It’s Memorial Day weekend and on Saturday I worked the morning shift at Park House Cafe in Springdale, Utah. Not only do I love the food and atmosphere at the cafe and Zion, but it’s a wonderful place to meet people traveling from around the country and the world. Saturday morning I met the “parents” of Pepe and Nali, who were traveling from Virginia and spending time in Zion National Park. They were disappointed to find out that dogs are no longer allowed in national parks and that the Doggy Dude Ranch in Springdale required not only updated dog tags, but paperwork as well, so they were in need of a dog sitter on Sunday. I was available, so after meeting the dogs, we agreed that I would have them for an eight-hour block of time so they could do some of the Zion hikes.
When Sunday arrived, I was greeted by the couple, Pepe, and Nali with excitement but some caution because Pepe had gotten overheated on Saturday, so he wouldn’t be able to do much walking. That would be perfect because I decided to take them on a field trip to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. We would be able to go there on our way to Jakey Leigh’s Cafe in Kanab, where I’d be able to sit outside with the two dogs while enjoying a cuppa.
We drove through Zion, stopped by the tunnel and in Mt. Carmel, before arriving at Best Friends. It was a beautiful day, but storm clouds that were forecasted for Springdale seemed to have traveled east of Zion, so our visit in Angel Canyon and Best Friends was a brief one. I let the “kids” walk around a bit, investigating the garden area and pond, take water and potty breaks, then we went to Kanab for a short coffee break.
Before returning to Springdale, we decided to rest in Virgin. Pepe wanted to play fetch and Nali just wanted to chill out and relax, so after a few games with a paper plate, both dogs stretched out in the grass under shade, and enjoyed the cool breeze.
Although I enjoyed spending the day with Pepe and Nali, and their parents were grateful to be able to spend a day hiking in Zion, we wish the park service had a better way of informing visitors about their dog policy. Another issue, especially with Pepe, is that of dehydration. A woman working at Best Friends pointed out that many people don’t realize that dogs need a lot of good, fresh water out here, just like we do.