Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?

People often say that Pearl looks a great deal like me.
What I see is a young woman that looks a great deal like herself, with a splash of me added in. More the resemblance is in our mutual love of animals and interest in pursuing a career in caring for them.
I wasn't able to pursue that dream, but I've made do with innumerable pets (both normal and bizarre) and volunteering as a wildlife rehabber.
Pearl spent a week at SeaWorld hanging out with all things wet and wonderful. She's finally old enough to participate in their camp where she gets to learn more about and interact with the animals. We giggle at the fact that she wants to have a career with sea mammals, but live in the mountains. Something tells me that's not gonna happen unless she opens a SeaWorld of her own.

In the pic above, she's tentatively touching one of the Orcas. The trainers were pretty antsy about it, too. I guess the Advanced Career campers were supposed to have some major hands-on time with the whales, but had to wait two days for it to happen. It seems the whales were in a bit of snit about something and they didn't want the campers near them. I guess it would be bad for public relations if a whale ate a camper.
Did you know that SeaWorld also has 'Animal Ambassadors'? Me neither. They appear in public and on TV. Pearl is snuggling a wallaby after she got be a true keeper and clean the cage.
Believe it or not, we have a picture of her at her 4th birthday that's nearly identical to this one. She's always loved snakes. We've had a snake as a pet. This big boa is named Gomez.
Katrina the alligator. She was rescued following the hurricane of her namesake. Who rescues alligators?
I have no clue what kind of lizard this is, and she can't remember. For some reason, big lizards aren't my favorite critters.
She really enjoyed the hands-on with the baby bamboo sharks and the sting rays.
Here she is with Hunter, the sea lion. Gold stars for those that can tell me the difference between sea lions and seals.
While cute and cuddly looking, this Asian Small Clawed otter can be full of spit and vinegar. On the day they were to perform in the Sea Lion show, the two otters decided that having a tiff with one another was more important.
One thing about SeaWorld to their credit---the animals are never made to perform.
One of the many chores Pearl did, was preparing buckets and buckets of fish for the animals. The dolphins were very happy they did.

Another animal ambassador--a Spoonbill.
It might have been 103* outside, but in the penguin enclosure it was 27*. She and fellow campers shoveled 10,000 lbs of 'snow'. They also got to spend a lot of time just hanging out. The penguins were mainly interested to see if anyone had a spare fish in their pocket.
The Beluga whales are what the trainers call, "The marshmallow hamsters of the sea." The are extremely docile and surprisingly squishy to the touch. The campers got a special treat by seeing two brand new babies. One of the Belugas had a calf about 2 weeks before camp. A sea lion had a calf just 2 days before they arrived.
Here's momma sea lion and her baby. Baby is enjoying a snack and momma is enjoying the sun.
I think Pearl liked the sea lions the best. Only time will tell.
I hope she follows her dreams, whatever they are.


  1. OMG!! This would have been a dream come true for me when I was her age. Heck, it would be even now. What wonderful pictures for her to have. I'll bet she was just in 7th heaven. What a lucky girl - and what a great momma for making it happen for her!

  2. I know she had an awesome time! I always love going to Sea World. The first time I went there I wanted to work there also.

  3. Okay, I cry, really cry about every other time I read your blog. I love you so very much and your pack too, but you knew that. I believe sea lions are much larger and have ears where as seals ears are inside or visa versa. You think I'd know this having living down the street from them for 25 years. And of course aunt "jean" would be so pleased if her little miss pb chose this line of work. xo