by Pat Cronin

Our pet monkey came about from my parents believing if you give your word, you keep your word!

One of my brothers, David, loved animals. When he was 8 yrs old, in Germany, he asked if he could get a monkey. My Mom was busy doing something, and distractedly ( and regrettably) replied, “Sure, when you have the money to buy one, we will get a monkey.”She probably felt this was a safe answer, because we never had any money. She underestimated my brother.

Four years later, never having even mentioned the monkey again, we are living in Barstow, CA. David gets up one Saturday, walks in the kitchen and asks, “Do you think we could go buy my monkey today ?” My Mom’s head whipped around and she said “What??” David quietly reminds her of their conversation years before, and announces he has saved $125.00 during those years from his allowance/babysitting, etc.

My Mom looked at my Dad. My Dad looked at Mom. Silence. My Dad let out a deep sigh, shrugged his shoulders, and said, “Well, I guess we are going to go buy a monkey today!”

We all piled into the trusty station wagon, drove roughly 85 miles to San Bernardino to a pet shop. Suzy, the monkey, was not particularly happy to join us forever at first.

She hated my Dad, and immediately bit him several times. While David and Mom were getting very general instructions on monkey care, Bob and Dad wandered over to the puppies. German Shepherd puppies. We had owned one before, had him for 12 years. He died while we were deployed to Great Britain, and it broke our hearts.

Bob says, “That one there sure looks like Old Bill, doesn’t he, Dad?”

A half hour later, we started for home with a new monkey AND a new puppy!! The monkey was scared, and lost bladder and bowel control. By the time we reached Barstow, both boys had stripped down to bare chests out of necessity, and my Mom and I were both “soiled” as well! We laughed for years about the day we got Suzy. She brought trouble to us, but she was worth every moment! We all still cry when we see Capuchin monkeys.




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