By Andrea Romano
January 30, 2020
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Kennedy News and Media

When a land dog meets a sea dog, they’re naturally going to become best friends.

A dachshund named Stanley met a rescue seal named Aayla while visiting the Sea Life Trust Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, Cornwall on Thursday — and they instantly became buddies, Helen Le Caplain at Kennedy News and Media reported.

Melanie Talbot, Stanley’s human companion, managed to capture the moments when Stanley and Aayla rubbed noses on the glass partition, and then posed for the camera. In one of her photos, you can see the seal inquisitively tilting her head. Talbot told Le Caplain that it almost seemed like Aayla was “whispering secrets” to Stanley.

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Their encounter lasted about 20 minutes, according to Le Caplain, but the adorable photos will last a lifetime.

Talbot theorized that the curious seal swam up to meet Stanley because he was wearing a fleece snood that covered his ears, making him look distinctly like a seal, Le Caplain reported.

“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,” Talbot told Le Caplain. “I couldn't believe it when they posed up, I've never seen anything like that before.”

Talbot added that while Stanley has plenty of other dog friends, this was the first time she has ever seen the two-year-old dachshund make friends with a different animal — let alone a former wild animal. “It was so lovely and such a heartwarming thing to see,” Talbot said. “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.”

Stanley was at the seal sanctuary not only with Talbot, but also Talbot’s mother and eight-year-old dachshund, Mabel, while the family was visiting St. Ives, Cornwall.

Georgina Shannon, marketing manager at Sea Life Trust Cornish Seal Sanctuary, said that Aayla is a very playful seal, so it’s no wonder she was able to make friends with a different species. “Her favorite activity is to sneak up [on] the [sanctuary] team, and to pester the other seals when sunbathing,” she said. There are typically about 70 seals in the sanctuary each season.

Aayla has been with the sanctuary since 2018, and has one partially amputated flipper. That doesn’t seem to slow her down, though, as she still gets into “plenty of mischief,” Shannon told Le Caplain.

Because the sanctuary is now Aayla’s permanent home, let’s hope Stanley will be able to return soon to visit his new friend.