Monday, 31 January 2011

Paddy meets the New Girl




First news of the day is that Teddy the disabled German Shepherd pup has been found a home, he was delivered yesterday to a lady who clearly has a very big heart especially as his future is still uncertain at this point in time. Good luck to them both. I am still waiting to hear from the RSPCA inspector who was going to investigate his abandonment.

Nell is booked in to be spayed on Wednesday and MegJR and Holly Yorkie left mew yesterday for their new home but have been quickly replaced by Lucy a 4 months old Jack Russell whose owner had a new baby and no time for her.How many times have I heard that? Try thousands and you would be close to it.Lucy is pictured here meeting Paddy for the first time. He is so good with the all the newcomers, he has a few sniffs and then they are largely ignored in favour of a snooze in front of the fire, he takes up the entire space on the rug but is happy enough to share a little of his space with anyone who cares to find any!

Vanessa was telling me this morning that she had read an article in a newspaper about an animal rescuer who had a cat returned because it did not go with the furnishings! Outrageous but it does happen - my contribution to that topic would be to relate 2 particular incidents which stuck in my mind because of their very absurdity. Not long after I set up the shelter in Liverpool, I was visited by a retired couple who wanted a grey and white cat , they had been upset over the demise of their old cat(grey and white of course) and as luck would have it we had a very pretty young cat of that colour in the cattery. I took them into the cattery and left them there to get to know the cat.I returned a few minutes later and to my astonishment they were measuring the white on his legs with a tape measure! They told me that he was not the cat for them(thank goodness) because the height of the white on his legs did not match up to the markings on their previous cat! His white socks were an inch too short! To say I was happy to show them the door is an understatement.
The second incident was with a lady who came to the shelter to request that Freshfields admit her dog .The house was too small for him she told me so I asked her to bring the dog in "Oh he's here with me " she said, opening her coat to reveal a tiny chihuahua! I kid you not. Implausible though these incidents may appear, believe me they are true so the story of the cat which did not match the furnishings is completely believable to me. I know how fussy and eccentric some people can be in their desire to find 'The Perfect Pet'. Imagine if we humans were made to undergo such rigid tests in order to find the perfect partner, how many of us would be 'Left on the shelf'?' Quite a few I suspect , I clearly am one of those who has repeatedly failed the tests and there was I thinking my singledom was of my own choosing.Silly me!
The water problem is getting worse, we are struggling once again to get water to the animals and there is no sign of this latest freeze coming to an end. Thank goodness we do at least have the stream from which we can relay water albeit laboriously. I am now entering my second phase this winter of looking like Stig of the Dump so its time to rally the friends who will allow me use of their wonderful hot water supplies.
PS: Just hired a water bowser filled with 2000 litres for tomorrow, wish I had known about these during last Big Freeze. £70 per week .We may be defrosted by then but I cant take the chance of having no water so better to be safe than sorry. I learn a little every day- now I know what a Water Bowser is, and for those who do not have that knowledge it is basically a water tank on wheels.Brilliant!

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Nell the pregnant Spaniel



The cold continues and this morning the pipes were frozen so no running water again.Oh how I wish I lived in a warm climate, waking each day to blue skies and the prospect of a cheery sunny day ahead.Oh well it costs nothing to dream!


Back to reality - today more pets were offered free on freecycle . How many pets have ended up in bad homes through being given away via this online service?I consider it a disservice to animals. I contacted one or two advertisers whom I felt able to help and one woman rang me back concerning the homing of two rabbits which I have agreed to admit once I sort out appropriate housing for them. I need to contact Freecycle again and hope for a more positive response next time.This way of homing unwanted pets is totally irresponsible and worries me greatly, there are some very unsavoury characters around and giving pets away free via freecycle is just asking for trouble and could be very detrimental to the welfare of the pets concerned.


Mei has been busy Microchipping animals today, some of the kittens which were too young to do when they were adopted have been brought back to have their implants.I wanted to take a photo of her doing this but she said she was nervous microchipping in front of people anyway, let alone having her photo taken as well .Instead there is a photo of Nell a young Springer spaniel being fostered by Gail at her home in Pwllheli . Nells owners had no time for her when a new baby was born in to the family though having met Nell for the first time today, both Rosie and I think she is almost certainly pregnant. I need to get her booked in for spaying as soon as possible, she is a lovely dog but is only a pup herself - she is 9 months old and has been caught in her first season. Did the owners know this? I am pretty sure that fact could not have gone unnoticed.
I had a response to the advert for the Jack Russell Pups, the man wanted both of them and when questioned a little he told me that he ran an animal trapping business! That is not quite the sort of home I had in mind for Pippa and Penny, nor any other dog actually. A few others have emailed me and I am checking out one home in particular which sounds pretty good.Unfortunately I have not been successful with the home for Wilson the patterdale terrier who went to Liverpool, although he was fine with the cats here, he is now chasing the cats in his new home so he needs to be found a catfree environment as soon as possible.

It is always such a disappointment when a mistake is made matching up dog and person but I suppose that we have to think how many successes we have.
In truth the failures are very few which is a great testament to the homecheckers who help us out and the staff who assess the animals and the prospective adopters.
A few weeks ago I was so upset about one adoption I could not write about it.Jess a cross labrador went to a home in Milton Keynes, she was a nervous dog which the new people accepted having had a nervous rescue dog previously, for the first week she was marvellous and bonded well with Angie and Brian.The problems began when the house became filled with strangers(new to Jess) at a family gathering. Jess completely freaked out at this intrusion and had to be shut away for both her own safety and that of the visitors. I received a panic stricken call requesting Jess to be taken away and I had to think quickly what could be done. My contact in that area had left to come back to Wales and I knew nobody else who could help in this emergency.
Ater many hours spent ringing other rescues ,I finally found one local to the people and Jess was taken in there for a week until I could arrange to bring her back to the shelter.In the meantime the couple realised they had acted too promptly and were in touch with me every few days wanting to know how the dog was coping. Of course she was not coping well, she was bewildered and stressed at
the turn of events and a new environment to get used to and I could not lie about that to them even though I had understanding of the predicament they found themselves in with Jess and her fear of strangers. Anyhow they realised that they had panicked too much and were devastated at their
action which they greatly regretted and begged me to allow them to have Jess back. I was happy to agree because I knew it was a good home and that they genuinely cared for her. We discussed her problems for sometime ,I wanted to make it clear that it would not be an easy ride with Jess, she could take a bit of training to become used to strangers and indeed she is already changing for the better. I receive regular updates and I know that this time Jess has a forever home. It had a good outcome but for a few weeks it was all I could think of and I was so upset for Jess. We all make mistakes and in this case it was one which was regretted almost immediately and was rectified to the delight of all involved, Jess especially who was overjoyed to see Angie and Brian again.

Finally I picked up a call on the answerphone today asking me to take 2 reas!! The only Rea I know is Chris Rea the singer but I hardly think he will be needing shelter at Freshfields(I wish)
Well it turned out to be Rheas, of the ostrich family so I was able to give details of another shelter in the south of England whih has facilities for birds of this type and hopefully they will be sorted.It has to be one of the more unusual requests received here!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Terriers galore and a Sad Evening for Everyone.











I arrived back home on Friday evening and was still unpacking when Mei shouted to me that the old pony JOJo was down and unable to get back on her feet. I ran over to where she was stabled and between us we tried to get her on her feet but something told me that her inability to move was less to do with a sudden health problem like colic than the fact that she was ready to leave us and I suggested we make her more comfortable and leave her where she was until the Vet came out. We rang Harley to tell him what had happened and he arrived with his father, he seemed to be of the same opinion as me, that Jojo had given up, she was an old,old girl and when the Vet arrived he confirmed her heart was giving out and he put an end to her suffering quickly and painlessly. Harley was understandably distressed and we were all upset though glad at the same time that she had come to the end of her life in a warm stable surrounded by those who cared for her and in sight of her pal Sam.We allowed Sam to see her and as always this appears to lessen the grief though today he did look for her and checked all the stables before he allowed himself to be guided into his own. Tomorrow he will be fine, they had only been together a month although they had become the best of friends durng that time.

Whilst I was in LIverpool two Jack Russell pups were admitted which are being fostered by Vanessa.They are the sweetest little dogs, so dainty and fine boned.Their photo does not show just how tiny they really are - What is going on at the moment, there seem to be Jack Russells everywhere , Instead of being asked to help with collies every phone call seems to be about Jack Russells! At least this breed is popular and relatively easy to rehome. Meg JR and Holly yorkshire terrier were in the living room waiting to greet me on my return as expected and if I had not already had people interested I could have very well have been tempted by these two(the third Yorkie was found a home so was not admitted here) .It is not often that I take in well behaved adorable well trained and sweet natured dogs but these tick all the boxes and it is hard to believe that they have lost their owner, they seem so much at home here.
Mion one of our cat fosterers has brought in her three mother cats Joss tabby, Jill tortoishell and white and Jenny the dark tortie.They were all admitted either heavily pregnant or with kittens and all three were abandoned so Mion has been caring for them and now the kittens have all been adopted, mums have been spayed and it is their turn now for new homes.I hope they will go fairly easily as they all have sweet natures.
Does anybody remember the stunning pedigree British Blue Cream cat found living on a balcony of some flats in Pwllheli? Well I mentioned that she had turned out to be pregnant and was too far advanced in her pregnacy to make spaying an option but she has been through quite an ordeal. She gave birth to two dead and very large kittens and had to have a Caesarian to remove the litter.Only two remained alive and she has rejected them so they are being hand reared by foster dad Lee over in Anglesey.Poor cat -what a traumatic time she has had and even= more unbelievably, it turns out that she has had a Caesarian previously!! What kind of owner did she have that he/she would refrain from having her spayed after that? Who would want their pet to endure another difficult pregnancy? Answers on a postcode pelase and please do your best to keep the bad langage to a minimum!
I am starting to think we are fast becoming a rabbit and guinea pig sanctuary. Both Cariad(who helps part time with the horses)amd Gail have taken guineas to foster: Cariad has two pregnant mums who are about to give birth and today I have had a call to ask if we can take two adults and 6 babies! I think we need to build a more suitable facility for them though we cannot take in too many becaus that would necessitate the employment of an extra member of staff and we are already struggling to pay the existing ones. Speaking of funds, we have managed to rise above the dreadful and very scary situation we found ourselves in just after Christmas. We are not out of the woods yet(nor are the Liverpool shelter) but we are at least back to having enough to pay wages, buy animal feeds and with a bit over at the end of the week which is used to pay some of themany bills which have piled up. It is time to set some time aside and organise some fundraising events for 2011. I still need some help in this area.I dont need just ideas but people willing to organise an event or two.
Well I am absolutely freezing and my hands are starting to go numb with the cold. Lucy who sleeps in the office is snuggled into a lovely big duvet and I am tempted to join her. Lucy as some may remember is not a homeless member of staff but the 10 years old terrier who shares the office space with me and Veronica(who is still a little poorly from her flu bout) Rhian is also off sick with the same virus and Sue who was working today in the cattery has not been a hundred percent for a few weeks.Who will the dreaded flu claim next?

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Is a Horse Thief about?

Just a quickie before I leave for Liverpool. There was quite a saga surrounding the admittance of the kitten ,The following day the lady who found him rang me to say the owner had turned up! When I expressed doubt that such a tiny animal could have found himself lost she launched into a detailed story of how the owners lived some streets away from her and their grandchild had taken the kitten out to show his friends and lost him! Then she said she was going to come and collect him to take back but when I asked for the owners details to discuss the welfare of Henry, she mumbled something about ringing me back with it. When she failed to do so I tried in vain to contact her, some hours later her son rang me and the truth came out. The kitten was never abandoned, after his wife left him the kitten was left alone all day in the house which he felt rightfully to be unkind so his mother offered to take Henry to Freshfields.When his wife discovered he had parted with the kitten, she was upset and wanted him back so that was why the elaborate story was invented.As it happened the home would have been unsuitable , she lived in a flat where no pets were allowed , fortunately she was made to see sense and Henry remains in our care.
I do wish people would refrain from lying, it simply complicates matters but there is often so much guilt in handing over pets to shelters that sometimes they
must feel it necessary to lie. In this case I would not have thought any less of the family for their action because it was clearly the right thing for them to do. I admit to feeling differently about those who want to give up horses because they are unable to ride them any longer. That does infuriate me and they are right to feel guilty.I make no apology for my feelings about that.It is far too common for older horses to be disposed of to make way for a younger livelier ride and for the animal shelters to end up taking on what should be the owners responsibility.

A distraught lady from a neighbouring village called last night to tell me that her two shetland ponies had been stolen from their paddock. This concerns me greatly, part from the fate of the two stolen animals, if there is a horse thief about we have to worry about our own equines.Although many are obviously old and would be of no interest to anybody, others do not have visible health issues and could be mistakenly thought of as suitable riding ponies.We do have some freeze branded which is the best possible deterrent to thieves but we need to do this with more, especially those in the lower fields which are out of sight of the house. More Cost! Freeze branding is painless to the animal but shows a clear mark which makes it easily identifiable if attempts are made to pass them through horse sales .

Anyhow I must leave now and get myself sorted for the nightmare ahead. Does anybody enjoy meetings?

Sunday, 23 January 2011

3 ponies are Returned.






My great favourite Rocky was returned today along with companions Honey and Caspar and have settled back as though they have never been away. The lady who had been caring for them wanted to keep Honey but as I said to her the two little ponies have been together for a long time and I like to keep bonded pairs together. Does anybody remember the story of Black Beauty where pony friends were separated and their joy at being reunited?It was one of the saddest books I have ever read and one that remained entrenched in my mind many years after reading it. The field we have had to put the ponies in is not ideal as it is becoming waterlogged and we need to allow them access to the adjoining field ,HOWEVER , the gate to that one has come off and until Handyman John fixes it back on we are regrettably one much needed field short!

The other admittances today have been a tiny kitten found abandoned and another cat belonging to a 96 years old lady. Henry the kitten(pictured here)
is no more than 7 weeks of age and quite a frail little man but it is surprising what treatment for worms can do and within days I am sure he will be looking and feeling a great deal better .Sue who works part time here has offered to foster him which will be nice for him and he can come back when he is a little stronger. The adult cat is called Oddie no doubt due to his unusual odd eyes and is 10 years old indicating that when this lady was 80 she obtained him as a kitten. This is yet another case of a kitten which should never have been homed with such an elderly person.Poor Oddie does not really have a red eye(my poor photography again) he has one brown eye and one green and is a rather nice tempered cat albeit confused about his sudden change of circumstances.It must be a rude awakening to a cossetted cat used to sleeping on sofas and beds to suddenly find himself in a cattery situation sharing space with other cats.
Two adult cats have gone out today, Fudge and Tizer who came in together have gone out together and they will be sharing their home with two other Freshfields cats and the deaf white cat has gone today too so it does seem that the adoptions are picking up.I spoke to someone at the LIverpool shelter and they too have been busy with animals being adopted out.There must be something in the air!
Roy the Charity shop manager in Caernarfon is here today putting up another Spotlight in the yard outside the office: a few nights ago we could not find Bradley one of our permanent dogs and the lighting here was non existent making it very hard to see an all black/grey dog. We did find him but it made us realise how much we need extra light in the evening.
Finally we have been offered a special home to the disabled pup Teddy and discussions are taking place! That sounds like a high powered business negotiation but the fact is that anybody willing to take him on needs to know all the options and possibilities including the one that he may not have a bright future ahead of him and there could be tears ahead for all of us if he fails to deal with his useless leg. It is not something to be taken on without great thought being given to this possibility. I will keep updating on his progress.
I will not be writing another entry until next weekend because I am going to be away the best part of the week, when I return on Friday I will have some new house guests to greet me in the shape of 7 years old Meg jack russell and Holly Yorkshire terrier(best friends apparently) and a slightly younger Yorkshire terrier named Sky.They are all from the same home where the owner has been hospitalised and she is unable to care for them in the future. By the time I come back Paddy and Patch will have doubtless introduced them to the comforts of my sofa and I once more will be relegated to whatever seating may be left!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Good News about Lewis and a successful Adoption day




FRiday:
Teddy (left)will be going to his new foster mum Sharon tomorrow, he really will benefit from being with other dogs and in a home environment.I get the impression that has been lacking and he needs that socialisation.As with poor skinny Lewis his story has touched many people and there are many positive thoughts being sent his way.Speaking of dear Lewis I heard some excellent news today , he has settled in very well with his new people both canine and human, what a lovely ending to his sad story; Lewis was a very special dog and from being so neglected and so depressed he came on so well whilst he was with me and now his prospects are even better. I can't wait to see the photos of him in his new home and to see him once he is back to a normal weight.As soon as I receive the photos I will post them on here so everyone can see him.
Apart from Teddy I have 3 Dog Pound dogs in my home at the moment, Don a 5 years old collie and 2 very sweet young Jack russells Sally and Trixie and I have people coming to see all three tomorrow so I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will all match up happily.I am always being asked what it means when I say Dog Pound dogs.Well these are strays which have been picked up by a Council dog warden and taken to a kennels where they stay for a week to allow an owner to claim his/her lost pet.If at the end of the week the animals are unclaimed they are destroyed unless homes or places at shelters can be found. Some kennel owners like Jennifer at Dolgellau put a lot of effort in to place the dogs but others are not so interested and many young healthy animals lose their lives this way all over the UK. I give priority to these dogs because I know they are in a desperate situation and often we are their last hope. Now I am down to just 3 of my own dogs I am more able to help as long as they integrate with my own.

Like so many other areas we are suffering from frosty icy weather
I am hoping that it will not get any worse, I couldn't face another session of no running water though facing that would be infinitely preferable to the terrible floods others are experiencing in Australia and Brazil.What distressing news coverage there has been,It is heartbreaking isn't it? I shall think of that whenever I start to moan about the cold weather here and be glad it is not worse.
Saturday:
Well I have said goodbye to Teddy and also to Sally,Trixie and Don, apart from being happy to see them toddling off to a better life, two of the adopters already had dogs from Freshfields and brought them along so we had the opportunity to see how they were getting on . Pictured here is Junior(now Alfie) the lurcher adopted several months ago meeting his new friend Sally today.Once again Mei managed to muscle in on the photo, for someone who professes to hate her photograph being taken she certainly manages to show up in more than her fair share! The other photo is of Mandy holding her new companion Trixie but there is sadly no photo of Don and his pal Amika who was adopted in September for the simple reason I FORGOT! Perhaps they will send one on to me and I can post it then
The one remaining Pound dog Wilson the patterdale has aso been offered a home and his homecheck has just passed ; the home is in Liverpool and I will be going to Merseyside this week for a trustee meeting on wednesday and on thursday I am attending an AKAS all day forum (which I am dreading)My attention span is poor and the thought of being sequestered all day indoors listening to employment issues makes me cringe.Nevertheless it is a necessary evil so I will endeavour to put on a brave face and deal with it. Anyhow I digress - as I loathe driving further than the local village, a trip to Liverpool is anathema to me so I will breaking up the journey at sister Sandras house in Prestatyn ; I have arranged to meet Wilsons new person there to fill in the adoption forms and to hand him over.
This afternoon there are two appointments made for cat/kitten viewing so with a bit of luck a few more lucky felines will leave us and the handsome deaf white cat featured in an earlier blog has been reserved too.All in all it has so far been an excellent weekend for the animals.Who knows what tomorrow will bring!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Mystery of the Abandoned GSD Pup continues.



The German Shepherd pup is with me now(in my back kitchen) and Rhian has taken him to our Vet today for a check up and a second opinion. The Vet who saw him before he went to the Dog Pound thought he should be destroyed and I was unhappy about accepting that decision. After a thorough check up he has been diagnosed with a fused patella(knee joint) which he is coping with well at the moment but the next few months are crucial . Right now he is placing his foot on the ground but If he starts to walk with his foot twisted then amputation may have to be considered.A great deal depends on how strong he is and how he deals with his disability as to what the future holds for him. He is a strong minded and happy pup so all we can do is hope for a positive outcome.We are all rooting for Teddy as he has now been named ; the issue of his abandonment is still unclear but I am contacting the RSPCA inspector today and hope he will be able to discover where he came from and what happened to him after he was first taken to our Vet by an owner (yes it has been confirmed this is the same puppy) and later abandoned in another town. We know also that the owner now has another puppy, a labrador this time and no longer has her GSD pup! At just eight weeks of age,this poor little chap has been through a lot in a very short time . What a way to treat a disabled animal!
(he RSPCA welfare inspector has just contacted me and he will be investigating.)

Friends and supporters Judy and Frazer came up from Holyhead today and have chosen a cat to join their feline family. Phoebe has been here for a year and is well overdue to become one of the chosen ones. The best part of her life begins today and I could not be happier. 8 kittens have also been admitted from fosterer Mion who has done her part of the job and now we have to do ours by finding good homes for them. If we dont she will want to know why! When animals are fostered the carer always becomes understandably fond of her charges and Mion is no exception.I feel the same when I have had dogs in my home, it can be hard to part with them when the time comes.So many foster homes have been lost over the years when it becomes just too hard to part with a particular one and then we lose yet another place of safety for a needy animal. Its great to have found a happy home but a shame to lose a foster carer which are thin on the ground at the best of times. Foster mums and dads can mean the difference between life and death for a pet when we have no room at the shelter and we are particularly in need of somewhere to put dogs in emergencies.(of which we have many)

We have so many cats admitted here which have belonged to elderly people who have either died or been hospitalised and some of the cats are elderly also but many are fairly young, like Duddy who came in today.She is 4 years old and her owner is 86! A relative had bought her a kitten 4 years ago, why would anyone do that for a lady of 82? Young animals take a lot of looking after and then there is the age issue. The chances of the cat living its life out with a very elderly owner is minimal as Duddy and others like her prove. Would it not have been better to have chosen an older pet? As you can see from Duddys expression she is upset at finding herself here.She is unused to children, other cats, dogs, strangers.Everything which makes it more difficult to find her the right home.We often have people wanting to buy pets for elderly relatives and I try to put them off having anything less than middle aged but it doesnt always work and I often wonder what happened to the pet this person eventually purchased.
I dont mean that if a person reaches pensionable age that automatically they should be blacklisted for a young animal and each case is different, people are different, some 70 years old are a youthful and healthy as someone 20 years younger and some middle aged people could easily pass for 80! I sincerely hope that nobody thinks that I fall into this latter category and if they do please refrain from leaving a comment! Nevertheless anybody in their eighties purchasing a puppy or kitten is in my mind not thinking ahead and certainly not thinking of the animals needs. When my own mother was 80 she refused to take on any pet which would clearly outlive her and that is sensible.Not everybody has relatives who will take over their pets, many are not in a position to do so and others would not want to. I worry about my own pets which is why I only take in older animals. I wonder what thoughts others have on this issue?

The Liverpool shelter sent us up a van full of petfood which was wonderful, their appeal on Television had brought so many donations of food they had more than enough to spare for their poor relations. In return we have given them our industrial washing machine which was a white elephant here due to our low water pressure, We have never been able to use it and at least now it will be put to good use.PIctured here Terry from Liverpool and Mei unloading the van, we were so excited, it doesn't take much to please us country lasses, we lead a simple life out here in the sticks!





Sunday, 16 January 2011

Callie and Freddy get a fright.



Sunday
Its been a bit of a mad weekend, lots of visitors and lots of kitten cats going out. The teenagers are always the ones which get left behind, they are in between kittens and adult cats but today we have homed two pairs of 5 months old ones so we are all buoyed up by that. I have just heard from Claire in Cambridge who has homed Timmy and Reggie for me and I am so thrilled they are doing well in their new places. Timmy has had his first Agility lesson today and Reggie is in his element in a family with children. Claire has offered to help with Molly Jack Russell too.Poor Molly simply does not appeal to people, I have shown her to so many prospective adopters but she is not the prettiest terrier andthe poor little thing has a funny shape due to having had several litters of pups so perhaps she will find a forever home in the South of England where they seem to be less discerning and fussy about looks. The difficulty here could be because there are so many homeless animals in Wales to choose from that people can afford to be particular; when I lived at the shelter in Liverpool we often struggled with certain types of dogs but had great success rehoming them via a friend Liz in Dorset. Lizzie helped us with so many dogs , many of which were old and plain and all found wonderful homes in her area.Its a brilliant network of animal rescuers that exists now, I only wish it had been in existence when I first started, to have had such support and back up would have been so incredibly helpful but we weren't so much of a computer society as we are now.In fact I dont think I knew what a computer was. Mind you, when mine goes wrong(frequently) I wish they had never been invented.

The Mystery of the pound GSD pup with a damaged leg becomes even more odd. We have heard of another, a white one this time, I am now wondering if there is an entire litter around with the same problem. We need to get to the bottom of this and to find out who is breeding them locally. I have a few ideas but nothing concrete so will have to do a bit more 'digging' for information. I have a foster home lined up for the pup from the Dog Pound, Sharon who works at the Vets is going to care for him until we have space.I have asked her to get the pup seen by a Vet and then depending on the outcome we can make a decision about his future.

I have finished the draft copy of my 'book' so need to work out what the next step is. It seems so amateurish to me but then I suppose lots of books are written simply? None more simple than mine! It would hardly be snapped up by a publisher but if I can do the publish yourself and order as and when books wanted it may be viable. We will see.

We have a beautiful young German Shepherd going tomorrow, she is so well behaved for a youngster, unlike poor Taz who has so many behavioural issues.I did offer her to the Taz people but they are still distraught over losing her and I think are still hopeful that if she overcomes her hatred of cats that they may be able to have her back. This dog is a real treasure and will bring a lot of pleasure to her new people. Unfortunately the couple who were going to give a home to Lewis Lurcher have changed their minds which is very disappointing but its best they do so now and if it was not meant to be then that is it how it is. He is so happy now, he has just enjoyed a run in the fields(in between rain showers) and it is great to see him doing so. He is a different dog from the sad creature we admitted.
Tonight Mei and I had a devil of a time getting two horses into their stables.Callie and Freddy (Callie at back of photo ,she is 37 years old and her companion Freddy the chestnut on the left of the pics) simply refused to walk down the path to their stables and it took over an hour to persuade them. We could not understand why they were like this when they had made that walk so many times over the years, what was different now? Well Mei came up with the probable cause, a piece of corrugated roof had been temporarily stored in between their two stables and in high winds it was flapping and banging against the side of the buildings which must have scared them so much they were refusing to go back in. Horses are so frightened of anything different and strange so today we have had it removed.That should be the solution to the problem.Poor Horses.

Tuesday:
This morning I took Paddy to the Vet for a check up and to be weighed - I think my kitchen scales may be a tad too small! Molly JR has gone to be spayed with 3 cats including Nemo the handsome ginger 'freecycle' cat. Anyhow Paddy weighs 73 kilos and should be 77-78 according to the Vet,I want to get his food weighed correctly now and then we shall be able to tell if it is food which is causing the runs . He has been wormed so we can rule out that being the likely cause. Sharon the receptionist said he was the only dog that could peer over their counter with ease and he dwarfed all the other dogs in the waiting room but was very well behaved both in the waiting room and with the Vet when she examined him.Thats always a good thing, theres nothing worse than having a dog which hates visiting the Vet(and most seem to)

The Lewis lurcher people changed their minds again and turned up for him today, they could not stop thinking about him and I think he will do better in a home of his own, he is still very thin but I am sure he will come on in leaps and bounds once he is settled and feeling secure again.I was worried that leaving me would upset him. NOT SO! he was happy to climb in the car, wagged his tail at the other two dogs and immediately settled down on a blanket for a snooze! I am lookingforward to seeing the next photos of him and will publish them as soon as I receive them.So many people have shown interest in his welfare, he touched so many hearts, including mine.
Sasha (above)too left us today and had a 3 hour drive ahead of her to her new home in Preston. Cath and her family have had two German Shepherds before so are experienced with the breed and once again another dog left us happily (are we doing something wrong?)
Incidentally I emailed Freecycle about my feelings regarding the advertising of pets this way and I had a response simply telling me to contact the area organiser! I dont think I made myself understood.I am not unhappy about this area Freecycle but ALL areas offering pets free to anyone who responds to their emails. I will try again but somehow get the feeling they are not taking my complaint seriously.












Saturday, 15 January 2011

Minnie Mischief needs a Home.

video

Minnie was found by the side of a busy road just before Christmas and was weak and starved, it was touch and go whether she survived . The poor little creature was full of worms and covered in ticks and thanks to her fighting spirit and a friend and supporter who offered to foster her, she is now bonny and healthy,.Minnie is full of mischief (hence her name) and is the star of this video showing her playing with her collie friend. A good home is now needed for this liitle kitten who is full of personality and as you can see she would just love to live with a dog(s).Are there any offers?

This is my first attempt to put a video on the blog so I hope to be able to do this more regularly.This was done on someone elses mobile and unfortunately my own mobile has just done a stint in the washing machine!!!!! As soon as I either can afford a video recorder or another mobile this will be a regular thing.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Happy Dogs in Their New homes.



















I may be giving Paddy too much food so am going to try and cut it down for a week and see if this improves his problem with runny poos.A Burns nutritionist was kind enought to contact me and suggest this but Rhian had already made the suggestion. If it continues the nutitionist has suggested trying a food without chicken so that will be the next step and then the Vet if this all fails.

The Lewis people Sue and Steve came today with their two dogs and the three animals seemed happy together so they are returning on monday to take him for a few days to see how it works out.He will have another bath before he goes and although I love him already I hope it will work out as he will be better off there receiving more attention. Steve is an artist specialising in painting local scenes and he has kindly offered to frame a painting which he will do especially for us and then raffle it in a local gallery with newspaper coverage. I am so grateful to have help like this offered.I have also found out today that we are able to have a pet food collecting box in Tescos in Holyhead and Judy another supporter is going to make regular collections from there and send it up to us. It makes me feel that we are on the right road to receiving more public support and fills me with optimism.
We have another pup with mange which was brought in from a dog pound, she is a jack russell about 5 months of age and a dear litttle dog but as with Lewis she has to be temporarily isolated and will need some more baths and maybe another injection before she is free from the dreaded mites which cause so much irritation and distress in dogs .
There is something strange about the situation with the GSD pup currently in the Pound. A pup answering to that description (its an unusual colour) with the same health issue on the same back leg was taken to OUR vets locally and we are sure it is the same puppy/.That means it was abandoned in another town some days later. Poor little fellow. I am currently following this up and we will take him in and decide on his future once he is in our care.

Mei and I went to look at two ponies today whose owner is in the middle of a divorce - he works away a great deal of the time so there is nobody to care for the animals.To be honest I went to look with the view to just taking photos and advertising them for homes but the field where they were kept was so bad I wanted to move them to a better place immediately.We do have free grazing offered for the summer months but I am going to contact a few people to see if it is possible to place these ponies somewhere else, they have no grass or hay and the field is not suitable at all for equines, I saw beer cans littering it and the ponies themselves appeared quite depressed. There is no room here and frankly we do not have the staffing levels to take on more anyway and there are 3 more ponies being returned tomorrow but something needs to be done. Unfortunately most horse rescues nowadays do not take 'gifted' animals (from homes)because they are so busy with cruelty cases(how dreadful is that? To have so many of those cases) so the days of being able to pass on numbers of other rescues who may help is over.

As promised here are some photos of lucky animals now in brilliant loving homes. Its good to end this blog on a happy and positive note for a change!
From bottom left - Gel a middle ageds ex farm dog once very neglected and sad now pictured at his holiday home in Spain! Dotty the deaf Dalmation now living with another Spottydog, Cleo the mastiff cross sitting on top of her new Staffy friend! A pensive looking Ben (camera shy)another neglected ex farm dog now living happily in Dorset with a new family who adore him and top of page is Gilly(on right) ex farm dog now living with another collie in France. I will do some cat pics soon though I don't receive as many of these from new owners so if there are any reading this - more photos of happy cats please.
Friday:
just had a call from owner of ponies and it looks as though a riding stables which do Riding for the Disabled are going to take one and maybe two.What a great relief that is to me. I could not sleep last night for worrying.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Paddys new coat is a Pony rug!




We had visitors today who expressed interest in giving Lewis a permanent home so they are bringing their dogs to meet him over the next few days. He is having another bath today and thanks to the treatment the mange mites are gone and he is non infectious now so is able to mix with other dogs. It would be great if he could go now before he ends up becoming a permanent resident

I know I said no more animals to be admitted but yesterday I noticed that there was a cat being advertised for a home on Freecycle and this disturbed me because I do not believe pets should be advertised amongst the washing machines and household goods etc being given away free. I sent an email to the person advertising and offered to take the cat here rather than have him given away to anyone who responded. I have noticed other pets being given away in this manner so if anyone agrees with me that this is not acceptable please contact Freecycle and make your complaint heard.Pictured here is Nemo the cat, a handsome animal but who has yet to be neutered before he can be adopted .

We had a bit of a fright this morning, the old tortoishell cat was missing, she had seemed very settled and I thought she would not wander away so a susual I opened the catflap for the cats to have the freedom of the shelter duiring the evening. This morning she was gone but she was found asleep in the amongst the hay in the horse trailer. Today she has not left the conservatory all but I will keep an eye on her for a few more days before I allow her to come and go as she pleases.When cats are adopted, new owners are always told to keep them indoors for at least three weeks to allow them to adapt to their new environment otherwise they may go missing before they have this settling in time. For some reason the oldies we keep here seldom seem to need this period of adapting, they almost always make themselves at home immediately.Old Jimmy Ginger was one of the feline geriatrics who did prove to be a problem, he was always disappearing and was constantly being returned from neighbouring homes but even he has settled here now. He is not keen on other cats which was why he wa s unhappy at first but he now sleeps on a sofa in the cattery passageway and he has this to himself which suits him fine.At the grand age of 17 he was unlikely to find a home(not impossible but unlikely) with his dislike of other animals.

I have had some lovely emails from people who have our pets and some are featured on success stories on the Freshfields website but I am going to collate a few to put on the blog in the next week; with so many sad stories around it is always good to remember the happy things and those animals enjoying the Good Life now.

Paddy now has a made to measure day coat and a very posh new outdoor rug which is in fact a horse rug which was donated.It was probably for a shetland pony but it fits Paddy beautifully as you can see. I am taking him to the vet tomorrow or Friday because he always has runny poo and he is on ultra expensive food(Burns chicken and rice) so he shouldn't have this problem.He is fine in himself but I would like him checked over anyway.He hasn't seen a Vet since I first had him and it might be a good idea for them to check his back(fused vertebrae) whilst I am there. Speaking of this, there is a 7 weeks old German shepherd pup in a dog pound with a similar condition so am considering offering help there.Apparently one of his back legs is almost useless. I will have a word about him with my Vet when I take Paddy in. At that age I cannot possibly allow a pup to be destroyed unless there is no hope of a quality of life for him in the future.
So much for stopping admittances! It is so hard when one hears these stories.My heart always rules my head.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Ponies returned after 6 Years.




The first of the returned ponies arrived back today.Ember and Freddy shetlands aged 10 years and 9 years have lost their home after 6 years, it is sad for them but they seem settled enough today.The little one Freddy is a very nervous little chap, he had been abused in his first home and he has never got over his fear of people.He constantly hides behind his pal Ember who is very calm and gentle.They are too young to remain here for the rest of their lives so we will endeavour to place them in a long term home on our Loan scheme.
Lewis came out for a walk with the other dogs today, he has a new coat to wear now which keeps him cosy and warm and he is altogether a much happier dog who looks forward to every meal with so much enjoyment and he dances round me in excitement when I am carrying the bowls of food. There is no visible difference yet to his boniness but his skin is less red and sore though of course he will need many more baths before he is A1. He has had treatment to kill the mange mites and he hardly ever needs to scratch now.It is wonderful to see the light returning to his eyes though he is not keen on having his photo taken hence the 'hangdog' expression which shouts out "I hate my picture being taken" but I told him "sorry Lewis but you are so popular and people want to know how you are nowadays so please tolerate the annoying photographer who promises not to bother you again for a while". He seemed ok with that explanation! A group called Here For Animals have offered to pay for all his treatment and food until he is better and rehomed which is a very welcome gesture and one which I really appreciate.Its good to know there are people who care out there. Every offer of help, supportive words and comments make a difference to me , please keep them coming.
Little Del poodle has someone coming to see her on Saturday. I hope they take her because I am becoming too fond of her already and there are too many other animals needing my help. I have been told of a 14 years old Afghan Hound which is the last dog to be homed after a cruelty case involving him and 16 others. If I can home Molly the Jack Russell who would hassle him too much I would be happy to offer this dog a permanent home.He would get on with Meg and Lewis(only if Lewis fails to get a home and not because I intend keeping him!!)So far Molly has had no interest shown in her, she is not the prettiest terrier I have ever seen but equally as deserving and I live in hope someone nice will come forward for her soon.
Another old cat has joined the conservatory cats, this old tortoishell and white was admitted some weeks ago as a stray and has been unhappy in the cattery, she seems more comfortable now judging by the photo.It is very warm for these cats and I suppose it is more like a real home for them. Most settle in as though this has been their only home, it is strange that they do so when they are having to live closely with so many other oldies but there is rarely an altercation amongst them. It Is certainly not like the Retirement home where my aunt lived in her final years.The residents there were always accusing one another of stealing each others chairs and squabbling amongst themselves, my aunt being the most disruptive of them all. These cats could have taught them all a lesson in tolerance!
There is someone interested in Finchley Ferret, the first equiry I have had and he is coming to meet him and bringing his own ferret(one of 4) to introduce them on neutral territory which will probably be one of the stables. I feel so sorry for Finchley, he desperately needs company of his own kind but we have no idea how he will accept another male even though they are both neutered. Saturday is the big day for him,I just hope he behaves.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Jojo makes a Friend



I have heard that both dogs which went straight to new homes, Jess and Dexter(now Charlie) have not only settled in well but are taking to their new surroundings as though they have lived there forever.That is the news I wait to hear, the news that makes this job the best in the world. Timmy the escapist is fine so Claire from Walkers Creek rescue tells me but I gather Reggie is causing some problems.I hope he settles down quickly and his naughtiness doesn't prevent him going to the home she had lined up for him.Timmy will be collected by his people on Monday though if they have secure fencing he will be fine and will find it easy to adapt as long as there is plenty of affection on offer. Reggie needs more attention and some training to behave, he just needs someone to spend the time with him, if he could do agility or flyball this would be great to keep him mentally stimulated. I admit to feeling anxious about him especially as he is giving Claire problems. He went for her dogs though he has been great with the dogs here and he and Timmy even had their meals together with no aggravation.I expect he was traumatised by the whole move, long journey, unfamiliar surroundings etc.

More kittens have been homed today though its been two out and two in(two adult cats) Due to our low finances we are not exactly closing our doors to new arrivals but at the moment I am only agreeing to take in absolute emergencies and those which have been on the waiting list for a while . It is already costing us £300 per week to feed the cats here so we need to get the numbers down if at all possible. I hate doing it but have no choice. We are fine with complete dog food and if owners can help with spaying costs we are not too out of pocket when we rehome.As for admitting dogs , the poodle yesterday was an emergency, she was elderly and alone in a house but we received no donation for taking her and I am putting my foot down about that. People HAVe to understand we cannot function here without assistance.We are providing a service and it has to be paid for , even a small donation is welcome but it so annoys me when they say they have forgotten to bring one but will send it.Yeh, Yeh. sure they will. I have always been wary of insisting a donation is left when an animal is admitted because in the past they have not turned up and then I worry what has happened , has it been abandoned somewhere to avoid paying for us to take it? Its a difficult one so I usually wait until they get here and of course by then it is too late for them to remember to bring their wallet/purse!
Jojo the old pony has found her niche here, she has joined the group which includes laminitic Sam and oldies Ross and Blue and she appears to be having a bonding(not Bondage)session with Sam shetland.If it continues to go well today and there is no bullying ,she will be able to join them tonight in the Agricultural building where we have two groups of ponies split into two groups.Jojo has never been stabled in her life so the Agri building will be easier for her to adapt to evenings spent under a roof, there is space for her to walk around and she will not feel so enclosed.Pictured here with Sam being brought in for the night by Mei.The other photo is of the main herd waiting for their evening meal and stabling -Big Buster at the front as usual.
Little Del poodle is a sweetie, she is such a nice natured animal, I hope I can find someone nice for her soon, I have had several poodles in the past and I am always tempted by them.Before my first I had always thought they were silly mamby pamby dogs which hated walking and preferred to be caried.I realise now that was the owner who felt that way, in fact poodles are feisty dogs with much personality and character. My previous poodles were elderly when I took them in after their owners had died .I had three, one after another.I would lose one, then another would be admitted. All were white and miniature and looked exactly alike.The last one Solo was not so sweet natured although my then boyfriend Alan adored him and would rock him to sleep in his arms. Most people would not go near Solo, small though he was, he could pack a mighty nip! This dog has a fantastic nature -Del is Welsh for Pretty and I'm sure she will be once we have had her clipped and she is looking tidy again.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Lewis has a Bath







The sun is shining today and although it is icily cold it is good to see a bright sky for a change. The birds are still ravenously hungry especially the starling s and I spotted a pretty little goldfinch in the garden feeding on the nyger seeds. He is a new visitor to the garden so I was quite excited.(I can almost see Mei rolling her eyes!) As I always tell her - I too felt that way when my mum used to be obsessed with feeding the wild birds and I thought the whole business was too boring for words! Oh, how things change.
This morning an elderly poodle was admitted and is currently sharing living space in the house with Paddy and Patch.(so much for keeping to the two in the Living room!) Del is a sweet natured little dog but her elderly owner is in hospital and will not be able to care for her when she comes home.In fact Del desperately needs a grooming session, as seen in the photograph her curly coat is very overgrown.
Lewis Lurcher has had a bath in a medicated solution today, he will need this every other day until his skin clears and I think it already looks less sore and scabby; he was brilliant whilst having water poured over him but he hated the hairdryer so had to give up on that and towel him dry instead. He has really made himself at home now(Oh dear) and is starting to enjoy life once again - that is if he ever did in his previous life ? Who knows, this could be the first happiness he has experienced. In fact it was me who bathed him not Mei but I was having a bad hair day so I pressganged her into posing for the photo instead. Its great being the Boss, I can threaten the sack if they dont bend to my iron will! (I dont really, honestly )
Best news today is that Gel the ex farm dog which had been returned because he did not appear to be good with children has gone to live with a grown up family and although we will miss him very much as he was a great favourite here, we are very pleased for him and hopeful that this will be his final destination.
Houdini the escapologist cat is still up to her usual tricks but is still returning home for her meals and is always to be seen waiting patiently(or rather impatiently) at the gate of the feral enclosure. It is so strange that the other cats have not followed her on her escape route , maybe they are too full of food and lazy to be bothered?
One of our cats has turned up in Formby, Merseyside and has been cared for since before Christmas by a very kind lady there. This is the beauty of having animals microchipped, I have now been able to trace the person to whom she was rehomed and will be investigating why she ended up in that area when she was homed to an address in North Wales.Nobody has reported losing one of our cats on Merseyside so I am not very happy about that.At least the finder is happy to give her a home which saves her coming back into the shelter.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Four Go South



Thursday pm
The trip to Cambridgeshire is still not sorted out so at this stage I do not know if Timmy will be going to his new home but am still hopeful. Claire at the Walkers Creek Rescue has also offered to take Reggie another youngster (pictured here)we are struggling to rehome and I am so grateful to her for this offer. Homes seem a bit thin on the ground at the moment and there are a couple more dogs from the dog pound waiting for places . It is never ending. Reggie was neutered today, as was the remaining westie cross pup, Finchley ferret(yes he is still here) and the last 2 rabbits which came in and it all has to be paid for . Desperate straits lead to desperate measures and this week I have had to swallow my pride or what is left of it and go round with the begging bowl(not literally though it left me feeling equally embarassed!). I would not do it if it were not for the animals which so rely on us and a few very kind and loyal supporters came up trumps with donations to see us through the next week or two for which I am filled with gratitude.

I hear that the Granada TV coverage for Liverpool was good so hopefully they will receive plenty of donations. The only problem is that they have had their phone lines down since Christmas due to a telegraph pole which has fallen down and BT will not put another up until traffic lights are placed nearby(it is on a dangerous corner.) and the council have to give permission but their offices have been closed over the holiday!! It never rains but it pours as my Mother used to say.

The Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald have published an article today about our situation here in Wales so fingers crossed that brings us some help.I really thought that after 30 odd years running Freshfields we would be financially secure by now but we seem to lurch from one crisis to another. I wonder what else we can do? There are only so many appeals we can put out and the Press will only publish articles every now and again.There is just so much pressure on people to help so many different charities it is understandeable that the small ones are overlooked. Put the Tv on nowadays and every break will have one or two emotive appeals for charitable causes.Of course they are the ones can afford such expensive promotions, money brings in money!Regarding fundraising, well Helen and others in LIverpool organise a lot of fundraising events throughout the year including the popular Ghost walks(thanks Jan for these) - they could hardly do more. Certainly I need to organise a few more events but as I have mentioned before it is not my forte and I am struggling to get together fundraising groups for this purpose. Anyway that is Thursdays Moan For The Day.Enough of that and on to more positive issues
Actually I cant think of any today!!

Friday:
All is sorted for the trip to Cambridgeshire, I have just finished the paperwork for the lucky four and telephoned the respective owners and Claire at the Rescue so that they will be ready for them tomorrow. I have had such a positive response to my appeal on the internet for transport and it has brought me into contact with some wonderful people who have offered their assistance if needed in the future.This is when the internet becomes really useful , there is a fantastic network of animal rescuers throughout the Uk, all trying their hardest to help animals in need especially those dogs on Death Row in Dog Pounds, there are people offering their services as drivers, others offering to do homechecks and rescues with spaces offering shelter.It is truly impressive and very heartwarming and as well as saving the lives of many animals, it also brings us all together.A problem shared is a problem halved(another of Mums little sayings
On the cat front we have found a lovely home for Boots a 4 years old cat who has been waiting to be chosen for several months. As I have said many times before and will continue repeating myself at the risk of boring everyone - I do love it when these longtermers cats eventually leave usand I mean that in the nicest possible way. I have an awful feeling I have published the wrong photo and this is a different Boots.If so I will make amends on next blog. Sorry Boots.
















Wednesday, 5 January 2011

A Very Old pony called Jojo Arrives at the Shelter



Thanks to everyone who has emailed and rung me about Lewis and I am pleased to say that he doing well,Each day he is a little stronger and brighter in himself and today he even came for a (very) short walk with me. His weight of course will take some time to reach normal level but with a dog as malnourished as this , it is a long and slow process building him up and it cannot be rushed. He is on 4 small meals daily which include scrambled eggs and mashed potato and he wolfs down every one as though it is the last meal he will ever have. I just wish the owner could be traced, like so many perpetrators of such crimes he will get away with it but quite frankly even if he was traced, what justice would there be for Lewis? He/she might get a fine and banned for a year from keeping dogs. Our current justice system seems to fail to take seriously animal cruelty and it is completely beyond my understanding that when someone is found guilty of animal cruelty there is not an automatic ban for life from keeping pets. Nothing less is acceptable.

Today we admitted a very old pony called Jojo. THis ancient old pony who is in his late thirties belongs to Harley who is one of the young people currently working here on one of the Government get back to work schemes. Harley has been an absolute godsend to us ,especially over the bad weather during which he faithfully trudged to work daily through snow and ice. Unlike many youngsters who seem to see this scheme as a cop out from REAL work(how much more real can it be?) and not only fail to come in every day but do not even bother to telephone to let us know - Harley has been a star even coming in at weekends to volunteer and even better than that He is a hard worker. I wish we had the money to offer him a full time job, he is one who really deserves it.Never mind our situation could change for the better and then who knows what may happen. Anyhow the point of writing about him is that he is the owner of this old pony which has been kept in a field in the village and although I know he has been well cared for and has a very warm rug through the cold winter days I have been concerned that if the weather forecast comes true and we are yet to experience even harsher weather it could mean the end of Jojo who has Cushings Discease so I offered to winter him here where he will have a stable and company of other old ponies. Today we let him settle in but tomorrow we are going to introiduce him to some of the other geriatrics.

I had to go to Porthmadog today and I popped in the charity shop to see Trish who showed me the two cats she had taken in . We keep a room above the shop for emergencies and these two were found at the back of the Red Cross charity shop a little further up the High Street. The black one has both hips out of joint and the Vet thinks she was born that way.It doesn't seem to affect her contentment and quality of life although she will have to be an indoor cat as she will never be as quick as an able bodied cat. Both cats are suffering from flu and are on treatment so this will have to be cleared before they can be admitted to the shelter. The tortoishell as you can see has the most amazing orange eyes and the black one is a sweetie though you wouldn't think it looking at his grumpy face(he was camera shy) Both young cats will make lovely companions for someone.Actually they will be best off going to separate homes as they seem very independent of each other.

There has been a problem this week with one of the dogs I have in the house.Timmy a cross collie/kelpie has proved to be an escape artist and no matter what is done to secure the garden, he finds a way out. Well my worst nightmare came true - he killed two hens and chased a sheep at the next door farm and I cannot risk such a tragedy occurring again so I have been trying to find another place for him as soon as possible. A rescue in Cambridgeshire have offered him a foster home and have a possible home for him too but we are struggling to get him down there at the moment.We also have a home in Milton Keynes for another dog and we would like the two to go at the same time so Mei and I are making lots of phone calls to try and sort it out.

The Liverpool Shelter have Granada Television going there tomorrow and are hoping they will receive some donations after it has been aired.I hope so too. If anyone would like to make a donation to this branch in Wales (A lady asked yesterday in response to the blog)I am afraid we do not have a card machine but our address is on our main website www.freshfieldsrescue.org.uk.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

An Appeal for Help is Necessary

Tuesday
This morning Lewis showed a lot more response and was far more alert, his eyes seemed brighter and he crawled on my knee for a cuddle. He also did that doggy "Im feeling more relaxed" thing and stretched and shook himself ,so altogether he seems to have suddenly decided that we are not out to hurt him and that we are a source of food and comfort. He has to stay in the pen away from the other dogs until his mange clears up but he likes his crate and feels secure in it, opting to rush back to it as soon as he has done his toilet outside. This afternoon he saw the Vet Stephanie at our local practice in Pwllheli.She confirmed his condition was due to starvation rather than an underlying problem and he is around 30 kilos under the normal weight for a dog his size.His skin will be treated with antibiotics and he will need bathing every other day in order to clear everything up. Stephanie estimated his age at around 8 years as his back teeth were not in brilliant condition . Its funny -that was the age William was when he came to me and I know there are some who think I am going to keep Lewis (especially you Pam!)but although I am very very tempted - he does so remind me of William in so many ways, not least to look at but I feel he will be happier somewhere else when he recovers, there will be someone who can give him more attention than I could and I want the best for him after the ordeal he has clearly endured at the hands of his callous previous owner.
Two cats were homed today which had been here far too long, they came in as kittens a year ago and today was their lucky day when they found their forever home, we were particularly thrilled that they will stay together and hope that they will bring a lot of fun and happiness to their new people. There are a lot of cats on our waiting list to be admitted so at least now there will be space for another couple of needy animals.
The weeks leading up to Christmas saw us admitting an unprecedented number of unwanted and abandoned pets and we have been faced with massive vet and food bills so I have been in touch with the newspapers locally to place an appeal on behalf of the animals here. The Holyhead mail have promised to feature our appeal, I have had no response yet from the Chronicle group of papers or the Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald but will try them again tomorrow.The Liverpool shelter is in much the same situation, Helen the manager of that shelter and I are always hoping for a miracle but it never seems to happen! We must have done something wrong in a previous life! I am pretty sure that I did, I have certainly made enough mistakes in THIS one!
Veronica bookeeper extraordinaire returned to work today after being ill with flu for the past few weeks, though I am sure the current financial crisis was not something she felt up to facing after time away from the pressures. At least there were two heads to put together instead of one.Anyhow tomorrow is another day, and who knows after a good nights sleep I may come up with a stunningly clever idea to raise thousands of pounds very very quickly - and yes pigs might fly but stranger things have happened!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Update on the abandoned lurcher.


Glyn the lurcher is now renamed Lewis! He is so quiet but is clearly very weak and so pleased to be safe, he rarely moves from his comfortable bed where he lies snuggled up on a Winnie the Pooh hot water bottle cover in which I have placed a heated pad.There is very little life and expression in his eyes though today his tail flickered a little when he saw me which is encouraging. If only animals could tell us their history - or would we really want to know? For this chap, his life is just beginning and I have no doubt that each day he will be a bit stronger and more responsive to the care he is receiving but for now he seems to be just content to be fed and have somewhere warm and cosy to sleep. Trisha from the Porthmadog shop came to see him and she was horrified, the photos do not show just how malnourished he really is, it is doubtful he would have survived many more days without food and water. Of course until the Vet sees him tomorrow, we cannot be sure his problem is from food being witheld, he may have an underlying health issue but he is drinking and eating normally though we will know for sure after the Vet visit. He somehow reminds me of my lovely William, he is similar in size though William was never in this condition, not even when he first arrived from the Dog Pound all those years ago. Anyone who has had a lurcher will know how sensitive these dogs are and yet they are one of the breeds which so often fall into the wrong hands. They are too often used by' the wrong sort' for hunting and kept kennelled (not always in ideal conditions), yet they are incredibly gentle dogs who feel the cold and are very nesh with a very low threshold of pain.I think possibly that is why I have always felt such empathy with them! William and I were two of a kind. It is always dreadful to see neglected dogs but knowing lurchers as I do, they are so less able to deal with trauma in their lives and sink into a form of depression so easily.
When I lived in Liverpool I had a brindle greyhound cross called Lucy whom I had as a pup.She was one of a litter rescued from Gypsies and I managed to home all but one within a week or so of them arriving.By the time I homed Lucy, she was 6 months old and when she went to her new home she cried every day until the new owners returned her. On arrival back to me she ran round to each of my dogs and licked each one, then climbed up on to a chair, heaved an enormous sigh(of relief?) ,closed her eyes and went to sleep for forty eight hours! Of course I had no heart to try to home her again and she stayed with me until she died at the age of 13 years.
PS: Thanks for the comments, I know his story has touched many hearts.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

The face of neglect



The first admittance of the New Year is an emaciated lurcher suffering from mange. My first sight of him was curled up on the passenger seat of the car he was brought in, he looked desperately sad and as though all the spirit was gone from him. A lump came to my throat when I carried him out of the car (he did not want to walk -his feet are sore from the skin infection) I deliberated whether to send him to a foster home but most foster people have other dogs so I decided the best option was to keep him with me for the time being. Mei and I set up an indoor kennel for him in my back kitchen where he has settled down immediately and gratefully as though in relief at being somewhere comfortable . He was discovered in the grounds of Glynllifon (a huge country estate)by the shepherd who tends their sheep and had been kept in a shed there overnight.This poor emaciated lurcher will need a course of treatment to sort out his skin problem and his weight will have to be built up very slowly so as not to overload his stomach which will have shrunk through lack of food.He is naturally enough willing to eat everything put in front of him but it has to be little and often at the moment. Every time I see an animal like this my blood boils over, why does it happen? It is a question that can never be satisfactorily answered.
The good news today is that Titch is better, he seems to have completely got back to normal after his scary fit the other night and as I write this he is out in the fields grazing with the other ponies. Shetlands are such stoical little ponies , they are not everyones cup of tea but I love their characters and personality.Speaking of ponies, Rocky,Honey and Caspar are being returned on Monday.The snow prevented them arriving before the holiday so unless the snow starts again between now and Monday they will definitely be back with us next week. Its such a shame their carers have lost their field, the smaller ponies have been happy and contented there for some years and Rocky only left us a few months ago. Such a Pity.
More good news concerns Taz, the GSD rescue have found a foster home for her with someone who trains the breed so she will be able to continue the good work done by Dermot and Sue over the last two months and eventually be found a suitable forever home where there are no cats. This outcome is a great relief to me and to them, we all want the best for her and none of us wanted to think of her going back into a kennel situation which may have resulted in the positive improvements in her behaviour being undone.
Out of the five feral cats admitted we decided to only place three of the wilder ones in the feral enclosure, both Rhian and I feel there is hope for the other two to become domesticated and subsequently homed. I'm quite pleased about that. Suitable farm homes for wild cats are not plentiful, well not the ones where the ferals will be fed and housing provided and those are the only ones I will consider.They were very scared at first but all seem now to have settled into a routine and are eating well which is a sure sign they have accepted their new surroundings.

Happy New Year to everyone and heres hoping 2011 will be a good one!