This was our last day volunteering at Best Friends, for this trip at least. We had decided, since we had such a great time with Goober at Najavo Lake, we wanted to do another outing there after a morning in the lodges – let another dog enjoy the chance to run around and swim on our long lead. I couldn’t get Miss Coconut out of my mind. She was one of my favorite sleepover dogs on my last trip, and I kept seeing her when I was walking Deja dogs past her run – her big ears and tilted head as I walked other dogs down the road near her run. I had barely spent time with her, so I requested her as our outing dog for this afternoon. But first, we had some Deja dogs to walk.

Coconut at Navajo lake

First I had the wonderful and energetic Lola Lu (and was taught the quickest way to get her harness on – if you harness her, it’s worthwhile to ask and will save you some time!), and Peter with her run-mate Tiki although we walked them separately. At one point, Tiki took a 30 second break, while Lola and I looked on.


Then I walked Palmer and Peter took Shannon, like yesterday. Then I had sweet Purdy:


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Next, Shocky. When Shocky left, she was a volunteer dog, but when we returned to her run she had turned into a Staff Only dog. Little did I know at the time of our walk that I would give her the last couple volunteer walks (today and yesterday), at least for awhile (I gave her a ton of kisses and love before I left, on behalf of us volunteers who love her). Shocky had started redirecting her dog aggression, I reckon something the training pros will be able to work on and resolve. I was told about this potential issue yesterday for our previous walk, and although redirection is obviously not a good thing, I immensely enjoyed the challenge of walking her. Shocky is an awesome dog, she is sweet as can be rolling on her back and giving a million kisses when you visit her. In fact, seconds after being angry at a dog, I redirect her attention and she’s all kisses and wags. I had never walked her before yesterday (I had only met her briefly when giving her food), and even with this issue I have fallen in love with this girl. Any non-home environments can be a bit tough on such social and attention loving personalities like Shocky, maybe it’s wearing on her and some extra training attention will help. Or a home where she can get the attention she seems to crave, which could perhaps solve everything (with some training too, of course). Not having a home is particularly rough on some dogs. I’m crossing my fingers.


Then it was Tahiti’s turn:


After Tahiti, it was time to pick up Coconut (aka NutNut). I fed her, checked her out at Headquarters, then we drove up to her Lodge to chauffer her out of Dogtown in style (well, in a dirty Prius).  [Note: Most photos are stuck on my big camera, will transfer when I return home]

She was very excited to get in the car and drive off, as you can see in the following video:

She did the same sort of thing when we arrived at my hotel room during our sleepover on my previous visit to BF.

We first stopped at Duck Creek Pond for a pit-stop, and then we were off to Navajo Lake (where we took Goober on an outing yeserday)! We had great weather when we arrived to the lake.

Coconut was quick to run into the water, and hop around – like an excited kid.. or a rabbit! Her first experience with the deeper water seemed to surprise her a bit. In the first bit you can see her swim a little when she was in over her head.

Coconut wasn’t interested in chasing sticks to start off with – she just wanted to frolic in the water and run in circles in the grass. However, after a while she figured it was fun to chase sticks and return them to us – I believe the following video was her first “fetch” (you can see her playing in the water… I’m not sure what she’s doing… and then she spots the stick and runs with it back to shore).

She quickly got very good at fetching:

We walked around some of the lake – Coconut sniffing everything and enjoying the water. Then we found a tennis ball, and we started playing fetch with that instead. Coconut LOVED the tennis ball and was super excited as soon as we found it, running and hopping around, and rolling around with it in her mouth (pure NutNut!). We decided to use it in the deeper part of the lake, to see if she would swim after it a bit. She did!

And she even got quite fast at it – look at NutNut power through that water and take the ball right back to Peter:

Then it was time to head back to BF (NutNut loved being toweled off), and although she seemed to fight sleeping, she eventually curled up and slept most of the way back. We checked her in, and off we went. Coconut was this trip’s final dog – but it was a blast.

And after our last session, we checked out the caves that are near the Welcome Center (between the highway and the Welcome Center, on the left heading west). The caves are pretty neat to see, although we did see a bunch of snake tracks in the sand within the cave to the west – so beware.



In the next one, you can see our Prius way down on the road, towards the left of the photo.



About Author

Jen deHaan is graphic designer, small business owner, and dog person living in Bay Area, California. Jen enjoys learning about dog training and behavior, and has taken several courses and seminars since 2010. She also contributes articles to leading websites, such as Victoria Stilwell's Positively . It all started with a great dog called Mikey (aka "dude"), loved and lost but remembered forever. Jen also runs a freelance business focusing on graphic, web, and UI design at FoundPixel, and a small business creating hand crafted dog products at Stylish Canine.

  • jijo272

    What a fabulous trip you must have had AND thanks so much for being such a friend to the dogs. You made their days a lot nicer.

  • I was actually searching to see if Coconut got adopted — I don’t see her on the BF website anymore. I also took her for a sleepover in September, and haven’t stopped thinking about her. Very charismatic gal! Looks like she had a blast with you!

  • Jen

    Coconut was adopted!! I\’m so sorry not to see her today, but I can\’t feel sad knowing she isn\’t a real home. And wow the photos above make me feel so lucky for today — today I saw Shannon and Palmer (I was walking Quickdraw behind them), I saw Tahiti and Ogy in their runs, visited with Newton, and happen to have Shocky lying on the bed beside me. What a good day. In light of the above, Shocky still cannot be walked by volunteers at the sanctuary but can go on sleepovers. I\’ll be writing our story tomorrow, but already have photos up on Flickr: