Wednesday, October 15
“Okay, Bridget. This will only take a minute and then we’ll go on the tour.”
I hurry across the parking lot and enter the Best Friends Visitor Center.
The lobby is bustling with people. A woman with a Best Friends name tag greets me. I give her my name and she finds it on her clipboard.
“You can go in and catch the end of the video,” she suggests.
“No, thank you,” I reply. “I’d rather skip the video. I don’t want to start my day with a cry.” The heart-tugging soundtrack emanates from the auditorium as we speak.
“I understand. The tour bus will leave in about ten minutes.” She hands me a sticker with the Best Friends logo on it. I stick it on my shirt. I tell her I’ll be following in my van as arranged yesterday. I return to Bridget waiting in the Perfect Tow Vehicle.
The tour begins!
We turn around in the big RV parking lot adjacent to the equine center.
Before I take you on the tour, I want to tell you something about the tour and, specifically, the photos. Not all the photos you see in this post are mine. I lifted some photos off the BFAS website from the animals available for adoption as I type this. (See lower right corner of photos.)
The tour is excellent for learning how the sanctuary functions, how the animals are treated, the facilities available, the volunteer program, and so forth. However, one doesn’t see many animals up close which makes it difficult for me to collect enough photos for this post.
Gracie, an Arabian mare
The sanctuary gives four tours a day.
Considering this it’s easy to understand why the tours do not expose visitors to many animals. Imagine how disruptive it would be for dogs, for instance. Just as the staff and volunteers are working to prepare the dogs for adoption — to rid them of crazy barking behaviors and nervous excitement, for example — along comes another bunch of strangers, the fourth group of the day, and pandemonium erupts.
Okay, let’s go!
I don’t have time to frame artful photos as I have to keep up with the tour bus.
The tour bus leads us further up the canyon.
Special care is taken to protect the health of the cats. We are instructed to use the hand sanitizer upon entering and between contacts with any of the feline residents. As we stand in the lobby, the tour guide explains the volunteer duties at Cat World. Then we go into the indoor/outdoor enclosure.
It’s a cat’s dream house!
Walkways all around and above, hiding places, scratching poles . . . . I don’t want to be rude and take photos that include members of the tour group; thus I’m unable to get a good shot of the interior.
I never did catch the name of this lovely feline who hangs out in the lobby (above.)
Outside the building our tour guide points out a man pushing a stroller. In this case, the stroller holds a cat being given a ride “for stimulation.”
Such a beautiful face, Annette!
The roads through the sanctuary are a maze.
We pass the Bunny House and Parrot Garden.
Feathered Friends Building
We zip by the buildings and enclosures. With four tours a day, there isn’t time for each tour to linger.
I snap a shot of this goose while the tour bus takes off around the corner!
We pass volunteers taking residents for walkies.
We disembark at Dog Town.
As I explained above, we aren’t shown many dogs. We do go into one of the buildings. It’s octagon shaped with openings into each pen facing a central lobby. This enables the staff to see all the dogs simultaneously.
The tour guide explains behavior modification plans and the detailed records kept on each dog.
One dog is brought out for a petting session with the tour group. Unfortunately I didn’t catch his name (something weird like “Tooper”). We’re told he has many health issues, including allergies.
Fozzie Zef Lester
This concludes our tour of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.
THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!