Sunday, May 1, 2011

PETS of all kinds - welcome!!!

AT the Mountain Goat Lodge - when we say "Pets Welcome!" we really mean it!! Especially when the pet turns out to be "Ringo" the delightful Capuchin Monkey that visited us a few weeks ago.
Capuchin Monkeys typically live 45 years - making ownership no small commitment. Owners Mary Jane and Richard K. of Michigan explained the rigors of caring for such an intelligent creature. The whole house top to bottom must be monkey-proofed. Diapers need to be worn unless he is in his crate. Special food for his sensitive stomach - Special vets, special pet-sitters, a contingency plan for his care should something happen to his human parents, makes life much more complicated than leaving town for a couple of days with your dog!

Ringo was originally meant to be a helper for Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled, a national nonprofit serving quadriplegic and other people with severe spinal cord injuries or mobility-impairments by providing highly trained monkeys to assist with daily activities.

Helping Hands raise and train these monkeys to act as live-in companions who, over the course of 20-30 years, will provide the gifts of independence, companionship, dignity and hope to the people they help.

In Ringo's case - MJ and Richard were foster parents for Ringo before his Helping Hands training was to begin. When the training placement fell through - they ended up keeping him as a their family pet. Everywhere they go - he goes - which makes driving somewhat difficult - as cars tend to drive so close to them to get a look that they miss their exits!

We were enchanted by Ringo's expressive face and mannerisms and was sure he could read my lips! Owners have to spell out words that they don't want him to hear!

So far Ringo wins the "most unusual pet" title at the Mountain Goat Lodge. Any challengers?

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