Friday, 10 October 2008

Animals as Family

Finished October 9
Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O'Brien
This is an amazing story of a woman and the barn owl she raised and lived with. Stacey was asked to take on the owl when it was only four days old. It had an injured wing and would never be able to survive in the wild. Knowing that it would be a long-term time-consuming commitment, Stacey agreed. She takes us through the whole experience from the small owlet to the aging adult owl. The book includes photos recording his growth, and Stacey carefully recorded many aspects of his life and behavior for science, but the tales of Wesley's personality and the love between Stacey and Wesley are what really make this book. Stacey takes on the necessary, from providing four to seven mice a day to grooming sessions that Wesley needs, but she also learns about his personality, emotions, and playfulness.
The chapters on biologist behaviour are also interesting and open a world I hadn't seen before.
When Stacey herself becomes ill, it is her ties to Wesley that sustain her through the most difficult periods of her illness. The humour, dedication and love that come through her are touching and remind us of our connections to other creatures.

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