Snow day photos with dogs and horses at Best Friends

Editor’s note: Best Friends photographer Molly Wald spent time with the animals after a snowstorm and captured the joy that comes with fresh powder after a long dry spell.

It’s been a dry couple of years at the high desert home of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, but we recently had a sorely needed snowstorm. You can almost hear the ground, the trees and the wild animals groan with relief as they drink in the moisture that’s so desperately needed.

Aspen hears it too ― the soft whispers of thank you from the earth.

Aspen the dog with head down in the snow while hind legs standing

Some of our residents ― this photographer included ― prefer to snuggle under blankets when the weather turns foul, but not all.

Dogtown is always fun in the snow, and our caregivers saw quite a few residents taking advantage.

Nimbus the dog standing on a paver wall in the snow with a person making a snowball

Step 1: Find a wet patch of snow and pack it down into a nice ball.

Person outside in the snow between two dogs about ready to throw a snowball

Step 2: Throw …

Nimbus the dog jumping up to catch a thrown snowball

and catch …

Three dogs playing in the snow with one jumping up to catch a snowball in the air

and catch …

Aspen the dog catches a snowball in the air while Ada the dog watches

and catch!

Person throwing a snowball to Knotts the dog who misses catching it

And miss?

Aspen the dog out in the snow with tongue sticking out

And yum.

If you’re two white dogs in the snow, you can also practice extreme polar bear wrestling, aptly demonstrated by Aspen and Nimbus.

Collage of photos of two dogs playing in the snow

Meanwhile at Horse Haven, it was business as usual with residents gleefully eschewing their shelters for some snowflake time.

Speedy the donkey in a barn with the door open while it snows outside

In fact, I had to ask Speedy to go inside the barn so I could get the cool white-on-black snowflake effect.

Speedy the donkey outside in the snow standing with horses

He strongly prefers to be out in the elements ― apparently cracking jokes that only he finds funny.

Speedy the donkey in between two horses while it's snowing and a red cliff behind them

A horse, a burro and a mule walked into a canyon …

Two horses, Peanut and Chili, running together in the snow

Horse Haven has a batch of youngsters who play all the time, completely oblivious to the weather. But they look quite majestic in the snow!

Two horses out in the snow with one rearing up a bit while the other neighs at him or is going in for a nip

No, I said majestic.

Sage, Lumpy and Comet the horses all running together in the snow

No, I said …

Horses running in the snow with one of the horse's head up in the air

Never mind.

Happy winter, everyone! Before you know it, it’ll be warm again and we’ll look back fondly on these days. Enjoy the weather, and we hope to see you soon at the Sanctuary. 

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Check out all the animals at Best Friends ― from dogs and cats to bunnies, birds, barnyard animals and wildlife. Looking for a new companion? Look no further. Pets from the Sanctuary are adoptable and looking for love.

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Photos by Molly Wald