This was the last day at Best Friends – but fortunately I had my wonderful sleepover pal Ogy with me to distract me from the sadness of knowing I had to leave later that day to return to Vegas for my flight home. Ogy and I woke at 6:15am after a lovely sound sleep all night (a snuggler!), and he let me know he had to go out while I was preparing myself to go outside! Ogy tends to not be fond of other dogs, so I peeped out the peephole and peeked around the corner before we let ourselves into the motel room hall (we were staying in Greyhound Gathering-central – many of the events were being held in our hotel, so lots of Greyhounds were staying there too). The coast was clear, so we took one step out – at the same time *whoosh* the door across the hall opens and a greyhound and its person step out. WOOF WOOF WOOF says Ogy and he lunges toward the dog just as I pull him back in the air and push him back into the room with all the muscle I had. It was actually quite nicely executed, and as soon as I did that and said “no, Ogy – lets let them go”, he just stood there and waited. In fact, Ogy was like that when we saw any dog in the distance. He would tense up when we spotted someone with a dog, I’d say “let’s go the other way” and turn around or cross the street, and he’d relax and ignore the fact there’s a dog a block behind us or across from us. He gave me the impression he thought it was his job, perhaps to “protect”, and as soon as I let him know we were doing something else he seemed to relax and ignore it. Not to say this would work if we were closer (and I heard about a past run-in), but it did seem to work find as long as we were at a distance of some sort. And despite sometimes having greyhounds *everywhere*, there were no problems other than a couple barks at our chance near-encounter! And after we returned, he put himself back to bed.
Ogy is really my number one dog, although of course it’s a close race since I adore them all and want to take them all home to form one big mega-pack of family. I wonder if he would get along with my dog Mikey? Or let my cat rule over him (because she’d have it no other way…) Hmmm. I’m sure Kid would love the challenge of ruling over such a mega pack – it would make her feel so powerful and important! I think she believes she’s a 200 pound cat inside her 15 pound kitty body. (More after the jump)
After another great car ride (Ogy standing between the two seats and occasionally giving me a kiss), I reluctantly checked him in. He’s a lucky boy being at Best Friends though in the care of such great people like Justyne. I sincerely hope Ogy will find a forever home, he’s such great company because I think he understands everything you say :) At least it sure seemed that way!
That morning, for my final session, I went back to Deja Lodges and had a wonderful time walking 6 great dogs (after first saying hello to Gramps). The sixth dog did see a few tears, as I knew she was my last dog walk. I walked Buford first, who now is adopted and living with his forever family!
Some beautiful views from the Lodges trail:
Next was Purdy, a lovely senior dog who walked excellent on leash – so sweet and loving too:
And then, miss Lola Lu followed by Dakota! These two were so very friendly and full of energy dogs – and great walkers. Lola Lu was excited to see lizards we encountered, and Dakota was calm and walked by my side for most of our trip down the trail. Both are also very attractive and healthy looking dogs – hard to believe they’re still here and not in a permanent home!
Here are some photos and videos from the walks I took with Dakota and Lola Lu. The video is a little bit unsteady due to our fast pace, and me on lookout for dogs down the trail! (It’s a case of pointing the camera in the general direction and hoping it’s at the dog due to not looking through the viewfinder!)
Lola Lu on her walk:
And some of the beautiful Dakota and that smiley face:
Next up were the charming and super-loving Palmer and Shannon. Palmer is a high energy lovebug. He is a fast walker, excited to be out! But when we got to the bench, he patiently waited for attention and then *lick lick lick lick* a million kisses from him. What a gorgeous boy:
And Shannon, born in 1997, is a tad slower pace on the walk than Palmer but just as lovely – look at this face! I teared up on this walk since it was my last one, but Shannon was such a joy and so relaxed and calming on my final walk of the trip I felt very fortunate.
After the walks, I gave Lola Lu a brush and collected her fur in a ziplock so it could be sent to clean up the oil spill down south (blogged here last week). She was excited at first for the attention, but eventually settled down and let me brush her all over (including haunches, legs, underbelly, neck)… and then became so relaxed she tipped over on her side… and then she fell asleep! So one of her sides was brushed very well, and I had a full bag by the time it was noon and I had to leave to let the animals have some quiet time over lunch.
I had lunch again in Angels Rest, where the animals who have passed lay. It was so peaceful and serene – I feel both happy and sad there but feel it is the the most beautiful place I have ever been. I had the entire place to myself for at least 20 minutes while eating, so the only sound was the hundreds of windchimes blowing in the wind.
After lunch I returned to Dog Headquarters to return a few things after cleaning the rental car out, and asked if I could visit Cabby who is recovering in the clinic. Cabby stole my heart on the Dogtown show and subsequently following her progress online, and I got to meet her during my tour in March (what are the chances!) where I learned about her knee injury. So I was hoping and crossing my fingers I’d get a “yes” to visiting Cabby for the final hour I could possibly spend before leaving for Vegas… and I did.
I was led through the confusing maze of rooms in the clinic through to Cabby, where she got a short walk, and I was then given some treats and a brush and got to spend time with her in a nice outdoor area for nearly an hour. Cabby was very excited to be out I think, because she barked (that’s our Cabby!) and ran around quite a bit. But she did pause long enough for me to brush a bunch of fur out of her, give her some love, take a few pictures (although she was super-close to the lens for most of them as I needed treats to take non-blurry shots of her!), and most importantly (to her) eat some delicious treats!
Treat smells good… can I have it? I’m sitting!
No more picture-taking, treat please!!
More Cabby photos:
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After this, I had to say goodbye. It was bittersweet that Cabby was my final dog visit at the sanctuary. She was my “first” dog on my tour in March, and my last dog on “Volunteer Week”. I kept having to tell myself all morning “Only six weeks until the next visit… only six weeks… six weeks and I’m back” so I didn’t cry – but I did break down as soon as I hit the steps leading away from Dog Headquarters and sat in the parking lot crying! A nice gentleman volunteer asked how I was doing, and it turns out he was from my hometown, Sidney B.C., where I grew up! Chatting with him enabled me to calm down and head out of town to the culture shock of Las Vegas. So whoever you were, thank you!
Only six weeks until my next volunteer week!
A special thanks to everyone that I met during my week there – the wonderful caregivers and staff and other volunteers that I met, and all the help in learning how to be a volunteer. Best Friends, no question, does fabulous work and takes wonderful care of these animals no matter what their “issues” may be. They are all given time, love, care, training, TLC – whatever they need, these animals receive it. I met some of the most friendly, wonderful people while I was in Kanab and this was the best experience of my life. I felt better while I was there – I didn’t even need as much coffee! I woke up AWAKE! People actually talk to each other willingly and happily, driving isn’t nerve-wracking, you can be a solo-diner and not feel like you’re doing the restaurant a disfavor. Things like that. I will write a wrap-up post about the trip in general very soon.