Thursday, 28 April 2011

In Which I become A Twitcher for The Day.

Poor Candy is unwell today so we have made an appointment for her to see the vet tomorrow, she is off her food and is very quiet, she was not at all impressed by wearing her coat today either and tore it off! She will be joined by Toots one of the semi ferals whom I think needs a dental, she is drooling and losing weight.(wish I was - losing weight -not drooling!)The third animal to visit the vet will be Champ the Jack Russell who has shown a weight loss recently.We can never be too careful,  Champ is up to date with his worming so I am a little worried there is something more serious underlying.
The last of the collie pups went today, they have been wonderful pups to care for, quiet and loveable but full of fun, we will all miss their happy little faces and waggy tails but it is always good to se them go to real homes where they will receive the attention and training every pup needs. It has proved harder to have them adopted than I had imagined, usually pups are snapped up immediately but this time we have had several false starts and people backing out at the last minute.It can be very disheartening  when this happens, we all get excited when homes are on the cards for the animals here so when they fail to come to anything there is a great sense of disappointment but I am sure it is for  a reason and they are not meant to have that particular animal and that the right people come along sooner or later. In the case of these lovely puppies, I am sure that is what has happened.
Terribly sad news, Candy has had to be put to sleep, in retrospect I feel she should not have had the anaesthetic, her age was against her.I am upset that I put her through it but I did so knowing she could not have had a quality of life with the coat in the state it was, it was pulling on her skin.I just wish the Vet had said at that point that she was not fit enough to have an operation. It is a great responsibility making decisions which can affect an animals life and this time it was the wrong one though I do not believe I was entirely to blame. This is one of the downsides of this work and what a downside it is.

Better news - the Springers have been reserved and will be going next weekend, Sally the GSD cross who has been on a seven day trial will be staying out for good, they are thrilled with her and apparently she is even good with their blind pigeon and flightless seagull! Good also is that all but one of the kittens we have in have been reserved, there is only one left and we are expecting someone here Friday for him. There is always something to balance out the sad moments(thank goodness)
Champ has a slight infection and is on antibiotics so he should be ok pretty soon.He seems as lively as usual so can't be feeling poorly even if his poo is a bit runny and he has some weight loss.He has to go back in a week for a check up.

I had a lovely day off today  -I went bird watching with ' The Biggest Twitch'
 and its Twitcher owner who along with his partner do guided tours round North Wales.For the uinitiated a twitcher is not someone who fails to control his/her  movements but rather a  very keen bird watcher! It was a 5am start which was a bit difficult to do, I had to creep out very quietly so as not to wake the dogs .Next time I will opt for a later start.The reason for the early start was to witness the Black Grouse Lek(a gathering of male grouse puffing themselves up and strutting their stuff as males tend to do!)Only one female arrived, she took a quick  look around  and flew off - I dont blame her, there was far too much testerone about! She had the right idea. Photo  shown here of the Black Grouse Lek.
I have just realised that the date for the Open day here in Wales is wrong.It should read the 24th July(sunday) At least on the posters already distributed it says Sunday so that should do the trick but will be printing more posters with the correct date on and if anyone can help me distribute them I will be pleased to hear from them! It is coming up so fast, it hardly seems a year since the last one. Once the Sponsored Dog Walk is out the way I can concentrate more on organising the Open Day.  Great News - We have received a grant for the Stable yard and will have the work done in time for July 24th. It will make such a difference to the place and be so much easier to keep clean for the horses, I am very excited, its been a long time since we had any major work done here and it is always good to see improvements being done.
The greyhound cross Roy was fostering was not claimed and she is now with me, happily esconced with Paddy and Patch in the house , she is a lovely dog but too young for me to consider keeping, I like the old ones best. I have just had an email from David who gave a home to collie  Lad, Lad is doing fine and has settled in well and taken to sleeping under the bed where he can remain close to his new person. I am so thrilled to hear that, he is a dog I had a special bond with and I want him to be happy after his miserable previous farm  home. He has a problem attacking other dogs when he is on the lead but off the lead he is gentle and makes friends quickly with new dogs.This seems to be a fairly common problem so I need to speak to a canine behaviourist myself in order to understand this.

I f anyone thinks I have made light of the Candy business, it is not because I think it unworthy of a long chapter but rather that I dont want to dwell on things that are  too sad and upsetting which is why I chose a lighter title for this blog.I love all the animals we help(well almost all of them) and she was a sweetheart but there are many other animals who need the attention now and I cannot allow myself to grieve for too long over any one creature.It would  affect my ability to carry on especially as I descend easily into black phases which can be crippling.(mentally) I make a  daily physical effort (and it is an effort)to  tear my mind away from sadness and try hard to be as positive as humanly possible which is never easy when  working in animal welfare presents so many obstacles to this.

Therefore I am dwelling today on the wonderful grant for which I am so very grateful, the animals happy in their new homes , the fact that Jess and Sam Springers will soon have a happy life ahead of  them and the fact that it is 6.30pm and the sun is still shining! Fantastic!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

The Two Beauties Pose for The Camera.

A quiet day today .Other than Lad leaving us for the warmer climes of Wiltshire(at least thats what I am told) we had a fairly uneventful but beautifully sunny day which went some way to compensating for the lack of animal adoptions and visitors. It gave me time to try my hand at some more photography, as usual most did not turn out very well,but there was an occasional goodie which I have posted here and on Flickr.The photo here is of Celt and Shamrock who are always interested in anything going on, in fact they are downright nosy.They say animals become like their owners and I admit to having a curious nature - ok Im nosy!
I was trying to get a good pic of Jack and Marcasite but these two kept blocking my view. They are three years old now and I can scarcely remember them as the frail foals they were on arrival, especially Shamrock(on right) who was in a dreadful condition at the age of  8 weeks, he was covered in lice and a very bedraggled little fellow.He really was a very plain baby but look at him now! Celt of course was always handsome, he would have won a Bonny baby Horse competition and he has grown into a lovely pony. For once Merlin was not about to share the photo opportunity, he was quite a way off when I appeared with the camera and was unaware otherwise he would have no doubt galloped over and pushed his way to the front of the photo.He is such a poser.
Jack has befriended Marcasite one of  four ponies from the same owner Christine, they are inseperable at the moment.Iam so pleased for him, he has never been on his own before and he seems very contented today.

The pigs have had a mud bath today courtesy of Cariad and her children and they thoroughly enjoyed wallowing in it - even the pigs enjoyed it! The mud will help prevent the pigs from becoming sunburned, always a concern in this weather though Charlotte managed to spray some factor 50 on the pinkies back before she waddled off.

Did I mention the spaniels which have been returned? I am upset they have not been walked for 6 months and we were not informed of the change in circumstances at that point but I will do my best to ensure that  this will not happen  in the next home.I think I will get people to fill out a  form with their medical history! Seriously though, nobody can foresee a change in health but to wait 6 months and in the meantime allow the dogs to become obese through lack of exercise in not on at all. and believe me they  ARE Obese!
They are such fantastic animals, I would be tempted to have them myself if I had not already added to my canine family, well it looks like I have due to the fact that Gel and Dingo seem to have become permanent residents.I have had nobody interested in either and time is going by, they are so settled with me now.
Spaniels are not my favourite breed but these two middle aged ones have such great temperaments and they are wonderful with cats too.(always a saving grace in my eyes)
I wonder if  a video of them might help find them a nice home? I will try to do that tomorrow.

Re the cat situation /volunteer taking cats to be destroyed, nobody was in today, will try again tomorrow to try to repossess the third cat.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Swift(Jack )returns and An Ex Volunteer Shows Her True Colours

Swift returned this morning and we introduced him gradually to the other horses,There was a great deal of interest shown in him, a lot of snorting and prancing about from the resident equines but eventually things calmed down and he has been more or less accepted into the herd. We must get used to calling him Jack which he has been answering to for the past five years , As we only knew him as Swift it will take a  bit of getting used to.  Jack(on left) is  shown here introducing himself to old Morris. Jack was here when I moved into the property, he was just a youngster then but for the life of me I cannot remember his history and how he came to be here so I will endeavour to find that out.When I moved here I not only inherited Jack but  a whole bunch of Vietnamese potbellied pigs and a greyhound! It was a good start to the sanctuary!

A gentleman from Wiltshire arrived today to see Lad (the collie kept caged) and he fell in love with him so will be taking him back with him on Sunday.Tomorrow we need to bath Lad who  is more than a bit smelly and make him fit to go up in the world!
What a time we are having with returned pets - the two middle aged springer spaniels we homed a year ago are also coming back and I am desperately trying to find a foster place for them.I was upset to hear that they have not been for a walk in 6 months!! If only I had known that I would have found a new home for them months ago. Still, there is someone coming to see them tomorrow so lets hope it is a love match all round.
All our foster homes are now in use, both for dogs and cats and kittens;Roy is fostering a beautiful lurcher, a fawn female found wandering in the town,nobody has claimed her and of couse she is another without a collar or a microchip. I will put her photo on the website as soon as possible,

The Easter Fair was attended better than previous times (after all my worrying) and £419 was raised. This time there were not just local people but also  visitors to the area atttending  and it is one of these who is interested in the spaniels. For the first time I did not attend the Porthmadog fair, this morning I woke with a headache and decided to take some time off today so I am grateful to everyone who volunteered their time on such a hot day,it was really appreciated  and I am sure I was not missed at all.
I guiltily spent the afternoon canoeing on the sea  and it was wonderful, I returned home minus the headache and feeling energised!

A very nice couple turned up to offer a home to a rabbit as a companion to their own whose friend had died and they have given a home to the new baby bun.I think it is a silver fox or something similar to that.I'm sure a rabbit enthuisiast will soon put me right if that is wrong.Pamela, where are you, I know you read this and I know that there is hardly anything you dont know about rabbits! Speaking of rabbits, the guinea pig was so pleased to have his pal back,(from the vet) he was overjoyed to see him and it was quite heartwarming to see how they have bonded so well.After a course of antibiotics bun should be fine.

Now on to something which has truly made me very very angry. We had a volunteer here last year who adopted 3 kittens from us. We have not seen here for some time and  yesterday Rhian went to the vet to collect the rabbit and came back with two beautiful cats which had been taken to the vet for destruction! Yes they were our cats. this person had taken them to be killed because she said they had attacked her daughter so badly she had 6 stitches in. Now  I have grave doubts about the truth of this story but what right did she have to do this instead of returning them to the shelter.She signed a form to promise to do this if she could no longer keep them, it is part of the adoption agreement. I am livid and I want the third cat back(is it still there?)
I am sending someone tomorrow to get it back.Why do people do this, how callous can someone be to walk into a vet surgery,hand over two young and gentle cats(and they are very gentle) which in effect do not belong to them and ask for them to be killed. It is beyond my comprehension.There has been no contact from her to say that she was having problems  so what was she thinking? I am so thankful they were microchipped to us and therefore returned to Freshfields, their rightful owners.The cats are Pictured above here they are 11 months old and calm happy little cats.Did they deserve to die ?

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Swift is Coming back to Us and a Baby Rabbit arrives.

What a difference a few days of sunshine can make to everyone! Its wonderful AND it seemed to bring out some prospective adopters - yesterday we had several people visiting and three of the litter of almost ready to go kittens are reserved, Sally the cross German shepherd has gone on a 7 day trial and I am hoping that it will work out well for her and finally we have done a swap with our ancient tractor Trevor for another old one but one which has been done up and actually starts! This should go ahead over the next week pending the transport to move them both.
However there is always a downside isnt there? We have ANOTHER horse being returned on Friday, this time redundancy has caused a big change in circumstances for the people who have cared for him for the past 5 years.This recesssion is creating many problems with not only businesses and charities but for individuals also. I feel sad for Swift as he had such a good home there but we have an obligation to take him back so that is the way it is. Fortunately quite a few of the horses will be going in the next 2 weeks to their summer fields so we have a little time to re introduce Swift to  a companion(or two) and then he can also go where there is better pasture.Swift was already at the shelter when I took it over 9 years ago, he was only a youngster then, he must be around 13 years now.
Anyhow not to get too despondent about that, these things happen and have to be dealt with accordingly,it is part of shelter life.

I have been busy getting things ready for the Spring Fair in Porthmadog on Friday, as there is limited transport on Good Friday(wish i had realised that) I can only hope that most of our supporters have cars! At least the weather will not put them off - or will it? Will the sun mean that everyone takes to the beach? I must stop worrying. I'm sure that Trisha from the Port shop who has been organising most of it, will have everything under control as usual.

We have had a dear little baby rabbit brought in, he was found in the middle of a busy road locally, there is a name for his type  though it escapes me at the moment, he is a sort of two tone grey, dark with lighter silvery points.A very attractive bunny, so far nobody has reported one missing. (he is pictured here playing hide and seek in the hay)The rabbit which lives with the guinea pig here has developed an eye infection so he has gone to the vet for treatment today - guinea has been calling for his pal all day. When the rabbit first arrived we already had the guinea pig and we were unsure whether the two would get on .The pairing of these different species is not always successful and I did not want the little chap to get hurt.,As it happened , after the first week during which the guinea pig hid from the big Bun, they started to become friends and now they sleep together and love each other.

Ellie the little terrier rehomed recently has returned to have her spay stitches out and she is doing really well, still being mischievous but  the family seem to love her and are working through the teeething problems(literally). Paddy and Patch are delighted to see the back of her, they  were very tolerant but I could see that she was starting to irritate them, after all when one is mature and sedate, a badly behaved youngster is simply not to be tolerated!Well thats what Paddy seemed to be thinking!The warm weather is doing him the world of good, he enjoys a gallop round the fields every day now - Meis brother lives in the village just across to us and the other day he asked Mei what was I doing walking round the field with a pony in tow! Mei could not think either and rang to ask me, I replied that it was not a pony, just my Paddy.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Dentist Andre Checks out Lots of Teeth.

It has been a very hectic day today with a visit from Andre the Equine Dentist who visits every 6 months to see to the horses teeth.He started at 8am  so it was a very long day for him and the staff who were all exhausted at the end of the day. Some need dental work (the horses not the staff!)(which will have to be performed under anaesthetic so a vet will come out tomnorrow to anaesthetise the ponies and Andre  will return  to do more dentals. Whilst the staff were waiting to go in the stable cum dentist surgery with the waiting ponies, they took the opportunity to do some grooming, above Vanessa is grooming Little Bobby shetland and Dentist Andre receives some assistance from Handyman John and Rosie.I doubt very much when John started work here fixing fences and mending broken doors that he thought he would ever end up as a Dental Assistant for a Horse Dentist! Today he probably wished he was still fixing fences as Shane managed to give him a hefty kick for his pains.
32 horses and ponies were treated and checked today and just three need further treatment tomorrow. Not a bad outcome considering we have so many elderly animals, that is why Andres visits are as important as that of the farrier.Horses can lose condition rapidly if they have problems with eating and the older they become the more likely they are to need regular dental checks. Its Common sense but most of the animals we have admitted have been sorely overdue for this work which indicates to me that many horse owners do not regard this as part of basic care.

The good news today is that Bettys frail kitten has perked up and has worked out where the food is on tap! Thats a relief, its no easy task handfeeding newborn kittens and there is nothing like Mums milk with its colostrum for them to thrive.
The lovely little fleeces which were sent by June in Liverpool arrived today, they are lovely and we will be trying them on Candy later.I think they must have been made for chihuahuas but they are ideal for cats.Every time we have a cat in which needs shaving there is a massive hunt for a jumper to cut up so these are wonderful and will be very useful now and in the future.
We have a cat called Misty with a middle ear infection and I have taken her into the house , for two reasons - one is that she will be better off there than stuck in a pen until she recovers and the other is that her pen is now freed up to receive the next litter of kittens which should be arriving  later this week. Misty seems to be fitting in well with resident house cats Holly no ears and Pooty the old  grumpy tortoishell.Pooty glared at the newcomer initially but after warning her who was the boss (HER of course) she seemed to accept that two was now three. Pooty is not generally affectionate, the only time she comes to me for a fuss is when I go to bed, she comes up for a fuss lasting all of a minute then rushes back to her favourite place on a fluffy pillow next to the bed and there she remains all night.Holly on the other hand is a fusspot and demands attention at all times, now the weather has improved she has developed a liking for nocturnal exercise and wakes me up around 3 am to let her out for a wander.  Being so rural and set a long way off the road,it is safe for her though I always ask people to keep cats in at night in case they are run over/killed and would always do so unless they are in a similar location as the shelter.

Recently I received two emails from people involved in dog breeding, both were extremely irate that on the Freshfields website we advise people NOT to go to a breeder for a pet but to give a home to a rescued animal.Reasonable I would have thought for a charity trying desperately to home their animals, however these people believe that we should simply advise people to go to reputable breeders!!!!!! Why on earth would we do that when we have  so many animals ourselves which need homes? .
One of my staff has dogs which she adores and occasionally has a litter from.(a fact that upsets me)She is very careful where they go and if anything goes wrong she will have that dog back immediately,all homes are checked  and she keeps in touch for the rest of the pups lives.She is a Reputable breeder and a very occasional one,  she is a kind  person who  works hard at the rescue centre and loves her charges here, even adopting  a few that she became particularly fond of. Nevertheless it is a bone of contention between us and we have agreed for the sake of our working relationship and our friendship (yes we are good friends)that we will not discuss our differences of opinion. That does not mean that I accept the breeding of dogs, I never will whilst there are so many being destroyed annually in the UK and not all are mongrels, there are millions of unwanted pedigrees, all breeds even the more unusual ones can end up unwanted.I find it obscene and will never ever condone it but sometimes true  friendship can transcend such differences.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Does My Head Look Wide In This?

Lady in Red Candy has attracted the attention of a Freshfields supporter in Liverpool who has bought and sent us some small fleecy coats for her. That is such a thoughtful gesture and I cannot wait to receive them and  try them on Candy who has taken to being a fashion model like a duck to water.
Betty has had 4 kittens(my mistake counting 5, I think Im included part of Bettys leg as a fifth kitten!!) and she very kindly allowed me to take a photo, as I did not want to disturb her I only quickly took one and left her alone .One kitten seems weaker than the rest and has had to have a  bottle from one of the staff, we are all hoping she will survive. She is still very large but there are no more kittens and she is eating well and seemingly content feeding  her babies.
The first litter arrived, two tabbies(one shown here) and three gorgeous little black babies.They are supposed to be seven weeks of age, I would say they are nearer 5 weeks, Mum had been killed on the road so they are orphans but eating on their own thankfully.the two tabbies have been reserved already.Next weekend another litter will be arriving, I rang the people who had been on a waiting list for kittens and all but one had already acquired one elsewhere.It happens every year!
Having given up on trying to do a self portrait of me and Paddy(Remember the half head one?) I asked a friend to take one and this is the result. Of course I am never happy with any photos of myself but Paddy looks good and thats the main thing.The first thing I said to her after seeing the photo is "Does my head really look that wide?"She told me off for being too image conscious.Well If Bridget Jones is, why not me? She has a problem with her bottom, I have one with my head!
It has been a truly beautiful sunny day today, the animals as always(like we humans) have made the most of it by sunning themselves and butterflies are starting to flit about, I noticed a few orange tips on the exercise field and the first cuckoo  I have heard this spring was cuckooing away in his tree nearby. I love hearing the first  cuckoo, the name of the lane on which the shelter stands is Lon Pant-y-Gog which in English translates as Cuckoo Dip Lane.
This coming week I need to get organised for the forthcoming Spring fair at Porthmadog.It is on Friday and I have now been told there is no public transport on that day so am worried nobody will turn up.Same with the Dog walk on May 15th.,There does not seem as much interest as last year and I am starting to panic .I hate organising these events, it always preys on my mind that there will be a disastrous turn out and sometimes that comes true!
If our  animal adoptions do not start improving I think Ill give up and  as I have been told (by one person) speaking is my vocation, I may move on to another career in public speaking! Only joking, I will see this quiet period through until it suddenly kickstarts once again. I just hope it improves soon.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Lady in Red

Update on the neglected cat - she has been shaved pretty well all over her body and in doing so the vet discovered a mammary tumour which was been removed whilst she was under the anaesthetic. They think she is pretty old, she is missing several teeth and is probably in her teens . I hope the owner has no luck in her life; to abandon this dear little cat and move away leaving her to her own devices is wicked to say the least. In spite of her recent ordeal she is bright and very affectionate though she seems to feel apprehensive when she leaves her pen, as though she only feels secure whilst in a familiar environment.We have named her Candy. I would like to have her adopted so she can spend the rest of her life being loved in a home of her own but if not she will join the other oldies which sleep in the conservatory.Today Rhian has made a coat for her out of an old jumper which was given for bedding . Its just what she needed and I think it rather suits her. I just hope it isn't one of my good ones which got mixed up with the animal bedding,it looks suspiciously like one of mine!
That reminds me of when I was in Liverpool and a volunteer had left her washing in a binbag in the hall of the house,ready to take to the launderette when she finished work. When she was leaving she looked in vain for her washing. Dave C  had put it in the van to be taken to the charity shop . He was inclined to do this with anything he did not immediately identify as useful  including my beautiful mirror which was an expensive wedding gift  and was sold for £5 in the shop and I was only waiting for someone to put it up! Anyhow the poor girl rushed straight to the shop and to her horror the bag had been put with the rags and had been taken away by the rag collectors!  I think more than the fact that it was lost forever, I would have been more upset  that the shop staff thought the clothes only worthy of being sold for rags!The moral of this story is that if you own anything you value NEVER NEVER leave it around the shelter, you may never see it again.

The pups have had so many offers of homes but the two best ones have backed out now (one was distance and the other failed to ring back with contact details for a homecheck)There are a couple more being homechecked so fingers crossed  these will be successful. I would never have thought that it would be so hard to find suitable homes for these three little beauties . A few days ago  I spoke to a worker at Pine Ridge Shelter in Suffolk, they home dogs very easily there and she  said that the recession has hit them badly, they are having far fewer dogs adopted this past 6 months and are very worried about future homing figures. I know how she feels, I have a horrible feeling it may be happening everywhere which does not bode well for all the thousands of homelesss dogs in the UK.

Ellie the little terrier has been adopted today, I really hope she settles down well, she is quite a lively dog and has had very little training in the past.This is evident when she steals a piece of toast from your hand or jumps up on a knee and knocks over the cup of tea you were just really enjoying.I'm sure with more attention she will do well  and the adoptive'parents' know she has these problems so they are aware what they are taking on. Ellie  today looks nothing like the scrawny flearidden dog which was first admitted, her coat has improved after being wormed and deflead, such basic care and jobs which take so little time to do but what a difference it makes to an animals general health.
Ellie will be living with a lovely collie called Taff(shown here when they met) and a family with a daughter Lisa who thought it great fun when Ellie decided to squeeze out of the exercise field  where she and Taff had been playing ,and lead me a merry dance for half an hour.As soon as I caught up with her she would look at me, and I swear she was smirking, then she would race off again.  Maybe she thought she would just give me the run around for one last time! Thats gratitude for you.

Betty the pregnant cat has given birth today, so far she has had 5 kittens but I think there may be a few more as she is still so big.She may let me take a photo later, she seems very content and proud of her new babies, thank goodness she was brought in and did not have to resort to finding a safe dry place outside to rear her babies.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Please can I have some More?

Late today  a sadly neglected cat was admitted, at this stage I am unable to even check the sex of him/her due to a terribly matted coat.It seems the owner, an alcoholic moved away some months ago and left the cat behind to fend for itself. Poor thing has not done a very good job and apart from his bedraggled appearance he has an infected eye. Being a longhaired cat and with nobody to care for his coat, he has ended up in a very bad state. He seemed happy to be indoors and wolfed his first meal down as though there was never going to be another."Rest easy little cat, there will be plenty more for you to tuck into, Freshfields is like one very big Feline canteen and the Dinner Ladies are on duty from early morning to evening.You will not go without again".
Tomorrow he will go to the Vet to be checked out.
The cat is a female and has stayed at the vet to be dematted under anaesthetic.It was too bad for us to attempt it here.She will be given a full MOT whilst she is there and we will have to find a little coat for her to wear when she returns.Without her hair she will be very cold and vulnerable, I am sure we have a small dog coat somewhere(that same old somewhere!If we could only discover its whereabouts we would find everything that has been lost over the years and have enough to set up a string of shops!))
THis afternoon I gave a talk to the members of the Pentrefelin Club, near Criccieth, I hate public speaking and I hardly slept last night for worrying about it. The thought of it was worse than the actual event although I felt I rushed through all I wanted to say and at times I felt I was shouting, but later the Chairlady told me everybody enjoyed it because for once they could all hear what was being said. The Pentrefelin Club have kindly included Freshfields as a charity to benefit from their fundraising events this year so I was glad I did not disappoint them. At the end everybody had a glass of champagne, I was really looking forward to it when a lady sitting near me shouted querulously that she wanted a glass of champagne, not orange juice, so to appease her I poured her a glass of bubbly, went to get my own and there was none left!!!AND she won a raffle prize too! I wouldn't say I was bitter but next time she can get her own drink!
Lad the collie from the cage is back with us as his home did not work out and I wish I did not have so many dogs,I really like him and would love to keep him.maybe if he is still here at the end of the year and the live in arrangements of the house dogs changes I could consider it.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Aintree is a Disgrace.

There is interest shown already in the collie pups , if the homes check out then they will be leaving us very soon. If only all were so popular.Still, they too need permanent loving homes and with their scary start in life it will  a wonderful change in their circumstances.
There has been a problem with the blog as you may have noticed, the flickr photos are not showing up, I have posted new ones so if you type in and then you should get to see them.The blog people are working on the problem so hope to have it sorted out soon.I have a new camera battery courtesy of friend Barry but need a new charger so for the moment at least I am able to take some more photos, one to check out on flickr is a great self portrait  of Paddy and me with half a head showing! Im constantly amazed that I am not approached by any leading magazines to photograph for them, my talents are clearly being overlooked! I confess to the puppy photos being taken by someone else, in fact if you spot any particularly good ones I can almost cetainly guarantee they will not have my name on them!
Pictured here are Dids and Paddy  enjoying their long lazy days. Unlike the poor racehorses which were forced to run the Grand National at Aintree , they have no such fears to confront. My heart goes out to those which gave their all and died because people wanted  to make money out of them . An ex National Jockey said in a Mail article that horses were bored in fields and the National gave them an opportunity to show their full potential.Whereas I am all for horses receiving exercise, the fences at Aintree are wickedly difficult and dangerous and no horse would choose to jump them unless forced to do so.Perhaps this so called expert on horse behaviour  has forgotten that in the wild horses seldom gallop unless to save their lives and are fearful of something.As for them running in enjoyment, they run because  a horses natural reaction is to run with the herd, that is why when a rider falls off the horses continues.Make no Mistake it is NOT because they are having such a good time. And as for the poor creature forced to run when his lungs were on the verge of collapsing, that is horrendous, the fact he had to be given oxygen immediately over the finishing line tells its own story.So the jockey was castigated for using the whip excessively, poor justice for his mount! Would that I had the chance to do the same to him. Why do people still support this event?  Does nobody care? Remember Jimmy the ex racehorse which we admitted, he was on the scrap heap at the age of 7 years and was only narrowly  rescued from ending up as dog meat. This beautiful horse (pictured here)was born in Ireland at a racing stable and showed 'great promise' but when he failed to make the grade, was he retired to enjoy his life, no he was sent to a horse sale where his rescuer  thankfully managed to outbid the 'meatman'. He was lucky. thousands are not.Please think about the fate of the horses if you are tempted to place a bet or attend a racing event. They have no voice. I am proud of being Liverpudlian but I am ashamed that it is my home town which hosts this appallingly cruel race.

We were donated two good sofas yesterday and they have replaced the old ones in the conservatory,.The cats are overjoyed to have new beds and have barely managed to drag themselves off them to eat. They so love anything new, the cats in the feral enclosure love it when a few cardboard boxes are placed inside, or a new scratch post or even when their beds are moved about.It is not the same as being free to roam  so we do our best to make things interesting as possible for them by interchanging things in the enclosure .Hopefully  one day they will be offered homes on farms/stables and they will have the life of freedom they deserve.

My photographer friend is threatening by email to put a photo of my bum on flickr - she snapped this horrendous sight when we were trying to get the pups to pose! I  must go to ring her with a warning,If she publishes it I will not be responsible for my actions. I am trying to build up followers, not scare them off!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Three Lucky Pups.

Pictured here are Joss and Suzy on their arrival at their new home.Suzy was not showing much inclination to get out the basket at that  stage but I was unsurprised though I was  very happy to hear that she was amazingly calm being moved to a strange environment . I thought it may give her a lot of stress, to the point where she may even hide for a few days. Her apparent calmness  bodes well for her adapting and settling easily.I am sure that the presence of Joss will help her too.

Pictured with Hannah, (Gails daughter )who is doing three weeks work experience here, are three adorable but unwanted  little collie pups which were rescued at the age of 5 weeks from a farm where they had been given the death sentence by the farmer. They are all males, perhaps he only wanted to keep the females for future breeding stock? Who Knows what goes on in the minds of such people. The annoying aspect of this sort of rescue is that it comes as second hand information and although I am always grateful that someone with compassion takes  steps to prevent cruelty,nobody ever  wants to give the details about the owners so subsequently we may be able to offer help to the pups but what about the poor mother who will carry on to have more pups who in turn may risk losing their lives. Would it not be better to speak to the farmer and try to solve the problem before it happens again. Admittedly there are many who will not take advice ,being so rooted in the old ways but there is always a chance that one may listen and take an offer of help. If only one out of 100 will agree to having a bitch collie spayed then it is one more success and many puppies saved. These 7 weeks old youngsters will be snapped up  before too long , they are simply beautiful.

After the weeekends beautiful weather I dug out my summer clothes, sunglasses, suntan lotion, the lot- got up this morning ready to put on my shorts ,looked out the window - dark clouds and rain!! Away went the shorts and on went the winter gear again.the only good thing about cold weather is that  winter  clothes cover a multitude of sins.Well at least the respite will give me time to start working on the dreaded cellulite before the next sunny spell and the sudden exposure of my  pale and unsightly limbs!

Its definitely about to rain kittens- our first ready to adopt litter is due to arrive on Friday. 4 have been born to a stray mum cat in Pwllheli and Gail is going to collect them on her way in to work at the end of the week. There are 2 black and 2 tabbies, for once the black ones will be homed quickly, at the beginning of the kitten season all kittens are snapped up no matter what colour, people have been waiting eagerly for the first to arrive in shelters all over the UK .Thats the theory anyway so I hope I don't have to eat my words!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Where have all our visitors gone?

Saturday,   No Photos this weekend because the camera battery is not charging, why is there always something not working? Hope to sort it out by next blog.
An incredibly quiet day today,we had almost given up on the idea that we would have visitors when a couple turned up and reserved two adult cats.I think next week I will place an advertisement in the local newspaper for cats in need of homes, 2 cats being adopted per week is really poor.Hopefully tomorrow will be busier.
A young lady of 11 years called Rose came to help us today, she was accompanied by her mother as she is still too young to work here without parental supervision; she was happy to do any jobs which is something not many youngsters will agree to. Often it is the idea of working at an animal sanctuary which appeals but the reality of  cleaning out smelly pens is usually enough to send them running for the hills.It is often those we think  will never cope who actually do.When we first moved into the Ince Blundell shelter there was a young girl from Southport who wanted desperately to work with the animals but she was very small and slightly built and barely looked her age,(11 years) I admit I thought there was no possibility of her being useful to us - how wrong was I? Biff (her nickname)proved to be one of the best volunteers we ever had, the first day she volunteered she was busy trundling backwards and forwards to the midden with a wheelbarrow piled high with dirty and heavy straw.There was no stopping her and she worked on and off at Freshfields until she went to University(she is a qualified lawyer nowadays)
Of course nowadays we have to think of insurance and health and safety for youngsters and it is not as simple as it once was though from the age of 13 , if they want to work
they can obtain a permit from either school or local council . I  don't like to discourage children because they are the future animal welfarists and if they are shown how to care properly for pets then they can pass on that knowledge to other children and eventually their own children.

 For once we have enough catfood to last us 2 weeks at least.Mion and Elspeths collection outside Tescos in Holyhead raised £350 in donations and about £200 worth of catfood was also donated which was an added bonus.Added to that Tescos petfood collection bins were emptied and 3 weeks of donated petfood arrived via Judy our supporter in that area. I too had brought back petfood from the Liverpool shelter(which does well for donations of animal food) and Roy had collected donations form Caernarfon and Porthmadog shops.All in all it was brilliant stacking up the cases and knowing that the cats were going to eat well for the next couple of weeks without us having to buy in at huge expense. I am so grateful to everybody who donated a tin or two for the shelter animals. On their behalf - THANK YOU.

It was still quiet today unfortunately but the two reserved cats went out.Suzy, a shy gentle tabby and white had been with us nearly a year, she was the only  survivor of a group of cats at a caravan site in Caernarfon.The rest of her companions were shot by the owner of the site and the kind gentleman who had been feeding them was extremely distressed at the events and terrified that Suzy too would become a victim.Thanks to him she was admitted to the shelter and today her luck was in.It would be lovely if she enjoyed longevity like the new owners last cat who was a grand 22 years of age when she passed away. The second cat they chose was Joss a lovely tabby who was fostered by Mion last year when she  came in to us heavily pregnant, the kittens were adopted and Joss has been here ever since. They have gone to a lovely rural home where they will be safe from traffic(and nasty people with shotguns)
Paddy is looking well at the moment, he is now on three meals daily and that seems to keep him at a good weight.I had to give up on feeding him Burns as I could no longer afford it but he seems to enjoy the cheaper food as much and he certainlylooks well on it  He really is the most loveable dog but now he has his(very large) feet under the table, he has become very protective towards me and the house - Not such a bad thing for someone living alone, there is no doubt he would not hesitate to attack if I was threatened but it does make it somewhat difficult if I go away. It is only Mei whom he will accept in the house and only she can take him out.He is a much bolder dog than dear Molly(is it really 8 months since she died?) Time goes so quickly. I feel as though Paddy has lived here all his life, sometimes I forget and call him Molly by mistake!

Friday, 8 April 2011

A Foal is Born Next Door.

The internet has been down since the last blog, we had a thunderstorm Friday night and it blew the router. I did have a surge protector but not for the phone so have had to purchase a better one.This happens too often and its expensive having to replace routers every few months.
I have been in LIverpool attending a Trustee Meeting , on the way home I stopped at Sister Sandras in Prestatyn, had a cup of tea and left at 12.30pm.The 1 hour journey home  took 5 hours! There were diversions due to roadworks and of course my motorway sign reading abilities are about as good as my map reading ones so I spent a delightful 3 hours driving  in circles around Clwyd. I am to embarassed to say where the other extra unnecessary hour took me, let it suffice it was the wrong direction altogether and there  was an opportuntity to visit another walled city other than Caernarfon where I was actually supposed to be heading.
The new joint Liverpool and Wales Spring newsletter is now ready to distribute and I am hoping it will bring some donations in return. This mail out has been kindly paid for by a supporter; I wish I could afford another bilingual newsletter but funds have simply not been available to do so and although we might be elegible this year for a grant towards costs from the Welsh Language Board, we still have to fork out around £700 of charity money.Maybe next year?
Just before I left for Liverpool I arranged for a mum cat and her four babies to go into a foster home and today a heavily pregnant cat was admitted so it looks as though the dreaded 'kitten season' is shortly to start;before long all our pens will be full with kittens and at the end of the year we will be left with another batch of 'teenagers' to care for and neuter.Inevitably a few black cats will be left behind each season -We still have a few of these half grown cats left from the last litters- Black of course, the left behind ones  always are! Pictured here is the new pregnant cat called Betty by her finder(unsure as to whether this is after some mothers do have them Betty,Betty the hotpot making barmaid  in Coronation Street, designer Betty Barclay or |Betty Boop or maybe none of the aforementioned and she just liked the name ?)She is a nice looking cat though she has two nasty sores on one side of her which need looking at by the vet.
When I arrived home it was to hear that a young staffordshire bull terrier had been admitted and is being fostered by Cariad(she always has the staffs) He is just 8 months old and his owner was unable to cope with him, I cannot think why as he is a typical pup,loves everybody and he even gets on well with cats and other dogs. His only problem is that he appears to be food possessive around other animals but that is easy enough to deal with, otherwise he is a happy outgoing and very loveable little dog.
Sadly Lad the middle aged collie has been returned and he is currently in boarding kennels until a foster place becomes available.I am so disappointed for him.He was great with my dogs but it seems that when he is on a lead, like so many canines he is aggressive towwards other dogs he meets. Will anyone take him on with this problem?I would hate to think there is nobody out there for him.
Mion and Elspeth are doing a collection outsideTescos in Holyead today,its a beautiful day so there should be plenty of people about, lets hope there are lots of generous animal loving ones! Mion is having some repairs done to her rescue cat pens so she can be ready for the influx of mums and babies. Last year she and the other foster 'mums' helped with dozens of cat families and without them we would have struggled to help as many as we did.
Mei is now waiting for another operation to fix the torn ligaments in her wrist, they were unable to do the work at her last appointment and she is expecting a call to go in very soon.Pictured here(reluctantly) sporting her sling.
FInally a photograph of Neighbour Wills mare and foal, she gave birth just hours before this photo was taken and was a very proud mum.Last years foal died soon after birth and I have been keeping an eye on this one as she is in the fields adjoining ours .I was worried when we had a few days of torrrential rain and an icy wind but she seems to be doing well. Of all baby animals I love foals the best,there is something special about them, their long spindly legs and their awkward gait as they follow their mums around the fields makes me go completely gaga.As a child my cousins would coo and gurgle at newborn babies and beg to push their prams whilst I could not work out what the fuss was all about, preferring instead to walk a dog though I did(and still do) a fair bit of cooing myself but over litters of kittens and puppies and especially baby horses.Small wonder I ended up working with them.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Its Good News for Anne.

Marvellous news - The Roberts circus people have agreed to let Anne the elephant spend her remaining days at a safari park.  It is far from ideal but will be a million times better than the life she has had.  Shame on them for  only now allowing  public pressure to persuade them, I just hope she will live long enough to enjoy her new surroundings and that her tragic story will help others to realise that there is no place for wild animals in circuses or zoos.  What a pity the evil man caught on video will not pay for his actions. Thank you everyone who cared enough to protest. I know of this circus from years ago when I joined demonstrations against them  and the workers there were extremely intimidating towards us, scarily so, therefore this tragic story is of no surprise to me.

Rhian went to the vet today and who should be in the waiting room but little Teddy and his owner so Rhian took the opportunity to take this photo, she said he was full of life and a very happy pup, You can see where his leg has been amputated, Rhian had failed to notice the other sign that he was feeling good!!! No rude comments please.

The big grey and white cat pictured here was abandoned when his owners moved house so we have another queue jumper but this one needed to be prioritised: his owners had allegedly moved several days ago and the weather here has really changed, from lovely warm spring days to cold and wintery with non stop rain . It is not at all nice for animals to be without shelter.

Molly a young collie came up from Liverpool today, she had been kept in a FLAT and was proving too much for her owner to cope with (no surprise there).  The lady who brought her up was planning to look at 6 years old Nell but fell in love with Molly and so no sooner had they  arrived here, she made her decision and back she and Molly  went to Merseyside.  A lot of travelling in one day, but Molly seemed fairly unfazed by it all.  There will be someone else for Nell, the right home for her will turn up soon I am sure.