Chaldon Animal Sanctuary
It's that time of year again when our thoughts are turned to writing to you all with our latest news. As always we wonder where the last year has gone to as Christmas raises it's head - it surely can't be twelve months since the last one!
Overall the last year has been no different to others with the losses which we find so hard to bear to the pleasure of introducing a new baby into the fold and giving it the love and confidence that has been sadly lacking in it's life until the time it arrives here. What greater reward can there be than watching the animal find that life can be fun and worth living.
To you, our band of loyal supporters, that is what we are eternally grateful for, your help that makes the sanctuary able to help these poor and lost little souls find happiness.
A Few Doggy Tails.
Earlier in the year we told you about Griff, a little terrier who at 6 years of age was boss in his previous home. He was waiting to be put to sleep at the vets when the receptionist 'phoned us to see if we could help. Griff now is much improved; he knows his place and that we are boss and not him. In the beginning when he threatened us if we asked him to do anything, he now obeys - not always immediately and sometimes muttering under his breath, but usually without an argument, and of course if a tidbit is on offer he is an angel!
Stop press. Yesterday Griff went to a new home to one of our friends, who not only understands dogs, but Griff and her fell in love with each other at the first meeting. It's early days but we hope they will be happy together and that he will continue to improve with his retraining.
Humbug now 12 years old, was having back and hip pain and an x-ray showed extra bone growth in part of his spine and mild hip dysplysia. Painkillers helped but weren't 100% successful so Humbug is now receiving help from a chiropractor.
He is definitely improved but what do you do with a 12 yr Bearded collie x who sometimes forgets his age and acts like a 2 yr old - bad back or not!!
When the 'phone rings we never know if we can help the caller or need to pass them on to someone who can. Normally if the animal hasn't a problem or is of an age that can be rehomed the caller is redirected to one of the local rehoming centres. Occasionally though our antennae picks up that this animal needs immediate help and we take it in until we can find a place for it in a new home or rescue centre.
This was the case with Granville a 5 month Basset Hound who was howling the place down while the owner was at work. Not a problem we thought, a pup like that should easily be found a new home where he wouldn't be left. It sounds so easy doesn't it, but when Granville arrived here he was limping badly on a front and back leg.
The first vet bill was so our vet could ascertain what the problem might be and prescribe painkillers. The second vet bill will be in a few weeks when Granville is x-rayed to find out exactly what is wrong, and the third vet bill, should it be necessary, could be for a very expensive operation to rectify the fault that some Bassets inherit.
What started of as a short stay for the little fella now looks to be a long one as we await the outcome of his x-ray.
Money can buy a dog - but not the wag of its tail.
This year we've not had good autumn weather and the trees are still quite green even though it's November as we write. Last year however we had some lovely autumn weather for a change - not just rain and more rain which turns the fallen leaves into a slippery sludge.
Even after the rain the leaves would usually be dried quite quickly by a brisk wind so that we had those wonderful crisp, rustling leaves underfoot.
The dogs and cats enjoyed it as much as we did and we would often catch a glimpse, through the kitchen window as we were working, of a flying feline pretending to be a young kitten or fearless hunter as they chased leaves fluttering around. Standing in the field under a tree with our dogs one morning when the leaves were particularly deep and dry, our dogs just kicked their heels up leaping and running through them just like children do. It was fascinating listening to them as well as watching them, because you could hear the variation in their footsteps. Even dogs of the same size or breed sounded different depending on how fast they ran.
May we say thank you to those of you who have left the sanctuary a legacy in their will. Some folk have already told us of their arrangement and although we don't like the thought of "losing you", your legacy could make the difference between being able to replace animal housing, laying hard standing or paths to buying a new storage shed or even a new wheelbarrow.
So please, remember the Sanctuary in your will, it would make such a difference.
Internet and so on.
Well, that was one, seemingly good idea that didn't work quite as intended!
In our last newsletter we spoke of a local shop that sells items at the online auction site E-bay. We sold a few bits & pieces, and also had some nice things donated to us for it. During August we stopped taking items to be sold as so many people are on holiday, therefore it's usually a quiet time to sell.
Early September we turn up at the shop and it's gone - closed - empty!
This left us a bit stuck as we really do not have the time to take on selling ourselves, with all the associated work involved (listing, posting & packing etc) but we have items to sell and need the money they will raise.
Shortly after one of our supporters rang and offered us some items to sell, so we explained our dilemma about accepting them and - she knew about another place that does the same thing.
After making some enquiries on our behalf (thank you Pam) we visited but found they mainly sold more expensive items which doesn't suit us.
However, we now look likely to be able to use someone local again, so with Christmas on it's way, when you receive those lovely gifts that you don't want to give houseroom to, say your thanks, knowing that you can send them our way and our animal family can benefit by us selling them.
Now onto another consequence of the internet that came our way - more accurately 2 consequences now known by the names ....
Sprite & Spirit.
For those of you who don't know much about the internet, it can be like a large meeting place - whatever your interests there will be groups of people getting together - if it's tiddlywinks or animals, you're able to chat about your favourite topic. So Liz joined a cat group just for fun and to chat to other likeminded "catty" people. There are times when you just know it's right to get involved and not look the other way, especially when you know you can give the care and opportunities to an animal that it needs.
We do not believe in rescue covering just our area, if no one else is prepared to help for that reason that's up to them, but it is not our way. Like the "postcode lottery" of the N.H.S. - it's wrong to say "yes, you get help" but "no, you live in the wrong place and don't".
Anyway, someone (Julie) had become involved in rescuing two feral (wild) kittens and in spite of contacting every rescue in her area (Stockton) no one would touch them as they were considered "too old" being round 8 - 9 weeks !!!
The advice she was given was to a) put them to sleep, or b) get them neutered at 10 weeks and let them go in the local area.
What kind of dreadful decision Julie faced - neither nice options but with no one to take them on, she persevered herself for a few weeks with them. Unfortunately she didn't have the time to spend with them, but they were safe, warm, fed and well cared for.
We (Jacky & Liz) had a long chat about the length of journey (300miles) for the kittens before we made our offer to take them to Julie, but all three of us agreed that a long day versus the rest of their lives was a decision worth taking.
The carrier was chosen with care - large enough to move around, but not too large for them to hurt themselves if they panicked. Julie's husband travelled half- way down the country with them (thanks Stu) and our Fred travelled half- way up to meet them and bring them to us. Fred's car is air-conditioned which undoubtedly was a blessing on a warm day. When they arrived we whisked them straight into the bathroom - quiet, dark and safe and left them to themselves. In fact, they did remarkably well, had a little to eat and settled down. The next morning they were definitely fighting fit and ready to attack !!
Now three months have elapsed and when we go in, two little girls come to be stroked, purring furiously and head butting our hands for attention. They still startle at new things and can't yet be picked up and cuddled, but they are no longer terrified little bundles with no future. Sprite and Spirit are two happy and playful kittens enjoying a life they nearly didn't have.
If you would like to contribute to their costs (vaccinations, spaying on top of feeding etc) we would, as always, be grateful.
Latest update is that they have now progressed to the pen in Liz's bedroom that has access to an outside run to go and play in. They will be spayed soon (now done) and then have their freedom to come and go as they chose....or like other ex- ferals we've had, become lovers of the indoor comforts.
Being cheeky but also trying to help, don't forget if you're struggling for gift ideas that we do a years sponsorship of one of our family for £10......sorts out your present list and helps our animals !!!!!
The time has come to say goodbye,
When you're having fun, the time doth fly,
Our thanks to one and all of you
In whatever way, for all you do.
You keep our little flock safe from harm
We suppose we're like a mini farm,
The cows, the sheep, the pigs and goats
The foxes in their pens who gloat
At dogs and cats who pass them by
With freedom to stop and just say Hi.
Christmas wishes from one and all
And a New Year that's just a ball,
They send their love, our little band
To folk who care and understand.
Jacky & Liz.
Janty, Spock & Jiffy in the snow last year.