By Vicki Hearne
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Extra resources for Adam's Task: Calling Animals by Name
But there is no such agreement with Washoe, and Ken and Roger are, for the moment at least, still in some relationship with her. Ken tells me another story about Washoe attacking him. On this occasion she was charging for him. " Washoe, in Ken's account, hesitated in her charge and then continued forward-but forward into Ken's arms for a hug. I am reminded that Ken knows Washoe, and I don't. Still, Washoe is behind bars. I don't know the end of the story, only trat I am uneasy because it plainly isn't going to end the way Lassie Come Home does or Our Mutual Friend.
I supposed, rather stupidly, that this was the end of the story, that the handlers would, perforce, accept and live with the limitations of the relationship as they had thus far and make what they could of it. In part because I wasn't fully taking into account the nature of a mature chimpanzee, I thought this was an inexact analogy to my own case, in which my having a full relationship with my dog entails my living with limitations, including the fact that the dog can't read or drive me to the doctor when I'm ill, generally accepting the fact that the relationship is not an incomplete version of something else.
But when the three of them-four, actually, since Washoe's adopted son Loulis accompanies them-are far enough away so that the restraint devices aren't visible if I don't stare very hard, I am struck with how very much the whole procedure looks like going for a walk. And do I have anything else to go on, beyond this small thrill of recognition? Roger and Washoe squat down together and sign, discussing something they have noticed that I can't see. And I think that if any of my claims that the police-dog tracker is a citizen are to be met with respect, if what I claim is to have any coherence at all, then I must acknowledge that Washoe and Roger are talking-are doing what I call talking.
Adam's Task: Calling Animals by Name by Vicki Hearne