Peeps the goose helps Prior Lake family through pandemic

Getting through these pandemic days has proven difficult – there’s a lack of social engagement, barely any sporting events and for the first time in recent memory, some kids can’t play with their friends.

Parents have needed to get creative to keep their kids happy and healthy (physically and mentally). Some with at-home crafts, others with pets – one Prior Lake family took the latter to heart with the addition of a Canada Goose named Peeps.

“It’s been quite an adventure,” Ronnie Hendrickson said with a smile while standing next to his fiancé, son and Peeps.

“I never asked permission, I just brought him home and just the little boy was happy,” Hendrickson added.

That didn’t last long, he said within 15 minutes everyone in the house was on board with their new pandemic pet.

When the COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions began, Hendrickson noticed his nine-year-old son was feeling a bit down. Thinking back to his childhood, raising geese himself, he knew Peeps was going to be a great addition.

A family friend cares for injured ducks and geese – Peeps needed a home and the Hendricksons needed a pet.

“It keeps you sane,” Hendrickson said. “We’re lucky enough to be in the country and lucky enough to have a little goose.”

At first, Peeps was small enough to sit nicely on the couch with them – even on Sunday, sitting through virtual church service. But as he grew up, Peeps needed to spread his wings.

One day, Peeps tried following Hendrickson’s truck in flight. From there, it was four-wheeler rides down gravel roads and jet-ski cruises on Prior Lake with Peeps flying alongside them, causing many to do a double-take and even ask why they were chasing a goose, only to let them know Peeps was chasing them.

“He’s not always just flying – sometimes he’s doing silly stuff at home,” the family says. “Sometimes he’s picking on the dogs, or he’s playing ball … eating flip-flops.”

Peeps is getting quite a reputation on Prior Lake. Some people with lawn ornaments designed to keep geese off their yard have let him waddle over. Other than sometimes flying to the park to try and play with other kids, Peeps the Canada Goose has stayed loyal to his new Minnesotan family – and that’s their plan for, and after, the pandemic.