As Elizabeth likes to say, she and I were "hanging out" today while Tara had a girls' day out with Ronica. I think Tara's was a belated birthday thing. Hers was on the 10th. Anyway, once Ronica finally called — after Tara had started to worry — I was left alone with Elizabeth.
We went to the animal shelter and donated several bags of cat food that Tara had gotten free or very cheaply. She's always doing that, and donating it to the animal shelter. Elizabeth LOVES going to the animal shelter. Then again, she LOVES going just about anywhere ... except Aldi's (local discount grocery chain). She is very familiar with the shelter because Tara takes her there on a regular basis. Today, Elizabeth spent a good 20 minutes in the tree kitty room. The what? They have this room with a fake tree all the way to the ceiling where kittens play and climb and people can interact with them. I petted and talked to the adult cats in cages outside the room for those twenty minutes.
We then walked through and visited with dogs, mostly puppies, in another section. They allow people to just walk right into the enclosures and play with the dogs. They've probably found that they get much higher rates of adoption that way. I was especially surprised to find that they also let anyone find a leash and walk almost any dog they want! How cool is that?! The sad little white dog I wanted to walk didn't have a collar, which apparently means they don't want him walked. We then entered the main, very loud, big dog section where there were at least 20 dogs, each with its own cage. Very nice cages, with heated floors in the winter. Still, it's a cage. One particular dog was the loudest, apparently most distressed about being locked up. He was some sort of mix of black Lab, Doberman and Pitbull. Sounds like a bad mix now that I think of it, but he was very nice. Too strong for Elizabeth, though. Anyway, we put a leash on him and took him for a walk out back. He was lunging all over the place, he was so excited and happy to be outside. He would have dragged Elizabeth all over that yard and walking trail. When we brought him back inside, all the neighboring dogs wagged their tails and smiled at me, obviously thinking, "Ooh, take me next!" But we didn't. Elizabeth wanted to, but it was time to go.
If you happen to stumble into your local animal shelter, you might tell them that they could probably learn a lot from the one in Nashville. But say it in a nice way. :) And please adopt a dog or cat, if at all possible. And locals, don't miss the Music City Mutt Strut!
We then returned home to our own three pugs and a cat, had lunch, and headed back out, this time to the library. Elizabeth said, "It's going to be a great day, Dad!" She loves to hang out with me. :) Also, the library is another place Elizabeth loves to go. We were returning videos and picking up new ones. I'd left a couple behind by mistake, so now I guess they're overdue.
After the library, Elizabeth said, "And now we go surfing!" I said no, not today. We did go yesterday afternoon down at the creek. There was enough water again after the recent rains, but it wasn't too strong or muddy. It was pretty clear, actually. Anyway, what she calls surfing is just paddling on her "boogie board." It's a lot of work for me, but pure fun for her! She was getting pretty good at doing things herself. Of course, while she's floating downstream, I'm running along behind or beside her ... in the water. It's not easy running through water. :) Going back upstream, I have to carry her. I probably get more of a workout than she does. By the time we got home, Tara was home from work and told Elizabeth to take a bath to get that "creek dirt" off her. Tara's right. You can't trust the health of creeks these days. But it's just so much fun! :)