I had read that Best Friends Sanctuary took volunteers for a day or as many days as you would like to serve. I had made arrangements to volunteer the next day after my tour of the sanctuary. I got up at 5:30 AM, so I would be at Best Friends, by the 7:30 AM orientation. I have not been up that early since who knows when. I had volunteered for dogs in the morning and parrots in the afternoon.After orientation I drove up to Dog Town and met Jingles. I was to take her for a walk around a trail they made for us volunteers and the homeless dogs. As soon as Jingles came out she ran to my car and wanted to get in. The care provider told me the dogs loved to go on day trips. If you want, you can take the dogs home for a sleep over or just a day out. I could not do that because I had another dog at home.
Jingles loved the walk. The sanctuary has 400 dogs, so volunteering is so important to socializing the dogs. We stopped at a bench to rest and I tried to bond with Jingles. I found that Jingles was more interested in what other dogs were coming down the path or eating grass.
I got Jingles to sit but we could not give them any treats, because they would expect treats from others at that particular spot of the trail.
I finally got Jingles to look at me for a second. I would have loved to take Jingles home with me, but Joe and Mallery have would be mad at me.
My next friend to walk was Sally Ann. I got a much better work out with her as she walked pretty fast and only sniffed or ate grass a few times. Sally Ann is adopted, but she can not go to her new home until she gets her last heart worm shot. She had heart worm and has been going through a series of shot. Her new home is in Wisconsin. I did notice that the dogs did not warm up to you as they seemed to know you were just someone that walked them and then would be gone. You can not blame them, I am sure their trust has been broken before
This is a gate going into Dog Town. It is hard to see, but there is a picture of dogs in the four corners.
This is one of the gates that lead into Dog Town. It is reall hard to see, but there are pictures of a dog in the four corners.
At 11:30 AM, you have to have the dogs back so the care givers can get them back into their kennels, and they can go to lunch. I look back at Garden View, the name of the two buildings that housed just a few of the dogs.
As I was heading toward the Feathered Friend area of the sanctuary, a coyote ran out across the road. I stopped to take a picture as he hide behind the tree.These are some views from the sanctuary as I drive to my next volunteer stop.
This place is really big. I got lost a few times trying to find my way around, even with a map. There are 15 dog buildings, plus Cat Village, Bunny House, Wild Cat Village, Animal Clinic, Kitty Motel, Puppy Preschool just to name a few.
I ate my sack lunch and then headed for Feathered Friends. They do have a cafeteria here but I decided to be cheap and bring my lunch. Joe was nice enough to pack me a lunch the night before.
At the parrot building I met Charlie. She is such a sweet Cockatoo. I asked why she is wearing a vest. The care givers told me she was a self mutilator. I ask why, and they told me that her parents held and petted her all the time for the first 7 years of her life. Then there were life changes and she could not be babied anymore, and finally came here to find a new home. I was able to hold her and she tucked her head under my chin so I would pet her. I would have love to bring her home, but Joe and Mallery would be very upset with me. In reality, I would not be allowed to adopt her, because they said she would only be able to go to a home with parents that have had expierence with pet birds and knew how to take care of her special needs. You could tell all of the care givers were very protective of her and she had won the hearts of them all.
Another volunteer and I made toys that hanged from the top of their cages that also had treats in them, to keep the bird entertained. Best Friends has 80 birds, and the birds go through 2 toys a day. We were to make 190 toys that afternoon. I learned a lot about pet birds and really had a great time volunteering. If you are ever in the area of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and you love animals, I would highly recommend volunteering here. It will bless the animals as well as you. You can also go to their website at www.bestfriends.org