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Friday, August 26, 2016

Bow Gives Back

Every week, Bow's friend comes by to deliver his bananas. She always phones before she comes over, and she always asks: "Is Bow ready for his bananas?' And Bow is always ready.
Bow holding an orange pipe cleaner

Over time, Bow and his friend have gotten to be very close, although always the grid of the pens separates them. Bow's friend asks him about his day, and she tells him about hers. Sometimes she shows him pictures and videos of her grandchildren. Bow watches with great interest.

Our Collection of Pipe Cleaners by the Bananas

 Even though Bow's friend is never on the same side of the grid with him, she has gotten to tickle and groom him using pipe cleaners that can fit through the holes in the grid. In this way, their relationship is not just verbal but also tactile

Bow reading the Missouri Conservationist

Bow's friends has brought him many gifts over the years, including issues of the Missouri Conservationist to read and his favorite treat: Pickle Ice.  These gifts have mostly been one-sided. Bow was always the recipient, never the giver.

Bow Enjoying the Gift of Pickle Ice

Last week, that changed. Bow found a way to give back. As Bow's friend was tickling him with the pipe cleaner, the little fuzzy thing fell into Bow's side of the pen.

The Pipe Cleaner in Motion

Bow started playing with it, winding it tightly around his finger, so tightly that his friend was a little concerned that he might never get it off. But he did get it off eventually, and when he saw that his friend wanted it, he found a way to pass it back to her. She was so happy to have this gift from Bow, that now it hangs on her banana magnet at home.

The Pipe Cleaner in its New Home


  1. I'm so jealous.....Howcome she can't use fingers to tickle?

    1. Hi, Elizabeth. The grid was intentionally designed so people cannot get their fingers through the holes, because the holes are too small. This is a safety issue -- for Bow's sake as well as the people who visit. Our policy is either you are in or you are out, but nothing in between. This is Bow's safe place. He can invite someone in, but nobody who has not been invited can just protrude a part of his body into the pen. It works very well to keep everybody safe. I think a lot of facilities have not yet learned the "either in or out" rule, and some of them have run into serious trouble because of this.

  2. Excellent idea with the pipe cleaners! I was wondering what those were about in the second picture. I think the "either in or out" philosophy is very wise, since sometimes an animal OR a human can be very unpredictable.
    I used to love to wind pipe cleaners together to make all kinds of odd shapes...haven't seen any in years.

    1. Hi, Kathy, pipe cleaners are definitely fun to play with and make shapes. Bow and I enjoy our security within the grid system, and it is nice to let friendly visitors interact safely with Bow using the pipe cleaners.

    2. I have some pipe cleaners I keep meaning to use, but usually I just end up twisting them around in shapes.

    3. Hi, Julia. My pipe cleaners were originally intended for an art project, but letting Bow and his friends use them is much better.

  3. Bow seems to have a very good relationship with his friends.

    1. I always enjoy my visits. It is fun to interact and get to know Bow.

    2. Thanks, Charla. Bow always enjoys his visits with you, too!