good read: Wesley the Owl

The first book in a long time that has made me compelled to share and urge all animal lovers everywhere to pick it up.

Wesley the Owl is “the remarkable love story between an owl and his girl.” In 1985 (incidentally, the year I was born), Stacey O’Brien was working as a biologist at CalTech in Southern California. Wesley was a barn owl who had been born with irreversible nerve damage to one of his wings. He would never be strong enough to hunt or survive in the wild. So Stacey adopted him – and neither of their lives would ever be the same again. The story narrates Wesley’s growth from a fluffy little owlet to a full-grown, elegant barn owl with beautiful gold-flecked wings, and an amazing and alarmingly sentient personality. He spent 19 years in Stacey’s care, and they learned and bonded intensely during those years. The book is written with humor and grace, and you will be moved and charmed as Stacey (and Wesley) teach The Way of the Owl.

Readers will be surprised to learn not only about an owl’s complex needs – a strict, mice-only diet with some rather gory details, for one. Owls mate for life, and Wesley chose Stacey as his mate – in more ways than one! Written from the perspective of a biologist who worked with many wild animals over the course of her career, Wesley offers a unique look at the behavior, habits, and emotions – yes, emotions – of an owl. The story is at turns humorous and touching. It is virtually impossible not to cry as you reach the end of this lovingly crafted memoir of life with a very special spirit. Any animal lover will absolutely fall in love with Wesley’s story.

You can read more from Stacey at her blog:

Other great animal reads:

Marley & Me: Love and Life With The World’s Worst Dog
Although I love the movie, the book (as is usually the case) captures something deeper that a movie simply cannot. I highly recommend it.

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched The World
Amazing, amazing book. Simply and beautifully written, this is another exceptionally heartwarming animal story that even non-cat lovers (ugh!) will want to get their paws on. 🙂

I think what makes all three of these books so special and worthwhile are not just the special animals about which they were written, but by the human element brought forth by the folks who took the time to share their stories. Not only about the animal, but about life with the animal as well. As any pet owner can attest, your life is forever changed in myriad ways when you invite a creature into your world. ♥