Sunday, August 12, 2012

Best Friends Animal Society and more

Wednesday we posted our blog.  Thursday we spent a very full day painting.  We're nearly done with the garage.  Yeah!!! 

Friday we took a day off to enjoy a leisurely day driving Scenic Highway 12.

Hwy. 12 runs 124 miles from Panguitch, UT to Torrey, UT.  It includes grades of 12 and 14%. (I just don't know what to say to folks who drive their motor homes on this road.....Glenn.) 

We drove 84 miles to Boulder, UT and then back to Panguitch.

We had driven the other end when we were at Capitol Reef National Park.  Portions of the road travel through the 1.7 million acre Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument.

There are a few small towns with very limited services along the highway.  So we were surprised when we came upon the unique Kiva Koffeehouse.  We were hungry so decided to check it out. It was 3:10pm when we arrived.  They stopped serving at 3:00. Oh well, we still enjoyed the opportunity to walk around and enjoy the setting.

 It was just a very pleasant day and a great way to wind down from all our painting etc.

Now for our premier outing of the week.  If you have ever loved an animal I am hopeful you will stay with me for the next few minutes.  Saturday morning Debbie and I went to Kanab, UT.  Our purpose was to visit the Best Friends Animal Society.  This is the largest no-kill animal sanctuary in the US.  It occupies 3800 acres in the beautiful Angel Canyon in southern Utah.

Best Friends came into existence in the early 1980's. On any given day they house and care for 1700 - 1800 animals. They receive animals from all over the US and multiple foreign countries. Most are dogs and cats but they also have horses, pot belly pigs, birds, mules, burros and rabbits. They employ roughly 500 people. They are a non-profit organization supported by personal and corporate donations as well as a huge cadre of volunteers. Their goal is to find a home for even the most challenged animal or provide them a loving home for life!!!! A high percentage of the animals they receive have been abandoned, injured and/or abused and have been deemed not adoptable by local animal shelters. This also includes puppy mills and the notorious Michael Vick dogs. Debbie and I joined a group of maybe 10 people for a tour. We boarded a nice air conditioned mini bus and spent 90 minutes touring the grounds and facilities.

Our guide was a delightful women named Raven. She shared endless info, represented her organization with pride and oozed LOVE! Mostly we drove the compound with Raven describing the facilities and explaining their mission. We stopped at the dog and cat facilities. Each location was impressively clean with all the animals housed in wonderfully comfortable conditions. Even the concrete floors are heated.

Outside play area for cats

The cats love to climb and "hang out" in the rafters

Loved this pretty girl. 

One of the many dog facilities

Dog play areas

The dog cages may look somewhat cold, but they are filled with toys and cozy bedding. 

Please take me home!

This little girl is currently receiving treatment for a problem with her hind legs. They are not functioning properly and she can only drag them along.  She was so very sweet!!!! 

The primary focus is addressing the needs of the animals. Last year they adopted out over 500 dogs!!! It's just an amazing place.  I am confident Debbie and I will return to do some volunteer time.  They have a few cabins that can be rented as well as 2 RV spaces that are beautifully situated with a spectacular canyon view.

I encourage you to view the Best Friends website (   I'm not clever enough to hide my intent....I'm hopeful you'll donate.  Thank You!

You know, when I get geared up to blog I review/edit my writing repeatedly until I'm reasonably satisfied with what I've written.  So my first effort was last night.  This morning I was reviewing it and recognized there are people out there who are saying, "come on, this seems like a bit too much for some dogs and cats, you know they're just dogs etc.  On one hand I may agree.  We have starving people in our country who maybe could make better use of these resources.  But Debbie and I travel with two dogs, Bo and Laska. I wouldn't want to imagine the money we've spent on them over the years and sometimes it's mighty inconvenient to have them with us. And yes, Bo is slightly demonic. But love is a powerful concept and our dogs shower us with love.  I'm confident your pets do the same.  We had a cat, Allie, who I still cry about so I'm not limiting my thoughts to dogs alone.  So no doubt, places like Best Friends are driven by emotions.  But we are typically emotional creatures (some more then others) so here I am.  I'm moved by the efforts of Best Friends and I'm just thinking there are others out there kind of like me.

After leaving Best Friends we drove into Kanab for lunch.  We wanted BBQ and of course Debbie had researched the subject.  The destination was Calvin T's BBQ. (My middle name is Calvin...I know, too cool)  It was a quirky place and the BBQ was surprisingly good.  We had a very nice time!

We then made a move to the east entrance of Zion NP with a brief stop at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.  We probably didn't do Pink Sands justice. It was just too hot to walk among the dunes, so we settled for a few quick pictures. 

Maybe you'll recall we were in Zion about 10 days ago.  Our previous visit was via the west entrance. This trip we entered from the east. From our point of view the route through the east entrance is far more impressive then the rest of the park (at least while traveling in a vehicle). 

Speaking of vehicles, our truck created a small challenge. If entering from the east you have to go through two tunnels. The first is short and manageable for most vehicles.

The second one has some severe limitations.  Anything like a dually truck or larger must pay $15 to go through the tunnel.  The reason is that, due to such vehicles, traffic must be alternately stopped creating a one way traffic flow through this particular tunnel.  We knew of all this, paid and went on our way without incident.  Our truck is like way large and sometimes is a pain in the behind. But the fact is that it is an extension of our home on the road. It tows our camper with muscle to spare, is a great dog carrier for the boys and is a secure ride for me and the little woman.

2nd tunnel

Traffic lined up waiting for us to get through 

A bit down the road we happened to notice an artist who had climbed way up on the rocks to paint.  It was a real coincidence because we were just speaking a few minutes earlier of how hard it would be for an artist to capture the unique and varied colors in the landscape.

Can you see him?

Up close

This appeared to be what he was painting

So we rode along enjoying the scenery until we got to the first shuttle stop.  Other then seeing more of Zion, our goal was to hit the Visitor Center so Debbie could get her Passport Book stamped (we failed to do so during our first visit) and we wanted a Zion Christmas tree ornament.  Mission accomplished, we re-boarded the shuttle for the ride back to the mega truck, enjoyed the ride out and headed for home.  The boys were jubilant!!  

This morning I'm finishing the garage, a little touch up and some caulk.  We leave here next Sunday and begin heading north, slowly making our way toward Sidney, Mt. and the beet harvest.

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry that we didn't get to Best Friends last summer! And we stayed only a few miles away! Totally our loss! Maybe we weren't supposed to go because it would have been so hard not to adopt...particularly the cat "pretty girl" that looks just like Piper! Many of your blogs are a trip down Memory Lane...I so love your dialogue and the pictures! You have such a way that makes any reader feel that they are there! We love and miss you guys and are so thankful for your blog!