Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Many moons ago when I was living in California, Kay Rosaire stopped by on her travels and spoke of her dream. Sunday I had the pleasure of experiencing its fruition. A 9th generation circus animal trainer, Kay, and her family are living proof of the possibilities of a human-animal bond. I once went to the zoo with her sister Pam and brother-in-law Roger, chimp trainers, and witnessed their ability to communicate with the chimp captives there. As Pam vocalized, the zoo chimps came closer and started hooting and hollering. She obviously knew their language. I was stunned to say the least.

Their story is told in this documentary and gives hope to the power of truth and family.

Sunday I went to Kay Rosaire's Big Cat Habitat and Sanctuary for their annual fundraising show under the big top. More than once I was moved to tears. The thought that people like this are being legislated, bad mouthed and put out of business by highly organized, well-to-do people that place their doggies in daycare, makes me wonder what the heck are we coming to? We've cemented over all the formerly grassy lots that provided a softer, more natural circus tent setting appropriate for animal acts. Soleil pours asphalt on their lots to provide a sanitized version of a circus experience. These are down-to-earth, get your hands dirty people, that live and breathe animals. And they themselves are going extinct.

One after the other each family member shared with the audience their well-loved and cared for animals and countless hours of training. Training is simply time spent with animals and they live with their animals 24/7. Without the special effects and production values of a Cirque show, the audience was drawn into the warmth and obvious two-way communication. Bears, tigers, dogs, chimps, goats, camels, horses, and an elephant were featured in the hour and forty-five minute educational show.

Funny thing, when I go see Soleil I miss that special bond and energy from great animal acts. Although I love juggling, aerial and acrobatic acts, I didn't miss human acts when I saw this show. The variation of animals covered all the bases for me. As Kay exhorted several times during the show, "Spend quality time with your pets, teach them tricks and give them a job to do. It stimulates their brains and helps them bond with you." It was like a Dr. Doolittle dream come true.

On a scale of Lynn, this is a MUST see.

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