Written by Meg Mas
I have been an intern at CHCI for a little more than two years now, and back in September I brought my dog, Penny Lane, to meet the chimpanzees! I took her into the observation area so that everyone could see each other through the windows. Dar was the first to greet Penny. They seemed very interested in one another and Penny even put her paws up on the ledge to get a closer look at Dar (who was signing DOG repeatedly). Dar gave Penny a kiss through the window.
Next, Loulis came over to meet Penny. He signed CHASE with a big play face! Penny and I ran down the hall of the observation area (with Loulis chasing us) and saw Tatu. Tatu sat up on a tall wooden spool and signed DOG and I replied YES THAT DOG YOUR FRIEND. Tatu signed DOG a few more times.
Loulis still wanted to play chase, so Penny and I ran back towards the indoor playrooms. This time both Loulis and Tatu chased us. We sat by the West observation window for a while. Loulis pointed towards the floor and signed THAT HURRY, so as usual I showed him my shoes. He continued signing THAT HURRY so I asked Penny to come up to the window. She put her paws up on the window ledge to steady herself and Loulis tapped on the glass. Penny jumped back from the window, but came right back. This time Tatu tapped on the glass, and again Penny jumped back from the window. It seemed to me like Penny, Loulis and Tatu might have been playing a game!
We played a few more games of chase and then I told the chimpanzees I GO NOW, SEE YOU SOON. Penny put her front paws on my lap and licked me. I signed THAT DOG KISS. Tatu signed a very enthusiastic KISS. Penny and I said our goodbyes and left. That day, my worlds collided, and it could not have gone any better!