I recently visited Iowa City, home to many of my favorite places including The Haunted Bookshop, Home Ec. Workshop and the Iowa City Animal Shelter, a place near and dear to my heart, where I was once employed.
Take a quick tour with me and you just might want to visit! Not surprisingly, it involves many animal friends.
I. My old haunts
Let's start with Home Ec. Besides serving homemade baked goods and coffee, Home Ec. offers workshops and classes for crafters and even a Saturday morning knitting breakfast. The employees also happen to be amazingly talented.
I couldn't get over these adorable embroidered pet portraits by shop owners Codi Josephson & Alisa Weinstein. Something tells me I will be ordering a few soon...
And these AMAZING, jumbo knitting needles (size 50) handcrafted from pine by Amy Nichols....
Who wouldn't want to relax, sip coffee and create wonderful handmade projects here?
Next I wandered into another favorite place, The Haunted Bookshop. I wonder if bookshops have the same laws about loitering as other establishments? I certainly hope not. The staff are so knowledgable and apparently were previous loiterers themselves until they were finally hired - including Nierme and Logan the resident bookshop cats. Nierme was a bit more elusive but Logan was more than willing to strike a pose.
II. The Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center
About five miles south of the heart of Iowa City, the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center helps thousands of animals in need in Iowa City and surrounding areas. My own adopted Rat Terrier, Fern, was taken in as a stray there.
During my recent visit, I noticed another terrier occupying the very same kennel Fern was once in. Her name is Lil' Debbie and she is an 8 year old Jack Russell/Rat Terrier mix who was rescued from a less than ideal living situation. When she first arrived, she was covered in fleas and so very nervous. Now she has a warm bed and the opportunity to find a good home, along with getting lots of love from staff and volunteers. They are even teaching her new tricks like agility!
Of course, she adores them.
On average, dogs stay at the shelter around 2-3 weeks before finding a home. For cats, it is closer to 2-3 months. Gabby, pictured on the left below, is a beautiful 2 year old grey tabby who has been at the Iowa City Animal Shelter since May of last year. Fortunately, wonderful volunteers such as Larry (pictured on the right) give them plenty of love during their stay.
In case it's not already apparent, I highly recommend visiting Iowa City. There are many more unique places to discover. And why not find your next animal companion there too? I did!