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Yesterday, I went to do all my volunteer work. First, I started at the local SPCA, doing my dog walking gig. It went really well and I made a new friend. We have a little terrier mix that was scared (he'd been there about 2 days) and he and I went outside and had a great time. I spent a lot of time with him and, in the short amount of time I was there, I got him adopted to a wonderful family. I love days like that.

Then I went to the wildlife refuge, almost 2 hours from my home. I love being around wild animals so I started volunteering there about 3 years ago. I've seen just about everything: tigers, antelope, different kinds of apes, deer, squirrels, raccoons, bears, etc. They also have a lot of rescued dogs and cats wandering around that are fun to just play with.

But yesterday was different because I got to meet my very first chimpanzee. According to the report, he was brought in by police after being found in someone's house. He was socialized and very friendly and, of course, he took to me right away. So I was walking around all day with this chimp hanging from my neck. I was a bit scared that he'd freak out and try to kill me but he never did - he just wanted to hang on me and help me do my chores.

It was an amazing experience to have this chimpanzee hanging from my neck and interacting with it, however, it made me incredibly sad that he was there at all. They have already secured him a place to live at a zoo since he's too used to humans to be turned into the wild. He'll be used to educate people about apes and won't live in an enclosure with other chimps until they have been able to socialize him with his own kind. It breaks my heart to see an animal that should be swinging from a tree in Africa and all the others that should be on another continent, doing what comes natural to them ... and they're sitting in an enclosure in Texas, either living there or waiting to go to a zoo or sanctuary.

It was both a sad and exciting day for me. The chimp doesn't know any different - from what we could tell, he's never been in the wild. He loves the company of people and the interaction too much and was obviously hand raised. So his life, as he knows it, is just great. It's sad when you know it could be a lot better.

I will say one thing. Having chimpanzee poop tossed at you is NOT fun. Neither is having "lice" picked out of your hair for an hour.

Cooper and OmaKitty didn't appreciate my new-found scent when I returned home, either. They were both quite perplexed by it.
 

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Cooper said:
We have a little terrier mix that was scared (he'd been there about 2 days) and he and I went outside and had a great time. I spent a lot of time with him and, in the short amount of time I was there, I got him adopted to a wonderful family. I love days like that.
That alone would make it a worthwhile day. I salute you. :salute:
 

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Sounds like quite an experience! :lol: Were you able to find out what happened with his previous owners? One of the really sad things about people having exotic pets is most are not really knowledgeable enough and don't really think it through beforehand, and the animal winds up in a refuge or a zoo.

We have a wildlife refuge not too far from where I live. My grand-daughter checked into volunteering there a couple of summers ago, but unfortunately they couldn't accept volunteers under 21 due to their insurance and she was only 16 at the time.

I'll bet Cooper and Omakitty wondered about your new "perfume". Cooper probably turned the shower on for you!! :lol: :lol:
 

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What a day you had ! It is so sad that people still think exotic's belong in homes...then when they can't deal with them..off to a rescue park they go...but it is great that there are volunteer's like yourself to help calm these poor souls.

I would love to have been able to read Cooper and Omakitty's minds as they were giving the " sniff " over LOL
 

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chimom said:
Sounds like quite an experience! :lol: Were you able to find out what happened with his previous owners?
We don't know anything about where the chimp came from, other than it was a pet in a residential home. Most exotics they get out there are from homes involved in drug raids or similar situations. I'm nowhere close to being an ape behaviorist but I think whoever had him, loved him a great deal and spent a lot of time with him, just judging from his behavior around people.

He was great though; I loved being around him and getting a glimpse into the world through his eyes. A little bittersweet but definitely interesting.

And OmaKitty is still a bit weary of me and the smell I came home with yesterday. My laundry room connects my kitchen and garage, so I ALWAYS come in the door, undress in the laundry room and put my clothes and shoes directly into the washer to avoid them catching any airborne diseases I might be carrying around with me. Then I run directly to the bathroom and jump in the shower to wash off anything that might be on my skin before I'll let either one of them inspect me. Even though the scent was pretty much washed off, they both could definitely smell it and were very interested in where I had been.

I wish I could explain it to them... even when I've only been at the shelter with the dogs. They look so perplexed by the smells!!
 

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that must have made you feel really good about your day....

I know when I can help somebody or animal out I feel really good about doing it...
 

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What a fantastic day I am so glad you found a home for the little terrier guy. I can't imagine what your babies thought of that smell. Auggie can smell a dog or cat and go crazy :roll:
 

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Auggies Mom said:
What a fantastic day I am so glad you found a home for the little terrier guy. I can't imagine what your babies thought of that smell. Auggie can smell a dog or cat and go crazy :roll:
I'm happy for him as well. He was so scared, only having been there a day or two. I'm glad he didn't have to be scared for very long.

Oma and Cooper are "used" to smelling the dogs and cats on me ... today, it was the chimp that raised their eyebrows. They're probably still wondering what kind of dog I was around. :D
 
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