A Visit At The Dallas Zoo On New Years Day

At this morning, we still had some rain clouds hanging around the Metroplex. But the weather forecast seemed promising for today. Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I made a trip to the Dallas Zoo. What could be better than starting the year with a visit at the local zoo? From December 1, 2016 – February 28, 2017 the zoo has the “Penguin Days”. Admission is $7 for adults, and kids from 3-11. Kids under 3 are FREE.

When we arrived, I mentioned that I wanted to see the lions first, before it gets too crowded. And then I won’t have the chance to get a good photo of these majestic cats. Said, done! The giraffes and elephants weren’t out in the exhibits, yet. We decided to look at the other animals, and come back later.

The Dallas Zoo has a swap shop named the “Hillcrest Foundation Nature Exchange”. It opened in 2000 and has inspired over 25,000 zoo-goers to go outdoors and look with a closer eye at nature. The reason it is called a swap shop: As a zoo guest you can bring up to five items (per trader) to the shop daily. Items can include fossils, rocks, shells, … etc. You can earn points by bringing these items in, and use the points to get another cool fossil, shell, rock, seed(s), snake-skin, … etc. The purpose of this shop is, you can learn something about the items you want to trade. And other visitors have the chance to learn about these items, you left at the shop. Katelynn’s eyes started to sparkle, when she entered the shop. And she was fascinated with that huge tortoise shell. 😀

Next to Nature Science, Katelynn loves birds. Every time we go to the zoos (Dallas or Fort Worth), we have to go inside the bird cage. In Dallas, she wants to pay a visit to Christine, the Green Woodhoopoe. Christine is a very friendly and smart bird, which loves to climb up Katelynn’s jacket sleeve and just sits in there. On a cooler day, this is pretty cozy for an exotic bird. Katelynn and Sara think, this is funny …not so much the zoo keeper. Green Woodhoopoes are very delicate birds. And sometimes it can be a pain in the rear end to get Christine back out of the sleeve. Not because she might be stuck, she doesn’t want to come out. 😀 😉

As soon as it was warm enough, we went back to see the giraffes and the elephants. This time we were lucky. We had the chance to see the new addition of the Dallas Zoo. Ajabu (Swahili for “Wonder”) was born in Spring 2016. He is the first African elephant born in the US in more than two years. Mlilo and Ajabu stayed close together. We watched Mlilo nursing her son; and Ajabu copied his momma by scratching his belly on the same stone, Mlilo did just seconds earlier. He’s such a sweet and handsome young elephant. ❤

It was a good first day in 2017. 🙂

My Pets (Part I)

I have mentioned my pets in my “About” blog, when I introduced myself. But I haven’t introduced my furbabies, yet. We have two dogs: a Sheltie (short for Shetland Sheepdog) a Gollie (Golden Retriever-Collie Mix; thre might also some Chow mixed within). and we have three cats: a Domestic Shorthair and two Mainecoon. (March 2015)

Lexi, the Sheltie

We’ve got Lexi, when she was a three months old puppy. Katelynn (now 11 years old) was 17 months old, and my husband and I wanted a companion for her. We went to the pet store and looked at some dogs. I have to admit, Lexi wasn’t our first choice, because I had an eye on that cute little Jack Russell Terrier puppy. As a matter of a fact, all our pets (except Joshua, one of my Mainecoon cats) were not my first choice. But I’m glad, I considered them as my pets. And I do love them all very much. A young couple was showing a lot of interest into the Jack Russell Terrier puppy, and so I kept looking until a tricolored Sheltie pup looked into my eyes, as she wanted to tell me: “Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!” We observed her in the pin, while we got more information about her from the pet store employee. Katelynn was fascinated with the puppy. She giggled and squeaked, when the pup untied my shoes. Yep, she was the dog I wanted.

At home, Lexi and Katelynn became friends quickly. Katelynn still didn’t want to walk as a 17-months old toddler. But Lexi fixed this in no time. Every time Katelynn sat on the floor, Lexi nipped her ears. Lexi didn’t hurt Katelynn, but it was uncomfortable enough to make Katelynn stand up. Katelynn realized very soon, if she stands up, the puppy couldn’t reach her ears. And Katelynn began to walk.❤

Over the last decade Lexi became “the sister with four paws” for Katelynn. They did almost everything together. Lexi sat at the door and waited until Katelynn came home from daycare. Katelynn and Lexi played together, they ate ham sandwiches together, took a bath together, and dropped to the floor falling asleep together.

Today, Lexi is over ten years old. Her hair around her nose became white over the years. She gets up and walks a little bit slower. But she is still in good spirit and makes sure, everything is under control. She waits for Katelynn to get her homework done, before they go outside and play together. And she still loves it, when Katelynn shares her ham sandwich with the ol’ girl.

NOTE:  This blog was originally posted on my other blog page “A Garden Full of Memories” in March 2015.