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