One of the things that we stress to our staff and volunteers is that our attitudes have a significant effect on the chimps. We all know from personal experience with friends, family, and coworkers that moods can be contagious, so we try to shake off whatever is bothering us before we go into the chimp house. The last thing the chimps need is for us to bring them down!
It works the other way as well – the chimps can really influence how we feel about our “day at the office”. Some chimps are particularly influential. If Jamie is in a bad mood, we’re in for a rough day, to say the least. But if she’s happy, we’re happy.
For me, there is one individual in particular that has the ability to brighten my morning no matter what side of the bed I wake up on. This morning, as I opened the door to greet the chimps, Foxie was waiting, troll in hand, to launch into a full-on game of “pass the troll” with some flips and spins thrown in. Not a bad way to start the day.