I can’t believe we are already in July, this past month has been eventful to say the least! A few ups & downs, a lot of tears and some incredible memories. I have mastered the art of being on top of the world, to hanging on for dear life in 7.432 seconds. As new doors open, I gently close and secure old ones. There have been moments I have never felt more loved…or so alone. It’s all about life. I know without experiencing the dark, I would not have such an appreciation for the light.
Did I mention I also found a new favorite vodka?

Incredible memories…there have been many of them, some of which may continue to grow, others that may happen only once twice three four times. I have shared the stories of Ace V., Buenaventura and Oscar, I now introduce to you, Cleo.

When Cleo first appeared on the beach, he had a very bloated tummy and was pretty lethargic. My peers friends at the rescue thought he had probably just eaten something that didn’t agree with him and was sleeping it off. By the following morning, the bloating had subsided but he still appeared to be a sick little guy. The fear now was he had been exposed to Domoic Acid. Barricades were set up, and before rescue left a neighbor and myself agreed to rotate every other hour sea lion sitting.

At least I will not be 1) alone in the ocean 2) in the middle
of the night 3) sitting waist deep with a sea lion on my lap. Long story kinda short, by the following morning Cleo had made a remarkable recovery, yet refused to return to the water.

He spent the days soaking up the sun and any and everyone’s attention, the evenings frolicking on the beach and back to the barriers by sun up…for 4½ days.

As exhausting and overwhelming as it was, he was an absolute joy and inspiration. Although bonding with these animals is discouraged, it was inevitable.

There were several times Cleo toyed with the idea of going home but in the end, he always chose his new found home, the barrier.

On day 4 we were told arrangements were being made to relocate Cleo to the Channel Islands. It was obvious he was content where he was, just a little too content. As happy as I was he was one of the few success stories, the news really tugged at my heart strings. A few hours later, I learned Cleo would be leaving the next morning.


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I walked out to say my good-byes the following morning, as I sat down in the sand, Cleo waddled over to me. Deanna joined us shortly after and snapped a few pictures with my cell phone.


“It’s all good buddy…you will be with your friends…”


“…I will?”

*sniff* “Good bye and good luck my little friend…”

That was the last time I saw Cleo. I was fortunate enough to had been able to spend time with Oscar as he ended his journey and I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to be there as Cleo prepared to begin his new journey.  These are memories I will forever hold close to my heart, memories I will always cherish. These are incredible memories….