Chloe's blogpost 10/5/12 about Best Friends and why you must GO:
One day, my older sister and I happened upon the Ranch cat and discovered she was pregnant and about to have babies. My sister, who had recently that year taken home a mouse from school in order to save it from the mouth of a snake, was adamant that these kittens be taken care of. I, being her younger sister and wanting to be just like her, followed in stride. There was talk that the kittens would be put to sleep if no one took them home. We were relentless with our parents, and the two of us together can be pretty convincing. My father, having rescued animals all of his life, saw the same passion and love for animals and life in his daughters that he had inside him. He found a home for all five of the kittens; of course, two went home with us. My sister picked the runt of the littler, Willow, born under a willow tree. I picked the only short haired kitten, Gillboa, born in Gillboa, NY. Willy and Gilly were a part of our lives for many years to come. Only recently, at the age of 17, did we lose Willy.
Throughout our lives, animals were an integral part of our identities and our family. My family's love and connection to animals flourished. As a child, I would love to look into the windows of pet shops and see all the tiny dogs for sale, yipping and yapping. Alas, as we got older, we became aware of the harsh reality that those tiny dogs in the window represented: puppy mills, excessive breeding, unnatural dog births, and thousands upon thousands of dogs that were homeless, in shelters or put to sleep.
It is easy, however, to maintain your ignorance if you choose not to look. But sometimes the truth of the world lands right in your lap and changes your perspective forever.
After many years of dog and cat companions, my father and I took an incredible trip to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. While there for a course on T-touch, what we left with was far beyond what we could have imagined. Each evening my father and I took a dog home with us for a sleepover. The first night we had Fifi over, a ten year old poodle. Fifi showed us unbelievable love and happiness and in that one night, I felt almost as if I had been given the one last night I had begged for with my dog, Mischa, who had just passed away. The next night, Benny, a shy chihuahua who had just been through a traumatic experience, came to our home. Benny was the name of our first dog who my father had rescued from Israel. Our final night we had another privilege, Monroe, a rambunctious, loving, strong pit bull mix who made me feel safe and loved. Each night the dogs would cuddle up in my bed with me, and every morning when we brought them back to their respective places at the sanctuary we felt an odd sadness and simultaneously a transformation within ourselves.
Here we were, father and daughter, thousands of miles from home, connecting to one another and using our fervent love for life to give a night at home to a dog who may not have had one in years, or ever. And each night, we were given the privilege of a new character, a new family member, a new teacher.
In our lives, as animal lovers, we have a decision to make. We can decide that it is just too overwhelming to deal with all of the animals in need, or we can decide to turn our faces towards the truth and see what we have within us that can contribute to improving the life of one animal. Here is what I can almost certainly guarantee you: animals enhance your life and visiting the Best friends animal sanctuary will expose you to hundreds of other people who share your same concerns and hopes.
Experiencing the animal sanctuary is a privilege, as is the love of an animal in your life.
All the ducks in a row :)
In Central Park, One Pup's meet up:
Mia-2013, Crosby-2014, Sally-2012, Monroe-2010, Ella-2007