The best thing about Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is - get ready for this one - the people. Everyone smiles at you. I mean everyone, from the guy scrubbing down the cat rooms to the founders having lunch in the cafeteria. They see you, they catch your eye, they smile and they say hello. Workers driving by in trucks wave out the window at you. Someone you've seen a bunch of times on TV looks over and says hi.
Best Friend Animal Sanctuary Welcome Center
How can this be possible? Maybe it's because they live and work in Angel Canyon which really should be its own national park like the neighbouring Zion National Park or Bryce. BFAS actually owns 3700 acres of land and leases out 30,000 more acres around their property to act as a buffer against developers and highway builders and whatever else may tear the environment away.
Next time 3700 acres of land like this comes up for sale, remind me to buy it
I drive through the place, stare at stuff, get lost often, and realize that this animal sanctuary is not just an animal sanctuary, it's a whopping big piece of desert paradise, and it's very much a people sanctuary as well.
There are the large vistas but around every corner, smaller examples of quiet beauty abound.
The first day wasn't just a lot of landscape gawking, though. There was a tour, a vegan buffet lunch, puppy training, dog volunteer orientation, dog walking, clicker training demo and lots and lots of yakking with people. It was a busy day and loads of photos were taken but I'll have to post the rest of them up tomorrow.
As a parting shot, so you don't think this blog has turned into just photos of sand, rocks and trees, here's a couple more of what BFAS is all about.
Just before it was time to leave the BFAS facility, Lucas, one of the Vick's champion dogs, was brought out and I snapped a couple of shots of his war torn face. He's under a lifetime court order which prohibits BFAS from allowing him to interact with anyone other than staff so I couldn't approach him which was a shame. The staff tell me he's really great with people and from what I could see, they weren't wrong about that.
Lucas' surface wounds look somewhat healed but he'd picked up some chronic immunity disorder from all his bite punctures so he's unfortunately susceptible to various illnesses and needs to remain under careful medical observation. His life has been hard and sad, but now Lucas will stay well looked after for the rest of life in this sanctuary, now his home.