One of those weeks

August 10th, 2017 by Anna

There are some days, maybe even entire weeks, when things go wrong at the sanctuary. Not major things, mind you, but an accumulation of small “fires” that need to be put out. Shelves collapse in the kitchen (spraying juice everywhere), an innocent volunteer takes a pile of feces to the face, blankets block doors from closing off an area for cleaning, minor injuries on the chimps (from a small fight) need special attention, staff or volunteers get sick, and Jamie decides to cap it all off by staying out late on Young’s Hill. Did I mention it’s been really hot and a haze of wildfire smoke from Canada is in the air? This is the kind of week we’ve been having at the sanctuary. I debated on whether or not this was maybe a bit too much information, but I think it’s incredibly important to talk about BOTH fun things like Foxie’s birthday party, AND the less charming things that happen around here. Being a caregiver isn’t comprised of 50% games with Burrito and 50% troll tosses with Foxie after all (although that does sound pretty great).

The upside? We LOVE what we do. Through all the fog of craziness in some days, emerge seven pretty special chimpanzees that deserve all that hard work and love, and if that means working a bit late, having plans suddenly change, or being uncomfortably sweaty and smelly for a few hours, it’s all worth it.


6 Responses to “One of those weeks”

  1. Laurie Church says:

    She is a beauty!

  2. Kathleen says:

    I think you should share all the realities of your job and I love that you do it it with such good humor. I can only imagine how stressful it must be to hold the lives of seven chimpanzee people in your hands. This is why I have such great admiration and respect for all of you and for all you do. I’d like to think, with the proper training, I have what it takes to be a volunteer at CSNW…. but to be honest I’m not so sure! (And a slap of feces in the face might flatten me!) There is not a single job in animal welfare that is all fun and games. Hands and hearts must work together and I am sure some days must be very trying. But the rewards of knowing you keep those seven beautiful people alive, happy, and well means you have a life lived richly. Just look how grateful Negra looks!

    “…only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile”. ~ Albert Einstein

  3. Jo says:

    Much like life itself, right? The yin and the yang of things!! It’s all okay tho and I really appreciate that you don’t judge it and also that you report it. The chimps are so special to so many ppl and it’s important to have a rounded view, at least for me. I’ve always loved the quote “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened” Anatole Frnace

  4. Elaine Reininger says:

    You caregivers are truly remarkable human beings. There are not enough words of praise that I can come up with for what I feel about all of you. Just not being able to have a quitting time and having all your evening plans ruined because of one of the Chimps not coming home at night is enough to annoy me. As for the poop in the face–UGH. I JUST WISH I KNEW WHY THEY DO THAT. I bet you do too. You all have great patience and a deep sincere love for the chimps.

  5. Nancy Poe says:

    I am curious about the significance of slinging/throwing feces. Is it a message or statement of some kind, or unrelated to any definitive explanation?

    • Anna says:

      Jamie uses it in many ways. Sometimes just to see what kind of reaction she can get. Sometimes to get humans to stop doing something she doesn’t approve of, there is always a reason, it’s just not always so clear to us.