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Healing Paws and Nature Hauls

animated brown bear girl in pink dress holding up autumn leaf against green background.

It had been a busy few weeks at Healing Paws Health Center. All the beds were full but Dr. Barb and Dr. Todd Healthnuggle were taking good care of their patients. 

One of them was their daughter, Hazel Healthnuggle, who had a sore throat. Ruby Woofwinkle was in the bed beside her, recovering from a twisted ankleKya Kingsberry was across the way, with a rash from poison ivy.  

All of the kids were in good spirits but they were getting restless lying in bed all day.

“I wish there was something to do!” sighed Ruby.

Dr. Todd walked into their room. “Hey, kids! How are we all doing?” he asked cheerily.

“We’re bored!” said Kya. “Is there anything we can do, Dad?” asked Hazel.  

“Hmmm, let me have a think,” replied Dr. Todd.

Just then, Dr. Barb popped her head in the door. “Hello, my super patients!” she cooed. “It’s a gorgeous day outside, and the leaves are beginning to fall. If you’re all feeling better, would you like to take a walk outside?” 

“Perfect timing!” laughed Dr. Todd.  

He got a wheelchair from the hallway for Ruby, while Kya and Hazel hopped out of bed and put their shoes on. Dr. Barb wrapped them up in their cardigans and jackets, and they headed outdoors.  

The cool September air hit their faces as they wrapped their arms around them. They gazed up at the leaves that had turned from a lush green to a buttery yellow, a sure sign that summer had turned to fall.

Dr. Barb pointed at the ground. “Those are acorns,” she explained to her patients. “They fall from oak trees every year. If you plant them in soil, they can grow into brand-new trees!” 

Hazel picked up a leaf that had lots of different colors – green, red, yellow, orange, and brown! “The leaves have a pigment called chlorophyll, which gives them their green color,” explained Dr. Todd. Without the sunshine, they can’t produce as much chlorophyll so they lose the green color and turn brown.”

Hazel looked at it in awe. “That’s so cool!” she whispered. “Looks like we saw this one just in time!” 

Kya started crunching the leaves under her feet, and she handed some to Ruby so she could squash them in her hands.

Crinch!
Cronch!
Crunch!

It really was the best sound!

The kids gathered some of their favorite leaves and acorns so they could make a nature table later.

“Thanks for taking us on a nature walk, Mom!” said Hazel.

“No problem, dear,” replied Dr. Barb. “We wanted to give your friends a good send-off. You’ll all be ready to go home tomorrow!”  

“YAY!” cried Hazel, Kya, and Ruby.

Now they could go back to school and see their other friends. What a perfect start to the new season! 

Tune in next week for a visit to the Honeysuckle Hollow Walk-in Health Clinic!

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