Monday, 6 June 2011

Dollys Story.

Mary  the lamb seems  to be doing well, she is eating and drinking but is very very shy and races to the corner of  the stable when anyone attempts to approach her.When she is a little stronger we will introduce her to the BIG BOYS Jacob and Joseph the jacob sheep and old Sam.At the moment she is too young and frail to be with them, they may bully her, especially the Jacobs who can be more than a trifle naughty.

We have moved four more ponies out to another location, this time they are in walking distance from the shelter and opposite Meis house , so she is able to keep an eye on them daily.There is enough grass for two more so Jack and Sorrell will be joining them tomorrow.
Work has begun with the moving of the midden which after a year had grown very big and we did not want to carry on heaping more and more manure on it so it has been  taken up to a top field, out of sight, and where it can be spread to fertilise that area. Then  the big job can begin, that of  redoing the track surface(it has so many holes in it)and concreting both the stable yard and the floor of the agri (barn) which houses around a dozen of our ponies overnight and through the winter months. I have ordered the rubber matting for that  already.It is exciting being finally able to undertake a reasonably big project, for years I have felt we were at a standstill regarding improvements to the shelter and although the biggest project is still a pipe dream(the cattery) I now feel more optimistic about that too. We are still applying for every grant making trust we can find and have had a few small grants bestowed upon us but every little helps and one day perhaps we will succeed with a 'biggie'.

Vicky the animal behaviourist started her week with us today and she has been making great progress already with the 'difficult ones' (and I dont mean us!)Now we all have to learn how to deal with the animals which cause us problems, it is of course no good teaching an animal good behaviour if the people who work with them have no idea how to encourage it and perpetuate the initial training.I am one of the worst culprits because I am  useless at training and give in too easily in order to have a peaceful life which of course is not the answer.So I have to do a little training with myself too.
 If I told Vicky how I used to calm my highly strung Jack Russell Dolly many years ago she would have a fit! I would be on the telephone to a friend and to get my attention Dolly would either start barking incessantly or she would attack one of the other dogs.The only thing that would stop her would be if I threw her raisins which she loved so I would be trying to hold a conversation amidst shouting manically  above the barking "Raisins Dolly raisins" and throwing a handful on the floor.  Of course that would only shut her up for the time it took her to gobble them down and then I would have to start all over again.Dolly became known to many as Raisins.At that time I had no idea that raisins can be actually detrimental to a dog and I could have unwittingly caused her to be very ill and it could even have caused her death! Dolly must have had a cast iron constitution because this behaviour (of hers and mine) continued for many years until I was on the verge of a breakdown over her and being unable to control her manic behaviour so friends Dave and Caroline  offered her a home where she lived happily until she died of  old age. With hindsight I realise  now that my own state of stress  had transmitted to her and that we were locked in a no win situation. If only there had been animal behavourists around in those days!
I have this beautiful photo sent  to me of Teddy(now Ozzie) the abandoned German Shepherd pup with the damaged leg,if you remember he was in the dog pound at the tender age of 8 weeks and later after he was adopted he had to undergo an operation to remove the leg.Well just look at him now. Seen here in his new home with his two white GSD pals, what a handsome dog he has grown into but it is of no surprise, he was a stunning puppy. Keep these photos coming, it makes all the stress and hard work of running an animal shelter worthwhile and its what keeps us all going.

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