Friday, December 31, 2010

Hi All.
I wanted to share a wonderful moment with you all. This past summer I was contacted by Supreme Master Television who were interested in the sanctuary and our residents. Several members from Supreme Master Television came to the sanctuary to see what we do here. They did some filming and Story Book Farm aired in a two part mini series in the fall. We were all grateful for the opportunity for the media to bring attention to who we are and what we do and I personally appreciated the media coverage to further our cause. I have to tell you though, I was shocked when TV rep Fan sent me an email that Supreme Master Ching Hai was donating $10,000.00 to our cause and to help the animals in our care. OMG!! Talk about shock and AWE! I was speechless, I stared at the email for a bit...before the tears came. Members from Supreme Master Television arrived here on December 31st with many presents and a cheque. WOW! They helped us so much!!!! This year, they answered my prayers for help and I thank them very much. I know my hard working team members utter the same words.....Thank you Supreme Master Ching Hai

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Holidays

Good afternoon! Here we are a week before Christmas! The year went by so fast at the sanctuary. This year was filled by joy, heartbreak, challenges and victories. We welcomed new residents Buddy, Remelle (Remi) and Chico. The boys are settling in with new friends, surroundings, lots of good food and loving humans all around. Thanks to the drive and determination of Leonard and Sherri and a hardy group of volunteers, the new barn was built just in the nick of time. We lost Skinny. Basil misses her and so do we. Nan required surgery - so lots of worry - but she was a star and is doing well.

As 2010 closes, we thank you so much for keeping the monkeys in your heart.

Happy holidays to you and yours,


Monday, December 6, 2010

More new residents!

Meet the new lemurs!!!!!!! That's Buddy with his blankets, and Ramelle (aka Remi)

A large welcome to 2 small new arrivals. Ramelle (aka Remi) and Buddy are a couple of little ring-tailed lemurs that come to us all the way from British Columbia. They are tiny; although aged 5 and 7, they weighed in at about 4.5 pounds. They make our other ring-tails look like giants. They are delighted with their new home, although all the space is just a little daunting! But they have great appetites, and are curious about everything. Remi is becoming quite the leaper and bounder, and Buddy wraps himself in blankets and looks shy and coy.
I am looking forward to getting to know them much better and making some small contribution towards their futures!

Monday, November 8, 2010

What I Missed...

Good evening all! Hope you had a great weekend - the weather was crisp and sunny on the farm yesterday.

In dealing with a family situation, I have been unable to volunteer weekly at the farm since the end of July until last Saturday. I cannot describe to you the emotions I felt driving up with Kim - a little anxious, nervous, happy, bewildered at how the time had passed and filled with anticipation. Would everyone be happy to see me? Would they be mad at my absence? Angry that maybe I had abandoned them and let them down? The car just could not go fast enough. Yet, when I took that turn and came up the all melted away. Charlie, Maggie, Sammy came running down the drive...I pulled up and saw the extremely handsome Pierre - Julien sitting on his log and Lexy with her doll. My heart jumped up and beat so fast.. here they were - my family.. my brothers and sisters.. each majestic and beloved in their own way. In the barn lemurs jumping and happy, Mickey and marmosets chirping, Chelsea with her new dolly - a running shoe, Nan, Jenkins, Basil, Koo-Koo and Coco, Pockets.. That warm dense presence, it was like being wrapped in a loving blanket.

and then there was George and Susie! If ever there was a doubt about being loved or missed... George and Susie made it pretty plain how silly that is... chattering, making happy sounds, pushing against the enclosure, wanting scratches and grooming... little Susie... so sweet and happy... and of course George trying to push her out of the way, but she maintained her spot. So much that I missed...these precious moments - gifts of lives, emotions, sounds, touches. It was great to to see Jen, our hard working "little Jen" in the barn and Kim - to be working once again alongside them.

As we heard at another event on Saturday - some say it may just be a drop in a huge ocean, but it is our drop and to the lives it touches it is the universe... this is what I missed..

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Avon Canada Fundraiser!

Hi everyone!
I am happy to announce a new fundraiser for Story Book!
In association with Avon Canada you can purchase one or two products especially designated by Avon.
You can buy the 75ml Cucumber Melon Antibacterial Hand Gel for $3 and/or a box of three Fair Trade Certified soap for $15!! 40% of the cost goes to Story Book for food and heating the barn this winter.
You can email Kim Meehan at to place an order or comment on this blog. You can also get in touch with your favourite Board Member to get in on the action.
Let me know if you want to make this available to your friends and family as I will email you an order form so that you can help boost the sale of these reputable products! Think of a Christmas stocking stuffer or birthday gift!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Our newest resident

There is a new face, a new voice, in the Story Book Barn! We welcome Chico! He is an "old" - we don't know exactly how many years that means - tufted capuchin. And he is doing very well in his new home! It is to be hoped that as time goes by, he can share space with Pockets, our black-capped capuchin...but for the moment, he is living in a lovely new space that Leonard created in the blink of an eye (or so it seems!!!)

Chico is active and moves constantly - like capuchins do - so it is hard to get shots of him. He has almost no teeth left - they are worn down to nothing! And he doesn't seem to use his tail - but maybe he will as time goes on.

He had a very restricted diet previously - a boiled egg, a banana, a peanut butter sandwich - so he is overwhelmed by the variety of food he is offered now. Apparently corn is a big hit!

As we all get to know Chico better, there will be more to say about him - but he is already a member of the family!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

That precious moment in time...

Happy Tuesday everyone! The weather has been lovely, and life is good. On Saturday, Izzy, Ingrid and I were up at the farm. Sherri joined us later in the afternoon, as she was working. All the volunteers comment how being there, enjoying special moments with the animals, amongst great company and in the beautiful setting is such a balm to the soul. We are so lucky (always in a bittersweet way) to have the privilege to know and care for all the creatures at Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary, including Chili the llama, Amigo, Mickey and Pablo, the lemur family and boys, the sweet, sweet Chelsea, George, Susie and everyone.

Each moment is so special, because in their world, that is "the moment", the intensity, the pure joy, the alarm, the upset (Chelsea screaming because Ingrid said "No" to Jenkins) and the humour (Pockets is hilarious). It is so raw and in the moment - with no facade. For me, it is like a magic spell, that second in time, the touch, the vocalization, the breath...staying, not breathing, trying to hold it, remembering every second, sensation and movement... and capture it in the heart and mind.

For instance, having Chelsea throw down her boot - well now it is a baby running shoe - throwing it to where she is planning to sit beside you. become so thrilled with the anticipation, that she is taking the time, reaching out, and preparing for that grooming session. She then climbs down the ladder and comes over to the door. Her little hands grab the shoe. She sits down, gets comfortable, and looks into your eyes, checking and searching.. then the "num-nums" sounds begin, the language of happiness...and that beautiful little hand comes out to reach out to you, to touch, to groom, to share....and you just sit there, mesmerized by the power of this love, trust and vulnerability. She searches your hand for spots to just holds me spellbound. These are the moments of life that can never be taken away, not matter what. Like feeling Billy's breathe on my back, the quiet grooming sounds, the contentment, and for a few seconds joy and the transportation of souls joined together ... in a better world of a language without barriers, of equality, of tenderness and knowing all of us are one.

We need to care, feel and just be, to the depth of our souls. We can all make the choice to live this way...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Nan at the Vet!

She was a star - from beginning to end!

Her pouch needed repairing (again!!). The vet - another star - removed the leaky hole and remnants of (more) almond shells! Then he stitched her up and we brought her home!

When she got back to her enclosure, she and Chelsea had endless conversation about their experiences of the day!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Boot Drive

On behalf of everyone at the sanctuary, I would like to thank the many citizens of Lindsay, City of Kawartha Lakes and for those visiting for making a difference to us. It was their generosity at the Lindsay Canadian Tire store today that helped us raise more than $400 for the sanctuary. We hope that we have inspired many of you to get involved whether it be through our Foster Friend program, donation through our paypal or supporting us in other ways - donations of food, lumber, fencing, enrichment, hay/straw or perhaps your volunteer time to help us continue to provide our friends with fresh food, wonderful place to live and the freedom to enjoy their lives at the sanctuary. To those of you who took the time to speak with us, it was a pleasure to share with you about what we do and reinforce that there is a need for many animals in our society, including primates. We also are encouraged that you will continue to make a difference, one animal at a time. From all our friends at the farm, we thank you for your donations. We can assure you that your donations will be well spent. With sincere thanks, Jenn - Volunteer

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pockets gets out!!!!!!

This weekend past, Pockets' outdoor enclosure was finished enough for him to come out and do a little exploring! He was a little hesitant at first - peeking outside and running away - but with the lure of treats, he finally came out into the sun - and seemed to really enjoy his new space. Now he can have a wonderful summer enjoying the sun and the breeze and all the outdoor smells and sounds!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Every now and then there is time to do a little something different at the Farm. Sunday was such a day for me. I spent time with some of the smaller creatures and tried to give them something different. I brought some old jewelry with me - long ropes of "pearls", necklaces, and a couple of small stuffed elephants on a string.

The lemurs were at first a little shy - but they managed to take apart their enrichment necklace pretty quickly! I will have to bring them something bigger and stronger next time. The lemur family got the stuffed eles - and within an hour or so, at least one of them was examining it closely - and finding it inedible!!!

The brown lemurs were not much impressed by their pressie - but I cleaned their mirror and that was ok with them - they seem to like shiny thngs - so I will be looking for more mirror-type toys for these guys.

The marmosets were fun too - Micky's mirror was cleaned and she enjoyed looking for the marmoset she saw there. And Amigo got a shiny pendant - he handled it, turned it over, looking for the image he saw of himself. But the corn was a hit - especially for Amingo and Micky. Just pieces of corn on the cob hung in the enclosures - watching the marmosets find ways to get closer to the corn and nibbling on it was fun. Pablo's enclosure is more of a challenge - it is really hard to get inside and put anything there for him. I managed to get the corn up for him, but I need to come up with a way to place a mirror or shiny toy for him...

Enrichment is as much of a challenge for the enricher as the enrichee!

As for Chelsea, she didn't care about bubbles this week, but was pleased to groom my boots again and offer me her dolly. She does have a thyroid problem, and is now on medcation for that...we all hope that this will help Chelsea slim down a little and add to her quality of life!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Some pics of Chelsea

Chelsea is back in her "home" and quite recovered from her adventure at the vet! There is little to report as far as her blood test results are concerned - at least I have not heard anything final.
But Chelsea has been enjoying some close up time with her "people" - Charmaine offered her hair for a grooming session (picture #3). And then she blew bubbles for Chelsea - and Chelsea really enjoyed that - trying to catch the bubbles with her mouth and her hand. The second pic shows Chelsea with her favourite dolly - the one we couldn't find to take along to vet. But Chelsea found it and is again carrying it around with her everywhere she goes. It is still a little green, but beginning to be almost unidentifiable again...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chelsea goes to the vet! January 25, 2010

Chelsea is a lovely Hamadryas baboon. She is sweet and gentle, often asking Sherri to hold her hand and allow her to groom Sherri's arm or boot or whatever is close by. Chelsea loves her rubber boots and she has a dolly that is always with her - it amazed us all to see it was really bright green, not black, when Sherri had the chance to get it away from her and scrub it!!!
Chelsea has a very loud voice, and if ever you touch her boot, or she thinks that you might, she screams - and it it ear-piercing. Chelsea has very strong jaws and although her canine teeth have been removed, she could do some damage if she got some part of you in her mouth.
And finally, you all know that Chelsea is a big girl - a really big girl. Some of that must be the result of eating for 2 - no, not because she is pregnant. She shares her enclosure with old Nan who is pretty much blind. Although Chelsea is invited down on the floor for her dinner and Nan is fed on the platform, Chelsea always manages to eat all the goodies out of her dish and then go and help herself to the goodies Nan hasn't managed to locate yet.
Well, it was decided that Chelsea should go see the vet - perhaps her overweight condition had other sources, perhaps she has a thyroid condition. And the only way to know that would be through blood tests. And the only way for that to happen would be a trip to the vet. I volunteered to help. In the back of my mind were all sorts of possibilities - driving for 40 minutes either way with Chelsea screaming in my ear; getting my fingers chomped as I tried to help lift and move Chelsea's kennel in and out of the car, being pushed aside by an escaping baboon at any point during the transfers...
I was not at the farm when Chelsea was convinced to go into the kennel - but there she was, locked inside the kennel, with the bottom tray and blankets all unarranged when I arrived. She didn't look too happy and had a few grumpy words to say (but no screams). Nan had some grumpy words to say as well - she was not pleased that Chelsea would be removed from their enclosure. And George and Susie next door were absolutely freaked out! But Sherri and I removed Chelsea in her kennel and got her into the back of my little hatchback. She WAS heavy and it needed the two of us to lift her. But she sat pretty still, said nothing and spent most of the time looking around and pulling all the blankets into the kennel with her. It was really an uneventful 40 minute drive to the vet's office.
This was the first time the vet or his staff had met Chelsea and there was quite a period of introductions. Chelsea (in her kennel) was plopped on the scales and the result was a whopping 93 pounds. The vet reckoned she should be 45 to 50 pounds, so there is a weight loss plan in Chelsea's future!
The next step was to knock her out so the vet could do an exam and take blood. At first Sherri tried just putting the facepiece (by which the anaesthetic and oxygen flow) over Chelsea's nose and mouth - but Chelsea wasn't having any of that. She wasn't upset or angry, not trying to break out or anything, just turning her head so that she did not have to breathe in the anaesthetic. So the vet (Dr. Holmes of the Anderson Clinic) went into action. A "relaxant" was prepared in a syringe and the syringe was fastened to a long pole so the injection could be given from a distance. He was remarkably quick. Chelsea did not enjoy the shot - she bared her teeth and barked, but really nothing more serious than that.
Then we waited...and waited...and waited some more. Chelsea got comfy, sat up again, did some serious grooming on Sherri's arm...and we waited for her to be relaxed enough that the facepiece could easily and safely be placed over her Chelsea with her kennel door wide open. And that eventually happened...and Chelsea went to sleep.
Everyone coordinated to slide Chelsea out of the kennel onto the table - Sherri kept the anaesthetic over her face the entire time. Dr. Holmes went to work, palpating her body looking for lumps or bumps. He checked the mobility of her joints, hips, knees, ankles; looked at her eyes; flipped her over and did some more. Chelsea's breathing became laboured - but the vet reassured us that it was simply due to the way she was lying and the weight of her body.
Finally he took blood to be sent off for testing for various things, including thyroid.
Then it was time to wake Chelsea up. She was gently slid back into her kennel on her blankets. The anaesthetic was turned off, the oxygen left on...and we waited...and waited...and waited. Chelsea was totally relaxed and it seemed as though she was just going to go on sleeping peacefully. It took a very long time - longer than anyone had really expected. Finally an eye moved, opened slightly. Chelsea swallowed and licked her lips - she was given some water in a syringe to wet her mouth. She was wrapped in blankets since it is natural for primates (us included) to feel cold when coming out of anaesthetic. But she just did not want to become any more active, would not sit up.
Next door there was a kitten being prepared for surgery - to be fixed! The kitten had been put under and was spreadeagled on the table being shaved. Someone got the vaccuum cleaner to clean up the fur, and that noise roused Chelsea. She sat up immediately - a little shaky perhaps at first and seemed ready whatever was next.
"Next" turned out to be tea. Dr. Holmes had got himself a cup of tea while waiting for Chelsea to be mobile again, and when he offered it to her, she was interested. So some was put into a different glass (he wasn't quite willing to share his mug with her!) and he fed it to her slowly. She seemed to enjoy it - perhaps we will give her some cold tea from time to time...
In the car on the way back to the farm, Chelsea was alert and calm. Every time we slowed or stopped, she would "hmmmmph" at us as though she was questioning why we had changed our speed. Maybe she was just in a hurry to get home.
Sherri and I got her back into her enclosure - Nan came down to see her. During all this, Chelsea had had a boot or two with her, but she didn't seem to care. And although she looked everywhere, Sherri was unable to find Chlesea's doll in the morning, so Chelsea had gone to the vet and undergone all this trauma without it!!!!! Now, home safe and sound, she did not want to come out of the kennel. She was given some lovely (diet) lettuce, as was Nan, but Chelsea chose to stay in the kennel to eat it. She was still in the kennel when we closed the barn door.
I hope there will be results from Chelsea's tests soon, and I hope they give us good news. Chelsea is such a sweetheart. I have been honoured over the past couple of visits when she has come down to the mesh and groomed my boots, offered me her dolly, reached her hand out to me.
I look forward to seeing her again on Sunday. And I really enjoyed my experience of taking her to the vet!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy 2010 from SBFPS

We hope you enjoyed the holiday season! May 2010 bring peace, security and comfort to you and your loved ones.

Thank you to all of our tremendous volunteers who worked so hard this past year imparting kindness, good cheer and care to the residents!

We are pleased to share this article with you from the Toronto Star, written by Corey Mintz who cooked for the primates! Thanks Laura for making this happen!

photo: Corey Mintz