Seal Pups, Anxiety Dogs For Cheetahs, Border Patrol Agents, and Sunsets in San Diego

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This is a hard post because everything about SoCal is SoStereotypical. It’s hard to find a story in a place that’s so frequently filled the pages of history– a place where EVERYONE has been. Scouts honor– I promise to STEER CLEAR of the typical blah blah blah in this post.Here’s my storyteller’s attempt at throwing something original out into the world:

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Abandoned Seal Pups at La Jolla Beach

When you see a seal pup–it hurts– because it’s so cute. I found a story at La Jolla Beach while leaning over a a wall-like structure . . . elbow to elbow with a volunteer scientist from the Seal Conservancy. [If you know anything about me, you know that I am a total nerd when it comes to science . . . especially animals! When I was in first grade I wanted to be an Orca trainer. Funny enough– I was a terrible swimmer. Childhood dreams, right? Thanks Free Willy and Mom& Dad for that family vacation to Sea World].

So coming face to face {or elbow to elbow} with a real marine scientist was legit!

Apparently this beach is a battleground.

The beach was roped off a number of years ago because the seal mothers come here to raise their pups. Some locals are M-A-D because of their loss of beach. These seal mothers scare very easily. Locals and stinking tourists come onto the beach at night to harass these poor seals. I mean, how heartless can you be? The mothers panic, and are separated from their pups. And Frankly–the mothers aren’t smart enough to find their pups again. Sometimes mothers even pup-nap from other mothers. 20160417_201222

So on this particular day, we took two hours to watch the seal soap opera unfold beneath us on the beach. A seal pup was abandoned . . . it’s mother lay oblivious, basking on the other side of the beach. [I was both baffled and outraged that she was such a horrible mother]. We named the seal Valentine because it was Valentine’s Day. The pup washed out to sea and struggled to get back to the beach. He nudged the belly of other pregnant and nursing seals only to receive LITERAL flipper slaps in the face for unwelcomed teat foraging. Once exhausted, an army of seagulls gathered to size the baby up as a snack. My heart would have probably beat slower during cardio.

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The complexity of human and animal interaction in regards to captivity came into play when the scientist called Sea World to come in to rescue the pup after 48 hours alone. As much as I hate the idea of Tillikum profiteering– this little seal pup had NO CHANCE. Hopefully little Valentine made it.

 

It Looks Like the Jungle.

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I mean, EVERYTHING is green.  The child in me refuses to acknowledge that the flora is carefully manicured, weeded, and watered . . . like, even in the median of the interstate. But let’s just pretend that it’s natural and wild for a second.

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What It Takes to Make a Dream A Reality– A Small Cafe on a Side Street Turns Wildly Successful

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After good vibes and a delicious brunch at Cafe Hide Away I had an excellent conversation with the talented owner. It’s amazing how small moments can really make an impression on each of us. I asked her verbatim, “So, the food was awesome . . . What’s this place’s story?” She shared that in the 80s, she renovated a small garage into the small cafe. People told her that she would never be successful.  People said it was a bad location but she loved how close it was to the beach. I’ll admit that you really have to know what you’re looking for to find the place (or luckily stumble upon it like we did). This story just goes to show us that you can’t let negativity crush your dreams– that passion, creativity, and a can’t-quit-attitude can lead to success. Now she’s got a line of people outside of the door regularly. Did I mention the food?!

Beautiful Gardens in the Yards of the Mansions at the Sunset Cliffs
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Cheetahs Need Anxiety Dogs Too

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I’ll admit that anxiety dogs are a fairly new concept for me. In Colorado I see these “Service Dogs” everywhere. But did you know that Cheetahs need anxiety dogs too?  At the San Diego Zoo Cheetahs have dog friends. Cheetahs are notorius for not doing well in captivity. They shy away from crowds and bolt when frightened. Each Cheetah is paired with a dog companion to relax them. They seem relaxed and meant to be together. You’ve seen everything now, right?

 

Think About the Border

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We drove down to the boarder of Tijuana. As a traveler of the world– the border baffles me! On one side you have million dollar Southern California homes built in Spanish Architecture (ironic?!)– and on the other side well– you can see the difference. The constraints of nationalities and cultures are human constructs– yet we separate ourselves with fences.

I long for the days of old when explorers could ride the breeze freely- going where they please without passports or checkpoints. They could find a place worthy of settling down and plant roots without all of the rules, conditions, regulations, and stipulations.

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Needless to Say We Were Promptly Instructed to Turn Around By a Border Patrol Agent When We Got Too Close

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They have eyes everywhere down there.

 

And Then Of Course, There Is This
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Hungry For More?

Hide Away Cafe
858) 755-3388
150 South Acaia Avenue
Solana Beach, CA 92075

Seal Conservancy
P.O. Box 2016
La Jolla, CA  92038

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