Sunday, March 18, 2007
Totally in love with the head zookeeper
I am so totally in love with the head zookeeper here. I thought I would share a few of the reasons why I am so enamoured with this man. This is a photo of him with Sadie and Gunnar, two Italian Greyhounds that boarded here for four months. They are now in Japan with their real mommie and daddy. While they were here Jon often said, " Those dogs are so awesome- let's tell Julie and Noa we'll just keep them." We both were so happy for them to be with their real parents, but the day I dropped them off at the airport was a sad day for everyone, especially Jon. Everyone believes that Jon is just TOLERANT of the animals here, but let me tell you the truth. He absolutely adores our critters. He is a totally mushy, goofy acting, nonsense talking love muffin with all of residents (especially the human ones). :) Ranger and Pica are his favorites. Ranger is his blue headed pionus in the last post. He and Jon eat all their meals together- that is to say that Ranger eats off of Jon's plate. He loves Jon and only Jon and each morning they share breakfast and Jon talks to him. "C'mon Rangie, let's get up and eat breakfast!" " Hey you pretty bird, you love your daddy, don't you, yes you DO!" I could go on, but I don't want to totally embarrass Jon. Ranger eats pasta, chicken, shrimp, steak, toast- all the things that people don't think birds eat. Ranger LOVES macaroni and cheese. My brother is appalled at what we let him eat (he owns a miniature macaw), but we figure it this way. So Ranger dies in 35 years of liver disease instead of living 60 years- that's LONG ENOUGH. But I digress. Pica, our tiny IG is Jon's other favorite- he is silly headed over that dog. He snuggles with her almost every night and it is the sweetest sight EVER. But Jon loves everyone. When he comes home, he goes into the backyard and proceeds to get the most enthusiastic greeting from our 12 dogs and they take turns getting love from Daddy. (He has already loved on our daughters, mind you- don't want everyone thinking we've got OUR priorities messed up, no sir.) Anyway, one by one they come and get their ears rubbed and sweet nothings said to them. Jon's part sounds something like this. "Hey Tiki Princess, how are you today, beautiful girl? Oh, Houston,you rocket boy- did you catch any squirrels today? Hey ole Pancho skinny man, you're looking good today, Oh Ra Ra, how are those old ears today? Sassy, I love you but DON"T LICK ME SO MUCH! Hey little Pica girl, you little thing, hey ole Buddy Boy, you wild thing. On and on until each dog is satisfied that they have been seen and properly adored.
Jon works as hard as I do to keep our animals happy and healthy. He has cleaned hamster cages with the kids, refilled bird water dishes, scrubbed out dog bowls, cleaned out crates, given cats and dogs their pills- there is nothing he won't do for our pets. He is honestly the dearest man I have ever known. When it came time to euthanize our first Cat, Spaz, he drove me to the vet, but had to stay in the car because he was crying so hard. He has buried every parakeet, hermit crab, and cat that has died and has encouraged our children to make beautiful graves for them all. He has spent hours with me at the emergency vet and watched while our dear cat Moses died before our eyes. We held each other and cried on each other's shoulders. He has planted each hibiscus that adorns our cats' graves. I thank God every day for this sensitive, loving, and committed man. This zoo bonds our family in ways that noone will ever understand. If a man can love our four legged friends this much, there is no amount I can write to express his love for our children and me. Thank you God for hand picking Jon for me and thank you for letting us share our love with all of our "children". He is truly the best zookeeper I know.