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Monday, June 28, 2010

He had to go work

Over the weekend we had guests, friends of mine from grad school. It was really nice to see them, and we had a lot to talk about. Their daughter and Sword really hit it off, too. We wanted them to stay longer, but the husband had to travel to Mexico to do some fieldwork, so the visit had to be cut short.

Bow kept insisting that I not allow them to leave. "Don't let them go, Mommy," he kept spelling. When I explained about the trip to Mexico, he kept wanting to know why. "He has to go work." "But why?" "There's a language that is about to die out, and he has to write a dictionary." No matter how many explanations I gave, Bow didn't understand, and he thought I should stop them from leaving. "Mommy, why does he have to go?" "There are people who have a language, but it isn't written, so he has to write them a dictionary. Do you understand?"

Bow spelled: "Yes." But two minutes later he was asking me the same question, and he kept asking it after they left. That was yesterday. But Bow is a realist, and he accepts the inevitable, even if he doesn't understand.

This morning, before breakfast, Bow took my hand and spelled: "The guy had to go to Mexico to work."

"Yes," I answered. "That's right."

Friday, June 25, 2010

He's so easy going!

I have some friends coming in for out of town today, people from grad school. Yesterday, I had Lawrence help  me with Bow, so that  I could prepare.  When I came in to take over for Lawrence, he pointed out that two little drips by the potty were not Bow's doing. Lawrence had rinsed out the potty with water, and some of it had dripped. He wanted to make sure that I knew it wasn't Bow, so that Bow would not be in trouble.

When I came in to the pen, Bow immediately took my hand and led me to the glass. "Bow is not mad at the guy," he spelled.

Lawrence was making his way out of the entrance to the pens, so I told him: "Bow says he's not mad at you."

"About what?" Lawrence asked.

"That you dripped, I think," I guessed.

Lawrence laughed. "Thank you, Bow," he said.

After Lawrence left, Bow spelled: "Yes, Mommy understood right."

Bow doesn't understand why we get so upset if he drips on the floor. He was trying to make a magnanimous gesture of forgiving such a misdeed by somebody  else.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Shortcuts in spelling

After Megan's departure, things settled down to their regular routine. Bow was satisfied. I was spending my regular twelve hours in the pen with him, and he gave no trouble, offered no resistance, but behaved like a perfect little gentleman.

There was a carnival in the small town closest to us, and Sword and I went there, two nights in a row. Each night, without making any appointment in advance, Sword spotted a friend, and the two of them would go on all the rides together, chattering away to each other as they spun around or were tossed about on a miniature roller coaster. Each time, I made conversation with the mother of Sword's friend, but the small talk we exchanged could not include: I have a little chimp boy at home who can spell and speak in complete sentences, but I just can't get him to behave. In both cases, the other mothers knew about Bow and even inquired about him, but the sorts of answers I gave were about the small stuff, and not about the fact that he has language.

Something really enormous has happened here, but because the breakthrough occurred three years ago, and got no acknowledgment, we tend to talk about other things. Somebody learns to talk or to spell only once in a lifetime, and after a while those things become routine, and we take no notice of them anymore.

On Sunday, we had a visit from a fellow primatologist. She was one of the professors who had recommended Megan, and she knew all about Megan's progress with Bow. Megan had emailed her telling of how at first Bow was reluctant to speak to her, then used single words, and finally ended up using full sentences with her. She even related how Bow had told her he was "lucky".  And then, of course, she also told of how Bow had been mean to her, and why she decided not to stay.

Bow liked the primatologist, and played chase with her through the glass. After she left, he said that she was good and that he hoped she would come again.

Then on Monday, Lawrence came, and there was a sort of mini-breakthrough on the touchscreen. For the  longest time, Bow hasn't said a single thing using his computer, preferring to break the chopsticks rather than point at letters. But yesterday, Lawrence was just sitting there with Bow, and he decided to play with the touchscreen himself. There was no plan or intent, involved. He just spelled "b-o-w", and the computer pronounced it wrong, as if it were a command to bow down to someone. (I've known for a long time that it mispronounces Bow's name, but there's not much I can do about it.) However, Lawrence wanted it to pronounce Bow's name correctly, so he spelled "b-o", and the computer said it right this time.

Bow had been watching lazily from the sidelines. But now he came over, took the chopstick from Lawrence and spelled "b-o". Again, the computer pronounced his name.

At this point, Bow lost interest in the computer and began playing roughly with the chopstick. Lawrence, concerned that he would break it, said:  "Bow, give me the chopstick!"

Bow looked at him in the manner of an impudent child, then he took the chopstick and pointed at a single letter: "y". The computer said: "Why?"

Lawrence is convinced that this is exactly what Bow meant to do: to challenge Lawrence verbally over his command to relinquish the chopstick.

Two issues spring to mind: if the computer allows for creative spelling, how do we prove what Bow meant? Secondly, do we really want a computer program that encourages Bow to spell things wrong? On the glass, he would never have thought to say "y". He would have spelled it out: "w-h-y".

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Goodbye to Megan

Today, Bow and Sword and I said goodbye to Megan. She decided last night to leave early, and this morning she came and brought all the keys back and her unused Wal*Mart card, and we said goodbye. She lasted two weeks and two days. She's done better than some, but certainly not as well as we had hoped.

Bow is sitting here making raspberry sounds as I write this. I think he doesn't want me relating this story, as it does not reflect well on him. Also, there are cookies in the oven, (Sword has a friend over), and he doesn't want me to forget to take them out before they get too brown.

I just went over and asked Bow what he wants. He spelled: "Don't tell that I bit. Try to say that she was bad." Well, I can't say that. Megan was not bad. And Bow didn't exactly bite. He did kind of scratch up her face though, nothing serious. It will heal fine. But it was scary for her, because she didn't see it coming.

I took the cookies out of the oven. While they are cooling, I'll give a short sketch of what happened.

Bow was a perfect gentleman with Megan for the first two weeks, up until the last hour or so of last Saturday. He used the potty. He spelled for her. He didn't do anything aggressive -- or at least,  nothing that she reported. Last Saturday, toward the end, he got a little rowdy, and she gave him some time out.

When Megan returned on Tuesday, after her two days off, again everything seemed fine between the two of them. Bow used the potty. He asked for food at dinner. He specified exactly which apple he wanted, the yellow or the green. She put him to bed, and, according to her, he was very sweet.

Then, on Wednesday morning, just as she came in to the pen, Bow jumped on her back, and he grazed her with his teeth, not biting, but scratching. I was there on the other side of the glass, and I had her come out at once, and I put Bow in a smaller space, sprayed him with water. I went out with Megan, abandoning Bow in his punishment cell,  and I gave Megan some Betadine to put on the scratches. We went for a walk with Brownie, and talked about what had happened and why.

It turns out, in retrospect, that there were some warnings, moments when Bow overstepped his bounds, but was not disciplined. For instance, at bedtime, Megan was reading Bow Where the Wild Things Are, and he grabbed the book, and she told him "No." And he then held on to her finger and squeezed for a moment. She let that pass.

When Bow does something to make someone uncomfortable, overstepping personal boundaries, he has to be confronted in a low pitched, aggressive voice, and he must be disciplined at once. If not, the next incident will be worse. Things escalate.  But in this society, many of us have been socialized to forgive and turn the other cheek, and these are not good strategies to use with chimpanzees. Or with human beings, for that matter. People take advantage. They react to kindness as if it were weakness. They misread each others' signals.

Lawrence arrived at 9:30, when Megan and I were just finishing our walk. I asked him to walk with Brownie some more, so that Megan would have a chance to punish Bow herself. I showed her how to spray Bow with water, and I watched as she hosed him down. Bow screamed.

There is a place for forgiveness. That place is after the perpetrator has been punished and shown remorse. I hoped that Megan and Bow would make peace by the end of the day. She sat on the other side of the glass, and every time he used the potty, she went in and emptied it. Bow did not once break his potty training in all this. He dutifully used the potty every thirty minutes, then every fifteen, then every ten minutes, in the hopes that Megan might stay in with him. But she kept her distance.

Lawrence was scheduled to do lunch with Bow, and Megan came in at two to relieve him, but she and Bow did not play. She sat on the other side of the glass and emptied the potty every time he used it.

By three-thirty, she had decided not to stay and finish up the internship. I asked Lawrence to take over for her, because I  had to take Sword in for her music lesson.

When someone falls off a horse, they say, he should get right back on again. I myself have never fallen off a horse, so I can't say. It could have gone either way. Other interns have been scratched and went on to be very successful with Bow. It really depends on their emotional reaction though; the successful ones were angry enough with what he did to exact some vengeance and win his respect. Those whose reaction is sadness and fear never stay, and I never ask them to go in with Bow again, because it would not be safe.

I do appreciate the one intern in the past who, without  ever having been scratched, admitted that she was not up to the task of going in with Bow, but stayed to complete her internship, working behind the camera and editing and writing reports. I gave her a very good recommendation, because she knew her limits, but honored her commitment.

While Megan has not chosen to stay, I still appreciate her honesty and her effort and the degree of success that she did initially have with Bow.  We parted in a friendly way, and I am grateful for the time that she gave us.

From here on in, it's twelve hours in the pens for me once more. But that two week partial vacation was really nice!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Holding the Line

Sunday was just us, Bow and Sword and me. Bow asked me if Megan was mad at him and would she come back. I told him she would come back, but she would stay only if he behaved. He answered: "Yes."

This morning, Bow staged a confrontation with Lawrence. It was about nothing in particular. Bow rattled the door, Lawrence told him not to, Bow lashed out with an attack posture, but did not follow through. In the process, Bow wet the floor, and this resulted in his getting disciplined,which consisted of being sprayed with water. After that, Bow was very conciliatory and deferential toward Lawrence, and the rest of the day was filled with friendship and camaraderie and playing in the outer pen. Lawrence and Bow had a great time together.

This is a lesson that is hard to learn, and one that we tend to suppress in this day and age: giving in to bullies results in more bullying. A show of strength restores peace and allows for a smooth relationship to develop. It's kind of like what my mother told me when she sent me off to kindergarten: "If anybody hits you, you hit back harder." We do this not just for ourselves, but for the sake of the next person, too. Bow likes to know that the rules haven't changed. It gives him a sense of security. But the only way he's absolutely sure the rules are still the same is by crossing the line every so often and seeing what happens. What happens is up to us.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Acting Like a Guy

Today marked the end of Megan's second week with Project Bow. All in all, things have been going very well. Megan has enticed Bow to ask for "Magic Crayons", and while he has been reluctant to speak with her unless he had a very good reason to do so, Megan has been good at providing those reasons. For instance, it was clear all along that Bow likes to go outside, but he was refraining from asking to go. Many days passed when Megan and Bow both stayed in, just because Bow was too proud or stubborn to say what he wanted. But today Megan told Bow: "I really want to go outside. It's such a beautiful day! Bow, why don't you ask me to go out so that I can go outside, too. I really want to!" When she put it that way, Bow couldn't resist. He asked to go outside.

They had a nice time outside together, but after they came back in, and this was toward the end of the day, Bow began jumping uncontrollably at Megan and displaying at her. He didn't do anything dangerous or that would hurt her, but he was definitely not behaving well. Megan told him"No", and when he would not stop, she left him alone in the pen, and went and sat on the other side of the glass. She explained to him that he would have to behave properly, or she would not come back in. He eventually used the potty, and she came in to tend to that, and afterwards he behaved better. But when I came to relieve Megan at 5:00, he started jumping again, and she told me about what had happened.

After she left, I asked Bow why he behaved that way. At first he spelled: "Mommy is happy without Bow." I asked: "You mean, you missed me?"  He spelled: "Bow is happy without Mommy." Okay.

But after dinner, when his belly was full, he asked: "When will Megan let me act like a guy?"

Sword said: "Bow, you're not a guy. You're little."

And  I told Bow that he needed to show Megan respect. But I don't think any of our answers were all that satisfying. It'll be another two days till Bow sees Megan again. Hopefully, in that time, he will decide that he wants to spend time with her and that he is ready to behave.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Remains of a Wasp

Bow killed a wasp this morning. They've been coming into the inner pens for a couple of weeks now. We don't know where the weak point in our defenses is, or how exactly they get in. Mostly they hang out in the Forbidden Corridor, a place that Bow can't access, as it is intended for workmen to come in and fix things. The wasps come in, get weaker and weaker, and if not disposed of otherwise, they eventually die. When I find them, I get a glass and a piece of cardboard, and I trap them in the glass, slipping the cardboard under it, and then I transport them outside, safe and sound. I learned this method from a friend whose family came from India. She was afraid of bees but also didn't want them harmed.

But this morning, while I was clearing away the breakfast dishes, one of those wasps made its way from the Forbidden Corridor to Bow's pen, and he killed it with his bare hands and took it apart. I came in afterwards with a wastepaper basket and asked Bow to help me clean up. He did. He picked up the pieces and, one by one, put them in the wastepaper basket, very gently. Then he wanted to play with the basket, so I had to take it out.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"It tastes like cat."

One of my friends who read yesterday's blog entry commented that it was a sign of successful parenting that Bow helped enforce the rule of serving one item at a time during meals. I had to agree and was feeling quite pleased. However, Bow is  not unaware of what is going on with this blog. I read him every entry out loud, and I think he must have felt it was time to let me know he wasn't quite that obedient. He still wants to see what he can get away with, as far as wastefulness is concerned.

This summer, Wednesday is going to be my "free day", thanks to Megan and Lawrence. The way it works is that I get up at 6:30 and help Bow in the morning, including breakfast and potty duties. At 9:00 am Megan comes in and takes over. At noon, Lawrence relieves Megan, and he does lunch with Bow and stays until 2:00. At 2:00 pm Megan relieves Lawrence, and she stays until  5:00 pm, when I come back, and Sword and Bow and I have supper together as a family. I still put Bow to bed sometime after 7:00 pm, usually around 7:30. So, even on  my "free day", I am with Bow about five hours all told. Still it's much less than my usual twelve hours. During the year, I don't have a "free day", but it's really a nice thing to have, and I think Bow enjoys the variety of companionship, too.

Anyway, I don't know whether it is due to my blog post about waste or not, but yesterday it seems that Bow decided to play finicky with Lawrence at lunch. I wasn't there to hear about it from Lawrence, but he left me a note:

LUNCH JUNE 9, 2010 (with Lawrence)
* I gave Bow a second apple which was green. He asked for it as usual, but one bite and he told me: "I don't like this apple." I asked"Why?" He said: "It tastes funny." I went and got him another apple, and he ate it.

*   I gave Bow a small portion of my ravioli on his table. He asked: "What is that?" I told him, he asked for it, took one bite and rejected it. He said:"I don't like it." I asked:"Why not?" He said: "It tastes like cat." I asked: "Did you ever eat cat?" He said "No."
Funny, the stuff that goes one when I'm not around!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Megan serves Supper

Yesterday, Megan came in to see Bow in the afternoon. It was prearranged so that she would be able to serve Bow his supper and put him to bed. Once a week she will be doing this, and there are many benefits, not the the least of which is the growing intimacy between Megan and Bow.

I explained many minute details of the procedure to Megan, before I left, but apparently one thing hadn't been made clear: when serving Bow a meal, we serve one item at a time. The whole dinner is displayed to him on a white folding table on the other side of the glass, but Bow chooses one course at a time.

Why do we do it this way? To avoid waste. Bow can have the whole dinner. But until he finishes one serving, he doesn't get another one. If we did it any other way, here is what would happen: Bow would take one bite of each item, but if he didn't think it was all that great, he would go on to the next. He would eat only the choice bits of each fruit, leaving the rest to rot. He would exercise his right to choose by exploiting the best parts of everything, not caring what lesser being later consumed his leavings. In some cases, he would also smear food around, allowing ants and other insects to clean up after him, unless we immediately washed the floor afterwards.

In nature, there is no waste. Those higher up in the social order eat all the best bits, and those lower down eat what is left over, but everything gets eaten. In our modernized human society, we pretend that everyone is equal, and everyone gets the best bits, but if we have leftovers, we can't give them to the poor. The poor have to be given brand new food, and if people see other people picking through their garbage, they are greatly offended. Also, even the ants are banned from our homes. We'd rather have things go to waste than have it get messy!

In my house, it's not quite that way. Our dogs and the chickens do eat scraps, and we have no garbage disposal. Still, I discourage Bow from going for just the best bits of every item. Unless he finishes the first thing he asked for, he doesn't get to ask for another. (There are certain reasonable exceptions: if he shows me that part of the apple he got is rotten on the inside, I don't make him eat it.)

Anyway, I neglected to explain all this to Megan, and she didn't know. However, Bow got the point across to her just fine. She asked him  what he wanted, and he said he wanted an apple, and she asked him what else, thinking she would give him more than one item at a time, but he kept answering apple, until she gave in and got him the apple. In this way, Bow helped enforce the rule, and all  went off without a hitch.

Afterwards, Megan asked me: "Do you just give him one item at a time?"

And I answered: "That's right!"

Monday, June 7, 2010

"Why didn't the guy tell me it was spelled wrong!"

Sunday was a quiet day, no Megan, no Lawrence, just Sword, Bow and me. Mostly, we relaxed. Sword had her first horseback riding lesson in a while. I talked on the phone to friends and family, while Bow listened in. We went outside and enjoyed the green view and the clucking of  the chickens.

Before bedtime, Bow and I watched a video called "Panbanisha and the dog". Bow became very animated watching it. Panbanisha seemed to be having the same sorts of problems relating to that dog in the video, as Bow himself has with our dogs. After the video was over, Bow told me that he wanted Panbanisha to come visit him.

Today, Lawrence asked Bow if he'd had fun playing with Megan over the past week. Bow spelled: "Yes, I had fun playing with Magan[sic]." That's how he spelled it: M-A-G-A-N. Lawrence relayed that to me. (Lawrence knows how to spell Megan, so the error was Bow's -- yet more proof that he is spelling on his own.)

After Lawrence had left, Bow asked me in Hebrew: "Why didn't the guy tell me it was spelled wrong?" I wasn't sure why he was using the passive.  "Her name is spelled M-E-G-A-N, Bow," I said.

Only later, after dinner, when I was clearing the dishes did I realize what he meant. He meant that his way of spelling Megan's name was the correct way. The way everyone else spells it is wrong!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Breaking the Language Barrier

Yesterday I had interesting exchange on Facebook with an old friend. She said she wanted to leave these comments here, but she's not on Blogger and didn't know how. She was referring to some of the entries about Bow and Megan. Here is some of what she had to say:

Not suggesting that Bow is anxious, just that he might sometimes want to or need to return to a more "natural" state for a primate and not have to talk. Sometimes I need that too. A friend around which you can just hang out and you don't have to work to make conversation.

I explained that Bow can go  for hours without talking to me, too. He isn't required to constantly talk. But as far as his motives for remaining silent with Megan, I replied as follows: "We're all primates, so... I don't think that's the issue. It has more to do, I think, with social isolation and breaking into a relationship. It happens this way with every new volunteer until Bow accepts them as a member of the family. He just won't talk to strangers."

At this point my friend said something that really got me to thinking: "Good for him. He will cuddle with them but not talk to them. So physical intimacy is less scary than mental intimacy."

 Wow! That's true, isn't it? Unexpected but true. We often think of cuddling as being more intimate than talking.  But is it? Then why is it we find it easier to cuddle with someone who is non-verbal? Isn't it easy to cuddle a baby or a dog? Doesn't it become harder once it is someone who can talk and express an opinion?

As adult human beings in this society, we can't just go up to a stranger and cuddle, but we are allowed to talk. Talking opens the way to other, more physical relationships with adults, but if you fail the talking test, then you never get to cuddle with that person! Not in a million years!

Language can be a form of intimacy, but it can also be a barrier.  Language is seen as a test of intelligence, but it is also a test  of group affiliation. Would you cuddle with your dog, if you knew what he was really thinking?  I've had the experience of being a stranger in a strange land a number of times in my life, when I didn't speak the language of the people around me. It prevented me from speaking my mind, but it also made people act nicer to me. Until  they know what you really think, people tend be warmer and more accepting!

The easy intimacy of two beings who share a tactile relationship but no words can be deceptive.  You never really know someone until you have experienced him verbally! Which means that the real test of Bow and Megan's relationship is just now beginning!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

At Long Last Lunch!

 Today, Sword had a gymnastics exhibition, and she did quite well. While we were out doing that, Megan stayed with Bow and fed him lunch. It was a great success! Bow tried to talk to her in Hebrew at first, but Megan let him know quite firmly that he would have to spell out something that she could understand if he was going to be served what he wanted. He therefore spelled out "apple", "banana" and "juice." It is a bare minimum, considering the many and varied things he can spell, but it is a start! We are all happy! And that was Megan's first week as a Project Bow volunteer! We'll see her again on Tuesday.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Whistle While You Work

Bow and Megan get along splendidly, and there have been no more infractions, no incidents, not even so much as a broken chopstick. At one point today Bow put the chopstick in his mouth, and Megan told him that in that case he should not have it, and Bow gave it to her, and she put it away! Have you ever heard of such a well behaved chimpanzee or such a competent caretaker?

The only problem is that Bow has not spelled with her since that first time. He explained it to me like this: "I'm trying not to talk." Why is he trying not to talk? No answer. However, Megan is taking this silence in her stride, and she has found all sorts of things they can do together. When I came to relieve her this afternoon in time for dinner, she was showing Bow how to whistle into his hands. She cupped her hands into a sort of shell and whistled into them. Then she shaped his hands into the same shell, and he actually tried to blow. No sound, so far, but it's a very promising start! What if he could learn to make music without a flute to break? That would be something!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Broken Chopsticks

This was Megan's third day. All is still calm and nearly idyllic, but Bow has drawn an invisible line in the sand -- or rather the concrete. He won't spell. He won't ask for things that he obviously wants. And he's been breaking chopsticks.

The first chopstick he broke today was on my watch. I took over for lunch, and as I was out in the kitchen getting lunch, the chopstick having been inadvertently left in the pen alone with Bow, he broke it. This got him in trouble, and he did not get as big a lunch as he might otherwise have had. But I saw this as an opportunity, so I told Megan about the chopstick incident, gave her a brand new chopstick for Bow to use with his touchscreen, and suggested that I would bring a snack for Bow to select around 3:30pm. 

Bow hasn't been using his touchscreen computer much, and in a way, it's hard to blame him. It's not easy work spelling out words on that screen. We need help programming a more user friendly text-to-speech program for him, and with that end in mind, I posted an ad for a programmer today.

Anyway, at 3:30 on the dot I brought out three possible snacks: grapes on plate, a red apple and a small glass of pomegranate juice. I put them outside the glass door and spoke out their names for Bow and Megan to see and hear. Then Bow was to select one. Only he refused to spell anything, on the glass or on the computer. I left the snacks out throughout the day, but he never did ask for one. When I came to relieve Megan at 5:00 pm, the three snacks were still there, untouched.

It still didn't seem so bad, as Bow was gracious and gentle with Megan all day, cuddling with her and using the potty properly. No accidents. But just when I thought he had been perfect, I saw the broken chopstick --cleanly broken in two, no shards -- on the side of the glass away from Bow.

"Did he break another chopstick?" Sword asked at dinner.

"Yes, but I don't know how it happened. Did you break it when Megan didn't see?" I asked Bow.

"No," he spelled. "She just didn't tell you."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wednesday: A very good second day

Bow really likes Megan. He's told me so. He's told Lawrence so. He hasn't told Megan in so many words, but the proof is in his behavior. He hasn't given her any grief. This is her second day, and it went off without a hitch.

Megan stayed with Bow for three hours in the morning. Then Lawrence came in for a long lunch with Bow, and afterwards Bow spent another three hours with Megan.

I knew I could leave Megan and Bow alone when he agreed to use the potty with her. So far, no accidents. Not much language use, but he did write a little. He asked her to go outside, although he spelled it funny, not because he can't spell correctly, but because this is another way he has of testing people. He is reluctant to give too much away too soon. But they did go outside, and they came in again when Bow needed to use the potty.

Bow knows that he likes Megan, but he has trouble expressing what he likes most about her. When Lawrence asked him that, Bow let the sentence he was trying to form just trail away.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bow likes Megan

Today Bow met our new intern, Megan. He liked her right from the start. At first, they got to know one another through the grid, and only after quite some time did Bow say it was okay for her to come into the pen with him. I went out one door, and Megan came in through the other. She sat quietly and allowed Bow to examine her. He hair, her feet, her nostrils. All interesting stuff. Later they groomed and even played a relaxed form of chase. He was very nice to her, and there was no pressure. The only thing is, he wouldn't use the potty while she was in with him. So every once in a while she would go out, and I would come in, and Bow would immediately go and pee in the potty for me. Then I would go out after emptying the potty and returning it, and Megan would go back in to play with Bow. I think Bow is embarrassed to pee in front of a new person, but it would be even more embarrassing to have an accident, I would think. He will have to get over this shyness, but we take things one day at a time. Today was a good day. We met a new person, and we hit it off well. After Megan went home to Orchard House, I asked Bow: "Did you like her?" He answered: "Yes. All ladies are good."