Monday, May 30, 2016

Visiting Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Kindness.

Kindness for all living things. It's what brought a group of 31 idealistic people with a dream together a little over three decades ago. It's what created the world's largest no-kill animal rescue organization in the world. It's 3,700 majestic acres of the Utah landscape Best Friends has appropriately named Angel Canyon. It's what connects a family of over 1,500 Best Friends Network Partner organizations across the country. And it's about a common goal. Save Them All.

There are just so many words to describe my experience visiting the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah for the first time. So many, I find myself almost speechless. How do you describe something so beautiful, so inspiring, so moving, you physically feel it in your heart? How do you describe something that for reasons you can't explain, brings you to tears yet fills you with joy?

If I had to choose just one word, it would be Kindness.



The Best Friends Experience: Part One
Welcome to the first of three chapters of my Best Friends experience. Katie and Waffles are taking the day off and turning the blog reins over to me (Glogirly) for the first time in the eight year history of our little cat blog. Don't worry, they'll be back to their usual antics in no time, that is once they forgive me for taking almost a thousand photos of something or someone other than them. I hope you enjoy this as much as I've enjoyed sharing. And I hope Best Friends touches you as they've touched me.





It Gets Inside You
I can't believe it was only a week ago that I was returning home from my visit to Best Friends. As much as I love to travel, often the best part of a trip is coming home. Please don't tell Katie & Waffles, but this trip was very different. I didn't want it to end. One of the new friends I made, Barb, who has what many would call a dream job working for Best Friends and living just steps away from Angel Canyon told me that the coral sand gets in your veins. Those that visit Best Friends find it nudges it's way inside of you. It stays with you and draws you back. I believe her. And I know I'll be back.


Horses and Rabbits and Cats, Oh My!
The sanctuary is home to all kinds of animals. Horses, pigs, goats and birds. Cats, dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs. They've been abandoned, abused or surrendered. Some just cast away. Even wild animals in need of rehabilitaion. If we knew every detail of each animal's history our hearts would be forever broken.

Best Friends appreciates and celebrates the individuality and potential of every single animal. Their ultimate goal is to prepare each animal to be successfully adopted into a loving home. And to stay in that loving home, forever.

Learning How to Be
Some animals need to learn how to just 'be'... and Best Friends totally gets that. A dog that has been abused, or known nothing but fear, may not even know how to be a dog. An orphan foal without a mother to show him the way, needs a mentor horse to teach him how to be a horse. Allowing each animal to learn, at their own pace, that humans are not to be feared but rather are safe, fun and loving is at the core of their mission.

This is one of the things that inspired and impressed me the most. It's not just about saving a life, it's about preparing an animal for a lifetime of happiness and love in a real home. It's about doing what's right for that animal.

Named for a Prince
Just minutes after we arrived at Best Friends we were witness to something truly remarkable. This little orphan foal was taking his first steps outside in the sunshine. He was surrendered to Best Friends after his mother had rejected him. He needed to be bottle fed and had not been in the presence of another horse. The only humans he'd seen were his care givers. Born on the day the world lost Prince the musician, it was clear what this miracle foal's name would be.

What a sight to see. He was introduced to Feather, an adult mini horse, so he could begin to learn how to be a horse. Feather flipped onto her back and rolled around in the dirt. Moments later, Prince copied her and did the same thing. As he gained more and more control of his gangly legs he began to run around the corral. It was pure joy and a rare moment I'm grateful to have been a part of.


A Potbelly Paradise 
Just down the path from Horse Haven sits Marshall's Piggy Paradise and a sweet spot for some handsome and inquisitive goats.

The potbelly pigs were hilarious and full of personality. They purred like cats when we rubbed their tummies and Roxy, the big flirt above, had a LOT to say. Sadly, many people unknowingly adopt these cute pigs from dishonest breeders that mislead them into thinking they'll never get to be much larger than a small dog. 400, 500, even 700 pounds later, they're abandoned or surrendered. Best Friends works incredibly hard to find new forever homes for these delightful creatures and despite the challenges, they do indeed get adopted. Meanwhile, they live a very happy pig life of mud baths, healthy food, exercise and lots of love.

While most of the goats were more interested in soaking up the sunshine, there was the cutest of 'kids'  that thought he'd make a great tour guide and followed our every step. The beautiful and natural environments the animals live in provide them the highest quality of life possible. Clean, spacious with plenty of enrichment and loving care that lets them be the animals nature intended them to be.


The Loudest Bird in the World
Best Friends' Parrot Garden is home to some of the most exotic and vocal  birds in the world. I had no idea the Cockatoo was the loudest bird in the world! Based on my meeting with this spirited guy in the photo, I would have to agree! I've never been up close and personal with these incredibly intelligent birds before and it was fascinating. I met a parrot with a vocabulary of 370 words who could laugh like a human. I met bonded pairs that love and rely on each other so much they can never be separated. They are smart, full of personality and absolutely beautiful.

But they are also in peril. Many can live up to 100 years of age! That means many of them have been through a number of homes over the course of their lives. They need a lot of attention and mental stimulation. Many come to Best Friends with special needs and Parrot Garden provides a beautiful light-filled tropical environment with plenty of social stimulation, healthy food and veterinary care to help them rest, heal and thrive.


Welcome to Puppy Preschool 
It's impossible to have a litter of puppies crawling all over you and not giggle yourself silly. One of the most fun three hours of the trip was Puppy School. This adorable litter of puppies had never experienced any people outside of their care givers before. We were their first! Our job was to simply have fun, socialize with them, let them explore our cameras and us... all in order to teach them than humans (and humans with big cameras) are safe and fun.

It's all a part of Best Friends goal of preparing each puppy for the most successful, happy and healthy life possible with their new forever family.

And if all that wasn't enough fun already... we took the whole litter on their very first walk outside. This was the first time they'd even had a collar on. It was puppy-chaos at 100mph! And so much fun my cheeks are still sore from smiling and laughing.


Care Giving & Compassion
From Horse Haven to Dog Town, Parrot Garden to Bunny House, the love and compassion the care givers show the animals is unending. They know each one by name. They know what makes then tick. They speak their language. Nowhere was this more clear than with the bunnies. The sweet young woman caring for them understood their unique needs and was passionate about their predicament. Some were abandoned to fend for themselves, which is impossible for domesticated rabbits. Others were victims of excessive breeding or hoarding. They're so adorable, many people think they're a perfect pet for a child, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

Did you know that a bunny can get pregnant at only two weeks of age? And when they give birth, it's often to as many as 15 bunnies at a time. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It's an overpopulation epidemic.

Bunny House was peaceful, calm and quiet. For the most part the bunnies make no noise at all. They're some of the most gentlest creatures on earth and the same could be said for their care givers.


Next Up... 
Part 2 -  CAT WORLD
Please join us for an inside look at the beautiful cats of Best Friends and what it's like for them as they prepare and wait for forever homes: CATS of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.
Part 3 - Where Angels Rest
Easily the most moving part of my experience was a visit to Angels Rest, the final resting place for those Best Friends who now fly with the angels: Where Angels Rest



See the Entire Gallery of Photos
There's SO much more to see! I'd like to invite you to view my entire gallery of Best Friends photos.
Here's how:
  1. Visit Glogirly on SmugMug
  2. Select Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
  3. Enter password: SaveThemAll
The best way to view them is to click on Slideshow. Enjoy!


A Destination Vacation With Purpose
Many people and families visit the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary as a vacation. I had the pleasure of meeting a number of people volunteering while I was there that did just that. It's an inspiring and meaningful way to experience the sanctuary, help the animals and enjoy the gorgeous landscape. For more information on how to turn your bucket list wish into reality, visit HERE.



Special thanks to Melissa, Hannah, Barb and the entire Best Friends family for hosting my trip to the sanctuary. You've each touched my heart and have inspired me by the kindness you show each other and the animals in your care.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Camera Overload

WAFFLES:  Boss, I think Glogirly wore out her camera.

KATIE:  That's impossible, Waffles. 

WAFFLES:  But she said she took SO many pictures at the Animal Sanctuary place that she's STILL working on them. She was supposed to share them today but she's not ready.




KATIE:  Just how many photos did she take?

WAFFLES:  I don't know... how many is nine hundred and sixty four? 



KATIE:  964? 



WAFFLES:  We're going to need a LOT more of those sticks, aren't we?



KATIE:  964 photos and not a single one of me. 

WAFFLES: Or ME! Maybe her camera IS broken. 

KATIE:  And if it isn't, maybe it should be.


Soon, kitties! Very soon.
Glogirly bit off just a little more than she could chew thinking she'd be able to get through all her Best Friends Animal Sanctuary photos. So she's asking for just a teensy bit of patience and promises it will be worth the wait. ...despite the fact that there are no photos of us. And perhaps even a few photos of (gasp!) dogs. 

She claims they were puppies and that doesn't count. Well, we smelled her clothes from the trip and are not buying the whole *puppies don't count* thing. 


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Waffles & the Washing Machine Mystery #WafflesWednesday


WAFFLES:  Did you see the new TV, Boss? 



KATIE:  Ok, I'll play along. No Waffles, I haven't seen the new TV. What are you watching?



WAFFLES:  Glogirly's Green Socks. 



WAFFLES:  I had no idea there was a show about her green socks.



KATIE:  I hear the show starts out with two green socks but by the time it's over there's only one. It's kind of a mystery, sock-napping sort of thing.



WAFFLES:  But what happens to the sock? Do they find it?

KATIE:  You're just going to have to watch the show.



About Today's Photos
Last week, the day before Glogirly was due to leave on her big trip to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (post #1 will publish this Friday by the way!), the stackable washer/dryer met a tragic end. In order to have clean underwear for the trip, Glogirly had to dig out her quarters and head off to the local laundromat. Except there are hardly any laundromats anymore, so it wasn't exactly local. 

Fast forward to yesterday when the shiny new washer/dryer arrived. We think the two guys carrying it up the two flights of stairs with the four 90 degree turns were probably whispering a few HBO words. It's a stackable unit so they had to carry the equivalent of a washer AND a dryer. Glogirly had to look away for fear of all the dents and paint scrapes they were likely making on the walls coming up the steps. 

But we're back in business with our very first front-loading washer. Though Katie is only marginally impressed, Waffles is absolutely fascinated. When it started up for the first wash, he approached slowly, crouched low to the ground. Closer and closer he crept, until his nose was just about touching the glass. And there he sat, mesmerized, until the spin cycle gave him pause and he spun his head around just to make sure everything was ok. 

Waffles already loved laundry day, what with all the warm sheets and bed making. But this gives the joy of laundry a whole new meaning for him. 


Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday Interruption & Sneak Peek

KATIE:  We interrupt your regularly scheduled program–



WAFFLES:  Program? What program? Can't we just DVR it, Boss?



KATIE:  Not that kind of program, Waffles. Our regularly scheduled blog post.



WAFFLES:  Our blog post is on TV? Like CSI and stuff?

KATIE:  CSI was cancelled, Waffles.

WAFFLES:  Cancelled? What about us??

KATIE:  Calm down, Waffles. We're not cancelled. We're not on TV. Never were. We're just fine. So how about you let me do the talking for once?

WAFFLES:  Four once? Which is it? Four or once? Because four is kind of a lot.

KATIE:  *sigh... all this from a cat who can't even count*

WAFFLES:  I can too count. One, two, three, chicken. See?


Upcoming Blog Feature:
Glogirly Visits Best Friends
Glogirly returned home late last evening from a trip of a lifetime. She and a very small handful of other writers and bloggers were invited to spend three days at the Best Friends Animal Society Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. In case you've never heard of Best Friends, they are the largest (and we think THE most amazing) no-kill animal rescue organization in the country. Their one-of-a-kind, 3,700 acre sanctuary nestled in the gorgeous landscape of Angel Canyon, is breathtaking, inspiring and has left an indelible imprint on Glogirly's heart and mind.


She's working on a very special blog feature we'll be bringing to you soon. That is after she processes her 700+ photos and finds the words to describe the indescribable. Please stay tuned... we want very much to bring the magic of Best Friends to you.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Mancat Tail Enhancement


WAFFLES:  Hey Boss? My tail won't fit inside this thing.

KATIE:  What, you haven't been ordering stuff from the back of that mancat magazine again have you?

WAFFLES:  Huh?

KATIE:  Waffles, you've got the bed turned sideways, on it's end. 



WAFFLES:  Yeah, and my tail won't fit. 

KATIE:  You already said that, Waffles. Try turning the bed the RIGHT way.



WAFFLES:  You mean like this?

KATIE:  I don't know how you mancats walk around with those things.


About Today's Photos 
Today's photos are a flashback to 2014 when we were trying out the Googie Cat Bed from Davies Decor. Waffles couldn't figure out if it was a bed, a playground or a phone booth. And despite it's generous size, his infamous 15" tail was hanging out all over the place!

Don't Miss Our Littervention Giveaway!
Whip that litter room into stylish shape!  ENTER HERE




 

This post contains Amazon Associate links which means we receive a small commission 
for our chicken treat fund if you make a purchase through one of our links.  


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Sunpuddle Without a Name

WAFFLES:  Check it out. The Boss has no idea she's laying in my sunpuddle.  


KATIE:  I heard that, Waffles. What makes you think this is YOUR sunpuddle? Looks more like MY sunpuddle.

WAFFLES:  Why, does it have your name on it? Because I don't see your name, Boss. Where's your name?

KATIE:  Sunpuddles don't have names, Waffles.

WAFFLES:  They do too, Boss. And this one's name is Mine.

KATIE:  Seriously?  That's what you're going with?



WAFFLES:  Ok... Fred?


About Today's Photos
It's rare for us to post iPhone photos on our blog, what with Glogirly always toting around her *big* camera. But every once in awhile there's something just so unbelievable that she's got to go with what's handiest. That's exactly what happened Saturday morning.

Gloman is on weekend am meal service, so by the time Glogirly rolls out of bed, everyone has been fed and is deep into morning nap mode. With nothing but her phone in hand, she started down the steps towards the kitchen. But something caught her eye and stopped her in her tracks. There in the guest bedroom lay Katie and Waffles, inches apart, basking in the sunshine. Glogirly approached slowly, low to the ground, phone in hand. It's not everyday Katie and Waffles peacefully coexist within inches of each other. No patty cake, no "he's touching me!" ... just a couple of big yawns and a big "So?" look on their faces.


Last Day to Enter Our Design Giveaway!
Hurry-hurry! ENTER HERE



And Don't Miss Our Littervention Giveaway!
Whip that litter room into stylish shape!  ENTER HERE




Monday, May 16, 2016

Littervention Makeover


WAFFLES:  Hey Boss! You didn't do a very good job cleaning our litter room mirror.  Can you–



KATIE:  I'm a little bit BUSY right now, Waffles.

WAFFLES:  But Boss, it's time for our litter invention thing. 

KATIE:  You mean Littervention.  

WAFFLES:  Litter what???

KATIE:  It's like an intervention, except for our litter room. Like a makeover. Can we please talk about this later?



WAFFLES:  What's wrong with my litter room? It doesn't need any stinkin' ventioning.

KATIE:  Seriously? Have you SEEN the state of the litter room after you've done your business???





It's a LITTERVENTION! 
When our friends at Tidy Cats® told us they were going to do an intervention on our litter room, a "Littervention" they called it, we realized the first step to coming clean was going to be admitting we had a problem. (See photo above.)

They sat us down at our computer screen and proceeded to ask a myriad of questions -
  • How many litter boxes do you have?
  • Where are your litter boxes located?
  • What's your biggest litter box pet peeve? 
  • What would you do if you could give your litter room a makeover?

A few answers and a couple of weeks later, two HUGE boxes arrived. They were filled with a cornucopia of cool stuff.




All the Right Tools
We received shiny new litter boxes, litter mats, a VERY effective metal scoop with a handy hanger and even a Litter Genie litter disposal system. We keep one of our litter boxes in a fiberglass shower enclosure and the addition of the perfectly sized mat is making clean up a breeze. The Litter Genie means fewer runs to the garage to toss out our clumps.



Taking It to the Mat
These are the first litter mats we've tried out and we love them! We never realized how much litter Waffles and Katie were shaking out on the floor as they left the box. A simple (and cute) litter mat is a no-brainer solution.




A Little Math
Do you know how many litter boxes is the perfect number for your furry family? One per cat plus one extra. For us that makes three. So simple, even Waffles can figure it out. We hope.

Glogirly's Biggest Litter Box Peeve
When Glogirly opened up the new boxes, you'd have thought she won the lottery! You see, her biggest litter box pet peeve is the gunky stuff and clumps that stick to the bottom and corners of the litter box. Besides cleaning regularly, the best solution to sticking is making sure your boxes are replaced regularly. Over time, all that scratching really takes a toll on the bottom of the box. It's not only difficult to scoop, but it's hard to clean and sanitize. Depending on use, it's a good idea to replace them every year or so.

FUN FACT:  Speaking of use, did you know that Katie and Waffles use the same litter box?  No His and Hers in our litter room. Of course, Katie would never admit it.



Cleanliness is Next to Godliness
And that's especially true when it comes to litter boxes. We scoop daily, adding in additional litter as needed. Then once a month, we do a soap and water deep clean. We always use fragrance free, pet friendly cleaners.



Scratch, Scratch, Scratch
We're not sure if scratching and litter boxing goes hand in hand for other cat households, but they do in ours. We keep a couple of scratchers nearby and adjacent to our primary litter room. Whenever there's scooping going on, chances are there's an occupied scratcher in the vicinity.



Finishing Touches
Cool little storage boxes with French kitty art make perfect storage cubbies for disposable bags and other small necessities. And for those who don't mind a soft scent, Tidy Cats new deodorizer can be lightly sprinkled into the litter for a fresh, outdoorsy smell. 

Do you need a Littervention too? 
What's YOUR biggest litter box pet peeve?


Thank you so much to everyone who entered our Littervention Giveaway! 
Big congratulations to Team Dash! 




This post is sponsored by Tidy Cats® for Purina®. As a TidyCatInsider, we are being compensated for sharing our Littervention experience and offering a Littervention Giveaway to our readers. GLOGIRLY only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Tidy Cats is not responsible for the content of this article.


Friday, May 13, 2016

One Flew Over the Chicken's Nest

WAFFLES:  What. I'm just Netflixing.



KATIE:  Waffles, it's like 2:00 in the morning. Shouldn't you be breaking into the kitchen cabinets or something? Locking yourself in the powder room?

WAFFLES:  I already did that. I'm watching One Flew Over the Chicken's Nest.

KATIE:  Cuckoo, Waffles. It's Cuckoo's Nest.

WAFFLES:  No wonder there's no chickens in this movie. What a rip off.

KATIE:  The real question is why you're Netflixing in the first place. You're a CAT.




WAFFLES:  A cat who likes movies and stuff.

KATIE:  You're just in it for the cheese popcorn.

WAFFLES:  Wait. There's CHEESE popcorn???



KATIE:  Must have missed that during your cabinet raid.


About Today's Photos
Waffles' photos might look a little grainy today, but for good reason. Would you believe they were taken in total darkness? That is, except for the light of the computer screen shining in his face. Given the state of the kitchen every morning, what with all the cupboard doors left open, we're pretty sure the late night cabinet raid is a regular thing. This really is a cuckoo's nest. 


Have you entered our Glogirly Design Giveaway?
 What? NO??? Well get on it! ENTER HERE


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Glogirly Design GIVEAWAY!

KATIE:  Waffles, are you ready?



WAFFLES:  You mean for breakfast? I'd like one chicken happy meal. Extra chicken. To-go.



KATIE:  Not for breakfast, Waffles. For our giveaway. 



WAFFLES:  We're having a giveaway? I call firsties on taste testing. 

KATIE:  We're not giving away food, Waffles. 

WAFFLES:  Wand toys? I call firsties on wand toys!

KATIE:  No toys. 



WAFFLES:  Well that's a ripoff. What kind of giveaway is this anyway?



KATIE:  It's a Glogirly Design giveaway, Waffles. To celebrate Glogirly's shiny new website for her design business. 



WAFFLES:  Can we go back to the part where I get a happy meal?


It's a GIVEAWAY - Two Big Winners!
We're super excited to announce the launch of our new GLOGIRLY DESIGN website! So excited in fact, we're giving away cool stuff! 

Many of the people who visit our blog are bloggers themselves. And with the 2016 BlogPaws Conference just around the corner, we know how important it is to make a good impression with things like fancy business cards and professional media kits. 

But we also have lots of friends and readers who visit us just to laugh and catch up on the latest cat antics. So we're giving away TWO great prizes. One for bloggers and one for readers.

Blogger Prize
$300 worth of design services!
This is enough for a custom media kit or a business card design or even a new header. There are lots of cool things to choose from. Just peruse our GLOGIRLY DESIGN Site for inspiration and ideas. We bet you'll recognize some of your favorite blogs there too!



Reader Prize
One lucky reader will receive a gift pack of GLOGIRLY DESIGN exclusives, including a set of five original greeting cards, a Mustache MEOW mug and button ...AND a brand new, never-seen-before, Glogirly Pink Tambourine! ...it's a real tambourine too! (See the inside greeting and close up of the cards HERE.)

Open Worldwide!
Our giveaway is open to everyone. We don't want to leave a single person, cat .... or even dog(!) out. Good luck everyone! Thank you to all our wonderful design clients. We're so grateful for your business and very proud to feature some of the projects we've worked on together on our new site.


This giveaway is self-sponsored by Glogirly.com and GlogirlyDesign.com. 

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