I have three days left of work. If you've read this blog before you'll know that my job is a huge part of who I am. I've been working at a public aquarium for over twelve years and have taken care of many of its animals for over ten years now. I can't even begin to go into how much I'm going to miss my coworkers, they are a second family to me. It's hard not to get close to someone when you work with them often wearing nothing more than a thin wetsuit!
I'm comforted knowing that my human friends are a quick email, phone call or visit away. But the animals are a different story. Will they know I'm gone? Probably not. The birds might react to me during a visit with familiarity but they won't mope like a dog missing its human companion. Yet, I will miss the animals immensely.
I really love bratty animals. The more personality the better. I've cared for jellyfish for about five years now and, despite their beauty, they bore me. The shorebirds and a few fish species are another matter. One of my favorite fish is a lumpfish, and I've been very fortunate to have worked with dozens over the years. I mean, look at this fish, don't you just want to squeeze her?
Ok, so I'm a bit of a fish-geek. The average reader might be thinking, "no, I definitely do NOT want to squeeze a fish!" But trust me when I say most of my coworkers and interns think we should sell stuffed animal versions of lumpfish in our gift shop. Once you work with them and see their cute little personalities you will most assuredly want to cuddle with one.
They have a modified ventral fin that's evolved into a suction cup so they can stick to rocks and kelp in the intertidal zone, keeping them stable in the surge. Believe it or not they seem like a happy puppy to me. You can pick them up with your bare hands and place them on your palm and they just sit there, mouthing the air, looking for food. You can actually train them too as one of our marine mammal trainers did last winter. They will eat out of your hands and come over, I swear wagging their tails, when they see a staff member approaching in our ubiquitous green uniform shirts.
I will introduce you to more of my favorite animals over the weeks to come as a form of therapy for me while I adjust to full time mommyhood. It will be a joy to go through my iphoto files and reminisce over the fun aquatic personalities I have known over the years.
If you're interested in learning more about what I do you can read my shorebirds blog at neaq.org.
15 hours ago