Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary - Tuesday

Another beautiful morning at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. It's getting below the freezing mark here so there's often frost and a slight dusting of snow in the mornings.

First thing is more puppy classes and then some dog walking.

Below is River who is a fab Brown Lab. I couldn't quite figure out why he was at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary since he was such a well behaved dog in a very popular breed. It turns out he was sent here because he kept getting heartworm (four times!)despite being on heartworm preventative so he was sent to Best Friends because here it's too cold for the heartworm cycle to propagate.

If River were at Toronto Animal Services, he'd be adopted the first weekend.

This girl is Opie and she's a Katrina dog. She's quite shy so they think she may have been feral before being caught and brought to BFAS. She's shy but not too shy for snacks.

BFAS has a cafeteria which makes $5 lunches. Not bad considering the view.

After lunch, I went to tour Pig Paradise which is where BFAS has something like 19 pot bellied pigs. It's stupid the thousands of PBPs which were bought and then dumped as part of that fad that went on a few years ago. The whole thing with pigs is that they don't stop growing until they're 4 or 5 years old so all these fadists were tricked into thinking the 8 month old mother of the piglets they were buying as pets were full grown at 40 pounds. A hundred and forty pounds later, the trend conscious pig owner suddenly doesn't know what to do with such a large animal and dumps it or sticks it in a cage in the backyard.

And now there's some equally inane micro pig thing going on with Paris Hilton leading the charge. Micro pigs are the same as pot bellied pigs except they've been starved to keep them small for longer but eventually, they still get big.

I'd like to see Paris carry one of these guys around in her handbag.

This last one was abused by her previous owner. He used to beat her with a shovel resulting in severe injuries to her legs. BFAS rescued her and brought her into surgery to try to fix her issues but unfortunately, she still has a lot of arthritic type problems. When the weather started getting cold, she walked into the office and decided to spend her time indoors.

She loves belly rubs.

Something a lot of the volunteers at BFAS look forward to is this:

That's right: sleepovers.

And this afternoon, I signed up and got my guy.

His name is Snowman. I don't know why he's called that but he seems okay with it.

Snowman's been on several sleepovers already and it's easy to see why. He's a really well behaved, lovable dog. Ostensibly, the sleepovers are to help socialize the dogs to different experiences and I'm sure that it helps but I think the sleepovers are almost as much a hoot for the volunteers as it is for the dogs.

I took him for a long hike in the lower valley where Snowman was quite enthralled by the scent of deer.

Now that I've brought him back to the lodge where I'm staying, he's started following me around everywhere and won't leave my side. When I was taking my shower, I thought he was going to jump into the stall. It's a good thing I've got a small, hardened heart otherwise I'd be packing him up and taking him home with me at the end of my stay here. And by the way, he's the type of dog that Ontario still wants to kill.

Dec. 5: I found out Snowman is called Snowman because when he was rescued just after Katrina, he was found carrying a toy Snowman. Snowman really loves his toys.


Anonymous said...

~ I started tearing up when I saw the pic of River...he's an exact replica of my choco lab Cody who passed away almost a year ago...same face, same soulful eyes.

~ I've always loved pigs. People think they're not smart because of the way they look but they're very intelligent. To me, they're just funny-looking dogs.

~ Snowman is adorable. Despite your small, hardened heart, I think you'll have trouble saying goodbye to that one. I know I would.

Cathrine said...

More, more, more! It's great to see this place and these animals! And already I'm learning -- i didn't realise what a crock the pot-bellied/micro pig fad was or that they still grew up to be ginormous big porkers. At least these ones won't end up as ham.

I really wish i was closer to North America: I'd take my next vacation there in a shot! Guess it is just as well, because there are others who need my vac time.... still....

Keep it coming!

Lynda said...

I'm loving all the pics and commentary, Fred. Thanks so much!

Pigs are my favourite, my friend had one years ago and I used to babysit her. She was awesome! I think the coolest thing about them is they have hooves, lol!

Looking forward to more!

Jenn said...

I'm loving your posts, thanks so much for sharing! I think if I ever make it to Vegas, a visit to Best Friends has to be on the agenda. What a special place it seems to be.

Snowman is a charmer. That last photo of him is fantastic!

Lynn said...

I just love all this. Just love it.

Smartypants said...

We're loving your posts at our house too Fred! I teared up at the picture/story of the last pot bellied pig. All she ever wanted was belly rubs... sweet thing. Keep up the stories!

Dee said...

OOhh Piggies!! I visit a pig sactuary by me, once a year and I love the pigs so much. I really want to get one when I'm all done school, because they're still being sold to under-educated people.

Wikked Windy said...

I never thought of visiting Vegas before. The only thing that would make me go would be to see the dessert but now after reading about BFAS I want to visit VEGAS sooo badly and sign up to be a volunteer. You are right I look forward to doing a sleepover with a doggie esp a pitbull.

Marcie said...

Small hardened hart my ass. Your amazing! These pictures are amazing & this trip looks like it's been amazing too. Sleepovers what a great idea.

EmilyS said...

there are often GREAT stories about the piggies on the Best Friend site. The piggie manager is a wonderful raconteur and loves her pigs.