From the Desk of Linda Tellington-Jones

Archive for the ‘Animal Ambassadors’ Category

My 1990 Zambia Chimpanzee Chronicles, Part IV

Impressions:

Clumps of chimps falling out of the trees following the crack of overloaded branches. The loud rustle of leaves as the chimps break off fruit. And behind the anthill, Harriet has been grunting, playing patticake, tickling, teasing, playing, and wrestling with Tober for over 30 minutes.

The sun is shifting and it’s time to move my towel another 2 feet around the tree. Uh, Oh, Chimp attack! Sandy comes up and starts playing under my towel. I’ve taken my socks and shoes off and I quickly stuff them under the towel. But Tobra rushes up and pushes Sandy away, grabbing a sock in the melee and off he triumphantly tears.

Sock tag, sock tag, off they run, up and down the trees, slapping the ground, teasing, leaping onto a branch which comes crackling down and whomp!, a chimp thumps onto the ground, leaps up and gallops off.

After ten minutes or so, the sock, stretched, chewed and slightly the worse for wear, drops out of a tree into Harriet’s territory. Got it!

I give up, pen and journal go into my pack, and I deposit it in the safe hands of Patrick. No chimp dares to take it from him. And I join Harriet in chimp wrestling. Tara has taught Harriet how to play. By gently taking Harriet’s hand in her mouth, Harriet has learned to trust her. They somersault roll, patticake, and wrestle. Sandy soon joins her and it’s two to one for the chimps.

Journaling with chimps in ZambiaI observe for a bit. It looks like too much fun to pass up, so I get into the act. Now it’s two chimps to two humans. Sandy and Tara leap on us, somersault and land upside down in our laps. I swing Sandy around by an arm and a leg and he can’t get enough. Harriet has Torah hanging by the feet and swinging. What a barrel of monkeys!

I spend a good 30 minutes carefully grooming Torah. He flattens out his belly, head resting on his arms, and loves every second of the attention. When he was playing earlier he would close his eyes, race toward me and somersault into my lap.

My 1990 Zambia Chimpanzee Chronicles, Part III

Dec. 22,Chimfunsi: 6:00 a.m. The alarm gently breaks my dream state. One hour until the chimps go into the forest. Sheila suggested we sleep in and follow them later, but we’ve come half way around the world to find this orphanage. “I can sleep when I’m dead,” Moshe used to say. I dress a little reluctantly and wake Harriet 45 minutes later. What about breakfast? “Oh” she says, “The alarm is set on Kenyan time.” I was up at 5:00 a.m.! Back into bed I climb for a short return to dreamtime.

6:45 a.m.,Zambian time, this time! Tracy and I make cheese and toast sandwiches. Add a coveted Swiss chocolate bar, hoarded until this moment.

7:05 a.m. Everyone–Sheila, David, Harriet, Tracy, Mark, Patrick and I, hoist a clinging chimp onto our hip and parade down the road into the woods. Here, all 9 chimps are set down and the adventure begins. Each day they venture into the forest for 7 hours for walks and just to scatter about, sit in the trees, relax, eat fruit and learn. Rita wants to hold my hand and tries to convince me to pick her up. But she needs the exercise. Her 30+ pounds are a lot to pack on my hip.

Chimps gallop along behind Patrick, spread out on both sides of the trail, 14 humans mixed between. They drink out of mushrooms 9 inches across, then knock them over and gallop on. Up a tree goes Coco to bring down a mouthful of orange nuts, fruit inside.

Sandy, Tara, Rita, Cora, Boo Boo, Tobas, Donna, Coco. Donna discovers a piece of burlap sack and a chase ensues. Up and down trees, over stumps, diving between close branches. “Watch out!” Tobas’ trick is to swing a branch on someone’s head.

We stop for a break after 30 minutes of walking. Some youngsters climb up a nearby ant hill and into the branches of the tree on top. Sandy hangs out with Harriet who works on his ears to help his cold. My camera comes out and I start the fun of photographing cavorting chimps.

Donna suddenly swings by and grabs our back pack which is lying against a log upon which Tracy is sitting. Tracy yells at her and makes a lunge for the pack as it is being zipped away. Tobra reacts to protect Donna by biting Tracy on the calf. Patrick leaps up and yells at him. Up the ant hill he tears. Tracy is in considerable pain. Two blue holes appear. The skin is severed over these two tooth marks, but it is not bleeding externally. Her calf is in spasm. I start TTouch, working first about six inches all around. Within 15 minutes the pain is reduced by at least half, and the wound is shrinking before our eyes. Thirty minutes later the tooth marks have disappeared and there is absolutely no discomfort!

We continue on our way through the woods.

Upcoming Book, The Chimpanzee Chronicles, Reminds me of My Time With Chimps in Zambia

I have been communicating with Debra Rosenman, a certified Rubenfeld Synergist, and Jessica O’Donoghue, an animal behavior consultant, about my work with chimpanzees in the 1990’s. Debra and Jessica met at Kindred Spirits Animal Sanctuary in New Mexico during one of my trainings there this year, and began a conversation about Debra’s upcoming book, the Chimpanzee Chronicles. I find it so inspiring how wonderful people meet and share ideas at our trainings.

This exchange reminds me of my time in Zambia and New York City TTouching apes and monkeys. I spent only a few brief moments in passing with a beautiful baboon female under the streets of New York City at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where thousands of animals are kept for research. I can see and feel her beauty and her desperate eyes as though it were yesterday. The consciousness that was present was so clear that I wonder how we humans can be so unaware. I was at Sloan-Kettering research at the time discussing the fate of 6 pig-tailed macaques scheduled to be sold to a biomedical research center by Hunter College. I met with the veterinarians in charge of the Hunter College apes to convince them that we could offer a worthwhile life in retirement instead. (more…)

Charlie the Therapy Bassett Hound and PiT Patricia Tirrell Visit the Durham Rehabilitation Center

I just had to share this short and moving story by Patricia Tirrell, a Tellington TTouch Practitioner-in-Training with you. The wonders animals are able to achieve still amaze me, day after day. Enjoy!

Charlie | Patricia Tirrell

Charlie and I were visiting at The Durham Rehabilitation Center with a young woman who had had a stroke. Her left hand was still in the shape of a club and much of her left side was semi-paralyzed. She was the only person in the recreation room with Charlie and me while the recreation therapist, Betsy, went to go get more patients to start the session. (more…)

A Message From The Spirit of the Horse

Today I will be featured at the opening of a horse expo – the first of its kind – called Equorius – meaning the age of the horse from May 6 – 9. The website is Equorius.com.

Roland and I just met Naomi Kutcharsky “by accident” at breakfast and shared the message FROM THE SPIRIT OF THE HORSE. This whole expo is organized with the idea of bringing together people who honor the spirit of horses. It is the first time that this has been done and Naomi, who composed my Atlantis poem into a song, will be singing the song as an opening after my opening presentation at 4:00 pm today. I eventually plan to have the song up here on my blog for you to download. (more…)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ROLAND–Dinner in Kaja & Grom Wonderland

To celebrate the Animal Ambassador and TTEAM/TTouch Center of Slovenia last September, Darja and Andrej Znidarsic organized the most memorable event I have ever witnessed for the opening of Ranch. One hundred guests were invited for an evening that began and ended with the music of the 50-piece Ljubljana Symphony Orchestra conducted by Simon Dvorsak at one end of the riding arena. Roland and I were honored by a lovely hula performed by a graduate of their Kaja & Grom program. One of their very talented students played a violin solo from horseback. Several students demonstrated their riding skills jumping bridleless. A local dog club showed off the skills of their dogs trained for animal assisted therapy. And Andrej ended the evening by bringing Simon’s Lippizaner stallion Maj front and center stage to demonstrate some new tricks he had taught him just for this performance. The evening was a resounding success.
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From Slovenia With Love: All About A Special String of School Horses

from Slovenia

Back on the road again and finally having time to write here in my blog. I get so focused and busy when I’m home that it just doesn’t seem to happen!

It’s 5:30 AM here in Slovenia at the Kaja & Grom Ranch and it just seems natural to pick up the pen and start sharing our road experiences. Oops, I mean turn on my trusty computer named Spirit and let my fingers fly.
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