Thursday, 30 December 2010

Pwty is Happy to be Back.from the Vet.Surgery


The ongoing saga of what to do about Taz the young German Shepherd with behavioural problems continues. Things have become desperate and Dermot and Sue are at the end of their tether.It has become so bad with her trying to get at their cats that they have been forced to place the two cats in a catttery until Taz goes. Of course we take responsibility and will take her back but she really needs to be somewhere with an experienced dog handler in order to continue her training. It is a very sad business and this nice couple are devastated at having to part with her after they have put so much time and effort into her, I know they will be broken hearted when she goes but the cat situation is untenable. Anyhow I put out a Nationwide appeal for help on the internet and have been contacted by Kat who is a German Shepherd Rescue volunteer . Her society is run by a lady called Jayne and they are trying to find a place for her in Nuneaton. I hope to have news today.
We have 5 feral cats coming in . We seldom admit these cats, preferring to neuter and release but this small colony in Anglesey were in danger of being rounded up and killed, they have been fostered by Ann(wildlife lady) over Christmas and Rhian has gone to collect them today. We urgently need to find some farm type homes for some of our ferals, the enclosure is really full now . Occasionally one or two manage to run past us and escape when we are feeding them but they all return by the evening and are waiting to get back in.
One of the cats I have in the house has been ill and is suffering from a middle ear infection. I have two cats in the house, Holly the tortie with no ears and one eye who keeps me company every night, she snuggles up in my arms and falls asleep purring away.I am so used to the noise now I sleep through it. Then there is Pwty another tortoishell whose owner died about a year ago and whose grumpy nature prevented me from finding her a home, she is now 13 years of age and still grumpy so prefers to spend most of her time in the bedroom where it is quiet and dog free. Her infection is being treated by the vet and she also is in need of a dental so will have to return for that operation next week. I picked her up from the surgery this afternoon and I think in her own way she was glad to see me , well at least she didn't bite me!
PS: I went to take a photo of her for todays blog and guess what - she bit me! I thought she was being too nice, it never lasts.
I have been in touch via email with a lady who has cats from us and she had expressed interest in having a dog so we introduced her and her family to Cleo a 4 years old labrador cross Mastiff and it was love all round. Cleo was one of those dogs we all knew would not be homeless for long, she is everybodys dream dog, gentle, affectionate, well behaved and loves everybody and everything. I wish I had such a dog, mine have all been rather like me - chaotic and volatile.(they say dogs become like their owners) Cleo was taken in to our Machynlleth shop by her owners who no longer wanted her. Their loss is most definitely someone elses gain.
Generally though ,there have been very few enquiries about homing pets,I thought once Xmas was over we would be deluged by visitors but perhaps people are wanting New Year to be over before they search for new pets to join the family. Therefore I am living in hope that there will be a queue of people waiting to adopt pets on 1st january.
Thursday 7 pm:
We had to call the Vet out tonight as Titch one of our elderly shetland ponies was on his way in to his stable when he started to wobble and began fitting. His convulsions got worse and he was dangerously near collapsing against the rugged stone wall - worried that he was going to smash his thrashing head on the stone wall I had Mei bring up some horse rugs to cushion his body. Shortly after we positioned the rugs he collapsed against them and whilst Mei was getting the rest of the horses in for the night, I held his head to prevent a possible injury and after a while the violent fit ended.By the time Dafydd the vet arrived Mei had managed to getTitch back to his stable where he was given a sedative. This could be a one off but as with Grandad it is often the start of more such episodes.Time will tell but for now he is resting and settled in his stable.

Monday, 27 December 2010

In which I accept my ' Seniority'!

Monday:
Dani rang me to say the horses near Pwllheli were not in an ideal situation so I loaded up the car with hay and water in containers and headed out to the address which was about 5 minutes out of the town . The 4 horses although without rugs seemed to be in good condition but the first thing that struck me was that there was no shelter of any kind in the open field, not so much as a hedge or wall for them to shelter against the elements. The field itself was waterlogged and therefore much of it had frozen over, there was no grass showing through the snow and ice so I went to the farmhouse and the farmer was indeed the owner ; he went to great lengths to tell me how his animals were well cared for but admitted he fed the horses only half a bale of hay daily!! Half a bale for four horses including a pregnant mare! When I mentioned the fact that this was inadequate whilst there was no grazing available (I was very diplomatic in my choice of words)he told me that he would put more down if I paid for it! This is not the worst case scenario for horses and many are far worse off , but it is most certainly not right that these animals do not have adequate food and shelter during these harsh weather conditions and I think it is a job for one of the national charities to follow through from my initial inspection.
Today we homed one of the abandoned 'owner went to Australia' cats. A nice couple braved our track and arrived to search for an adult cat to take home. They found it hard to make a decision but eventually chose the black one of the pair. A new life is about to begin for her and hopefully in the new year we will find a nice home for her companion also. (they were not inseparable otherwise we would have kept them together) We are also expecting two of the cross Westie pups to leave us tomorrow and of course little Pippin is due to start her new life on Merseyside.
It has started to rain and the snow is beginning to thaw and it has left the track and yard dangerously slippy. Like most people I am tired of it now and long for a day when the sun shines, the animals are happier , the birds can once again find their own source of food and the ground underfoot is no longer something on which to tread warily for fear of falling a.....e over t...t!!
Tuesday:
It was good to see a full quota of staff in today,I never thought I would be so pleased to see the yard full of cars but it is the first time since the onset of the snow that all vehicles made it up the steep track.
The thaw is now completed and John and Dave have been busy clearing the yard to make it safe once again - that in betweeny stage of snow melting and ice thawing leaves everywhere looking so dirty and untidy, it has taken them all morning to clear up but they have done a good job. John is in my bad books at the moment for buying me a book for Christmas. You may think that is a nice thought especially as I love reading and books are always welcome by me, however this one is called 'Senior Moments'!!!! Of course it is the thought that counts but clearly his thoughts are that I am not only past my prime but already embracing a life of mind boggling ineptitude and forgetfulness? Another present I received from another FRIEND was a hooded sweatshirt printed with the words from a Lady GaGa song.Yes that sounds ok too but not when the words say "Where are my keys" I lost my phone"!! Thank you, I think I have got the Message now!
Pippin(now Molly) has left us this morning, I am so pleased for her that now she will have a really caring home - she will think she has died and gone to heaven. I cant for the life of me think why her owner said this little dog wandered; she has never shown any interest in leaving here and we are not even fully enclosed, I can only assume that she was unhappy for some reason and was looking for companionship and atttention wherever she could get it. The new owners brought up the old Liverpool Echo newspaper cutting showing their dog with a Freshfields staff member shortly after his rescue from the River Mersey and I recognised him immediately from the photograph. It will be good to think that like her predecessor ,Molly will have 10 0r more good years with the Chalkey family.
Life is coming back to the shelter after the quietness of Christmas. One of the Westie pups went this morning and the remaining two are to be collected tomorrow. however two dogs are due in from the Dog Pound. Thats the way it goes, a few go out and a few come in.They have been due in since before the holiday but due to the bad weather conditions the owner of the kennels kept them for an extra week.Foster homes are already lined up for them ,Poor Rosie doesn't have much of a break from her foster mum duties. Still it keeps her busy and stops her from getting into trouble hanging round street corners.(she'll kill me for that comment)

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Paddys first day at the beach



It has been a very quiet Christmas I am pleased to say . Most pets were abandoned or discarded as usual the month leading up to the festive period.
Will people ever understand how cruel they are?What astounded me was the blatancy of the requests to take pets away due to the imminent holiday.There was no embarassment or even an attempt to disguise the truth with many. It was almost as though it was completely acceptable to discard ones pets before Christmas! I would have thought and hoped that with all the publicity over the years people were now more aware of the wrongs of doing this? Apparently not. How disheartening.
I had several calls on Christmas Eve from members of the public concerned about horses starving in snow covered fields and unfortunately nobody seemed able to get through to the main welfare societies. The best I could do with most was to give advice on how to trace the owners of the animals but was able to check on one case myself and find a friend to check on another. I heard back from one concerned person in Anglesey who had in fact managed to trace the owner of the horses about which he was worried ;in spite of this he remains bothered enough to keep watch over them to ensure they are being fed and watered.Thank goodness for people like him. I am waiting for news on the horses in the Pwllheli area which cat fosterer Dani is going to check out today . The other was not as bad as it seemed and people were going to feed them daily. I hope the Pwllheli ones are being cared for adequately and am waiting anxiously to hear if further action needs to be taken.

The owners of the terrier turned up after a friend of theirs saw him here at the shelter and told them their missing dog was here . I had already found a prospective home for Pippin and when they knew that was the case,they admitted they had made no attempt to find the dog and did not really want her back! I was unsurprised, after all she was not wearing a collar nor had she been microchipped .The very fact she had not been reported missing for 9 days in this terribly cold weather was in itself indicative of the uncaring attitude of the owners. I am pleased she will be going to a home where she will be loved and cared for - she is being collected on Tuesday by a family who have had a Freshfields dog for 15 years. Although I have problems remembering all the animals which pass through the shelter I remember their dog because he was featured in a local newspaper in Liverpool after being rescued by Coastguards from the River Mersey. As with all unusual or traumatic cases it stuck in my mind. I am looking forward to seeing the old newspaper cutting which they have promised to bring to show me.

The British Blue cat is pregnant! That makes it even worse to think that she had been scavenging to survive all these weeks.Well she is now being fostered by a nice couple who live in Anglesey and will be joining their 5 cats until her kittens are born and weaned, at which time we will take them back here and arrange to have mum spayed. If she gets on well with their cats they will keep her so here's hoping! That would be a lovely outcome for her.

On Xmas Day I took my three dogs to Dinas Dinlle Beach and they had a wonderful time, Patch JR was a bt naughty and kept running off to explore but Paddy and Meg stayed close at all times. It was a beautiful day, bright and crisp and the views of the mountains stunning. It was a bit cramped for Paddy on the back seat but his made to measure ramp has yet to be covered with a non slip material so I could not get him in the back of the truck. Next time maybe.



Thursday, 23 December 2010

Happy Christmas to Everyone

I am signing off until Boxing Day and would like to wish everyone a very happy and peaceful Christmas Holiday.
Best wishes,
Lesley

Monday, 20 December 2010

Cats in Comfort, Pippin and a grateful stray cat.




Monday:
Hallelujah! More staff came in today though as I was not expecting anyone was going to make it in I was forced to ring Mei and ask her to come in early to help. It was the one morning she could have had a lie in! I felt so guilty.
Engine cat has been returned to his home and we are about to admit another cat which has been living for some weeks on the stairways of a block of flats in Pwllheli.Gail who lives in that area is going to collect him/her tonight.I have no idea where he will go, we are full to the brim but how can we say no to animals living rough in these conditions?A space will have to be made.
Someone turned up today with a terrier they found which neighbours have been feeding for the past few weeks. She is a nice little dog, (pictured here)she looks like she could be a cross jack russell with a border terrier and the staff have named her Pippin. Vanessa has offered to foster her for us until a home is found. It is anybodys guess whether she will be claimed or not.
Tuesday:
The cat living rough turned out to be a blue cream British Blue! isn't she beautiful?What beautiful orange eyes.How did she end up living this way?It shows that even pedigree animals are not always cossetted and loved by their owners ,unless her owner has died and she has been turned out to fend for herself. That is always a possible scenario. When I lived at the Liverpool shelter we admitted a cat which had been living rough on waste ground for at least six months; Dave asked me to go and look at him as he was so handsome.(the cat, not Dave) and to my amazement it was a pure bred Bengal cat. Nobody claimed him and he was subsequently rehomed. Then there are the longhaired (persian) cats which are sometimes admitted and these are usually in the most neglected condition of all. They have badly matted coats and often have to be sedated and have all the coat shaved off. They are adorable as fluffy kittens but require extensive care with grooming and if this is not kept up it doesn't take long for the coat to become a total mess. They are not ideal pets for everybody and they certainly need owners with time and patience to groom daily. The cat admitted yesterday is a gentle natured animal and it is shocking to think she has been forced to sleep on cold concrete balconies in this terrible weather. She is clearly so grateful to be warm again. I am always thankful that there is usually someone caring enough in the neighbourhood to at least pick up the telephone and alert us to such cases.Pictured also are some of our old and semi ferals which live in the conservatory, there is no way they are venturing out in the snow,its far too cosy for them indoors. They do have the freedom to go outside, we only lock them in when cat hating dogs are about but in this weather they really have no inclination to move from their beds.
Wednesday.
The day started with a nice surprise from our lampeter shop manageress Audrey who rang to say we had overpaid our gas bill and are due a rebate of over £1,000.What a lovely way to start the day with good news like this. It has been snowing again overnight and judging by the dark clouds on the horizon, more will be imminent. I am delighted that we have running water again , that is an immense relief. Thanks to Barry and his 4x4, there is enough catfood in to last about a week;
Moan for the Day - usually at this time of year we have donations of petfood handed in but of course few people have been able to get here so it has made a huge difference to our 'stock pile' over the holiday.There has been no post for nearly two weeks so we have had no cards or postal donations either. Surely next year the Government/councils will be better organised. As we all know ,the fact of the matter is that money has to be invested in appropriate machines and manpower if the country is not to grind to a halt again, it is ludicrous and so damaging to the economy, never mind the personal problems it causes.I feel so sorry for those trying to travel home for Christmas and stuck in airports instead. Having myself spent cold, sleep deprived nights in airports, it is no joke.Mind you both occasions were my own fault, no weather conditions were to blame, I just mixed up the days of the flights!!!! Dumb blonde strikes again!
I have received a call to say that Millie the cross spaniel has not only settled in well with her new people but that they think she is is the best dog in the world and are thrilled to bits with her. I love to hear that, it sets my mind at rest. Millie is a particularly nice well behaved dog and I am so pleased for her.Heaven knows why she would have been abandoned by her previous owner but thats life I'm afraid. Animals do not necessarily have to be ill behaved to be treated in such a way.Often its the owners who are the problem and not the pet.


Sunday, 19 December 2010

Icicles on The Conservatory!






Roys rescue of the cat in the engine was a success though he struggled for about half an hour to free her, she was wedged in tight and very frightened. She must be somebodys pet as she is in good condition and is wearing a collar but nobody has yet reported a black cat missing from that area.Roy is unable to bring her to the shelter as he is also knee deep in snow so he has made her comfortable at his home until he can bring her here. I know Roy will not thank me for saying this but he is really wonderful at helping in emergencies.If there is ever an animal in distress I know I can call on him for assistance and he will be happy to oblige.He is truly invaluable.
Well the snow is deeper than ever and we are struggling with staffing problems. Pictured are Gail and Sue wearily trudging home .Sue has had to walk in from the village(no mean feat in these conditions) and Gail was picked up by Rosie who thankfully has a four wheel drive vehicle which can at least reach the bottom of our track.Even with a 4 wheel drive the track is too dangerous to traverse. The water situation is the biggest issue, the main herd of horses have had to be put in the lower fields for access to the stream but will have to come in at night.At the moment this is viable but as soon as it starts to ice over we will not be able to move them to these fields as it will be too slippy and we cannot risk injury to their legs if they fall.
No, I have not been busy putting up icicle lights for Christmas - these are for real! For the first time ever since I have lived here there are massive icicles everywhere, pictured are those on the conservatory this morning.
Photos of Reggie and Timmy collies enjoying the snow and Leroy and Sorrell in their snow filled field. The little shetland ponies legs almost disappear in this. Leroy who is elderly .was saved from the meatman at a horse sale some years ago and has lived here for 7 years sharing a stable with Noddy and Maggie.
The new owners of Taz are very distressed but feel there is nothing left they can do to for her to accept the resident cats, she is determined to get at them and that is just not acceptable.Thjey have worked so hard with her and are understandably upset at failing but as I said to them, they tried more than most people would ever do and they are not to be blamed at all.We will have to find somewhere for her as soon as possible.I am sad for them and for Taz who could have had a wonderful permanent home with people who care and who were kind enough to take on a dog knowing her to have problems. I really dont know where we go from here.
Prospective owners for one of the westie cross pups braved the adverse weather conditions to travel from Rhyl - the others will have to wait until the New Year before they can go to their homes. The brindle male is the first to go and all being well they will have a lovely family pet in him.I have never known such clean well behaved dogs, at the age of five months they are incredibly well trained.
We have cleared a path for the pigs from their house to the water container but they are not keen to venture out at all and so everything is having to be delivered to their door - I Wish I could have food and drink delivered this way.Lucky piggies.
I had a call today from a wheelchair bound lady in Jersey, Channel Islands who wants a collie with which to do Power Agility.I did not know such a thing existed but it is for people(adults and children) who are in wheelchairs and who want to do agility with their dogs What a great idea , anyhow I am on the look out for a suitable dog for this lady and I feel sure we will find one soon. She has equipment in her garden to train a dog for this so whatever she has will be kept amused and not suffer from the boredom so many intelligent and lively dogs are forced to endure.
Somehow I need to get out to buy more catfood to last through the forthcoming holiday period, we only have enough to last a couple more days and no delivery vans will make it here at the moment. These are the things which make the whole snow scenario not so much picturesque as a continual worry about getting food and water to so many animals. In the light of this concern my own personal hygiene is the least of my worries though if a friend can pick me up on the road and drive me to a house where all utilities are in working order,I hope to resolve(albeit temporarily) this tomorrow. Perhaps I will be able to buy some petfood at the same time. If the snow keeps falling this may be the only opportunity to do so.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Snowbound Once Again.




Pictured is the deaf cat admitted recently. I asked Mei why his owner did not keep him indoors and she said she asked her that but had no response! It stands to reason that deaf cats need to be kept indoors for their own safety, apparently the owner had not noticed that he was deaf and it clearly must have been a problem which she was unable to deal with.Somebody will love this affectionate animal so he is probably better off being put up for adoption with us.
Gail (cattery Gail)turned up here yesterday evening with an abandoned cat which had been living rough around a supermarket car park for two years.He seemed very pleased to be somewhere warm and has never stopped purring.We were told that there is another cat with him but there was no sign of that one so Gail will try and find him/her to bring him to a place of safety and warmth.
I have received a call today from a man who has had a cat trapped in his car engine for the past four hours; he has tried to get help but had no success so as he lives close to town, I have sent him round to our Caernarfon shop and hope that Roy will be able to assist him. I am waiting to hear the outcome.
Like so many other areas we are once again snowed in, there is about 5 inches of snow on the ground and even the roads are not clear. Why has the country run out of salt? This time we should have been well prepared.It is particularly frustrating for those who live in rural areas and have no shops within walking distance. At least the dogs like it, the cats prefer to be sensible and stay in their houses but the dogs are overjoyed to see the snow again. Paddy loves to chase the other dogs but he is so slow and clumsy he has not a chance in hell of catching up with them but he likes to try and has fun doing so. It does not loook as though we will be able to have the horses back this weekend and the arrival of dogs due to be admitted has had to be postponed until the weather improves. They will be safe where they are for the time being so there is no immediate worry.
We have had to call the Vet out and had to wait until Dafydd, the only one with a four wheel drive was free! We had to make the call because Sorrell has somehow had an injury to one of her back legs and it is very bad, you can see the bone through it. I can only assume one of the other horses has kicked her, the problem is that on a pastern there is little skin to draw together with stitches so she has it covered with a dressing and bandage and we have to hope that it will heal itself.She is none too happy being kept in her stable, in fact she is downright furious at us but she has to have ther dressing kept clean so there is no choice. The vet is returning on Monday to check on the wound and re-dress it. Dafydd is the pin up at the surgery and is greatly admired by every woman I know and his visits are always something the staff look forward to. There is always great enthusiasm to call him out and I have to make sure it is absolutely necessary!! Poor Dafydd, I am sure he must find the adoration embarassing.
The new owners of terrible Taz the young and very disturbed German Shepherd are still struggling with her and her neuroses. They have been recommended to use Serenum drops and they feel that she does seem a ,little calmer on these.I wonder if anyone else has had experience of these? If they work I would like to know as we often have exciteable and nervous animals which are difficult to home and for their own sakes it would be good to try something to keep them calmer. I do hope that they get to the bottom of her problems, she is so young and so affectionate but she really is a handfull. It is so sad when dogs are not trained from puppyhood, what is cute behaviour in a pup can be dangerous in a full grown adult animal.It makes me mad because it is not the fault of the dog but of the owner who has not put any work into their pet.Some people think all they have to do is buy a pet and it comes ready trained. If they are not prepared to put time and effort into it, they should not have a pet, especially a large breed dog which when left untrained can be quite intimidating.
Well, what will tomorrow bring? will any staff manage to turn up? Somehow I am doubtful, the snow is here for a few more days I think and it is starting again now. It is costing so much to feed the wild birds, I hate to think of them struggling to survive in this cold spell so am going through big bags of food like it is going out of fashion.When I shop for more, I see people doing the same thing - stocking up with provisions for their garden birds . They are so wonderful to watch it is the least we can do to help them. Perhaps it has always been this way but there seems to be more awareness now of the need to assist them not only through the winter months but all year round.
I am off now to top up the feeders and to help Vanessa bring in the ponies before it goes dark.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Bottoms Up!



Sorry about the silence this week.Computer problems again but sorted now, apparently some of the hard drive was corrupted!!!! Its beyond my comprehension what this means but its fixed now so Im back on track. The Westie cross pups are still here because what with one problem or another - weather, geographical logisitics and so on the prospective owners have not managed to travel here. It is now so close to Christmas, we may wait until after the holiday to home them.They are little tinkers, so full of life and mischief it is hard to take a photo of them, they dont keep still except to wee and poo and that is not going to make the prettiest photo.I did manage to get the backsides of three but no 4 refused to co-operate and join the line up, he had found more interesting smells elsewhere and could not be persuaded to leave them for something so mundane as a photo opportunity.Smells versus photo.No contest.Smells always win.
Millie spaniel cross has gone to a nice home, 2 dog pound dogs are to be admitted tomorrow, foster homes are lined up for both(Rosies' foster dog , the handsome Rocco finally left us for Bonny Scotland) A staff cross pup belonging to a homeless man is also off to a foster home and I am taking in a 4 years old female cross mastiff/labrador.Its all go.
I managed to get away for a night to stay with my sister Sandra in Prestatyn but left to return this afternoon when the snow started to fall. There is a thin layer sticking at the moment and it is very cold 'up here in hills'. It is not the best time to take in horses but as mentioned before we have some due to be returned.Two are arriving this weekend, weather permitting of course and probably the other three also.I am just hoping we do not have a repeat of last weeks catastrophic frozen pipe debacle.With an extra 5 ponies, the work will be even more difficult with no running water. Positive thoughts are needed please.
Whilst I was away a beautiful longhaired white cat was admitted, she is deaf and her owner felt she would be safer in another home where it was quieter and with less traffic. I am unsure why she did not simply keep her as an indoor cat but no doubt I will hear the full story later. I will reserve judgement until then. Photo yet to be taken as I only arrived home late this afternoon ago and just wanted to do a short update before I relaxed for the evening. Even after a day and a half away there is always so much to catch up on.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Stig Of The Dump

FRiday:
Cariad (who helps with the horses) sexed the baby guinea pigs as she has some of her own at home.They are all females except Daddy Pig , Mummy Pig and one baby Pig are pregnant for sure. Cariad is going to foster the females and I will book Dad in to have his bits removed so he will not be able to father any more babies. Better to do this than to condemn him to a solitary life without companionship of hs own kind.Once he is done and weeks have passed he will be able to have a female companion again.
We are completely thawed out on ground level but we still have no running water, Dave and John have been digging up pipes trying to get to the root of the problem but no result as yet.It really is becoming a nightmare. We have had to put most of the horses out where they can
access the stream, I am glad it is a lot warmer as there is not enough shelter for all of them in the fields by the stream but water has to be the priority and of course they all have warm rugs on.
I am going to a friends caravan tomorrow for a shower, she will have to pick me up because the car is refusing to start now! What next? Rhian who is in the same boat with frozen pipes is going to her parents house for a bath. We really are a dirty bunch at the moment. I look like Stig of The Dump or as though I have been living rough on the streets for a year , and I have been too ashamed to take my hat off for days.There will be NO explanatory photo shown for reasons of vanity and maintaining my self respect. Oh the joys of rural living!
This morning an old black bedraggled cat turned up here, he was crying outside the cattery this morning and seems glad to be here.I have no idea where he has come from. We know the few neighbours we have and their cats never wander over here. This one is emaciated and old with poor skin and what seems to be a broken tail. He has joined the other oldies in the conservatory and seems to be used to other cats as he is not perturbed by their presence at all. Perhaps the word has got round the local stray cat population that Freshfields offers shelter and sustenenance to the homeless?
Saturday:
YIPPEE- WE HAVE WATER.What a relief it is to have water again,I cannot wait to have a bath, think I will stay in it all evening! I probably will have to in order to feel clean again. It has been exhausting for the staff to-ing and fro-ing from the stream with water containers so they will be relieved to get back to their normal routine.
I have just had a call from someone wanting one of our dogs to live outside, her husband doesn't want a dog in the house and she has been offended that I refused her even though I explained the charity policy was that we find homes for our dogs where they will never have to live outside again and will be one of the family. Then I heard the tale of how her last dog preferred to live outside. THAT OLD CHESTNUT! Funny how in 33 years of taking in dogs , farm dogs and gundogs which had spent their lives outside in a kennel or outbuilding that I have NEVER yet found one not delighted to be indoors with the family.
Bad news about Taz the German Shepherd, the new owners are failing to cope with her, she is continuing to give their cats a life of hell and that is very distressing. They want to return her. and to be fair they have persevered for and tried their best. However, it ipresents a real problem as all my foster homes are full and she does not get on with my dogs so I cannot have her in the house. I am forced to try GSD rescues but at this time of year all are full . Is this the end of the road for her? Rhian and I are desperately trying to find a solution as quickly as possible.
Yesterday we rehomed a dog called Glenn, a kelpie cross collie(another ex farm dog)and today he has been returned. Why? because he would not settle!!! Even though we tell people that they will take time to settle and that most of our dogs are not used to being in a home environment and even though the prospective owners tell us that they can cope, this is what happens.Thankfully we have a very high success rate homing ex farm dogs but occasionally we screw up and this was clearly one of those occasions. Most people understand that they have to be prepared to work with the dogs and not expect a perfectly trained and well behaved dog within a day. This particular lady assured me she had taken in rescued dogs all her life and knew the problems!!! What happened with this dog then?The problem here is that not expecting him to be returned at all never mind the following day after he was homed, we admitted another dog which has taken up his space now.We will always take our own dogs back but when they arrive without giving notice it is not always possible to find space immediately and in this case I have had to take one of the other dogs into the house to make room. To add to my distress her parting shot was that I made money out of it!! I had in fact offered her £50 back(a fee greatly reduced as she could not afford more so did not even cover the cost of neutering) but they left before I could do so. To say I was upset is an understatement.
This has not been a good day at all, had the water not come back on it would have been a disaster but that was the one redeeming feature of an otherwise stressful and upsetting day.
Tomorrow has to be better.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Abandoned rabbits and Guinea pigs.




The family of guinea pigs have arrived and the first job was to sex them and separate the males from the females. they appear to be in good condition though the fact that they have all been kept together means that there will definitely be more babies on the way. I asked Roy to collect them from their home in Bangor and just minutes later I received another call from the same area about two abandoned rabbits so Roy kindly collected them also.These two lovely bunnies belonged to a University student who failed his exams and returned home leaving them behind.His flatmate was returning to his own home in Bristol today so it was an urgent situation. I have many calls from students asking for pets and I rarely agree because this is the type of situation I dread and this is not the only case of animal abandonment by students we have dealt with. What has annoyed me even more is that they are not females as I was told but a male and a female, their nails are overgrown and the female appears to be pregnant!. Brilliant! Just what an overflowing cash strapped animal shelter needs! And it is not even Christmas yet.
I put up my Christmas tree yesterday and couldn't resist taking this photo of Paddy having a snooze in front of the fire.Very Festive. He really hates the cold, I cant wait for his day coat to arrive. In response to my last blog I received a message from Jan who runs the Pig Sanctuary in Vancouver, they have had loads of snow there and having struggled through that ,she now has the mud caused by the thaw to contend with.Even though she was prepared for the bad weather, as she says, it still doesnt make it easy to deal with when you have animals to care for and 39 pigs (plus other animals)take a lot of looking after. Its good to have contact with others who run shelters because they understand so completely how it feels when you are struggling in every way to keep things going and how fed up you can get when it sometimes seems as though the problems are never ending. Small independent shelters never have the funds or help that the big national charities have and so we have no back up when things go wrong. I always believed that by now we would be financially secure but it just never happened in spite of every effort being made to improve our image and to publicise our work over the years. never mind, never say never.It could still happen one day.
There are a couple of ladies coming to see the dogs tomorrow, fingers crossed they will find ones susitable.It would be nice to see some rehomed before Christmas just in case there are any emergencies to be admitted. Of course at this time of year we have to be very careful abaout rehoming pets and there will be a cut off point soon. It isn't that all will want pets as xmas presents but when there are children in the home there will be excessive excitement, there will most likely be visitors coming and going and it is just not the right time to introduce a new pet.Having said that I am prepared to make exceptions, I always have done.If the home is good and the circumstances acceptable I am happy for an animal to leave us during the festive season.Not everybody has a busy and noisy time and a quiet home without excited children can be perfectly suitable for a pet to settle in. Often older people have just lost a beloved pet and can't face the holiday period without him/her. I can understand and empathise with that. It is a matter of being selective and careful which we endeavour to be every time.
When I wrote the last blog I omitted to mention that I have lost yet another of my own dogs, this is the sixth in the past few months. Little old yorkie Suzy died a few days ago after having several fits and losing her appetitite; she had become very frail and for the first time since I have had her(3 years) she did not even have the strength to try and steal my food - her favourite pastime. I felt it was the right time for her to go.She was never the sweetest natured dog and although tiny in size, she was ferocious if anyone tried to groom her or pick her up. Its strange how the bolshy, fiery ones seem to leave the biggest gap. She used to always find the most comfortable place to sleep and when she was on my favourite chair I had to perch on one side of it so as not to disturb her.I keep finding myself doing that even though she is no longer there.There is no doubt she was a real character and I loved her in spite of her unpredictability.I am now left with just three - the smallest number of dogs I have had in years but I think I need to keep it that way now. I need some me space!
PS: good news, the thirdd of the cats abandoined when the owners went to Australia has been found a home.

Monday, 6 December 2010

I am pulled up by the Police!



What did I say about the thaw setting in? Its as bad as ever today, Dave and Harley(one of our people on a government back to work scheme)have spent hours breaking up ice to make the yard less slippy, the car stalled halfway up our track even in 4 wheel drive! Its lethal. We have had to scatter the old straw and manure all over the area round the stables and the bit leading to the fields so it looks a real mess but its safer and less slippy for the horses and thats all that matters at the moment. We are unable to use the top fields as getting the horses to them would be far too dangerous. Still no water unfortunately, thank goodness for the stream which runs through the fields at the botttom of the property and for the water butts though today we could not break the ice in these. Its no fun believe me. When is it going to end?
We are just not used to this weather are we? I wonder what its like in Canada at Jans Pig Sanctuary. Does being prepared make it any easier I wonder? Our own pigwigs seem to be doing OK, they seldom come outside, preferring to snuggle down into their warm beds. I went to check on them earlier and it looked so cosy I was tempted to crawl in with them, however their grunts of displeasure dissuaded me pretty quickly. Its a shame they were never handled much, they still remain very nervous of humans, not that they have ever been mistreated but just not had the time spent with them to socialise them. Incidentally the other pig I was expecting to arrive never did. She will be safe where she is but I will ring again though it would be best now to wait to bring her in during spring.
4 dear little pups were admitted today, they were supposed to be 12 weeks old, they are in fact 5 months of age and almost full grown. They are a mix of West Highland terrier and Jack Russell.(see above) This was the only way I could take a photo, they are such live wires and never stay still.There are people interested in them already, It doesn't surprise me, so many people want small dogs, they are always popular as family pets. Anya the Tibetan Terrier went today to a home in Derbyshire and we are waiting for the weather to change for a gentleman from Scotland where the snow has been really heavy, he is coming for Rocco in the next week(all being well and if the snow eases off a little) Rosie has been fostering him for a few weeks now and will be glad to see him settled somewhere permanently.
Tuesday
It is very very busy on the telephone, so many requests to take pets,it can be overwhelming. We have yet to find homes for our Rabbit and Guinea pig and today I have been asked to take an entire family of guinea pigs - mum and dad and (4) 6 weeks old babies. At the moment I cannot think of where they could go so will sleep on it and get back to them in the morning hopefully with a solution. They are going away in the next week and need to find homes urgently. The trouble is that everybody sees their own problem as the most urgent but there are dozens and as always priority has to be given to those most in danger. Once again I am asking myself why people fail to realise that animals breed if there is a male and a female. I do think however that many petshops and individuals also, often sell pets without really being sure of the sexes.
Yesterday I braved the slippery track to go out to buy catfood, no delivery van is going to make it here at the moment. I filled the car as much as I was able, collected a dog ramp I have had made for Paddy (and any other old or sick dogs which cannot jump in and out my car) so was on my way home when I was pulled up by the police and breathalysed! Needless to say I passed it but rather than be annoyed I am glad such random checks are in place. The roads are bad enough in winter but with drunken drivers they can be dangerous places to be. Shame they wasted their time on little old tea total me! Actually I do drink occasionally(very occasionally) though prefer a cup of tea anytime.
The dog ramp has been made very sturdy to take the weight of any size dogs , most of those on sale in shops seem to be flimsy and I cannot even imagine taking the weight of a labrador sized dog never mind a huge chap like Paddy. Its the same with dog coats and beds. I look at the extra large and even they are too small for him. I am waiting for his made to measure day coat to arrive and he has to have 2 extra large dog beds placed side by side to support his large frame. Poor old Paddywack is very nervous of going out whilst the ground is so slippy and I am equally nervous that he will fall and hurt himself. With his vertebra fused any jolt or trauma could exascerbate his problem so I lead him to where we have spread sand to help us make our way round the animal pens and slowly we make our way to the nearest field where he potters round gingerly. We must look like two geriatrics walking at a snails pace and hanging on to each other for dear life.AND NO RUDE COMMENTS ABOUT THAT PLEASE! Its not much fun for the dogs (or me)when it is like this but I prefer them to take it easy than risk broken bones.
Most of the horses have been kept in for safety reasons, its snowing again as I type this, at least the snow is easier to walk on.
Pictured also are Mei with Jess a 2 years old cross labrador who is on her way to Rosies for fostering. Jess is nervous of strangers and we had a terrible scare when she slipped her collar and ran off, thankfully she was seen and caught by one of our(nice) neighbours Julia. What a relief that was.
Veronica made it in today and made the arduous trek through the fields to get to the office(this is where trekking poles come in handy) and later on once again she took advantage of other peoples transport, and who can blame her. She cadged a lift down to her vehicle with Mr Roberts who was delivering horse feed in his four wheel drive - its getting to be a bit of a habit with Veronica, I rather think she enjoys being escorted in this way.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

The Thaw sets in








This is only a short blog as I have been out most of the day and am very tired from breaking ice ready for the horses to come in for the evening.Mei and I were so worried they would slip and break a leg but managed to break it up enough for it to be safer .As I write this, a days rain has almost cleared the snow but our track and yard is still very bad, its now like an ice rinkl At least we can now access the water butts to give the horses water but there is none in the house and still no running water anywhere so it may be that the water pump(bought only last year) is now broken due to the water freezing and the pump left switched on for at least half a day after the frost. It looks like we need to purchase a water tank and water pump ready for the next big freeze, that way at least we can pump it up from the stream instead of doing it manually which is just too big a job. I estimate it costing around £500, a lot cheaper than renting one ready filled. In the meantime I will have to replace the water pump for the mains water.More unwanted ,albeit necessary ,expense.
I collected the collie which turned out to be a springer spaniel crossed with a collie.Millie is a lovely dog and was so good in the car, which incidentally I managed to drive down the slippy track with no accidents.Amazing.
Millie shown above.Have also posted the last (I hope) of the 2010 snow photos.Chloe and Jacob sheep, the three sheep. Bobby shetland,the Bird Tree which is the bane of Meirwens life! a view of the lane leading to the shelter(taken from the car I was driving and before anyone gasps at my audacity driving and taking photos at the same time - the car was stationary)
The xmas fair raised just over £400, a bit less than usual but at this time of year I am glad of anything extra to help pay bills. Thanks Trisha for organising that one.Trish handed me a note someone had passed to her with details of a dachsund needing a home.I love dachsunds but no more dogs for me now.I am going to try hard not to accumulate any more than the four I have now. I have had years of having numerous dogs and I would like a little more peace in the house nowadays. Of course I will always give room to an extra one or two urgent cases and Kitchen Meg needs company anyway but it will only be temporary.
There are lots of enquiries about Anya the Tibetan terrier so in the morning I need to try and sort out the most suitable home for her.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Still No Water and Ross makes a Break for Freedom







As I had anticipated the Fair was a total washout, only a few ardent supporters turned out most of which were made up of Meis family. I dont know how we did it but we raised £280(including a very welcome £50 cheque) so it made it worthwhile anyway.That is a weeks cat food paid for.The streets were pretty clear of snow or ice and the sun came out so I thought we might attract more people but it was not to be. Oh well we tried and it was mainly profit as the hall was so cheap. The fair in Porthmadog is tomorrow, I will be popping in but only for a short while as I have to collect another collie which has been abandoned by his owner and I have no idea at this moment what staff will turn up if this snow continues.
Its snowing on and off all day today and my car is still on the track from when I returned yesterday.Vanessas boyfriend put it in four wheel drive for me but I did not make it up to the house. He has gone to drive it up for me. The cats outside have either heating in their sheds or heatpads and somehow we have mislaid a couple so unless anyone has a spare one or two of these microwaveable pads from Snugglesafe , I need to order a few more. They last for twelve hours so it keeps them warm and cosy. Even the ferals feel the cold and they are used to living rough in outbuildings though they are more cossetted than most feral cats.Ours have beds and blankets and heating in some sheds. Not exactly roughing it!
This is the fourth day we have had no running water and all day Vanessa and Dave have been backwards and forwards from the stream filling water containers.As this is at the bottom of our lethally slippy track it is no easy job. As quickly as they fill the horses troughs they are empty again. Its a no win situation. I have made some enquiries today to a firm which rents out water tanks(didn't even know such a company existed) for emergency use and if this isn't an emergency I dont know what is.I am waiting for them to call back. I can just about cope with being grubby and smelly and no cleaning facilities but the animals need their water.
As if the day wasn't hard enough, Ross decided to make a break for it when he was being put in his field, unfortunately someone had left the bottom gate open so he trotted off towards the village with everyone, including me in hot pursuit. Finally Vanessa caught up with him and is shown here leading him back. Considering he is in his thirties now, he is not without energy and enthusiasm for an occasional mischievous venture into the world beyond Freshfields.
If we are fed up with the weather and the problems it causes the diogs ahve no such misgivings, they absolutely love it. - pictured are Paddy (with wildly flapping jowls) , Meg and Timmy enjoying themselves with a run about.Paddy is now developing more muscle tone with the exercise he is having and is such a happy dog.I have also discovered that unlike poor Molly who ran a mile if a stranger appeared, Paddy is an excellent guard dog and is happy to let visitors know that this is HIS home and you may only enter if mum tells him it is ok . That suits me fine, it makes me feel a lot safer here.
Also pictured are the poor cats which were literally left out in the cold whilst their owner swanned off to sunny Australia.They are scared as you can see but seem gentle cats who should be nice family pets.
The company with water tanks has just rung back, £1200!!!!!! Impossible, we simply don't have that to spare at the moment. We will just have to carry on hauling it up slowly from the stream.What a nightmare.Rural living is great in the summer but when winter causes so many problems I long for life in a warm climate.
PS: I made an error describing the mountains in the previous blog, Mount Snowdon was not visible on that photo . I do apologise and my only excuse is that I asked two local people Mei and Gronwey and THEY told me it was Snowdon. In fact Snowdon is almost hidden behind the two shown.Apologies to all and thanks Rick for putting me right.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Celt the cowardly Colt.




We had a little more snow overnight though some appears to be melting in the sun. Rhian and Cariad somehow managed to get in today thanks to Cariad shovelling herself out of her home and going to collect Rhian.The cold is making the animals very hungry especially the feral cats who are wolfing down excessive amounts of food..Its costing around £300 per week for their food alone. As you can see from the photo they love their grub! The other photo is of the view from one of our fields which looks over to Glenys my next door neighbours farm(Opposite side to Horrid H) beyond which you can see Snowdon on the left and Elephant Mountain on the right. Its called that because it resembles an elephants head and trunk(honestly) but I am not sure what the correct name for it is. As I was writing this ,Gronwey who has done much of the building here turned up with a delivery of haylage; he looked at the blog and immediately said that the cat photo made them look like wild cats eating a carcase of a dead animal.I can assure everyone that the 'carcase' is in fact two large trays of whiskas!
The Tibetan terrier has arrived and a sweet dog she is too , I feel sure she will find a loving home soon.Her owners are devastated at losing her and I can understand why and feel very sorry for them that their ill health has meant having to part with Anya. What an awful situation to find themselves in. I can barely imagine their feeling of loss.
Gail left early today so she can collect a couple of cats from a house where the owner has left to go to Australia for three months leaving three cats behind a week ago. Apparently she told someone she hoped they would not be there when she returned. How callous is that? I cannot understand such lack of compassion and sadly one cat has already disappeared. The remaining two are desperately trying to get in neighbours houses and in this cold weather they must be so cold and hungry. I have no idea where they will go as we are so full but one way or another something has to be done for them and Gail is going to ask around the area to try and find the third cat. I hope the owners have a lousy holiday! they dont deserve to enjoy it.
A friend is holding a fundraiser for the shelter on December 17th in Rhosneigr, Anglesey.It will be a buffet and drinks/dance evening at a local pub , tickets £10 to include all the food you can eat and a glass of wine. Ring me for more information 01286 880808.
My car is packed with everything for the fair in Penygroes tomorrow morning , I am too nervous to drive it down to the road even in four wheel drive so one of the staff is going to do that for me. Did I mention that a few weeks ago I reversed into the local undertakers vehicle, well thats a fair indication of my driving skills! Heres hoping we make a profit, we really do need to make some extra over the next few months , Christmas is such a busy time for an animal shelter and then there is the January slump when nobody seems to have any money to spend . I have always wondered how January Sale addicts have money to spare after Christmas, do they have a frugal holiday existing only on fruit and nuts and give presents which were given to THEM the previous year? My sister in law used to do this, at least we always suspected she did because everything she gave was so unsuitable for the recipient. Oh well its the thought that counts or was it a total LACK of thought?
Mei has just called me out the office as she needed help with Celt one of the young ponies.(the one Mei and I partially hand reared ) Gronwey had left the large bales of haylage just before the stables and Mei was forced to walk each pony in one at a time as they were all too scared to go past these big 'monsters'! Horses hate anything new and Celt was more terrified than any of them.When I went out he was running backwards and forwards, clearly upset at not being able to join his pals but the fear of the unknown was too much for him. I walked slowly toward the bales and he quickly fell in behind me making sure that I was well in front to tackle the 'monsters'. I could hear him snorting and trembling behind me as we passed them , poor little Celt.His relief when we got out of sight of them was palpable. What a coward! The pic is of him when he was a bit younger but its so lovely I wanted to share it.
I can hear the hounds baying in the property at the back of the shelter.They do this several times a day , they are a hunting pack and are kept in an enclosure which must be so mindnumbingly boring for them that everytime they see someone or hear a noise they kick off. I feel so sorry for them, there is another pack in the village and they too share the same dull routine.Although I despise hunting I admit to also feeling a sense of relief when the hounds are taken out, at least that day they will have exercise and a break from boredom on those rare days. Our dogs have such a good life in comparison. Speaking of which its time for mine to have their final run on the fields before it gets any darker. The sky is very dark on the Snowdon side and I fear that it means more snow is imminent.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

I return to a Good Welcome.




I am back home after my break in Liverpool.Every time I go back I love to reaquaint myself with the everyday humour of the people there. A simple act like buying a train ticket or dropping a shopping bag can result in a humorous two way repartee with a total stranger and can be funnier than watching a comedy show. I dont realise how much I miss it until I return.I popped in to the Liverpool shelter to say hello to people there and as always was taken aback by the number of animals in need of homes. The wildlife unit was packed, there are 52 hedgehogs spending winter there and all the other pens were full with various animals and birds. It has become a very large part of the work done at Liverpool and since my (now deceased ) partner Steve started it 15 years ago, it has increased in both size and the number of inmates both permanent and temporary.Lynn has been the person in charge of that section since the horses were moved here to Wales though I think she sometimes still hankers after them and wishes they were still there. I was glad to know that they are managing to rehome a few dogs and cats even though it is a difficult time of year, as it is with us here in Wales.
Anyhow I came back to snow and a very frozen and potentially lethal track up to the house so had to park the car halfway and walk the rest. The dogs were glad to have me back and Paddy almost knocked me over, he was so excited to see me. Meg too was delirious with joy, the others were happy enough but were more laid back about it. Holly cat spent the whole night in bed with me and never stopped purring, so I think she was quite pleased too.Its nice to have such a welcome.
As you know from Rhians blog some of the staff who live in outlying rural areas are unable to get in to work and there have been the usual problems with frozen pipes and panics over heaters not working etc. This morning 4 volunteers managed to get in for which we were very grateful. Veronica arrived from Anglesey though left to go home early in case the weather deteriorated, she was forced to walk gingerly down the track with the aid of her hiking sticks.That is until Mr Roberts who delivers our hay turned up in his tractor/trailer and offered her a lift down to her vehicle - If only the camera had been handy! There she was perched up in the enormous tractor as though she did it every day of her life.Mind you I bet she was glad she did not have to make the treacherous descent down the track .
Over the past few days 3 dogs have been admitted into our care, 2 unwanted farm dogs and a nice little jack russell whose owner had no time for her.(see above)
Tomorrow I am admitting a middle aged Tibetan terrier female whose owner is very ill and cannot look after her any longer.As all our foster homes are full at the moment I am hoping she will get on with Meg in my kitchen. There is only Timmy collie in there and he gets on with every dog he meets.(I shouldn't have said that, NOW ITS BOUND TO BE A DISASTER!)
The xmas fair in Penygroes is on Thursday and if I was worried before about nobody turning up I am worse now. The weather will surely keep people at home and The Porthmadog one is on Saturday . Why didnt I have them 2 weeks ago?Oh well cant be helped, we will just have to make the most of them and close up early if they are not well attended. I feel sorry for the shopkeepers in those areas which are even worse hit by bad weather conditions .It must be a great worry to them, the rent still has to be paid and staff wages and when there is nothing coming in to pay them, what a nightmare.
It is just three pm and the ponies are already waiting to come in. We were supposed to collect three return horses last week - Rocky , Honey and Caspar.but our horse trailer has a broken wheel and we are having problems finding someone to fix it The people caring for the ponies will have to bring them back.It is only twenty minutes away so it should not be too big a problem though they may think it best to wait a few weeks until the snow clears.
Time to take the dogs out now, so I am signing off with very cold fingers and a nose which appears to have gone numb.The heating in this office is appalling. At least its not Alaska where drips from noses turn into icicles !

Sunday, 28 November 2010

More Snow....


Like most of country North Wales is having a hard time with the weather at the moment. To be honest like some other members of staff I haven't been able to get to work as the roads up to my home are impassable with snow and Ice. Mei and Gail have been keeping in contact with me and the situation at Freshfields is pretty difficult. The water is frozen and everywhere is so cold and dangerously slippery underfoot. Therefore it comes as a wonderfully surprise that a Cat, several kittens and Basil the JRT have been re-homed.
Please excuse me whilst I take this opportunity to make a special plea for our black cats. Elmo our lovely black boy needs a home of his own as soon as possible. He really isn't happy living in the cattery and makes a run for the door at ever available occasion. He would love a rural home so he can potter about, but a lovely fire to sleep in front of in the evenings. Another cat desperate for a home in the spirited Wendy. She has been with us for months and sadly does herself no favours. I think she's frustrated in the cattery and would thrive as the only cat in a household. It's such a shame as I'm sure she has a lot of love to give. So anyone considering a cat with spirit and attitude....please give Wendy a thought!
Cheers
Rhian

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

I am Off for A much Needed Break.


It is starting to become very cold and icy and wouldn't you know that the insulation in the ferals home "Kitty Kottage"has started to peel away from the sides making it much colder in there, We have been given a heater for there but the insulation is a job which needs sorting out first. Peter from Kingspan, if you are reading this, can you get hold of a few throw out pieces suitable for insulating the shed?
We took in the last of the 17 cats which had been left homeless when their owner died. It has been a long drawn out process because we have had to take a few at a time as and when space became available but they are all now safely esconced in the old kennels which has heated pens.It is mainly used for new cats which are waiting to be neutered but a pen became free so this family are all together.
I am off tomorrow to Liverpool for a four day break so I hope Rhian may write an entry over the next few days to keep everyone in touch with whats going on here. I need to have this time away otherwise I will go completely Gillian McKeith(for anyone who watches I'm a celebrity) and nobody would want that, least of all me.
When I return it will be to make the final arrangements for the 2nd December Christmas Fair in Penygroes. I feel nervous about its success not having held this event locally before.Will anyone come? I worried like this over the Sponsored dog walk earlier in the year and Veronica has just passed me the final figure for it. Altogether, that is with our own and the two being organised simultaneously by friends in Derbyshire and Anglesey, just under £4,000 was raised.Isnt that fantastic. We could do with one every month!
Picture is of Jim collie (recently rehomed) and 10 years old Lucy also recently rehomed(to me! that is unless someone with the patience and understanding of terriers and their idiosyncrasies turns up?)

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Titch gets wrapped up against the cold.



Both Smudge(the dog pictured yesterday with Mei and Ben Westie have gone today and a litter of farm feral kittens has been admitted. The farmer who brought them in has a much better attitude than most I am pleased to say and he is trapping mum with our help and will have her spayed.The kittens like so many feral kittens are absolutely beautiful.(see here)They are a bit hissy and spitty but are so young they will,not take long to come round to being handled. A few kittens have been reserved but it has gone rather quiet again this week.
I have managed to contact the farmer who was going to have his dog shot and he is still there so I am arranging to help get him out of harms way. There are now two other collies in the same boat so they will be coming in this week if I can find anyone in the Machynlleth area to collect them. All three are from the same area so I need someone with a van ideally. Anyone out there able to help with transport?
It is a lovely sunny(but cold) day today and whilst we were putting the ponies out, one of Cariads children decided it was too cold for little Titch the shetland so she gave up her hat and scarf for him to keep him warm. Before anyone is up in arms about animal exploitation, it was taken off within seconds by yours truly!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Paddys favourite game "YOU TUG , I STAND STILL"





It has been a very busy weekend so far.Rosie the young collie pictured on last blog has been homed and we are receiving lots of calls about our other dogs, there are a few people coming to visit tomorrow. We have to co-ordinate it so our foster people arrive at the same time as those coming to see the dogs. It is a bit of a nuisance not being able to keep the dogs all here but with a neighbour like Horrid Hawksworth we have no choice in the matter. Although far from ideal, the system works reasonably well.
My little Suzy seems better though is still not back to her normal grumpy and endearing self. Its funny, I find myself wishing she would growl at me just to show she is feeling ok. After a day of refusing food she is eating a little so that has to be a good sign.
I have been told of a farm dog in desperate need of rescuing, another one which is no good at working, the farmer has told someone he plans to shoot him.I have left a message for him to say we will have the dog and someone I know is going to go there and confront him/take the dog off him.
Disappointingly Ben Westie has been returned just hours after he went, unfortunately he was quite nasty with the cats of the house (and he lived with two) but we have done another homecheck on someone in Southport (thank you Liverpool for arranging that so quickly)who are coming up to see him tomorrow, heres hoping this will be the right home for him.
Incidentally the people who exasperated me so much the other day, the ones moving and wanting me to take their two cats at the last minute , brought in the 10 years old cat but said the other had become scared of the removal men and the hustle and bustle at the house and had disappeared, The following day they found him, he came back for food and so he was put in a basket and brought to the shelter. We were relieved to see him with the cat, after thinking he may have disappeared for good and then all of a sudden the door of the basket flew open(he hadn't shut it properly) and off ran Tiddles up the mountain! What can one say to such ineptitude?Yes I know accidents can happen but this was just the last straw with them. Of course we will put up posters in local farms but it will be a miracle if he is found. (though miracles have been known to happen)We are all so annoyed with this couple and so worried now for the welfare of the missing cat.
I made an early morning trip to the vet to collect a semi feral cat which had been trapped and taken there for spaying , the plan was to put her in the feral enclosure which is pretty full but this cat has a problem with her eyesight and it was felt she would not survive if released. Having agreed to this, her eyesight is worse than we were been led to believe and we are not sure that she is feral so for now she is in isolation and we will see how she goes. My gut feeling is that she IS feral but because she is almost blind she is feeling vulnerable, many old ferals become friendly when they are old and frail, we will decide about her future when we have assessed her thoroughly.Perhaps we will be able to find her an indoor home somewhere she will feel safe. I think she would become affectionate if given a chance. On the way home from the vet I called in to see the people who are returning three of the ponies and have arranged for them to come back one day this week.I need a driver now, the horse trailer is not easy unless you are used to it and I have enough problems driving a car! I think those who know me will second that.
This afternoon Emma (pictured here) who used to dogwalk for us came to visit with Jimmy the patterdale terrier she adopted several months ago. he looked so well, a lovely glossy coat and an unscarred face! When this little dog was found he had a badly infected and swollen face from some sort of a bite wound, look at him now, he is a different dog.It is so good to see him again.
Mei is pictured here also with Smudge whose owners brought her in this morning, she is hopefully going out to a home tomorrow if she gets on with their other dog. Her owner said nobody has the time to walk her now they have a baby in the house. Poor little unwanted dog, there is something very appealing and sweet about her, I could be tempted myself but I will stay strong, I have enough with those I have already. Speaking of my dogs, here is Paddy enjoying his favourite game of Tug of war with a difference - he lets the other dogs do all the hard work and he simply stands there pitting his weight against theirs.This time Lucy from the office is the one trying to out tug him.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Suzy is unwell and Branwen leaves us to live in Kent.





I have sent in 4 dogs to be neutered this morning. Ben the Westie has been reserved by a lady I met by chance in our Porthmadog shop the other day.I was making a fuss of her lovely little Westie Molly and asked her if she wanted another.She turned up yesterday and the two dogs got on so well that it was a done deal. I must have had 50 people after him once he was advertised on the net and most sounded lovely homes.If only there was as much interest for crossbreeds! Still Ben needed a home also , still on the subject of Ben, both Mei and I received telephone calls from local people who said they knew the dog and wanted him, one said the owner had promised him to her? Both expressed concern that he was being neutered today and one openly admitted the owner had promised to let Ben father puppies with her dog. We were accused of being cruel to him! Where were these people when the situation became desperate? How pleased I am that he came to us and was not given to either of these women. He now has a good life ahead of him and most emphatically will not be fathering any litters of pups to be distributed round the area .
Nobody has claimed the Jack Russell, The family interested in Timmy the pound dog have changed their minds but he is so adorable he will find someone nice soon. Brian, a gentleman from Kent has just arrived for Branwen, (pictured above)the 6 years old Welsh sheepdog Veronica has been fostering. Her name will be Branwen Barge as she has joined the Barge family! It never ceases to amaze me that people will travel so far for one of our dogs and I am forever grateful that they do. Without them we would not be half as successful finding good homes. It seems that there are not so many sheepdogs in rescues in the South Of England so the distance seems to be no problem to most. Keep them coming! Veronica shed more than a few tears after they left, it is hard fostering animals, it is so easy to become attached and even when you know it is the right thing to do for the pet concerned, hearts can still be bruised. On a lighter note(I think) When Veronica took Branwen to the vet this morning to have her anal glands emptied prior to her going to her new home, an elderly lady brought in a cat to be 'microwaved'. I think she meant microchipped! Veronica and the Vet staff tried their best to hide their chuckles. I'm sure the poor lady would have been horrified had she realised what she said .

I have had a tearful call from a lady who has lost her smallholding and is concerned about the future of her two ponies, father and daughter Welsh Section A ponies. It is not immediately urgent for which I am very thankful as I have the returned ponies to sort out first. The problem is that few homes are found during the winter months, most happen in the spring and summer when the weather is better. The best I can do for the returned ones is to bring them back here for the winter and use one of the field shelters for stabling. I will not rehome Rocky again, I was loathe to part with him in the first place and this is the second time he has been returned albeit for an unforeseen change of circumstances at the home he went to. He has been extremely well cared for there along with two other Freshfields ponies but there is a limit to the times it is fair to move them on. Pictured some of the ponies in need of new homes. Left: Heather and her son Paddy,. right Rocky and above Caspar and Honey. By the way Rocky does not have an extra 2 slim legs or one extra thick leg nor is he is being attended by a headless member of staff! Rosie is hiding behind him bcause she was having a bad hair day!

My little old Yorkshire terrier Suzy has been unwell today and a visit to the Vet confirmed that she has a collapsed trachea so has been given tablets to aid this condition, her heart is not bad at all which is good. At 16 years of age she is a feisty little dog and loves her food so when she failed to coerce me into sharing my breakfast with her this morning it was certain that something was wrong with her. I use the same criteria to judge my own state of health! Hopefully the tablets for Suzy will do the trick. I couldn't face losing yet another dog at the moment, its always hard to do so but there has just been a little too much for me to deal with emotionally over the past few months.

I have arranged for 6 feral? cats to be trapped(courtesy of Billy Meade from Holyhead Cat Action Trust)The owner of the property where they are living has died and there is nobody to feed them. I have no room at all but once again Ann Cragg(wildlife lady) has offered emergency help by giving them a space there for a few weeks.I will just have to hope against hope that by then we will have some room. It would be best if they turn out to be domestic because there is little likelihood of any ferals from our enclosure finding farm homes so quickly and it is full there already. A litter of 7 babies(kittens not humans) is coming in from a farm on Sunday and as yet we have nowhere to put them.All our foster homes are full.With a bit of juggling around and some kittens going to homes over the weekend I am sure we will find space one way or another. Better that than them growing into adult feral cats and then we would have a far worse problem to contend with in the near future.

Must go now, have to collect the dogs from the Vet and it gets dark so early - I cannot drive in the dark so must set off now. I think it is also time to bore you all with more photos of Paddy so prepare for them in the next few days!