Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thank you for your letters!

I just wanted to let you know that I DO receive your letters. Those of you who have sent letters via Free Press/Simon and Schuster, be assured that they have passed them on to me and I've really been touched by your stories, pictures, and everything else you've sent. You've all been very kind and I never expected this - to actually hear from people and for people to share their stories with me, about their animals or their experiences w/ an owl, or about grieving over an animal, or a myriad of other shared experiences. I really appreciate everyone who has written in the comments section or has written me via my publisher. It's just amazing!

I'm barely keeping up w/ my email at all, so I haven't been able to write back to anyone, but please accept my sincerest thank yous for the lovely letters and for all that you've shared. It's an amazing journey so far!!

Stacey O'Brien

PS: I got my Wesley plushie and he REALLY has Wesley's little attitude. Wendy was amazing in her ability to capture Wesley's personality in soft sculpture - but she's such a genius at all that she does! Anyway, my Wesley plushie sleeps with me and then sits up by the bed during the day. It's almost as if Wesley himself were here. It's amazing to have a plushie of my own little Wesley!

@2009 Wesley the Owl, Inc.


alieneyes said...

Dearest Stacey,
I JUST finished Wesley The Owl, which I blessedly found at my local rural library a few weeks ago. I thank you from the depths of my heart for your seeing this project through, and attracting all the support you have to manifest it! I have long enjoyed a rather mystical relationship with owls in the wild, especially great horned owls. But, about 8 months ago, I was what I can only call "accosted", while driving on the dirt road just beyond my residence, by a large barn owl. The details do not need to be shared. Suffice it to say that the intensity of our communication over about 10 minutes was mind-altering(at least to MY mind!) Your entire book is a revelation, on so many levels, and has also given me more insight into that encounter. I have often remarked in conversation in this past year what an immense change there has been in the past decade in the mass-consciousness vis a vis the sentience of ALL living beings on our Earth. I am 65 now, and am satisfied to have lived long enough to see the beginnings of a real shift in the understanding of, and desire for, genuine inter species communication.Your story is outstanding for its seamless meld of attentive, schooled scientific observation; and felt, experiential sharing and musings. I encourage you to discover other subjects or passions about which you might write combining these gifts and skills.
I do not now have a sense of exactly how well you are managing your own physical body challenges. I have some intuitive guidance I might share with you, if this appeals to you, or positively resonates.
Thank you from my heart. I send my warmest regards to you and yours,
R.A.L. West

fiestyitaliangal said...

Hello Stacey!

I am an avid animal lover, and I have had my pet sitting business for almost 10 years now. I can finally say that I love my job. I love to read, too, and of course, one of the first sections that I go to for a new book, is the nature/pet section. I discovered your book last month in this section and upon starting it, I could not put it down. It took me on many different levels of emotion, and how refreshing it was to know that there are people out there like you, that have extreme passion for animals. I cannot thank you enough for doing everything that you did for Wesley. You are an amazing woman, and thank you also for putting it into words for the rest of the world to read and experience. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I'm sure it has encouraged many to love and respect nature and the wild a bit more.
God Bless you!
Sunland, Ca

Kristi said...


I have felt compelled ever since finishing your beautifully written book to let you know how profoundly touching your story was to me. I was so moved by your story with Wesley that I was in tears for nearly an hour when I finished. What a beautiful love story. I have to say that your unique relationship with Wesley was one that someone rarely finds in this life with another being, human or otherwise. I noticed lots of folks have mentioned the hug, and I know that must have been indescribable for you. I thank you for sharing and for the work that you have done and continue to do. I hope and pray that your health is improving and that you have found some solace for the loses you have faced through the love of those close to you. I, and many others, will never forget the story of you and Wesley.

michelle said...

I too just finished reading your book and loved every page of it. Especially the wing cuddling, the beak/claw fix process, and the detailed description of him following you about the house while narrating his thoughts. All powerful testament to the connection you had with each other. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story.

Claudia said...

Hello Stacey,
My sister sent me your book (she lives in San Diego). Her daughter had given her a copy for Christmas. My sister has collected owls most of her life, so it didn't surprise me that she loved your story.

I just finished the book and immediately sought out your website to see how you are doing now. It's good to see that your life is continuing, that you are blogging and that your book has touched so many people.

I live on an island about 30 minutes north of Seattle so understand why you so enjoyed your book tour up here. I've been here 30 years and love to hear the great horned owls that live nearby as well as listen to the frogs croaking in the spring and summer.

Basically I just wanted to let you know your story touched my heart. For about 8 years I had a pet frog. I don't think our interaction was as powerful as yours was with Wesley, but I get the connection between humans and non-humans.

I wish you well and hope that your life continues to be full. As you mentioned in one of your posts, losing everything truly isn't the end of the world. I learned that years ago when our house burned down and we had no insurance and lost everything. We didn't lose our lives and our animals were safe, so truly, nothing else mattered. Love and the support that we can give and get from each other is what life is all about.

Take good care of yourself.

Melly Testa said...

I came to see if perhaps you might post some of the audio recordings you made of Wesley, am I missing it?
I love the book. LOVE it. I am not finished and do not want any spoilers so am hesitant here. But.
I held a barn owl in a rehab program last year and was smitten. a few years back I was taken by the owl cam at the cornell lab and now your book.
You spoke about how owls have appeared and helped you through challenging times. For me that bird is a hawk. On Earth Day about 5 years ago, I decided to pick up some trash. I wore gloves, brought extra bags and whistled while I worked. I filled two bags and decided to throw the bags in a dumpster and continue on to the library. I came within 5 feet of the dumpster, looked up and there sat a red tailed hawk, looking straight into my eyes. I jumped, he jumped and flew off and I laughed heartily. There was a man standing and drinking a cup of coffee not 15 feet away. I asked him, "Did you see that?" No! Ever since, whenever I see a hawk, I feel guided.
Thank you Stacey.

Lorelai said...

Dear Stacey.

It's hard to know where to start. Your book touched my soul - that's a good start I think.

Ever since childhood, I have been obsessed with owls, especially Barn Owls.

It was by mere chance that I heard of your book one day when I googled 'owls' as I do quite often.

It took me a good couple months to get hold of a copy of the book as it is not sold in England!

I just finished reading the book a couple nights ago.

I just adored it, adored Wesley, and adored your amazing kindness towards him.

I hope that one day I will be in a position where I am surrounded by beautiful creatures like Wesley, and I hope I can be as compassionate and sweet as you were with Wesley.

Thank you ever so much for writing the story of you and Wesley, it really did speak to my heart and soul - as sappy as that sounds!

I genuinely hope that your health perks up some, as I can't imagine going through what you did/have/do - i suffer badly enough from severe cluster migraines, but your condition sounds unimaginable!

Lots of love and warm regards,



Jane said...

Hi Stacey,

I just wanted to let you know how much Wesley the Owl meant to me. I have always loved my assorted pets (cats and birds), but your book gave me deeper insight, understanding and appreciation of them. It's like it bumped up my relationship a few notches just hearing you speak about the depth of your relationship with Wesley. Thank you so much for that.

I also wanted to say that I pray your health is greatly improved since the book was written, and that you are a wonderful, wonderful person. It makes me happy to know that there are people like you around spreading love, compassion and strength during our brief time here on earth.

Best to you, JR Mill Valley, CA

Anna said...

Dear Stacey,

I loved your book. I love owls so I couldn't put Wesley The Owl down and I think it's very well-written.
Wesley The Owl also helped me learn a lot about animals.

Ellie Dworak said...

Hi Stacey - I just finished reading "Wesley the Owl" in two days. It would have taken less time, but I kept having to read portions to my husband, and then he would steal the book from me and I'd have to trick him to get it back.

I feel moved to tell you a small story. I don't know much about owls, but two years ago I gave birth to a son named Walker.

While I was pregnant, my husband spent a lot of time hunting (ethically) with a friend. They woke up early and went out to the area East of San Diego, where we lived at the time. It was a time for him to be introspective about having his first child, and also to spend time with an older male friend, who had already had children.

Walker and I had a beautiful homebirth, attended by a midwife, her assistant, and of course my husband. After 36 hours of painful, though completely normal, labor, Walker was born. Unfortunately, he did not open his eyes and was rushed to the emergency room.

Walker was born with massive brain damage for no apparent reason, and died at six days old. This was two years ago last February. It was not clear why, and did not seem to be related to having a home birth, though of course we will never know for sure. I choose to feel blessed that I was able to have an un-medicated birth and spend that time with Walker.

After Walker died, some friends came over, one of whom's father had died unexpectedly a couple of years before. She said that when her dad died, he was camping and his body was found with hawk feathers that he had collected, so that now when she sees a hawk, she feels visited by him. My other visiting friend felt the same way about dragon flies and her mother, who died years before.

"Is there an animal or something else that you saw a lot of while you were pregnant?" she asked. My husband immediately replied that while I was pregnant he saw a remarkable number of owls. So we chose the owl to be Walker's . . . not symbol, exactly, but his spirit sign.

At any rate, now I see owls everywhere. Not always living owls, but images of owls or the word owl.

So your book was especially meaningful to me, and I thank you.

Also, six months after Walker died, I got a Vizsla puppy named Gus. He was a holy terror to raise, and I never thought he'd slow down long enough to cuddle, but we have bonded so closely that I feel he was sent to me by Walker to keep me in my time of need.

I hope that you get to adopt another barn owl and that he or she is as special to you as Wesley. I will also keep you in my prayers for your health.

Bless you.


barb said...

I just finished 'Wesley the Owl,' my mom got it at the library for me. It takes me back to junior college many decades ago, when I was given a baby barn owl by someone who found it at the base of a big eucalyptus tree, eeping forlornly. Since I had a falconer's license, they thought, and rightly so, that I'd be a good person to raise it. I remember sitting in biology lecture, with raised theater-style seats, with owl in box. One day the lid came up, and a big fluffy owl butt emerged, firing a white stream right into the lap of the person behind me!

Darn Owl used to spend his days in the tree behind our second story deck, where he'd google and twist his head around. This is from a very old slide:

When all feathers were in, he went to the San Diego Natural History museum, where he introduced herds of school kids to the wonderful animals we have all around our canyons and neighborhoods.

Diana said...

Can't wait to get my own little Wesley doll. I see in your blog that your friend Wendy must have designed him. It would be good to tell the story of how the Wesley doll came to be on the page where he is for sale. Might encourage more people to buy him. I sure would like to know more about it. Just a thought.