Jamie is the supervisor of all of us here at the sanctuary, chimps and humans alike, and today Jamie had many projects for me. Thank goodness I had her direction to structure my day. All of the chimpanzees are well aware of the daily routine and are amazing time keepers. And not just at mealtime. They typically know when it’s time for them to be given access to each area after we complete cleaning and if we are running behind, they start showing up to let us know. And as you can imagine, nothing gets by “the boss.”
Jamie followed me throughout the cleaning of the front rooms today, supervising my cleaning skills and making sure to request numerous drinks from the hose at each door. When it was time to give the chimpanzees access to the front rooms, I asked Jamie which door she wanted me to open first. She immediately indicated her choice and we repeated this until all the appropriate doors were open. With cleaning done, Jamie let me know it was time for a walk around the hill. Immediately! Jamie typically has a specific boot in mind that she wants us to wear on our walks with her and sometimes it can take trying on several pairs in her collection before we find the one she wants. But you know have the right one when you put it on and she takes off running toward Young’s Hill! Today, this was THE boot of choice:
After taking several loops around Young’s Hill together, Jamie’s and my routine (per Jamie) is to sit together so she can groom the prized boot. When she has groomed the boot (and me) sufficiently, she indicates she is ready to be given the boot by running into the front rooms where I drop it in a shoot for her. Once in her possession, she gazes adoringly at the boots, hugs it to her and kisses it:
Jamie then let me know that she wanted to check out the chimpanzees’ garden (of course, with the boot in tow). Thanks to the hard work of volunteer, Denice, the chimps’ garden is in full bloom! Every day this week, Jamie and Missy (The Tomato Queen) have excitedly asked for cherry tomatoes which they can see growing outside the play room windows. Here Jamie is watching me pick some for her:
It’s hard to tell here, but I am serving her a few to try out:
And while Jamie looks like she has a huge smile in this photo, she’s actually getting tomato seeds out of her teeth. Nevertheless, I think she was still pretty pleased.
Jamie is one of the toughest bosses I have ever had, but I can’t think of a more rewarding job, or anyone else I’d rather work for.