Another few months have flown by since I last wrote to you, and as usual, it’s been a busy time, both with the animals and with the summer fundraising, so scroll down to see what’s in this edition?
£££'s Peter Summer X-breeds Cat run
So you’re waiting to hear the total I guess? - - drum roll as due to everyone’s help ( donating items and team of helpers, plus the buyers of course ), the grand total was £ 711.04
Yes, isn’t that incredible indeed, a wonderful and amazing success and perhaps worth the blistered feet, sunburn and exhaustion for everyone, but certainly appreciated by the furries every meal or vet visit it provides for them. Well done and thanks to everyone.
Not a clear photo but it gives you an idea of the scale of the work involved and one thing that came to my attention, is how helpful it would have been if Andrew had had another pair of strong arms to assist with setting up the tables, gazebos etc, and as he also has the largest vehicle for collecting the boxes of books plus items for sale, he ends up trying to be in several places at once. The volunteer team of ladies are marvelous laying everything out etc, but first thing in the morning, there is a lot on Andrew’s shoulders to get organised so if there is anyone out there who feels physically able to help next year on the morning of Caterham Carnival ( second Saturday in June ) it would be gratefully received, please do get in touch - thank you.
We were also donated some lovely items that were not suited for our bric-a-brac stalls, and with thanks to a friend who organised it and took the items on Chaldon’s behalf, they are now with an auction house and we’re waiting eagerly for the sale of some artwork and pottery. The funds raised will be going towards the flooring at the Sanctuary which is still a project being researched. Over the years we have tried a variety of different materials, some more successful than others but none doing a really good job of standing up to the rigours of life here ( senile dogs who chew inappropriately being one of the biggest issues ).
Naturally the floor needs to be hard wearing and washable but not too kennel like as it is our home, but when you add into the mix a dog who is perhaps only used to kennel surfaces ( concrete ) or living on the streets, apart from the afore mentioned senility occurring amongst the golden oldies, the flooring takes a bit of a bashing, or perhaps more accurately - a bit of tooth usage which lino type floors don’t take kindly to ! As I’m hoping the upheaval of flooring being done this time is going to last a long while, I’m trying to get it right before going ahead.
We’ve had some great Freecycle finds and met wonderful generous people donating items they no longer need and now being put to good use at the Sanctuary - most of the items in the cat run are donated, even the paving as well as the giant ‘water bowl’ i.e. a fountain that the cats prefer instead of water bowls, as shown by Squire.
Please continue sending used stamps as our stamp sorter friend has raised another welcome £65. She is also collecting old buttons and any random ones you may like to send us, which are then made into lovely button bouquets and sold to raise further funds, thank you.
To those who send anonymous donations, I hope you read this and know I’m referring to you - thank you.
Also if you have been using our Amazon wish list, more thanks as useful items suddenly arrive, a lovely surprise and always welcome. The ‘kong kids’ Bingo & Radar would particularly appreciate some new large Kongs as they keep losing them in the long grass !
Our patron Peter Egan kindly wrote a few words for our updated poster on our fundraising stalls, so here for you all to see.
I am thrilled to be in my 3rd year as patron for the Chaldon Sanctuary. Liz and her team never cease to amaze me with the commitment and total care they give to all of the wonderful animals in their care. The attention to detail in relation to the individual needs of each animal, and there are many of them, never gets overlooked. I have seen seriously damaged dogs with intense behavioural problems blossom in the care given at the sanctuary. The Chaldon Sanctuary is what it says on the tin .... a Sanctuary in every sense of the word.
I’m hugely proud to be their Patron. Please give us your support.
For the animals, for the team and you’ll make their Patron very happy.
Thanks as ever. Peter (-:)
I have just discovered that the computer has a programme where I can dictate and it transfers the spoken words into written text and I had great fun learning how to use it. As you may recall in the last newsletter, I mentioned that Disney cat likes to lay over my arm ( photo ) which makes typing impossible without disturbing the purring puss.
I wasn’t quite sure if the computer programme was an amusing or frustrating option when it tried to have a mind of its own, such as when I spoke to Taxi and the computer heard and spelt her name out - is this helpful or technology gone mad I wondered !
So I tried an experiment as I thought I could narrate a few words while up the field with the dogs playing. Nikki the jack russell was watching me as if I had lost my marbles because while they are all used to me talking to them, they are not used to me speaking out loud in a continuous monologue. This puzzled Nikki while most of the others barely gave me a glance and didn't seem to think it at all strange. I'm not sure if I'm the foolish one or Nikki is, but I think we all know the answer to that .... and dogs aren't daft are they !
The experiment didn’t work very well as I ended up spending far too long correcting it later, probably due to me not speaking clearly enough. So if I type when the weather is good, I am less likely to have a bundle of cats on my lap ‘helping’ by being in the way. So the programme will be used for dictating notes rather than a full article - otherwise this wouldn’t be done in time for Christmas and I couldn’t blame Disney for that too !
An update on Wilson’s progress who has now been on chemotherapy for 18 months and is doing incredibly well, with the only visible sign being a thick mole like coat as he no longer has the top guard hairs, but he is fit and dare I say, a bit fat too !
Sunrise had further minor surgery to help her ongoing problem of ear polyps, though there is some concern about recurrence of these long term. However, she is a delightfully happy girl who thoroughly enjoys life, as does Radar ( dog ) who also has ongoing health issues. Emily also continues to receive chiropractic treatments that make a huge difference and enable her to keep comfortable, mobile and cheeky with her lovely character.
It’s been a mixed bag of weather lately but today as I write this, it is a lovely day with a beautiful pale blue sky and the sun is shining which after a few cloudy and wet days is much appreciated. This is ideal for all of us, warm and sunny enough to enjoy with a bit of a breeze, unlike when it was unpleasantly hot for a few days, where all of us were flaked out in cool spots until the relative cool of the evenings arrived. While little puts dogs off their food, it was very noticeable with the cats how much less they ate, even with me feeding much earlier in the morning (6am instead of 7am ) before it warmed up too much and then they would disappear for the day into various shady spots outside.
The dogs that have a wariness of going through doorways have loved the summer weather when the door has been open nearly all day for them to potter in and out at will. They all had their summer baths and were able to dry naturally after a towel down, which they enjoyed as it cooled them.
We know hens like a dust bath but when Bob ( photo ) kept knocking one of the water bowls over, I tried a plastic dog bed and was surprised to see her paddling in it, though the other hen KFC only uses it to drink from.
The work on the cat run part 2, is ongoing and as you can see in the photo it is risen from the ground but is not quite complete although it should be fairly soon. It all takes time and planning before being able to get a job like this done properly but Andrew has all the materials ( thanks to those who have donated specifically for that ) and is cracking on at full speed.
The cats keep an eye on what is happening of course ( above in the old tunnel ) while continuing to delight in the first part of their run and it’s lovely to know they are safe when they chose to spend overnight outdoors on hot nights.
There have been more losses which came close together and resulted in a very sad time indeed. Granville the basset had been diagnosed with lymphosarcoma at Christmas time and we had another three good months before he got up one morning and looked at me and I knew it was time to say goodbye to this funny, loving lad.
Those of you who have been with us for ten years may remember Harley the lurcher arriving from Spain when friends rescued him as a puppy, his sister had already not survived living on the streets. He was a quiet lad with a cheeky side but his health had been deteriorating over the last year or so. He hated leaving home and going to the vet so I was relieved when one night he went to bed, and went to sleep forever with me by his side ( as I am with all of them ).
And then I only introduced last year the two frail elderly cats, Olivia and Mr. Mouse who both had a wonderful warm winter indoors before age and cancer overcame them. I was so hoping they would have longer to enjoy their retirement and the summer but have to try and be pleased they didn’t struggle through an outdoors winter.
As I took this photo of a memory rose given to me when Jacky died, it occurred to me that life here is like these roses, a fading flower - our golden oldies, while new buds are emerging - our newer arrivals, side by side. These are the realities of life here and it’s not ever something you ‘get used to’ but you pick yourself up, look around and see what you can do for the others here, smile at something they are getting up to, and know you’ll go through it all again for the others here, and those no doubt yet to find their way to us.
There sadly have been more losses of long time human friends of the Sanctuary too and for those of you who organise a collection in aid of our animals, or who leave a legacy so we can continue to be here, I offer my heartfelt thanks.
It’s incredible to think just over a year ago, there was no purpose built cat house and a decaying cat run - the new one came about due to a legacy and some generous donations and fundraising. You make a difference to their lives so the Sanctuary can continue to help animals for many years to come.
Since drafting this newsletter, I must add another sad loss, our dear Gershwin who had kidney failure. Photo of him sitting pretty in the middle of Tootsie, Mason & Wilson all enjoying a sunny day in Spring.
A friend in rescue ( Furry Friends in Coulsdon ) had a bulldog/pug cross arrive that had such severe breathing problems she frequently collapsed and could only just about manage to walk, not play or exercise. That dogs like this are bred is beyond appalling, and sadly with the rise in popularity of the flat faced breeds ( French Bulldogs/pugs etc ) it has led to a rise in the backyard breeders who are only in it for the money, not the health and welfare of the puppies. Apart from condemning the dogs to a life of struggling, it also highlights the ongoing problems of the disposable society we live in, as these poor puppies end up in rescue centres or are put down when owners can’t cope with what they've taken on.
There are good breeders about, but we have too many dogs and cats in the world so to breed ones that suffer being unable to breathe - the most basic essential for any animal, is wrong on so many levels. The one that I mentioned, is one of the lucky ones who had surgery and has gone on to live happily now she can breathe, but there is still so much educating people needed, to understand it is not cute to have a snuffling dog that is struggling for breath, it’s cruelty.
Over 35 years ago when I teamed up with Jacky, it was very unusual to have a dog breed come into rescue. If we were asked, we could happily advise them to contact breed rescue who would usually be able to help. So in those days, if they were not a breed, they would generally come under the term of mongrel or crossbreed so for instance, a Labrador cross, spaniel cross, terrier cross, GSD cross or lurcher type.
Over the years we saw this change as the pedigrees increased and the breed rescues became overwhelmed. I’ve said my bit about backyard breeders and puppy farms but the situation sadly seems to have got worse rather than better as every time someone buys a poorly bred pup, they are rewarding the breeder, and financing an ongoing problem. It also doesn’t prevent a bad home as is sadly proved time and time again as we know at Chaldon all too often, as it’s a disposable society now whether a kettle or kitten, car or canine.
So the trends change, status breeds change, new adverts with a cute / clever / pretty dog or cat are featured, and many of the latest breeds find themselves in rescue as is now happening with the latest designer cross breeds. However to end on a lighter note, see the following !
The new designer dogs are crossbreeds and like any cross, the pups can take the best - or worst - of their parents ! However, when I saw the following on the internet ( author unknown but very clever ) it made me laugh - and I hope never to see any of them in rescue !
New dog cross breeds - allegedly !
Collie + Lhasa Apso
Collapso, a dog that folds up for easy transport.
Pointer + Setter
Poinsetter, the traditional Christmas pet.
Pekingese + Lhasa Apso
Peekasso, an abstract dog.
Irish Water Spaniel + English Springer Spaniel
Irish Springer, a dog fresh and clean as mountain air.
Terrier + Bulldog
Terribull, not a good dog.
Bloodhound + Labrador
Blabador, a dog that barks incessantly.
Malamute + Pointer
Moot Point, owned by...oh, well, it doesn't matter anyway.
Collie + Malamute
Commute, a dog that travels to work.
Deerhound + Terrier
Derriere, a dog that's true to the end.
Bull Terrier + Shitzu
You figure this one out !
Another internet find ( I don’t spend all my time on it honestly ! ) but time for me to pretend I’m on my summer holidays and go and play in the sand…. !
With purrs & woofs of thanks,
Liz & the furries
Saving one pets life won’t change the world...but it will make a world of difference to that one pet.
Printmeit. Unit 11a Morrison Industrial Estate County Durham DH9 7RU Click HERE to go to website.