AHG Pet Care Badge

Rachel's American Heritage Girls Explorer group has been working on earning the Pet Care Badge.  To meet one of the requirements they had to take a tour of an animal shelter.  What a fun visit that was!  Of course, Rachel was drawn to the pets up for adoption and immediately started begging me (unsuccessfully) to take this sweet kitty home with us.

We learned about role of the Animal Services department.  We also learned about different types of wildlife that could be seen in our town and how to identify various animal tracks.

We learned about the vehicles and tools that Animal Services uses when they have to capture wildlife.

Animal Services has a lot of laundry to do.  Look at all of those towels and blankets to make the pets feel comfortable in their temporary home.

We got to see a real microchip that they put in animals that are adopted.  It's just that little dark bar and it goes right under the animal's skin.  Both of our dogs have microchips like these.

If the animal is found, it can be taken to a veterinarian or Animal Services and they will use their scanner to read the identifying information on the microchip.  Most importantly they will get the owner's information so they can get the animal back to their home.

The girls were so excited to meet and pet this gentle giant.  His name is Magnum and he is such a sweet dog.

We all enjoyed looking at the wall of pictures of the various animals that had found their forever homes through Animal Services.  

Random facts that we learned about cats:
  • Cats can rotate their ears 180 degrees.
  • The hearing of the average cat is at least 5 times keener than that of a human adult.
  • Domestic cats spend about 705 of the day sleeping and 15% of the day grooming.

Autumn at the Arboretum: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Autumn at the Arboretum, named one of "The Best Pumpkin Festivals to Visit This Fall," by Martha Stewart Living Magazine.  

We love visiting the Dallas Arboretum in every season of the year but they always have the best pumpkin patch in the DFW Metroplex.  This year the Pumpkin Village is themed "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!".

There are Peanuts characters scattered throughout the pumpkins.

Schroeder listens on as Rachel plays on the giant topiary piano.

Lucy offers garden advice for a nickel.

And of course, Snoopy and Woodstock hang out on the roof of Snoopy's pumpkin topiary house.

The festival features breathtaking colors of fall including 150,000 autumn flowers accented by 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash.

I love the beautiful pumpkin topiary houses like this one that are scattered throughout the Village.

The inside of each house is decorated with its own cute Peanuts theme.

While you are exploring, pick out a pumpkin to take home and decorate.

Off to the side of the pumpkin patch is one of the beautiful "Celebrate the Children" sculptures by Gary Lee Price.

Walk along the edge of the Village to learn about all of the different and unique species of pumpkins.  From smooth pumpkins....

to bumpy pumpkins....

to squash and gourds.

About the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden:

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218.  The Dallas Arboretum is also the home of the internationally acclaimed Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. The Arboretum is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. On-site parking is $15; pre-purchased online parking is $9. For more information, call 214.515.6500 or visit www.dallasarboretum.org.