January 1, 2013

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

This fall me and the girls (Becca & Brookie) made our first, and certainly not last, journey to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.  It was an amazing, life changing experience. 
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is the largest no-kill sanctuary in the country and home to about 1700 animals.
We stayed on-site in one of eight cottages.  They are situated right outside the horse pastures.  I highly recommend staying here!  There are also a few cabins for 1-2 people.  The cottages can accomodate up to six people and have a kitchen so you can bring your own food.
best friends sanctuary cottages
Brookie and I volunteered our three shifts in Dogtown. Becca was in Horse Haven. Yes, I am rockin' a fanny pack AND my Pit Crew t-shirt, which one of the employees recognized and asked me about.
We started out in Old Town.  Old Town is for pups that are older or who have some medical issues.  Brookie even walked a feral dog.  She was instructed not to pet her or push her. I got to walk the November "cover dog" of Best Friends Magazine.
Best Friends Old Town
This is JuneBug. She did not want to go on a walk. With Brookie's charm she got her at least once around the trail.  And then she just stopped. Wouldn't move. Nope. We heard she got adopted this winter! Congrats JuneBug!
Little Eve stole my heart.  She has a neurological disorder that makes it so her back legs don't work properly. She just got her new set of wheels.  We were the lucky pair to take her on her morning walk.  Eve got to go on a sleepover at one of the cottages next to us.  Even with her special needs they said she was a gem.
Best Friends Dogtown
That afternoon we volunteered at The Clubhouse.  Here we got to walk, walk, walk.  This is our special friend Nugget.
Best Friends Dogtown

The next morning we visited one of the most famous dog pods at Dogtown.  This is where the 21 dogs from the Vick rescue started out when they first arrived at Best Friends. 
Two of the Vicktory dogs still reside here in this pod.  It was here I fulfilled a bucket list item ~ meet a Vicktory dog.  It didn't stop there though.  I got to walk one of the special Vicktory babies: Mya.  Sweet, sweet Mya is still very much afraid of people.  She army crawled practically the whole entire time and would barely make eye contact with me or Brooke.  One of the employees came with us and walked with Curly (another Vicktory dog) to encourage Mya to walk.  Curly is not allowed to be walked by volunteers yet.  It was bittersweet to have this experience with Mya.  You could see how terrified she was of us, yet when you looked in to her eyes as she was barking at you from inside her run her tail was wagging and you knew that she was happy. Happy and safe.
Vicktory Dog Mya
This is Gizmo.  The biggest (literally) cuddlebug I have ever met.  All he wanted to do was lay in my lap.
Best Friends Dogtown
So many dogs, so little time!

Dog Town
The day we volunteered at Old Town, we got the opportunity to have a sleepover with one of the dogs we met.  Lori from Old Town was placed with us.  She is practically perfect with the exception of her awful farts.  She didn't make a peep the whole time.
dogtown sleepover
We took her in to town for dinner and she was the perfect dinner guest: no begging, no jumping, laid right by our chairs. She slept on the couch all night.  We could tell she was housebroken.  She was such a great girl.
best friends dog sleepover
On the way out of the Sanctuary we visited Angels Rest.  It's the animal cemetary.  All of the animals that have passed away at the Sanctuary are buried here.  It was incredibly peaceful and very large.  Visitors can also bring little momento's of their own passed pets to leave here.
Best Friends Angels Rest

The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is an amazing place.  It solidified my love for working with rescue animals and giving a voice to those who do not have one.  Every single employee that we encountered there had one thing in common: their unwavering commitment and love for the animals they work with.  I can't wait to go back.

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