Sunday, 28 September 2008

Stray dogs and Bonnie goes AWOL.

One kitten went today, it has been exceptionally quiet here today.. Someone brought an adorable puppy in, he had been wandering about f0r a few days but he looks so well, he must belong to someone! Of course he has no collar and we checked him for a microchip but without either, how on earth can his owner be traced.Mind you I have thought this before and animals are not claimed,its 50/50 whether an owner will turn up.He is a strange mix, large feet, black shaggy coat,around 4 months of age ,I have named him Jumble after a similar dog I had many years ago. If nobody turns up for him I doubt it will be long before he is homed, he is gorgeous(I will take a photo of him later)
Someone else has found a Jack Russell female wandering in Porthmadog area, Rosie is going to foster her until an owner or home can be found. There is a very real problem in this area as there are no kennels taking in stray dogs,I wish one of the National organisations would open a rescue kennels in North Wales.There is simply nowhere for them to go.Paws rescue do their best but they are limited as they have to use boarding kennels so have limited spaces available.The dogs also have to be vaccinated which immediately cuts out the strays which are generally the most needy.Its a poor situation for dogs in this area.
The vet has been out to Copper, she has an infection in her foot which may be an abscess so she is on antibiotics.It is a never ending problem with these Anglesey ponies.
I had a bit of a panic this morning, Bonnie our loveable but scavenging Foxhound went missing, We searched all over the property , Mei went off on the quad bike and I took off in the car, we covered most of the surrounding areas but no sign.On the way I spotted a gathering of farmers (Im sure there must be a more appropriate name for them?)taking off with hounds and guns, off on another hunt.No amount of calls to Police seem to help, they just do their own thing regardless of the law.It is very disheartening. Anyway I returned to the shelter, feeling extremely worried for Bonnies safety as she is terrified of strangers and away from her comfort zone(the shelter) she panics and runs blindly away from anything she perceives as danger.
By the time I got back she had been found, where was she? In the cattery demolishing every scrap of catfood she could find.She had a look on her face as though to say "Whats all the fuss about, Ive been here all along!" My sense of relief was overwhelming. Dear old Bonnie, she is a great character and I made a decision today not to rehome her, she is so happy here and her great terror of strangers could lead to an accident if she were to be taken away from here.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Our foals return soon.

Our 2 orphaned foals Celt and Shamrock will be returning to the shelter in the next week or so, we are trying to arrange it so that both arrive back on the same day so that they will have the company of each other.Celt is with a foster mare in Anglesey and Shamrock with one on merseyside, both are weaned and ready to return.I am looking forward to seeing them both again.The photo of Celt (above right) was sent to me a few weeks ago, how beautiful he looks, he has grown into a very handsome young man.How quickly they grow from such tiny frail creatiures(pic left)
They may have another friend arriving in November. A friend of mine overheard a conversation between two farmers discussing a foal which had an injury to his leg and was rendered useless as a future riding pony.The breeder was having him shot but was complaining at the cost of this and the disposal of the body! I rang the farmer who has agreed to let the foal come here when he is weaned at the age of 5 months, I hope he keeps his promise.
One of the remaining Anglesey ponies, Copper is lame today, looks like another call out to the vet,its never ending, Copper has been the bonniest of these ponies so Im hopeful it is nothing serious.We have been sent a lovely photo of Dylan, the one who was rehomed, he looks great and the lady who adopted him is delighted with his progress.
Yesterday I received 4 calls from people wanting to part with horses and we are already full, it is a great problem,most horse shelters are full to capacity and have a long waiitng list.Rosie has managed to sort 2 of them out with a friend who keeps horses, she will be taking on 2 whose owner has died.There are another 2 oldish ponies whose owner is seriously ill and can no longer care for them, another is an ex dressage horse aged 6 years which is unsuitable for riding. all so needy but there is only so much one can do with limited resources.
Well the weekend is here, perhaps we will home lots of cats, the weather is lovely, bright and sunny so I am keeping my fingers crossed many people will come to visit.
Mick the collie has been reserved already! We will have him neutered next week and then he can go to his new home.I wish all animals were adopted as quickly as this.

Friday, 26 September 2008

So many kittens and a new collie.

So many kittens and all growing into the leggy stage now.I am beginning to panic,(actually I have been in this frame of mind for some months!) will they ever find homes? Once they reach this stage people rarely want them, its the in between stage, not a tiny kitten but not adult either.I think I need to do some serious advertising to try and move them.We have around 100 cats and kittens looking for homes and of course the 40 residents to feed as well so we are getting through cat food at an alarming rate.
A young collie was taken into the vet to be destroyed yesterday, Mick is a friendly happy dog who showed no interest in sheep and that of course is the death knell for a working dog.He does have a tendency to bark at the cats and is possessive over food so we need to work with him over that problem but many dogs which have not been fed well show this tendency at first.
When I returned from the Andes trek, I discovered a new dog in the house, Siobhan is 10 years old, a beautiful natured collie cross labrador female .Her owner had health problems and had to give his dogs up, the Chinese crested which came in with her has since been rehomed but of course Siobhans age is against her.Personally I prefer the older ones and this one is a truly fabulous dog, she is good with cats, other dogs, people and hasnt a nasty bone in her body.My kind of dog but although I could keep her, I feel she is too nice and amiable and would settle anywhere.It is bestI keep the more difficult dogs or the very elderly which nobody else wants, like the two ancient Yorkies Maggie and Martha, who incidentally are doing very well and have settled with me as though they have never lived anywhere else.
We are hoping to open a couple more charity shops in North Wales, we need to boost our income so we are looking at shops in Barmouth and if anyone lives in either area and has time on their hands we will be needing volunteers, please get in touch.
Christine came up today to see her 4 beautiful ponies she was forced to part with due to ill health, as always she was both pleased and upset to see them.It is very hard for people who genuinely love their animals but are forced to relocate and give them up and in Christines case she had cared for these ponies since they were foals and they are now in their twenties.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Trek photos.

I have managed to upload some trek photos. It was a tremendous experience, though not without its difficulties.The nights were very very cold, dropping to sub zero temperatures and even thermals, clothes and a very warm sleeping bag made little difference.Trekking uphill with the altitude(12,000 feet)was not always easy but I was fortunate and had no symptoms of the altitude sickness everyone dreads.Many had severe headaches, nausea, vomiting and one girl had to be taken back down to base camp. I am not fond of camping so for me that aspect of it was the worst though a pleasant surprise was the hot cup of tea brought to the tent every morning after wake up call at 6.30 am.The porters and kitchen staff did a marvellous job preparing good food in such adverse conditions, a meal without dairy and meat seemed to afford themm no problem ( I was the only non meat eater on the trek)Quinoa was used a lot to make porridge and savoury sauces,its a high protein grain very popular in Peru.I was also pleased to see that the pack horses were in good condition and were limited to the weight they carried, they were turned loose to graze at every camp and if we stopped for a rest, they did also. A stray village dog accompanied us the whole trek and he was fed scraps by myself and another girl , our guide said he often accompanies the trips and at the finish he went back with the horses to his village, no doubt to wait for the next group of trekkers! He certainly was well fed and seemed to be happy with his lot in life. On the last day at the last village we passed through, gifts of pens and small toys were presented to the children who live very simple lives in the mountains and only see such things when visitors arrive.It was quite an emotional moment.
The stray dog problem in Cusco was quite horrendous but again most were well fed, nevertheless I wished there was an organisation neutering and spaying them.there are groups in other parts of Peru but nothing in Cusco as far as I could make out.
All in all I was pleased with my achievement but glad to be sleeping in my own bed again.So far I have raised £2,100 for Freshfields but there is some money yet to come in and there should be another £200 to put in the kitty.
I would just like to make a comment about this type of fundraising, it seems some people think it is a way of having an exotic holiday paid for by a charity.This is not the case,the trip does have to be paid for but I paid more than half the costs out of my own pocket in order that more of the money went directly to Freshfields.The sum i mentioned is the total raised, with the trip cost deducted so its a fair sum and one I personally would have been unable to raise any other way. Another thing is that this was most definitely NOT my idea of a holiday! Make no mistake it was hard going and at times very difficult.
On my return, I of course was given the news that Muffin had died which was very distressing, then I had to make a decisiuon, a very hard decision to have another of the horses put to sleep, she was in such pain, I felt it wrong to keep her going any longer. I always question myself but in my heart I know that it was the right thing to do. Poor old Tanya.Its been a bad year for losing horses this year.
A new little dog was here when I arrived back, a chinese crested powder puff- for those who dont know this breed they are hairless with just tufts of hair and many people think are very ugly.I love them and have had 2 in the past. This one, however was fluffy coated, I was told many years ago (not sure if its true)that in every litter of Chinese Crested pups, there is one with hair. Andy came in with a lovely 10 years old cross lab called Sinead, both are lovely amiable animals and the little one has gone to a home today.I am not surprised, he is a dear little dog.Heres hoping his pal will find someone nice too.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Im back!

Well I am back from the fundraising trek through the Andes and what an experience it turned out to be.It was quite gruelling with the altitude and extreme changes of temperature.As I am feeling a little unwell today I will make this short but I will write full report tomorrow.
Sadly came back to news that one of my"golden girls" my lovely Muffin the mastiff had died tragically of twisted gut. I was devastated and so sorry Mei had to cope with it, we all loved Muffin, she was a truly adorable dog and Molly looks lost without her.
Im having problems getting my photos downloaded so will attempt again tomorrow and if successful include in tomorrows blog.