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Andre the Seal | 25 Years with Andre

ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO ANDRE WAS immortalized in stone. A granite statue one-third larger than life was carved — while Andre posed on his float — by Jane Wazey, a well-known sculptor, and was dedicated in place down by Rockport’s boat landing, right where other towns are likely to have statues of their war heroes. A rim of evergreens was planted by Rockport’s Garden Club. After Andre died, fans streamed there, solemn faced. Some brought fresh-cut flowers in vases and set them around his plump likeness. Others stopped and stroked the smooth stone or patted his arched head. Couples took pictures of each other beside the flower-strewn stone. A woman from New York stood staring at the eerie likeness. “I never got to see his show,” she said. “When I heard he’d died, I said, ‘Shoot, I wish I’d gone!’ ” Another woman nearby overheard her and said, “Oh, I used to love it when his trainer would say, ‘Andre, tell me what you think of Flipper,’ and he’d go,” she put her tongue between her teeth, “Pthwttt!”

The statue, which faces out toward the harbor, was not meant as a memorial, and the plaque which accompanies it speaks of Andre as if he were still there. In inch-high bronze letters, the story of Andre is spelled out, all told in the present tense.

Back at the house, Harry had already answered that question — should the plaque be changed to past tense? He was surprised, possibly offended, by the idea.

Why? It’s as it should be!”

Yankee Classic Article from November 1986


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8 Responses to Andre the Seal | 25 Years with Andre

  1. Patty M March 24, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

    I’m sure Andre is probably still there.

  2. Cynthia P. April 5, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    Such a beautiful story. Thank you to Harry for taking such good care of Andre. And thank you God for Harry and Andre finding eachother!!! Xoxoxo :)

  3. Rose M. June 17, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    What a lovely story. You are a remarkable person, Harry. Andre was fortunate to have you and you took such interest in caring .

    God bless you always. Lots of hugs.

  4. Marcia July 29, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

    I was 7 years old when Andre made his first journey from Massachusetts back home to Rockport.
    I was touched by the story then and am still touched by it. I have watched the movie Andre 59 times.
    I have visited Rockport Harbor twice from Vermont and it is an awe inspiring place.
    Harry and his family opened their homes and hearts to Andre and I admire that so very much!

  5. MAX HERRINGTON August 6, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

    Watched the story of Andre the seal on MPBN this evening Aug.6/14.

    Very moved by the relationship between Andre and your Dad.

    Like your Dad, I love God’s animals more than humans,(I’m not very lovable myself, actually.)

    God bless you all for your patience and understanding with your Dad in this experience. You are a wonderful family.

    What a great thing you’ve had in your life.

    Best regards,

    Max Herrington
    Saint John, New Brunswick

    • Sandra Wenzel August 7, 2014 at 10:49 pm #

      To Harry’s daughters: The story of Harry, Andre and your family is a blessing! I watched it on South Dakota Public TV last night 8/6/14. What an intelligent creature Andre was and how lucky he was to have Harry save him! Harry may have been gruff, but after reading the Yankee Classic Article from November 1986 by Edie Clark, I know he had to have had a big heart! Who makes friends with crows…and bats? My father-in-law used to say of his German Shepherd, Rex, “he’s more intelligent that a lot of people I know.” Animals (furred/feathered/finned, etc.) are super intelligent, a blessing from God and, in my book, certainly make life more worthwhile!

      Sandy Wenzel
      Mitchell, SD

  6. Carol Gibbons May 12, 2015 at 8:10 pm #

    My husband and I watched the documentary about Harry, Andre and your family just now on Animal Planet Canada.

    God bless all of you for taking such loving care of one of God’s creatures! The bond between Andre and Harry reminded us so much of the kind of bond a dog has with his or her humans.

    That sweet bond you shared with Andre was just a foretaste of how animals and humans will be able to interact one day in God’s Kingdom – when humans won’t have the human nature we unfortunately have now, and God will remove the fear from animals he wisely had to confer upon them after Adam and Eve’s sin.

    What a wonderful, beautiful story of friendship and love! God bless you!

    PS: There are so many ways I’m convinced animals are smarter, wiser and loving than humans!

  7. Cheryl Adams-Jordan June 9, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

    Today I was in the process of going through some boxes of days past. I came across the book from 1974 about Andre. I reminisced about the time my husband Bob and I saw Andre in Rockport back in ’73. We even purchased a framed print of Andre that day and it is still on our wall today. I knew Andre had died many years ago and decided to go on line to see when and where. After reading this Yankee article there were tears in my eyes.. How wonderful a relationship…

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