If you're looking for a story that'll melt your heart and brighten your day, you're at the right place. A dog owner has recently shared adorable photos showing a sausage dog making friends with a seal, and their reaction is the most wholesome thing you'll ever see.
Let me introduce you to Stanley, a two-year-old dachshund, and Aayla, a rescued seal. Together, they make the most unlikely pair of vacation friends.
While Stanley was on holiday in Cornwall with owner Melanie Talbot, he met Aayla, a seal living at the Sea Life Trust Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, Cornwall.
Despite the glass separating them, the two had an instant connection.
At their first meeting, Aayla swam straight up to the window and pressed her nose to Stanley's through the screen. The seal then spent about 20 minutes affectionately staring at the pup and posing for photos.
Aayla even mimicked Stanley's tilted head, because any good friends know the magic of matching poses.
Thankfully, the pooch owner, Melanie, was lucky enough to capture photos of this amazing moment.
"I couldn't believe it when they posed up; I've never seen anything like that before."
"When I looked at the photo I captured it just made me think that friendships can blossom in any animal - it was nice to see different species form such a bond."
She reckons that because Stanley was wearing a fleecy jacket and a snood, Aayla possibly mistook him for a tiny seal pup.
"Someone commented that when dachshunds sleep, they tuck their feet in, and they do look like seals. 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."
"You wouldn't think the glass was there. It just looks like their noses are touching and that she's whispering to him."
"In the picture, the seal has her head on one side; she looks almost like a dog in that pose. It was so lovely and such a heartwarming thing to see."
The Sea Life Trust Cornish Seal Sanctuary conserves grey seal pups, such as Aayla, found along the Cornish coastline. They successfully rehabilitate over 70 seals every year.
Aayla was rescued from Bacton, Norfolk, in 2017. At the time, the poor pup was malnourished and had an injury on one of her flippers, which had become so severely infected that vets had to remove several of her bones.
Thankfully, Aayla has fully recovered and has lived at the sanctuary since 2018.
Marketing manager at the sanctuary, Georgina Shannon, said:
"Aayla is very active and enjoys playing with other seals."
"Her favorite activity is to sneak up the team and to pester the other seals when sunbathing."
"Aayla is very intelligent and quick to pick up new things during her training sessions. Even with her part-amputated flipper, she still manages to keep up with the others and get into plenty of mischief."