Stacey O'Brien's beautiful animal story, Wesley the Owl, is subtitled "The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl." And, it truly is a heartbreaking, remarkable story.
Wesley was only four days old, a barn owl with an injured wing with nerve damage, when Stacey O'Brien was urged to adopt him. She was working at Caltech, where there was a great deal of research going on with barn owls in an environment that celebrated the playfulness and inquisitive nature of the birds. O'Brien said there were so many owls on the loose that it was a lot like working at Hogwarts.
She was warned, "To that which you tame, you owe your life," and she took it seriously. For nineteen years, she and Wesley lived together, learning about each other. She studied and loved him, while he communicated with her, adored her, and chose her as his mate.
As a biologist, O'Brien writes detailed stories of owls and other animal studies. Even so, she has a gift for making those stories interesting to the layperson. But, it's her observations of her beloved Wesley that are so enjoyable. How could anyone read his bathtub scenes without smiling?
Readers who love true animal stories of bonding between humans and animals, will appreciate the beauty of the relationship between Wesley and Stacey O'Brien. It's hard not to laugh, and, finally mourn, with this special gift they shared. O'Brien has shared the gift of Wesley's life with readers in this fascinating book, Wesley the Owl.
Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O'Brien. Free Press, ©2008. ISBN 9781416551737 (hardcover), 240p.