Wednesday, April 13, 2011

From the Brock University "Thinking about Animals" Conference

Jen, Sherri and Rachelle during the Story Book presentation. Kim watches over the table... Sherri and Jen set up the display for Story Book Farm at the "Thinking about Animals" conference at Brock University in St. Catharines.

Chelsea meets Mark

Saturday April 9, 2011 was a very important date for a very special Hamadryas baboon.

For years Chelsea has listened to Mark Hebscher's voice as he broadcasts the sports news on TV. Mark had heard of his unusual fan, and he decided that he wanted to meet this special lady. So, arrangements were made with Sherri, and Saturday April 9, 2011 at 1 pm this historic meeting took place in the Story Book Barn!

Well, cleaning day is generally on Sunday, and since we wanted Chelsea to be at her best for Mark's visit, the barn was alive with many volunteers early on Saturday morning. Sherri, Leonard, Jacquie, Val, Rachelle, Jenn, Charmaine, Dave and Ann had their work boots on and got everything spic and span. Of course, special attention was given to Nan and Chelsea’s area. We even managed to sneak out Chelsea’s rubber boots to get washed!!! Dinners were made early!!!!

When the Hebscher family arrived (Mark, his wife and two sons), Chelsea seemed to recognize his voice from afar. She sat right down in front of her mesh and concentrated on the voice she was hearing, peaking around the door jamb at her visitor. She was a little nervous, but since the most trusted members of her human family were near, she accepted that everything was ok and relaxed. Mark sat right down with her and talked to her for a long time. Chelsea listened intently and you could see she was trying to figure out how the person on TV was now here. There were gifts too - a pretty box of trail mix - the blue tissue paper was especially appreciated - and a new pair of lovely little boots to add to her collection.

It was a wonderful day - and of course everyone in the barn got to meet the visiting personality. But Mark kept coming back to Chelsea. She watched him carefully, chattered to him, offered him her very best shoe, juggled for him - she let us all know that she accepted him and that he was a new friend for her. This is such special treatment - it takes a while generally for Chelsea to open up to a stranger. But Chelsea even offered him her hand. Mark may be back for another visit - and if and when this happens, Chelsea will be very glad to see him. Meanwhile she will content herself with watching him and listening to his voice on TV. And of course, she has her memories...I am sure she will not forget!

Thank you so much Mark for visiting Chelsea and making her so happy!