Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Heather and |Paddy will be coming back to us.

I have had an enquiry for Scott one of the collies and also one for Dylan(was Bryn)pup so it looks as though things are looking up again for the dogs. Mist has settled down and is less nervous today so she should be ready to be spayed next week. her only fault it seems is that she is not keen on cats.Oh well she will just have to stay on the lead, I will not put the cats at risk .Other than that she is a sweet gentle dog and deserves far better than the life she has had,I know I keep saying this but its in my head all the time when I see these dogs.

Does anyone have facilities for two large terrapins? Unsurprisingly these two have outgrown their 3 foot tank and the owner is desperate for a new home for them. When they are sold the new owners should be told they will not stay small and can grow enormous.That would be the ethical way to sell to people, but it would result in few sales so no wonder no information is given with them. The Liverpool shelter has two indoor ponds for these creatures but they are full and one holds a solitary terrapin , a soft shelled turtle which will kill others and so Mrs Softy as we call her has to sadly stay on her own.Since she first arrived some years ago she was tiny and now she is the size of a dinner plate. She is a very prehistoric looking creature,I must ask Lynne to to take a photo of her so I can post it on the blog to show people. I remember when she arrived in a tank with a single red eared terrapin huddled in terror at the far end.She had killed the others in with her. Ignorance causes so much stress and trauma to animals which is one of the reasons I have always hated petshops selling animals. Pets need to be homed with full care instructions, its only common sense after all.

Nice names for pet cats - I was asked today to take in two cats named Mold and Fungus!!!!!! These have to be the worse names yet and believe me there have been some horrors. The owner has been made homeless so it is of some urgency that we find room for them.As I will be taking the FIV cats to Liverpool tomorrow, there is a pen free for them. .The main cattery is full at the moment.Oh, good news, we homed a lovely black and white cat called Tommy who had been here over a year.I just love it when that happens. There are only a few left which have been here that length of time, slowly but surely the long term cats are being chosen.

We need to make sure there is enough stabling for horses this winter because 4 will be coming back to us at the end of the summer.There is always the chance that the circumstances will change in peoples lives, it is a fact of life that seldom does anything stay the same and so we need to be prepared for 2 (large) shetlands Heather and Paddy and two larger horses Dids and Buster coming back to the shelter. Perhaps by then we may have found homes for the youngsters Merlin, Celt and Shamrock.That would certainly help.We will struggle for shelter for them all but think we will just about manage providing there are no further emergencies. Heather is pictured here with Paddy when he was a little foal, he is now bigger than his mum and is rising 5 years.
I will be in Liverpool until Thursday, attending a Trustee meeting and taking the opportunity to catch up with best friend Diane with whom I will be staying overnight. We dont see enough of each other nowadays so there will be lots to catch up on.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

A successful Open garden at Gell farm.

Its been a fairly quiet weekend, not many visitors here. The white cat has already found a home and they have also reserved one of the siamese type kittens which they will collect when they are ready in a couple of weeks. None of the dogs have found homes but the poorly ferret has been claimed by her owner which is marvellous, especially as she did not belong to rabbit hunting vermin! The ferret apparently had escaped from the house where she lives indoors , she is spayed and is called Tinkerbelle! Her owners were thrilled to find her having almost given up hope and we were equally pleased to see her go.I say that in the nicest possible way because it is great to see a pet claimed by an owner as it happens so infrequently.

A new collie has been admitted, she is one of three abandoned on a farm by their owner, I dont have anywhere for the boys yet so am advertising them hoping for some interest. They are 3 years old siblings, Mist, the female is a friendly dog but seems very unsure of herself and frightened of almost everything around her. I think they may have been shut up for some time to be so jumpy.I will be glad to get the boys away as soon as I can.Pictured here are Mist,Jim and Scott.

Today was the day of the garden Open Day at Gell Farm where Catherine one of our volunteers at the Porthmadog shop holds a fundraiser for Freshfields each year. This is the third one and judging by how everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, a successful one too. The gardens are really beautiful and I particularly liked th e large pond with Koi carp and other fish,it was so relaxing and nice to be away from the shelter for a few hours. It is a lovely setting in which people can wander round the gardens admiring the plants and have a cup of tea or coffee with a home made cake (or two). I am very grateful to Catherine and her husband for putting so much effort into this fundraiser ,it makes for a lovely afternoon out and raises money for the shelter too - I have just heard they raised £750. Brilliant.
Tomorrow Barbara is taking 6 feral cats to South Wales where they will be living on a farm and after their obligatory time kept safely incarcerated in a shed, they will have freedom again. These homes do not come along very often but its a real morale booster when one does and even more so when they raise the number of cats requested from 3 to 6. Perhaps this was partially(or mostly) down to my sad tale of how these cats can be in their enclosure for anything up to 18 months and hopw I long to see them all free again! It is true of course, they are safe with us but cats should not be confined and every day I look at them and hope for suitable homes to turn up for them. I cannot release any more here, there are already far too many loose here at the shelter and I dont want the equilibrium ruined..As it is the last cat I released - old Jimmy Ginger turns out to hate other cats and as for dogs, well he not only hates them he will attack at the slightest chance. He is the bane of the dogs lives.Poor old Bonnie was cornered by him yesterday and she was terrified.This by the way is a foxhound which the hunting fraternity say cannot be rehabiliated into a pet home because of their hunting instinct! Bonnie lets all the dogs, cats and everything else walk all over her (literally sometimes)There has never been a gentler more inoffensive animal as Bonnie. She is the third Foxhound I have had in my care and the other two Colin and Alfie were equally as gentle . So if anyone ever uses this to justify hunting saying that if there was no hunting with hounds all the hounds would have to be destroyed immediately because they are totally unsuitable as pets - well that is the biggest load of nonsense ever . I have first hand knowledge that these dogs make wonderful pets and anyone is welcome to see our lovely Bonnie happy in her Pet home.

We have had two litters of feral kittens admitted, both litters are young enough for them to be "brought round" and domesticated successfully and are already becoming friendlier after just a few days being handled.One litter is stunningly pretty, Rhian took this great photo which I am sure we will use for either next years calendar or a card of some sort. They are real chocolate box kittens.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Tess is returned and Simons results arrive.

The sheep will be shorn shortly - try saying that when you have had a few drinks!
Glenys who lives on the farm next door has said her grandson will do them oin the next few days.
.It has been too hot for them with their thick woolly coats( the sheep, not Glenys and her grandson) Having said that, today is colder and it has just started raining but they will feel more comfortable when they have their winter fleeces off and anyway there is a shelter for them to escape from the rain if they so wish. I think it will take a few of us to help with the two naughty Jacobs, I may just take that day off!
Tess did come back so I have had to readvertise her, as I have with little Misty. Hopefully I will have another good response, some of the people whose numbers I had kept have now acquired dogs elsewhere which is a shame but then again those dogs needed homes too and these two will just have to wait a little longer to find the right people.

Our latest admittance is Buster a handsome black cross labrador whose owners have no time to exercise him, he is a nice dog and one which should be appealing to the general public. I do feel so sorry for those animals which do not immediately catch the eye, they are often the nicest natured but they often fade into the background.At least there should not be such a problem with this nice fellow.

Apart from Rosie, I am struggling to find dog foster homes because most end up keeping a dog they fostered and although it means the dogs have great homes it also means we lose a very important and necessary temporary solution for the many homeless and unwanted dogs in this area. There are some I can home without having to take in like the 6 years old collie female belonging to a lady in a care home. I had someone waiting for a middle aged collie and I was able to match them up successfully but this is hard to do without having first hand experience of the animal. This was easier because I knew the fact that Lucky lived with elderly people in a care home,meant that she was an easy and good natured animal. Not all dogs are easy to home and it has to be said that owners often tell lies to get us to take on their unwanted pets. The information given over the telephone is often not the true picture of the nature of the pet and when we get to know the dog it becomes clear that the owner has either lied or withheld important facts . By having the animal in the shelter or in a foster home means we can assess the true personality and therefore match it up to a suitable owner with a degree of success.

The Liverpool shelter will be taking the two FIV cats which is a relief as they have far more success homing these cats than I do here in wales. I will deliver them when I attend the next trustee meeting on the 30th of this month. I am still awaiting the results of Simons thyroid tests.

Barbara went this morning to collect a stray cat at a caravan site in Caernarfon. The cat turned out to be a half grown kittencat about five - 6 months of age, pure white fluffy, a really pretty little cat.The owner of the site wanted rid of it as it was getting on peoples nerves with its pitiful crying!!!!! They are all heart. I hope one day someone will show as much kindness to them when they need it most. .
We have also admitted 4 adult cats from Ann Cragg who runs a cattery in Anglesey.These 4 were boarded whilst the owners were in France and guess what - they didnt return for their cats,opting instead to send an letter with no return address stating their intention to remain in France and for Ann to dispose of the cats! Ann also helps us with injured wildlife and had taken a bluetit fledgeling from us earlier this week so we are able to help each other with animal issues and because she is the sort of person she is the cats were never in danger of being destroyed but the owners were clearly not at all concerned as to the future fate of these pets they had owned for 5 and 6 years.
Well it looks as thought the heavens are about to open, the sky has turned very dark so I must take Molly , Meg, Ben and Patch out before it starts raining.Molly hates the rain and will refuse to budge from the warm kitchen.I can scarcely believe she is 10 years old now, I am told that is a good age for a Great Dane and she is still lively out on the fields, she loves to carry a ball or toy around in her mouth and can still have a little chase of the other dogs when she feels so inclined.
Thursday am.
Simons results have come through, thyroid problems confirmed so he has to start on treatment immediately, his tablets can be collected at same time as the ferret who it appears is much brighter now though is to continue on antibiotics for a few more days.She is eating so must feel better. That is really good news.Heres hoping Simon will improve once he starts his tablets.
Have just had a call from a lady currently homeless, she rang from a police station and was desperate for help so I am taking her 6 years old Westie today. There have been so many calls requesting help for dogs and cats it is overwhelming so it is a case of prioritising the most urgent. If only I could help them all.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Shane is our first potty(or wheelbarrow)trained horse.

Well can you believe it - the couple who travelled to see Misty did not like her!!! The man said he failed to bond with her! What does that mean? She came out ready to make a fuss, went up to him jumped up gently and rolled on her back for a tickle.What else did he want. Anyhow Im glad they did not take her, this is a super little dog and it is their loss.

The ferret DOES appear to be blind and her glands were up so she is on antibiotics which are administered in her water bowl.She is eating a little but has not much of an appetite so is clearly not feeling 100 percent.The lump on her head has now vanished which is most peculiar but it has definitely gone. I have quite taken to this one and wish I could have her in the house to nurse through her poorly time but somehow I dont think she would go down too well with the residents there. I have been told of someone who may offer a home to her so I will follow that up. In the meantime she is going back to the vet for more tests.

The photo of Shane looks like he is using the wheelbarrow for a potty but in fact he was simply having a good scratch as animals do and the wheelbarrow happened to be the nearest availalable object on which he was able to do this satisfactorily. If only they were potty trained! There is no doubt that it is an arduous task poo picking all the fields but the upside is that on a sunny day you can aquire rather a good tan and its better than being stuck in an office all day. Rumour has it that wealthy horse owners use a contraption similar to a lawn mower which hoovers up the manure. Now that really would be useful but until our boat comes in we will all have to continue doing what horse owners have done since time immemorial - pick manually. I was reading Liz Jones diary in the Mail and once again she is bemoaning the fact that she has so much work to do with her animals, well Liz, thats what happens when you have a multitude of pets.It IS hard work and as you has found , it is expensive too. AND it does not always endear you to neighbours as I also have discovered. Nor is it conducive to personal relationships, the list goes on and on but you know what , I would not have it any other way. I would hate to have a life of shallowness, absorption in oneself and obsessed with material things. Not that I am saying you do either, your love for animals clearly shines out through your column .Personally I would feel my life would not be justified without making a contribution of some sort to the community and dont get me wrong I love clothes too and wish I could afford designer stuff too but it is not the be all and end all of life. Money worries are a terrible drain on emotions and even physical well being but I have had them most of my life because of my choice of lifestyle taking in animals and have never led a life of excess (though I have often aspired to do so, or at least to experience it for a while!)So there you have it, Im sure Liz will never read my blog but you never know and if she does my advice to her is that if she is that unhappy then she should find a solution and act upon it. Where there is a will theres a way, life is too short for regrets. And Liz, if you have any designer clothes or handbags (non leather please) you are bored with please send them to my address.

Meg Collie has gone to a local home(for a change)thought here is a strong possibility that Tess may be returned this coming week. Although she is great with the child of the household, she has shown nervousness and has barked and jumped at a neighbours child. There are plenty of home offers for her so if she does come back I will send her to an adult home.

Skinny Simon has FIV so now he is in with Fizz another FIV positive cat. He has been tested also for thyroid problems and I am waiting for the results. I will be upset if his health does not improve,it would be nice for him to have a home for the remainder of how ever many years he has left.He is just the most affectionate loving and placid cat I have come across for a long time.At the vets, when I opened his basket, he strolled out and immediately lay down and made himself at home, purring away happily. I think he would be happy absolutely anywhere that he could receive attention and comfort. Fizz, too is a darling cat, she is a healthy bonny looking youngster and another with a loving nature. They do not deserve to spend their lives penned up at a shelter, I am a firm believer in the quality of life and so I shall endeavour to find both suitable homes where they will not have to come into contact with other felines. Regarding Simon, that is of course if his thyroid(or whatever it is) can be treated successfully.They could both then have good years ahead of them if they are lucky.

The weather is great at the moment and the animals are enjoying it though our sheep need to be shorn and it is so hard to find someone to do it for a small number like our little flock. We do have a man who will do it at the end of the month but if the weather continues like this it will become unbearable for them. At least they have shelter if the sun becomes too much.

Mei who is generally disinterested in the nature around her was excited (believe it or not) that she had an unusual fly land on her arm.She described it as turqoise and pink.At first I thought she must have been on the waccy baccy or at the very least was having a moment of mental abberation!but she assured me that it was true so we looked it up in one of my many nature books and sure enough there was one which fitted the description. In fact it was a wasp, a ruby tailed wasp! So theres a first, Ive never heard of one let alone see one but maybe they are quite common and they just dont alight on people very often?
2 kittens and an adult cat have been homed today,it was particularly nice to see an adult cat going, with so many kittens about they are simply not moving at all and I so want them all to find loving homes. Even the kittens are not going out quickly at the moment which is unusual at this time of year. Ever optimistic im sure we will soon be inundated with visitors clamouring for them!!!!!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Skinny Simon ,more jellyfish facts and a blind ferret.

After mentioning the jellyfish washed up on Llandudno beach I looked up the phenomena on the net and it seems that Mediterranean countries are having a massive invasion of them and the beaches in Cornwall are also seeing more and more washed up as indeed we are here in North Wales.Its something to do with the change of climate everywhere and the abundancy of plankton which is the staple diet of jellyfish. So there you have it. The one my friend had found was identified as a lions mane jellyfish which was around 2-3 ft long but they can grow up to 10 Feet!! Their sting is toxic so be aware if you see any washed up, this fellow is a pinky reddy colour and BIG!
Another little cross staff is in need of a home, Misty is six months old and rather like Tess in appearance but there are already several offers of homes for her thanks to the interest the photo of Tess generated.Always a bonus - this little dog is good with cats.Not only a bonus but a great relief to me too, the cats who live here deserve a peaceful existence and there is nothing worse than a dog straining at its lead trying to get at the cats. It makes me constantly on edge should an accident occur and the dog slips the lead. Anyhow a couple from the Midlands are travelling down here on saturday to see her so fingers crossed there will be mutual admiration between them.

An emaciated cat has been admitted. He was found just sitting in the middle of a road,its a wonder he was not killed by a car but thankfully someone caring spotted him and brought him to the shelter.Skinny Simon just never stops purring and it is clear that he is glad to be rescued.Each day he appears stronger though he is going to the vet for a check up in case there is an underlying reason for his poor weight.He is so thin I doubt if he would have lived much longer had he not been picked up. His affectionate loving nature indicates that he has been a pet but once again we are left to pick up the vets bill and the responsibility for someone elses animal. It is so infuriating that this happens although to be fair he could possibly have been a stray for some time.Perhaps Im jumping the gun so I will give the owner the benefit of the doubt this time! Simon is pictured here on top of his temporary pen in the office and with Emma , a volunteer. It is hard to see just how emaciated he really is but believe me he is skin and bone.

Mei and I have been laughing at the antics of old Noddy our geriatric shetland pony who loves his food and rushes to eat his own so he can then move on to his companions food.We have to watch over them to ensure this does not happen. Yesterday however, Mei took her eyes away from them for a moment during which time Noddy, having finished his own meal ,had moved over to where Connie was slowly enjoying her food and before Connie could nose him away from the bucket,Noddy grabbed it and ran off holding it in his teeth . When he was a fair distance away he put it down on the ground and commenced to finish it with gusto! Naughty boy. We did of course replace Connies feed so she did not miss out.
Murphy shetland has gone off to his new home, his new carer having completed the loan agreement forms necessary for the transfer of the pony from our care to hers.We will, of course keep regular checks on him to make sure all is well . The lady who expressed interest in Sam shetland failed to turn up! Never mind, it was obviously not meant to be.

A gentleman from Tudweiliog rang having found a (friendly)ferret in his garden. When we collected it we saw immediately this young female had an enormous lump on her head and needed to see a vet(she is going today) but today Barbara has come in to tell me that she thinks she may be blind as well. In spite of her not eating yersterday she has shown no interest in food this morning so there is something very seriously wrong with her.More later after the vet appointment.
There is a charity fundraiser in Caernarfon Square this Saturday so I am sorting out our display boards ready for the event for which one of our volunteers Dilys has offered to man our stall.Its surprising how many local people have still not heard of the charity even after 9 years in the area and many newspaper articles about our work. I am always glad of an opportunity to raise our profile in the community .
There is someone interested in the pup, we are doing well with homing the dogs at the moment.It seems to go in phases, sometimes everyone who rings is wanting dogs, other times it is adult cats, another time kittens. This week is definitely dog week. It has been very quiet on the cat side of things, even the appealing little kittens are not moving but I am sure this will change soon. Perhaps many people are anticipating their summer holidays and plan to wait until they return to purchase another pet.
I must finish now to keep the appointment at the vet.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

More admittances and Open day Preparations begin.

Tess the staff cross has already left us, I put her on the dogsblog website and had dozens of enquiries for her. Poor Twm had none at all! Some dogs simply do not seem to have the appeal of others. Certainly he needs some work done with him but he has the potential of being a great "fun" dog. Unfortunately most people understandably want a well behaved, well trained pet. Today we brought him out to mingle with everyone whilst we were having a tea break and he seemed to enjoy the attention though he has a habit of staying close to those he knows best. I feel sure he will get over his nervousness of strangers after a while and become more socialised.
Rosie is fostering another pup for us, Bryn is 4 months old a cross collie/German shepherd who is suffering a touch of separation anxiety at the moment.Rosie has brought him to work and he is in her car barking for attention/company. He will be able to come out soon and have a play and follow Rosie round whilst she gets on with her work cleaning out the stables.

Another collie is being fostered.Meg is 3 years old, another farm dog unwanted because of her disinterest in working for her living. Meg is a lovely gentle but rather shy dog and for once I am pleased to say that a farm dog arrived looking in very good condition. Makes a pleasant change!
The staff were upset at the weekend when a cat was admitted with only half a face, they thought maybe a rat had attacked him but in fact he had cancer which had eaten away at his nose.Im afraid we had to put him to sleep, it was the only humane course of action. I am not publishing the photo of him feeling it far too distressing to so so. How could the owner have left this poor cat to deteriorate in this way? He was a friendly domesticated animal and no animal deserves to suffer that way. Once again we end up with the vet bill for someone elses pet. Whats new!
Instead of that photo I have chosen another which shows ponies having a siesta in front of the sheeps little house. I know I have published sad pics before but this cat one was too too graphic and even I can sometimes have an overload of sadness. From left to right are Bobby the shetland pony (one of the neglected Anglesey ponies) Blue a dainty grey and Shane (also Anglesey ponies) and Tangy one of our oldest residents who was admitted at age 30 years so is now in his late thirties. This little group is a quiet bunch of ponies due to either their great ages or their health problems.The Anglesey ponies who some may remember came in to us 2 years ago are so much improved but some will never be fit enough to be rehomed. Shane , Blue and Bobby are young animals but their neglect at the hands of their owner means they will never be without some health issues and will always need great care to prevent them having bouts of laminitis, the problem which crippled them prior to their admittance to the shelter.

The other photo is of our two rabbits who seem to be overstaying their welcome.Much as I like them I wish someone would offer them a home. When they arrived a few months ago Tandy and Speckles (father and son) were very shy but have really come out of themselves lately and to keep up this improvement they need to receive more attention than is possible here.However I want a home where they will stay together and have a good sized exercise area because another of my pet hates, and believe me I have so many , is rabbits in hutches which are only allowed out when it suits the owner. I cant bear to see caged animals, Why is it that many people seem to have the inability to place themselves in anothers shoes whether those shoes belong to a human or animal(that doesnt seem to make sense!) How would they like to be caged and inactive day after day with often no companion to allay the boredom? Dont even get me on to birds in cages. I could rant on for hours about the inhumanity of that.

We are all starting to prepare for the second Open Day at the shelter.August 1st is not so far off. Last years Bookshop proved a popular attraction so we have converted one of the stables again into a temporary bookshop .Already shelves have been put up to display the hundreds of second hand books we have to sell. The avid readers amongst us are finding it hard to keep away and I have to admit to sneaking in during the evening to find reading material for my relaxation. I read so quickly I can get through a book in one or two evenings depending on how many pages there are.
I was wondering if there was anyone locally who is able to do tarot readings or something similar but so far have failed to find anyone. I would quite enjoy having that done myself.Last time I had the cards read I was told everything that in fact came true a short time later! Coincidence maybe but it was very accurate.Mind you my niece Vanessa also had a reading and nothing she was told came true so perhaps I was just lucky that day.I thought it might be an added attraction for the day so I will continue looking.
My friend Pete tells me there is an enormous jellyfish on Llandudno beach.He has never seen anything like it and apparently the local media have written up about it. Last time I was there the beach was littered with dead jellyfish though mostly small. I wonder if this is usual for so many to be washed up or is it an unusual phenomena? The lives and loves of jellyfish is not a subject I am knowledgeable about so will have to read up on it.Then I can add it to my vast collection of mainly useless information in order to bore everyone around me!

Friday, 11 June 2010

The promised photos

Here are the photos I was unable to publish yesterday, new dogs Twm and Tess and some of the 13 cats rescued from a home in LLanberis. They are very nervous and dont look in the best condition as you can see but we have a vet visiting next week to do a blood test on one of the ponies and I will ask him to check them over. It will be easier for them if we have the vet here look at them than to put them through yet another trauma of being put into cages and taken there. The pony having a blood test is Titch a 26 years old shetland pony who appears to be suffering a weight loss in spite of being out at grass and having regular worming and dental treatment. Its best to be on the safe side with him and cover all bases.

The black and white feral cat with the siamese lookylikey kittens (seen here) has calmed down considerably and no longer runs and hides when the pen door is opened, the kittens are also looking better, their eyes look less runny although there is some concern over the grey baby who has either lost the use of one eye or has an infection in it so she is having eye drops.

Another newcomer was admitted today, a very thin stray - longhaired with matted coat. This friendly black and white cat whom we thought was pregnant until we discovered she was in fact a neutered male! The fat tum is probably down to a large worm burden. I have no such excuse! Mine is down to lack of serious exercise!(not for much longer though, have rejoined the gym so goodbye wobbly bits and hello washboard stomach !!)
Murphy shetland is going off to a loan home this coming week and I have just had another enquiry for a small companion pony so who knows, Sam shetland may go too. We have decided not to rehome them together because they are not as close as they used to be when they first arrived and both have developed friendships with other ponies.There have been several calls this last week from owners wishing to find alternative accommodation for their horses but just because we have homed a few doesnt mean we will have enough stabling ijn the winter months and there is always the possibility some of our ponies out on loan may be returned.In particular I feel I have to save two stables for Romana and Rusty who are fostered nearby. 2 winters ago their carer had some health issues and we thought they may come back to the shelter.Fortunately they were able to remain in the home in which they have become very contented but winters can be harsh and little Rusty needs feeding several times daily due to his lack of teeth. As long as Mary is able to manage I know she will do so but there needs to be stabling ready for them at all times. I do not want to be in the position of saying " Im sorry we are unable to take them back at the moment" . That would not be fair on a lovely person who has taken these two on and cared for them so well in the past 18 months. Maybe when the three younmgsters find homes we will find ourselves in the situatiuon where we can take on anoither couple of needy horses but unless it is a dire emergency I have to let my head rule my heart. An even bigger issue of course is the financial one, horses cost money and in a nutshell we have none!" Well very little anyway. It often amuses me when I hear other charities - in particular I mean the Nationals who plead poverty when they are down to their last 20 million! That is not my definition of being broke. I would rather like to be that broke actually, who wouldn't?
Mei and Rosie have been busy tidying up the fields. Mei has been harrowing the fields with the new chain harrow attached to the back of the quad bike and Rosie has been trying to eradicate the weeds so the three fields which have been attended to will now be left for a couple of weeks and the horses will be kept out. After that period of time the grass should spring up nice and green ready for some serious grazing. Its always busy "down at farm". My own 'bete noir' is the dreaded ragwort.Having spent half a day removing it from the fields in Caernarfon where our 3 horses are grazing, my paranoia has reached out to everyone elses fields.I see it everywhere. Nevertheless even when I am removing it with great gusto I experience more than one pang of regret that by doing so I will also be removing the staple diet for the caterpillar of the striking Cinnebar moth (butterfly?) As Rhian would say "its all such a ghastly nightmare!"

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Animals out and animals in!

I received an email from old Poppy this morning! She seems erfectly happy with her new address in Hampshire
and she tells me that her humans appear to not only have a lovely cottage and garden in very nice surroundings but they have told her that they also have over 100 acres where she can run and play to her hearts content. Poppy goes on to say that she hopes to be chasing lots of rabbits but is quick to assure me that she will not harm them, it will just be a game that she has always enjoyed.
Jess in Norfolk has also settled down immediately with her new humans who have a super large garden ideal for a lively young collie(1 and a half acres)- A pair of very lucky dogs.
Harry Utonagan has been adopted by Dani a supporter and fosterer for freshfields and He too is making himself at home though I confess to feeling more worried about him than the others.I know I shouldn't be biased but I feelfar less confident about this type of dog fitting in a new environment.I hope with Harry I will be proved wrong and it will change my feelings towards the suitability of Huskies and Utonagans as house pets.
New dogs needing homes are Tess a lovely little staffordshire bull etrrier cross found wandering three months ago and made homeless again due to current people living in rented property and bgeing ordered by landlord to get rid of her immediately.She is a real softy and is great with cats and other dogs but she is very cowed and nervous when first approached - going in to the dog submissive stance(on her back) and having sa little nervous wee! So far she has been totally clean ans quiet, in all respects appears to be a lovely little family pet for someone. The other is 18 months old Tom who was suppose to be a Belgian Shepherd but is in fact a mixture or crosss breed with maybe Kelpie, Collie and a little Shepherd in him. He is a very hyperactive dog who is not used to strangers and barks aggresssively at them, however he is a very affectionate anim al and he loves to play and retrieve a ball making him an ideal agility dog should anyone be looking for such a dog.We hope to get him used to seeing more people and accepting they do not pose a threat to him as we can all tell that his behaviour is a nervous one , and not intentionally aggressive. His other attribute is that he appears to love playing with other canines especialy Tasha one of our longterm residents.They really hit it off together.
Loads more cats in including the 13 from one home.I have taken pics of many of the new admittances but I am doing this blog on a laptop and I am not keen, mainkg more mistakes than usual Im afraid. The reason is that I clumsily spilled coffee on my new keyboard and caused the computer to crash. Phil my long suffering computer whizzkid (well he is not exacly a kid!more like thirtyy something and Phil I am so sorry if you are only a mere twenty year old , forgive me)has had to go and buy a new keyboard as I have ruined the old one. Even by my standards killing a keyboard within a week of ownership is pretty bad. Coffee is now banned from being placed within a metre of the computer so I will have to energise myself in the morning by other methods.
Hope to publish photos tomorrow, including one of feral black and white mum cat and her beautiful siamese type babies - Dad just had to be a siamese. They are stunning though like many ferals being born outside are suffering from weepy eyes and have had to be put on antibiotics.

Monday, 7 June 2010

The ups and downs of shelter life.

A few people who read the blog find it upsetting and I have thought about it and wonder if I should refrain from telling the sad stories but if I did that would not be representative of shelter life so would not give an accurate picture.I do understand that some of my news can be distressing so I would like feedback from readers. I do try to temper the sad tales with something uplifting but maybe I dont do this enough, in which case I will endeavour to find more though sometimes this can be difficult.

Today, for instance the staff and I are reeling from the sudden deterioration and subsequent demise of Lucy lamb who developed pneumonia on Sunday evening. I considered not writing about it but I try to follow through the animal tales, from their arrival to their(hopeful) successful rehoming. This outcome, however sad is part of life at any animal shelter and it has to be faced and there are other animals to care for and to rescue so we cannot spend too much time with the inevitable grieving process. Even a creature which has been in our care a short time is cared for and grieved over if we lose it and after over 30 years of animal welfare work I still spend hours in tears. One never becomes hardened, simply accustomed to it.There is a big difference. Over the years many have said to me that they would not be able to do this work because they "are not hard enough". I find this quite offensive so DONT EVER say this to me if we meet up! I may just surprise you with something learned at my kickboxing classes!!!

Now for the happy tales:-

The lovely collie we call Jess has left us today for her home in Norfolk where she will undoubtedly be spoiled and loved by June and Rod who fell in love with her on sight. A photo can show what an animal looks like but the superb nature and personality of Jess had to be seen to be appreciated and appreciate her they most definitely did. Jess will soon be living in the beautiful Norfolk countryside and her memories of being bored and left alone all day will soon be a thing of the past.

Harry the Utonagan has a few people interested in him, there are three possible suitable homes so a decision will be made over the next few days as to who can best can offer him what he needs.Kenny the puppy is also leaving us today.Vanessa has been fostering him and she says he is no trouble at all - she has been bringing him to work with her and he happily potters about around the stables stopping occasionally to mischievously and half heartedly chase one of the long suffering feral cats. He is told off when he does this but he means no harm to them . When one stopped in its tracks and glared at him, he wagged his tail and ran quickly back to Vanessa. I hate it when dog owners encourage their pets to chase cats, Kenny proves there is no malice to begin with in a pup, it is trained into them. Even lurchers and greyhounds can be cat friendly if taught to be so and I know people who have taken in ex racing greyhounds who now live contentedly and in harmony with cats.Having said that , it is something I would not necessarily recommend. To achieve this harmony between a dog used to catching and killing small animals and a cat you need to be an experienced ,sensible ,patient and very aware dog owner and it may be that some greyhounds/lurchers will never be trustworthy with other pets.

Finally on the dog side of things, I can scarcely believe it but 12 years old Poppy has today joined the family of a couple from Hampshire who whilst on holiday in Barmnouth spotted Poppys' photo in the window of our charity shop. Their last dog was 11 years when they took him in and their old cat had recently died leaving a gap for another rescued animal.It seems Poppy fit the bill and to clinch matters she jumped in their car and sat waiting patiently in the passenger seat as though she had been waiting for them to come for her all along! Although she was very attached to both Mei and myself, she barely gave us a backward glance as their car pulled out of the driveway. I am delighted for her and it now means I can give more attention to the remaining Maggie Martha who has had a stroke and is rather poorly at the moment. Poppy looks different from the last photo of her because her shaggy coat was clipped before she was admitted here.She looks so much smaller now.

A little bat(possibly a pipistrelle though I am not positive) was found on Lon Pant-y-gog this morning and I am about to get in the car and go to Porthmadog where I have arranged to meet up with the local "batwoman".If the little creature checks out Ok I will bring him back to release otherwise Sara who is a registered bat handler will take him home to look after him.
PS: The bat is a pipistrelle female and very pregnant according to Sara. Having checked her over she pronounced her fit to be released so I will be doing that just before dusk this evening after she has warmed up over a heatpad placed under the carrying box. This livens her up ready for her release.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Lucy takes a bottle

Worried she was not eating much , Mei and I made up a bottle for her. Thankfully we had some multi milk powder which had been donated.This is suitable for any orphan animal including lambs,calves etc. When I went in to feed Lucy , Mei discovered she had passed faeces full of worms, no wonder the little lamb is so anaemic. We added worming powder to the bottle and although she was slow to take to it she managed most of the feed. I am hoping this will clear the worm burden and make her feel less debilitated.

Ps: homed 2 adult cats today.

A little lamb in trouble

Living in a rural area it is quite common to see sheep and lambs on the side of the road but this little one was spotted on her own looking very dejected and with something clearly wrong with her back end. Fortunately for Lucy as she is now named, she was spotted by one of our part time staff Cariad who , along with her children managed to catch her and bring her to the shelter last night. Probably as the result of a blow from a passing car, she has three open wounds which were crawling with maggots. Dafydd, a vet from the Pwyllheli practice we use has cleaned out the wounds and treated her with antibiotics so it is now a matter of the waiting game to see if she survives.He thinks as we do that she has a good fighting chance. As many of the ponies are staying out now that the weather is so good she has been bedded down in one of the stables.I do hope that I haven't tempted providence by mentioning good weather! Last time I did that there was a drastic change the following day and the heavens opened. Actually we would be glad of some rain so we can use our chain harrow to fertilise the fields. The harrow was on our wish list but our kind hayman Mr Roberts has purchased one and left it here for us to use whenever we need it. It is very uplifting when people are so helpful and generous.

Friday, 4 June 2010

The Yorkies arrive and our missing cat turns up.

The two little yorkies are in and they are adorable. They seem quite at home and are eating well if rather noisily.They both have a soft Palate which makes their breathing very noisy and they dont sound dissimilar to our two potbellied pigs, however they are healthy in spite of this problem and are very sweet natured little dogs.Rolo is 10 years and Fudge 9 years. Neither seem perturbed at their sudden change of circumstances which is a bonus, so many small pampered dogs struggle to adapt to shelter life even if it is only for a few weeks. These two are already following me about as though they have always lived here and NO I am not planning to add them to my animal family much as I would like to. They are fit enough to go somehwre where they can receive the attention they need,My last two were so old nobody wanted them (20 and 21 yrs!)which is why they stayed with me.
More mum cats and kittens are installed in our "maternity unit.Only one of the kittens is ready for rehoming - the white and tabby with the same coloured mother. (pictured here)The rest are only about 4 weeks of age and still very dependent on Mum.I have not yet been for the 13 cats whose owner has died but will be going this week, having made enough pens ready for the newcomers. I hope they ARE domestic and not feral as the relative informed me.There is not enough room to take them in the feral enclosure which reminds me I have a home waiting for four of our ferals so pending a homecheck they will be leaving us for a better life. The home is near Tregaron in Ceridigion and I am waiting to hear from a possible homechecker in that area. With the feral cats the prospective owners have to have a secure shed or building in which to keep the animals for at least a month in order for them to adapt to a new routine so that has to be checked and also to ascertain that they will be fed daily and will not be expected to catch their own food. This has been the only offer of a home for ferals that we have had for quite some time though if the homecheck does not pass muster I would rather keep them until a better place turns up. Even when we struggle for homes we will never grasp at the first home offered just for the sake of getting them out of the shelter. We have to think we have done our best each time, thats what it is all about.
Speaking of ferals - wonderful news, our missing ginger and white cat has turned up after three weeks, he is thin and hungry but otherwise unharmed.I cant begin to say what a relief it is to see him again.
Bart the handsome longhaired elderly cat which I featured in my blog a few entries ago was spotted by a reader and she hotfooted it to the shelter and offered him a home with her and her family. What a result! Thank you,Thank you,Thank you.

I have been ragwort picking today in the glaring sun. It was hard going, This was at the summer fields where horses Big Buster ,Callie and Freddie are grazing.They were totally disinterested in me until I produced a packet of their favourite treat - polo mints and I then had them literally eating out of my hand. Even Freddie who can be nervous and a bit standoffish was suddenly my new best friend. The term Cupboard Love springs to mind

There are people interested in the Utonagan. Both homes have the same type of dogs already and are experienced with the breed, one in Northumberland seems particularly suited to Harry and another is coming to see him at the weekend.(they live locally) Harry was neutered yesterday along with the lovely Jess border collie(her new people have had their homecheck passed and are travelling from Norfolk for her this weekend) He is a very aloof dog and reminds me of our dear old Monty collie whose personality and behaviour suggested possible autism - is this possible with canines? Maybe he is just bewildered by his sudden life change but his face looks blank of expression.Poor dog. I do hope we manage to place him where he will find contentment and possible happiness.

After I finish this blog I am going to put high factor suntan cream on the noses of the grey ponies whose noses are pink and without this will be even pinker.An attempt will also be made to put some on the back of pink pig.That should be fun!