If this was a book that I had written, it would bring tears to your eyes as you read it. When it ended you would wish that it wasn't over and that you could revisit it again and again. Sometimes life gives you stories, real true stories that prove that there can be happy endings. This is one of them.
Back in August 2011 I came upon this abandoned seal pup on our neighborhood beach on Lummi Island. She was starving, trying to eat gravel, yet she was still feisty. You can read the original post on this blog here. That day I contacted my friend Cindy Dahlstrom, who is part of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and she made arrangements to get this little pup to the Wolf Hollow Rehabilitation Center on San Juan Island- which would not have happened without the help of our neighbors, Peg and Gene Larson and their fast boat, "The Wavelength."
Fast forward to November and the little seal is not only doing great, but she is about to be released back into the wild. Her name is now Eliza, and she was released with another abandoned female pup that they named Waadah. Because some of us cared, and because of the incredible work that Wolf Hollow does, these seals started their stories over again, with a much better beginning.
The holidays can get us all discombobulated - and Cindy just finally sent me these incredible release photos and documentation the other day, and I wanted to share them with you.
Here, Eliza is being weighed.
Here she is in the transportation carrier.
I think this is Waadah coming out of the carrier.
Both Eliza and Waadah come out of the carriers.
Here she is in shallow water.
Eliza and Waadah swim off together.
Not the end, but the beginning of a new and beautiful life.
And this is the documentation for sweet Eliza- now forever wild and free:
History – Seen alone on west shore of Lummi Island for several days. Picked up 8/12 by Whatcom County Marine Mammal Stranding Network and transported to Wolf Hollow. Observed eating sand on beach.
Condition – Age ~ 10 days. Sex-Female, Weight – 15.8 pounds. Severely emaciated, dehydrated, puncture wounds on fore flipper, sand in mouth and nose.
Treatment – Rehydrated with oral and SQ fluids and gradually introduced to formula. Wounds cleaned, antibiotics given. Radiographs of digestive system to check for possible impaction.
Progress Notes – some highlights of her progress
8/12 Arrival at Wolf Hollow. Wt 15.8 pounds. Alert but weak, emaciated.
8/13 Radiographs show ~18 small rocks in stomach and sand in lower intestine, but no apparent impaction.
8/14 Active in bath. Passing sand in stool.
8/18 Passing small pebbles in stool. Trying to climb out of tub.
8/19 Radiograph, 8 small rocks in stomach.
8/23 First fish, swallowed okay.
8/25 Wound healed. First swim in pool. Weight 20.4 pounds.
8/29 Radiograph, ~6 small rocks in stomach.
9/2 No more formula, just fish.
9/9 In pool full-time. Alert and playful. Weight 24.6 pounds.
9/19 Eating on own off bottom of pool.
10/1 Moved to big pool. Weight – 39.4 pounds.
10/14 Weight 44.6 pounds.
Release– 11/5 Weight 49.85 pounds
If I could tell a story like this in a book, I would be a happy woman... but I'm thrilled to be able to tell the story here, and let you fill in the rest in your imagination.
May you celebrate all of the happy endings and beginnings in this new year and in years to come.
Happy New Life to Eliza and Waadah!