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Back At Best Friends Animal Society

Yes we are back at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah! After our first ever visit back in October, we had always planned to come back some day soon and recently found a real good excuse to come back just six months later. Debbie’s nephew Nick got married and he and his new bride live in San Antonio so we went down to attend the nuptials. Neither of us had ever been to San Antonio and found it to be a very cool city! We didn’t get to see a whole lot, but we did spent some time in the River Walk area, and did visit the Alamo while we were there. The revisited history of the Alamo was absolutely fascinating! Learning it as a kid quite possibly left something amiss. As an adult, I found it much more, lets say digestible. We had a great time and wish the newlyweds all the best in their new lives together!

So since we were all the way down in Texas, and Utah just happen to sit right in between there and home, well why not take a vacation and stop by Best Friends and spend another visit and do some more volunteering! So that is exactly what we did. We had to fly from San Antonio to Phoenix for a quick plane change and then head to Las Vegas where we would pick up our car and drive the 200 plus miles to Kanab. It should have been a no brainer, but due to a nasty front that had moved through the southwest, Las Vegas had high winds and planes were stopped from landing or taking off for about an hour, so we sat on our plane in Phoenix waiting for the go ahead. Luckily we got it, but the landing in Vegas was quite a bumpy and scary one! It didn’t end there, because we still had a harrowing drive to Kanab due to the gusty winds. Kanab and Freedonia actually lost power for a couple of hours but was restored by the time we showed up early this morning. After a few hours sleep we were up and ready to take care of some animals!

This trip we started with working with the horses. Last time we didn’t get to work with them. We really enjoyed it even though we did plenty of mucking the pastures. There’s something not too unpleasant about shoveling horse poop. It really doesn’t smell that bad!! We did allot of grooming too which it is the beginning of shedding season and the horses really seemed to enjoy it! The afternoon had us returning to Dogtown where we had spent allot of time on our last visit. There’s nothing like the fresh smell of Fabuloso when you walk into any of the dog houses! The first thing we wondered about was what happened to many of our dog friends we made on our last visit! It was very enlightening to find out that many of them had been adopted to good happy homes! Kirsten, our favorite dog, had been adopted, so had Ali, Tahiti, Garth, Densani (sp?), and a few others that names are fleeting but faces are not. While it would have been nice to see some of these smiling faces once again, the reality smacks us in the face that this is how it should be and we should be happy, not sad! Emotions conflicting, expectations met in respect, the fact reared it’s head that there were now new doggy faces that had replaced those that had left that needed love and attention. I might add that there were still some familiar mugs we still recognized that had still not met the exuberant fate of finding a happy home. So the battle still continues, albeit happy tales are being told.

One of the new faces we met at Dogtown today was Freddy, a very well behaved hound that had noting but love to show us unfamiliar humans he was dealing with despite the horrible past he lived with! He was left for dead in a taped up box on the side of a road as a small puppy. Someone finally got suspicious of the box sitting on the side of the road and went to check it out. Inside was found a very hungry, thirsty, and weak little dog! He was very lucky to be in wonderful hands and was nurtured back to health where he lived in a nursing home for awhile before finding himself at Best Friends. We met him here only eight days after his arrival, so he was a real newcomer. He is a wonderful dog with a very touching personality and a beautiful disposition that will hopefully land him in a forever home really soon. It is just unbelievable to find people out there that can do such terrible things to loyal and loving animals. They are really feeling, sentient beings that deserve far much better than this. Thank God for Best Friends, the people that work and care for the animals, and also the volunteers that come from around the world to love and spend time with these beautiful souls. We will have pictures coming soon and hopefully some interviews for some podcast shows coming on http://www.justjoepodcast.com. Also more stories of our visit will be written as I find the time! As you read these words, think about coming down for a visit to see what all this is about! You’ll never be the same again!!!!

News From Best friends

Best Friends Animal Society

Dear Members and Friends,

Outcast and unwanted? Not around here! A lot of animals come to Best Friends feeling that way at first. But thanks to you, and our work together at the sanctuary and around the nation, we’re getting closer to a time when every pet feels valued.

Click Here!Can’t sleep without a cat purring at your feet?

You’re not alone. And we can help! These cats know they’re loved and wanted by everyone who comes to the sanctuary. And now, when you visit Best Friends, you can take a cat on a slumber party back at your room.

>> Watch a video of Apollo and Teela at their first feline slumber party.

Click Here!A kiss is just a kiss?

Not when you’re Cherry the dog. He used to think nobody wanted his kisses. He was one of the pooches rescued from the property of former NFL quarterback Michael Vick, and he was once painfully shy. But his Best Friends caregiver recently got a slobbery surprise!

>> Read about the kiss that was a real "Vicktory."

Click Here!“If I’m a good boy, can I stay?”

Speaking of feeling unwanted, it’s tough when just looking the way you do makes you an outlaw. That’s why pit bulls in Montana hope you’ll visit the Best Friends Network and find out what you can do to help stop a bill that would outlaw them.

>> Visit the Stop Breed Specific Legislation community to learn more.

Click Here!“People Got a Lotta Nerve”

And singer/songwriter Neko Case has got a lot of heart! “People Got a Lotta Nerve” is her latest single, and when you download it online and put it on your blog, the animals at Best Friends get a donation. Learn how to do it, and also read all about her recent visit to the sanctuary.

>> She’s our visitor in the spotlight.

And as always, there’s lots more on the homepage this week, including:

  • Francis Battista, one of the folks who helped found Best Friends, is back on the 25th Anniversary blog, reminiscing about making history while the mayor watered his lawn.
  • Meet the man who invented the Animal House, and find out why he chose to donate a bunch of them to the precious pooches at Best Friends.
  • Wild about wildlife? Now there’s a newsletter just for you – or for anyone who might come across an injured or orphaned wild one. Check it out here.

By working together around the nation, we can achieve No More Homeless Pets in our lifetimes. That means a time when every pet feels valued, loved, and wanted. It’s worth working for!

Thank you for being a member, and making all the work at Best Friends possible.

From all of us here, thank you.

BF Staff
From all of the animals and staff of Best Friends

P.S. Want to see some adorable, happy faces who really want to be wanted? Check out the Adorable Adoptables page. Even if you don’t pick out a new best friend today, you’re gonna love the pictures!

Our Southwest Vacation

We have enjoyed a wonderful 10 day vacation to the Southwest and it was packed full of adventure, travel, sights, enjoyment, fulfillment, and reconnection. We started by flying to Las Vegas where we rented a car and headed out. Las Vegas was just a starting point and did not spend any time there. Renting a car in Vegas looks like it should be an easy organized task but it wasn’t for us. First you take a bus to the rental car building where all the rental companies are all together. I thought this was going to be a good idea! We went in and found our company Thrifty and saw the line of people waiting. It looked like the screening line into the gates at the airport. After that 45 minute wait, we were given our paper work and headed up to the garage where we stood in yet another line. What a mess! Don’t you just get your car assignment when you get your paper work and just head out to the space where the car is??? Well not here. We waited and waited because they didn’t have any cars. Finally they brought up a bunch and started the line. We were supposed to get an economy car like a Chevy Aleo or similar. When it was our turn, the guy asked us what we had and I couldn’t remember, so he just pointed to a 2008 red Mustang and asked if we wanted that! Well hell yes we did and were finally off in a nice ride!

Our first stop was Kanab, Utah! We were going to spend the first three days there visiting and volunteering at Best Friends Animal Society. Now if you have watched the TV show Dogtown on the National Geographic Channel, then you are familiar with Best Friends. What a wonderful place it is and it was better than either of ever expected. Best Friends is a no kill animal rescue/sanctuary that cares for around 2000 animals at any given time. They care for dogs, cats, pigs, birds, horses, and goats and employ 400 staff members and host many many volunteers. It is run mainly from the donations of the 250,000 members and it is run very well from what we saw. Our volunteering stint had us cleaning dog runs, walking dogs, feeding and socializing with pigs, and spending time with many cats! We loved it!! We even had two dogs come to our motel on two different nights for a doggie sleep over! They allowed to take two dogs with us for an overnight visit with us which helps the animal get used to being out with people and other dogs. It also helps them get used to the noises of everyday life like TV’s, cars, traffic, phones, kids, etc. Many of these animals are abandoned, abused, hoarded, and rescued from disasters. Some of their stories will just break your heart, but it was nice to see that they are now very well taken cared of and deserve the pampering they are getting at Best Friends. Most of these animals are being prepared for adoption, but if they are not or have issues that will not allow them to be adopted, then they will live out their lives at the sanctuary!!! If you are wondering….. we did not leave with any animal, but we will definitely be returning for more volunteer vacations!!!

Our next stop was at Bryce Canyon National Park on the way to Cedar City, UT. Now I have been to Bryce Canyon before, many years ago, but Deb had never seen it. It was a beautiful as I remembered and we did quite a hike while we were there. We then visited one of Debbie’s former co workers that has retired in Cedar City, Alan and Travis Hoppes. We stayed at their very lovely home and enjoyed a fantastic restaurant. Deb and I really liked Cedar City and it will be a future destination when we come back. It might not be a place to retire to when we are ready, but that’s way down the road. We then left and made a journey to Zion National Park which was different from Bryce Canyon but just as beautiful. There we did another hike and enjoyed the scenery. If you haven’t visited southern Utah, you must take a visit. The countryside and views will astound you. It is gorgeous down there!!!

We headed into Arizona for an overnight in Flagstaff. We drove right by the Grand Canyon, but it was dark and our itinerary didn’t allow for any time to be spent there so it will have to be on the list for our next visit. From Flagstaff we headed into western New Mexico. We made a stop in Mogollon which is an old mining town that no longer exists as a vital town although there are people that live there and we met a few. I don’t know how they do it as they are far off the beaten path. They probably like it that way that’s probably why they live there. It is kind of a spooky place and we were there in the day time. From there we stopped in Silver City, NM and visited my uncle Herbie and aunt Brenda. I hadn’t seen them in over 15 years! We had a nice visit and dinner with them. They are full time RV people and live in it! They had it parked at their son’s (Tyson) place. We went out and saw it and visited with him and his family. It had been even longer since I had seen him. It was great to see them all and know that they are doing good and are healthy!

The final leg of the journey took us to my home town of Alamogordo, NM. I was born and raised here and still have family left there. Allot of the family is there but reside in the town cemetery!! We visited my uncle Butch and aunt Sharon and cousin Lorie. My other cousin Jo Ann and friend Lisa drove over from Carlsbad and met us in Mayhill, NM for lunch and a great visit! We also drove by houses, schools, different points of meaning in my past and it was very poignant to revisit what was my childhood. Finishing off our vacation took us down to the hell hole of Van Horn, Tx. Sorry to any of you that have a connection to the town, but it really is a hell hole! Most of the town looks like it had died on the vine as many buildings that had housed former businesses were abandoned and crumbling. Even former gas stations were closed. Most of what was left were motels and there is a golf course nearby, but not much else. What took us down there was some land we hold that has been handed down to me from family. Since we were in the area and had one last day to kill, we decided to go down and have a look! We did learn allot about it and even found the location of where it was and even drove there to have a look. We weren’t able to get to the exact property as it was not accessible by car, as far as we could tell, but we did get a general idea where it was…… basically in the middle of nowhere! Our last stop was El Paso where we dropped off the car and flew home! It was a jam packed vacation and was allot of fun! You can check out our pictures by clicking here and soon I will have podcasts posted at my newest podcast Just Joe Podcast, so go and check both out!!! That’s it for now, finally!!!

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