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Thursday, June 28, 2012

What I did on my day off

Yesterday was my day off, and I made my usual run to the grocery store and the post office and to Wal*Mart. But instead of going anywhere else to relax, afterwards, I decided to have a little rest and relaxation close to home. Sword and I discovered the back yard behind the back yard.

While Bow and Lawrence had a fine time in the outer pens playing, and then went in to have lunch on their own, I set up some lawn chairs and a folding table and a hula hoop and bubbles on the lawn just behind the fenced back yard. There, between two large pines, and with our woods as a peaceful background behind us, we had a nice lunch, and then blew bubbles and played with the hula hoop. We also brought out each of the dogs, one at a time, to play with us out there. (Teyman was offended even by the appearance of  Brownie, with whom she's usually on grudgingly peaceful terms, in this new setting,  so this necessitated the complete apartheid treatment.)

Sometimes it is not necessary to go far in order to have a vacation, or to spend much in order to enjoy yourself. For instance, the three dollar solar garden light I got at Wal*Mart provided me with plenty of amusement well into the night.

Bow gets a break from me on Wednesdays, as he has Lawrence to wrestle and play with. I can take a short break, too, and it does not require me to travel miles. A few yards behind the fence is good enough. Bow was aware of our activities, but he did not seem to mind.

This morning, after breakfast was cleared away, Bow asked to go out again. In this series of pictures, can you spot Leo in the yard behind Bow?


  1. I am glad to hear someone else talk about having a nice time close to home. I went on vacations when I was younger, but my finances really do not permit me to do so today. I had a few people act like recently I did not know what was going on with waiting for a flight just because I have not posted about my recent trips. Okay so I have not flown or gone on a vacation in over seven years, but I have actually had more fun recently near home. People around the world come to Southern California to go on vacation, and I have enjoyed things many locals do not see. Also having grown up in the mountains I knew how to have fun just going on a hike. Recreation does not have to be expensive, and the solar light looks fun.

  2. Thanks, Julia. I'm like you. I have not flown in years, and my vacations are close to home. In fact, the house and land that I have would probably be like a vacation summer home to someone who works in the city and lives there. It is amazingly peaceful and quiet here, and all it takes is varying our normal routine a little to be able to see the beauty around us.

    1. You live in a pretty place. No need to go far :).

  3. Hi Aya --

    I was wondering how you would respond to the tragedy at the Goodall Institute --

    Do you ever fear for your safety around Bow?

    Also, how would you respond to this blog post?


  4. Amy, I have not read the specific blog entry you mentioned, but I have read news stories about the American volunteer at the Jane Goodall sanctuary.

    I'm very sorry that this happened to anyone, but it is not at all unexpected that something like this might happen at a sanctuary run by the Jane Goodall foundation that is purported to be a "Chimp Eden." As I understand it, this young person, a new arrival there, was standing in front of the fence and lecturing to tourists about what a great place this was for chimpanzees and what great work was being done there to help them. How do you think the chimpanzees felt about someone who should have been outranked by them standing there and giving such a speech?

    For chimpanzees, social rank is very important. Newcomers are at the lowest place in the totem pole. Trust has to be earned. Rank has to be earned. Good relationships are built up over years; they cannot be established in a day. People who go in with a chimp regularly have relationships with that chimp. Everyone else is a stranger and possibly an enemy.

    I am not at all concerned for myself with Bow. But I do recognize that it is not safe for strangers to go in with Bow. My facilities do not allow Bow to drag anyone into the pens with him. I am much more cautious than the people at the Jane Goodall institute, and I would never let a stranger lecture about Bow in his presence.

    Institutional policies are often impersonal and bureaucratic. Chimpanzees do not like being institutionalized any more than humans do. They need relationships with individuals who care about them.