Things that make me laugh!

Do you ever find yourself laughing so hard your abs hurt but you can’t stop? And you aren’t really making any noise you are just kind of bouncing?  Those are some of my favorite times, not only am I getting an abs workout but something had been so wonderful to make me laugh that hard. Now I will admit there have been sometimes when it was the stupidest thing and no one understands why I am laughing that hard. But eh, it still feels good. 

Recently I have had a lot of these moments. When I think of them I love it but they are not that funny retold. Trust me I came home telling my husband some of the stories as I am dyeing laughing and he kind of chuckles just to make me feel better (thanks honey.)  So I am bringing them to you. Here are the things that make me so stinking happy as they happen. However small they are, they will always be great to me.

As I have mentioned on my  Meet the trainer page, my dog (Dexter) and cat (Olim)  crack me up. I have two favorites with these two characters. The first one is a wrestling one, when both the cat and dog are tired and it is about bed time I will hear the Dexter creep into the bedroom where Olim is, but that’s it. I don’t hear him jump on the bed or make any other noise. So I go and check on them, what do you know. He is lying on top of the Olim, mainly holding him in place, while Olim calmly but relentlessly is attacking the Dexter.  The best part is, when they realize I’m watching, they both stop and just stare at me with that face “We aren’t doing anything.” Then they just get up and go their different directions.

My second great story with these two is one that people have witnessed that are not just me and Derek, but only the lucky few. While we are playing fetch with Dexter in the house, Olim stakes out and watches. This is when we know it is on! Every single time Dexter runs passed Olim, Olim jumps out and swats at him. Dexter loves playing fetch so much that he doesn’t pay any attention to any of it. But as the time passes on the swats turn in to multiple swats. Then it leads into full on running next to Dex while attacking. But the absolute best attack is when Olim will jump on his back and ride Dexter back all the while biting him. I am so happy that these two lovebirds get along J

So recently I have been tricked by an elephant. I know, I should be much smarter but not on this day. So there is this door in our barn that is elephant proof, therefore it is solid steel of some sort, with about 6 inches off the ground. There is enough room for an elephant’s trunk to fit under, but they can only stick it maybe 7 inches out. But in the middle of the door is a hole, maybe 3 inches in diameter.  So this door played a big role in this game I was playing with Lea the elephant.  She would stick her trunk under that door and I would have a treat for her. But I would hold it to the side there she would have to smell to get it. Then once she got it she had to eat it before we played again. She is rather greedy so I had to insist to her that you must eat it fist. So she would take her trunk out from under the door then put it back. Then we would play again. After about 5 times, Kristen a co-worker, can see through the hole to Lea’s face and she decides to tell me that she hasn’t eaten any of those treats she has just been sucking them up her trunk waiting for just the right moment to consume them all at once.  For the record, the tip of Lea’s trunk is one of my favorite things to interact with. She is so gentle with it (when in a good mood.)

My next story has to do with Lois, the water throwing elephant mentioned in one of my first blogs. We wanted to blow paint with her. The way we do this is to pour non-toxic paint into the end of her trunk then tell her to blow on whatever we are painting. Well, we were painting a wine glass. I was the one holding the wine glass and Emily was working the paint with Lois. My back is slightly to Lois so that I don’t get a full frontal of paint on me. I can hear Emily tell Lois to “blow.” All Lois does is a tiny puff of air. Come on Lois you blow 5 gallons of water on us daily and that all the air you’re blowing. Knowing she can do better we ask for it again. Still a tiny puff. So we ask again, and we got it the biggest blow you could imagine, not so much on the wine glass, more like my face.  

Lastly, a couple of weeks ago we had just finished training with our male Sea Lion Vince. We were filling up his drinker with fresh water and ready to go back to the elephant barn to finish out our day. Emily has the hose and I am just watching. Vince strolls over and starts putting his face in the hose like a dog. I have never seen him interact with a hose since I have met him. He was just standing in the stream with his face just letting it splash him, and then he would open his mouth and bite it. He reminded me of Dexter when we first introduced a water hose to him, he was in hyper dog heaven.  Vince was having such a great time I was laughing so hard just telling Emily “Keep going, don’t stop.” It might have been one of the best things I had witnessed Vince doing. 

Like I said, these aren’t that great retold. But I still love them and love the joy it brings me when I think of these silly things. Everyone has got to laugh once in a while. You just have to find the small things to smile about and not wait for the big things.

Jena Newman

Hi! I'm Jena. I have been training animals for over 9 years. I have worked with a range of different animals including California Sea Lions, African Elephants, Gorillas, Leopards, and Dogs. It is fascinating to watch and work with animal behavior; every animal is different and learns in different ways.