Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to http://www.catminders.biz

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Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Seal pup on the beach , King Edward's Bay Tynemouth


We have a very perceptive greyhound . The beach was deserted this morning . This usually means that after a shifty look around when Alice ascertains that all 's clear and there are no Big Nasty Dogs out there just itching to get at her and bite off her head ( or worse ) , she will happily flee after balls , seaweed or all manner of things thrown for her ( though admittedly she doesnt really do Fetching yet , though occasionally she will shock us by landing at our feet complete with ball , drop it at our feet and sit waiting for a reward . She maybe has played with a ball at some stage .....
I digress. The sea was calm , the tide far out . I was streaming with cold and coughing to boot so had left the camera behind ( this becomes relevant later ) , but we had a great walk . the temperature was recorded as three degrees but with no wind , it was considerably warmer than yesterday , or the day before .
But ... there was something not right with Alice and as we headed up towards the hundred and odd steps to leave the beach , D commented that something was not right , that she was not relaxed . She then headed off over in the direction of what looked like a washed up plastic bag or a pile of debris washed ashore .
As I walked closer I felt my heart start to sink , as the thing began to take on some sort of shape . Way too big to be a body .... but ..... there was something about it . A dead dog maybe . ? Alice was getting closer and keener . And as I looked at it I saw it move , then realise a head was trying to raise itself . Worst nightmare , the body of a baby or child washed up by the waves ? I shouted to D " its moving " and as we ran closer , relief and wonder ..... a baby seal .
As Alice poked it tail end with her nose it was trying to raise its head to look round at her . D approached it and it made a baby snarling noise at him , showing its teeth .
We stared in amazement , wondering what next ? It loooked fit and healthy but a long way from the water 's edge . As we wondered what to do , call the vet , the coastguard , the RSPCA , a car appeared on the cliff tops and drove as far as it could down the ramps towards the sea , lights flashing . Oh Joy ... someone else , hopefully someone who had been called out already and would know what to do .
A man appeared and explained he was a marine mammal medic , was keeping an eye on it and the pup was fine . It had been examined , was fit fat and well , had taken a pounding probably in the high seas overnight and was now resting and sleeping on the beach . Once rested it would make its way back into the sea and all would be well . He was clearly posted to prevent people like us , well meaning but possibly trying to move it and upsetting it in the process .
We were thrilled to see such a beautiful baby at such close proximity . The one day of all days I had picked the camera up then put it down again . D had his phone camera but ....the quality is less . Its fur was indescribable . Various shades of grey , soft and thick . The baby looked warm and soft and very much like a baby . Seals I've seen before have looked sleak and shiny , their fur like rubber wet suits .
The delights of living by the sea , turning out to walk a greyhound on a damp morning in January . You can't beat it .

2 comments:

Dorothy said...

Wouldn't that be true..to put the camera down for a once in a life time picture. Sounds like a wonderful start to your day though.

Enjoy,
Dorothy from grammology
remember to call gram
http://grammology.com

BetteJo said...

That is so awesome that somebody was watching out for the pup! And such a surprise!

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