Drifter and Boone – Ambassadors First Class

Everyone comes to Longneck Manor to meet our incredible giraffes and white rhinos. We also have a very laid-back two-toed sloth, named Bruno for VIP encounters. But we have two other extraordinary ambassadors!

Call me biased, but the two most under-rated four-legged Longneck Manor ambassadors are my yellow Labradors retrievers, Drifter and Boone. Drifter has been here since day one and is now seven years old. His son arrived from Kentucky (named in honor of Daniel Boone) three years ago. Boone’s mother was Lula Mae and he definitely has some hillbilly charm in him. The wonders of AI (artificial insemination) allowed for this long-distance consummation.

Drifter and Boone are house dogs but spend plenty of time on long walks and meeting guests. They have yet to meet a guest they have not liked and think everyone comes here just to see them.

The Labrador retriever is a naturally friendly and gentle breed, but Drifter and Boone take guest service to the next level. They come bounding up to you like two mini freight trains and put on the brakes at the last second. Drifter just wants a quick pat and ear rub, but Boone is much more insistent. He will sit by your side and put his front paw on you hand or leg to illicit attention. When you finally succumb to his constant pawing, he will then fall over for a belly rub. I’m not sure who enjoys being scratched more, the dogs or our rhino boys?

Boone has it figured out that the sadder he looks the more attention he gets. He almost never wags his tail and just looks at you with his large soulful brown eyes. He could be the poster child for the ASPCA commercial with Sarah McLachlan singing “In the Arms of an Angel”.

They are truly gentle souls and never chase the wildlife at Longneck Manor, native or African. The deer have gotten accustomed to our morning walks and just watch us walk by (from a safe distance). We can walk in between a group of cows on Beyer Road without any chasing or barking. If a mother cow get too protective and starts walking towards us Drifter will stand his ground and growl, while Boone will hide behind both of us.

As far as the giraffe and rhinos, the dogs could care less. They know to keep a safe distance from the giraffe and think the rhinos are just big cows. They love to visit the giraffe pasture in the morning before the giraffes are put outside and the keepers are raking up the giraffe poop. The dogs love these large balls of feces and gulp them down like candy, if I am not around to stop them…..Did I mention that all labs are walking garbage disposals.

They have their own personally monographed dog beds in the back room of the Welcome Center, where they wait to greet the next guests. Word of warning, they shed constantly and if you are wearing black you will be covered in white hair within minutes. Are they spoiled, heck yes they are! But we spoil every animal and person at Longneck Manor.

There are many stories about these two lovable goofballs, but I think some pictures tell the story best. Drifter and Boone are truly living the good life and are “Everyone’s Best Friend”.

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