Saskia the Sea Dog and the Rescue of Luka the Seal is a story woven out of whimsy about real people, two special dogs, and a stretch of beach called home by many.
Written by Claire Waumsley many years ago while living in Muizenberg and then shelved as an idea whose time had not yet come, this read-aloud story for children of all ages plays out on Sunrise Beach in Muizenberg and is shaped by characters and dogs from her life.
It tells the story of Luka the seal, a terrible storm, a dog-centred rescue and then the unique problem-solving applied to the situation by three young friends who happen upon the hapless little seal pup on a morning walk.
And its timelessness was put to the test by waiting on the shelf in the author’s home, until her 15-year-old granddaughter, Shyanne, offered to do the drawings, her daughter, Susannah, coloured them in and her other daughter, Liberty, edited the family collaboration.
Aaniyah Omardien, founder and director of The Beach Co-op, said the story surprised her more than once and left her with a broad smile on her face.
“The message of hope, and the importance of empathy and collaboration comes through strongly,” she said.