We hear of interspecies relationships, but rarely get to witness it with our own eyes. A monkey and a dog are not the most obvious pairing, but I saw it with my own eyes. This dog plays the role of surrogate mother to this baby monkey at a tour operator in the Micronesian island of Palau. The pair are inseparable. The dog eagerly waits, tail wagging, tongue hanging out near the monkey’s cage. The monkey impatiently paces, waiting for his cage to be opened so that he can be reunited with his “mom.” Once out, all it takes is one agile jump to the dog’s back and there he stays the entire day. Just as a monkey would carry her baby around, the dog chauffeurs his “baby” around. The baby stays put, only hopping off to grab a piece of fruit from a tourist before just as quickly jumping back on. He shows his appreciation by grooming his new “mom”. He sleeps on her back and appears to feel safe when he’s with her. His affection for her is obvious and equally returned. The dog, like any protective mother, protects him from tourists who get to close. This is accomplished by simply walking off to a quieter place. I wonder why the monkey is in a cage. There’s really no need and in fact probably feels safer with his “mom” than he does in his cage. As I watched these two interact for over an hour, it became clear to me that love has no boundaries.
How the monkey got there though is an altogether different story and a much sadder one…as is the other monkey in the cage, who didn’t have a “mom” dog or otherwise….to be continued.