Sunday, 28 February 2010

Meet Ella, SiIver and Cadi

Here are photos of the two new cats who although are from the same home appear to actively loathe one another! In a way that is good because it is much easier to place one in a home than two, but it does mean that the space we had reserved was for two cats which would get on well together, never mind I have a feeling the beautiful silver tabby will not be with us for long.He is stunning but personally I prefer the rather plain but sweet natured little black female Ella. The stunners always go first but every now and then someone comes to choose a cat and will surprise us by taking one of the less attractive animals.I love it when that happens, it shows they have looked beyond the outer skin. Sometimes when I worked with the dogs at Liverpool I would take prospective adopters along the row of kennels so that they could see the dogs and it would constantly amaze me how quickly some people could decide that there was nothing there to suit .It would not matter if they had asked for a small dog and we had 20 such dogs, they would not stop to talk or to look into their eyes. I often wondered what they were really looking for, a pedigree maybe? Some of the nicest animals are not always the prettiest but have the sweetest natures, bit like people really!
We have just had a couple turn up with a lovely but stray collie cross spaniel about 8 months of age and she is not only very attractive but has a loving nature also. Cadi as Mei has decided to call her is sure to appeal to people. They have had her for three days so it looks unlikely an owner will turn up, she has no Identification on and no microchip. What a surprise!
This morning two of our kittens which were homed some months ago, were returned so they could be microchipped(they were too young at the time) and they have come back with parents(the humans, not the cats!) who live outside the area , with the view to them taking on one of our felines.They had rather liked a feral ginger but they do not have the right circumstances to look after him, he is a true feral and needs either a farm type home or someone with experience of taking on one of these cats. Anyhow Meirwen is showing them round the kitten room which is full of "teenagers". Heres hoping they choose one, we have been left with 8 kittencats from the last kitten season and it would be lovely if we could place them with people before the next season when we will be inundated with young kittens. These in betweenies will have little chance then of being chosen. There will be too much competition.
I can hear Barbara plaintively calling Bonnie (Foxhound)who has obviously gone on one of her famous" I am off to to find more food" walkabouts. Her first port of call will be our bins, then Nice next door neighbours bins but thankfully she has never found her way over to Nasty neighbours yet(thank goodness) Depending on what goodies she finds she may be back within minutes but Barbara has taken the car to go and retrieve her. Thankfully we are very rural here but it is not a happy situation when a dog goes off the property and we always worry until Bonnie is back safely. I have never had a dog that does this before and now there is Bonnie and to a lesser degree William.William is now getting old and never leaves the shelter unless with me in the car but in the past he has proved very hard to confine. I feel ashamed that any of my dogs have this bad habit and suspect it is because they have been used to roaming the countryside before they came here. William before he came to me had been shot,his back and hips are peppered with lead shot which has now led to his being arthritic. He came to me after being taken to a dog pound and was earmarked for destruction when his owner failed to collect him. His loss,my gain.
As I finish this Bonnie has already returned so her little trip was not off the property . The visitors have taken a teenage black cat which is great so its a happy ending to the day

Saturday, 27 February 2010

The importance of making a will

I knew it - Veronica doesnt want to part with Millie, she rang this morning to say if all went well with Millie and her other dogs, she would like to keep her. The last few dogs fostered out have all found permanency with their carers.It is lovely for the dogs when that happens but we have lost our foster homes which is a great shame and means we then have to look for others to do it. Rosie has been tempted to keep Max the last collie pup she fostered (though she has fostered many dogs and not succumbed previously) and Caroline is keeping terrier Bertie and now it looks as though Judy is going to give a permanent home to Alfie terrier. Oh well at least we know for sure that these dogs will be loved and cared for.
Another young lurcher has been found, this time it is a male about a year old, thin and nervous but a very striking dog(see photo). I wish I could find out who is breeding them so indiscriminately, though there is not a lot I could do to prevent it recurring I could at least keep an eye on them and even offer to spay their females. What am I talking about? As if they would allow that! this is clearly a money making issue.No doubt they are supplying them to local farms or rabbit killers. It isnt as if they are well cared for either which would not be quite so bad.
By the way,the vicious pup from my last blog is as expected NOT in the least bit aggressive. Squiggles is a normal pup though a little shy at the moment. My thoughts on children mishandling him seem to be correct. His foster "mum" says he is fine and is sending me a photo this weekend so I can advertise him for a home.
It has not been a bad day today, the sun is shining , there is only snow left on the very top fields and once again we are accessible to members of the public.
Two adult cats have been homed ,one claimed by his owner and then there was a rather "hairy" moment when a lady turned up saying her brother had brought her cat here whilst she was away on holiday! The cat Smokey had in the meantime been rehomed by us some weeks ago. Fortunately she was happy that the cat had a home but it could so easily have been a very awkward moment even though we were not at fault- Smoky had been handed over after a disclaimer form was completed by his "owner".
Two more cats have been admitted,their owner has gone into a residential home and they were not wanted by the relative,both cats had been fed bya neighbour for the past week but they were locked out of the home they had shared for 4 years and I can only wonder at their distress and confusion at this sudden change in their circumstances. I do wish people would ensure that their pets will be looked after properly in the event of illness or death. A clause in a will or even a written request with a neighbour or family member can prevent a similar situation arising. Over the years I have had experience of pet owners asking neighbours to take on their pet(s) with the promise of a bequest in the evEnt of their death. Not everyone is open and honest and we have taken on many pets whose owners believed in promises made that their loved pet was going to have a home for life.NOT ALWAYS SO. One little jack Russell was literally dumped on our doorstep after the owner passed away. The neighbour came into a very large sum of money because he had promised to have the dog,unfortunately I discovered this too late to take appropriate action.
Very recently one of our local supporters Claude Attack died suddenly and before we could be informed, his beloved dog was taken to the RSPCA and put down.The 10 years old cross collie was not at the end of his life and had been to the vet as recently as December. We were all very upset as I would have given the dog a home for the rest of his life , however short it may turn out to be but was not given the chance. Poor old Claude would be devastated to know what happened but this is a case in point. NEVER leave things to chance.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Nell is Found

Wonderful news, dear Nell (above)has been found. This morning a farmer heard a dog barking and having investigated, spotted poor Nell caught up in wire fencing.Thankfully she still had her lead attached to her and although there could have been a different, worse scenario,this time her lead saved her life. He was able to extricate her and read the phone number on her collar.So she is back home safe and sound. Both her new owner and I shed a few tears on the telephone,it was such a great relief to hear that she was safe. Tonight we will all have a better nights sleep.
Rhian collected the pup from the vet and we have all fallen in love with her! Already named Millie, she looks like a collie cross whippet, she has the lurcher temperament, very nesh and babylike. It was hard to take a photo of her because she just wants to be cuddled all the time and has no interest in running about as a collie pup would have. Bookeeper extraordinaire Veronica is in today and Both Veronica and I love lurchers, I have two of course, William the Wonderdog and 10 years old Meg and Veronica has always had lurchers.She has offered to foster the little one which is brilliant, this little pup needs some comfort. Pictured are Millie with and without coat and I must say the wording on the coat could not be further from the truth but it was the only one we could find that fit her.. Millie is too dainty and frail to put her in with the two pups we have, they would be far too boisterous for her tocope with. There is another pup, however due to come in.I had a call this morning from a woman who had a 14 weeks old cross collie pup which was "vicious". Somehow I doubt it very much. As she has children ranging from 10 months - 5 years I suspect there has been some mishandling there. I will know soon, "Squiggles" is being fostered for the next week and his foster carers will soon tell me if there is a behavioural problem.
A date has been decided for our Easter Fair at the Royal Sportsman in Porthmadog - 1st April, Thursday, details we have yet to arrange but at least we have a date now. I need to round up some cake makers for the day, I would love to bake a cake myself but my offerings are generally of the burnt variety and I would be loathe to inflict them on anyone.
The day has been spent in the office with admin work, paying some of the more urgent (and smaller) bills and tedious work on the computer so I feel a desperate need to have a break from this computer screen and have an early night.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Pushkin loses his fight. and Busters joints seize up.

All the staff read the last blog and John was in for some stick this morning, he will never hear the last of it especially as he made fun of Rhian when SHE got her car stuck in the same place.What goes around comes around! Thankfully he has a sense of humour and is able to laugh at himself which is just as well as everyone else was doing it! I will refrain from mentioning the cabinet he put on upside down- oops I did say I wouldnt mention it.Sorry!
Anyhow on to animal things, I had cancelled a trustee meeting to be held today in Liverpool because the weather was so bad here yesterday, thick snow and blizzards with more supposedly on its way.Guess what - this morning there is no snow, overnight rain has cleared most of it and the sun is shining.
Oh no, my worst fears have been realised - Nell the timid collie recently rehomed has gone missing.I am devastated.It was through no fault of the new owners, they had taken every precaution to keep her safe but the clip on the fastened lead snapped as she lunged forward out of their car. They too are devastated and are searching everywhere for her but they and I know,it is unlikely Nell will come to anyone once she is loose.It is a disaster. I am making arrangements to have our dog trap returned (it has been in use elsewhere) but unless she is seen in the same area regularly this will be of little use.So anyone in the Conway area please look out for a red and white collie running free and if anyone can advertise her please let me know.I cannot bear to think she will not be found and suffer the same fate as poor Ellie .It is just too dreadful to contemplate.
A young black cat has been homed this morning and one of the pups is going next monday.It would be great if the other pup could go also,I hate it when just one is left on its own.I used to take an odd pup or two in the house but now the resident dogs would not take too kindly to such youngsters in their home. maybe another pup will come in to keep him company or better still someone will adopt HIM.
I dont know if I mentioned previously that two horses out on loan were returned.Big Buster(the grey) and Rocky went out to different homes, Buster was returned after 3 years because of a change in financial circumstances and Rocky allegedly due to the carers ill health! This is the beauty of the loan scheme, it is a safety net for both horse and carer. I am always sorry to see them returned both for the horses sake and our own. though in the case of these two animals it is probable that they will remain at the shelter now.Buster who was born with a twisted leg, has become arthritic and Rocky also has become very stiff and footsore.Rocky has ringbone and is laminitic but this is his first bad bout since we first took him in during 2006 . I suspect the carer overfed him because we have never seen like this.Even when we tell people exactly how to care for animals,and check on them also, they do not sadly always tell the truth. Hopefully both horses will respond well to supplements in their diet though a nice sunny spell of weather would undoubtedly do Buster most good. My favourite supplements to use for stiff joints are seaweed,cod liver oil and MSM.The latter is very expensive but has proved invaluable foranimals with joint problems. Years ago we had an old goat in Liverpool (no, not me!") His name was William and as he grew older his joints stiffened up and we put the same supplements in his food, there is no doubt it gave him an extra lease of life and he lived on for several years after the start of this addition to his food. Maybe I am expecting too much with Buster but he is a comparitively young horse and anything is worth a try. If it works then the money will be well spent.If not then we can rest easy knowing we did our best. The two returnees are pictured here the day they returned.
I should have known, having mentioned the need for another pup to keep Elliot company when his brother leaves us, the vets receptionist Sharon has just rung to say an abandoned collie pup has been taken in there. Rhian is picking him up tomorrow .
An email has come through from Netta and Len who have several of our cats in Shropshire. It is sad news, the last cat they took from us has died.Pushkin was one of the difficult to rehome cats this cat loving couple have given a home to and they did all they could to make his life comfortable.If only there were more like them.He was lucky to spend his last year with them.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Oops Hes Done it Again!

We are still snowed in here and in spite of this fact our handyman John thought he could make it up the track.Oh Dear!!! There he was slipping and sliding all over the place, everywhere except on the track he was supposed to be on. And was that a rude gesture he was making? Honestly some people just do not know when to be grateful, after all the girls did have to stop work to get him back ON track and I was dragged protesting from my own work to take this historic photo!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Pups enjoy the snow

Ive been having trouble with the computer again,this high tech world we now live in has opened up so many doors and personally I love the net and the information readily available at my fingertips - HOWEVER when things go wrong , which they do on a regular basis, I could willingly rip my hair out and probably that of anyone who is unfortunate to venture near at this stressful time
Anyhow now for an update on little Connie who has recovered from her health scare the other night. We all feel it is close to her time and none of us wish her to go through another ordeal of having a tube stuck down her throat to clear the obstruction, she is too elderly and to be frank I really regret not making the decision then. It will be in this coming week i just need a few days to face up to it but she will go in peace and with the dignity she deserves.
Like many other places, this morning we have faced thick snow everywhere, the dogs really do love it and today the pups Elliot and Chester ventured out in the fields for the first time, it was lovely to see them, it was so exciting, they hardly knew where to run first. Chester, the braver of the two suddenly disappeared headfirst into the snow and was taken by surprise (see photo) but soon recovered his composure and started to chase his brother across the field(2nd pic).Although the rest of the litter were snapped up there is no interest at all in the last two and they are lovely pups, at twelve weeks they have got to the stage where they are not quite so appealing as when they were little balls of fluff .(not how I see them of course, to me and the people here- they are as adorable now as they were when they first arrived)
The great problem with this weather is that some members of my staff are unable to get in to work so we struggle to get the work done and those who can travel in like Mei, have to give up their days off. i think sometimes she feels like moving further away. It also makes me realise what a bonus it is having Barbara living on site , before there would be just Mei and me coping and it was very difficult. At least this time the pipes have not frozen(yet) so I am thankful for that at least.
A date has been decided for our Open Day this year, it will be sunday 1st August, but before that I have to organise an Easter Fair at The Royal Sportsman Hotel in Porthmadog so if any readers have ideas for either of these events I would be pleased to hear from you.
Jade, the staff ordshire bull terrier with mange is not improving as well as we had hoped and is now being bathed every other day and remains on antibiotics - some days she does not even want to go for a walk because her feet are sore, I think maybe its time to look at alternative treatments, this skin problem can be so debilitating and it would be lovely to see her fit enough to be put up for adoption. I have never been a fan of bull breeds though find it appalling that so many are killed each week in rescue centres in the UK. Jade will make someone a lovely companion , her nature is gentle and quiet and at the age of six she has never had a really loving person her own to care for her. Its infuriating that her previous owner failed to keep up the treatment prescribed by the vet and paid for by the PDSA. Had he done so, her mange would not have gained such a strong hold on her.As I write this, she is in an indoor kennel in the office and is fast asleep. I know many people are opposed to the use of these indoor cages and I too once had misgivings about the use of them, however now my belief is that they can provide a sense of security to nervous dogs and can be useful also when dogs need to be seperated from one another,ie after an operation. At the shelter they are a godsend when a dog like Jade arrives, she needs to be isolated from other dogs and although she has many good qualities, she is not a cat lover so it would be unsafe for her to be loose in the office when cats often sneak in. Of course she is taken out regularly and once she is better she owners will be moved somewhere more suitable.
I have just spotted an escapee feral cat on the roof. In spite of special wire fencing which has kept our feral cats safely enclosed for some years, this smart young black and white female has discovered a way out .Amazingly no others have managed to follow her to freedom and once she has escaped she simply waits for the next mealtime and then sneaks in past the member of staff acting as dinner lady for the day. That is one clever little cat.
Some of the snow is now melting, maybe tomorrow cars will once again be able to make their way up to the shelter,it affects our pet adoptions when people cannot access our track.Only the 4x4 drivers can make it up here and sometimes even they struggle.
ps: couldnt resist taking this photo here of the youngsters, merlin, Celt and Shamrock(well his nose anyway!) waiting eagerly for their breakfast.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Dancing with William.

The news is hopeful for the little pup abandoned outside the vets surgery in Pwllhelli- he is getting stronger and he DOES NOT have Parvo thankfully,he was riddled with worms and weak.See Photo here of him in his box. It may not be long before we can take him over and there is already the possibility of a home for him.
On Sunday Mei and I attended the fundraising event organised by the Anglesey Dog Club- "Dancing with dogs",.They raised £180 for the shelter which was great and it was also an entertaining afternoon.It certainly made a change watching dogs behaving themselves and thoroughly enjoying the activities set out for them. You could see the excitement and pleasure in their faces, dogs just love to "play" with their owners. Well I just had to try it for myself soI brought William in and had a go. It didnt go quite as I had planned, William being only interested in the treat I held in my hand but it wasnt a bad effort for us as a team though nobody has yet rushed to sign us up for Britains Got Talent.For those who may not recognise me I am the one with the vanishing leg! Williams tail is also doing a disappearing act.
Iam trying to find a home for two horses whose owner has died, one is 15.2hh , 20 years old and fit and able but he has to go with his 30 years old pony companion and thats what is making it so hard. Nobody wants to take him on also and they have been together for many years. I have to phone someone else back who has left a message about another equine in need.I must do that today, I have been putting it off because I really cannot cope with more here at this moment in time and my heartstrings get pulled when I hear the details of these homeless unwanted animals. Buster and Rocky who were returned this winter may not go out again on loan due to health problems so I have to consider that factor when I am making decisions about admitting new horses.
Freddie(Kruger)pictured here. has learned to open his stabledoor and has been creating havoc in the night, he has been pulling out hay from the horse box where we keep some of our bales and in the morning there is a real mess in the yard. After all these years with us he is still quite a nervous animal though one hundred percent better than he was when he first arrived from Jersey where he was due to be shot.We heard about him from a friend involved in animal welfare over there,Freddie had been passed from home to home and because he was not good in traffic he had been used as a companion horse but he did not want to stay in the field on his own and would jump gates and fences to follow other horses. Unfortunately he had more than one altercation with passing cars and as a result he was deemed too dangerous to live and was scheduled to be put down. He was 15 years old when he arrived nearly eight years ago and was a nervous wreck not trusting anybody but now he is much calmer and of course he never has to be in a field on his own. Freddie is great friends with old Callie and the pair are always seen together.We no longer use the "Kruger" part of his name because it no longer suits him.He is just plain Freddie nowadays.
Yesterday Barry and I went to visit our charity shops in Barmouth, Lampeter and Machynlleth and also to see a new premises in Lampeter which could be better than the one we are currently renting. The recession has hit our shops in a drastic way and we have to look at ways to improve sales.Moving our premises in Caernarfon has definitely done the trick so perhaps theLampeter move will prove to be a good one also. It is always good to see the people who give so much of their time in the shops to help the shelter.As the Porthmadog sshop is closer to the shelter I see quite a bit of Trish and her staff but I dont always see as much of the others as I should, especially Sue in Barmouth , Elinor and Gareth from Machynlleth and Audrey in Lampeter.They have been such reliable helpers and without our shops and the staff in them,we would not be able to continue our work and If we waited for donations to arrive in the post, we would go under. Elinors husband Gareth has been very ill and it was uplifting to see him with such a positive attitude , my heart went out to both of them for all they have been through.That nothwithstanding they still continue to help Freshfields, a real inspiration. It makes me feel very humble.
There is more interest now in our cats and and today the lovely ginger brothers LLew and Miri have gone to a home together and on sunday I delivered two more older cats to a home in Anglesey. As always, when some leave us others arrive and we have admitted two lovely cats (I brought them back from Machynlleth) mother and daughter whose owner died 18 months ago and whom have been homeless ever since. Then today a very handsome tabby stray was brought in making the cattery almost full,there is still space for just one or two more and I feel pretty sure those spaces will be filled by the end of the week.
As I finish this I have had to call out the Vet again to Connie the old shetland pony , she does not seem right today according to Barbara and Mei and in light of her recent "choke" problem I am not willing to wait and see how she is tomorrow. Connie is in her thirties and Mei and I have just agreed she may not have long to go.If her quality of life is deteriorating ,that awful but necessary decision may have to be made very soon. Selfish as it is I hope its not today though I will abide by the advice given by our Vet. I like to prepare mentally for the loss of animals which have been with us for years. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Fingers crossed for a sick abandoned pup

Its a lovely bright crisp day here but very quiet on the visitor front. A couple of people came to see dogs but many seem to think we have a kennel full from which to choose so they(and us) were disappointed and went away empty handed. Not to worry,the right people will turn up for Buddy and the pups.
We had a little terrier brought here yesterday afternoon, he was found on the LLanberis road, neutered and in good condition so it is possible someone may come forward to claim him.I do wish more pet owners would microchip their animals, it makes returning them so much quicker. Of course the fact an animal has a microchip is not always indicative of a caring owner, we have had cats admitted whose owners we have traced via the microchips but they failed to collect their pets.In fact we have just had a pretty tortoishell admitted this morning from Anglesey. she has a microchip so we have informed the petlog company and are currently waiting to hear from the owner.
The pigs are out lying in the sun today, we rarely see them during the coldest spells,they prefer to remain snuggled into their straw beds,venturing outside only to eat.Its nice to see them enjoying the fresh air. They must be around 13 years of age now, I inherited them when I moved in and they had already lived here some years.
The man who delivers our hay has just turned up with a small storage container he has obtained for us to store the horse feed,I am delighted, we are very short of storage space here and this will make the world of difference. There is another available and we could make good use of that too but the problem is where to locate it. It would be very useful for us to keep our cat food and bedding/cages etc. I need to give it some thought and try to find a discreet spot for it to live. I have to be aware of the impact it would have on my miserable next door neighbour who will undoubtedly complain to the local council. Still, it would be a a shame to lose it.
This morning Rhian had a text from Receptions Sharon at our local Veterinary Surgery. She had found a puppy barely alive under the hedge by the car park, someone uncaring and vile had dumped this poor little lurcher pup obviously because it was sick.Later tests showed the pup to have the dreaded Parvo Virus. We are all routing for him to survive but its touch and go at the moment. god that makes me so angry.Wish I could get my hands on the person who abandoned him. Having no money is not an excuse, there is help out there for such people and the poor little thing could have been there all night, nobody was seen doing it during the morning and its not a place that can be walked to so a car would have been seen.
This isnt the cheeriest of blogs so am including some omy favourite photos from round the shelter to brighten up the day. Guess which captions fit each photo?
Quick, lets make a run for it, the dentist is here
I am fed up, she has gone out AGAIn without me.
I know you cant see me really
Its a bit off when they cant afford to provide us with PROPER beds.
Im far too tired to walk
Wonder why my mum doesnt look like me?
Whilst they arent watching Ill see if there is any food in here
I have told them time and time again Im Welsh and prefer to play rugby

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Nell leaves us and two ginger cats arrive.

Nells homecheck has passed with flying colours and today she left us for her new life. I am anxious and will be waiting to hear that she is fine, until then I shall worry, I cant help it.
After doing the homecheck I went to our Llandudno shop and was delighted to see that it looked really good and seemed to be doing better than before with lots of people browsing and some even making purchases, what we still need urgently are more goods ( clothes and other saleable items) Jan, the manageress has made some good changes in the shop and it is definitely making a difference.
Two beautiful ginger cats have been admitted today(see photo) The brothers have lost their home due a childs allergy but they are so handsome I doubt they will stay with us for very long. Their names are LLew which in English means Lion and Miri which means cheerful. What lovely names. Right now Miri is far from cheerful but settling in a new environment is not easy for a cat and he will be fine in a few days.
Flopsy rabbit is being adopted by a supporter of Freshfields who lives in Derbyshire so we know she is going to have a good life there, Janet often comes to stay with Rosie and volunteers her services at the shelter during her stay.
Roy from our Caernarfon shop has been here on his day off - a great day off for him, he has been putting up floodlights by our stables.This is a job we have needed doing for sometime and will make a big difference to the staff who have to fumble about in the dark on winter evenings. I really dont know what we would do without Roy, he is such a great help to us, he works so hard in the shop but also is ever willing to collect animals at a moments notice not to mention the odd jobs he does at the shelter. He and Veronica bookeeper extraordinaire and myself started a conversation about age and how some people are young for their age and others seem old before their time. We all of course felt we belonged to the first category although I had a sharp , unpleasant shock and a reality check whilst on holiday. I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and join my holiday companions on a paragliding experience. The holiday mood had taken over and all reason went out the window. I have been terrified of heights all my life so I truly must have had a moment of real madness. Anyhow before I could protest I was strapped in and we were off! The 20 something instructor encouraged me to " look at the wonderful view", however I was so frozen with fear I could barely move a muscle never mind my head! Anyhow on the wonderful return to ground level he said well done, I love taking out old people for the first time!!! Who said age is how you feel? Talk about coming down to earth with a bump - in more ways than one. It may just be time I faced up to the fact that I may FEEL thirty but clearly do not LOOK as youthful as I feel.!! BUMMER!
Dear little Bertie terrier who came in with a serious case of mange some weeks ago has been fostered by our new volunteer Caroline and I hear he has settled in as though he has lived there all his life.I am so pleased for him, he needed some extra love and attention and because of his skin problem we were unable to allow him the freedom at the shelter we would normally have given him. Of course we all hope he may stay with his fosterer but if Caroline reads this NO PRESSURE - HONESTLY!
Jim the pony for whom we have been supplying hay was due to be brought in next week but his owner who had been pressurising us to take him as soon as possible, rang today to say there was no problem, his daughter was having him. I am dumbfounded, why on earth did the daughter not have him in the first place and if she can afford to have him why did WE have to supply food for him?
Today was farrier day. 16 had their feet trimmed,the next visit will be April when some will need a vet present to sedate them. Not all our equines are malleable and some go completely wild like little Maggie shetland who in spite of her small stature is a farriers nightmare. It can be a very stressful procedure for a nervous animal and mild sedation prevents the animal becoming too agitated and saves the farrier from serious injury and the charity from a possible lawsuit!!!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Shamrock is Behaving badly.

Thunder the Husky pictured above (making friends with Buddy collie)is a popular girl,already we are having enquiries about her and I am organising a home visit in the Bolton area . The people already have a husky so are familiar with the breed which is always a good indication they know what they are taking on..If she goes then Rosie is to foster another urgent case.I have had a call about a collie cross spaniel who it seems is is reacting badly to the atmosphere of aggression in the home and who can blame him. At least the owner is doing something positive about it and has his best interest at heart by attempting to find him a better home. Like children who are victims of violence there will be associated problems to deal with but he is just two years old and deserves a chance so we will do our best. Tomorrow I am going to see some people interested in timid Nell the pretty red and white collie and as they live in LLandudno I will be popping in to see how our Llandudno shop is doing . I feel it is time Nell was in a home,we have done all we can and she is improved but a one to one situation will hopefully now really bring her on. If I am a little paranoid about letting her go from here it is because some years ago we had a similar traumatised dog here and unfortunately her new owners lost her. She was NEVER found in spite of constant searches made by both them and staff from the shelter. I was completely devastated ,never really got over it and wished I had kept her myself as she trusted me completely.Now I am so scared of the same thing happening that I am perhaps over zealous in finding the right owners for such dogs. We are having a few problems with one of our young ponies Shamrock. he is pictured here on the right, with his companions Celt and Merlin.He is very very naughty and last night he kicked Mei in his eagerness to get to his food ( Rhian and Mei say that he must have been taking lessons from me, how rude is that?) Today he jumped out of his field and was happily trotting out of the property when we received information from a member of the public that there was a loose pony. Thankfully Mei managed to race after him and return him to his companions but we are going to have to try and put a stop to this behaviour for his own sake. A badly behaved pony is no joke and nobody will want to take him on in the future. The equilibrium between one of the equine groups appears to have been upset for some unknown reason so there has had to be a change around in stabling. William , the old grey has suddenly started to be bullied by some of the "Anglesey" ponies with whom he shares evening stabling. We have had to stable him next to Krystal (the grey mare with melanomas) and the three old shetlands. This arangement appears to be working well. Sometimes if there is a mare in season nearby, altercations can occur within a group of geldings but there really does not seem to be any reason why William has suddenly become the victim of bullying, this group has been together for quite some time and there have been no previous problems. Has anyone seen this happen before? Incidentally the treatment Krystal has been on has certainly prevented the growth of her tumour and she seems a lot more comfortable now. A lovely black lopeared rabbit has just been admitted,. The reason - a new human baby has arrived in the home and Flopsy Rabbit is now surplus to requirements.. How many times have I heard this! If I was given a £1 for every time I would be a rich woman! Now I am off to have my lunch so I had better warn the staff to keep out of my way if they dont want to be jostled aside or kicked!! Dont believe a word they say, I am really not that bad. I have just been reminded that members of Anglesey dog training are holding a fund raising event "Dancing with dogs" for Freshfields and it takes place this Sunday .Mei and I hope to be there too and we are looking forward to seeing dogs NOT behaving badly. There are refreshments and an invitation to join in with an experienced dog.Sounds great fun. If anyone is interested please contact Maggie 01407 810496.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

The Boss is Back in Town

No, its not Bruce Springstein, just me returning from a restorative three weeks break in South Africa .Thanks to my aunt who died last year and left me a little money I was able to take this wonderful holiday, it is the first time I have left the shelter for this length of time and of course I missed the animals and worried if all was well. Fortunately all was fine except of course for the sad demise of little Sion. I was also very pleased the wild birds were not forgotten, thanks for the photographic proof girls ! Rhian has done a great job of the blog though I know she is more than happy to hand it back over,it is not always easy to find interesting things to write about. Some days are not exactly dull(never that here) but monotonous and I know sometimes I wonder how to make the events more interesting to blog readers. Anyhow if you want to read more from Rhian read her amusing blog"Talis Tails" especially if you are a German Shepherd lover or a George Michael fan! If not you have been warned.
It has been a busy morning here and I have been thrown back into the deep end although I am not yet recovered from lack of sleep on the long flight home. Don the collie has gone off to his new home in Windsor and his new people may be interested in another young collie should one be admitted. A lovely ginger cat and two "teenage" cats have left us for new homes and a pup has been reserved. Not bad at all.
As always, when we are delighted for some to leave us, another arrives,this time in the shape of a nine months old Siberian Husky female called Thunder. Poor Thunder was only in her home one day and night because the resident dog took a dislike to her and was attacking her constantly. Prior to that home she had been with a couple who gave up on her after a few months so she has really been pushed around in her short life. Rosie is going to foster her until we can find a permanent loving place for her
Whilst on holiday my friends and I had several animal encounters and one day managed to catch a very distressed Boxer dog running in front of traffic on a busy road. After a time spent tracking her, we found her collapsed in a ditch, exhausted and terrified . I then spent a satisfying but uncomfortable journey to the local animal shelter with a very wet and dirty dog snuggled up to me and giving me wet sloppy kisses on the back seat of the car! She was so pleased to be rescued. We were all delighted when we rang the shelter next day to find out she had been claimed.
A less pleasant incident involved a troop of baboons! Very stupidly and in typical tourist fashion we stopped the car to take photos of them and thinking that we were safely on the far side of the road and therefore unthreatening to them we got out of the car! Bad move! The large and aggressive looking male baboon started to race across the road, I shouted get back in NOW but only Julie and myself jumped back in the car, the driver and passenger were still outside but had left their doors open and Big Daddy Baboon leapt into the seat in front of us and began eating a packet of crisps left on one of the seats whilst carefully watching us who were almost paralysed with fear on the back seat. "Get out NOW" was my next warning. I have never exited a car so fast in my life. My other friends were safer outside though Tom rather foolishly made an attempt to retrieve a bottle of water on the back seat only to have Big Daddy fly at him screeching in rage . Sandra was desperately trying to get to a place of safety and asked the occupants of another car if she could wait in their car.Their reply was to turn away and lock their doors against the mad englishwoman! One hour later we managed to repossess our hire car. Fortunately there was no damage except to our damaged egos. I think it fair to say that we all felt extremely ashamed of our stupidity. If this type of incident occurs regularly and complaints are made, it could prove fatal to the future of these wild baboon troops and that would be no joke.
It is now time to deliver Thunder the husky to Rosies home so I must sign off but not before I say its really good to be home.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

A Last Request


Well it was another sad start to the day for us today. Old Sion (as we had called him) was dead in the pen this morning. No doubt this lovely old man had been a much loved pet at one time, but when his owner died he found himself homeless. So sad that not one member of the family had had the time, space or compassion to give him the last few weeks of his life in the comforts of their home. Sleep well old man.
On a brighter note, we've found Trixie. She has indeed been re-homed by another charity, in what they assure me is an excellent home. It seems I have to take their word for that, but I have shown my disapproval at the way the situation was handled. All that was necessary from our point of view was one phone call to inform us of their intentions and let us know that the cat was safe and well. I think that this has been an eye-opener for us and in the interest of the animals more charities should learn to work together. From our point of view, as I said, one phone call could have saved a lot of time and worry.
No one has come forward to claim Sidney the Staffie, I must say I'm not surprised just a little disappointed. He's such a beautiful dog, so full of fun and energy. Yes I guess I'm smitten...again!
Lesley will be arriving back in the country tomorrow. I must admit I'm looking forward to seeing her. I guess the reason it works so well at Freshfields is that we are a pretty good team and have all developed strong friendships over the years.
Anyway, I said that whilst the cat was away ....... So I have one quick confession before I finish, all the titles of the blogs I have written have a connection. Something that associates them strongly with me. Any ideas?
So for the last time, for now anyway, I'm singing out... Rhian

Some of the "oldies" in the conservatory

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


Sidney The Staffie
Dogs, Dogs and more Dogs; and can someone please tell me what are we suppose to do with them? All the foster homes are full, and there's simply no more room at the "inn." But still the phone calls come. You can only do so much juggling before the situation either becomes dangerous to staff and/or dogs; or the dogs we already have in don't get the care they deserve. I believe less is more, but how can we shut the door to the needy? At 10pm last night Mei got a call from a Police Officer, he was at the bottom of the track with a Stray dog. So at that late hour Mei had to move some cats, (who I can imagine where not best pleased), to make overnight room for a rather boisterous and loud young male Staffie. Sidney as he's been christened is a typical Staff, such a lovely dog with an outgoing bubbly character. I can't believe that he is not someone's much loved pet, he's in fantastic condition. Though unfortunately not neutered and no collar or microchip! Such a shame people don't think of the "ifs" and "buts."
The little puppy bitch has been re-homed, but there is still little interest in the boys. They are growing fast and developing lovely characters. But really now they need to find their forever homes to develop their individuality and hopefully become much loved pets.
There was fun and games with the horses this morning. Little Noddy got fed of being in the Shetland field and decided to open the gate taking himself and his friends for a wonder down the track. Luckily Gail was in the top field and saw them make their bid for freedom. It was great fun for me watching Mei and Rosie running down the track to catch the escapees ... Not as much fun for them I guess. Anyway with all safely back in the field I guess a padlock may now be necessary!
I guess my time writing this blog will soon be coming to an end. With Lesley back before the week-end she'll soon be back here to tell you all about life at Freshfield..still I'll try and post once, or twice before then..Rhian
My Mate Bradley
Well at least I feel safe when he's got his burger in his mouth!!!
"Feels Good
To Be