One cold and windy winter night, two bold and shivering SEAL officers wandered through the dazzling 38th ½ street winter wonderland. After the bright lights of the “Trap” house and the underwater vibes of the pirate-themed house, they were curious what they would find at the end of the street.

As they walked along, jabbing with friends and experiencing true holiday cheer, they noticed an alley to their left, between two lit up houses, another duplex peeked out. Lights in the trees, and a decorated Volkswagen bus illuminated their path. In the backyard of one house and the front yard of another, the officers came upon a most wondrous sight!

A zoo! But not just any ordinary zoo. This zoo was populated by stuffed animals! There were cats and beanie babies, owls and bears. Children and adults alike were playing with and cuddling the animals, who all looked exceedingly happy to be paid so much attention. The officers began to explore the zoo, with one thought on their minds: if only we could find a seal.

They walked past the monkeys. They patted the puppies. They ducked under some low-hanging lights to explore the bird cages. Then, sitting right in among the others, a plump and happy seal! The officers were so happy to see their favorite animal! They read her information and gave her snout lots of boops.

Lucille the SEAL plushy

The seal seemed well-fed and friendly, the officers asked if she would like to go home with them. “Arf arf!” the seal clapped her flippers. With that, the officers ran over to the adoption forms and put down their information. On the form they promised to be a good and loving home, and explained that they knew tons of people who would help take care of the seal and give her all the love and adoration in the world.

A few months later, after a rigorous process, the Stuffed Animal Rescue Foundation (SARF) contacted the officers to say they would be able to take the seal home! Josie and Davey (officers-emeritus) drove out to the SARF Headquarters where they signed all the paperwork and then, proudly, brought the seal home!

But there was one last challenge. The seal needed to be named! The officers tried very hard to come up with the right name. They brainstormed name after name, puns, literary references, pet names. But nothing felt quite right. The officers realized they needed help! So they turned to their handy dandy Facebook community!

After an adorable photoshoot, the seal had pictures that really showed her personality. The officers posted one, calling for help from their fellow SEAL volunteers and friends! After lots of suggestions and likes, one name shown through: Lucille the SEAL! It was perfect.

Now, Lucille leads a life of adventure and love as the SEAL mascot. She’s travelled from Austin to Dallas, and is on her way back home to make an appearance for this semester’s SEAL Volunteers.

– Josie Maclean, President Emeritus


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