7 min read

Morgan The Rescued Dog Rescues Injured Harbor Seal

Morgan is our rescued dog from Golden Retriever Rescue Los Angeles. We'd had him for several months when we drove up to San Francisco to attend a screening at the SF International Film Festival for my partner's documentary film, Kimjongilia. It's about the concentration camps in North Korea, where thousands of children are incarcerated.

We awoke early the first morning to gloriously stormy weather. Coming from the desert, we missed the rain. Immediately we headed out to Ocean Beach. It was a deserted paradise, except for seabirds and one lone surfer. There was no one walking on the beach, and more importantly, no dogs in either direction. When we rescued Morgan he was untrained, undernourished and aggressive. We had corrected most of his bad behaviors but Morgan was still "other-dog aggressive."

We plodded through the wet sand down to the shore. "Morgan, sit," I said. A steady rain fell and dripped off my windbreaker as I scanned both ends of the beach one more time before letting him loose. Morgan dashed immediately into the surf. He hopped and bounced from side to side. I threw a tennis ball out into the water. Morgan leaped out to find it but then spotted the surfer out on his board. Morgan tore after him, hurdling over the incoming waves.

"What is he doing?" James asked.

"He's going out to that surfer."

The surfer paddled further out as Morgan gained on him. James and I both yelled at Morgan to stop. The surfer must have heard us because he turned and noticed Morgan. He pointed for Morgan to go back in but it was a futile gesture, our crazy dog kept swimming. The surfer caught a short wave and returned to shore. Morgan followed him back to the beach. We waved a thank you as our dog bounded up out of the water and strolled over to us. Water dripped from his fur.

"Where were you going, crazy boy?"

"He looks like a seal," James said.

"I've always thought wet Goldens looked like seals."

I tossed the tennis ball as far as I could up the shore and Morgan was off like a racehorse again. He ran so fast he went right by the ball and kept going.

The rain fell harder and it was time to head back. I saw Morgan up the beach sniffing at something in the sand.

"What is he into now?" I said. Then I saw whatever he was occupied with move.

"Oh no. I think that's an animal." I ran to Morgan as fast as I could and pulled him away.There in the sand was a small harbor seal. It looked sick. Upon closer inspection I saw something sticking in it, like an arrow.

"We've got to call the Marine Mammal Center," I told James. I dialed the number that I had always known and reported the situation. I was told someone would be there within thirty minutes. Having been a volunteer for Seal Watch when I lived in Sonoma County I knew to wait a safe distance away. Morgan remained intently curious pulling on the leash but I kept him back far away from his discovery.

Soon a guy dragging a large kennel and a butterfly net appeared on the beach. We pointed him to the wounded animal. He draped the net over and around the seal and then coaxed it into the kennel. Once he had the animal safely secured we helped carry the kennel up the sand and into the back of his truck with Morgan following behind.

"Will he be alright?" James asked.

"I think so. This is the third one we've rescued like this. The others are recovering. He should too. But it's a good thing you found him and called us. He might have been there all day and night in weather like this. And that would not have been good for him."

"Actually, Morgan found him. We were way over there ready to go home."

He looked down at Morgan. "Good boy." He petted his head and said, "Whoever finds an animal gets to name him. You got a name?"

"Morgan," I said."He rescued him."

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