Monday, 28 December 2009

Another frightened farm dog.

Well the holiday is over now and it has been the quietest ChristmasI can remember as regards animal admittances.I think most people got rid of their unwanted pets in the weeks leading up to it.We did not even have a call from the local police about strays which is most unusual, anyhow it made a nice change but today I have received several calls from people wanting to get rid of dogs. I knew the peace would not last for long! We have admitted one stray kittencat which turned up on someones doorstep on Christmas Eve, a three legged feral cat and a nervous collie.(pictured here and more of her later)
A man turned up yesterday with an unwanted lurcher but unfortunately we had no room so he is my immediate priority to advertise and rehome.Then one of the 15 collies arrived whilst I was out.On return I went in to see her and she is absolutely terrified of her own shadow.Such a pretty dog, a longhaired red and white collie, but oh so very scared.When she arrived she went for Barbara who thought we might have an aggressive dog on our hands.Clearly my dog whispering technique was called for and so I slowly backed into her, then slid down to talk to her facing away from her. within a minute she allowed me to caress her and slip off the piece of string attached to her collar. It worked again. The first time I used this technique(long before anyone had heard of Cesar Milan) was with a collie called Snowy who was found in Liverpool, he had to be sedated to be caught and brought to the shelter in Ince Blundell. He also was terrified but he would actually leap at you and attack which was very very frightening and the staff were quite rightly unsure of him and scared to approach him. I went into his pen backwards preventing a full head on attack and I sat looking away and talking to him.This was a hard one to crack and it took a few days of this before he would allow me to touch him. After that he was putty in my hands though I must say that he was eventually adopted by Alan a member of kennel staff and to this day he cannot be trusted implicitly with strangers. If only animals could talk, what tales they would tell though some would not have pretty stories of their past homes.What makes a dog so scared and aggressive, there is only one answer - human beings and the worst sort.
I wonder did anyone read Liz Jones article in the Mail? The one where she wrote about being lonely at Christmas- well I did identify to some degree though unlike her I did have invitations from friends and family . Unfortunately they did not pan out due to being let down by one person and later when I planned to visit family I was unable to go due to the fact that world war three had broken out there! The Waltons we are definitely NOT. Much as I love my sister and her girls, all the women in our family are strong minded and volatile which is ok until all meet under the same roof. When that happens it would be safer to swim in shark infested waters! As I am not a good swimmer I decided to stay at home with the animals. Under the circumstances I feel this was the best decision I could have made but I did feel for my sister having to deal with the fall out. Not an easy time for her.
Finally I had a wonderful surprise, a lady who used to foster kittens for Freshfields in Liverpool many years ago, the eighties I think, wrote me a letter and enclosed a copy of the Paul Gallico book "Jenny" I had written about recently.I was thrilled to bits and overwhelmed by how thoughtful some people are. I also received a lovely book of poems from a fellow animal lover in Tennessee, United States! Gestures like these really boost the morale.
I hope everybody had a good holiday and if there are any "Waltons" type families out there, can I live with you?
ps: I spoke too soon, the police have just rung with a stray puppy, why didnt I keep my big mouth shut? Wonder if poor little thing is an unwanted xmas present? More tomorrow.

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