One thing that you have to prepare for when an out-of-town relative comes to visit is surprises. Like, this morning Nicki wakes up and says, "Haley, come on, let's go to the animal shelter."
I rolled my eyes. "Seriously, Nicki? You brought your two dogs here, and you want to see more animals?"
Sprocket scratched his paw on Nicki's face. "That means he's hungry." She rolled out of bed and got him some dog food. I can't say she isn't committed, that's for sure.
"You can bring your friends, too," she added. "The more, the merrier."
You know something's up if Nicki is suggesting things we do. But I was surprised. Harriet and Kristy were both up for it. Hilary was in Minnesota visiting her grandparents and Katarina, of course, is in Germany for the week.
So in the freezing cold, the four of us took the transit bus (yes we have transit service) to the animal shelter on the other side of town. Nicki, who volunteers in one back in Colorado, was showing us around, even while she had Sprocket on his leash. Sprocket's a curious little dog, looking at everything and everyone.
There was this one dog that caught everyone's eye. Everyone's that is, except mine. I couldn't stop sneezing to save my life. It was a beige and brown dog with ears that stick up. Kristy reached to touch it but the dog nearly bit her finger off. Harriet feels the same way about animals as I do -- they're cute as long as they belong to someone else.
"Sprocket's almost done with his training," Nicki revealed. "Pretty soon, he'll be ready to go to someone who needs him more than I do. I'll miss him like crazy though."