Monday, March 21, 2011

Amazing Spinner Dolphins

It gives me pleasure to present this story from Lisa Sellman, Top Dog at Aloha Pet Care & Dog Training. She writes "This is an article I wrote last week for my newsletter for my dog training clients"

After spending 10 days in Hawaii, most of which was immersed in the philosophy of Tellington TTouch, a dog training method I have been studying for the past 2 1/2 years, I was surprised to witness the most profound life lesson just hours before I boarded my plane back to Minnesota.

The dog training class that I assisted in finished on Friday and I relished the idea of having two days to do whatever my heart desired. Since it was prime whale watching season in Hawaii, I had made plans prior to leaving for the Big Island that Sunday afternoon would be spent in this endeavor. The ship that took us out had a Cetologist on board, this is a scientist who studies the
behavior of whales, dolphins and porpoises. I never caught his name but he was facinating. We must have seen over 50 whales that day along with many pods of dolphin. It was just another day for the scientist and the crew of the ship but it was unbelievable for all of the tourists on board.

The most amazing event occurred towards the end of our journey off the Kona coast. We all were handed binoculars as we boarded the ship. The Cetologist was so excited as he talked us through what was happening below the water by his estimation as we watched from a distance through our binoculars. I will never forget it. I will describe it to you as best as I can.

From our distance, we could see an area of about the size of a football field with several hundred spinner dolphins doing vertical jumps one after another. You could see that there was a space about 10 feet between the dolphin jumps. I estimate this because a spinner dolphin, much smaller than a bottlenose, is about 6 feet. One could see that the dolphins were in some ways taking turns leaping. I watched one dolphin jump out of the water over 10 times and then you
would not see that dolphin but another dolphin near that area, would then take it over. When you see a spinner dolphin leaping, it is exhilerating, but to see hundreds in a circular pattern all at the same time, was nothing short of magical.

The Cetologist explained that we were all extremely blessed to be witnessing what we were. We were witnessing a humpback whale giving birth. The spinner dolphins had formed a protective circle around the female humpback whale to give her a feeling of protection so she could focus on the delivery. It may take up to 3 hours for the delivery which we only watched for about 20 minutes and could only see the dolphins jumping from the far distance we were at. Then the ship
left the area and let other whale watching ships know to stay clear of the coordinates as not to disturb the delivery.

It was so fascinating to witness this event but even more amazing to me was the decision of the spinner dolphin to be nurse maids to a 50 foot long, 40 ton mammal. The spinner dolphins will often display this behavior when their own pods are sleeping to offer a look out or protection. Usually just a few of the dolphins would leap in that circumstance but to witness hundreds surrounding a whale offering the same protection, words can not express. For a Humpback whale the only real predator in the Hawaiian waters is humans. There is no whaling ships in Hawaii but still boats are in the waters. The dolphin decided to ease the sense of fear for that mother whale by making a sacred circle for her to deliver in peace knowing that any boat that came near would at least see the dolphin and give the mother whale space. This same event has been witnessed by lucky tourists just walking the streets of Kona looking out at the bay a few
years back.

The spinner dolphin's actions make themselves feel safe while sleeping and they decided to use the same actions to help their much larger cousins in the same way. It is complete brilliance on their part.

I see myself as a TTouch practitioner, a lot like being a spinner dolphin. When I work with a dog and their guardian, I can never fully know what trauma that dog has went through or the difficult dynamics that the family is going through. Having a compassionate heart and a constitution of service taught to me from my South Dakota farm upbringing, I want to help dogs and their families find that safe sacred circle where healing can begin. I want to give them guidance so their dogs can feel safe in new environments or around people or other animals.
I don't have the many years of education to be a veterinary behavioralist or a human psychiatrist, but I do have some things which this program has taught me. I have an intuitive mind that knows dogs need to feel secure, an open heart that wants to help, and two hands ready to make a connection with dogs to assist them to feel secure. Together with some unique bodywork, specialized equipment, a confidence course, and a clear picture in my mind for animals to remember their perfection, TTouch renews my soul every time I work with a dog.

What a blessing it is to be of service to others - a lesson made most clear to me by spinner dolphins sensitive enough to ask the question, how can I be of service?

Lisa Sellman, Top Dog
Aloha Pet Care & Dog Training ~ website
(763) 503-4797 ~ home or (763) 228-6862 ~ cell
"Delivering the Aloha spirit to Minnesota dog owners one tail wag at a time."

Pet Friendly Businesses- To edit and/or update your information follow the link to that page: and Select Add/ Edit your business.

If you're looking for pet supplies, pet stores, pet friendly hotels ordog friendly restaurants, specialty veterinarians, animal rescue, pet adoption, pet sitters and pet sitting, pet services, pet friendly services, dog parks and cat friendly bed and breakfast inns, etc- for all types of pets, birds, fish, dogs, cats, horses, reptiles, rabbits,sheep and goat, farm animals, small pets and pocket pets, etc- visit our site. It has all the free pet information and pet links you will ever need for your pet. And is totally free for anyone to use! is Where People Go For Pet Info

No comments:

Post a Comment