My family went to the zoo and all I got is this yummy tuna.

One thing you may not know about me is I have a fondness for animals. I used to have a kitty friend but sadly she passed away earlier this year. Since then I have returned to my stuffed animals – I have a duck, fox, and I recently acquired a fawn puppet from my children. They bring me a sense of calm in a world filled with chaos. Waking, going outside to use the bathroom, eating, and then being left home alone while my family goes who knows where all take a toll on me emotionally and send my anxiety spiraling. I find comfort in my stuffed animal babies, by grooming them and snuggling them.

So you can only imagine my excitement when I overheard my family talking about going to a place called a zoo that is filled with real live animals. I groomed myself in eager anticipation. I had to look my best in case we brought one of these animals home to replace my kitty friend Snippet. Unfortunately my dreams were dashed when my family informed me I’d be staying home, that dogs aren’t allowed at the zoo. I don’t understand these ridiculous rules humans have but I settled in and resigned myself to a quiet day at home.

They did take some good pictures to show me though didn’t they? Look at this lioness looking all regal on her rock perch. I think she would be the perfect replacement for Snippet since she is in the kitty cat family.

And look at these guys- wrestling like my children like to do. I don’t think there’s too much difference between gorilla children and human children when it comes to playtime.

I forgot to mention- this is the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, NC. Apparently it is near our house but I wouldn’t know since I’m not allowed to go there (sorry still a little upset about missing these wonderful animals). My parents say it is located on 2,600 acres, with 500 developed, which makes it the world’s largest natural habitat zoo. Looking at the pictures of the elephants you can almost imagine you’re seeing them in Africa.

Here’s an ostrich friend. They’re such silly looking birds but I’m thinking a plush version of one of these wild gentlemen or ladies would make a great addition to my stuffed animal collection. They may not be able to fly but they are the fastest animal on two legs- with a sprinting speed of up to 45 mph and can reach up to 60 mph in short bursts.

A regal zebra. Did you know each zebra has a pattern unique to them, just like humans and fingerprints? Pretty amazing that God in His design has given zebra and humans such uniqueness. Makes me wonder if there is something unique about each dog that humans haven’t figured out yet?

Ahh the flamingos standing gracefully on one leg. I don’t know how they do it- just standing on three legs when I pee is a feat of balance that belies my age. Did you know they get their pink color from carotenoids in their diet? Those with more carotenoids are a darker pink, and a big source is the blue-green algae they eat.

I like turtles.

Another beautiful kitty cat I wish they’d brought home. This one is called an ocelot.

Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? Hopefully he can’t see me because these guys are vicious.

Polar bear, polar bear, what do you hear? Unfortunately the poor polar bear has been finding it harder to survive as the climate has warmed and ice is melting for greater periods of time in its habitat. It hunts seals and when the ice is melted has to move on land to wait for the water to freeze again. They are a massive creature- males stand 7’10” to 9’10” and weigh 772-1543 pounds. Its closest relative is the brown bear.

This one is called….you guessed it, a black bear! Interesting fact is the black bear is not closely related to brown bears and polar bears- they split awhile back, not long ago, just 5.05 million years ago. Unlike brown bears, black bears aren’t usually aggressive. They have better eyesight and hearing than humans and their sense of smell is 7 times greater than mine. The teddy bear, Winnie-the-Pooh, and Smokey the Bear were all modeled after the black bear. I’m adding a black bear stuffed animal to my Amazon wish list- they’re so soft and cuddly looking!

Look at this cute little fellow. He’s an otter- and the males can be known as dogs so I feel an affinity towards this adorable creature. Their offspring are called pups too and my family calls me puppy so we have that in common too. They’re also very playful which I can relate to.

Taking a break in the mister….I’d love to do some “wild man” through that mist!

Seals…the puppies of the ocean! If you have some spare time- check this out: For this reason they’re one of my favorite animals.

Look at this sweet arctic fox. He or she kinda looks like a puppy too!

My parents decided to pack lunches to save money – they used bento boxes which is what my girl human takes her preschool lunch in. Her brother used to use them but now he eats in the school cafeteria. My mom likes the divisions in the bento box because they help her plan out meals and keep the food from mixing (i.e. ranch and apples would not be a good combination). The lid stays on pretty well and helps them to be pretty easy to transport. Mom and Dad also had their meals in a bento box. Looks like I missed out on some good handouts- the younger one is always dropping little bites of food for me despite mom and dad telling her not to.

Don’t be too dismayed fair reader, I still got a little bit of tuna as a treat at home in my bowl. Yes, the can is that big. Mom orders the food service size and freezes it to save money. She likes this brand because it is completely caught and processed in the USA using sustainable fishing techniques. So those seals I love, and dolphins, sharks, fish, and other sea creatures are left a little safer because this tuna is pole and line caught. Harvesting it this way ensures the tuna is coming from higher up in the water, meaning it is younger and lower in mercury (less time for it to build up in their systems), not to mention the impact it has on surrounding wildlife. American Tuna even tests their mercury levels at both the fishery and finished product levels and they are <0.3ppm. Mom says mercury is really bad. It is apparently toxic to the central and peripheral nervous systems. So basically not something this puppy wants to be eating. Plus this tuna tastes REALLY good- Mom says it is the best she’s ever had. The natural fish oil it is canned in means she doesn’t have to use as much mayonnaise when she makes tuna salad for my kids. She also said their customer service is top notch- these big cans go out of stock quite a bit but she asks them to contact her when they are back in and they do! As you can tell we are quite passionate about sustainable food around here, but it truly is delicious too!

Well folks, I have eating to do so I will close out this post, but I look forward to seeing you around here next time!