She’s a joy to have around. She's been in the house since the day she hatched (six years ago). —Diane Westcott
LIBERTY, Weber County — When Kevin and Diane Westcott take their family pet, Gladys, out on the town, they get a lot of stares.
It’s not because she’s wearing a funny costume. The attention is because Gladys is a goose.
“Everybody has to stop and they want to pet the goose, and the kids are all just enthralled with her,” Diane said.
Inside the Westcott family's Ogden Valley home, Gladys the goose can often be seen taking a little beak bath from a water tray. She's more comfortable indoors around humans than she is around other geese.
“She’s a joy to have around,” Diane said. "She's been in the house since the day she hatched (six years ago)."
The Westcotts have a farm full of animals — geese, ducks, chickens, turkeys and even horses.
"You become their flock," she said. "They interact with you instead of other birds."
Diane said she got the idea for domesticating a goose after hearing about a woman who had designed a diaper made for geese.
“They’ll walk up to you when they want to be pet,” she said. “And other times it’s, ‘I’m on my independent stage, and I’m gonna walk around the house now.’”
Kevin initially wasn’t too fond of the idea of bringing a goose into the house.
"(He) kept saying, ‘No house geese. No house geese,’” she said.
But “like all relationships, the wife is right,” he said.
Kevin said he bonded with Gladys shortly after the family's Labrador died two years ago. Now, he sometimes makes his own goose chatter-like sound at Gladys, and sometimes she chatters back.
“We have quite a conversation back and forth at times, but it’s on her terms,” he said.
In many ways, Gladys has become one of the Westcotts' children. Gladys likes to snuggle on laps, chew on shoelaces, and she even sleeps in a bed with the Westcotts.
"It's like you have 2-year-olds that never grow up," Diane said. "You still have to change their diapers all the time."
Gladys has gone camping and to Yellowstone National Park with the Westcotts.
The couple keeps a preserved carving of Gladys' first egg in a display case. Diane has also started writing a series of books about Gladys' adventures.
“I don’t know if I’m glad (that Gladys lives in the house),” Kevin said with a laugh, “but I accept it, and I’m part of it now.”