ast week, I shared a blog about our time volunteering at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and how giving our energy to helping animals help combat feelings of burnout. I mainly talked about our time with the cats there in last week's blog, so this week I wanted to share about the fun we had while taking some of the dogs for a walk! If you didn't read last week's blog, you can read it by clicking here.
In case you need a refresher: What is Best Friends Animal Sanctuary?
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is a no-kill sanctuary that houses many kinds of animals – horses, rabbits, pigs, dogs, birds, and more. It’s located in Kanab, Utah and it takes up about 3,700-acres of gorgeous red desert. We got lost trying to find the building we had been assigned to because the sanctuary’s campus is so HUGE. Different buildings and areas are designated for animals and their needs. Like one for dogs waiting to be adopted or receiving treatment, a puppy training school, places for birds, bunnies, etc. If there is an animal with a need, there is a place for them there!
Our second stop – the DOGGOS!
Chase and I headed to the building where they host dogs waiting for their forever homes. They offer a really neat overnight program where you can take a dog home with you overnight for a little slumber party. It helps the dogs get used to new environments so they are closer to getting adopted. We originally were going to do this, but the Air B&B we were staying was WAY too cold and we didn't want any dogs to freeze. But even though we didn't do the overnight program, we did offer to take a dog out for a car ride and a walk around town.
The first dog we met was Minnie.
Minnie was a total sweetheart and reminded me of my dog, Tomás, that passed away a few years ago. So I was attached to her immediately, of course! From what we gathered from the staff there, she had pretty much become the "office dog" since she was so friendly to the caretakers there. If you are interested in adopting or sponsoring Minnie, you can check out her profile on BestFriends.org here.
Minnie had apparently been having a hard time that afternoon, as her favorite caretaker was busy working in a different part of the building that day. So she was a little anxious when we arrived. But still VERY excited for a car ride all the same. She saw the car and was hopping and yipping and so excited! We drove around the area of Kanab, Utah for a little while before heading downtown for a walk. Poor Minnie was very nervous about the cars, lawnmowers, and any other big whirring sounds nearby. But you could tell she was still overall happy to smell all the new things around town.
Eventually, Minnie was ready to go back.
I think with her already having such a hard day before we arrived, plus the anxiety of all the new smells and noises... it was just a little too much for one day. Minnie is a lot like me I think - an anxious routine-lover. She was very much ready to go back to the sanctuary after a little bit, so we turned around. But we still got some snuggles in before we said our goodbyes. Just like Minnie, we all have our off days and need to rest some, right?
After Minnie was happy back at the Sanctuary, we took this cute gal for a walk:
Meet Oakes, a big fluffy goofball who was new to the sanctuary. She recently had a litter of puppies and was finally getting to be the baby this time around.
We walked with Oakes around the sanctuary and all
she wanted to do was hug. She'd throw her arms around you in a big bear hug. And with how tall she was on her back two legs, you couldn't escape her big, slobbery kisses! If you can't tell from the pictures, I got REALLY attached to Oakes. I told Chase that on the rare chance she was still there in a few months after we had finished moving, I wanted to make her a part of our family. Oakes has since been adopted (as expected) and I know she is making someone a VERY happy human. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous!
It was really hard to leave after making this heart connection with so many sweet animals.
But despite how sad I was to leave, it felt good knowing I got to help them feel loved for a few hours. And I am excited by the idea of getting to go back and volunteer again! Maybe someday soon we can adopt a dog from the sanctuary in the near future? I sure hope so! Either way, I think about that trip almost everyday lately, and it always brings a big smile to my face.
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