, and their canine companions love it, too. But in recent months the popular lap around Echo Park Lake has included a man and a goose, and together, they make for one unlikely love story.

"I never thought I'd be 65 years old and in love with a goose," said Dominic Ehrler.

Ehrler admits that their relationship is odd, but, nonetheless, it's precious.

His feathered friend started following him around Echo Park Lake last summer.

"The first day I walked around the lake, and she stayed with me the whole time, I got goosebumps," Ehrler said.

The 65-year-old retiree would take his daily walks, and pretty soon, the goose, nicknamed Maria by locals, was shadowing him every time he showed up.

"It's a very sweet friendship," said Cynthia Camfoy. "Follows Dominic around every morning, loyally, very protective."

Maria is one of about a half dozen geese who call the lake home. Erhler feeds all the birds that approach him, but none have stuck by his side like Maria.

A reclamation project will soon drain the lake for a multi-million dollar facelift, and the birds will be temporarily relocated. For now though, Maria is sticking by Erhler's side, even soaring alongside his red scooter as he rides home for the day. She'll once again be waiting for her walking partner when he returns to the lake tomorrow.


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