Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Totto and the big brush off.

Many of you will have met Totto on your visits here. Others will have seen photographs of him. Either way you cannot fail to notice that he is a big mature monkey. He is very proud and a stickler for the hierarchical protocol. He tolerates human company but hardly acknowledges our presence. He cares deeply for Sophie his wife and allows her all kinds of liberties including pulling his tail. One would not readily decide to stroke him or touch him in any way.

Over a long period, he and I have developed a mutual respect. He knows that I care for him and give him deference. He knows that I bring him special tidbits and that I spend time talking to him. Recently we discovered that Lala loves to be brushed. I know that howlers in common with most monkeys like to be groomed and that this is part of the hierarchical protocol. I have been testing the theory around all our children and without exception they enjoy being brushed.

With a little trepidation I decided to ask Totto if he would like to be brushed. His response was immediate. He loves it. He turns from side to side to allow me access and in particular he loves his very full beard to be brushed. I use a fairly stiff brush. You can see it in this picture of Totto.

The only downside to this service is that it takes me a long time to go around all the children. But It is well worth the effort. Their coats are now looking outstanding and I get the satisfaction of seeing their enthusiastic welcome when I enter with the brush.

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