Dean and JoJo: A One of a Kind Friendship

A man, a dolphin, and a friendship that spans decades. This heart-warming story has inspired millions and Kaitlin Andrews recently discovered why.  Here is her article celebrating their bond.

Click here to read article.

Laurie Woodward is the author of The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky from the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles,  as well as the middle-grade Forest Secrets. She co-wrote Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy and was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California.

 

Peace Weaver Poem

 

We are the weavers of children

Whether they are wading, treading, or drowning

Each child is reaching out

For lifelines to pull them from their semi-fluid perceptions,

Yet many find flimsy ribbons braided with Achilles tendons

That split, then disconnect buoys

As they struggle in turbulent effluent.

 

Sometimes suspension bridges splinter

And they hang mid-air over purgatorial precipices,

Bodies flailing and thrashing.

 

And so we come,

The weavers,

Bringing strong cordage and twine of seraphic gossamer

To silence their cries and give them hope.

And when we set to work,

The floundering souls reach out for lifelines.

 

For we know the secret.

We have only to pluck the hairs from atop our heads,

Begin intertwining them with gentle words of a peaceful future

And thus create:

Blankets to keep them cool on hot summer days

Or safety nets for acrophobic trapeze artists

 

With loving words we

Spin arks to race arid currents,

Or create buoyant suits that deflect each incoming wave,

But we must remember

To continue weaving at our numinous looms,

And make our fingers deft

To find places where weft meets warp

And make fibers of

Ethereal clouds to moisten parched radices.

 

When our eyes grow weary of patterns too subtle for children to see,

Or when aching backs and cramping forearms make for troublesome twining

Even when our hands become bloodied by sharp sutures from the unknowing

or the insane,

We must endure

We are the weavers,

Intertwining and intersecting,

Spinning fibrous cable that children cling to

That they will wrap round their waists

Before plunging into cavernous incarnations

To discover,

In the depths,

A reflection of the future

A reflection of themselves

A reflection

Of the peace weaver they can become.

Children Mediating

I believe in empowering children, in giving them the tools they need to successfully mediate conflicts on their own. So, Using the Dean and JoJo Anti-Bullying DVD of one man’s friendship with a wild-bottlenose dolphin named JoJo I work with students engaging them in activities to create positive conflict resolution. They create Peace Cards with positive alternatives to conflicts and share them with one another as well as engage in writing and role playing activities to model good communication. With this program I have helped other educators teach children how stop bullying, avoid arguments, and maintain healthy friendships.

Alternatives_to_Bullying
Dolphin Mediators are a group of 5th and 6th grade students who have volunteered to act as a go-between for other kids who might be having a conflict. With Mrs. Woodward as the faculty advisor, they use a prepared script to help others learn to take turns, communicate with “I feel” messages, and come up with win-win situations.  At recesses they walk around, clipboards in hand and offer advice, guidance, and rewards to those who resolve conflicts peacefully.
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If you’d like to learn more about how to implement anti-bullying activities on your campus, contact me. I love to share!

Dolphin Legacy Contract!

I just signed a publishing contract with Creativia for The Dolphin Legacy, one I co-wrote with dolphin naturalist Dean Bernal.

Imagine ocean swimming in crystalline waters. All alone. Then three small dolphins join you. They’re all splashing, clicking, and whistling but one young male keeps staring as if he has known you since the days of Atlantian myth.

That’s what happened to Dean Bernal in the turquoise waters off the Turks and Caicos Islands. In that moment, his friendship with a wild bottlenose dolphin, named JoJo, began. He didn’t know it then, but their relationship would become world famous, inspiring millions.

After the death of his two dolphin companions due to human ignorance, JoJo grew closer to Dean. This lone, social dolphin introduced him to the waters and fellow creatures of his ocean realm and provided me with an extraordinary gift previously bestowed to no human: the secret life of a wild dolphin.