The human animal bond is truly one of God's greatest gifts. The bond we can experience with a well-loved and cherished non-human primate simply defies description. (Zander and Uncle Jay)
"Lots of people talk to animals.... Not very many listen, though.... That's the problem."
Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh
Just this week, I was telling a non-monkey person how my Tamarin was "talking" to me and interrupting while I was on the phone because he wanted a snack. She laughed and said that monkeys can't talk. Well, yes they can....we just don't understand them sometimes. Primates are not only very vocal with their own extensive language, but they exhibit such a range of facial expressions, head angles and body language that if you can't get the message, you just aren't paying attention. Taking the time to learn "monkey talk" will be vital if you want to have true understanding of your primate's physical and emotional needs. Admittedly, over the years I've had my share of monkey dust-ups and been chastised with a bite or two (or eleven). In retrospect, not one of those "misunderstandings" would have happened had I been listening to what I was being told and properly communicating my own intentions. Learn how they hold their head when upset, or how they look at something they fear. I realize now that often I attributed misbehaving to an animal who simply got frustrated with my inability to "get it". I was the problem! In the years since I've become a better communicator, my monkey is much happier and I don't need band aids. We understand each other. It's as simple as that. I'm certain that PJ was delighted to discover that I'm not as stupid as he once suspected and that I was teachable after all! Monkeys are such amazing creatures. They actually "laugh" when amused, chirp when they are excited..warble with contentment or screech if they feel threatened. They squeak, and peep and whistle.They tilt their heads when they are curious about something and look directly into the eyes of people they are trying to read. They shake their heads when frustrated and look at you "upside down" if you are doing something they just can't figure out. They want to know what you are trying to say. They have very differnet "words" for everyday things. I can tell without looking if my monkey sees a neighbors cat or dog in the yard. He whistles out a warning that can be heard half-way down the block. I know if he's playing with the cats or a toy because he warbles with joy. Yes, they most definitely do talk. You need to make the effort to find words or vocalizations that can sooth them if they are frightened, or snap them out of a tantrum if they are misbehaving. They are sensitive to your body language and can tell a happy face from an angry one. Soft high-pitched sounds like cooing or clicking your tongue, often calm a frightened monkey and they respond to a firm 'no' from a very early age. Use the same sound over and over for the same outcome. My tamarin knows that when he hears "banana" he runs and sits on the fruit bowl. He knows that when I say "bed" it's time to run up the stairs. Each time I say "kitty" he runs over and sits on his favorite pet cat. Phrases like "bye bye"or "outside" and he runs for the front door. From the far end of the house he recognizes the engine sounds of his "daddy's" car and runs to the front window and chirps a happy hello, without fail. They are remarkably intelligent and intuitive and continually look for ways to communicate. Just listen....the two of you will be "talking" in no time.
If you have general questions or need details about any of our products, or if you just need to "monkey" talk, please contact me at (253) 862-0432 or email me at LindaLawrence@aol.com If I'm unable to answer your questions, I'll do my best to direct you to someone who can.