Falling in love with potbellied pigs at the Sanctuary

The next time Yvonne Royster of Chesterfield, Virginia, comes to Best Friends, she intends to pull up in a Mack truck with a monster-huge trailer attached. Why? So she can load up all the animals she falls in love with and take them home with her! Well, OK, not really. But she sure is tempted!

Retirement trip to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Yvonne had always wanted to visit the sanctuary, but it wasn’t possible with her hectic work schedule. So, when she retired, she knew exactly what to give herself as a retirement gift: a trip to Best Friends!

She and her husband, Otis, came to Best Friends for a week-long visit. Normally, after three days of vacationing anywhere, they get a little homesick for their six dogs back in Virginia. Not this trip, however. They had so much fun mingling with the dogs, cats, and other animals at Best Friends that they did just fine being away from their own kids.

In fact, when Yvonne got back to Virginia and neighbors asked who was her favorite dog at the sanctuary, she had a ready answer: "Would you believe there were 600 of them?"

Falling in love with potbellied pigs

But it wasn’t just the dogs Yvonne and Otis fell in love with. They also discovered potbellied pigs. (Memo to the world: Come on over and meet these rascally wonders before they get so popular you have to take a number just to hang out!)

They’d never been around potbellied pigs before and were fascinated. In the end, Otis and Yvonne resisted the urge to adopt every animal at the sanctuary—pigs included—and headed home. But that wasn’t the end of it.

Donating a bed for a pig

While at Piggy Paradise (the pig area of the sanctuary), they overheard a staffer saying that Princess Britney needed a new, special bed—and a pricey one at that. Brit has a whole host of creaks and aches that make it hard for her to climb into a normal bed. As a way to say thanks for all the fun they had, Otis and Yvonne decided to donate this luxurious bed for Brit. And Brit loves her new bed! Truth be told, it’s a rare moment when you catch her anywhere else.

The gift came with one string attached, however. When Yvonne comes to visit again in June, she has a message for Brit and that cozy new bed: "Better save me some room!"

Photo by Gary Kalpakoff

See what else the animals are wishing for by checking out their online wish list!