It was another very sad holiday for me with the loss of my Pretty Girl Connie who succumbed to complications from diabetes on December 13, 2018.
I met Connie when she was six years old. She arrived at Jungle Friends in 1997, and settled right into the position of matriarch. She always acted as the peacemaker and was a good surrogate mom to many of the younger monkeys.
Connie was diagnosed with diabetes in November of 1999, and required 34 units of insulin every day.
Connie was brought to our on-site Clinic when she refused food and was lethargic. We tested her glucose and ketones, ran a CBC and chemistry.
Connie's glucose went from dangerously low to extremely high. We continued testing, adjusting insulin and subcutaneous fluids.
Connie was on several medications and on oxygen when she passed in the night due to complications -- pancreas and liver disease.
Buddie was diagnosed with diabetes on the same day as Connie. The girls became fast friends. Connie was always ready and available for a good grooming session. Buddie was only three years old when diagnosed -- Buddie beat the disease and has been off insulin for many years.
Murphy Brown appeared on the scene in 2003 when she was 9 years old, also diabetic and on insulin.
Murphy Brown and Connie met and they lived happily together for many years. Other monkeys came and went in and out of Connie and Murphy's lives, but the two remained very close - little old ladies watching out for and caring for each other.
This loss is difficult for all of our staff and for me, but the grief has been felt most by Murphy -- she was suddenly alone after having monkey friends most of her life.
The search was on to find friends for Murphy. Zaira and Dexter lived right next door, so it was decided to introduce Murphy to the pair. So far, Murphy has little interest in Dexter, a 5 year-old youngster. However, Murphy and Zaira are having the most amazing grooming sessions.
P.S. Please join us for our Anniversary Gala on March 9th, at the Hippodrome State Theatre. It was 20 years ago this year that I arrived in Gainesville from Las Vegas on a private plane -- Connie was one of the monkeys who arrived with me to begin her "Almost Wild" life in Gainesville! More details for our Gala will follow....