If you’ve never made a temporary best friend while you’re on holiday, you’re missing out.
Forget the holiday romance, vacation pals are the truest joy.Learn from the unusual pairing of rescue seal Aayla and sausage dog Stanley. While Stanley, a two-year-old dachshund, was on holiday in Cornwall with owner Melanie Talbot, he met Aayla, a seal living at the Sea Life Trust Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, Cornwall.
There was an instant connection despite the glass separating them.
Curious Aayla swam right up to the window and pressed her nose to Stanley’s through the screen, then spent 20 minutes staring at the pup and posing for photos.Aayla even mimicked Stanley’s tilted head – because all good friends know the magic of matching poses. Melanie, 47, was lucky enough to capture photos of the amazing moment. She reckons that because Stanley was wearing a fleecy jacket and a snood, Aayla mistook him for a tiny seal pup. Melanie, from Newtown, Powys, said: ‘I couldn’t believe it when they posed up, I’ve never seen anything like that before.
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‘When I looked at the photo I captured it just made me think that friendships can blossom in any animals – it was nice to see different species form such a bond.
‘Someone commented that when dachshunds sleep they tuck their feet in and they do look like seals.
‘Stanley had his snood on over his ears too because it was cold that day – maybe that’s why she came up to him and was so inquisitive.
‘You wouldn’t think the glass was there, it just looks like their noses are touching and that she’s whispering to him.
‘In the picture the seal has her head on one side, she looks almost like a dog in that pose.
‘It was so lovely and such a heartwarming thing to see.’Melanie visited the sanctuary with her mum Wendy Clark-Newby, Stanley and eight-year-old daschund Mabel during their week-long holiday to St Ives, Cornwall, last week. The charity rescues and rehabilitates grey seal pups from around the Cornish coastline, rehabilitating more than 70 seal pups each season. Melanie said that dachshund Stanley, who loves watching Strictly Come Dancing and The Supervet on TV, loves to pose for the camera – but she’s never seen him form a bond with such an unusual animal before.
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Melanie said: ‘I’ve never seen anything like that before.
‘Stanley has doggy friends, but this is the first time he’s made friends with another type of animal.
‘When we went to look at the seals outside she kept coming out of the water to look at him, they seemed to have a magical bond, which felt really nice.’Seal Aayla was rescued from Bacton, Norfolk, in January 2017.
She was malnourished and had a small injury on her right flipper, which was severely infected. Several of her bones had to be removed, meaning she had to receive continuous care.
The sanctuary welcomed Aayla to the family in July 2018 to provide her with a permanent home. Marketing manager at Sea Life Trust Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Georgina Shannon, said: ‘Aayla is very active and enjoys playing with other seals.
‘Her favourite activity is to sneak up the team, and to pester the other seals when sunbathing.
‘Aayla is very intelligent and quick to pick up new things during her training sessions, even with her part-amputated flipper she still manages to keep up with the others and get into plenty of mischief.’
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