Jamie and the snowshoes

January 8th, 2018 by Katelyn

Well folks, today has been one of those days where capturing photos of the chimps has just not been on their agenda. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t stories to tell.

The chimps have a bare path around snowy and slushy Young’s Hill, courtesy of J.B., and most everyone has been venturing out for walks in our “milder” weather (i.e., above freezing for the most part). But much to our surprise, it’s Jamie who hasn’t been interested in going all the way around the hill. (Missy on the other hand, has been ripping and running around and around!). The last couple of days Jamie seems to have incorporated the lower half of the hill into her games of chase with her caregivers, venturing half way up one side only to turn, run back down and then part way up the other side, back and forth like a pendulum.

Given how excited Jamie’s been over the winter footwear and seeing what the humans’ Yaktrax look like on her own boots, I decided to take it to the next level and see what she would think of seeing her boots in snowshoes, which we don’t think she’s seen before. Here is Jamie’s favorite new boot getting strapped in as she watches:

Suffice to say, Jamie was beside herself! Hair standing on end (polo-erect), eyes glued to her boots, hooting and low moaning and generally flailing about in excitement. Of course she immediately raced outside to play chase up and down the small slope seemingly mesmerized that HER boots were snowshoeing. Kelsi and I tried and tried to get photos of her, but I think she was so overwhelmed she didn’t have time to participate in a photo shoot. So outside of this photo of Jamie flailing (I recognize it’s hard to see, but she is waving her arms and hands about as she looks at her boot), you’ll have to take our word for it:

Jamie immediately ran outside making sure I was following and after about an hour of chase inside, outside, through the greenhouse, up the hill, down the hill (with frequent stops to check out her boot), she decided she was ready to have her snow covered boots (sans snowshoes, of course). As soon as she received them she hugged them to her for a moment, looked at them as if they (and perhaps by extension, she?) had just been on the most amazing adventure ever, and then hurried off to build a nest with them.

For years it was very uncommon to see Jamie actually sleep when she nested. Some part of her always remained on alert and if the rare occasion occurred where her eyes closed, it didn’t take much for them to spring back open. Only in the last year or two has she begun to fully relax enough to fall asleep. So to see her covered up with her blankets, surrounded by her beloved boots and favorite new boot book, sound asleep holds so much more meaning than just how cozy and adorable she looks like this. Even if brief (she’s a busy woman after all), she finally feels safe enough to fully let go and fall into a deep slumber. Perhaps dreaming of snowshoeing her way around Young’s Hill…

7 Responses to “Jamie and the snowshoes”

  1. Tobin says:

    Don’t worry. I take your word for it that Jamie was excited in seeing a pair of her beloved boots venturing through the snow on snowshoes. She looks like she is smiling during her nap.

  2. Jo Lathrop says:

    Testament to the nurture and love she gets from you all. BRAVO!! U rock!! XOXOXOXO

  3. Kathleen says:

    After laughing and giggling over the boot-snowshoe excitement, you got me right in the core of my heart. I volunteer at a dog rescue where I walk, run, romp, play, and spend quiet time with so many dogs. While I enjoy the play time, it is the time spent quietly with the dogs that I love the most. And I tell you this because life in even the best shelters can be hard on some dogs. Much like life in captivity for chimps I guess. Allowing a dog the experience to find a peaceful place where they can really relax and settle is a big thing. And to sit with a dog who finally and comfortably and willingly lets go and truly relaxes, or better yet falls sound asleep on your lap, is the most gratifying feeling in the world! So from a different perspective I totally understand what it means to see Jamie fall comfortably and completely asleep. The peace, trust, comfort involved in that basic act is no small accomplishment. Thank you CSNW for giving Jamie sweet dreams for real!!!

    • elaine reininger says:

      what you do for those shelter dogs is so wonderful. By the way, I love reading your comments of the chimps daily acftivity You always say exactly what I was thinking but didn’t have the words for.

      • Kathleen says:

        Thank you Elaine, that is so sweet of you to say — you too write exactly what I am thinking! I believe we all feel the same “amazement” when it come to these seven sentient chimp people. As for the dogs, the secret truth is this….. it is not what I do for the dogs, what the dogs do for me is so wonderful! 😊 We try to give the best part of ourselves to animals but they always give back so much more in return.

  4. Francoise Vulpe says:

    Thank you for this sweet post about our beloved Jamie. You write so well that I can picture the scene clear as day, especially Jamie’s happiness when she saw the snowshoes. When my dog did agility for the first time, I swear he was bursting out of his skin with happiness and excitement. I’ll never forget it. That’s what you do for Jamie and her family and to see it get better with time must be so rewarding for you who work so hard caring for them. Thank you!

  5. Chris says:

    It’s so wonderful to read about the many emotions of one of our favorite chimp ladies…Somehow, lady doesn’t quite fit Jamie, does it? 🙂 I am really suprised that she hasn’t asked for the snowshoe itself to be handed over! 🙂 And I truly love that she finally feels so secure, loved and safe that she can fall into a deep restful sleep…

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