Thursday, 29 July 2010

Sylvia settles down and 2 terriers are found.

If I go longer than two days without writing an entry for this, I tend to forget what has happened but Its been so busy here with the manic last minute dash to get everywhere spick and span for the Open Day this weekend.Anyhow here goes - we admitted two little patterdale terriers picked up on the main Caernarfon Road, Gail went out to collect them and foster them .The black one has a badly infected bite under his chin and several scars which could indicate he is a working dog. Unusually though they do not smell as though they have been kept outside and they are very loving and affectionate.Of course there is no identification on them so it remains to be seen whether they are claimed.I would like to know why the wound is infected too!

Syvia the grey tabby brought in has settled down very well and appears to be a lovely affectionate animal(Photo shown here though it fails to do her justice, she is much prettier than she look s on this)As soon as the collar came off her she changed so it was clearly bothering her and she has not touched her stitches either.
Two more cats were admitted today.Brandy and Fizz belonged to a man who has become homeless, he was extremely upset at having to part with his cats but has no idea when or if he will be able to find somewhere to live soon.It can be heartrending both for the animals and the owner when this happens and especially there is a real bond between them. I am not often moved to tears when people hand over their pets .I am well used to crocodile tears and can detect them straight away but there are some genuine cases which do bring a tear to the eye and this was one of them.
When staff are new they do not always realise that some people make up reasons why they are having to part with their pets. The worst lie I remember is a woman who admitted her dog after saying her partner was in the Intensive care unit at Walton Hospital and she was spending so much time there, the dog was being neglected.I asked what room and she replied no 6 which happened to be next to the room in which my partner Steve was fighting for his life. When I went in to see him, I looked for this woman to no avail.I asked a nurse where was Mr Smith (cant remember the real name) and had he been moved as it was a woman in the adjoining room.The nurse checked and told me there was no Mr Smith in that ward, the dogs owner lied in order to make her reason for parting with her pet seem reasonable. What an appalling excuse to use, I hope it didnt come true for her.It upset me greatly at the time and made me very sceptical.
Its been all hands on deck today, John has been painting the outside of the catteries, Rosie and Vanessa have been cleaning out the stables ready for their conversion to refreshment rooms.Even Vanessas partner has been here helping out, strimming aay some of the weedsspringing up alongside the track.The other willing workers Ken, Gail, Rhian ,Mei andBarbra have been also doing a tidy up as well as their daily tasks of cleaning out the animals.I, on the other hand have done very little because somehow I have hurt my back and cannot straighten up.What bad timing , though I have managed to get an appointment tomorrow with an Osteopath in Porthmadog so heres hoping they will do their magic on me otherwise I will be the only member of staff not present at The Open Day!
We have someone from Norfolk coming tomorrow to see collie Scott, hes a lovely dog and I know they will love him.The weekend ahead is going to get busier and busier, the Marquee is coming Saturday early evening so it will be a long day as we want to get as much done then so its not all to be sorted on the Sunday morning.
I have just this minute taken a call from someone wanting to get rid of two rabbits, bought for a child of 6 who cannot look after them.Quelle surprise! They are willing to wait another week(believe me many refuse) but he did say that they are very dirty and they dont know how to clean them!!!!
I think the sooner they are removed from there the better for those poor animals.We only have one good area for rabbits and there are three occupying it at the moment so will have to try to sort out somewhere for them to go.I hope they are both females as he says and there will be no little surprises one morning when we go to clean them out.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

My Kitchen Dogs

I cannot believe how close we are to our Open Day - next Sunday. There seems to be hardly enough time to get ourselves organised but I am sure it will all fall into place on the daY!. This year I have decided to hire a marquee and was fortunate to be able to hire one cheaply from the local Scout Group who will also be erecting it for us.Thats one headache less. Speaking of which,I have been troubled with bad headaches every day for over a week and think it must be stress related.There is so much going on at the moment and my brain does not appear to have enough compartments in which to store information! That seems to have been the problem since schooldays - I stayed with my sister Sandra the other night and we were going through papers my mum had kept which included my school reports from Streatham House School in Blundellsands,Liverpool. Apart from comments about my"unsuitable" hairstyle which made us laugh the general feeling from the teachers appeared to be that I seemed to have difficulty with several subjects(maths and scripture) and a general inability to "knuckle down".Most comments were "disappointing," "has ability but doesnt use it" and "needs to concentrate". So there you have it, Freshfields Wales is being run by a woman prone to wearing her hair in a socially unacceptable way(what does that mean?)who cant add up,doesnt know her new testament from her old, is lazy and unfocused and generally found to be lacking in skills!

Anyhow on to Shelter matters, its been a busy day today but one where the visitors failed to find a pet they took to. It is always frustrating when this happens.On one hand it can be said that it is best they do this sooner than take on a pet and decide it is the wrong one but its upsetting for the staff who so desperately want to see the animals find nice people to take them in. I have always said that the difference with Freshfields and many other shelters is that the staff truly care,it is not just a job to them and their concern and feelings for the animals is genuine.If they did not care they would not be working for a minimum wage, it can be very hard work as many of the youngsters here on work experience find out very quickly.

We have admitted a lovely grey tabby cat from Wrexham, her finder was unable to get her into any shelter nearer and in fairness she has paid to have her spayed which is very helpful.At the moment kitty is wearing a collar to stop her pulling her stitches out and she is very annoyed at this incovenience so nobody is able to touch her .Tomorrow when she is more settled I will ask one of the girls to try taking this collar off, they are far less likely to pull out stitches than dogs and we seldom have this problem with newly spayed cats. Of course if she shows undue interest it will have to go back on.

There are baby frogs everywhere ,it is becoming like an obstacle course trying to avoid them and to stop the cats finding them but as soon as a few are taken to a place of safety more appear!
They must have a death wish because they seem to congregate around the cattery in spite of the fact there are more suitable frog facilities .Vanessa is terrified of them and coming to work is a nightmare for her right now.

Molly seems to be feeling her age now, I notice when I was walking the kitchen dogs a few days ago that she does not seem as lively as she was and those who know the Great Dane breed say that 10 years is quite old for one.Ben collie too is becoming more frail, his back legs are not so good and when he has been lying down he struggles to stand up.Both are on tablets for their joints and Ben who must now be 14 years of age( i have only had him 2 years)is also on anti inflammatory and painkiller tabs. Only 11 years old meg lurcher is still full of vitality. (I have also only had her since she was taken to a vet to be destroyed 2 years ago) By the way when I call them the kitchen dogs this means their beds are there but they have access to the garden most of the day.They are not imprisoned in a kitchen 24/7. I am the only prisoner here!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

A popular terrier called Fudge.

Well no surprise, both collie pups been homed already and homes lined up for a couple more of the collies. Misty went today and brother Jim will be leaving our care on Tuesday.Speaking of collies,, I spoke today to the people who have given homes to Robin and his 3 siblings(Robin the collie with the embedded chain collar)and whilst they remain feral and wary of being touched by people, they are enjoying life and have the freedom of their new homes(my friends have two each) It will be a long long job domesticating them to the point where they will allow themselves to be cuddled and walked on leads, however they are fortunate enough to have gone where they can run safely in fields with other dogs so have a decent life now after their years of incarceration.I have been promised photos so look forward to seeing them and of course I will share them on the blog.

Is this rain ever going to stop? Our lower field is partially flooded due to the stream overflowing its banks and we have had to move the ponies from there until it dries out of which there seems little likelihood at the moment. All my hanging baskets and planted tubs are looking worse for wear, the plants are all waterlogged in spite of drainage so there will be no pretty displays of plants for the Open Day this year.

Whilst Veronica Bookeeeper Extraordinaire was here on Tuesday someone came with a lovely little border terrier pup unwanted due to a relationship break up. Perhaps I am being a bit harsh in my views on this but when my marriage broke up I managed to keep my dogs and much later even when Steve (my live in partner)died and I inherited his 3 making 6 for me to look after, it never once occurred to me to give up on them and give them away . Anyhow Veronica took the terrier home to foster and within 24 hours we were were inundated with offers of homes for him and we were able to choose someone suitable for him. I wish all were like that, some just seem to stay for no particular reason.

I forgot to mention the other day I saw an unusual bird for this area, at least I have never seen one before.I was driving along the lane leading to the shelter when a red bird flew past my windscreen causing me to nearly crash the car. I stopped at our entrance to speak to someone and whilst we were talking he said to me"whats that in the field ?" and when I looked there was this red bird again. When I got home I looked in all my bird books and the only one which i thought might have been a possibility was a redstart but in the photo it looked more chestnut than red and the bird I saw had bright red colouring. Anyway when Veronica came in to work I told her about it and she agreed it was a redstart having seen one reasonably close up in another location and she said it does look vivid red from a distance. So there you have it. We have a redstart gracing us with his presence. A nice change from the dull but dear little sparrows and other more common species.

I have been terribly upset about a story in the Daily Mail regarding a donkey in Russia.For those who know nothing about it I will not repeat the story because Im sure others like me will lose sleep over it. I believe there was also a video on you tube though the photo I saw was enough for me to cope with.Anyhow I just heard from someone that The Sun newspaper have bought the donkey, he did not die as I had thought and I presume he will be placed into a sanctuary.All I can say is that I hope the publicity seeking money grabbing people (actually this is not what I originally called them)concerned rot in hell and that Donk has at least some good years left ahead of him to have a peaceful existence somewhere safe. The Sun is not my favourite newspaper and I know it is done for publicity but if they help this poor animal I can only be thankful for their intervention.

We will be bringing Heather and Paddy shetlands back to the shelter this week,Here is a photo of them when they arrived 4 years ago and when Paddy was just two weeks old.He is now bigger than his mum and the same colour black. So there will be another two black ponies joining the current "Bog Woppets" (the farriers expression for our black shetlands)
It is time for me to take a leaf out of the cats book and go and curl up somewhere warm and dry make myself a cup of tea and look forward to watching Casualty on TV with little Suzie on my knee (the last of the old Yorkies) and Charley Patch the Jack Russell asleep in a basket by my feet and then it will be an early night. Oh what a wild life of gay abandonment I lead! (when did the word gay take on a different meaning?)

Monday, 19 July 2010

Mei shows off our new quad bike

Thankfully the rain stopped just before the Liverpool Open day began and although not the brightest of days the sun did appear later on,I am so pleased, I was worried all day about it and I know Helen the manager was also on edge.I am waiting to hear how successful it was.Now all I have to do is worry about the weather on our own Open day on August 1st!

We have had high winds and torrential rain now for several days and have had to bring some of the older ponies in at night which we dont expect to be doing in July,its like winter already at the moment. Still at least the grass is shooting up now although that also means ragwort is everywhere. Theres not as much this year due to the fact we managed to get most up by the roots last summer but as you can see from the photo here there was still plenty to pick.
Shane is a lot better today, he did not have laminitis as we first suspected but he did have a large abscess in his foot so now that is treated he is a lot more comfortable and it will not be long before he can return to his companions in the fields.

We had a call last night about 2 puppies roaming the streets in Pwyllheli, they were taken in to the polce but the owner did not want them back. Gail (cat woman here) went to collect them and is happy to care for them until homes are found. They are 12 weeks old collies, one male,one female called Kai and Keira, they are vaccinated and came with new collars and leads, a bag full of toys etc so obviously they were wanted in the beginning,I suspect the reality of looking after 2 boisterous and not house trained pups was too much for the new owner to cope with. Nevertheless to allow them out on the streets was a highly irresponsible action, she told Gail they usually come back within the hour!!
Since then I had another call, this time for a 4 months old Bull mastiff bought by a young couple who now find he is too big!!!! What on earth did they think he was going to grow into - a chihuahua?They paid £270 for him and they think he could be crossed with a German Shepherd! All my foster homes are now full so he will have to stay on the waiting list for the time being.


Sunday, 18 July 2010

Cats in High Places.

Just a few photos of cats finding the most out of the way places to rest or explore. As you can see our tractor is pretty ancient but feral cat Indie finds it useful for an afternoons quiet snooze! Sam loves cars and is often found sitting on the roof of visitors cars, in this case he settled down on their open boot. We always have to ask visitors to check their cars before they leave, Sam will take any opportunity to explore the intererior and he is a thief too, he has regularly made off with volunteers packed lunches, not to mention the visiting vet who lost the entire contents of his lunchbox to Sam.
Will catch up with weekend news tomorrow ,right now I am in dire need of sustenance myself!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

A new Quad Bike,lots of good news and an award.

My horrid neighbour has once again reared his ugly head, unbelievably he has been reading my blog in an attempt to obtain information which he can use against me and he has informed the council that I am once again taking in dogs and the noise is disturbing him! Of course I told the council people that had he bothered to read back over past blog entries he would see that most of our dogs are placed in foster homes except the very small occasional Yorkshire terrier or similar which I have in the house with my own dogs. What a very sad man he is, he comes to live in a rural location amidst farms with working dogs,a couple of fields away from 2 different packs of very noisy hounds(poor creatures hardly ever get exercised) surrounded by bleating sheep(far noiser than any dog) and then he complains about rural noise. A couple of years ago he complained to my farmer neighbour about two Canada geese which were grazing on his adjoining property and which were keeping him awake so much that he threatened to shoot them if the farmer refused to do so.Happily Farmer refused and told Horrid Neighbour where to go. There is always one isnt there?One can live happily amongst others until one unhappy discontented person takes it upon himself to try to make others as unhappy as himself. I could write about other ridiculous and malicious things this man has done but I have more important and interesting things to write about.
I have heard from Jades owner and great news, she has settled down so well and so quickly they say she has already become an integral part of their family.Some others who have contacted me with similar stories recently are the new owners of Penny and Tuppence the Yorkies who went to live in Norfolk, Shooks the Siberian Husky living in Scotland and getting ready to winter in the mountains of France . One I am always glad to hear from because of his terrible sadness and despair when I first set eyes on him is dear Gel the middle aged farm collie who had spent 2 years of his life on a chain and who has just returned to the Uk from his holiday home in Spain.
Then I also heard that Jess collie is doing well and now living in Dorset ,Tess cross staff happily esconced in a home in Porthmadog and Sally the foxlike crossbreed who went to Anglesey and who has rapidly become a dearly loved companion to his new carer. All these updates from delighted owners makes such a difference to the staff - the morale boost we all need to inspire us. It puts everything into perspective, yes we do have bad times and we will no doubt continue to have our ups and downs but its so heartwarming to hear about our past rescues,I love reading the emails about them. For some reason I dont hear from as many of the people who take cats so I will ask them in future to let us know.
Our old quad bike has broken down and needs new tires so it was with great pleasure we received a donated bike from great supporters of the shelter - Ffrancon Security is a local firm who have been good friends to us and have donated catfood at times when there was little in the kitty. The bike is only a few years old and is in much better condition than our old one which we will keep as a back up if anything goes wrong with this one. These bikes are invaluable on a place like this, we use it to take hay and feeds to the horses in the fields and for many other jobs round the property. Thank you Jan and Delwyn.
Shane , one of the Anglesey ponies has developed another bout of laminitis in spite of our attempts to curtail his intake of rich grass(not that any of our grass is that rich!)so we have brought him in along with his pal little Bobby shetland. Shane, of course has ongoing problems due to the neglect he suffered at the hands of his previous owner and will never be able to go for adoption. He will remain in the stable and yard until he improves. The pair seem perfectly happy
with all the attention they are receiving , they think they are on holiday!
I am doing a publicity drive to try to find a home for Magic and Precious the mother and daughter cats who seem to be overlooked all the time.they are older than is generally wanted but they are so loving I know there is someone out there who would enjoy their company.Poor old Magic is 14 years old and only has one eye but she is so affectionate it seems wrong for her to be stuck in a pen when she may only have another year left(more hopefully)
We admitted a lovely little tortoishell and white kitten today, her owner developed an allergy and so she has joined our other kittens in the Kitten room.Their numbers have drastically reduced over the last couple of weeks, now there seem to be more adult cats arriving.The cattery is pretty well full at the moment, there is quite a waiting list of cats waiting for space here and I like to bring them in as quickly as possible.
I was meant to attend an award ceremony but was laid up with a migraine and unable to go so volunteer Dilys went on my behalf. The British Conservation Voluntters had nominated me for an award as I had worked with them to improve the countryside by planting hedgerows on this property. It was a great honour,I just wish I could have attended in person. When I moved here I was struck by the lack of trees and hedgerows and it will be lovely to see some springing up.
It will also be good for wildlife though I hope the cats will stay away from the hedgerow areas. Thankfully nearly all stay nearer to the food stations and it is rare to see a cat venture down the track to the lower fields where the hedges are planted.
Finally I lost the second Maggie Martha yesterday, she had another stroke and I could not face watching her deterioration.With great sadness I said my goodbyes. The Maggie Marthas have been happylittle dogs and I still cannot believe how old they were.At 21 AND 22 years they were the oldest Yorkies I have ever had. They had a good 2 and a half years with me and It seems strange that I now have most of the space on the sofa with only little Suzy aged 15 sharing it with me now. I can now stretch out without disturbing one or other dog but I wish I was perched on the end again with all my friends around me.
It is the Liverpool Freshfields Fun day tomorrow, the first time it has not been held at the shelter itself so I am keepoing my fingers crossed that it will be a great success.Over the years it has become so popular and there is not enough space really to accommodate everyone comfortably ao this time it will be held just along the Formby Bypass on land belonging to West Lancs Dog Training Club/heres hoping the rain stays away.

Thursday, 15 July 2010


Even a new computer hasn't stopped the problems I have been having. There has been a problem with the broadband line and I had to wait ove a week for BT to sort it out.
So much has happened lately I hardly know where to stat but a good place might be with thanks to everyone who sent me text and e.mails when William died. I was overwhelmwed by the kindness and sympathy shown even by people who had not met my canine best friend in person. It has been hard without his constant presence and I still keep looking for him and even making his meal but it is becoming easier day by day and I am fortunate in that I have other animals who need my attention and love. I do not have the luxury of grieving and falling apart for which I am grateful, I would have it any other way. William will always be in my heart and mind and I have memories and a beautiful painting of him done on slate which the staff here gave me for Christmas Last year. I look at that and it is as though he is here with me.
Probably the best thing that has happened is that Jade the Staffie has gone to a new home after a year here with us. We are all so thrilled for her and hope she enjoys her new life and that life at the shelter will become a distant memory for her. Jade was happy here, after all her previous home was a very inadequate and unloving place to be and Freshfields became a a place of kindness and security for her. That not withstanding, her loving nature needed nurturing and although we did our best to give her as much attention as we possibly could, nothing compares to a real home life. Now she finally will receive that she needs and more. Brilliant!
Actually having read those two sentences back it has occurred to me that they might have been written about ME! Are there any offers for a past her best female with a penchant for handbags and shoes, an overwhelming and currently unfulfilled desire to live a life of laziness and luxury who comes complete with a family of 6 dogs and 4 cats? I will be checking my mailbox anxiously from here on!
Actually having read those two sentences back it has occurred to me that they might have been written about ME! Are there any offers for a past her best female with a penchant for handbags and shoes, an overwhelming and currently unfulfilled desire it live a life of laziness and luxury who comes complete with a family of 6 dogs and 4 cats? I will be checking my mailbox anxiously from here on!
Many of the kittens have left us onto pastures new, there is a slow but steady stream of people ready to adopt our animals at the moment. ( and long may it continue) The little Siamese crosses have just gone to the people who had waited patiently for them to "come of age." Of course as one litter goes out there is always another one or four more waiting in a queue for a warm comfy pen with lots of food and a cosy bed. Always in the back of my mind when we home animals is "Which ones do we bring in next, which is the most urgent and needy?" I am waiting for a call from a local lady who has a mother cat and her two babies in the garden, she is on edge because her bull terrier hates cats and it's urgent that she be removed as soon as possible. Unfortunately cats always seem to do a vanishing tick when there are plans afoot for them and she has not seen her for days. There is also an 8 year old cat taken to a vet for destruction which foster mum Dorothy has taken till we have room and also another foster carer Mion has 2 cats we need to bring in when we have space. It's always a case of prioritising and desperately trying to make room but somehow we manage to do so most of the time.
On the dog side of things we needed to admit the two brothers of Misty the collie.Their situation is not good but until Buster the cross Lab goes there is no more room. Misty and Gill another ex farm collie are both in season so there is no chance they can double up with them.
I hate to write about sad things but this week we also lost dear little Connie Shetland. Of course it was not entirely unexpected, she had been having problems over the last six months and the vet had been called out a few times to help with obstructions in her throat. We decided enough was enough , she was too old to continue this way and so we had to make the decision to let her go. It's never easy but she had been with us for 5 happy years and had greatly enjoyed the company of other pones - Titch and Grandad being her best friends. What really annoys me is that when we admitted Connie from a wildlife centre In Gloucester where she had lived for several years her original owner came rushing down here to check on his beloved pony! Having seemed how happy and well she looked he was seemingly overjoyed, however despite his expensive car and designer clothes he failed to leave a donation towards her upkeep and to this day we have never heard from him! So much for a concerned owner! Titch and Grandad have now bonded and after a day or two of grieving they have settled down. Horses and ponies are amazing creatures, they have such capacity for friendship and emotion, something they are often not accredited with.
I think I'll check my mailbox now....

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Web Access Problems in Wales

Hello there,

This is Helen the manager of the Liverpool rescue. Lesley has asked me to let you all know that she is having problems with logging on to the internet and that she is unable to update her blog at the moment. The access problem is also affecting her ability to pick up any emails sent to the Welsh rescue so please telephone if you need to get in touch urgently.


Thursday, 1 July 2010

Rest in Peace my dear friend.

The day I dreaded arrived on Wednesday. I lost my beloved William. I have not been writing about his illness, maybe because by not putting it into print it was a way of denying his deteriorating condition and my inability to facing up to the inevitable. The fact is that William had a stroke and although he recovered from it, appeared to have been left with some brain damage.He was not himself for the past month and he became increasingly confused and it could not be ignored any longer.I am devastated, he was my faithful companion, a real character and it will never be the same here without him.