Photos by the Mirage Hotel
I was a dolphin trainer for the day at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas last month. I have been really excited to share these photos and this adventure with all of you.
The Mirage has a beautiful dolphin habitat. They are a research and breeding facility and are open to the public for visits, but don’t offer dolphin performances (the public can watch training sessions).
When I arrived there I wanted to cover the most important question first: are the dolphins happy and are they treated well? The dolphins’ answer: yes. They are happy overall, but sometimes as individuals they have issues arise that lead to unhappy moments. (Very similar to the rest of us I would say.)
When I connect telepathically with animals, I receive the “messages” as feelings. When I am offering a consultation, I do my best to translate those feelings into words and sentences so I can share the information. During this dolphin experience I had no desire to translate. I allowed myself to just experience the feelings of the dolphins. That was glorious, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but it leaves me wondering what to say to all of you!
As I look at dolphins it is hard to resist personifying them. The physical characteristics of their mouth makes them look like they have a big happy smile. When I tuned in with the dolphins it was easy to realize that the way they display and experience joy and affection is different from us. The smiles, hugs and kisses that you see in these photos are trained behaviors. They are not actual displays of affection (because dolphins aren’t humans, they don’t share our body language). The dolphins that I worked with mostly enjoyed the trained behaviors because they are highly reinforced with fish and mental stimulation (learning).
The times when I felt affection from the dolphins were moments where we were quiet together, just floating and understanding one another. For the most part I witnessed the dolphins having more of a working relationship with humans and more of a family relations amongst themselves. The male dolphins also had some pod disagreements with each another.
At first I was concerned about them being captive. I wasn’t sure if being kept in this way was the best life for them (there are pros and cons for dolphins in captivity). The dolphins we were working with were born in captivity. However, that does not mean they don’t innately know of the bigger ocean. I have felt the same feeling of “missing the big world” from domestic birds and cats. Even cats who have never been outdoors will long for hunting in the grass. Does it mean these dolphins or your apartment cats would do well if set free? No. However, when trying to understand these creatures, it is helpful to keep in mind what their natural setting is meant to be.
On a personal note, I gained a sense of inner peace from my experience with the dolphins that was truly profound. As some of you know from facebook, my cat Number Five died a few weeks before I trained with the dolphins. I have chosen not to talk about the details of his passing because I find that for now, I bring myself back into distress when I talk about it. After his passing I was having daily panic attacks. I was really stressed by my trauma over the events surrounding his death (he is at peace and not traumatized). Communicating with him helped, but I was still holding onto my own trauma. Immediately after the first training session with the dolphins I felt peace over his passing and have not had a panic attack since.
Dolphin trainer for the day = best day ever!
Note: I paid to be a dolphin trainer for a day just like any other person. I received no compensation for this post and I am not specifically endorsing this program (I am simply sharing a personal experience.)