A couple weeks ago, Mommy said we were going to a different place to visit. I wasn't too sure about that, because I love my friends at H., but Mommy said we were going to the new place AND to H., just on different weeks. That's fine with me!
I didn't really want to leave the house (but I never want to leave anywhere: home, H., Mommy's work, etc.) so that wasn't a real surprise. The surprise was that it took a lot longer to get to the new place than it does to get to H. It's in a different town than we live in, and a different one than H. is in, too! We had to take three buses to get there. The cars downtown scared me, so I curled up in my stroller while Mommy petted me. Then a nice lady came to sit by us, so I poked my head out and said hi to her, while she petted me and talked to me.
The lady we were going to visit, E., had been told we were coming but had never met us before. Her granddaughter had contacted us to ask if we could visit E. What a nice person, to do that for her grandmother! E.'s son made the arrangements with the facility, then told us their schedule.
After we got off the last bus, Mommy said we had to walk a long way on a road. Wait a minute; don't most roads have sidewalks? This one didn't! It was sunny and shady at the same time, and smelled funny. I sat up straight in the stroller with my nose high in the air, looking around then looking up at Mommy, then looking around and sniffing deeply again. Mommy said we were in something called a "forest" or "woods". I know what wood is, that's what goes in the fireplace and what the bookshelf is made out of. So this is where it comes from? I wanted to get out and explore, but I couldn't because we were walking along a "highway". Why is it called "high" when it's on the ground? It must be a back road, because there were almost no cars. No, Mommy said it really is a highway, but there was construction so it wasn't as busy. There were bike lanes, so it was pretty safe for us to stroll, but not for me to get out and explore.
We crossed to the other side and went down a ramp, and finally I was let out to explore. Dirt, barkdust, and all kinds of smells! Woweeee!!!!!!! Oh, do I REALLY have to go down the sidewalk??? Can't I PLEASE stay here in the dirt for a minute more? Mommy wiped off my paws with a cleaning wipe and put me back into the stroller, leaving the mesh open so I could ride and see everything more clearly.
The lady at the front desk was so excited to see me! She has cats at home, and knew just how to scritch my back. I even rolled over to let her pet my tummy. She thought we were there to meet the person who coordinates the therapy dog visits, but then was just as happy that we had been contacted to visit E. Turns out the person in charge of visits is allergic to cats, so we can't visit everyone at that facility, but we saw a few people in the halls as we walked. That was just fine with everyone!
E. was absolutely THRILLED to have a cat come see her! We stayed for about 45 minutes, although I wanted to walk down the hallway to explore the next couple rooms. I kept looking out the door and tugging on my leash. Hey, it was a new place and I wanted to see who else was there! E. was very nice, and I could tell she was a kitty person right from the start. She wanted to hold me, and I curled up on her lap for a few minutes while she petted me and talked to me. I looked right up at her, listening to everything she was saying. After a couple minutes, I jumped down again and explored her room with Mommy at the other end of the leash. Then, it was back to going between E., Mommy, and looking out the door while E. and Mommy talked.
All of a sudden, there was a beeeeep! I didn't like it, and tried hiding under a chair. Mommy said our goodbyes (for me as well, since I was scared of that beep) and we left the room. The beep was some kind of signal to the nurses, and was coming from a room farther down the hallway. We got away from it fast, then found a nice lady in a wheelchair in the hallway. She and two other ladies (the others worked there in various jobs) wanted a demonstration of me walking on my leash, and I happily obliged by jumping out of the stroller and promptly walking into the tub room! It was interesting, but I wasn't allowed to be in there so I got turned around towards the hallway again. One of the ladies joked that she could give me a bath if I wanted! Um...no thanks, Mommy gives me those.
We made our way back out to the reception area, where I was mobbed again by five people and a little girl. It was kind of overwhelming, but I did great with it. They wanted me to walk on my leash, come over to them, roll over for tummy rubs, and ask for pets: all my favorite things! :) >^..^<
Then, back through the forest, stopping at a store to get some icewater. I didn't drink any, but Mommy put some on my ears and the back of my neck to cool me down. That helped a lot. It was supposed to have been in the mid-70's, but had gotten almost to 80. On our future visits this summer, like the one tomorrow, I will have my cooling collar.
We're going to alternate weeks visiting E. and going to H. This week it's H., next week we will see E. again.