This is Al and Zeke. I call them “my dogs” but truth be told, they’re not. They belong to my good friends. But we have certainly had many misadventures together. Al is now a bit elderly and can’t walk the beach the way he used to. There is an interesting story about how Al brought Zeke to us, and I wrote about here, so you can catch up on how these “brothers” came to be together again. They have had more than a few lifetimes together, and once Zeke was fully grown, they put me through many adrenaline rushes.
As an animal communicator, I’m frequently asked by clients and friends if I can make their dog stop barking at every little thing. The answer is “no” because when dogs turn into “dog”, there’s not a lot I can do about it. All dogs, from Pomeranian to Great Dane will roll in dead things on the beach of in the woods because it’s a wolf trait they still carry. Wolves will roll in dead animals and take the scent back to the pack. This is a way other wolves know that there is food nearby. But I digress. The point is, as an animal communicator, I can’t convince your dog that rolling in dead animals is not OK. They do what they want to when they are in “dog mode” and like us, they have free will.
But several years ago, I had a rather terrifying experience when the boys went into “dog mode”. We were on the beach taking a morning walk. There was a section of the beach where I was trying to train them to walk on a leash. I wanted Zeke in particular to learn this so I could take him into town, or get him away from danger. Well needless to say: he hated it. He would whirl and spin, scratch, and turn into a drama star. He didn’t like the leash at all, but I tried to explain to him why I was doing this. He didn’t get it back then, but will walk on a leash with me now. Repetition and treats pay off.
We had arrived at the place where I would walk them one at a time on a leash. I did it with Al too although he didn’t really mind this unless he got excited. In his prime he weighed close to 120 pounds and trying to stop him while on a leash was not only nearly impossible, he would really make my shoulders sore after he’d win the battle pulling me in the direction he wanted to go in.
It was mid-February, and I had Al on the leash as Zeke explored up by some beach debris. He began barking “at a log” I saw lying on the beach. I thought it was just Zeke’s “puppy energy” and didn’t think anything of it. Knowing he was about to be set free, Al sat patiently waiting to be set free. So I called to Zeke to come back to me, which he did, and I set Al free. He too went up to the log and began barking at it. And then……the log blinked at me.
I looked again and couldn’t believe what I was seeing, it was a baby seal who had been left on the beach by its mother while she went to seek food in the surf. It’s not at all uncommon for Mama Seals to do this. They take their babies to a safe place while they return to the sea for food, then they retrieve them later. But I was in a heck of a mess. I had one dog, very excited and pulling very hard, and the other barking and circling the pup with a lot of enthusiasm. The pup was terrified, kept blinking and said “help me” in a quiet voice.
I had one dog, very excited and pulling very hard, and the other barking and circling the pup with a lot of enthusiasm.
I was really in a bind. I was alone, no one else on the beach, and had this “situation.” Zeke was pulling hard now wanting to join his brother torture the baby seal. Al was getting more excited by the moment, and was circling the helpless baby. And I knew if I tried to walk Zeke over and grab Al, it would be all over for the baby seal. They would kill it. They’re not vicious dogs, but the excitement would turn into something awful if I let them both near the baby.
I had recently read a book called “Messengers of Light” by Terry Lynn Taylor. In the book she talks about angels and how they are always nearby to help us with anything we might need. It had worked for me before, (nothing as scary as this) and left with few, no options, I chose to try it again.
So I yelled out loud “If there’s an angel within the sound of my voice, turn that dog around right now (please)!” And it was like magic. Within seconds, Al turned from the baby and trotted over to me. Then the three of us left.
I didn’t know what startled me more, the “blinking log” or the helpful angel who I quietly thanked over and over again as we headed back down the beach. To the dogs? It was like nothing exciting had happened. They acted as if there was no baby seal and we returned to my car all unscathed. Especially the sweet baby seal. And I never connected with the Angel. She was there and gone.
I haven’t seen any more babies on that beach since that day. I don’t think the mama seals drop their babies there anymore because it has become a more popular beach. But this is a normal practice. And should you ever come across one, leave it alone. It has not been abandoned, it has been left in a safe place (typically beaches where there aren’t many humans) so mom can get some food in order to feed her baby.
– This post is also published at animalisa.com.