Two of my nieces just returned from a weekend helping at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah and said it was one of the neatest experiences of their life. Hearing that, it brought back memories of a trip my husband and I took a few years back. We were told to visit the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary so we traveled into the warmth of southern Utah to get away from the cold and snow we are still experiencing here in northern Utah. We got to see so many beautiful places, unique sights and interesting things, but I think my favorite was our visit to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Angel Canyon near Kanab.
At first, neither my husband nor I thought we would be seeing much more than a normal animal shelter. Gosh, were we wrong! We traveled into a beautiful canyon nestled in the coral and pink sandstone mountains. We arrived too late for a normal tour of the facility, but we figured we’d just take a drive on our own down the sandy road that wound into the canyon past large, spacious paddocks housing horses and burros. We found spacious kennels where dogs of every kind were housed amidst the beautiful cedars. Mule deer wandered around and in front of us as we toured. Small, furry bunnies hopped about green pastures next to grazing horses. A flock of Osceola turkeys soared from the tops of the tall canyon walls to scratch for food before they flew into tall trees to roost for the night. We hiked up to a natural amphitheater where cool flowing water, beautiful green grass, and natural acoustics amazed us. Nothing could have prepared us for the many breathtaking sights we found.
The most impressive was the Angel’s Rest Pet Cemetery where the first thing we noticed was the beautiful sounds of wind chimes. We turned off the engine of our truck and as the gentle breezes blew, the chimes sounded like an organ playing a majestic song. Rock pathways led to a gazebo and small benches where you can relax and enjoy the calm serenity. The cemetery is not about dying but an affirmation of life where the beautiful rock canyon holds urns, vases and memorials of the little animals who have brought so much to our earthly life.
If you have the opportunity to visit southern Utah, don’t miss the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. It’s a special haven for abused and abandoned animals of all kinds. They have an expert staff of veterinarians, trainers and caregivers to see to the special needs of about 2000 cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, owls, and other animals. It is supported entirely through donations. It’s an amazing place where their philosophy is – kindness to animals builds a better world for all of us.
Take a minute and browse their web site -- www.bestfriends.org
K. R. Bailey