I dragged my feet a bit because I could tell it was going to be a cold morning and for half a second thought about going back to sleep. I didn't know Snowman's bladder control, though, so I put on my several layers and harnessed him up and walked out the door into the very chill dry air.
Snowman happily noticed no such thing or at least didn't seem to care and he stuck his nose to the ground and away we went. Around the first corner and I'm still somewhat groggy but then I look up and see the falling full moon nestled within a dip in the hills by the edge of town. The silver disc fit comfortably in between the hills and looked as if it was going to snuggle in there for a day's sleep. I wished I had my camera with me but it was one of the moments when I knew if I did have my camera, I'd be too busy trying to take pictures instead of just appreciating the moment. Tomorrow morning I'll bring my camera with me just in case there's a repeat performance but if not, well, some things are more beautiful just as a memory. I have Snowman to thank for this.
I may be reading too much into it but I got the feeling that just as we were going to head to Best Friends to bring Snowman home, he realized he wasn't going to be staying with me and he jumped back into the armchair, not wanting to leave, and gave me his "how could you?" look. Whatever disappointment he may have had, though, I think disappeared when we got back to his home at Dogtown Heights and he smelled the meatballs they were spooning out for the dogs' breakfasts.
I then went over to the Old Friends area of Dogtown Heights and walked Tenny, Amos and Isaiah. The dogs were all fine and, again, surprisingly well leash trained but the woman I was partnered with was having problems with the altitude. I hadn't even noticed any differences but we are at something like 5000 ft and for some people, that's enough to make them short of breathe or give them headaches and possibly nausea.
Anyway, we all survived.
Next I went on a tour of the Wildlife rehab center where I learned that certain types of crows and ravens can live to 85 years old and, like parrots, can mimic human speech. The information on the tour was very interesting and the birds in rehab included several hawks, owls, and ravens and I think there were others but because the idea is to keep them wild, the public isn't allowed to see or otherwise interact with them. Makes sense.
I was going to go back to Old Friends to walk some more dogs before lunch but the guy doing the parrot tour was there at the end of the wildlife tour and I felt kind of bad skipping out on his tour so I changed my plans and went and saw the parrots and I'm glad I did.
I'm not much of a bird person but I have to admit, I'm kind of impressed by some of their abilities. The bird guy took us to meet the cockatoos warning us that they scream louder than jet engines and I think he might be right. I think my ears are still bleeding a bit from that experience. The birds were mostly screaming for attention and as soon as they got it, they stopped, thankfully.
These exotic birds face a great deal of hardship in captivity simply because they are in captivity. According to the bird guy, they're never really domesticated, always wild in heart and mind and so when they are caged with nothing to do all day, everyday of their lives, they tend to develop sometimes severe obsessive compulsive behaviours like pulling their feathers out or being extremely destructive. Or they just shut down. For a bird that can live to 80 or more years, being in a cage can be a real long life of mental anguish.
Several of the birds at BFAS were left there when their owners got too old to take care of them and of course that's the other problem with these "pets". Often because they live so long, they outlive their owners.
For the afternoon, I went to Piggy Paradise to do some volunteering. The pot bellied pigs there don't get enough exercise in their pens so they also need to be walked and the easiest way to walk a pig is to throw a trail of popcorn on the ground.
The pigs definitely had very individual personalities and Cherry, Hogan and Nanui were all fairly good walkers but Jake was a bit more independent minded and I couldn't get him to go back to his pen at the end of his walk. Instead, he meandered towards the kitchen building and snuffled around outside despite my best popcorn tossing efforts. Finally, I was presented with his supper dish by one of the staff and as soon as he saw that, he sprinted - and I mean sprinted - back to his pen where he knew he would be fed.
Finally, at four o'clock, I went to pick up my sleepover dog. This time it's Colt who's a young Pointer/Hound(?) mix. He's somewhat anxious and hand shy. It's been a few hours now back at the lodge and I think he's finally starting to feel a bit more comfortable and able to relax. I'll soon find out how well he sleeps.
Colt at Angel's Landing