Kaitlyn loves dolphins. She fell in love with them right around her 5th birthday on our trip to Sea World. While we were there, she was fascinated by them as we watched them swim and play from the underwater observation area. She named one that was seemed to be paying particular attention to her Archie (also the name of her stuffed dolphin, of course). Ever since then, Kaitlyn seemed drawn to dolphins and has remarked several times about her desire to work with them when she grows up (of all the things she has wanted to be in just under 8 years, this has had the most staying power). At some point in the very near future, Amber and I are going to take her on a dolphin watching tour, and we would love to also have her do one of those swim with the dolphin experiences, too.
This morning, we were watching the Today show like we do every morning. They were doing a story on President Obama’s trip to Japan, and that story included some commentary about Ambassador Caroline Kennedy. As part of the story about Ambassador Kennedy, it documented some of the things she has done during her time in Japan to promote goodwill between our countries, and also one of the things that she has spoken out against that the Japanese people have been somewhat critical of her for. And it was the action that was criticized that had Kaitlyn all emotional and on the verge of tears this morning.
Apparently, it is a pretty popular thing in Japan to do something called a “herded dolphin hunt.” Which, you can imagine by its name, involves fishermen in boats basically “rounding up” pods of dolphins so that they can be hunted. Needless to say, Kaitlyn is not too happy about the practice. Once she started to regain her composure after the story aired, we could almost see her resolve starting to harden and her determination form in her desire to have that practice stopped.
Kaitlyn definitely feels a connection with animals (that is sort of a hallmark of people with Asperger’s), especially dolphins. Amber and I have no doubt that if she decides that she is going to work with the animals, she will, and if she decides that she wants to help carry the torch in stopping dolphin hunting, we know that very little can stop her. And we will support her every step of the way.