Thursday, 30 April 2009

Another lurcher arrives and 2 more homeless collies.

I had a dog returned, a 6 years old collie who has a penchant for jumping 6ft fences and escaping! Sally has already been reserved, I think all she needs is plenty of exercise and human company because when there is someone around she does not try to get out.The new people know her problem so lets hope they will find a way of coping with it or better still that because they are home all day that Sally will make no attempts to get away.
A call came through from someone who had rung our vet to book in an 8 years old lurcher female for destruction.The reason given she had bitten a child. Fortunately I kinew someone related to the person and was able to find out if this was true.It is not true.Meg has a wonderful nature but the owner lied so the vet would think it an acceptable reason to put a dog down!In fact he just does not want her anymore as he has moved to run a pub and customers have complained about the presence of the dog.Meg is coming in on Monday. I could do with a few local foster homes as there are so many people at the moment wanting to get rid of their dogs.I read in the paper yesterday that the number of animals abandoned daily has risen to an all time high. Disgraceful.The recession will now be used as an excuse for everyone bringing animals in to shelters.Im sure there are some genuine cases but those who use this reason will no doubt still take their holidays abroad and have their nights out.
There are 2 more collies in need of homes, a genuine case this time, their owner is about to become homeless and Ollie and Jack are well cared for and happy dogs, they should not take long to rehome.Molly has a new friend too, Heidi is a 4 years old lurcher whose owner did not want her any longer, she is a typical soft natured lurcher and gets on with the other dogs as though she has always lived here.(all three pictured here) Every time a lurcher is admitted I am tempted to keep it!
I tried a bit of Cesar Milans techniques this morning.I was walking the dogs in the fields and Molly has a terrible habit of grabbing my sleeve and swinging me round in circles.It is most embarrassing when there are people witnessing my humiliation and failure as a dog owner so I thought right thats it, no more. I attempted to hold her down in a submissive state, well have you ever tried to do this to a Great Dane? Impossible, I tried and tried whilst Mei stood by helpless with laughter. Who won? Molly of course.I acceded defeat.I dont think the BBC will be offering me my own dog training series this year anyway.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Chaining dogs should be against the law.

We went to see the colts in their new fields yesterday, they looked happy and we left feeling a lot happier ourselves.The next job is to check on Marigold and Melba and ensure they too are fine.Im sure they are but its nice to see for ourselves.
Pictured is Mei with the three babies(they will always be babies to us)Merlin seems to be growing a lot more than Shamrock and Celt who looks positively tiny next to him.
I heard this morning from Billy staffs new people, they adore him already and said if I offered them £1,000 they would not give him back - like I would ever have that kind of money anyway!! Its great to hear he is being so loved.I wish all dogs could have such a home. I am trying to find a home at the moment for a 3 years old collie cross who has spent the past year chained up , my first impression of him made me want to cry.He stood filthy and unkempt, tail between his legs and eyes dull with such sadness I just wanted to hug him and tell him life was going to be better from here on.Pictured here after his bath.
Rosie and Vanessa bathed and groomed him and just 24 hours later he is a diffrent animal, his eyes are bright and his tail wags but most of all it is heartwarming to see him running free in the fields.He is full of wonderment and joy at his new found freedom but keps running back for a quiet cuddle. He is no great beauty but he seems a gentle creature and I think he will make someone a wonderful companion. If only there was a law passed against the keeping of dogs on chains. The Welsh Assembly have produced guidelines for the keeping of dogs and they advise a run and raised sleeping quarters!!! It will never be implemented if the law is not changed and the RSPCA given the power to remove animals immediately. I believe it is about educating the farmers but trying to change ways that have been with them for centuries is no easy task.Some seem to be more enlightened than others but it is still a huge problem and I know I keep going on about it from time to time but it is a subject so close to my heart and the plight of these dogs is on my mind constantly it is hard not to dwell on it.
There seem to be cats coming in from all directions(literally) , a young stray tabby from a caravan site in Nefyn, a longhaired black female from a home who no longer wanted her once a new kitten arrived, another stray tabby with white paws and front and a black stray female who might be pregnant.I had the first call today asking me to take kittens but as they are only 5 weeks at the moment I agreed to take them when they are 7 weeks old.Our foster kittens are the same age so in 2 weeks time the kitten season will start with a vengeance.The nightmare begins!
Still no staff to open the Llandudno shop until saturday, a real worry but then if I had nothing to worry about I would worry that I had nothing to worry about!!
I had a lovely email this morning from people in Abersoch who took a white cat from here a year ago, they sent beautiful photos of him in his home.This cat was one of 12 white cats which came from a farm, they were in such a sorry state on arrival and to see this cat Oscar now, it gave us all so much pleasure.We hear also from another of this bunch - Granny White who also went to a very special home.All the staff love to hear from owners who are pleased with their Freshfields pets, we all gather round the computer when email pics are sent and photos are kept for display boards at our fundraising functions;.
Which reminds me, if anyone local reads this, we have a stall at the Nefyn Fair on Bank holiday monday may 4th.Please sup[port us. Mion our cat fosterer and her friend Elspeth will be running the stall for us.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Sashas last walk at the shelter

I still cannot quite believe it but today Billy the staffordshire bull terrier rescued from a dog pound has found people to give him the life he needs.A retired couple on holiday from Stoke on Trent visited our LLandudno shop, spotted Billys poster in the window and love blossomed! They are experienced staff owners and had just lost their own aged 17 years. I knew there had to be the right people out there for him, it was just a matter of waiting for them to turn up.I have little doubt this was meant to be. Ill be the first to admit I was worried he may never find a home due to the bad press this breed is enduring currently so I am more than a little relieved on my own behalf and needless to say delighted for him.
Sasha too has gone to her new home(pictured having a last walk at the shelter with her new people)and Geminis owner has reclaimed her after finding somehwhere dog friendly to live.The only downside of this is disappointing two families who were interested in her, however she was so delighted to see her owner it was the right thing to do in the circumstances.
Just one cat has been reserved this weekend, the very handsome Louis a grey and white stunner will be going this week.One is better than none.
There are 3 new cats being admitted tomorrow, perhaps its time to advertise again in the local papert, as I am trying to reserve funds for necessities I had not advertised for a while but this may be a necessity.
Skinny Jones is beginning to eat normally so may not need the vet again after all, they are so content , its as though they feel a great sense of relief being cared for again.Poor little cats.
No news about the unwanted horse, sometimes I wonder if situations are as urgent as people say, if that was the case why have I not had a return call? Oh well I cant do anything without any information.
Its so warm today, a lovely spring day so I took some photos of the horses enjoying the day.I should have taken the photos AFTER I took off their rugs but that was far too rational and sensible for me to work out!!Maggie is the loner, the other three are The Clarksters, 3 of four ponies whose previous owner Christine Clarke visits us regularly.For some reason Marcasite is never in the picture.The 3 shown are from front to back Carousel, Starlight and Solitaire>These ponies have such pretty names.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Bonny is caught in the act.

Barry and I spent Yesterday working in our Llandudno shop as we have no staff at the moment.It seems the staff left shortly after we said we need to go there and have a chat as it was not making as much as we had hoped for this time of year.Was this unreasonable? I dont think so especially as it has not been open every day and was closed on Bank holiday Monday when it is one of LLandudnos busiest times.It is so hard to get volunteers for charity shops but unless the shop takes twice as much as it is doing at present there is no chance of finding the money to pay a wage.My sister Sandra and her friend have gone there today with Barry to keep the shop open but heaven knows what will happen next week.I had intended to do a few days but Barbara one of the staff at the shelter has had to go home to South Wales after hearing her mother is ill.Apart from her absence we have lost Gail for a while.Poor Gail who helps care for the cats, fell down the stairs at home and has hurt her back. Everyone seems jinxed at the moment. Anyhow it means I will not be able to help out in Llandudno.If it does not open iot means we will not be able to pay the rent! What a worry.
Little Freddy lurcher pup has gone to a home today, I will miss him a great deal, he is a real heartbreaker.The yorkies Gizzie and Jessie also went this weekend and even with Suzy and the Maggie Marthas the living room seems quiet and empty.The oldies spend so much time sleeping and the others were lively and in my face so their absence is conspicuous. I suppose one way to look at is to enjoy the peace and quiet until another lively little soul arrives.
It has been very quiet for cat homes, I wonder if most people are waiting for kittens to arrive? Mion is fostering another mum and babies who will be ready in 2 weeks for rehoming and she brought in the mother of the last litter she fostered.We will get her spayed next week and put her up for adoption.
I am still concerned about Jones the emaciated cat admitted the other day, his appetite is not normal at all for such a thin animal, I think he should go back to the vet on Monday if he doesnt start eating well.
Mei went to check on the ponies out in their new summer homes and has reported back that they all seem well and happy.We were both thinking about them a lot and wondering if they are OK, we have got so used to seeing them here every day but as long as there is plentiful grass they will be content anywhere.There is no doubt that many of us, myself included have a habit of attributing human emotions to animals - sorry Rosie I cant remember the correct word to use only that it begins with P! peritoptical or poperictal or was it popstiricle!!!!!! And there was I thinking I had rather a good command of the English Language, clearly Rosie has a far better command!
I have just heard the familiar sound of a binbag being torn open and empty cans falling on the ground - who could be causing that I wonder? Yes its Bonny the greedy Foxhound .Once again she is on the scavenging trail.If she gets any fatter she will explode and we do all we can to keep her away from food, she sniffs it out a mile away.Mei had only just put the binbags on the quad bike a few minutes ago ready to take down to the bins at the bottom of the track but if you turn your back for a second Bonny moves in .

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Bridget and Jones visit the Vet.

Bridget and Jones The 2 new cats went to the vet today.They are anaemic were covered in lice, have eye infections, flea eczema and the male cat seems to have an urinary problem which we need to monitor over the next week when they go back to see the vet.They are also very underweight especially the male cat.When I went into their pen to feed them this morning they were huddled in a basket feral like and looked at me with scared eyes, then when I spoke to them they seemed to relax and began purring and doing the things cats do when they like someone.I wonder where they came from, what was their story, why were they so frightened initially?
2 more ponies went out to summer fields today.Melba and Marigold, Welsh Mountain ponies are very attached to one another so we decided to send them as a pair.We were all worried about boxing Marigold as she has only ever been boxed once when she was admitted here 5 years ago.Amazingly she just walked in followed a little more reluctantly by her pal Melba.We had decided against sending our original choice of Callie and Freddy who are bigger horses and have been here 6 years. Callie has been in Freshfields care, originally on Merseyside for many years before the move to Wales.The decision was made mainly because of Callies great age and of Freddies original manic behaviour arriving here and being hard to handle in a new environment.He is much calmer nowadays but we have no idea what he would be like taken somewhere unfamiliar.
The owners of the property where the 3 colts went yesterday popped in today and very kindly paid the cost of the transport for us.That was more than welcome and they have taken a collecting box for their hotel as well as offering to sell our Freshfields promotional gifts(notepads, pens etc) in their reception.Hopefully they may be able to sell some of our xmas cards and callendars later in the year.I am always so pleased when help is offered, there were many times I thought the charity would never take off here in Wales but we seem to be gaining support daily. I am trying the positive thinking attitude.Every day I imagine collecting the mail and opening a letter to find an extremely large legacy has been left to us. I reckon if I do this every day it may happen! Well I can dream!
I have had several calls to rehome dogs and have been busy trying to find foster homes for the more urgent ones.Until I home Freddy lurcher pup and Gem spanie I cant have any more in the house.Oh forgot to say that the 6 years old yorkshire terriers are going tomorrow.I will once again stay out the way having yet again become too attached emotionally to my "foster" dogs.Will I never learn? gemnini is hopefully going next week to a home in Surrey, nobody interested in dear little Freddy yet and I am still tempted to keep him.Common sense says not as he is only 4 months old but he is such a sweetie and curls up in Mollys basket with her. His rickets should be cleared soon now he is on vitamin tablets and a good diet.He just craves affection and is so gentle, he has been introduced to the cats and has shown no inclination to chase, always a good thing for a lurcher.
I have been told of a 5 years old mare due for destruction and I am so angry. It seems the owners put her in foal when she was too young, it has damaged her hips and now of course she is of no use to anyone.She cannot be ridden and she cannot ever be bred from again.Where is the compassion? Where is the sense of responsibility for this? What gives people the right to ruin an animals health for life? This animal has to be helped, I am waiting for more information about her so I can decide what is the best course of action.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

2 neglected cats arrive and Billy Jo finds a home

Pic of the 10 yrs old jack Russell Carlos, he is a sweet little dog, the owners said he was not house trained but he has not yet made any mess at all and he is great with other dogs which is always a bonus with terriers.
Another cat has joined the ranks of the permannent residents.We decided it was highly unlikely that Taz a middle aged black and white who can be quite grumpy would find a home.Sometimes visitors fall for one of the permanent cats who are always pottering about the yard and if this happens they can still be rehomed unless there is a serious health problem or they have been here too long and are happy.We once homed Huw, a 17 years old cat this way, he had only been with us for a matter of a year but someone fell in love with his gentle nature and gave him his final year living in a super home.
2 very sad neglected cats were admitted today, they had turned up in someones garden.One is emaciated and the other is very light in weight also but could be pregnant.Both have a bad flea allergy and are altogether very poor looking.They seem gentle cats and were clearly delighted to be somewhere warm and comfortable and settled in their pen quickly whilst purring away madly.We will worm them first, put them on a course of antibiotics(their eyes are gungy) deflea and see how they get on over the next week.I am running out of names for cats, maybe Bridget and Jones?
We have moved some of the almost full grown kittencats into the main cattery though I fear some are far too timid to be likely candidates for adoption.They all came in as twelve weeks old feral kittens, a few were fairly friendly and we found homes for them but others remained aloof.Out of this batch of 6, there are only 2 that are almost ready to be handled, the others will take forever. If only they were brought to us when they were very young(6- 8 weeks)there is a much higher success rate.The sad thing is that they are very attractive animals and normally would have been snapped up.
I cant remember if I mentioned that Billy Jo has been rehomed??? My memory is getting worse! Billy Jo was a very timid almost feral kittencat when she arrived with her mother and sister over a year ago(or was it 2 years ago)She has always been exceptionally nervous and amazingly she appeared to fall in love with a man who came with his family and had chosen another cat.He was so taken with Billy Jo that they took the two cats home and I have heard that she is marvellous, certainly the photo they sent showed a very contented cat. Another success story.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Cupboard Love?

The ponies boxed with no trouble at all , travelled well and are now esconced in their new temporary home.Next week 2 more horses will be going out to summer fields, probably Callie and Freddie - so many of ours are unable to leave here due to the need for constant veterinary treatment, being laminitic or they are too old to suffer (what can be an ordeal to some) of being boxed and getting used to a new environemnt
I was thrilled to receive photos of Fluff in his new home,its great to see him looking so at ease and comfortable, already he appears brighter and happier.Very heartwarming to see.
Pictured also is Linda the lady who travelled from Gloucester to give Robbie collie a home.She had brought treats with her and very quickly the cats realised there was a feast being handed out and gathered around her.I think the cats wanted to go with her too.felix actually jumped in her car and we had to quickly retrieve him. I heard from her today to say that Robbie had travelled very well and had made himself at home, been for lots of walks and already had a grooming session. For an ex working dog to be treated like this is wonderful to hear and like the other farm dogs who go to pet homes he is a very lucky boy indeed.
A 10 years old Jack Russell has been taken to the vet to be destroyed, I have just been to collect him to take him to a foster home.How could anyone take a little dog this age(or any age) to be killed.It is beyond me that they do not even try to find another home, nobody has rung here to ask us to take him.He seems a nice friendly dog who deserves a life in a loving home and someone somewhere will take him on, I am sure of that.
I think I heard a cuckoo this morning, I hope it was, it would be sad to think they would never return here due to lack of food.At one time people were always advised not to feed birds through the summer months because there was so much natural food about.Sadly that is no longer the case and it is so important we feed the wild birds all year round.If there is little in the way of natural food for them it is up to us to try and provide what we can to help them feed their young.The numbers of so many species are declining, it is important also not just to put out seed for the grain eating birds but insects, fruit and nuts too.My niece Talitha said that until she put out fruit she only saw a small variety of birds and now she sees dozens of different ones including blackcaps, longtailed tits and Jays.
Oh I got the date wrong for the Open Day it is not the 25th which is a saturday but the Sunday 26th July.It doesnt seem that far off so I must start the ball rolling and enlist some help for the day.

Monday, 20 April 2009

The Jain Award Ceremony.

I dont know how I managed to get through the Jain award ceremony without making a run for it.Thankfully Barry offered to accompany me so I wasnt entirely alone which woiuld have been much worse! Speaking in front of people terrifies me but it was a great honour to be nominated for the award and it was also another way to "spread the word" so with knees knocking and dry mouth I somehow got through the ordeal. The award itself was a wonderful figure of Mahaveer (a Buddha like figure)on an inscribed wooden plinth and it was awarded to me for my 30 years work in Animal welfare. The Jains are a spin off from traditional Buddhism and are a very compassionate group of people, there are Jain temples all over the world and they believe that life should be lived without violence and that all sentient creatures deserve to live without fear and should not lose their lives to provide human beings with food .Each year they present an award to someone they believe has shown compassion in their chosen way of life and this year I was honoured to be chosen.
I have never received anything like this in my life and to be honest I felt somewhat of a fraud accepting it but I will always treasure it and remember the lovely people we met in their Manchester Community Centre.I have shown one of the pictures of their temple which was truly beautiful and awe inspiring.
Today I had a visit from the Council, my vile neighbour across the fields has started his complaints again about the noise of the dogs.He has been watching the staff exercising the dogs from his vantage point at the top of one of his fields.They have complained to me about hiim using binoculars to spy on them.Oh no I thought here we go again and I was proved right.I told the council that staff bring their dogs in to work as they dont want to leave them for long periods of time and that most of the dogs I rescue are fostered out but that I do have an occasional dog in the house with my own dogs.Unfortunately they are now going to monitor the noise so I will be on edge if my dogs play out in the garden and of course in this nice weather they will be outside a lot.
I still have the permanent residents outside (in heated indoor pens) but they have been here a long time and he will not make me get rid of them.They live here and will continue to do so no matter what he does.
What a b.....d.I wish he would get a life and stop bothering me.The neighbours on the other side of him also spend their days worrying about him spying on them and complaining about their dogs. This horrible man and his equally horrible wife have 2 dogs, one of which has been seen chasing a neighbours sheep!! He needs to get his priorities right.
On a lighter note both Robbie and Milo collies have gone to new homes and the little yorkies will be going also this week. There are quite a few cats being admitted this week, no kittens yet but it wont be long before they start arriving in their dozens.
The three colts Merlin, Celt and Shamrock are going to their summer grazing fields tomorrow, we will miss them but it will do them good and we do need to get a few out to rest the fields here.I hope they go into the horsebox with no stress though Phoebe who owns the box is very competent so all should go well.

Friday, 17 April 2009

2 cats and a dog admitted.

Two beautiful longhaired cats were admitted today.Sami the tortoishell was abandoned in an isolated spot in Anglesey and Che the black/grey cat has been scavenging around a local kennels for several weeks. Both are friendly nice natured cats but will need owners wiling to keep to a daily coat brushing routine if their coats are to remain in good condition.
Milo a 2 years old farm collie was taken yesterday to be destroyed because he was no good with sheep, we have had him neutered and he appears to be a friendly affectionate animal., he is an unusually marked sheepdog and has 2 blue eyes.His arrival means putting off taking in the nervous sheepdog I wrote about a few days ago. He needs to come in next so I can start to assess him and try to do some work with him to overcome his problems.I am no Cesar Milan but I like a challenge and this dog obviously needs help.
I am away saturday and part of sunday so there will not be an entry tomorrow, I am off to manchester to the Jain award ceremony and as always I am feeling nervous at the prospect of having to speak in front of people.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

The abandoned pup has rickets.

Pictured here are the new tabby Abigail and 2 of our ferals who escaped and took up residence in the kitten room, they sleep on top of the pens but go outside when the door is open.Somehow I think they are now here to stay.
Ruth or Rwth as it should be spelled (apologies Rwth)has been in touch to let me know that dear little Fluff is well settled in his new home and is getting lots of attention. I am well and truly elated to hear this news.This is one of the highs of doing animal welfare work, there are more than enough lows to deal with but when something like this happens everything seems worthwhile.
The little lurcher pup has been to the vet today,I was concerned about one of his front legs which appeared a bit knobby looking on the joint.The vet diagnosed rickets from a poor diet so he is on vitamin tablets.From past experience this usually does the trick, I have had lurcher pups before in far worse condition, one litter were unable to walk, their front legs were so bent they walked on their elbows but even those straightened up within weeks.Im sure Freddie(his new name) will be fine.He is a typical lurcher, shy and frail and very wimpy, they are not the bravest of dogs.I am unsure whether he is a greyhound cross or whippet cross, I think his size when grown will be somewhere between the two.He needs to meet the cats, I want him to get used to them so he doesnt grow into a cat chasing/killing machine.He is the right age to start introducing him to cats so tomorrow is the designated day.Today he has been through enough.
Another disappointment, the people failed to turn up for Minty.After the homecheck was passed I was sure they would be here today as arranged but it seems there has been a change of heart from someone in the family.Poor Minty.I really thought his time had come.
Good news about Shane one of the Anglesey ponies, a friend of the shelter Janet is thinking of giving him a permanent home in Derbyshire.If she does make her mind up definitely this will be great for Shane who will be lavished with attention.He could only go to someone like her because he may always have recurring health problems.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

A great day for Fluff and Alfred leaves us.

I can hardly believe it, Fluff finally finds someone who is happy to take him on.Ruth(pictured here with Fluff) wanted an indoor cat and was moved to hear that Fluff had been here for 2 years and had a heart problem.It is just so wonderful to think that today he starts his new life and will be loved and treasured as he deserves.All the fusses and care we gave him could never compensate for the loss of a real home.I knew the right person would come along soon,heres hoping Ruth and Fluff have a long happy life together.Im ecstatic!
Alfred went off happily to his new home, he jumped in the back of their car as though he knew it was his time to go. Molly seems a little subdued, they were not great friends, didnt play or sleep in the same basket but they seemed compatible living together.I wonder if I am being unfair to her bringing new dogs in and then rehoming them.This is the first time she has not had a permanent companion.Perhaps I should find one so there is some constancy for her.I had considered keeping Alfred too but so many people were interested in him, it didnt seem fair to him.I dont have a great deal of time to spend with the big dogs although I am in and out of the kitchen during the day. Molly is now 7 years old which is a fair age for a Great Dane. She is lively when she goes out in the fields but spends a lot of time sleeping too.Maybe I should keep a dog of similar age which she gets on with.It needs some thought but it must be the right one to fit into the lifestyle here with all the other animals about.
Roy is bringing in the stray whippet cross today, he will have have to share the kitchen for now at least. l know already I am going to fall in love with him (As much as I am fond of Roy,I mean the dog and not him)Roy tells me that when he went to collect the pup from the churchyard , he was asleep on a childs grave.The gate was shut to the cemetery and he had been in there all day apparently.I suppose we will never find out his history, if only animals could speak. Its always been a mystery to me that this type of dog is not more popular, after all they seldom bark(though William does) are usually docile and placid of nature and dont pull on the lead or have a tendency to jump all over people.In fact in so many ways they make perfect pets for older people.Years ago I had another beloved dog, an Italian Greyhound called Mr Whippy.God how I loved that dog, he had been admitted from a breeder in Liverpool who didnt want him after the little dog (mysteriously) fell down stairs and broke his two front legs.He was a tiny little chap who hated walking, preferring to be carried everywhere, and of course I obliged.He lived 14 years and I was devastated when he died, he was probably one of , if not THE most special dog I had until William.I love all my dogs but some seem more in tune and there is a special bond with certain ones.
A new cat has been admitted. Abigail, a lovely tabby was taken to be destroyed because she scratched someones grandchild.She is a friendly affectionate cat with striking tabby markings.When I was a child in Liverpool, tabbies were called "Scottie Road cats". There were so many of them , it was the most common colour of cats to be seen on Merseyside.I was never sure why they were called that except that "scottie" was short for Scotland Road.I wonder if anyone else knows why tabbies had that nickname? For some reason this colour is no longer predominant, there appear to be more black cats or black and white than any others nowadays.
Blue seems to be walking much better today, he did not need any treatment, the following day he was walking normally.We were worried because he is one of the neglected Anglesey ponies whose feet have needed so much attention but he seems fine now.It is pouring with rain now and high winds are getting up so we need to bring in the old ponies early, I can already see them clustering round the gate waiting for Mei to do the honours and call them in. I hope this is not the end of the beautiful spring days.I found a bumble bee(in the kitchen) dying this morning and realised I know nothing about them whatsoever, is this normal? I thought they lasted through spring and summer! Another fact I need to look up.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Gizzie and Jessie make themselves at home.

What a brilliant weekend it has been, I had a day off yesterday and went to Llandudno and went to the top of the Great Orme. Even though the staff were keeping an eye on my dogs, I worried most of the day about them being on their own in the house.I sometimes think they rule my life and of course when I returned they were all perfectly fine.Its not something I like to do -I seldom leave them on their own and if I do the girls let them out regularly.When Im out I miss them and compensate by"talking" to dogs I meet in the street, much to the annoyance of anyone accompanying me.
There is a possible home for Bobby, one of our shetland ponies, he is only 5 years old but a very quiet placid little pony,Megan terrier went to her home and Mary cat has been reserved.
We are waiting for the people from Kent who are having Alfred lurcher, to arrive.They are travelling up today and want to meet him before taking him home tomorrow.I gave him a bath this morning so he looks especially beautiful when the meeting takes place.I still intend to stay out the way when he goes,I dont want to see him go. He is such a nice dog, no trouble at all and I will definitely miss him a great deal.
The stray cross german shepherd pup already has a home with someone locally, I have my doubts she was a genuine stray.Often the owners bring them in and make up a story.Why they do this I have no idea. but its a nuisance because then we have no background or information with which to find the right suitable home. Cassie as she will be called is going to live with two other dogs so I hope she will settle quickly.Her first night here was a very unsettled night for her but thats only to be expected.She is a lot calmer today.
The little yorkies Jessie and Gizzy might as well have lived here all their lives, they are so at home!(pictured here)They look quiite big on the photo but they are toy yorkies, dainty frail litle dogs.
Had a call yesterday about a dog curled up all day near a church in Bangor.Roy went out to collect and is fostering him for a few days, he said he is a young whippet cross, smaller than my William.He should be easy to rehome,I must harden my heart, lurchers are definitely one of my favourite types of dog.Anyhow William would not take too kindly to an usurper!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Royston joins the permanent residents

Royston came in to us about 6 months ago, nobody showed any interest in her and because of her age I decided enough was enough.I decided to release her to live out her days at the shelter, she is now 13 years old and life in a cattery is no life for an elderly cat.This was on Saturday morning and already she has made herself completely at home, sleeping in the conservatory at night and pottering around during the day.
One young tortoishell female went today and a relative who accompanied the new owners fell in love with Megan the jack Russell so all being well she will be also going to a new home shortly. Grizzly the collie from a broken home came in yesterday and he too will be off to a new home this week.A stray pup was brought in yesterday, she is around 4 months old, looks like a cross german shepherd and I doubt if anyone will claim her. She appears to suffer from separation anxiety and makes a terrible racket when she is left.She has joined Molly and the other 3 in the kitchen, she is getting on famously with Gemini - the two of them are playing like young dogs do, lots of tugging and pulling at anything they can find(usually seems to be an item of mine from the ever increasing pile of recently washed and waiting to be put away clothes on the kitchen table)Never mind at least it provides entertainment for the dogs!One day I will get round to moving the clothes to their rightful place in the wardrobe but it wont be this week!
Blue , one of the Anglesey ponies has gone lame so is confined to barracks at the moment.It does not appear to be laminitis, rather a stiffness of the joints, perhaps his supplements need to be increased, if there is no improvement I will call out the vet.
I forgot to mention in an earlier blog entry that Andre our Equine Dentist is not only compassionate and gentle with our horses but he also does volunteer work abroad to help less fortunate equines.Each year he spends a month helping the Greek animal Welfare near Athens. How brilliant to know of someone who uses his skills in this way.Well done Andre.
The 2 little yorkshire terriers which went to a local home a week ago have been returned , in retrospect I think they were too lively for the lady who would maybe have been better off with just one more sedate yorkie.I did have a small flicker of doubt, I should have listened to my inner voice. These are tiny little dogs aged 6 years but they are full of energy and more suited to someone younger.They are happy enough to be back here and the Maggie Marthas just looked at them briefly and went back to sleep.Little Suzy also accepted the presence of the newcomers and as long as they keep their distance she is happy. Suzy is the grumpy one of the 3 permanent yorkies.The Maggie Marthas are gentle and sweet.Suzy chooses when to be affectionate, the rest of the time she is a little tinker but as she is so tiny and only has one tooth her bite is totally ineffective.
My car is back from the garage and William is so thrilled he has scarcely left it and has been curled up in the passenger seat ever since. I have to persuade him to leave it so I can lock it and bring him into the house.He is clearly scared it will disappear again.

Friday, 10 April 2009

The pigs enjoying a banana snack.

Barbara has arrived back from Leicestershire where she had been to collect a donation of petfood from Pedigree Petfoods.They have donated an amazing 96 cases of Whiskas and 53 cases of Chappie.Our petfood bill is incredibly high so this is very welcome and will make a great difference to us.
The house seems empty without Ruby which seems silly as I still have 5 permanent dogs but this is the lowest number I have had for a long time and those animals which require more intensive care seem to leave the biggest gap when they go. I will try not to take in any more permanent dogs for a while to give myself a break from caring for elderly and difficult dogs.It takes over your life and I have done it for over 30 years and feel I want a bit of "me" time.Is that selfish? I certainly feel guilty even just writing the words but I am saving up for a good holiday this year and I dont want to have to worry about leaving Mei and the staff coping with extra responsibiities.The remaining 5 with the exception of Molly are very old but so far have no major health issues.
Its a lovely bright day today, the pigs are lying in the sun , enjoying the fresh air.Of course they are never to be seen when it is cold, they bury themselves deep down in their warm bed of straw.Today they have spent most of their time outside pottering about and continuing their never ending search for food.
Poor little |cat Harry Black was found to have a massive tumour, there was nothing to be done Im afraid, I wish he had been in a home and not ended his days here although it would have been heartbreaking for a new owner to lose him so soon, maybe it was best it was discovered here.
Another 2 cats have been homed today. The sun must be bringing people out. Marmalade a 6 years old cat has been chosen along with Billy Jo , a very timid little black cat who has been here for 2 years.We are all over the moon about this, just when you start to think nobody will ever take a certain animal, then someone arrives who is immediately attracted to that same animal.Thank goodness it does happen or we would have so many more cats here permanently.
Rosie has been fostering a middle aged collie called Robbie, she is going away this weekend so I have put him in with Sasha who has brightened up considerably now she has a new companion.
We had a visit from a girl called Kerry who is going to take part in a sponsored skydive for us in July.Now thats what I call brave!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

A day of sadness.

This morning I let Molly, alfred and Gem out and went to let Jackson and sasha out of their kennel as they all exercise together.Sasha was eagerly waiting but There was no sign of Jackson . I could see him in his basket and thinking he might be deaf went to wake him.To my great distress I could see he was dead.He looked as though he had died in his sleep but it was a terrible shock.Last night he had been enjoying his evening run, had been eating well too so I can only suppose he must have had a heart condition of which we were not aware.Poor Sasha is very quiet and subdued, she clearly misses him too.I am glad that for the time he was here, he was very happy, he loved itat the shelter, enjoyed his romps on the field(several times daily)and the company of the other dogs.From the first day he arrived he made himself at home, there were never any signs of fretting or unhappiness, on the contrary his tail never stopped wagging and his face always seemed to be smiling.He really was a lovely dog and at 6years he was far from old, such a shame.
As if this was not bad enough I was forced to make a decision regarding my old cavalier Ruby.For a while her back legs have become weaker and weaker and her kidneys have started to fail so I knew her time was imminent but it was the last straw today when I found her distressed and lying in her own excrement.This is not fair to any animal, they all deserve some dignity in their old age so I made that awful decision which I knew was right but nevertheless left me feeling so empty and sad. Rhian kindly offered to take her to the Vet and I readily accepted her offer.It had been a long time since Ruby really acknowledged me, she spent most of her time sleeping so I did not feel I was letting her down by not accompanying her.Rhian is so strong and I am so grateful to her for this, it is not easy for anyone to do and she has had a terrible past year with losing a few of her own dogs.I cant thank her enough.Shes a good friend as well as a work colleague.
Although these two incidents have understandably overshadowed the day, there have been some bright spots, we have found homes for 4 domestic cats and 5 feral cats have gone to a new home.These good moments make the others more bearable. I will focus on the fact that these lucky cats will soon be enjoying the life they deserve.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Shall we Make a Run for It?

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"Shall we make a run for it" Judging by the look on their faces thats what the ponies seem to be thinking.
Andre our equine dentist is visiting today.Most of the ponies are marvellous when they have their teeth examined but little Maggie shetland is a nightmare and we have to have the vet out as well to sedate her.Small she may be but she is very strong and can be dangerous, rearing on her hind legs and kicking.Noddy, on the other hand is a sweetheart(as usual)but it is only to be expected from the best looking, best natured, best behaved pony on the property.Of course I am not in the least bit biased!!
Carousel, Solitaire and Starlight are pictured in the Dentists Waiting Room (stable yard) looking back at him treating Noddy and wondering when it is their turn to be subjected to the indigity of having Andre peering in to their mouths.I know exactly how they feel having experienced that feeling myself - not with Andre I hasten to add ,and in fact when I was a child actually escaped through an open window when the dentist had his back turned. I ran all the way home.My mother was not amused.
The dentist was impressed with the difference in some of the ponies. When he first came here several of the ponies were impossible to handle having had very little socialisation before their admittance to the shelter.Now it is only Maggie who has to be sedated.Andre joined us for a coffee break and Blue(one of the Anglesey ponies) decided to have some too.Pictured drinking from Meis coffee cup.After all a visit to the dentist deserves a little treat.
3 dogs have gone to be neutered today- Megan the jack russell, Gem the eviction dog and a middle aged unwanted farm dog Robbie.Harry Black has also gone in for tests.This little black cat seems to have lost weight and there is always a worry there is something serious underlying.Blood tests are the best option so we know for once and for all what is the problem.
The people interested in Minty rang to say they were not having him, what a disappointment.He is such a nice dog too though like all collies he is very active.I dont know what the real reason was for not having him but as they had owned a collie before that cant have been what put them off. Maybe they saw a more attractive dog elsewhere. Who knows? Wendy in Dorset has seen a few suitable shops for us to consider opening as a charity shop in that area so will probably head off down to Dorset for a few days next week possibly. We desperately need to improve our income and shops seem to be the only way to do this, at least they bring in a regular sum.We have only been established in Wales for 6 years and it takes a long time to drum up support and funding.At the moment we are sailing close to the wind financially so the situation is urgent and with everyone worrying about the recession I am extremely worried about the future of the shelter.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

William misses his car and Will Minty ever find a home?

We got the boys back this morning, as I write this they are enjoying a well earned rest in their own field and Mei is busy poo picking around them. Usually they follow her and have happy times tipping the wheelbarrow over and watching her start all over again!Well happy times for them not for poor Mei who gets incredibly frustrated.At least they are giving her some peace today.Oops I spoke too soon, Mei has just come in for a coffee break having just had a full wheelbarrow tipped over by Sam. They are naughty boys.
The people for Minty were very nice and promised to let us know their decision today but as yet I have heard nothing so am disappointed.They seemed so suitable for him and were the first people ever to admire him and to think he was nice looking(except us)never mind there have been a few enquiries for him so maybe one will turn out to be THE home for him.
A couple, of dogwalkers have turned up today so that means extra walks for some of them.Not all will go with new people.Bonny our old foxhound is absolutely terrified of new faces and will run a mile if approached by a stranger, especially men.Even after being here for 2 years, she has not overcome this terror.It is such a shame, she is such a gentle affectionate dog but her background as a hunting dog appears to have left her scarred mentally.When she arrived she was emaciated and desperate for food and now she is a normal weight she still eats as though there will never be another meal.In fact if there is no food on offer she thinks nothing of stealing it, she has eaten the cats food,ripped open bags of donated dog food and even stolen
volunteers lunches. When dogs have been starved this seems to become a permananent state of mind for them.
Alfreds homecheck has passed so I must steel myself for him leaving soon.He is sharing the kitche with another rescue now and Molly seems quiet happy with the arrangement.Gemini is a lovely little cross cocker spaniel, full of life and vitality - her owner rang in a panic, she had been evicted and had nowhere for her 2 dogs, she had left them in her house and when Roy went out to collect them the owner of the house had called in the dog warden who was taking them to the dog Pound.Thankfully the council were quickly informed that these were not abandoned and had an owner and the dogs were returned within the hour.The B@B she was going to then said she could have one dog with her so we only brought one back.
My car is in the garage having a(very expensive) mot and work done on it.William is very upset, his kennel on wheels is not here and he is very restless.He keeps staring at me with reproach in his eyes and has resorted to sleeping in the cats kennel outside the office.This is not his usual choice of bedroom so he is not at all happy with me and this third rate accommodation.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Sam and Murphy make a bid for freedom!

A busy day today, someone came to look at feral cats so pending a homecheck 3 lucky ferals may soon have a new home.The little yorkie has gone this morning, she has gone to Kev and Linda who already have a yorkie from Freshfields, their two oldest died recently making room for another rescue.This couple adore their dogs and will be the perfect home for little Minnie.I couldnt be more pleased.
Alfred the lurcher has someone interested in him .They live in Kent so I am waiting to hear how that homecheck went, I have a good feeling about it.The sooner he goes the better, I am becoming rather attached to him.I love lurchers, they are one of my favourite dogs and Alfred fits in so well! Its so tempting when a dog comes along that really seems to fit into the lifestyle here but I always have to remind myself that by keeping some that means I will have no room to help any others which may be in need of help.It is hard though to be rational ALL of the time.
Jan came again today to help with the office work. When she lost all her work last time after the computer crashed, I had doubts she would turn up again.I am so glad she hasnt given up on us, I really do need help in the office, there seems to be so much paperwork to deal with nowadays and it takes up so much time.
A friend emailed me about the lack of ladybirds telling me that she has seen loads of them where she lives on the LLyn peninsula so perhaps I will see some here this spring.There were buzzards directly overhead today, I worry about the safety of the old cats but I think they were doing a mating dance.They seemed more interested in each other than searching for food on the ground.I dont know if they would ever attempt to take a cat but I suppose it is possible, they are big, powerful birds.
Last year I gave a talk to a group called Quaker concern for animals, they have nominated me for an award which is given annually by The Young Indian vegetarians.I am to receive it on April 18th at a venue near manchester. Each year they present an award to someone whose work displays compassion so I am honoured to be chosen and look forward to meeting some nice people at the event.
I have done some posters to try and rehome Fluff the heart murmer cat, he is already on the catchat website under special needs and on the Freshfields website.There MUST be someone out there for him, maybe the posters will do the trick.
Naughty shetlands Sam and Murphy broke out their field today and decided to explore another part of the shelter and could we get them back? They were having none of it and eventually Mei and I gave it up as a bad job.Exhausted and dirty, looking like stig of the dump (from falling over)we conceded defeat.They have joined the bigger ponies in the next field - When shetlands decide to do something they can be very stubborn, they may be small but they have minds of their own and can be harder to deal with than the largest horse.Tomorrow is another day.they will probably give themselves up after they have enjoyed their days freedom.They clearly wanted to be with the Big Boys.
I cant believe it, someone has arrived who is interested in Minty the collie who has been here for 6 months.Nobody ever looks at him, the shortcoated collies are not as popular as the longcoated dogs and he is constantly overlooked.More of this tomorrow.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Where are all the butterflies and ladybirds?

Photo of Elaine on her visit to the shelter, she has our old cat "Fatticat "! in her arms and is meeting Marigold , Suzy took a lovely photo of Marigold and Melba which I had to show.These two ponies get on so well together. Marigold came from a home where she had been in a field on her own for 12 years, had no handling and no pony companionship either.Her owner could not handle her and certainly when she came here, she was very skittish and nervous.She still is not the most placid of ponies but so much better now.Melba came to us one winter, we had heard of a pony kept in a small stable for the whole winter and the owners were happy to hand her over to us.When she arrived she galloped round and round the fields for hours.Her joy was wonderful to behold. No wonder she was happy - she had a field at her old home but they would not let her in it in case she got dirty!!!
I had a call from Horse and Rider magazine, they are considering my letter for publication and wanted some photos.I hope they do decide to print it.
It is lovely here today, the sun is shining and it is really warm, I was talking to Roy who runs our charity shop in Caernarfon and we were discussing the lack of butterflies seen last year. There is a definite decrease in much of our wildlife.
Last night there was an article in the Mail about the disappearance of many birds due mainly to the change of climate and I was shocked at the statistics.Apparently there is a 50 percent decline in the numbers of cuckoos in the UK. The shelter is in Lon Pant-y-gog which in English means Cuckoo Dip lane and each April their distinctive call announces the arrival of Spring.Will I hear it this year? Another creature I rarely see now are ladybirds and frogs.A few years ago we had a massive influx of frogs around the shelter.I spent days rescuing them from the cats and from the animal water bowls, they were everywhere, it was difficult to even walk without dodging them underfoot.The last two years I have only seen a very small number and no ladybirds at all.I remember reading a book, I think it was in the sixties, a book called Silent Spring by Rachael Carson.At the time she was thought to have very radical views,her book told of the disastrous effect pesticides were having on the balance of nature, that sooner or later there would be no birdsong heard and how right she was, that combined with climate change has changed the countryside as we knew it. One can only hope that her prophecy will not come true completely.