Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Angels Rest

The Annual Blessing at Best Friends will take place on September 29, 2016, at Angels Rest in the Sanctuary.   I can’t think of a better place to honor animals.

rainbow-over-angel-canyon-bestfriends-600

Photo Credit: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

 I visited Best Friends Animal Sanctuary last spring as part of a media tour.

We drove past the gates to Angels Rest on our way to a hike.  One of our hosts said we could visit Angels Rest if we wanted on our way back.  My brain screamed “NO!”  I thought that was the last place I wanted to go, but I kept that thought to myself.

Photo Credit: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

After an amazing hike, we ended up in Angels Rest.  I told myself that I wouldn’t cry.  I even believed it.  Our guide, Cyrus Mejia, explained that many of the animals who came to the Sanctuary had never known love or respect in their lifetimes.  Early on, the  Best Friends founders created Angels Rest, a place where these animals would be respected, loved and honored for the beautiful souls that they are with a marker and a special placement.  Companion pets that were not adopted from Best Friends may also be placed here. 

Angels Rest is peaceful, sacred, full of love, and oddly, hope.

In addition to the markers, there are wind chimes everywhere representing lost and loved companions.   As we walked around, I noticed small niches that held stones, figurines, and various reminders of well-loved friends.  Although I didn’t have a camera, I was taking mental notes and maintaining my composure.    When I noticed a small sun bleached leather collar and tags, just like the one my dog Polly used to wear.  It hit me like a ton of bricks. Polly came into our lives when I was 8 or 9; she left this world when I was 25.  Even though it has been many years since she died, the tears were streaming down my face before I knew it.

All of the dogs I’ve ever loved pushed to the surface of my mind, as well as the overwhelming statistic that 9,000 companion animals die needlessly in shelters each day.  And I started down the path to that deep, dark place of suffocating grief that terrifies me.  

Just as suddenly, the air filled with beautiful music from the wind chimes.  Although I didn’t notice a change in the breeze. The chimes were mysterious, magical and comforting. I understand that this sounds crazy, but it felt like angels moved those chimes instead of the wind.  

wind-chimes Angels Rest, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Photo Credit: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

I looked at my companions and realized they were having a similar experience.  They had been crying but were now being comforted by the wind chimes.  It was as if all those souls were saying “It’s okay, we are fine, and you will be too.”  And my sorrow was replaced with peacefulness and hope.  

I believe in Best Friends.  Their motto “Save Them All” is working.  So this September, I’m asking for Polly to be included.  The love she brought into this world isn’t lost or forgotten. Dogs have made my world better, and I want to make the world better for them.   I hope you’ll consider donating to Best Friends or another rescue to honor your pets as well! 

You can memorialize a pet with wind chimes at Angels Rest or for yourself.   

The next time you are looking to add a new family member, please adopt!

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27 Comments

Rachel says:

I was fortunate enough to visit Best Friends last year and Angels Rest is such a beautiful and touching place.

Best Friends is on Mommy’s list of places to go. She can’t wait! The blessing of the animals sounds like such a nice event.

Kelly says:

Wow, what an emotional experience for you.
I too would be anxious about visiting, knowing that the emotions would be too much for me.
But thank you, for going, for letting me know that such a lovely place exists.

I have yet to visit Best Friends but now I want to more than ever. Angel’s Rest sounds like an amazingly peaceful and wonderful place to honor the pets we have loved.

Ohhh Snap says:

Wonderful post about a very special place.

Kandace says:

Oh this is such a beautiful post with such beautiful photos. Made me tear up! I have been looking for Animal Blessing events here in AZ lately.

That brought tears to my eyes. I love the idea of Angesl’s rest and the wind chimes- beautiful tributes.

I love the idea of Angels Rest, would so love to visit there one day

Leigh says:

I too would be emotional if I’d visit such a beautiful memorial that honor companion animals. Every pet deserve a place like Angel’s Rest.

Wow. That is truly an amazing place. I am glad you shared it with us.

Maureen says:

Thank you for this touching post. It sounds like such an incredible place to see. I’m so glad you shared it!

Katie says:

I hadn’t ever heard of Angel’s Rest. Thank you for sharing.

I love the concept of Angel’s Rest and it sounds like you had a memorable experience there!

What a moving post – very spiritual, emotional and soothing. We will read more about Angel’s Rest, thank you for sharing this with us!

The wind chimes are such a beautiful idea. I am sure that I would have been an emotional wreck visiting such an enchanting spot. Thank you so much for sharin git with us. I never knew about the Angel’s Rest, though I have heard a lot about Best Friends before this.

I’m sitting here crying just reading about your experience. What a wonderful place.

Tami says:

Beautiful post. A volunteer week at Best Friends is on my bucket list. Thanks so much for sharing your experience, it sounds like a very special place. *hugs*

I’d love to visit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary some day, it seems like a truly wonderfully place.

This made me cry! I’m from Belgium but I would love to visit the sanctuary! I’ve read their book: it’s filled with painful stories 🙁

Such a beautiful resting place unfortunately we dont have a single one like this in India. i was lucky to have a resting place for my Prince in a friends garden. Planted a guava tree over his grave

We weren’t able to visit Angel’s Rest when we were at Best Friends, but would love to on our next trip. I love the idea of the chimes – didn’t know about that either. I think I will order some for our cat Elsie who passed away recently.

Abbey says:

Beautiful pictures! Sounds like a great place.

Sadie says:

Wow. I wasn’t there, but I’m crying! Thank you for sharing this beautiful sanctuary with us.

Such a lovely tribute to Best Friends, their mission, and the pets that have known love because of them…even if they were’t adopted. I’m sure you’re right, the angels moved the wind chimes to remind everyone that the spirits of animals that have passed on are with us, protecting us and that they are okay.

Nichole says:

You know a visit to Best Friends is on my bucket list… but now that you’ve described the chimes like this, wow… I really must get out there to visit and volunteer soon!

Nanci says:

Your description of Angels Rest is powerful. More than ever I hope to visit one day.

    Beth says:

    You need to spend a whole week there! You will love it!

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