Seal in soul distress, Heart a tangled mess

Today as we walked the beach near our house in northern California, we came upon a dying young harbor seal, beached high on the sand.

We thought he was dead at first, but as we approached his lifeless, emaciated body, he heaved and his chest pulsed with a heartbeat. I knelt before him, and when he heard me cooing at him, he lifted his weary head to stare at me. Our heads were only feet apart. It is the closest i have ever gotten to one of these magnificent creatures, these sea puppies I love so dearly and have admired from afar.