Tuesday, 31 August 2010

I Agree to Take in Another Horse.

Luca has not been claimed, nobody has rung the dog warden or the police about this beautiful dog. As I have been getting to know him I notice he has more than a slight interest in our sheep and I think that may be why nobody has come forward for him. Any dog that is not good with sheep in this area is an abolute no no. Rhian thinks he is only about 9 months old and I bow to her wisdom over this breed - with 7 of her own there is little she does not know about German Shepherds, oh and George Michael of course.See her blog Talistails for tales of her dogs(and the odd mention of George)She tells me that her mother thinks that Rhian at 40 years of age should have grown up a bit and is far too old to have an obsession with a pop star.Well I say forget growing up Rhian stay as young as you want. (sorry Rhians mum)Take a leaf out of my book R, I am still waiting for a sign that I have become a mature sensible adult!"
I think I had mentioned the office roof is leaking and badly needs to be re roofed. Well today supporters Peter and Hazel travelled up from Flintshire to measure the roof for this purpose.Peter was the man who saved our cattery roof from completely collapsing, the company he works for kindly donated the materials for a new roof and Peter and a friend toiled away to replace our rotting timbers and roofing sheets so that the cats would have a warm and leak free environment.Now he is going to do the same for Veronica and me (not replace OUR rotting timbers but rather the office in which we work!)It is none too comfortable working in an office with water dripping in whenever we have rainfall causing the electrics to fuse.Everything grinds to a halt,computer (I have lost so much work)lights etc.The last time it occurred I bought a back up for the computer, I dont want to lose hours of work again, it is so frustrating when that happens. Even better, these two cat lovers adopted 2 kittens to add to their ever growing feline family(see photo of Peter with the 'chosen ones') I suspect they had something like this in mind as they just 'happened' to have a cat basket ready in their car!

David is back today painting the outside of the office, he has worked solidly for three days and the buildings are looking so much better.He is such a hard worker. I always tell people that I appreciate their help but I wonder if they realise just HOW much I do? After 8 years of working in Wales trying to get this shelter on its feet with little support, the fact that now that it is being offered in many different ways by local(and not so local) animal lovers means that I feel we are not alone in our work.People do care and are showing that in their offers of help. It means a great deal to me.

This morning I am seething with rage at a phone call I have taken from a horse owner.I am careful to say owner NOT horse lover as there is a very big difference in many cases. I have been asked to take a 9 years old Purebred Arab mare aged 9 years. She is unwanted becasue she is no longer able to be used as a brood mare! Her owner gave her away to this person, told her in fact to take her Beeston Horse Sales ( a nightmare of a place for genuine horse lovers and much worse for the poor horses which fail to go to good homes)
Thinking she could make money out of her the current owner turned back and later
bred twin foals from her after which it was discovered the mare had a hernia .On Vets advice she is no longer able to breed from her and she has never been ridden nor can she ever be.What does that mean for this poor horse? it means she is no use to anyone, she cannot make money for her owner so is cast aside on the rubbish tip! Now do you understand why I am angry? I am going to take her because she does not deserve to die and this woman will take her to the slaughterhouse if I dont.I am under no illusions about her, she will definitely do it, she has already made the trip once and only turned back because she thought she could make some cash out of this poor animal. Due to some ponies going out to loan homes we will have a spare stable for her although from what I gather she has never had this luxury! Anyhow I rang her back and Sorrel as she is named is coming in to us tomorrow afternoon.
I am sure many people will be as outraged as I am over the video in the media of the young girl throwing newborn pups into the river. What is wrong with youngsters(and adults) that this is amusing to them, what is in their warped minds? Here in Caernarfon we are having a problem with youngsters without minds/conscience.The police are involved and seem to be taking it seriously for a change.It involves cruelty to a chicken (she lived)and cats (in one of the incidents not been found)but I am not going into details because we have all read similar stories and for many of us these tales prey on our minds.Suffice it to say I will be very careful where I home our cats at the moment which is sad for those true animal lovers who live near these vile youngsters. Im sure that there will be people defending them , blaming their actions on their bad home lives and maybe it is true with some but it is hard to find sympathy when innocents are being killed for fun.
Anyhow to end on a positive good note, the lovely people who reserved old Precious and Magic plus one other cat Becky .came to visit them today and the cattery staff had asked me to mention Lily to them.Lily , a shy little cat has apparently been sleeping with Precious and they were troubled that she would miss her when they went. I suggested that they could take Lily instead of Becky but unbelievably, they are taking all four needy cats. How wonderful is that? It has been a good end to the day.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Will Luca be claimed and will Tess find a home?

I have done a special poster appeal for Tess the Staffordshire Bull terrier from the Dog Pound which I hope will draw some response.Our charity shops provide a good medium for displaying such appeals and they do elicit a generally good response from members of the public. Heres hoping! She seems so sad and no wonder, at her age she should be settled and secure in a permanent home, instead she has been from home to home , had several litters of pups(where are they now I wonder?)and ended up in a dog pound with a death sentence hanging over her.
Poor old girl. Staffies are not my favourite breed but my heart does go out to them and this one is so loving.

The German Shepherd 'Pup' we have called Luca and apart from hassling old Ben collie with his desire to mount him every few seconds, he seems a lovely dog albeit with a sexual identity problem!! For the first few hours Ben was thoroughly enjoying the attention and even returned it but after a while he became bored and tired with the game.Unfortunately Luca wanted to carry on so I have been forced to separate him from Ben,I dont want to lose another to a possible heart attack. I am beginning to wonder if this young German Shepherd will be claimed and if the man who allegedly found him, was in fact the owner! Surely if he had an owner looking for him he would have known by now that we had him? It has been registered with the police and the location where he was found is not too far from the shelter.It is also strange that he was taken to the police station with a newish lead which was left on him! Usually finders remove the lead to take home as it belongs to their own dog. Another discrepancy is that two different stories were given, we were told the finder lived in a flat and was not allowed dogs, however he went into a vet surgery an hour earlier with Luca and said he had found him but as he had two GSds himself he was unable to take him home! Which story , if either ,is the truth?

One of our ardent supporters Janet who lives in Derbyshire is mirroring our own sponsored dog walk on September 19th and is holding one herself to help us raise funds.Hers will be held at Doehill Country Park,Tibshelf ,Derbyshire and will begin at 1pm. Anyone in that area who may be interested ring Janet on 01773 875109 and she will provide sponsor forms
Christine Clarke who is the previous owner of our four lovely ponies Marcasite,Starlight, Solitaire and Carousel has also organised a fundraiser for Freshfields.She is holding a table top sale with stalls, hot food, coffeee/tea etc so anyone in the Barmouth area please support her endeavours and pop in for a cup of tea on september 25th at the Ganolfan Village hall,LLwyngwril, near Barmouth.
Derbyshire Janet as she is fondly known has been instrumental in homing many of our animals to wonderful homes with people she knows in her area and this week Rosie will be taking a few of our dogs which are fostered out, to new homes there. I have no idea how she will cope taking her own dogs plus the lucky ones from here but she is very capable and she assures me she can manage them all so who am I to question her organisational skills? Sooner her than me, its a motley crew she will have in her campavan. Rocco collie cross will be on the trip, also Tommy Jack russell and Pippa Jack Russell plus Rosies own 5 dogs. Good luck to her, she will need it! Janet also manages to sell lots of our sales goods, calendars, xmas cards etc so Rosie will also have loads and loads of bags of these to squeeze in somewhere. I dont know where she thinks she is going to sleep?
Through the window of the office I can see a Buzzard circling overhead and he is being dive bombed by small birds who seem determined to see him off their territory.It never ceases to amaze me that they do this, should the buzzard turn he could easily make a meal out of them but they continue to hassle him and I have yet to see them not succeed in their efforts to draw them away from their nests. We have a few Buzzards living close to the property and I do confess to being a little worried about the old cats Yesterday there was one right overhead and flying fairly low when I took the dogs out. He was so low I felt obliged to pick up Charley Patch my 10 yrs jack Russell just in case!! I dont really think he would have been of interest but the bird was flying so close to me I was unnerved. I know they have to eat to survive but I dont want them to make a meal out of any of my animals. I even will the little birds and the small animals on the fields to run away or fly away quickly which is very selfish of me. BIrds of Prey are stunning to watch as they fly over the fields with their lazy easy flight , I just do not want to see them dive for the kill. It is also why I do not watch many nature documentaries,I am far too squeamish and hate to see graphic close ups of nature at its most fierce and violent. I accept such things are a fact of nature but that does not mean I need to watch them happening! Do other people feel the same? My mum used to switch off the television when anything unpleasant was shown and Im afraid I do the same.
I am off to type up the minutes of the Trustee Reports now. I hope I am able to read my own rather illegible handwriting.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

A Better Day today

Well I am still reeling from the shock of losing Big Moll but as always happens when things become hard to bear,things happen to lift one up.

Remember how I had been trying desperately to home 2 cats Precious and Magic aged 14 years and 9 years.Well all my efforts seemed wasted, my special posters and appeals brought nothing until today. Today their story touched the hearts of visitors who have not only reserved them but also another cat called Becky who was destined to stay here for a long time. They arrived and asked for cats nobody else wanted. When this happens and it only rarely does happen, it is like having a Birthday and Christmas all rolled into one. It brightens up the whole day and oh how we needed that today. It truly lifted our spirits.

Then Roy arrived with a couple who had travelled from Birmingham to see Shep the unwanted Farm collie who was taken to the vet to be destroyed. They are having him and came to fill in the adoption forms. I have no doubt he will be fine and he has another rescued dog as a companion. Shortly after they left we were visited by Emma the volunteer who gave a home to Jimmy Patterdale, he looked wonderful, his scars have almost healed and he looks like a different dog to the battle scarred terrier he once was. Emma says all he wants to do is lie on his back to be cuddled and everyone gives a big Ahhhhhh when they see her travelling on the bus with him lying in her arms with his eyes shut .

A stray 'pup' was admitted who turned out to be a full grown German Shepherd.After my initial feeling of panic wondering where he could go, I decided to try him with the big dogs in the house and he has made himself at home.He does have on a chain collar but is not in the peak of condition so I am unsure if he will be claimed or not. One of the problems we have in this area is that when the dog warden is not working (at weekends and evenings) the nearest out of hours kennels are not exactly on the doorstep and most people who find strays are not willing to travel an hour or more to take it there. We really do need a rescue kennels in this area.
Also now in our care is Pippa a sweet little Jack russell whose owner was having another child and no longer wanted her in the house. She likes children and is a very affectionate little dog. I cannot imagine her being homeless for very long. I wish I could say that for Tess, a middle aged Staffordshire bull terrier whose number was up at a dog pound locally.I would not trust her with cats or young children but she is very loving with adults and she looks so depressed - we know she has been passed about from home to home and finally left unclaimed in the pound.All she wants is to be fussed and loved and I just dont know how we will find her a suitable home. I can only hope that someone nice will turn up and she will fit their criteria.Am I hoping for a miracle?
Helen(Liverpool manager) and I are always trying to think of new ways to raise funds and this time I think Helen has come up with a good one. Christmas puds! We buy in bulk, have our own labels on them and hopefully they will sell well and we make a profit. The company have an award winning recipe and they are not only delicious but are suitable for vegetarians also. We will be selling them in some of our shops from mid - late October and there will be a chocolate one for those who dislike the traditional pudding. My own success story this year has been simple cotton shopping bags with animal pictures on the front. Trish who runs the Porthmadog shop has been running out of them as quickly as she gets them. The bags show various dog breeds, cats and horses and all are selling very well . I will try them in the LLandudno shop next.I think it is mainly tourists who buy them and its coming to the end of that season. I dont know how well they will sell to local people , but its worth a try.
Another day is coming to a close and it has not been bad at all, my heart feels less heavy and I have a new house dog to care for.

Saturday, 28 August 2010


This morning I took my dogs out as usual and Molly seemed her normal self, chasing after a ball and parading around the field with it in her mouth. 2 hours later Mei went in the house to make a cup of coffee and thought Molly looked ill . Rhian and I rushed to look at her and we all thought the same thing so suspecting the dreaded Torsion as she had a swollen stomach I rushed her to the vet where she underwent an emergency operation.She survived the op only to die of heart failure shortly after. I am in total shock.She was 9 years old, a reasonable age for a Great Dane but it was so shockingly sudden and final I can barely take it in. I have had some touching messages from the girls who work here , they all know how it feels to lose a beloved dog and having lost my lovely William not long ago it is a double blow. The house does not seem the same without her massive endearing presence.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Will Minnie and Georgie Girl find another Home?

It has been a beautiful day today and it seems to have brought everyone out and visiting the shelter.Its typical that when that happens there are hardly any staff in to help deal with everything. I had wanted to type up the minutes I took at the Trustee Meeting but there was not a chance of that happening today.It was just one of those days, not just with visitors but the telephone never stopped ringing and every time I ran in to answer it, the line went dead.How frustrating is that?It is on the longest ring but I still never seem to make it on time.How lovely it would be to afford a full time office worker to deal with calls and other time consuming jobs.
A lady from Liverpool came up with her family and brought up 2 home made but very sturdy and effective cat traps which her dad Tommy had made. I have known Tommy for many years having first met him when he contacted Freshfields in Liverpool over a cat problem he had. He still supports and helps Freshfields whenever he can and has donated cat traps to the Liverpool shelter also. A bought cat trap costs around £80 so I am very grateful to him for his time building these for us. We are always being asked to help with feral cat colonies in this area and we are so short of good cat traps. An extra two will make a big difference.
This morning another supporter came up to weatherproof our field shelters but he decided to start on the office, he finished the first coat on that and started on one of the shelters.It is a great morale boost when we receive help like this, and he is returning next tuesday to do some more work. Brilliant - unless he decides that the atmosphere of chaos and bedlam today was too much to bear!
We lost an old cat today, Sue took him to the vet after he collapsed in the conservatory. Old Jonesy was one of two elderly cats abandoned in Caernarfon and we knew he would not be with us too long but at least he enjoyed his 6 months of life with us.He was a dear cat and I am always sad to lose an animal but he was ancient and he ended his life in a place where he was cared for and I am glad he was not still scavenging on the streets to survive.I hope that does not make me sound callous but if I was dissolving in tears at every loss I would be unable to carry on.As it is enough does make me cry but usually for those I am unable to help or those who have been with me for so long they have become part of the family.
There have been two reservations for kittens and yesterday an adult cat went out to a home.The adult cats have been very slow to go.Then today another adult cat was chosen, Dylan is a middle aged cat and although very friendly and loving his age put people off. I was so pleased when the young couple who were looking round the cattery decided to give him a home. The young mans grandparents are great supporters of this shelter and it was clear he had inherited their love of animals.

There is someone local interested in giving a home to 2 of our shetland ponies and Rosie is going round to do a homevisit.If it is suitable we have a choice of either Sam and Bobby(both need special care for their laminitis) or Minnie and Georgie.(Minnie is on left of photo)Minnie has come on in leaps and bounds from her Terrified of Humans Time and of course her daughter Georgie will not be parted from her. The person in question may not be suitable for Sam and Bobby but either way it look as though we may have 2 leaving us soon. Yet another home has been offered to Shane who was a pony I thought would stay here forever due to his laminitis but the interested person already has Dylan from us and has done wonders with him. Both ponies came from the same home where they were neglected. A home where they can receive gentle but regular exercise is by far the best option for them and I am surprised and delighted that they are happy to take on another. I am trying to find someone to help me with a home visit in Frodsham, for Marigold and Melba, perhaps tomorrow I will try a local animal shelter.We all try our best to help one another with this type of thing. Its so different now to how it was when I first started, there was nobody to help at all 30 years ago. The network of animal rescuers all over the Uk is just amazing and it is as it should be, all working together for the good of the animals which need our help so badly.
Our 2 work experience girls left today and we will miss their help, both girls Sadie and Becky have been a tremendous help, willing and enthusiastic and good workers.If only all work experience students were the same.Becky lives in the Midlands and has been staying with grandparents so,it is unlikely she will return but we hope to see Sadie again when she has time to volunteer, perhaps the occasional weekend. She will be welcome any time.
Veronica bookeeper is off this week and oh how I miss her in the office. Her gentle manner and her humour make her a favourite with us all, I really have no idea how I managed without her. Veronica is very intelligent but has been known to do and say some very silly things eg: we had 2 puppies in the caravan with us one teabreak and we were all saying which one we liked best.When Veronica was asked she thought about it for a moment and then looking at the two of them sitting side by side, she said"I like the one in the middle"!!!! Work that one out if you can.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

An Update on Cariad and Mei the Weather Girl.

I have been in Liverpool to attend a trustee meeting, as always it is a very long day, the travelling (2and a half hours each way )makes it seem a lot longer. My sister Sandra and I both loathe driving so this time we were relieved that my niece Vanessa was staying with her and offered to drive us. We are both Ok driving if everything goes well and by that I mean no diversions .When that happens we both panic and are thrown into confusion.Neither of us have any sense of direction and we are lucky to find our way to our destination.Last year member of staff Rosie (she also has a problem navigating)and I went to help our next door but one neighbours horse which had fallen into a ditch. We trekked along the public footpath which runs through the properties and across a field and would you believe we managed to lose our way back to the shelter!!! The horse you will be pleased to know survived thanks to the help of the local Fire Brigade but Rosie and I had a magical mystery tour round the neighbouring fields until we finally found our way back feeling highly embarassed and incompetent.Thankfully Vanessa is a competent driver with good navigational skills so we arrived at the meeting at the correct time.
Several new cats have been admitted including a fine ginger cat called Fudge who has lost his home due to a divorce. He arrived yesterday from Llandudno and has settled in well in spite of the environment being alien to him. Cats from homes(as opposed to strays) often take a while to settle down.It did take me a while to get a photo of him as every time I clicked away with the camera he shot off(you can see him doing his vanishing trick in one of the photos)
I also agreed to find a space for two cats whose situation was not good and although it was a problem finding space for them, with some juggling around we squeezed them in. Tiddles and Gringo aged 3 years and 14 years were made homeless along with their owner who had been sleeping in her car with them.A kind colleague of hers who was alarmed and upset at her situation had been desperately trying to find her some help.It is very sad that when people find themselves in such a state, their pets are often their only lifeline and when forced to part with them this only exascerbates their feeling of hopelessness. I am hopeful that this particular lady will get back on her feet and maybe she will even find somewhere she can have her cats back with her.She made a hard decision but the only one she could make for the welfare of her pets. many landlords will not allow pets so it is far from easy to quickly find a place to live when accompanied by animals.(or children)
I wonder if people will remember Cariad, our resident fluffy ginger? When she first arrived about 5 years ago, she was accompanied by a litter of kittens. Cariad , although a very pretty cat never did find a home because she is a grump.She is A cat who loves a fuss when it suits her and when she has had enough its a case of Get Out Of Her Way Quickly! For some time she would only bed down in the passageway of the main cattery and she would potter round the property during the day.Then she decided it was nicer in the conservatory and moved in there with the other permanent cats,she has been living there happily for the past 18 months. One day we noticed her gait was odd and it transpired she had developed a neurological problem for which there was no treatment. After several months of wobbliness she has improved greatly but is still a little unbalanced when she walks.We thought at first it was a middle ear infection but it appears that it may be the cause of some sort of trauma which she has incurred though how this happened is a mystery as she seldom leaves the immediate vicinity. Whatever the cause she seems to be very happy living here and I could not resist this photo of her lying in comfort on her favourite chair.
Meg collie who has been perfectly behaved since her return has found another home, this time an experienced collie person, it has been busy with the dogs and we have had a superb response to our appeals for homes. there are now people interested in Shep the shortcoated ex farm collie, Rocco the dog whose owner had lost interest and I even have a list of those wanting collies when we hear of any more looking for a new life.I doubt it will be long before I receive more requests to rehome some so it is nice to know there are homes waiting.
It is possible a lady in the village here may give Shani the pig a home.Wendy has had a pet potbellied pig before and I am waiting to hear of she wants to take this one on otherwise Shani will be coming to us this weekend. I wouild prefer her to go to a new home, I am happy to take on Shani but am a little concerned that our two old pigs may not be too happy with a newcomer arriving to spoil their peace.The last thing I want to do is to upset them.With that in mind I am looking at a possible place to move Shani if the three show animosity towards one another. The adjoining padock would be suitable but will need to be made pig proof first.
The other good news is that we are having more interest shown in our ponies and apart from marigold and Melba there may be a couple more homes pending.Watch this space for news of this.
Finally I hear that whilst I was away Mei who was on her own late afternoon, panicked that the weather was about to change and was of the opinion a nasty storm was about to burst upon the shelter.Knowing she would be unable to put on the horses rugs due to her wrist injury, she persuaded horse staff member Vanessa to come in for an hour. Happy to help out in an emergency she arrived with her boyfriend with whom she had no doubt been anticipating spending a quiet and pleasant evening only to find there was not only no storm , not even a sign of one, in fact it was the beginning of a few warm sunny days. Poor Mei has been the butt of everyones jokes today and has now earned herself the title of Weather Girl Extraordinaire. It will be some time before she lives down her weather forecast ......... up !!!

Monday, 23 August 2010

The rottweiller I was so worried about has been found a home, thank goodness for that, I have been so worried.The 4 Abersoch dogs are safe for now too -seems he was just trying it on to make us do something!Why do people think they need to threaten us? If we did not want to help we would not be involved in rescuing animals!

I spent the best part of today waiting for Mei to be seen to in the hospital in Bangor, as those who know her will appreciate, she has been in a great deal of pain with suspected carpal tunnel syndrome in her wrist(think I have spelled it correctly?) After numerous trips to the hospital and being passed from department to department, she has still not received treatment for it.This has gone on for 15 months.Unbelievable!So much for the National Health System.

I had aranged to take in a kitten and today the owner said she wanted us to take the mother cat too, I was only too pleased to do so.I know an irresponsible owner when I see one.Its funny but sometimes within seconds of a telephone conversation an impression can be formed and usually its right though I will admit I have been wrong a FEW times. I hasten to add that it does not happen very often! I wont say that my judgement is perfect but over the years one becomes fairly intuitive with people but when a mistake is made it is usually a whopper of one! Strangely though, my choice of male partners over the years has been somewhat lacking in the same good judgement, I wonder why I fail to apply the same intuition with them?My friends often come to me for relationship advice.Are they mad?Who in their right mind would come to me for that type of advice? I am thinking of writing a book with the title ' How to Find a Dysfuncntional Partner, Guaranteed 100 percent success rate!"

Meg collie has been returned, I think it was the wrong home because she is a really nice and well behaved, responsive dog.(It was not me who did the homecheck)She is lively as are all young collies but I fail to see the problem with her.Sometimes it is not the fact that the new owner is a bad one but rather that the two are not compatible.That is why the best collie homes are with those who have personal experience of the breed and ideally have another collie(s)If they are involved with their local agility group then it bodes even better for the dog becasue I know then that he/she will not go short of both physical and mental stimulation.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

A Rottweiller urgently needs a foster home and Sadie leaves us.

No news yet of the 4 at risk dogs in Abersoch.
Sadie collie had loads of people wanting her after she appeared on the website and has gone to a home in Cheshire but there were several nice people willing to travel from the South Of England for her. Longhaired black and white collies, especially the females are so popular and if they are young also they are very much in demand.Amazing isnt it, one minute she is on death row at a dog pound, the next minute she is almost being fought over! Frightening too that she and Pepsi pup had come to the end of their time there. My niece Vanessa took a pound dog a year ago and he is adored by the whole family, yet this loveable staffordshire bull terrier was just one of many due for destruction.I receive regular emails from a marvellous group who are called Southwestanimal Protection, they help rescues with difficult animal problems by sending out appeals nationwide but sometimes it can be distressing reading of all the dogs on death Row, most of which tend to be staffs.As I have mentioned before they receive a very bad (and mostly unfounded) press.As I am in the middle of writing this a phone call came through from a lady trying desperately to rehouse 3such dogs and sadly I was unable to help. As I have to mainly rely on foster homes the type of dog I can help is limited to those good with other dogs and nothing too big.One dog was a young frightened Rottweiller and my heart really went out to him and his plight but I have to face that I cannot help them all, a fact which constantly upsets me.I WANT to save them all. Perhaps someone who reads this blog may have a friend or relative who likes Rottweillers and would foster this poor dog for a short time until a home could be found. If so please ring Andrea on 01257 412973.In the meantime I too will keep trying.
Mei and I went to take some hay and feed to our 3 horses in their summer home in Caernarfon, they are looking well but there is not too much grass left for them now so they will have to come back to us fairly soon.I would say that they will be fine for another two weeks and then we will need to organise transport back to the shelter.Buster is too big for our small trailer so we will have to pay for him to be moved but we should be able to collect Callie and Freddie ourselves.
The lady came to see our ponies and is interested in Melba and Marigold so I have to arrange for a homevisit as soon as possible.

ps: Shani the potbellied pig will be arriving this week.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Someone is interested in our ponies

What a weekend. Friday and Saturday seemed to be the days everyone in Wales decided to get rid of their pets, well at least that is how it seemed.The phone never stopped. I spent the best part of Saturday afternnon/evening trying to trace a man who had gone into our Barmouth shop with a tale of someone he knew who was going to throw 4 pups aged 6 months in the river!!!!The phone number he left was unobtainable and I started panicking about the dogs. Anyhow as luck would have it I then thoughtI may have taken down the wrong phone number so tried ringing a similar number and lo and behold it was not the man I wanted but it WAS his next door neighbour! How lucky was that?I now have his full address so am waiting to hear from the person who is going out to see him.It is not too local to me so I have had to rely on someone closer to the address.When answering the telephone at an animal shelter staff become used to all sorts of threats made like this but the fact remains that whereas many will be bluffing there will be one who will carry out the threats.With that in mind every call has to be taken seriously.

Sunday saw several abandoned kittens arrive - accompanied by humans of course! One was found near a factory locally, she is a beautifully marked tabby but seems full of worms and looks as though her rectum is about to prolapse so its the vets for her.An unwanted gift was how the lady described a black and white kitten around 8 weeks and 2 kittens are on their way here having been taken off a man in Abersoch threatening to throw them in a river!! What is wrong with people who even say this?It is a form of bullying, a way to make people react .Whether they mean it or not it is so incredibly distressing for those who try to help, the lady who rang me was terribly upset and more than willing to drive the good hours journey to bring them to safety here.

It has not been all bad news , Far from it. There is a reservation today for Pepsi the dog pound pup, someone coming to see the pound collie Sadie tomorrow and Gismo the shi tzu has already gone off to a new home. The lady who has taken him has been on the waiting list for one for several months having a shi tzu already and the two dogs who are the same age sat happily in the back of her car as though they had known each other forever. Buddy too has left us permanently, clearly the two dogs were fine together and he has gone back with them to Stoke on Trent this morning.
Without the nice incidents, the bad ones would be far harder to cope with but they usually manage to balance each other out.
Oh and there is a lady coming tomorrow who is interested in giving a home to two ponies. She has 3 and a half acres, natural woodland shelter and stables so it sounds as though she has the right facilities and she doesnt mind what age they are which is even better.having said that It would be lovely if some of our younger ponies went out, ponies like Melba and Marigold who would benefit from more one to one attention.They are only 12 years old and very handsome animals.They should not really spend their lives at a sanctuary.However they are a handful so may not be the right ponies for this lady. Marigold is very shy and Melba can be very naughty, they need an experienced owner/carer. Pictured here are some of our ponies available for homes on our loan scheme. Sam the shetland aged 6 years pictured when he arrived, overweight and laminitic, he is now a lot slimmer and only has bouts of laminitis infrequently nowdays showing that the condition he has can be managed fairly easily.Then there is Ken, at 20 years of age he is one of the oldest suitable for loan but he could also benefit from having more attention and he has not really bonded with a particular companion here at the shelter. Of course there are our lovely youngsters too, Merlin , Celt and Shamrock.Not many people want them at this age (2 years) they either want something old enough to ride or older to keep as placid gentle pets or as a companion to an older horse.They are at that difficult teenage in between time. It would be nice to find somewhere for a couple of the ponies, then if there was an emergency over the winter(and there often are) we would have room for another rescued equine. We will see.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

An indoor home needed for Junior

Yesterday a farmer took a young sheepdog to be destroyed,Shep is just 12 months old but he is not only no good at working with sheep he actually attacks them .In all other ways he is a gentle young dog and is good with both cats and dogs . I believe we will be able to find him a suitable place well away from sheep country.In the meantime Volunteer Dilys is looking after him, coerced into it by daughter Nia who was doing her veterinary work experience at the Vet surgery in question.So far she has taken home a puppy, a kitten and now Shep.Mum , I think is panicking a little and will no doubt be glad when Daughter finishes her work at the surgery before she ends up with a house as full of pets as my own. I had the opposite problem when I lived at home.my mum was always bringing home stray animals and there was often a stray dog being hidden away somewhere in the house , away from from my disapproving grandmother.Mum and I would be joint conspirators!There were always a couple of cats in residence and the odd stray would turn up and enjoy a meal courtesy of my animal loving mother and occasionally one would move in .When this happend nobody would admit to the cat being a permanent fixture and mum would say that he really lived 'just down the road'.When exactly the cat would go home to 'just down the road ' is anyones guess as invariably he/she would spend all the time at our house.Looking back I suspect it was a ploy to persuade my grandmother that he/she was just having a warm or a saucer of milk and would then be gone!!!! The two cats I particularly remember arriving in this way were named by us - Stinkypoo and Witchypoo. I immagine old Stinks was not neutered, hence his name and Witchy was an evil tempered animal who would scratch and bite anyone who ventured near her.As far as I can remember they stayed with us for many years so the ploy worked.

Junior(pictured here) one of the cats abandoned by their owner in a boarding cattery in Anglesey has had swollen feet and has been diagnosed now with an auto immune problem which means that his feet will swell like this whenever he is on a hard surface . We need to find a home for him where he can remain indoors in a carpeted home. I wonder whether the owner was aware of this and it may have contributed to his abandonment.Something we will never find out.He is a really nice sweet natured cat,its such a shame he will not be able to explore the outdoors when he finally settles somewher
Mion who is fostering kittens for us has been terribly upset at the demise of one of her small charges. A very young ginger kitten has been having fits and Mion had hoped these would lessen with treatment but in fact they worsened so she has had to let him go.Knowing Mion as I do, she will feel devastated, she is so devoted to her foster babies and does an amazing job with them, as indeed do Dorothy and and Clare. I dont know how we would manage without them.By having these kitten (and Mum and litter) fosterers it means they do not occupy a much needed pen at the shelter during the weaning period time. We then can take them over when they are old enough to eat on their own and are ready for rehoming.Mion has also given a permanent home to Ned, the kitten whose growth was stunted and was always passed over in favour of the more bonny normal,looking kittens .Ned is growing well and is the apple of her eye. We are always hearing tales of The Exploits of Ned. In his case not appealing to the general public brought him the very best of homes in the end.
I had a lovely email from a lady called Sue in Lincoln who took one of our collie pups a few weeks ago.He was then called kai and came in with his sister Keira. Of course he is the one on the end of the photo, pictured with her other dogs. I am so impressed at the "line up'. I can barely get one of my dogs to sit , never mind all of them.Rhian is the other one who gets photos like this with her extremely well trained German Shepherds.(hers are featured on our Christmas cards) Its great to see him with the other dogs ,I love hearing about our animals once they have gone and especially when photos accompany the letters/emails.There are 3 more dogs now in our care .2 from a local dog pound, a young collie female we have named Sadie and a 12 weeks cross labrador female pup called Pepsi. Also now sharing my living room space is a 7 years old Shi Tzu whose owner is out at work all day and wants a home where he can have more company. They are all very homeable.

The best news of all this week is that Buddy who was returned after 2 years in a home has gone again! This time to holidaymakers from Stoke on Trent who fell in love with his picture displayed in our Barmouth Charity shop window.He is to be a companion to their own dog which is also a rescue and a bit scruffy looking like Buddy.Fingers crossed that this time he finds a permanent home.My only concern is that the other dog may become jealous of having another dog in the house although they seemed to like each other when they met. anyhow everything crossed for Buddy.

We are experiencing torrential rain here at the moment and some of the ponies are looking as though they want to come in so I am off to organise some shelter for them tonight.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

2 more unwanted and unappreciated dogs and a vicious rumour

A horrid trip to the dentist today, on the way home I popped in to our charity shop in Caernarfon and gave Roy The Manager a sponsored dog walk poster to put in the window.He said it had been a quiet day but the shop is still trebling its income after we moved from the shop next door to this one.Amazing how a change of location can make all the difference.

The little dog Rosie is fostering is a very dainty and feminine looking dog for a Jack Russell (see here)and we all wonder could he be crossed with a whippet?Anyhow he is a sweet friendly little man, unbelievably his owner who had told me he was moving today had only had Tommy for 2 weeks!!Am I the only one wondering why he obtained a dog in the first place if he was planning to move!Then we have another dog whose delightful owner had just shut him in the yard and did not even know when she fed him last!! Thankfully for his sake someone intervened, someone who was as horrified as I was at this womans attitude and this really beautiful dog now has a chance of a decent home where he will be truly appreciated.Apparently when he was a puppy the family were all over him but as he grew bigger the interest waned until eventually at just 10 months of age he became surplus to requirements. .I have heard similar tales so many times and it still has the effect of making me so very angry.Pictured here is Rocco enjoying a run in the fields and bounding through the grass.I think he is a german shepherd crossed with a border collie.He is bigger than a collie but has a similar coat. He is certainly not missing his old home thats for sure.We have a foster home lined up for him .

As I write this with great concentration dear little Lucy has taken advantage of my focus being away from her and to amuse herself has ripped open a binbag which I was using to tidy up the office and now the office is like a bombsite and 10 times worse than it was before I started tidying.Thanks Lucy.I really needed something extra to do tonight.

We have had a cat diagnosed with FIV, she is in isolation until either a home can be found or she can be moved to the Liverpool shelter where she can mix in a pen with other FIV positive cats.This brings me to a rumour which has been spread by someone whose identity I am very close to discovering! This person mentioned to a Cats Protection League member who repeated it at a meeting of said charity that we were overrun with cats with aids and to advise people not to obtain a cat from here. I was livid as you can well imagine.Yes we do have an occasional FIV positive cat, all cat shelters do. We have had maybe a dozen diagnosed since I moved here 7 years ago and all are immediately isolated and have been found suitable homes.One kind lady in Lampeter fostered some for us and fell in love with them so decided to give them a permanent home with her.Others went to the Liverpool shelter and were found homes. Hardly overrun. Unless they are visibly poorly, they do not have to be destroyed, as I have mentioned on previous blog entries, provided they do not mix with other cats they can live happily for many years without succumbing to the full blown disease. Frankly the chances of a neutered FIv cat passing it on to another is actually quite slim.An Australian vet I met once told me how shocked he was at the policy over here of destroying these cats,in Australia they neuter them and release them.(the ferals ) Usually we can identify those cats who may be FIV positive due to their inability to gain weight and the general poor condition. To the best of my knowledge all but the one mentioned of the cats we have currently at the shelter are healthy and FIV free. What makes people start these damaging rumours?Pictured is Sparky an FIV cat homed successfully 4 years ago.

The photo of Rocco is not out of focus, there is a mist hanging over the property and has been most of the day.At least its stopped raining though there are black clouds gathering which look ominous.

Tomorrow I have another appointment to look forward to - the dreaded B12 injection for my pernicious anaemia.If I was not starting to feel lightheaded and tired all the time I would for two pins postpone it but I know I cannot put it off for another week. I doubt I will get much sleep tonight worrying about it. Its a nightmare or as Rhian would say "its all such a ghastly nightmare!"(tongue in cheek)

Monday, 16 August 2010

Week of the Jack Russell.

At this mornings teabreak lots of ideas were thrown about from the staff regarding ways to bring in some extra funds and some were very good. One idea (from John)is that we have a few vintage cars on display at next Open Day and ask the Fire Brigade to turn up with a fire Engine.More importantly though is to have some fundraisers NOW. Rosie suggested a sponsored dog walk and with that in mind I set to and have organised two dates for our fundraising calendar(well actually we didn't have one but we do now!)

We will be having a Sponsored Dog Walk on Sunday 19th September with refreshments available at the end of the walk..It will begin here at the shelter at 11am so heres hoping people will join in and get sponsorship for the day.Then October 15th we will be having a coffee morning and cake sale at The Royal Sportsman Hotel in Porthmadog. 11am -2pm and we will also be holding a fundraiser at the shelter for Halloween on 31st October.I have not managed to organise anymore than the date for that at the moment so lots of work to do for that event.I am thinking of halloween Fancy Dress and duck apples, prize for the best Pumpkin and things like that.A Tarot card reader would be great too if I can find one. I still have not managed to find anyone to take over the organisation of fundraisers and in all honesty this type of thing does not come easy to me, in fact it gives me a very big headache!Nevertheless with the financial situation this year getting worse by the month there is no choice but to get the old brain into gear and think of ways to improve our income.For the Halloween event I will be picking on the younger and more efficient brains of Helen the manager of the Liverpool shelter who is a far better organiser than I could ever hope to be.

Rosie is fostering another dog, this time a young Jack Russell whose owner gave me 2 days to find somewhere for his pet.I have not seen him yet but she will be bringing him in to work tomorrow so I can take his photo and start to look for a home for him.It must be 'get rid of Jack Russell'! time.I have had calls about 6 of these dogs just in the past few days and all young and nice natured.I dont usually hear of many small dogs, we usually are asked to rehome collies and larger breeds.The reasons for parting are a couple of 'other dogs dont get on with it' one 'divorce and cant cope',one 'moving and unable to take', one 'jealous of new baby' and one 'moving house tomorrow'. We have such a disposable culture, there is never any embarassment at using these reasons, they seem to think it is the norm to get rid of the family pet when things become difficult. I do think that when dogs are fighting there is a valid reason for parting but since when did moving or splitting up mean you had to get rid of the family pet? Everyone I know has had changes of circumstance in their lives and none(including me) have taken this course of action.As the saying goes - wheres there a will theres a way. Not ALWAYS true but most times it is.

Lucy the 10 years old Jack Russell cross who is in the office most of the time has become very endearing to us all but I worry that the right home will not come along for her. She can be erratic with people she does not know but with me and the other staff she is lovely and no trouble at all.,If only a retired and sensible lady would turn up for her, someone who would understand that she needs to be watched around strangers.This dog has so much love to give and is such a joy to take out, it is not right for her to spend her life here.Pictured here, she loves to play with balls and is more like a youngster than most youngsters.

I managed to identify the species of caterpillar I saw in Peru by finding an interesting(well interesting to Bug enthusiasts like me)website called Whats That Bug?My caterpillars turn into butterflies called Morphus Telemachus! What surprised me is that they were not that exotic looking and not nearly as attractively marked as the caterpillars.So now you know and no doubt like Mei you are currently rolling your eyes to the heavens in boredom at my Geekiness.Well I'll have you know I was not always a geek, in fact I was an ardent nightclubber and trendsetter in the late sixties ,early seventies and I believe my friend and I were the first to be seen wearing hotpants in Liverpool Nightclubs.Not quite what one would hope for as a claim to fame is it?One thing I do remember is that being vegetarian in those days really made me feel like an outcast especially amongst the clubbers with whom I mixed. I often felt I did not fit in and only felt I had found my niche in life when I started the rescue and discarded my fashion clothes for Anoraks and wellies.

Actually that is not totally true as I'm afraid I still remain a fashion victim - I just dont have much opportunity to get dressed up ,after all it is far from ideal wearing Jimmy Choos to muck out stables!
(Re posh shoes comment - poetic license, I have never owned a pair and they are always leather anyway which I will not wear for ethical reasons)

By the way new volunteer Alan failed to turn up today so maybe he found us not to his liking!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Merlins upside down moustache

So here it is.Actually it normally white but if he rummages on the ground he gets it very dirty as in this photo.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

The Return of Buddy

It has been a very good week for volunteers, we have had 3 girls on work placements and on Friday a gentleman called Alan joined the team.Unfortunately he turned up at coffee time when all the staff congregate in our old caravan(tea room)for a break.You may ask why that is unfortunate.Well the truth is we can be quite rowdy when we are all together and are even prone to bursting into song.The last time a new volunteer was present when we started singing Bohemian Rhapsody and we never saw her again! Mind you we would never pass the audition for Britains Got Talent!" Anyhow Alan appeared to be unfazed by our eccentricity so with a bit of luck he will turn up again on Monday. He may be able to help John with handyman things and even teach him how to put on doors the correct way!!!
Photo shown here is of some of the staff enjoying the evening of Our Open Day.We do know how to party!from left to right.Gail,Rhian, Me,John and Rosie.Be careful of replying to comments John - the new blog format shows all comments! We dont want to lose followers! Be Warned.

Buddy (pictured here)a larger version of a Patterdale terrier has been returned after 2 years, he looks well but is bewildered by his return to Freshfields.He did seem to remember us though, I just hope that this time we will find him a home quicker than before(he was here over a year) and this time a permanent one. The positive outcome of his 2 years in a home is that he is so much better behaved now and I do have a good feeling that he so much more homeable.Mei says he just loves playing with a ball and is very responsive when let off the lead and called back so that is a great improvement on his past behaviour.He had come from a home where he was never ever taken for walks so naturally when I took him in, he was overexcited and unruly.

I have been checking the progress of the Cinnebar caterpillars, most seem to have vanished but there are one or two left, I am hoping to catch one in the process of turning into a moth but think my chances are more than slight.When I was in Peru I took a photo of a tree covered in caterpillars.,I never did find out what they were but it was an amazing sight(see he
They probably morphed into massive exotic coloured butterflies of which there were many flitting about.So many of our own indiginous butterflies and moths are becoming increasingly rare, a sad sign of the times and changes in our countryside.

The two gorgeous kittens who were admitted with the cross yorkshire terrier Misty, have been already reserved.Im so pleased they are going together.We do of course home single kittens but it is nicer if two go, its companionship for them and they settled down easier .I have heard some shelters in the South Of England will only home in pairs, not sure if that is true but if we did that here hardly any would find homes .

Our young ponies were at the fence gate this morning, they are always around when the staff arrive at 8pm in the hope that they will be given a nice breakfast but sadly for them the gourmet breakfast is for the older ponies only.The youngsters would become far too fat on grass AND breakfast and dinner.On the other hand the old ones need something extra to supplement their grass diet. As always Merlin our coloured Gypsy cob was pushing himself to the front and I couldn't help laughing at his upside down moustache! He has lots of feathering on his legs and this clump of hair under his bottom lip which for all the world looks like a false moustache put on upside down. He is a real character, he is so clumsy and awkward looking but for some reason that just serves to make him more appealing and we all adore him.I dont think anyone wants him to find a home, if he does there is no doubt he would be missed greatly if only for the entertainment he affords us. Mind you he may never find a home, he was born with a twisted foot(something which could have been remedied in the early stages had his owner cared enough) which makes his gait odd and him appear rather ungainly.(Not that we care!)Could not get a good photo of said moustache so will attempt again in the morning.

It has been a lovely warm sunny day today and the two pigs have thoroghly enjoyed the fresh air though once again we have to be careful of them catching the sun TOO much.Pink Pig can easily get sunburned and she is none too easy to catch if we want to put suntan cream on her.In spite of her age she can move fast when the mood takes her!Merlin too has to have suncream as his noise is pink and prone to catching the sun too easily. Trying to get a photo of his moustache was not easy, everytime I was close enough he started to follow me and backing up I almost fell into a large pile of manure. Oh, The trials and tribulations of a nature photographer!

I can almost hear people saying "dont give up the day job!"

Thursday, 12 August 2010

A Mundane sort of Day.

I hope everybody likes the new format, please please please , dont complain,I really can't face messing about with it again. It took me ages to change it over to this and after so long on the computer my eyes were starting to cross!Therefore all complaints about it will be duly ignored.
Well the ferret did not turn up , we had made a place ready for him but no phone call came to say it was not needed.Typical.I hope a nice home was found and that is the reason he failed to contact me back again.
Both terriers are now spoken for, Rosie and Jim have been reserved and will be collected next Thursday, they are no trouble, very quiet little dogs which is unusual for terriers which are generally rather noisy. Certainly Charlie Patch could take a leaf out of their book! He is constantly barking at the window to annoy Molly Great Dane when she is in the garden (and she does get annoyed!) but it is all bravado because I take him out with the big dogs and Molly just has to look at him and he backs off.Not so with Old Ben collie , he will have a go at him if given the chance so I have to be careful not to cause jealousy or Charlie Patch will take it out of Ben who is too frail to be bullied.Walking them is an art and has to be done so there is no friction between the dominant male and the old resident collies of whom Bramble is now one. People with multiple dogs will no doubt understand this and empathise.It is why I split the dogs in then house.The big ones have established a pecking order but hate cats, then the living room houses the smaller and the cat friendly ones.I have 2 cats Poots and Holly No ears(who sleeps with me)Poots is old and grumpy(bit like me)and Holly is blind in one eye as well as having lost her ears some years ago from a degenerative disorder.Poots is very aloof but Holly is the opposite, always craving attention and is so loving and gentle. We failed to find either of them homes so they became permanent residents

Most of the resident cats live outside either in the conservatory or in their "cat houses" but certain one sneak in when they have a chance.The most likely to do this are Tiny Tim a big black ex feral cat who seems to enjoy my company(sad creature!) and Toots a dainty small ex feral, also black.Both cats appear to be happy in the conservatory but from time to time they decide they would like some human company and thats when they sneak in though they seldom stay in for any great length of time. Pictured here are Poots and Holly who was annoyed at being disturbed whilst sleeping in the top of the wardrobe!
Last Friday my blog entry included a short tale of the time I belonged to Sea Shepherd and went to Ireland to help save the seals inCounty Mayo .How strange was it that a few days later I received an email from someone whom I met on that very same campaign and have not heard from in over 25 years and he had not even seen the blog.Life can be very strange!
Sorry this entry is not the most exciting, some days are very mundane, nothing happens but the daily routine, cleaning and feeding, feeding and cleaning!Oh and telephone answering and dealing with problems for people who ring and call here and paying bills or rather working out which are the most urgent to pay.(Would that all the bills could be paid )and of course there is filing and letter answering and dog walking, checking and replying to emails and all the usual office stuff which goes on. Just an average day in the life of......
Now and again people ask me for advice on starting up an animal rescue and they have no idea of the background work which goes on.When I started this I too had no idea of all the paperwork and red tape, health and safety issues, employment matters ,forms to fill etc that would go with the work. I thought rescuing animals was the only thing I would have to do, how wrong I was ? Its hard to explain to people without sounding as though I am trying to put them off by sounding negative but the reality is that rescuing the animals is only a small part albeit the most important part of shelter work and not many people are prepared to have visitors turning up on their doorstep at all hours of the day and night. (human and animals though personally I dont mind the animals!)
Mundane day is coming to a close and tomorrow I will be going to the LLandudno shop with a car full of goodies for them to sell. Next entry will be at the weekend.Good night.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Sunset at Freshfields.

Thanks to a gentleman who attended our Open Day, I have discovered a setting on my camera which enables the user to take better photos of sunsets so here it is.

I have changed the blog format again and I like this one, hope everyone else does too.If you want to look at past entries, the text looks faint but place the cursor on it and it is highlighted immediately.
Im off to bed now, its past my bedtime!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Misty comes and goes and the horses have visitors.

Bramble is improving daily, his head tilt is disappearing and he really enjoys his exercise though loses his balance still occasionally.He keeps an eye on me and the dogs ensuring he doesnt lose sight of us. I love the old animals, they always seem so happy to be somewhere safe and its truly heartwarming to see them start to "smile" again. I love this dog already.
I am sure it has been noticed that the format of the blog has changed.On an impulse I decided to change it and quickly found myself out of my depth so I floundered about a bit, lost my original format and ended up with this,I know the text colour is wrong but didnt know how to go back to other. I gave up in the end.If nobody likes it(dont think I do) I will endeavour again to improve it.

We will be admitting a baby ferret tomorrow which is at risk because of the owners dog who is desperate to get at it and make a meal of him. I can't see that happen and a baby will be easier to find a home for than an adult(I hope)Having said that I am sure someone offered to foster such animals for us so I will have to who offers help gets put in there, from those locally who offer practical help at the shelter to people who are scattered all over the Uk who help with doing homechecks out of our area. Oddly enough I have plenty of people to do these in the South of England but hardly anyone to do checks in Gwynedd!

Iam organising a coffee morning/cake sale for October(date will be confirmed this week) at The Royal Sportsman Hotel and will be putting out an appeal to people to bake cakes , make jams etc. I ,however, will NOT be one of those clever people as I have no talent whatsoever in that direction and in fact my staff all know when I am cooking because the smoke billows out of the kitchen window and the dogs quickly disappear into the back garden! So there will definitely be no burnt offerings from me.That is a promise
This morning I have had so many calls requesting help with cats and we have only one or two spaces left in the main cattery.It is a hard thing to do but they will have to be prioritised as to which case is the most urgent and of course their owners think that their own circumstances are most urgent. Probably due to the influx of kittens the adult cats are hardly moving at all which makes it impossible to find space for even the most desperate cats. I hate it when this situation occurs.
To add to the worry there are three dogs wanting to come back into our care and they are not the easiest dogs although having said that they have been in homes now for 2 -3 years with the exception Of Jim who has only recently left us.One is Sally who some may remember as the collie who was brought to us one evening by the police who at that time suspected her owner had been murdered.Sally was very traumatised and because of a few physchological problems remained with us for 18 months. We were so delighted when she finally found a home but now her new owner says she cannot cope with her so that begs the question -what on earth will we do with her this time. Everone here loved her but she often took a dislike to strangers and sometimes I would be exercising her up the top fields when she would spot a car coming up our track.Well that was it, she would take off like a Bat out of Hell with me desperately chasing after her.It was a big worry that she would hurt herself or cause an accident.Thankfully Rosie is without a foster dog at the moment so one will be going to her(That reminds me, I must tell her!) We have been amazingly lucky with our dog homes, very few have been returned since we started rescue work in Wales so by the law of averages, our good luck was bound to run out..Now I have to find suitable foster homes for the other two. I dare not take them here with Horrid Neighbour on the warpath again.

A bit of good news is that I have had interest in my proposed Kilimanjaro sponsored trek next year. A couple from Somerset on holiday here spotted the poster and are keen to do it I am sending them details and then we will decide which organisation to go with and be able to make our bookings pretty soon. Their interest has renewed my own enthusiasm. I will then have no excuse not to get fit again but it would be great if a few more would have a go, if each person raised £1,500 - 2,000 it would make a huge difference to the shelter. I know its going to be a tough trek, more difficult than the Inca trail but it will be a great achievement if we get to the top and think of the money we could raise.

Even better news is that the person who was accusing me of theft has agreeed to let me keep the animals.This was all because I gave shelter to the couples two dogs when nobody else would resulting in me ending up bang in the middle of an acrimonious divorce battle.It is not just children who end up being pawns in such disputes, in this case it was 2 dogs and although one had been homed almost as soon as I took them, the other had to remain in a foster home as I was unable to place her permanently with this business going on. Thank goodness it is over. I have lost more than one night of sleep over it.

I had recently been contacted to find a home for a dog called Misty, a young cross yorkshire terrier/collie! Rather a strange mix but what a sweet littledog she turned out to be.As luck would have it I found a prospective owner very quickly and all remained to be done was arrrange for Misty to arrive and the people to turn up to see her.I think it was the shortest time ever an animal was in our care.Pictured here with her new people who travelled from Wrexham with their dog who fell in love with Misty immediately.(as did the humans)Also pictured are the two adorable kittens admitted from the same home. I'm sure they will not be with us for very long.

Finally we had some visitors, holidaymakers who love horses, they spent some time here giving polo mints to the ponies and are pictured here with Mei admiring Shane, Bobby and Sam.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Bunnies Galore.

Today we admitted five unwanted baby rabbits, they are 8 weeks old and were born to a domestic rabbit allowed to run free in the garden.That in itself is great, I was delighted to hear thatMum was not one of those sad lonely bunnies kept in a hutch all day and that she is to be spayed to prevent further litters.The trouble is that Mum was mated by a wild rabbit visiting the garden and now there are five little babies to find homes for.

Tangy(the lopeared one) and Speckles , the father and son buns are still with us, there has been no interest so far in these two and now they have a female companion also. Phoebe,( a lovely black and white speckly ) unlike the mother of the babies WAS one of those sad lonely rabbits incarcerated daily and forgotten and ignored by the children who once clamoured for a pet and no doubt hassled their parents until they gave in to their wishes. Little Phoebe is now enjoying life with friends of her own kind and the three have been getting along really well. It would be lovely for the three pals to be homed together but if not we will ensure Phoebe finds a home with another rabbit.

So we now have 8 Beautiful Bunnies to place in kind homes, now where do I find those homes? I think it is time for another publicity exercise.I will try the newspapers tomorrow and do some rabbit posters to place around the area. I feel they are often the forgotten pets, there is little in the media about them and yet they are frequently maltreated and kept in unsuitable conditions. Over the years, loads have been abandoned outside and close to the Liverpool shelter, many in dreadful condition and they always have pens full of these animals. Our facilities here do not lend themselves to rabbit rescue but we do have a good sized pen for a few at any one time, as long as they are same sex, neutered and get on well. The five youngsters are in a shed but this is fine for now but once they grow it will be inadequate so homes must be found fairly quickly.
The abandoned collie has gone off happily with her new owner - Vet Nuala who has already named her Cara and Old Collie in House also now has a name - Bramble. Mei thought of the name when he disappeared and was found in amidst the brambles in my (overgrown) garden struggling to find a way out.Poor fellow.Anyhow he is now Bramble and he is here to stay.Next week I plan to take him back to the Vet for a really thorough examination so we know exactly how he stands regarding his long term health.
One last thing, Busters people have passed their homecheck so he also will be leaving the care of Freshfields.Altogether it has not been a bad weekend at all.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Another collie found Tied to a Gate.

Today Good Neighbour Nia (yes I actually do have some!)turned up with a young but depressed looking collie female she had found tied up to a gate down a country lane, she was tied up with baling string and it was so short she was lying in her own faeces. Having tried the local farms who did not recognise her she had no option but to bring her here. My foster homes were all full but as luck would have it, shortly after she was admitted she was reserved by a Vet from Dolgellau who was searching for a youngish good natured dog she could take to work. This dog appeared ideal, she was so sweet natured and even in her fear she was tentatively wagging her tail and clearly very glad to have been rescued. She will be leaving us tomorrow and she will be having her spayed and vaccinated at her place of work. All we have to do is microchip her , we wormed her this morning and deflead her although she is in dire need of a good bath as she does not smell so sweetly.(neither do I at the end of a day here with dogs jumping all over me,cats being sick over me and as happened this morning a horse sneezing all over me! Lovely! )

This is the second dog in a week found tied up, its disgraceful, the old collie is now quite at home with my dogs so I will keep him for as long as he has some quality of life.I must think of a name for him, cant keep calling him The Old Collie. Mind you he appears to be stone deaf anyway so it will make no difference to him whatever name I choose for him!

We also admitted a kitten about 4 months yesterday, a stray(or abandoned?) and once again a newcomer has been reserved.He will be leaving us later today.Its strange how this happens sometimes.They come in and they go out almost immediately and yet others remain here for ages. Its just a matter of luck and timing I suppose. For them and us its good news and a morale booster when animals find homes quickly.
I received a call about a hedgehog with a broken leg and sent the finder to the Vet we use so he could have treatment(either a splint or if leg very badly smashed up an amputation) I was very sad to hear that the poor hedgehog died under the anaesthetic.Some you win ,some you lose but it is always sad when even with our help a wild animal is lost.So often the shock takes its toll.

As you can see from the photo here the cats know their dinner time and as soon as the dinner lady for the day opens the cattery door they beging to congregate.Today was Sues turn to feed, Sue who has been a volunteer here for a few years has taken over Barbras shift, early morning and the afternoon feeding session. I love watching them as they gather round. Jimmy Ginge the dog hater is in the far right corner. He still hates other animals but seems to have found his place in the pecking order here and has settled down happily.He is the boss cat and thats the way he likes it.He is such an affectionate old cat and such a character.

Marge who is a trustee of the charity and lives in Liverpool had been asking me about Charley Patch the 10 years old Jack Russell . This is his name because I mistakenly thought he was called Patch and it was 8 months before I was advised that his name was in fact Charley. I have given a home to him because his owner had died on Merseyside and Marge knew he was about to be destroyed because nobody would take him.Thank you Marge, I know why now!! Of course i could not see him come to an untimely end but he IS a little b....r. I could not resist taking this photo of him on his eternal scavenging hunt for extra food(as if he doesnt have enough) This time he stuck his head too far into the box and stood immobile until I went to rescue him. Was he pleased with my intervention? No, he growled ferociously as though it was MY fault he had ended up in such an undignified position. He is an independent little dog who accepts a fuss when he requires one, at other times, keep away.I have now learned this as I have also learned to not go near him when he is in his basket.That is HIS territory and nobody but nobody goes near.Now he has established that he is the boss of the house, he is extremely happy(unlike me!) So if you read this Marge, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I will be eternally grateful to you for landing me with this dear little dog!!!!!!!
Actually I am rather fond of him, he is such a great character and so full of life he deserves to live it happily even if it is at my expense!

With losing dear William and the two Maggie Marthas I now only have Charley Patch and little Suzy yorkie who is now 15 .(pictured here asleep on the sofa)in the living room .sorry that pic is uposide down, .I miss them all dearly but I am starting to realise that it is nice to have a bit of space to myself .

Friday, 6 August 2010

Poor Cows.

I spoke to the owner of the potbellied pig which is named Shani. He does not want to part with her but his wife is fed up with the mess in the garden! It beggars belief that people aquire what are essentially farm animals and then complain that they are not suitable for their gardens!I have told him that if he will let me have the shed she sleeps in I will have her and try her with our two oldies.I doubt very much that our resident pigs will allow a newcomer into their little house so I need something in which she can sleep and and shelter from the elements. If it doesnt work out the Liverpool shelter have a space for her.It will be in the next 10 days, they are arranging transport. Of course there is paperwork to fill in too.When pigs are moved their movements have to be registered. It doesnt matter that she is not going to enter into the food chain, the same rules apply to all.

Mentioning this has reminded me of an article I read today about the proposal made to Lincolnshire Council for a massive Cow battery Farm! What next! 8,000 cows indoors being milked 3 times daily , kept in pens just big enough to stand and lie down.and all in the name of greed. The old bucolic image of happy farm animals is a thing of the past.It is getting worse, I can only hope that the proposal does not go ahead and that sense will prevail. The article was alongside another excellent one written by an ex farm vet who left his profession after becoming sadly disillusioned by the lack of concern for animal welfare amongst the majority of farmers. Good for him, it takes someone like him to put the other side of the story, his experiences are very real and he has seen the reality of todays farming methods.Do people really think these new methods are healthy, that we will not see more and more problems caused by this unnatural way of farming.We have already had BSE, a man made discease, what will be the next epidemic? It may mean cheaper milk but what price the health of the nation, never mind the terrible existence of these poor cows?Sorry to go on but the image it brought up in my mind has stayed with me all day.Will our countryside be soon empty of all animals? I find it hard enough to look at them in fields knowing their ultimate fate but imagine knowing they were all unseen in concrete pens indoors? A truly nightmare situation and one we should all do something abouit NOW before it becomes reality.It is so close now, write to Lincolnshire Council, MPs, newspapers, anyone who may listen and let them know it is not something most people want to see. Anyhow enough of me on my soapbox .
Its raining again, will it never stop. Apart from the fact it has meant we have much more grass here at this time of year than we did last year, it has also caused the wild mushrooms to thrive and there has been no shortage for us to pick. So its been mushrooms in everything lately, mushroom soup, mushroom curry, etc. It was shades of my Sea Shepherd experience. I think I might have mentioned my trip with Sea Shepherd environmental group in the early seventies when we guarded the baby seals against the fishermen in County Mayo, Ireland . Anyhow I shall bore everyone once again just in case I have not written about it.We ran out of food on the remote island where we were camping which was named Inishglora.(or was it Inishkea? my memory of it is fading nowadays)The sea was too rough for supplies to be brought out so we lived on seaweed for five awful days and there was great excitement when a large mushroom was found to add to the stew.( you are easily pleased when you are hungry) I remember one man found a sweet in his pocket and I think I might have been persuaded to mug him for it had he not offered it to me! Perhaps he saw the murderous look in my eyes!
No photos today, weather too bad to take them.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Big Ginge has a sponsor.and Shane gets better.

The old collie has settled quite well with the three big dogs in my kitchen. He seems less bewildered and I have been letting him outside with them though he has just been pottering about. Later on this afternoon I took them all out on the fields and all of a sudden he appeared, having followed us from the yard, he then happily ran round the field albeit with a strange gait.The tilt on his head causes him to be off balance but he seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself.He IS drinking a lot of water and is panting a lot.I suspect he has a heart condition and maybe his kidneys are starting to fail but right now he has certainly picked up from the way he was yesterday. He has seen a vet who thinks he has almost certainly had a stroke so maybe he will last a bit longer than I first thought.We will see. I would say he has been a farm dog,he is dirty and has a matted coat, is unused to life in a house and doesnt know what to do with a dog basket, preferring to sleep on the tiled floor. Poor old dog.Nobody has cared enough to look for him. Perhaps he will enjoy this little bit of comfort in his last days.Pictured here pottering round my garden
I have someone sponsoring Big Ginge an ex feral cat who has mellowed in his old age and is a lovely old cat now who enjoys his life of freedom at the shelter. I have been taking photos to send the gentleman in Cheshire who has taken a liking to him having seen his photo in a newsletter of ours. Unlike some of the cats, he completely ignores my presence as I contort myself trying to get a good angle for a photo -some of them run a mile when they see me armed with the camera.
Big Ginge pictured here with some of his friends in the conservatory
Buster cross labrador has been reserved pending a homecheck,I am pretty sure it will pass and I will try to find time to do it tomorrow or saturday.There have been loads of calls from epople wanting collies and for once we have none looking for homes(I am quite positive that situation will change soon)
Jill collie who is going to France has had her second vaccination today and will have her rabies blood test in the next two weeks. As soon as the results come back from that she will be ready for travelling to her new country of residence. The terriers have been neutered today and there are people coming to see them at the weekend.
Shane pony is so much better now that when Rosie tried to give him his medication this morning, he threw his head back and cantered up the field! That was a great sight to behold . He is so happy to be back out with his companions and so is little Bobby Shetland who has been keeping him company in his stable. On my travels round and about I see so many horses and ponies in fields on their own with none of their own kind to interact with.It makes me so sad seeing them alone, its so unnatural and unkind to keep herd animals isolated from others. It is wonderful to watch them together, grooming and playing, even just grazing near to one another. I do not know why owners cannot understand this, do they not think about it?do they not care? or maybe they think horses and ponies have no feelings, no needs of their own? Who knows!
All I know is that I get so much pleasure watching our equines together, I would never contemplate keeping one in isolation unless for a reason eg: infection or illness. In the winter we keep two groups of 5-6 which are compatible in our agricultural building which has been adapted for use with our horses. It is split into two parts and we have a group on either side.This is so much nicer for them, they can move about and interact with each other, whereas those in single stables do not have that luxury. I prefer the group method and would love to have that facility for all of ours.
I have been asked to take a potbellied pig and am just about to phone the people.We have two left and they are old, I dont want them to be upset and we would have to find another pig house as im sure they would not share their house with a newcomer!More about that next entry.