By SCARLET COLLEY
Special to the Parade
It was when they realized they had found a dolphin of the land that would become a voice for them, but to do that they had to take us in to help understand them and their needs. To be their voice.
So our years with this tribe began in the mid 90’s. It was Cookie who showed us that even with a severe handicap, she was not going to give up. She was sheltered by two other older females, Twister and Canopener. The whole tribe seemed to hover over her. Her fin was injured in a stamped cookie cutter shape – hence her name from us and her tail. There was so little of it left.
She moved slow and always had a group around her. She was already healed from her injury but was definitely learning how to remove. We were rooting for her. Of all the members of her tribe, she was the only one that never bow rode in front of boats. She would come right to us to show us her handicap. She moved slow but determined, nevertheless.
We could see her strokes were exaggerated and a slight move from side to side compensated so much of her tail being gone. How did it happen? We do not know. To us, we never knew her before the accident. And we met her already healed.
So through the next three years we watched her. We could see she was growing stronger. She was putting weight back on. We are convinced the other dolphins were helping her by feeding her. She was getting her groove back, and she came by our boat one day at a speed we knew she had. Then to our surprise, off she went to an oncoming shrimp boat, and low and behold she was bow-riding.
We are so proud of her, and she was showing us the stuff she is made of. We love you Cookie. You are an amazing dolphin. Woo-hoo! And she knows it. She is our dolphin tale, and we have many more amazing tales of our dolphin tribe. So hop on and take a tour with me out on the back bays to meet these awesome people of the sea. I only take small groups at a time to our nature niche. Call (956) 299-1957, visit spisealife.org or look us up on Facebook at dolphinwhisper.