Wesley the Owl, The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl is a heartfelt memoir about a young scientist, Stacey O’Brien and the four-day-old barn owl she adopts and spends almost 20 years with. Wesley teaches Stacey “The Way of the Owl”, which is how Stacey describes his personality. Wesley couldn’t tolerate lies, made sure she kept her promises and loved her unconditionally. The book is part biology text, with fascinating tidbits about owls, their habits and habitats, part humorous essay with stories delineating the differences between poop, sh*t and scat in scientist parlance, but mostly, all heart.
Anyone who has ever loved an animal can tell you that they can communicate with us, something that science hasn’t always agreed with. I loved the interaction between owl and human, and the depth that interaction had. The book doesn’t make you want to rush right out and adopt an owl, thank goodness, since this isn’t exactly legal anymore. But it makes you feel a deeper appreciation of the animals in your own lives. It brought back to me the endings of my much loved pets time with me, and made me dread the future when our sweet little Cookie mutt is old. Yet it also makes us aware of how much our animals enrich our lives. If we chose to share our lives with an animal, we have to understand that, with a few exceptions, we’ll eventually lose them to age and death. But we do it anyway, we love our critters, dogs, cats, lizards, spiders, turtles, fish, snakes, birds, hamsters, rats, mice….all of them. If we can treat our “pets” as what they really are to us, loving companions with complex emotions, we’ll all be better people for it. And if we could all live “The Way of the Owl”, we’d have a better world for it.
This terrific book is available for purchase today, August 19th.