Dolphins and puppies have so much in common: they are both playful, smiley, friendly and you practically have to be carved out of stone to remain unaffected by either of these creatures. There is an old saying: Happiness is a warm puppy…and I’ll not hesitate to coin a new saying, just as true: Happiness is swimming with dolphins.
Lying here in my bed, holding my smiley little Pomeranian, getting sweet doggie kisses, I’m struck by the similarity of emotion dolphins invoke.
Ever since I was a small child, I had a dream, which finally came true: I was going to swim with dolphins, come hail or high water.
On a brief visit to Paradise Island’s Bahamian multi-million dollar resort, the magnificent ‘Atlantis’, I wasted little time before heading to the Dolphin cay. The excitement stemmed from an early childhood obsession with these extraordinary water bound mammals. Like most kids, I visited an aquarium where my first encounter with them occurred. They had a smile, which I found irresistible, were obviously highly trainable, affectionate and seemed to enjoy the attention of the audience. During their performance, I noticed an unusual sound, which we were told was their means of communication. Despite being highly disciplined performers, they did it all with such grace and ease, their silvery coat shimmering in the sun, as they jumped and played, intent on pleasing their trainers and their audience, all the while having fun. Of course I fell in love and envied the trainers, one of which choreographed a water ballet, after which a hug and a fish for their graceful excellence rewarded every dolphin.
In the Esalin institute in northern California took me around some scientific experiments, where scientists of merit concluded that if one took a dolphin and he/she used their highly developed Parietal-Temporal cortex, both of which seemed hugely developed, and for the lack of human vocabulary, they substituted neatly, with an intelligently responsive language, relying on space and sound to send messages, and did it brilliantly. These guys are so loving, playful and sweet, I was touched to tears when one of them became my buddy, returning for hugs and following me around. I researched the nature of these wonderful, happy and intelligent mammals.
We use our occipital cortex but despite having no common language, the bond between us was easy. That was before this last trip (I signed up for the Sukkoth retreat with Kosherica) and I can state without exaggeration that I got repeated kisses and almost felt guilty when I had to leave. Small kids and adults alike were frolicking with these gregarious, friendly and highly intelligent playful sea puppies. A woman and her husband swam with the dolphins regularly, and seemed to develop a deeply moving and emotional relationship with them. I left Atlantis tanned and happy, and realized that the people who claim a spiritual quality in the interaction, based it on the peaceful joy w all felt. Imagine, swimming with loving pups, gentle and funny, and a general elevation in mood and state if mind. The gentle sonar sounds like music whether you choose the deep or shallow water, you’re bound to leave happier and far more relaxed than when you entered the water. Caressing the fluffy white bundle of joy that’s my own puppy, or running with her in the park, her eyes sparkling and the smile on her face full of love. It makes it clear why dolphins in Hebrew are called ‘Kelev Yam’ or sea dog, and with god reason.