Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Jimmy goes Tree Climbing

I have had a few comments about the Zumba Class, it seems not everybody knows what this is.Well ,it is an exercise class incorporating dance moves and music from South America. A bit of salsa, hiphop,merengue etc. Great fun and very energetic so it is a good way  to keep fit.

Jimmy Ginge rather liked his mention on the last Blog so he set up an ideal photo opportunity for me  this morning. Here he is relaxing in the branches of one of the few trees we have at the shelter. This is the first time I have seen him do anything as energetic as climbing a tree, for a very ancient cat he is doing pretty well.
I do miss not having many trees around, we have some lovely mature ones at the Liverpool shelter but here is much more exposed on the side of a hill so few trees survive. I have tried planting hedgerows but have been unsuccessful so far. If I planted trees there would have to be a fortress built around the young saplings otherwise the horses would destroy them. Still . I may have another try .

Sadly the Guillemot did not make it, I arranged a Vet appointment but I think the bird was suffering from shock and he passed away before he could be taken to the surgery.

It is always nice to meet like minded animal loving people and today I had a visit from friends  whom I have not seen for  almost 10 years.  When I first moved here they wanted to live here and work with the animals but were unable to sell their house in Norfolk. They still rescue animals themselves and have 5 beautiful dogs, including two ex racing greyhounds.
I love to know that all over the UK(the world, in fact) there are individuals helping animals in distress and thanks largely to the internet are able to contact each other . It is quite an amazing network of  animal rescuers.

Mei is very proud of herself today, she has managed to win over the affections of Max, a collie I have been caring  for in the house. He has shown some aggression towards her,which is very unusual as all dogs appear to love Mei. It also made me feel that he was not homeable, now I feel that there is hope for him. She was determined that he would not get the better of her even though she admitted to being scared of him, and with a great deal of courage and me close by to rush to her rescue if needed, she made friends with him with just a little help from a handful of Spillers Shapes!
He is a very good looking dog and the wonderful thing about him is that he is excellent with other dogs, especially laid back males . He can be a bit focused and bothersome with females(even spayed ones) I think his main problem is that he is nervous when he meets new people and even more difficult to handle is that he  hates raised voices . This makes him very nervous indeed and he will growl - I wonder why? Once he makes friends he is your friend for life so he needs someone experienced with nervous aggressive dogs. Please form an orderly queue!
Pictured here is Mad Max himself with my Meg lurcher and enjoying his first cuddle with a very relieved Mei.
As I will be off to Liverpool for a trustee meeting it is a great relief to me too,I was panicking about leaving the dogs; it is Mei who cares for them when I am away and if she had not been able to befriend Max there could have been major problems.

PS: Little Old Girl(seen here on left) the elderly terrier rescued about 6 months ago from the Pound developed doggy dementia and sadly I had to let her go today.She no longer had any quality of life - I think she was probably well into her teens; I did my best for her whilst she was with me and I know she enjoyed the meals here! She even appreciated MY cooking! She  was a funny little dog who seldom showed affection, just occasionally she would give me a lick or two and  when she wasn't eating ,most of the time she slept . I like to think she was fairly contented  living with me, albeit for a short time.
RIP :Little Old Girl

Sunday, 25 September 2011

A Blind Spaniel is admitted.

It hasn't been a bad weekend for adoptions. Four adult cats have  gone, including Dotty and Elmo who have been here almost a year AND one is black, the other black and white so   clearly there are at least some  people who arent colourist(is there such a word for people who only like certain colours in pets?) If not there is one now!
Pictured here are the two lucky cats mentioned whose lives are now going to change for the better. It has made my day seeing them go.people often ask if I feel upset when the animals go. Well I am overjoyed actually.This is what it is about.I never wanted to accumulate pets; the purpose of Freshfields has always been  to get  homeless animals into loving homes and it is just great when this happens.I do admit that I become very attached to some but I am still happy to see them go. I can almost picture them curling up in front of a warm fire or enjoying being in a family home once again and that makes me feel good for them. I feel guilty keeping them incarcerated here even though that has to be done for their own safety and for the purpose of allowing visitors to see them. None of the staff like to see animals here for any great length of time and we all try our best to bring those overlooked ones to the attention of prospective adopters.Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but we keep on trying. As my old Grandmother used to be fond of saying ' god loves a tryer!' If that is the case we will all have reservations in 'Heaven'!! As long as I have access to a Bruce Springsteen CD, internet,(I hope they have broadband up there!) plentiful vegetarian food and a never ending supply of books that would suit me just fine.

Yesterday we  had a dog returned; Marco a  big gentle bear of a dog whose official breed is a Dogue de Bordeaux (French mastiff) has come back after 18 months , because of his owner s ill health. He is the loveliest natured and quietest dog you could ever meet,good with other dogs, cats and he adores children too.He is coming up to 6 years now so I hope we can find him a permanent place very soon. I have yet to 'meet' one of this breed which didn;'t have a superb nature. My own Dogue 'Muffin' was just a teddy bear of a dog who loved everybody and everything she came into contact with and when she died of Torsion aged 9 years, just a  year after I took her in   I was devastated. Torsion is so common with large breed dogs, Molly Dane also had this although it was her heart which gave out after the operation. It has made me so aware now of the possibility of a big dog developing this potentially fatal illness. Knowing what to look for is half the battle and of course there are precautions which can be taken  like not feeding straight after or before exercise  but the advice I would give people who may be worried about this is to know your own dog. If he/she looks a bit 'off' one day and has a  badly swollen belly don't take chances, rush him/her to the Vet. Torsion kills so quickly.

I am also looking for a special home for Joe, a 10 years old blind Springer spaniel. He is still a lively dog in spite of his disability, some years ago I used to care for him whilst his owner was away on holiday though it is several years since I have seen him,.I was shocked to see how him now, a mere shadow of his former self. He is the opposite of Marco who is overweight; Joe is very underweight ,we will see how he gets on after he has been wormed.

I have just had a call about an injured Guillemot, poor bird is unable to fly, it does not sound very good but the finder is taking him into our local Vet surgery where Geraint is going to check him over.If he survives I will arrange to move him where he can be rehabilitated.
Speaking of birds, 4 Macaws were being advertised on that nuisance Freecycle site. I just hope that they did not end up with dealers who were out to make a quick buck.  Out of all the people on this site  I have contacted to offer our help , only two have ever taken me up on the offer. Heaven knows where most of the animals/birds end up!

I have started running again today. It is almost 2 years since I last did this and it is not easy to restart when you have had such a long spell of having little exercise. I have been feeling so sluggish and unfit that I suddenly decided I was going to put an end to this apathetic behaviour and so off I went. It was a struggle for the first fifteen minutes  and I was glad nobody was around to witness me  redfaced and huffing and puffing along road.  Paula Radcliffe need not worry too much at this stage of my training; nevertheless I did  manage an hour with a few stops to catch my breath so I was fairly pleased. I just have to keep up the momentum now. I am off to a Zumba class tomorrow evening , if anything will inspire me to exercise that will. One of the important aspects of exercise , as we all know, is that it positively affects mental attitude and god knows I need some of  that!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Jimmy Ginger attends a Staff Meeting.

Two all black kittens were taken to the Vet to be destroyed! I dont know why, maybe the owners just didn't want them anymore or maybe they were the last two from an unwanted litter. They are bright happy little cats, around 16 weeks old, that is the age where they become less appealing to most people looking to adopt kittens and of course black is not a colour which is popular. I receive so many telephone calls from prospective owners who state immdiately that they do not want black or black and white kittens. That is why we have a kitten room full of adorable youngsters in those colours. Such a Great Shame. I think it is time I contacted the local newspaper again  and tried a publicity drive to home these getting bigger by the minute kittens , or they will grow into adults and still be homeless.

Little Sonny the cross chihuahua/jack russell has just left  for Warwickshire with his new owner and I could hardly bear to see him go, he was another one I was tempted to keep but common sense prevailed.  He will receive far more attention  with new 'mum' Chris than I could ever give him as I am so busy so much of the time.

Paddy is going through a bad spell at the moment, his 'Wobblers' Syndrome is really kicking in  and he struggles to get up from his bed in the morning. Quite often I have to clean up after him because he cannot get up to go to the door when he wants to do his toilet and cleaning up after a Great Dane is no joy believe me!  Poor old Paddywhack. He is on treatment to alleviate the symptoms and some afternoons he really perks up, and has a short gallop across the field. He paddles with his front legs when he is bad, he feels pins and needles in them and so he lifts up his legs continuously; his back legs drag a bit and his gait is very unsteady.This is the worst he has been since I had him, I hope the meds take effect soon. The wet weather does not seem to help either.(picture of him on a good day with pal Jackson)

We held a staff meeting this morning and 17 years old Jimmy Ginger decided he would join us to put forward some issues he has been having with the dogs. He sat quietly next to Handyman John and Cariad and  waited his turn to speak(pic left) .
After other issues were discussed Rhian turned to the old cat and asked him what was bothering him.

(pic bottom left)
"Well ,you all know how I hate those four legged things you call dogs" Jimmy complained " It is beyond a joke when I start my patrol of the property only to find that big white thing you humans call Bonny foxhound , has been left out and is ripping all the binbags apart" . "I am really fed up with it and I have to give her a good talking to with my claws and then when she yelps you all come running to her defence! I have a job to do here and  I can't do it when there are those horrid creatures about.  If you dont keep them away from me I will have to hand in my notice!"
Jimmys comments were duly noted and recorded in the minutes of the meeting and it was agreed that he should be allowed his patrol times without the extra worry of a scavenging foxhound.  This seemed to appease him and put him in a more amiable mood.

Another Cat Problem - Five adult cats have been abandoned by their owner who has moved house and left them behind to fend for themselves!  One kind neighbour has taken in 2, Mion has been down there checking out the situation and she has managed to find two though there is one still missing. We have managed to find out her new address so there will be a visit from us  on the cards! It is so wrong to do this, I know the escuse will be that she could not get anyone to take them and I hold my hand up to say I would have given her a negative answer too but she should not have left it to the last mionute.If we have notice we manage to get most cats in.people generally do not move within 24 hours unless there are extenuating circumstances and even then they are aware what may happen long before the actual date of leaving.
Thank goodness most of us would never contemplate such an action, I have to keep telling myself that those who do such things are in the minority even though sometimes it does not always seem that way.

Today I have been a bit of a Calamity Jane(yet again) and somehow managed to climb over a gate and knock myself out! I am hoping that I haven't broken my nose but it feels very sore at the moment so can't touch it. I saw stars (and very pretty they were too) and then I must have passed out briefly.Vanessa came rushing up to the field to see if all was ok as Rhian (who was walking dogs at the bottom of the property)had rung her on the mobile to say that she could see me lying down in the field. Panic Alert! Thank goodness I have colleagues around most of the time.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

RIP Honey.

Photos of our Honey taken over the years and the very best one with her sporting a very fetching Punk Hair Do.

It has been a very sad day today.
Little Honey deteriorated and we made the Big Decision to let her go ,  her friend Caspar  was allowed to see her and he stood by her for a few hours grieving and then  moved away to resume grazing. Equines  have tremendous dignity and resilience but we hope now that he will find another friend amongst the ponies at the shelter. One shetland who has always stood alone since he lost his companion, is Sam  so we will try these two together and see how it goes.

Honey came in to us 6 years ago at the age of five years, to think she was just 11 when her health failed is very sad indeed. We thought she would last as long as all our other shetland ponies but it was not to be.The bottom photo was taken the day she was admitted with Caspar. At just five years, she was already blind in one eye and her second eye damaged from a  kick by another horse in her previous home. Her nature was wonderful and she will be greatly missed.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Cat adoptions Improve

Pictured here are two  4 months old kittens who have been lucky enough to catch the eye of visitors from Felinheli. The kittens  are not looking too happy about posing for a photograph;  if they only knew their lives were about to change and that they were not going to see the inside of one of our cat pens again! Maureen has  had a Freshfields cat for nine years so  I know these kittens are going to the best of homes. Mei and I are were so thrilled they chose two older kittens as they often are overlooked in favour of the very young ones. Naturally we are delighted when any of them find homes but the older ones so quickly lose their appeal so it is an anxious time for us, wondering if the kittens will end up growing into adults and still be homeless. Well we don't have to worry about these youngsters any longer.

Their place was rapidly filled by three of their siblings (2 shown here on left)which had been fostered by Nicky;  although the same age, these two are so much smaller than their brothers who were rescued  several weeks previously.  A month or so  of good food and care makes such  a difference to the growth of kittens, the markings on the tabby are fantastic, almost like a Bengal cat.Marmaduke, the tiny ginger abandoned on a rubbish tip last week has also been adopted by people who already have two of our cats - another tried and tested home. I love it when they come back for another... and another....!

The terriers have arrived and are sweet little dogs. One (on the left) is almost certainly a Jack Russell crossed with a chihuahua, he is a tiny little chap and the other is the spitting image of Monty who was homed a few days ago.Somebody in that area must be breeding Patterdales crossed with Jack Russells.They are almost identical ! Monty is out on a 7 day trial so I am hoping that he will have settled in to his new routine and will not be returned. This one is not quite as calm as Monty but then again, he has been in a kennels for a week, with no exercise ,so he is bound to be a bit lively.
They are both going to be cared for by new foster mum Alison who is on her way to collect them  this afternoon.

I am just waiting for a couple to arrive from the Midlands, they are interested in a young collie we have called Cassie,I think they must have got lost as they were expected around lunchtime and it is now almost three pm! 
The past few days has seen me slogging away at the animal database on the computer , trying to get up to date with all admittances. It is one of those jobs which if not done on a daily basis, the paperwork all of a sudden seems to take over the desk!  So onward and forward!

The couple did not turn up to see Cassie which was disappointing but better they decided against her now than later. She is so nice, she will be snapped up soon anyway.

Honey the shetland pony with breathing problems has been poorly again and we had to call out the Vet. Even though she is not an old pony, she is supposed to be 11 years of age (we have always believed her to be much older) Honey has been diagnosed with heart failure .She looked completely out of it and was shaky on her little legs. To be honest we thought this would be the day we would have to make the final decision but Vet Roger has given her a steroid injection  and a pain killer; he thinks she has arthritis in her spine but is not at the stage where she needs to be PTS. My feeling is that when she has the next bad 'do' I will make the decision because if these relapses are becoming more frequent,it is not fair to her and clearly her health IS deteriorating. It is not nice at all watching a pony struggling with health problems and if she has  a poor longterm prognosis then I do not want to wait until she is in a state of collapse.It is a hard decision to make but it is the last act of kindness we can show to those in our care.

We have had torrential rain here for days but in spite of that  we have homed a few more cats. Lola  a timid black cat  which has been here for a very long time(almost 2 years) has gone to a home with another adult cat called Lucy. Its wonderful for them both but especially poor old Lola who must have been really fed up with her incarceration here. You know how much I love it when the longtermers are adopted,its so much of a morale boost for us all and of course it makes room for another needy animal.It just brightens up the whole day.(as I type this the rain has miraculously stopped and the sun has come out.)Yippee.

Ps: Just been to check on Honey and I wish I could have some of whatever the Vet gave her! She has perked up amazingly and is happily munching away at her hay. Sadly though, this will only be a temporary respite from her problems but at least today will not be a day of sadness.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Sorry no Photos.

A couple of cats have been adopted this week and 3 dogs, plus one collie reserved.Not bad at all. There are three more Dog Pound dogs to be admitted so I am just trying to sort out which foster people are free to help out with these.Its more difficult when the dogs are not good with other animals as all the fosterers have other pets so I'm keeping my fingers crossed these will be socialised!

I think I mentioned that friend Nicky has been trying to deal with a case where a woman is allowing her cats to breed and even though another welfare organisation was involved  at one time, she continues to pretend she has had most neutered(this is not the case ) We have already had several of the cats neutered and taken in some of the kittens but this week Mion fostered a mum and 2 weeks old babies; a few days after she took them in, mum fell ill and has very sadly passed away today in the Vet surgery, leaving the kittens without a mum.The Vet thought the cat had incurred some sort of trauma to her liver and she was bleeding internally. My first thought was that she had been hit by a car but I learned today that the woman particularly disliked this poor cat so now I wonder - what did happen to her to result in this sort of internal injury? We will probably never know, Mion will be handrearing the youngsters, they are so young to be without their mother but I  have every faith in Mions ability to pull them through successfully.

We will be holding three Winter/xmas Fairs this year. I need to try to bring in some extra funds to see us through that difficult financial time so with that in mind we will be holding the usual one in The Royal Sportsman on 25th November but also at The Holy Trinity Church Hall on the high street in LLandudno which will be on the 18th November.Finally there will be a Xmas fair in Bentlech,Anglesey in  December .Helpers for any of these events will be very welcome, please let me know as soon as possible if you can assist. Before we know it they will be upon us and volunteers are urgently needed for all three.I will put the posters on our official Freshfields facebook site nearer the time and if they can be downloaded and distributed that would be a great help.

Due to the horses which have been returned from their loan homes, we are having to convert a food store into a temporary stable and we needed some extra metal sheets to reinforce the sides.having ordered them, I completely forgot about them and yesterday I had a call from man saying he was delivering the sheep today!!! I went into a flat spin thinking another member of staff had agreed to take on some more sheep and I must have sounded very 'off' with the poor man , telling him I had no knowledge of this arrangement until I realised it was sheets he was delivering and not sheep! I need to  have a hearing test I think!

A friend from Liverpool has just moved into the area, a fellow animal and bird  lover I am pleased to say, anyhow she has discovered that the previous owner of her new home  has put down loads of broken glass  in the garden to prevent cats going in it and poor Sue has been down on her hands and knees laboriously picking it all out.She wants to adopt some animals from here and until all the glass is removed she cannot even consider it.It reminds me of how cat haters in Liverpool used to use the same method of keeping cats away by embedding broken glass into concrete on the top of their walls. I always thought it was an awful thing to do, and putting it all over garden paths is even worse. What happened to Live and Let Live?
Mind you, over the years  I have had people ringing me for advice on how to get rid of all sorts of wild animals which enter their gardens.I would love to have foxes or badgers, even wild rabbits in my garden but to some, they are the enemy and to be got rid of at all costs. They deserve to live in a concrete jungle, maybe that would please them, no birds singing to wake them in the morning , no wildlife in which to take pleasure and just a soulless environment. Nature is such a wonderful thing and brings so much pleasure to so many people,its hard to understand those who see no beauty in it.

The wolf mentioned in the last blog, as expected turned out to be a Northern Inuit ( bred to look like wolves) this one has had a few serious seizures so the prognosis is not good. I rang the breeder but he refuses to take responsibility for it, saying that as he had sold the pup to someone who then sold him on again to the current owner it was not his responsibility to take him back. Well I'm sorry but any responsible breeder or shelter should take on a commitment to its animals so I was pretty mad. These husky type breeds are not easy animals and shelters are receiving more and more of them as they are being sold to people who have no idea what they are taking on. It is easy to breed dogs but any genuine dog lover would not wash his/her  hands once the sale has been made.  Having said that I was unsurprised at his attitude . It was EXACTLY what I was expecting. 

Sorry no photos, will make up for it over the weekend.

Monday, 12 September 2011

A Wolf ? In Need of A Home

I've had a migraine for two days so not functioning on all cylinders  I'm afraid. I hate taking tablets but was forced to do so today or could see me being out of action for the rest of the week.Anyhow they worked and am feeling more human now.

I have just heard of two little Jack Russells which were seen being thrown out of a car and which are now in the local Dog Pound. Isn't that a horrible thing toi do to an animal.Such a frightening experience for them.Now I wonder which one of my foster people would like to take on those two?
I hope they are younger than Nancy and Dodger who are 7 years old and still with me .Nobody has expressed interest in them and they really are great little characters though not cat friendly which limits their chances of being adopted.,So many people have cats in the home nowdays,I remember reading that they are the most popular pet in the UK. Probably with so many families out at work all day, a cat is more suitable than a lively and often noisy dog.

As you may know, I have two cats residing with me but last night  as I lay in bed  I noticed that they appeared to have increased in number! Then I noticed the bedroom window was ajar. Three more cats had sneaked in and made themselves comfortable at the foot of my bed. Old Sam the black cat who  has been here for several years was fast asleep on my feet, Tiny Timwho is an enormous black cat who was originally a feral, lay next to him and yet another black cat(as yet unidentified!) was asleep on the rug next to the radiator! It was pouring with rain outside and the wind was so strong I could hear doors rattling outside; I just did not have the heart to evict them so I waited until the morning when they happily returned to sleeping in the conservatory.
The photo is of Sam who is always the one to investigate new machinery or places to sleep.He is often seen on the roof of parked cars and is the one who will jump in to visitors vehicles and has been known to steal food from people who foolishly leave packed lunches in open cars.  Naughty Sam!

 I had a call today from someone wanting to rehome a wolf!

 It seems there is a breeder in Anglesey. My feeling is that it is a hybrid (a wolf crossed with a dog) so I checked with a well known authority on wolves who told me that it was extremely unlikely it would be a wolf as they cannot be kept without a Wild Animal licence and that they most certainly cannot be kept as pets, many breeders call these animals wolves but in fact they rarely have more than 15 percent wolf in them.  

Why would anyone want one anyway? Like the Husky breeds,  a wolf hybrid will not be the best family pet, they have a highly developed prey instinct which means they may chase and attack smaller animals. This one is only seven months old and as such will not have developed its dominant streak. I will do my best to find this animal a suitable home (without bringing it to the shelter)but I hope that this will not be the first of many to come to my attention.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Tilly is Adopted

Great news.Tilly  the cross staff/collie has been reserved. What a boost that is,it gives me faith Tess and Jackson  may eventually be adopted too.

Our young ponies came back for the winter today.It is always good to see them back. They are becoming so feisty I will have to bring in someone experienced to work with them or they will never find longterm homes. This winter we will be just able to provide stabling for them all, including the returned ones.This year we have not done as well as usual rehoming our ponies so we will be operating  at full capacity this coming winter. We have sorted out shelter for all but if another is unexpectedly returned we may have to resort temporarily to livery stabling(at high cost) please,please dont let one  be returned this winter.

Did anyone see the photos of the lab chimps liberated after 30 years in isolation and darkness? Wonderful to see their joy but outrageous that we continue to use these animals, our closest relatives, in research. To be honest even the thought of it makes me want to weep. In this day and age I fail to understand why more money is not being put into alternative forms of research. I am filled with admiration for those who campaigned for 14 long years to get these animals released. Well done to them and shame on those who refused to hand them over 14 years ago. It is one of those times I hope that there is such a thing as karma!

A tiny Papillon was brought to me today having been found wandering with no ID on him. His owner has just telephoned. I will ensure he is microchipped before he leaves here tomorrow.

The Owner of the Papillon  turned up. I Felt very sad as little dog did not show any pleasure at seeing  them and looked bewildered when placed in their car. Nobody seemed to be overjoyed at having him back safely, the child just picked him up and took him to the car and mum just put him straight on the back seat.I could not bear to look at the expression on the dogs face. He had settled so well with me and was constantly  giving me kisses ,I just hope that the people cared for him more than they showed when they were here.Perhaps I will give them a ring to see how he is.

Bud the Retriever has left today for his new home on Merseyside. Gail was clearly upset at parting with him, we get so fond of our foster pets! I did have a home  for him in Suffolk but was unable to find anyone to do the homecheck, these people already have a Freshfields dog (from the LIverpool shelter)and have been homechecked. WE all hope that this time he stays out for good, he is such a good dog and he needs to settle somewhere permanently.Apparently they had their first dog from me 22 years ago, it is good to know that they still come to Freshfields when they want another pet.

The old cat we called Isabella(the one crawling with maggots)has moved into the conservatory. I hasten to say that she is now completely maggot free! We decided that she was not likely to find a home at this stage of her life so she might as well enjoy the same comforts as the other oldies. When I look at her, I see what she must have looked like as  a kitten, her markings are so pretty and even though she is a very old girl, it is easy to imagine her as a headturning youngster.What is her story, why did she end up in such a bad condition, had she lived on the streets for a long time? So many questions for her and for all the other strays we admit. If only they could speak and tell us their tales! How interesting that would be.

A friend of mine has just told me that he saw a squirrel with a black and white tail yesterday? I am sure it could not have been a squirrel  but he insists that it had the same gait and was  roughly the same size but it disappeared into bushes before he could take a closer look. I wondered if someone had a pet skunk that had escaped? Has anyone else seen anything like this in North Wales?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

I am Caught Napping!

We called the Vet out again to Honey, she has had another  steroid injection and is starting on her new treatment in the morning.She seems slightly more comfortable now so we hope tomorrow she will be better again. I dont want to think of the alternative just yet. Her companion Caspar was hovering uncertainly around the stable whilst the Vet was examining her, he knows something is not right and does not want to leave her side.

Kelpie Max set off to sunny Bournemouth(well it surely must be better than here?) with his new carer who has really taken him to her heart.I don't blame her. everyone fell in love with his sweet nature. I cannot wait to hear from them and to see the photos of him I have been promised. Foster mum Rosie has replaced him with another dog - Tilly is just 10 months old and is a collie crossed with a staff(Oh Dear) She is a nice animal but puppy  Tess is still looking for a home  a month after being admitted and she is the same cross. People just do not want anything with staff in, no matter how nice natured they are. I still have Jackson and there has not been an iota of interest in him after 2 months .It looks like he will be staying and I really did not want to keep another on a permanent basis. He adores Paddy but I have to keep him on a lead due to the cats here and I feel that is not the best life for such a young dog.
What is the answer?

I was looking forward to a trip to the hairdressers today but it turned out the appointment is for tomorrow.Just as well I rang first! So instead I will stay in the office catching up on paperwork.Not quite the same level of enjoyment is it? I am pretty tired today so maybe I would have fallen asleep under the dryer sooner than with the cats in the conservatory! I had sat down to make a fuss of the conservatory cats and the sofa looked so comfy I thought I would just try it out for a minute - I was there an hour!
Nicky is not to be trusted with a camera, she is always looking for an unusual photo.Hope you are satisfied with this one Nicky?

Look at this gorgeous little baby brought in today,having been found in a council office yard. We have named him Marmaduke and he has a fantastic personality for one so young. He is just adorable.Could be tempted  if I did not have so many pets myself. It is a relief to have a ginger brought in because they are so easy to home, they are incredibly popular. Even if he was not ginger Marmadukes' great little character will  appeal to everyone I'm sure.

Another new arrival is stray katy, an all white cat which has been living as a stray for some months. She is very loving and does not seem to be deaf though will get it checked out this week. So many pure white cats do have this problem, especially if their eyes are the same colour,odd eyed white cats usually are found to have hearing. White cats are also popular so with some luck and some more visitors, I am very hopeful that these two will be adopted pretty soon.
Fosterer Mion has just arrived with her cat loving niece.They have brought in three mother cats she has been caring for, their kittens have already been admitted, mums are now spayed and ready to be placed for adoption. They are all young, they were probably caught the first time they had  a season. She is taking back a mother cat and newborn kittens to foster. thank heavens for people like her and the other fosterers, without them the job would be so much harder and fewer animals would be rescued.
Mion and friend Elspeth will be having a stall for Freshfields at a Fun Day being held near Dolgellau on Sunday September 18th If you live near please support us and keep your fingers crossed for a decent day weather wise.
For more info ring Jan at  Dolgellau Vets on 01341 4222212. The address is Abergwynant Farm and is open 11am - 5 pm with lots of interesting activities to see. They have had a very poor fundraising year with so many days being cancelled due to bad weather and they have felt very disappointed so it would be great for them, and for us if this one is a success.

ps: Honey is improving a great deal on her new treatment.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Cat adoptions are Picking Up.

It just MIGHT be picking up with the cat adoptions.  A very nice couple came to visit and chose TWO cats. One was the  ginger and white kitten of yesterdays blog (I didn't think he would be here for long)and the other was Luther, an eight years old cat .Tabby Luther had been admitted earlier in the year after being found scavenging in a local village.Not only that , we homed another  kitten!  Three in one day is something to celebrate at the moment.

Bud the golden Retriever adopted just 10 weeks ago , has been returned for escaping from his garden. We did a homecheck,of course but we were not told they were moving to another house and presumably that one did not have a secure garden.It is very disappointing, especially as so many people responded to the advert for him and I turned them all down! Gail is once again fostering him, she would love to keep him but already has two boisterous dogs at home. He is such a great dog, it is unlikely he will be with us for long. Also returned is Monty the little white terrier who is a real sweetheart of a dog, he has come into the house with me until he is adopted out again. His problem is that he tries to go for other dogs whilst he is on the lead, inside his home he is wonderful with other dogs, it is just an outside issue.
Cesar Milan, where are you when I need you?
A lady  from Bournemouth has reserved the kelpie(shown on flickr) so he will be off to his new home on Monday. One out, two in!

Poor Honey is breathing badly again today so the Vet has been out to give her a steroid injection and tomorrow I will go and collect some powder from the surgery,  which will help to open up her airways.  We will monitor her condition and see how she gets on with the new treatment. I have had a pony with this same health problem and I remember her struggling to breathe, its like watching a person have an asthmatic attack, not an easy thing to watch.

Still unable to upload book cover .

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Kittens Left in A Box.

I arrived home from York late last night, what a welcome I received from dogs and cats. I was exhausted and couldn't wait to get into bed. Old Pwty the tortoishell cat WITh ears(as opposed to Holly, the one with No ears)sat on my chest purring all night long.That is not her usual behaviour, she is quite standoffish as a rule.I think it safe to say that she was glad to see me back.Holly. for once in her life had to take a back seat.

Anyhow it was a productive couple of days .Duncan and Cathie ,the people at the York Publishing offices were very helpful, very down to earth - how lovely that one can be rude(in a funny way not  a nasty way) to someone so soon after meeting , and vice versa. Seriously they were great ,very nice people who were  very professional and instilled me with confidence that they will do a good job for me, or rather the charity.  The book should be ready for sale end of November(all being well, and if there are no problems on the way to the production line.Knowing my luck the machinery will all break down the day before mine is due to be printed!!.No . I must not think negative thoughts.It WILL be ready on time, it WILL be ready on time. The draft copy of the book which is called  'The Dog With No Name' has been sent to Paul O Grady and I hope he likes it, especially the photo of Trixie the Jack Russell which he sponsored during his Lily Savage era.

In spite of torrential rain here, it did not prevent visitors turning up and I am so thrilled that the lovely black and white cat ,Eva has been adopted today, just as I had hoped before I went away.
Oh No, there are new  kittens on the block!

A box with three beautiful kittens (seen here)was left in the car park outside the Vets Surgery in Pwllheli yesterday, they had all escaped from their cardboard prison  and when the staff arrived to work, the three escapees were miraculously still outside the surgery.Considering it is next to a very busy road, it was amazing they were still in one piece.There was a note with the kittens saying the owner could not cope with them.Well I have a message for her, abandonment is NOT the answer and it was a miracle these three did not come to a tragic end. The answer would have been to have the mother cat neutered but hey, that takes all of one telephone call  to get a free neutering voucher and an effort to be made to get the cat to the vet. Pretty difficult!

 We are full to capacity, maybe she rang here and I told her that was our situation , who knows, but I have ended up with them anyway  now , and we are  struggling to cope ourselves. It is so easy to pass on lifes little problems to others isn't it?

This may be an animal shelter but we are not miracle workers, we do not have unlimited resources and   a large number of staff. We struggle also a great deal of the time, with lack of money, lack of space,personal problems (usually mine!) but at the end of the day we all need  to face up to whatever is troubling us and find a way to deal with it. Life isn't easy for many people, thats a fact, it should not make us abandon pets, children , our old people. Of course that is just a personal opinion and I may well be castigated for it but sorry -  being a self opinionated little madam, I am sticking to it!

I know  I do sound a little harsh, but it is very worrying when more and more cats are being abandoned and we truly are completely lacking in room for anymore. I hate turning people away but I have to be realistic.We have around 160 cats here at the moment, a huge amount to feed and care for, vets bills are enormous and I would feel happier  with at least two more full time members of staff .If Only ! That just is not going to happen unfortunately so in the meantime I tend to panic quite a bit when our resources are stretched to the limit. .

Little chestnut shetland pony Honey (on left with pals Caspar and Rocky) who is blind in one eye has developed serious breathing problems and whilst I was away, Mei felt compelled to call out the Vet who diagnosed her(the pony not Mei) to be having  an asthma type attack and gave her an injection to aid her breathing.Today she seems a little better but she does sound bad. On monday I will buy some dust free bedding shavings for her stable . The girls are soaking her hay but it is awful to see her struggling so I hope the treatment given  by the Vet will help her.

A couple turned up this afternoon who had almost run over a dog on  a busy road not too far from the shelter. They said that he was running in the middle of the road, looking in all the cars as they sped by.  First of all my reaction was of gratitude that they stopped to help him, the second thought was of sadness that they were the only ones who cared enough to do so. I am hoping Vanessa will take him home tomorrow, he is a nice quiet collie, middle aged by the look of his teeth , a little nervous but very sweet and affectionate. He does smell quite badly so he is either a farm dog or has been kept outside  for a long time.
Finally, I tried to upload the front cover of the book but failed to do so, I will sort it out and publish it on blog tomorrow.I am now going to make a dash for the house and hope I don't get too soaked doing so.It is definitely a night for lighting the fire and cuddling up in front of it(with the dogs of course)  A good book , a cup of tea and some nibbles will make it all perfect.

How little it takes to please me nowadays!