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Best Friends -- September 2006
Everyone who works or volunteers with animals should visit the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. This was my second time and it was very satisfying. Stan and I drove to Kanab via Salt Lake City and returned the southern route thru Las Vegas and Bakersfield. We took two days to get there and two days to come back. The trip to Best Friends was pleasant and scenic, but the return trip was dry and desolate.
We stayed in a cottage at the sanctuary. You could sit out on the back deck and watch the horses in their corrals while having your morning coffee, which was one of my favorite activities while there. We arrived early in the afternoon and after checking into our cottage, we visited Angel's Rest, which has over 500 sets of wind chimes to mesmerize you, and Angel's Landing, a natural stone amphitheater where they have meetings and other functions.
Our first full day, we took the guided tour in the morning and had a fantastic vegetarian lunch at Angel Village, where the view from the dining area is spectacular. In the afternoon we volunteered with cats. The cleaning had been done in the morning, so we brushed and loved the cats. We spent time in Benton's House where we socialized with the incontinent cats -- Licking Leonard, Tinker and Elvis (what a walk he had). They were some of our favorite kitties. In the lobby of Benton's House, there are some special needs cats we held and loved. We went on to the Kitty Motel building where we sat on the floor in the lobby with the neurological cats, then spent time in the geriatric room. Our last room of the day was with the cats with food allergies -- what a great bunch -- we bonded with Wobbles, Peggy Sue, and Hobbs.
The second day, we walked the dogs in Old Friends -- loved Judah, Spumoni, Railey and Bonnie. Then Stan scooped the trail while I, with two other volunteers, shook out the beds and swept the inside and outside runs. I heard that Beaulah, a dieting wonderful Rottie from last year, was adopted last April. Another great lunch at Angel Village, a spattering of rain, and in the afternoon, we had a tour of Feathered Friends -- fascinating. The little antelope squirrel that I saw last year, is still there -- what a cutie. The Saw-whet Owl was one of our favorites; it makes a sound like a saw, hence the name.
The third day, we went to a Best Friends funeral at Angel's Rest for Hobo, a Golden/Lab mix that had lived at Old Friends. Then we drove to Bryce Canyon -- WOW! On the way back, we went thru a hail storm of epic proportions, very scary. The temperature dropped 25 degrees in 10 minutes. Fortunately, it didn't last long, or at least we were out of it quickly, even though we were driving VERY slowly. That night, while we were asleep, there was a thunderstorm directly over us -- LOUD -- but it didn't last long either. We actually had great weather during our stay; the only bad weather was when it didn't impact us.
The third day I also found the burros -- the brown and white one is such a sweetheart, I got quite attached. If I could have burros where I live, I would have brought her home.
When we walked the dogs in Old Friends my dog was the first to leave a "deposit" on the trail, so I scooped the trail while Sharon, with two other volunteers, shook out the beds and swept the inside and outside runs. Then I helped sweep out the kennels & then we socialized dogs.
Sharon loved the Burros & the Mule -- the brown and white burro especially-- and she got quite attached to it. If we had a place for it to stay I think she would have brought it home......
When we took the guided tour in the morning I got more of an idea of the extent of the facility. It is huge! The vegetarian lunch they serve at Angel Village is teriffic, and the view from the dining area is spectacular. I enjoyed the time we spent in Benton's House where we socialized with the incontinent cats.
The hail storm didn't last long, but it was very dangerous (even though we were driving VERY slowly). Then that night the thunderstorm woke us up with loud thunder and lightning!!
I drove the whole time to and from Kanab -- via Salt Lake City over, & the southern route thru Las Vegas and Bakersfield on the way back. It took two days to get there and two days to come back. Next time I'll take the Salt Lake route both ways, or maybe Highway 50?
The only problems we encountered were minor -- the wireless internet connection was not working in the cottages yet, and the only way to adjust the cottage airconditioning was thru the circuit breaker! Believe me, this part of the country is really lovely, & working with the animals was very gratifying! I look forward to returning again to this unique place!