Monday, 28 February 2011

The Pigs enoy a Day in The Sun.

What a beautiful sunny day it has been today.I know Americans think we Brits are obsesssed with the weather but they have real summers so have no idea how elated most of us are when the sun shines.Black pigwig was out pottering still at 5pm but Pinkie had finished her exercise for the day and had decided to retire though had a quick peek out when she heard my voice.There was no food on offer so she retreated quickly to her warm bed.
Mei has had her pre op assessment today, 2 long years of appointments being cancelled and mis-diagnosis of her wrist problem.She knows now she has carpal tunnel syndrome in one wrist but they still dont know what is wrong with the other, hence the exploratory I know she is worried about what lies ahead but I have seen her in so much pain, it has to be better for her to have it finally sorted out. Both Rosie and Vanessa are down to have similar ops (though they have leg problems,not wrist )so all in all the Freshfields Staff are not doing too well on the health side of things.Personally I think they are just after some time off! ONLY JOKING GIRLS.

When I filled the car up with diesel today the lady behind the counter at the garage asked if I could take a nanny goat from her!It is not really safe for goats here, they tend to be escapees of the highest order and I can just imagine the wrath of HH if a stray goat wandered on to his land.The people who lived here before me had goats and they went out one day, when they returned they could not find their goats and then heard a bleating from one of their sheds. HH had found them leaning over the wall to nibble his trees so no doubt in one of his usual tempers he had trespassed and locked the poor goats in a dark shed .They were very distressed when found.I would not want something similar to happen but I will try to find nanny a good home.
The animals being returned continues, tomorrow a lovely mastiff comes back because he has a skin problem (he has developed this since he has been adopted)and I spoke to Dawn who works with the dogs at the Liverpool shelter and they too are overwhelmed with returned animals.What is going on? I tend to think that the reason is that nowadays few people seem to be prepared to deal with problems of any kind and find it easier to simply bring the animal back.I am glad of course that they do, that is our policy but so many 'problems' are not really problems at all and the same animal may go to another home where they will tell me how wonderfully behaved the pet is or will find the issue is not an insurmountable one as thought by the previous owners. I get upset for the animals , it must be bewildering for them.
Its great to see the dogs which have been adopted come back for a visit and yesterday Toby collie came to see us, he looked so full of joy and he and his new companion Hattie the German Shepherd are inseparable. He was delighted to see me and made a huge fuss but he was equally happy to jump back in the car and leave which shows me that a dog is happy.I would be upset if the dog refused to leave, I would know then something was amiss with the home. One incident which is embedded in my mind was a dog(being returned)in Liverpool.When the owner opened the car door he nearly dragged the woman off her feeet in his anxiety to get back to the shelter. That is not the behaviour of a contented dog.Even cats can be like that, we homed one cat Felix who had been living freely here.We all thought he was such a nice natured and fairly young cat that it was not fair for him to spend his life here.We felt that Felix needed a loving family to pay him lots of attention.Well he went off happily enough with his delighted new owners and less than 24 hours later he was back.He had refused to settle and had bitten two of the family.When he came back, he climbed out of the cat basket in which he had travelled , stretched, looked around him and immediately started to purr and wind round our legs.We decided to let him stay and he never bit anyone ever again during his life here; he was always the first cat to make a fuss of visitors but he had decided he liked it at the shelter and this was where he wanted to live. I suppose it is a good life for the free roaming cats, there is no traffic for them to dodge, they have fields to explore and plentiful food and warm places to sleep.What more could a cat want?
PS: Sister Sandra has had her op and I am told is sitting up enjoying a cup of tea. I am overjoyed that she is ok . All other problems here had paled into insignificance in the light of her illness.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Poor Oscar is returned.

I cant believe it - Oscar has been returned because he jumps on the worktops! I am so upset for him.After 2 years in the cattery he must have been so happy to be in a home and now this. I am going to pull out all the stops to find him another home.What is wrong with people? It is all about themselves and not the animals, how could she do this to him? These are the sort of things that homechecks can not help, people can be so plausible when they want something and all the information you give them is either not absorbed or it is ignored.Poor Oscar.
Stewart who took Stella the staff yesterday has rung me today to say he feels as though he has won the lottery, he is overjoyed with his new pet and I am so delighted we gave her a chance after her stint in the Dog Pound.I hope he still feels that way six months from now! May she continue to give him companionship and pleasure and restore my faith in those who adopt pets from shelters.I know there are millions of happy owners but lately it has been rather dispiriting and Stewarts phone call came just at the right time.
We have another fundraising event later this year - Paul Watson Brown is running a marathon in Edinburgh on 22nd April and will be raising funds for us via sponsorship. Paul is the husband of Linda who is trying to help me get my book published and I am grateful to them both for their interest in the charity.Our Easter/spring fair has been organised for Good Friday at The Royal Spoortsman 10.30am - 2.30pm.If I could have a fundraiser each month it would help tremendously.Hope Springs Eternal.
LInda has been asking me for photos of myself during the 60's and I am struggling to find one because I destroyed most of them or lost them over the years and with moving house etc. I never thought I would be asked for them or that anyone would want to see them(I certainly didn't!)I wish now that I had put them in scrapbooks but its so easy to allow photos to gather and not find time to store them properly isn't it. I did find one or two but I'm sure they were not of me, I looked far too thin and attractive!
A quiet day for adoptions, just two pets rehomed.Kellie the collie (pictured here)from the Dog Pound has gone to live with another Freshfields dog on the Wirral.The two dogs took to each other immediately, its great to see this happen, they can derive so much enjoyment from playing with another dog .Adult tortoishell cat Jazz was the second adopted pet.Oh well two is better than none
The problem I was dealing with at LLandudno not only followed me home but seems to have taken up permanent residence.In my head, at least. It is so sad when in trying to do the right thing for everyone concerned and that includes the charity, it turned and bit me on the bum(metaphorically speaking) I have always said that it is people not animals which cause the most problems at an animal shelter and this is a prime example. Why is that when you do or say something to certain people that they are unhappy with, they turn and attack the very institution(in this case Freshfields) that they purported to be dedicated to? This is over having to ask a volunteer to leave who was displaying a great deal of aggression towards other staff members.,Was I being unreasonable? Of course not but now I have to deal with the backlash instead of doing the important things concerning the animals here at the shelter. Now that really does annoy me. There are not enough hours in the day here, the record keeping is a full time job in itself and this ongoing situation is , in my view detrimental to the REAL work, that of running the animal shelter itself and caring for the creatures which depend on us so much.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Stella is In and Out

On the left is a photo of Shane who has a possible abscess on his foot.The visiting Vet suggested we cover the foot after he treated it but bandages kept coming off when it rained so Rosie and Mei improvised with a tescos bag(thank you Tescos) to cover his foot and secured it with another bandage. Today he seems a lot better and in less discomfort.Shane is one of the remaining ponies rescued from the home in Anglesey two years ago and which were in such a dreadful state, two had to be euthanased.Shane and his pals still require treatment periodically as their hooves were allowed to get in such a bad condition.He is so gentle and stands patiently whilst he receives medical care, he is the Farriers favourite as he is so good when his feet are being trimmed.Actually the previous owner who many will remember caused me a great deal of grief, has started again her campaign to win her animals back.Of course there is no chance at all ,I would not trust her with them ever again but her inability to understand exactly what she has done to these ponies can be exasperating, she is an intelligent woman who thinks she has done no wrong.

We admitted a lovely happy Staffordshire Bull terrier from the Dog Pound yesterday and as luck would have it, Mion has just passed a homecheck for me in Porthmadog .The gentleman came up today and immediately fell in love with Stella(his name for her)so she was here just 24 hours.A record.I can only hope that she stays out and is not returned for any reason.Pictured here is Stewart with his new pal Stella.Its hard to understand why she was unclaimed at the kennels, she is very good condition but there was no collar, tag or microchip on her and she was in the pound for the required seven days..
Yesterday I spent a good part of the day In LLandudno at the shop where there continue to be staff problems, having thought I had sorted it, the problem 'followed' me home(not literally I hasten to add) and I have never felt so like collapsing into bed by 6 pm and putting my head under the bedcovers as I did last night.Animal problems are so much easier to resolve.Dealing with staff is most definitely not my favourite job, it is a necessary part of managing but it can be very uncomfortable as anyone who runs a business will know and it can also be far more frustrating and stressful. Thanks to Judy from Holyhead who made me up a rescue remedy for such occasions.Oh how I needed it.
As regards the possible forthcoming book by yours truly, it is is very early stages of preparation and there is only a slight chance a publisher will snap it up but I am having to dig up memories from my past and as everyone knows it is not always easy.Things like what clothes I wore at that time(horrid from what I remember) what music was playing(easier) etc. it has jumbled up my mind so badly that when the staff here were helping me to load my car with stuff for the shops I pointed to one item and told Rhian to put in in the Cabbage!!!!What I really meant was the suitcase.Fortunately Rhian agreed to put it in the Cabbage!! Bless her for not telling me I have become totally senile. To justify my momentary confusion I have to say that I had been thinking at that moment of events to remember from my past and several things I had to do including buy some cabbage for the rabbits and guinea pigs.Well thats my excuse anyway and I am sticking to it.
Two of our rabbits have left for new pastures, they have gone to a friend of Rosies who has renamed them Dora and Eric.Love those names.It was good to find somewhere for them, there have been no enquiries for bunnies at all other than hers.I was starting to think they would never go and there are two more waiting for a space here.Now they can finally come in.These are two that were advertised on freecycle and I have been concerned about their living conditions so I will be pleased to admit them.
Supporter Lindsay is holding a quiz night in the village of Trawsfynedd on 22nd March at 8pm at the Cross Foxes Public house. Please support her if you like quiz nights and help her raise funds for Freshfields.
Our Easter fair will be held on Good Friday 22nd April at the Royal Sportsman Hotel at the usual time of 10.30am - 2.30. Please join us for a cup of tea or coffee and if any of you can bake cakes or have anything you think may sell well or can be used for the raffle or tombola please contact me.
As you can see we now have a way of accepting online donations, the button shown at the top of the blog takes you to the appropriate page. I am hoping this will improve donations, it will soon be featured on the Freshsfields website too.
Sorry the blog has not been so regular the past week, amongst other things,
my sister has been ill and along with her daughters/husband I am very worried about her.Sandra will be going in to hospital on Tuesday next to have a stent inserted to help improve the function of her heart.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Long Term Resident Oscar Has His Day.

I had very little sleep last night, the pack of hounds which are incarcerated on the land adjoining our top fields were baying until nearly midnight, they set off my dogs and half the dogs in the neighbouring village! I have no idea what set them off but there were a lot of lights on so there was clearly some disturbance to their routine.The poor creatures do not have any semblance of a normal life and who can blame them for being overexcited when there is activity around them.Its all they have to do most days. If Horrid Hawksworth complains about the noise from my dogs he will have to admit to the reason and of course he will make no complaint about the Hounds, he never does no matter how loud they are but there are enough witnesses who heard the hullabaloo to know the reason behind the unexpected noise. I have just discovered he has complained to the RSPCA about the condition of the dogs belonging to my next door but one neighbours(the others that he harasses) and they are very much loved animals and well cared for. I cannot envisage a life where my main hobby would be to make the lives of others miserable and to spend so much time writing letters and making telephone calls with complaints.I have yet to hear anyone utter one good word about him. Oh well thats his problem!
Long term feline resident Oscar (pictured here)had his moment of glory today when he finally 'met' someone who fell for his glossy black coat.Oscar has been here since he was a kitten in 2009, he was well overdue for a home and we are all so pleased for him, I am looking forward to hearing how he settles. It has made our day that little bit more special.Oh and the sun has been shining too whch added to the upbeat mood of the staff here today.
Dingo will not be going to his new home after all because , although the vet told me there was nothing major wrong and he would enjoy an active life for many years to come, the results of his test did show some wear and tear which was offputting to his prospective owner due to her active lifestyle.I was very very disappointed and wonder if he will ever appeal to anyone again.He is not the easiest dog and far from the prettiest, he will need a very special person and there are so few around willing to take on such a dog. It is hard to be optimistic sometimes when even easy dogs get returned.Dingo will be very lucky indeed if I manage to find someone suitable for him.He is such a loyal chap too.
Mei is outside busily pumping up the tyre of the quad bike which has a slow puncture - we need a couple of new tyres pretty soon and I am about to take out the house dogs on their second exercise session of the day. It will be nice not to get blown about and soaked for a change.Not that the dogs care, they enjoy it no matter what although Meg Lurcher is not overly keen on the rain and often slopes back to the house after the first 10 minutes.Many a time I want to join her and race back to the comfort and warmth indoors but the enthusiasm of the others chasing each other round and round the field prevents me from spoiling their fun. Its a Dogs Life!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Toby Brightens up Hatties life.

I am pleased to say that Kim the lady who kept her first foster dog has told me that she will still be happy to flook after another dog so I am hoping that the next one to need shelter will not be a German Shepherd type as she has a particular liking for them and that might prove too much temptation to her! I can't blame her for falling for Teddy, I took an immediate liking to him myself, perhaps it was the expression in his liquid brown eyes coupled with his shyness and neglected appearance.All guaranteed to make me fall in love - and before anyone starts trying to matchmake me with their withdrawn scruffy friends - Please dont! I have never been keen on shy neglected looking men but when the same characteristics are attributed to a dog, I just melt. Four legs and a waggy tail make all the difference!
As I write this two big kittens are leaving for their new home.They are 4 months old and that is a difficult age to rehome, it is an in between age, neither a little fluffy kitten nor a mature adult so it is lovely to see these older ones go.It will not be too long before the next batch of kittens start to be born , so it is imperative we try our best to have the 'teenagers' adopted out or they will not stand a chance against the littlies.
Also adopted today is Toby the young collie in the house, he has gone as a companion to a lovely 9 years old German Shepherd Hattie who has lost her collie friend and has been fretting. Hattie is a Freshfields Liverpool dog- Ann used to live there(Liverpool, not Freshfields!) before she moved to Anglesey..The amazing thing is that when Ann the lady who has adoptedToby showed me a photo of Hattie and her absent friend, I could have sworn I was looking at a photo of Toby himself. The two dogs are identical.I am sure that having a new friend around will take away Hatties sadness.She looked so happy when she met with Toby and the two of them hit it off immediately. A match definitely made in heaven.
Wilson the returned Patterdale has settled down well in his new home and they are thrilled with him, he sleeps on their bed and has won over their hearts already. Perhaps it was meant to be and that this is the home which was waiting for him all along.I certainly hope so.
We had a visit today from supporters and friends Marc and Joseph who brought along a neighbour who had adopted a dog from Freshfields last year.It was great to see Sally looking so well and happy but even more than that to see Marc up and about after a very long 4 months in hospital fighting a serious illness. As always they did not come empty handed, in the early days of The llandudno shop I think they kept it stocked almost single handedly. This time they brought food for the cats and carrots for the horses and even thought of the staff with a bag of sweets and goodies. In amidst the hardships of everyday life at an animal shelter, it is the help from supporters and friends which keep us going,it is priceless and never to be underestimated.Without such help our struggle would be a hundred times more difficult and I am forever grateful.
If anybody failed to get through on the telephone yesterday, I apologise - most of the staff were attending the funeral of Gails mother who died last week and was a great animal lover and supporter of Freshfields. Our thoughts are with Gail and her family who requested that instead of flowers donations were to be made to the shelter.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

A very Trying Time

Further to my distress at the kitten dying, we had a visit from the RSPCA about it! If I was mortified before this happened , I was in a state of disbelief at this visit. Unfortunately I was out and Meirwen dealt with him. He expressed concern that the litter of kittens from which the deceased one had come, were all undernourished and questioned our feeding routine! This when it was quite apparent that every animal here is clearly well fed and bonny!I am so glad I was out because I would have had plenty to say to that. He then told Mei the litter had to be tested for all known cat diseases and wanted us to take them to the vet immdiately. Mei showed him the records we keep on worming and that they were up to date with their treatments and showed how much they were fed(4 times daily).He said they appeared ravenous, well sorry but young animals often are greedy and he should know that
When I returned I was infuriated, vets will not test for FIV etc until they are at least 4 months of age (why did he not know that?)and these are not yet old enough. Anyhow we sent them to the vet today and guess what, we have NOT done anything wrong in our care of them ! Apart from their stunted growth they show no signs of any other problem.
These kittens have always been frail and tiny and although they have grown, they ARE very undersized for their age. Rescue Centres do not always have strong bonny looking animals admitted and this is to be expected from time to time.Although they are small and skinny looking they have had every care we could give them and the only mistake (which turned out to be a very unfortunate one) made was to rehome one at this stage.
We held a meeting about it which was very illuminating, RHian showed me the records kept about them and Mei told me that she informed the woman(who reported us) that the kitten was not the bonniest but the woman insisted on having that particular one and as all seemed to be eating normally and passing normal motions Mei thought the kitten might benefit from a home. Sadly for some reason the kitten deteriorated, perhaps the trauma of the move set something off internally.Obviously we will not home the remainder of the litter and we will have them tested when they are old enough but I am very relieved to find out that the cattery staff have not failed in their duty of care and I am w aiting for the inspector to ring to discuss this at length.
During the meeting, the owner rang and told Rhian that she did not feel we were at fault and was persuaded to ring the RSPCA by her own vet who failed to ring us to find out details about the kitten. eg: he intimated we lied about his age and said the kitten was too young to be homed(he was 14 weeks)Anyhow she has said she will ring the RSPCA(I hope she keeps to her word) and would be perfectly happy to have another cat from us.

All in all it has been very distressing, not least because a precious life was lost.This charity is like my Baby and when aspersions are cast, I take it very personally. We may have little money and this is not a state of the Art shelter like the wealthier organisations in this country but the animals have the best of everything, food, veterinary care etc and equally as importantly they receive love and affection from the committed staff.

On a Happier note, 2 dogs arrived from the Dog Pound and our new foster person Kim was here to collect the German Shepherd cross which was a beautiful if shy animal(see photo) and today she came to tell me that she and her husband have fallen in love with him and want to keep him.I am pleased for the dog but sad to lose a foster home so quickly(it always happens sooner or later)The other dog is a nice little collie female , a longcoated one which makes it so much easier to home . Wilson the returned patterdale has gone to a new home today - Veronica is delivering him to a lady in Anglesey, heres hoping this is the right and final home.
I have a newcomer in the house, Toby is a 7 months shortcoated collie whose owner has been unable to keep due to ill health, he is a lovely natured animal who should not be with me for long.The youngsters are usually quite popular so I expect a few calls about him once his photo goes on the website.
Also safe now in our hands is Misty the mother of the disabled pup Teddy, he was collected by Rhian yesterday and is being boarded in local kennels for the time being.Her fees are kindly being paid for by a friend of Rhians.Misty is pictured here before she went into kennels.

The four horses being returned need to come in quite quickly now because the sale of the carers house is going through; I am checking out a home for the two shetland ponies but the two larger ones Dids and Buster will have to come to the shelter for the time being. I will be glad when the weather improves and we can put some of the equines out to grazing homes for a few months.

Finally, the charity token collection at Waitrose in Menai Bridge is going well, so far our charity has the most tokens in its box so if that keeps up we should receive a nice cheque at the end of the month. Judy In Holyhead went ahead (on her ownsome)with a collection outside Morrisons in Holyhead and raised a brilliant £220 for us and another supporter is planning a collection for Freshfields outside Tescos in Holyhead. This is really inspiring and I hope it will set the ball rolling for others to help out with fundraising.This year we need it more than ever.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Dingos x Ray Results are Good.

These photos show the good side of animal rescue, photos sent to me by proud owners who are delighted with their adopted pets.On the left is Molly collie an ex farm dog who is obviously preferring the life she has now and Lucy who it appears is not fretting for me at all and why should she with so much attention and affection being bestowed upon her. I love these photos , they make my day.On the days when things go wrong and I feel like giving up ,the sight of happy pets in their (hopefully) forever homes lifts my spirits.That is what it is all about and it reminds me of the reason I started the charity all those years ago.

DIngo had an x ray today and all is well, there is nothing wrong with him other than muscle wastage from a lack of exercise in his last home.What a relief,I am about to ring the lady who wants him to tell her the good news.
Paddy the Great Dane too has had blood tests to find out why he is losing weight (he has lost 5lbs since he was last weighed and I have upped his food intake. too) The tests results have come back negative so I now have to try a different food, his legs are very bad at the moment and I have had no luck finding an acupuncturist to help this problem.Poor old Paddywhack,I wish he had been mine when he was younger and perhaps surgery might have helped him then,.Who Knows! Speaking of surgery , Teddy the disabled GSD pup has had an operation today at Leahurst Vet Hospital in Cheshire.Whilst I was in the Vet surgery this morning , I met the lady who has given him a home and she has promised to let me know if the op was a success or not.Fingers crossed.
Further to the whole Teddy Saga, I heard today that the original owner/breeder is trying to get rid of Teddys mother which is a white longhaired German Shepherd.We are trying to get her to a place of safety tomorrow where we can ensure she will not have any more litters ,Rhian is on the case.

How relieved am I - the cat I was worried about after my disagreement with the owner was admitted today, the owners friend brought her in so I was really pleased that he did so. I had already arranged for a friend to go along to the address to collect her so one way or another I was determined the cat was coming here to be with her daughter so he saved me the trouble.Both cats pictured here.Mitzi is the mother cat lying down and her daughter Dizzy is the one sitting at the side of a cat scratching post.
The cattery staff and I are upset today at the death of a kitten homed at the weekend and all feel responsibility. In retrospect a mistake was made homing him before he was fully ready and we are holding a meeting tomorrow to discuss the situation.Without apportioning blame to any one person, this should not have happened and I want to make sure that it never does again. Not looking forward to tomorrow but the meeting is extremely important for the future welfare of the cats and kittens in our care.The health and safety of the animals at the shelter is always paramount yet somehow this has slipped through the net and it is unacceptable. I am deeply distressed and mortified at what has been a fatal oversight.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Will Dingo Prove Me Wrong?


What a lovely day with the sun shining and the cats sunning themselves, even the pigs were enjoying the day and they have scarcely shown themselves during the cold weather.It was nice to see them pottering about in their typical laid back way.I am saving tomatoes and bananas for them to enjoy, they adore bananas complete with skin and go mad over tomatoes. They must be pretty old by now, I have lived here 9 years and they were a few years old then, they may be around 12 - 13 years now. They originally were part of a litter of piglets born at a pony rescue in Liverpool(they had thought the two adults to be same sex!) I was living on Merseyside then and had no room for them so Darrin and Karen the people who lived here previously took them on for me, and of course over the years seven have died leaving these two stalwarts named very unimaginatively Pink Piggy and Black Piggy.Each winter being colder than the last I think they will not survive but once again they have happily proved me wrong. Dear Old Pigwigs.

There are more dogs gathering in the Dog Pound, a couple of collies and a German Shepherd.I had no idea what to do with the GSD and by chance a couple turned up here today offering to foster dogs and guess what breed of dog they have - German Shepherds.I almost jumped on them,I am arranging for someone to pay them a house visit and if all goes well they will foster the Dog Pound GSD for me. I have a few more days to find somewhere for the collies but that should be time enough to sort them out.
Little Molly Jack Russell has gone to a home on a 7 day trial(my idea)Nobody has ever shown the slightest interest in her and she is not the easiest dog which is why I suggested the weeks trial.In that time she will show her more difficult traits and then we will know if her new person can cope with her or not.I never hide the animals problems because that does not help at all and would only result in more pets being returned but occasionally it happens that my fears are pushed to one side by an eager prospective adopter.Its not that they don't listen but prefer to think all will be different in a private home and of course sometimes it is and sometimes the problems get even worse.I hope so much that Molly will stay out but time will tell. So far overnight she has behaved beautifully and is very fond already of the 10 years old child in the home.So far so good!

Dingo, the dog admitted via the Social Services has someone interested in him but I need to have him checked over by a vet tomorrow to make sure there is nothing wrong with his back legs which appear a bit weak. I am hoping it will just be because of his recent castration(enough to make anything weak!) and he will be given the All clear.His prospective owner leads a very active life so wants a dog which can keep up with her on long walks and Dingo really appeals to her. When he was admitted my first thought was"Oh no, this dog will not be easy to home" so it would be wonderful if he proves me wrong .The only reason I thought he would not be easy is because he looks as though he has some staffordshire bull terrier in him and that is offputting to so many people.I was told he was a collie crossed with a whippet.See photo here- does he look like either of those breeds?He is a nice dog though shy of strangers which the social services lady told me is probably due to the reclusive life his owner led.Other than that he has many good qualities.
I had a horrible afternoon today which was entirely my own fault. We had space for a couple more cats off the waiting list so I rang someone who had been on the list since before Christmas and sure enough she did still want to part with her two cats.I told her to bring them in and she and a friend arrived with only one as she said she could not find the older cat.Whilst she was completing the disclaimer form signing over her cat she mentioned that she had a 6 months old Mastiff at home.- I tried to tell her how sensible it would be to have the dog spayed and not breed from her as she was planning but it was all to no avail. She already had two cats she was ridding herself of, one of which was unspayed(and pregnant).I should have known better, she gave all the usual answers - "All my mates want a pup from her", "my family told me it was good to let a dog have puppies" etc etc. I told her about Pyrometra being a killer of unspayed bitches and that unwanted mastiffs were nowadays filling up rescue shelters but she didnt believe that or chose not to and she started smirking at me and told me basically to mind my own business. I asked her to leave at that point because I could see where the conversation was going - NOWHERE! and for her friend to bring in the other cat tomorrow when it turned up but now I am worried about that not happening so I will give it another 24 hours and if the friend does not turn up with Mitzi the cat I will then send someone over to her address to collect her.The conversation upset me for the day, why do I allow myself to let unaware people like her get to me? I know why I get upset though, its because I know there is nothing I can do to stop her carrying on acquiring pets and getting rid of them when she loses interest., I would stake my life on the fact the poor dog will not have a home for life with her either. Nevertheless I should know better than to engage in such a conversation - I suppose I feel that there is always hope that someone will"see the light". Clearly not this time though!

Friday, 11 February 2011

A good day for Cats.

The number of animals being returned seemed to trigger something in many people who feel (as I do) that some people simply do not try hard enough with their animals. We seem to be living in a throw away society and attitudes towards the keeping of family pets have certainly changed since over the years and not always for the best. I remember dogs in our family which were not the best behaved but we never at any time considered parting with them . I had a fairly non existent relationship with my older brother but the one thing I will give him credit for is that he kept his pets always no matter what happened ;Brian had a very temperamental boxer which nipped a few vistors but in spite of this flaw in the dogs character,Ben stayed with the family for life.It was just the way it was, pets came and they stayed until the end of their lives. A huge percentage of the population would never consider allowing a dog that misbehaves to remain in the home.Often the problem is something which could be sorted out with some training but at the end of the day it is all about Patience andPerseverance.Some have it,others have none at all and want it all done for them.I often wonder how they deal with their troublesome children, then again not everyone does!

Well speaking of pets returned we are having a bad time of it this month, yet another one was returned today. Wilson a lovely little Patterdale terrier (he does have another home lined up) was chasing the cats(he never did it here) One person who commented on the returned animals theme also had to deal with the same thing when she rescued a dog which hassled her cats but she persevered and eventually things settled down and the animals accepted one another. One of the ex trustees of the charity took in a lurcher which initially wanted to get at her cats and not to play with them either! Patsy worked with Spencer until his hatred of cats turned into ambivalence to the point where he allowed them to sleep with him! There are ex racing greyhounds which have accepted cats in their lives.This is not always possible with certain dogs(Taz the determined strong minded GSD springs to mind) but a great many will learn to live with cats if the owners put some work into it.And there lies the problem - WORK which is a concept which some feel does not go hand in hand with pet ownership.

Sometimes I wish I could keep every animal which is admitted and never have to worry about their futures but of course that is impractical and impossible with the numbers we are asked to take in at the shelter.

A couple of blogs ago I mentioned a few cats which were recently admitted, well all 4 have been reserved, Alexander the Great is going to go with the lovely ginger cat admitted on the same day and Michael and Isaac the cats(shown here with Mei) which were made homeless through an unread tenancy agreement are also going to a home where they will remain together. I am thrilled to bits that they are going so quickly. It means I can take in a few on the waiting list.
Finally our very helpful farmer Mr Roberts donated a water tank to us which he knew we were after and he placed it next to the gate leading to the main field where our horses graze.When it was time for Mei to bring them in, instead of waiting in their usual spot by the entrance they were all stood back staring and snorting at the New Enemy The Water Tank!It took her an hour to persuade them to venture out of the field and even then they took a different path back to the stables thus avoiding the Clearly Dangerous Plastic Tank.Marcasite literally galloped past before it could attack her! Horses are Great, not Brave but Great.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Legend is returned

Remember Legend the dog thrown in the Quarry? Here he is pictured this morning.Sadly he has been returned because he knocked over the owners elderly mother , he is as nervous as ever but looks well. I am so upset to have him back, he has had too many ups and downs in his life and I had hoped by now he would have been more socialised. Rosie is fostering him though will have to bring him into work with her on her days in as we want to get him used to being with other animals before he goes out again.Next time HAS to be the final home for his sake.

We have 4 more horses being returned due to the carers house being sold and I have to find alternate accomodation for them as soon as possible. Why do I feel that the coming year is going to bring even more of these problems? I think it was an inevitability with the current recession though I didn't expect to have to find space for so many within such a short space of time. These will take the number of returned horses and ponies this past month up to 9.Shown here are two of the loan horses Dids and Buster who will be coming back to us very soon. Little Buster has been in the care of Freshfields since he was a youngster of 7 months .He was rescued from a livery stables where he had been incarcerated in a stable for some months and was subsequently frantic for exercise and freedom by the time we took him over. His owner had stopped paying his stabling fees and Buster was very close to being sent to Beeston Market(not a pleasant place)He is about 15 years now and he and Dids have been inseparable for the past few years, ever since she was admitted in fact.They are both lovely animals and so possibly a longterm home may turn up for them both.
As I write this I can see Mei bringing in the horses and ponies and they are all rushing to get in for their evening meal but little Grandad keeps stopping and looking back at Mei as if to say come on, catch up!No wonder she has a soft spot for him, it appears to be a case of mutual admiration.
Rhian is back to work this week after being laid low with her flu virus though her energy levels are seriously depleted as so often happens after a prolonged bout of sickness. Its good to not only see her back but to have a full quota of staff back;John has returned from his skiing holiday and is refreshed and enthusiastic about returning to work - my words , not his!
A few cats are going out but there are so many waiting for places here including two elderly cats. Within half an hour I took two calls with a similar story. The first wanted to part with her 15 years old pet because she had decided she wanted to spend time travelling abroad!
The second call was concerning a 12 years old cat being made homeless becasue her owner was going to live in Ireland - yes I said IRELAND and not ICELAND. A move which would consist of just a few hours travel overland and instead a flight was booked on an airlane which did not transport pets.As soon as I have spaces I will be taking both cats.They deserves more consideration and care than they have received at this, the twilight of their lives.
The lates news on Teddy the disabled GermanShepherd pup is that he has made himself at home with his new people who have taken him toLiverpool Veterinary College and had his bad leg xrayed.The results have confirmed the first Vet report. that there is now ay of saving the leg but the pup is in no pain and perhaps at a later date it may be an option to remove the damaged leg to make the dog more comfortable. It is good to know he is happy though I do wish the RSPCA would let me know whats going on and if they found out who abandoned him.I hope the callous person whomever he or she may be will not get away with their action though I fear that is exactly what will happen.NOTHING. At least Teddy is safe and that is the most important fact, he has finally fallen into the right hands. Just what he needed.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Alexander (the Great) is Happy to be at Freshfields

I don't know what came over me today but I made a snap decision to tidy the horrendously UNtidy office.Why is it though, that when you do this sort of thing, you just dont seem to be able to find anything afterwards? Anyway it looks so much better and I'm sure I will become used to the new order of things eventually.I have even put up last years Xmas present - a framed photograph of a baby orangutan(just love them) which has been moved from place to place, cupboard to shelf and back again for the past year. He is now in pride of place next to a treasured photo of Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh which I bought when I visited Plum Village Retreat in France in 2005. That was a very special experience and the photo reminds me of that time.

A stray Husky was brought to the shelter today but because he was microchipped we were able to reunite him with his owner who , at the time she received the call from the microchip company was driving round desperately searching for her pet. That's the power of the microchip for you.
The only new admittance today was a young ginger cat from Pwllheli which had been crying outside the doors of houses for the past few days .He has not been neutered so its possible he has been on the prowl for a female and may be claimed however that remains to be seen.Hardly any cats admitted here as strays are ever claimed, not even the neutered ones.

A big handsome grey and white cat was admitted having been a stray in his area since Christmas. Although not neutered he is so gentle and I am enamoured already. He is adorable.I was a little worried having no place to put him except with another male waiting for the 'Big OP' and wondered if there would be some aggression between the two boys ,but when I went in later there he was stretched out in apparent bliss with the other cat sitting right next to him. He had been wandering his neighbourhood for a while and I expect he is just so delighted to be somewhere warm and cosy that he is oblivious to anything else. I have named him Alexander(the Great)
Two more youngster came in today, 6 months old brothers Michael and Isaac belonged to a man who had not checked his tenancy agreement before moving two cats in. Why do they do that? The Landlord gave him today to get rid of them! I am not sure if that is true but I have to take his word on it, I do not want to see cats abandoned becasue of someones desperation and it could very well be the truth. I have become very cynical!Of course they are not neutered either so they will be joining Alexander and pals on this weeks Vet trip.Speaking of the Vet, the senior partner has telephoned me to discuss the bill, I hope he was satisfied with the fact that I have this week taken out a standing order of £200 to be paid into the his account weekly and then I have to continue to pay off as much as I can every 10 days or so.I need to get the bill of £7,000 down as much as possible. They have been very good with us but at the end of the day they are a business and we do owe a lot of money. What a worry.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

I wave Goodbye to Little Lucy

The weather today is atrocious,it is blowing a gale and rainy with grey skies but it failed to stop visitors arriving to adopt pets.Very often the worse the weather is the more pets we home.Weird but true. Pictured here is Yvonne who travelled from Nottinghamshire for Lucy and as you can see from the expression on her face,was really thrilled with her though Lucy looks totally unimpressed at having her photo taken again.I will miss her sitting on my knee in the evening or seeing her snuggled up to Paddy. On the right is Cara who came with her mum and adopted Twila who is one of two cats brought in by someone who said she found them abandoned and gave such a good story we all believed her until we later discovered they actually belonged to her ! The other cat Daisy was found a home yesterday and now it is Twilas turn so a happy life lies ahead for these pets. The third animal rehomed today was one of the Jack Russell pups being fostered by Vanessa, that now leaves only one which already has been reserved. Four animals may not seem many for an animal shelter to home at a weekend but we are not a busy shelter in terms of visitors and adoptions and to us four pets going out is not bad at all.
I was chatting to a lady yesterday who is on the RSPCA main comittee and she told me that the number of cruelty cases they deal with has escalated over the past five years and also that a survey done on dog owners showed that most people only keep their pet an average of two years! Whatever happened to "A Dog Is For Life"? The facts are not impressive at all and shows that instead of todays society having more respect for animals through education and media coverage etc, it in fact seems to have less than ever before.What is going wrong? Angela and I both agreed that the level of violence on Television, in computer games etc has a lot to do with attitudes and the way some people perceive what is acceptable behaviour.
One person who is always optimistic and bright and whose phone calls always leave me feeling better no matter how I might have been feeling that day is
Judy one of our loyal supporters from Holyhead. Judy is doing a one woman collection outside Morrisons this coming Tuesday and Wednesday so look out for her if you are shopping there on those days.Since our appeal for help Judy has been an absolute gem and has organised petfood collections for us and is trying to get a little fundraising group going in the Holyhead area. It is amazing what a difference just one persons help can make. All her family have helped Freshfields in one way or another, they are the kindest people imaginable.
I have just heard that the Rheas are still looking for a home, they were too mature to be homed with Lee s two much younger birds and the two pygmy goats at the same location are also still in need of a home. I will keep looking for somewhere suitable.I thought it was all too easy!
We have been struggling with a staff shortage this past week so Mei asked Emily to come in for two days for which she would be paid.Emily who recently finished a work scheme here and had expressed the desire to work here full time because she loved it so much turned up for one day but failed to turn up today leaving us in a real mess. What people fail to realise (or do they simply not care?) is that working in an animal shelter is not like working in an office or factory, there are actually animals relying on us to feed and care for them. To promise to work and just not bother to do so or even ring with an excuse shows the wrong attitude and certainly shows no dedication or commitment. I am glad to have found this out now as she was on standby for a job here later in the spring.
Paddy has a new bed , friend Kerry sent us a single mattress which I have covered and he is loving it, the mattress supports him better than the duvet he has been using .He has not been so good on his legs the last week and I am worried about him but I have been given a phone number for a vet who used to practice acupuncture on pets so I am keeping my fingers crossed that she will return my call with a positive reply. Before he came to me he had completed a course of acupuncture and it seemed to help him a great deal but now he clearly needs some more.

Friday, 4 February 2011

A Day of Positivity

Thanks to everyone who contacted me about the loss of Lewis, I am grateful to you for your support, a few kind words go a long way. A friend took me out for lunch to cheer me up, food always helps for me.I eat when I am low and I eat when I am cheerful, I even eat when I am sick - very little makes me suffer a loss of appetite unfortunately! Anyhow today is a new day and its onward and forward once again.I thought because of yesterdays sadness todays blog would be a happy one so I am posting some of my favourite photos and to add to them a list of nice things which have happened in the past 24 hours.

1. I had a lovely afternoon off yesterday and my friend bought me a fridge magnet with a message which made me laugh.
2. I received a telephone call from a long term supporter of Freshfields who is going to send £1,000 to help the animals here.
3. We had a visit this morning from Steve who adopted Tess a Staffordshire Bull Terrier we rescued from a Dog Pound, he brought her to see us and also donated some cat and dog food, then kindly offered to take loads of bags and boxes of goods to our Llandudno Shop saving me a trip.
4. A homecheck passed for one of the Jack Russell pups.
5. Daisy cat has been adopted.
6. I found a piece of forgotten chocolate in a cupboard!.
I was going to put No.7. Spoke to Rhian who is recovering from a virus but she sounded worse than ever and clearly was not well at all so I will have to be content with 6 Nice Things.

The photo at the bottom is one I took whilst in Canada,it shows a mother Elk and her baby. The dog pic shows Finlay the white german Shepherd rescued from a dog pound locally and adopted by Rhian who snapped him sitting with her other dogs in the snow. Rhian has quite a gift for photography and has taken some of the most stunning photographs of dogs I have ever seen
The horsey pic is of two of our horses whilst on loan and running with two companions.Ours are Abby the bay on the extreme left and Buster the big Grey who is now back with us.I really love this photograph,its one of my finer moments when it turned out just the way I wanted it;in fact it is featured on some of our sales good pens. Abby shown again looking over the barn door and dear little Celt with his foster mum.Celt is of course now about 3 years old but was just a few hours old when he was admitted here after his mother died on the hills.Mei and I hand fed him until an appeal put out in the Daily Post brought us a temporary foster mum for him in Anglesey. We have a special place in our hearts for him , he was so little and vulnerable when he arrived and he was the first foal we had admitted that young so we were very anxious about doing the right thing but he continued to thrive and it was the icing on the cake when we found a new mum for him.
Then there is Freddie (the chestnut on the right) meeting newcomer Murphy over the stone wall.Murphy, a handsome Irish Draft cross is on loan to a lady in Anglsey and Freddy is still with us at the shelter. There are so many favourite photos, far too many to publish so I will end with Cariad our temperamental mascot cat who has been with us almost since I started the shelter in Wales. Cariad is a cat with attitude and her fluffiness belies her true character which is not always sweet, we have all sported scratches from her at one time or another but in spite of this or maybe because she IS so grumpy, she is a real favourite with everybody.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

In Which I Fall Apart.

The Water Bowser worked wonderfully though today the pipes have defrosted and we have full service back on so not all the water in the tank was used.I can't wait to have a long soak tonight in a perfumed bubble filled bath.Yippee
I have written again to Freecycle so am awaiting a response again.This week there were loads of rabbits, a kitten and an adult cat being offered. It is very worrying -where will they will all end up?Perhaps I worry too much, I cant save every needy animal even though I would like to.Maybe I have a need to worry even if theres nothing to worry about!Really though,I find most people who have an affinity with animals can always find something which disturbs them in this life,I meet so many people like this so I know I am not unusual(and this time I will have no comments on this from John as he is away skiiing in Switzerland - I think I must be paying him too much!)

In spite of the dreadful weather today three enthusiastic dog walkers have turned up and have set off with Office dog Lucy and Caravan dog Cindy.Little Cindy Jack Russell who is only around 6 months of age is one of the Dog Pound dogs , she came in suffering from mange and has been in isolation for a few weeks.Her skin is greatly improved with a course of antibiotics and cortisone injections though it will be a few more weeks before she is fit enough to be adopted.
This month Freshfields is one of three charities selected by Waitrose Menai Bridge Store in Anglesey to have a share in their monthly charity donation so if any readers live in the area please pick up a green token with your shopping and put it in our section of the plastic container situated in the store.The charity with the most tokens at the end of the month receives the largest donation.Do your best for us!

With regard to the two Rheas in need of a home,I had a call from the man who is fostering Mary the pedigree cat who lost two babies recently and to my surprise he told me that he was interested as he already has two Rheas! I knew he had a pig from Freshfields Liverpool but did not remember the birds.Who would have thought homing them could be that easy?
Today has been a Lesley at the End of Her Tether Day' Yesterday I received news which so distressed me I was incapable of doing anything except go to bed early and I was tucked up under the bedclothes by eight o clock.The reason - My dear Lewis was killed yesterday whilst out on a walk.I am truly devastated and I know his new people are feeling the same way. He was walking along a cycle track with his owners and their other two dogs when he suddenly took off, crawled under a gate and raced on to the road to be killed instantly by a van.The track is used by dog walkers every day and seems a safe enough place for well behaved dogs and in all fairness Lewis was a very clingy dog who had never done this before.In retrospect we could say all sorts of things about lurchers needing to be kept on leads but there is no point in recriminations. My William was always off the lead in such places and accidents happen..He was in a happy loving home and had settled incredibly well and was gaining weight.For this to happen is simply horrendous and we are all shattered. To be honest I felt like giving up . Today I am a little calmer but still very tearful and low and forgive me for this rather depressing blog . I thought about not mentioning it but my life is not always about pretty little pets being found new homes.There are downsides as well and this was one hell of a downside.
By tomorrow I am sure I will have recovered my equilibrium and be more able to focus on other issues going on around me here and therefore able to write about happier things. Until then bear with me and dont stop reading.