Chaldon Animal Sanctuary
CHRISTMAS PHOTO SPECIAL
Hello it’s us again and here we are with your Christmas bumper ‘photo issue.
We hope you all enjoy it and we did ask the animals to pose nicely for their ‘photos to please you, however......
....they didn’t always oblige as you can see...!!
It seems that this last year has, as always sped past more quickly than we realised. With sad losses of old friends and also meeting new family members, the months have flown by.
In some ways life here continues the same day in and day out and we wonder what to write about but somehow find that in fact there is quite a lot to share with you.
So here is our latest newsletter to round up our year.
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Liz has been double busy as Jacky is still not able to do a lot and we both thank you for all your good wishes and concern over Jacky’s health. The brain is still working but the circulation is not so good causing her legs to work for only a short time which causes difficulties. We’ve had a couple of shelters erected so Jacky can still go out with her dogs and sit while they potter about and also it’s very useful for Liz to use too !!!
For someone whose life consisted of walking miles every day with her dogs, to be so restricted now is ironic, and very frustrating as you can imagine. Still, if it wasn’t for Liz, she wouldn’t still have her dogs, that’s what friends are all about. We, as the sanctuary still continues, as you will read of new arrivals who’ve joined our family.
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Liz while sitting in our woods watching dogs potter and play one day thought of something to write about for this newsletter. If I have my coat on, then I usually have paper & pen in my coat pocket and while groping in the pocket to try & find the pen I know is in there ( amongst all the other bits & bobs...dog treats, lead etc ), Merlin comes and stands next to me...that alone is still something that makes me smile as he was so terrified when he was rescued off the streets. Even better though as I was stroking his chest - and he stepped closer and leant into me to continue. I can not express enough just what a HUGE thing that is for him to do as he used to jump & flinch away from contact, sadly all too used to rough hands no doubt. These little moments are what it is all about and on a bad day when everything seems to go wrong, are the ones to think about and know why we do what we do.
Anyway Merlin isn’t what this was going to be about but it does sort of tie in, in a convoluted way - what else do you expect from me !! In the previous newsletter we had a little old stray cat arrive in time for us to include her as a brief mention, here she is when she arrived.
She had been seen as a stray for some months but not allowed herself to be caught until she finally was poorly enough to need help. In spite of checking, no owner was found and she is still here and now named Meadow.
It soon became apparent that she had a very sore mouth so off to the vet with her of course and that was a mission all on it’s own !!
She did NOT want her mouth looked at and seemed to grow extra legs to keep us away so we employed the very useful towel to wrap her in with just her head poking out...not very dignified but safer for everyone. When the vet examined her, we found why she was so grumpy as her mouth was a mess, not many teeth but very sore and inflamed gums, no wonder she was so thin and goodness knows how she’d managed to survive living on the streets.
An injection was given to start treatment and we all survived the encounter- the vet, Liz & Meadow, and she will probably need the treatment for the rest of her life. In spite of Meadows behaviour at the vets, she was fine once back in "her" bathroom and accepted a fuss and some tea.
The next day she obviously felt a whole lot better, appetite shot up even more and she looked so much more relaxed and for the first time since she arrived, started to groom herself, it was lovely to see.
When a new cat arrives, they start in our bathroom, a quiet room, where we all get to know each other and then as they gain confidence, are moved into Liz’s bedroom or the kitchen where they see other cats and dogs too. It varies how soon they change room but rarely less than a fortnight and more usually 3 or 4 weeks.
However, the day after the vet visit, we had a radiator / boiler problem and an engineer came to us so before he arrived, Meadow had to move from the bathroom much to her disgust ! She still had her bed and bowls etc but she grumbled about it, laid in her bed swishing her tail and there was no way, this previously happy girl, was having anything to do with anyone !! It took two days for her to decide that she was missing a fuss and Liz could again stroke her but it just highlights, yet again, how easily these traumatised beasties that come to us are upset so easily.
Oh yes, the connection with Merlin at the start of this?.....how simple things ( being touched ) have to be done on their own terms, give them time and then enjoy looking back when progress is made.
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An update on another little cat, a Persian called Summer who has gone from being a timid little lady who was shut out in the garden in her previous home, and has finally, after 3 years, blossomed into a confident cat with a lot to say about life. Summer didn’t use to venture far from Liz’s bedroom, perhaps pop out the cat flap for a little sun if the weather was nice but if she saw either of us, she’d panic & race back indoors - now she comes trotting towards us for a fuss and is often out & about supervising, what a wonderful difference.
Our chickens too have settled in very well and now get up calmly in the morning when their coop door is opened, whereas they used to push and shove in the doorway like a bunch of over excited children escaping school at the end of day. They now respond to the natural rhythms of the days now that they are not kept in artificial light and lay their eggs during the mornings and go to bed when dusk falls.
When the water for our outside animals freezes, we use warm water to melt what is there and so that it stays unfrozen for longer. The first time our girls went and had a drink of warm water they went "ohhhhh, that’s different and we like it", it was so funny watching them as they had another new experience.
Sadly we have lost one of them, Wafer was always the weakest of the hens and in spite of vet treatment, she didn’t get better and we had to let her go, but she was with us for a couple of months, enjoying a proper free range life.
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We have another "surgery special" when a little dog was taken to the vets by the desperate owner who thought her only option was to have the dog put to sleep. Thankfully the vet disagreed and saw the difficulties would not be a problem in a different home - one without children and so our ’phone rang.
Niki is a sweet Jack Russell but typical of her breed, she knew how to get her own way and she became a problem, however when she arrived here, with a new set of rules, she was happy to join our pack and has settled in very well.
The latest arrival was on Bonfire Night when we were watching television and at 9pm the ’phone rang and we heard "just found a little kitten, can you help?"
The poor thing had been found running scared on a road with the local firework display crashing and banging nearby. So we went and had an "assignation" in the local supermarket car park and collected the little girl. She was terrified, flea ridden, starving and tiny, only about 8 weeks old so we don’t think she’d accidentally escaped but more likely deliberately dumped.
At the moment she doesn’t have a name but does have a full tummy, no fleas and a lovely purr when cuddled. Thank goodness for her Good Samaritan who stopped and got involved with rescuing her on a dangerous and noisy night of the year.
Over the years we have had various dogs with...errrr....different tastes, from Jacky’s first cocker spaniel Tim who loved raw Brussels sprouts to Cleo who ate dandelion flowers, & lots of them enjoy eating fallen apples, amazingly without ill effect but only a few until recently have liked blackberries.
Last year the usual couple of dogs, Mungo & Binty helped themselves off the bushes but this year as you can see almost everyone likes them now.
It is fascinating watching them as they sniff out the ripe berries and carefully pluck them off to eat...
...and they all line up at different heights in front of the bushes.
Once they have taken all they can reach, Mum is asked to help and while still leaving plenty for the birds and wildlife,
Liz picks a few more to share around...
...and sharing them out.
We even managed a blackberry & apple crumble for us humans this year, lovely.
One day Liz was in with the chickens and her camera and a visitor jumped in and joined them,
look closely and you can see Gershwin coming over the gate.
The chickens didn’t take any notice as Gershwin strolled past....
...and had a quick sniff....
...and sat on their log looking handsome.
Then things took a turn for the worse for Gershwin as the hens started to surround him!!.....
So Gershwin moved and hid behind Liz...
Then decided the hen house looked like a good hidey hole...
... but the girls followed and peered in at him...
...and reinforcements arrived...
...so Gershwin decided to retreat...
...chickens 1, cat 0
Here's Barney & Fiddler.
Echo & Paws.
Merlin & Parker.
Murphy & Tansy.
Buzby, Finn, Polly & Ben.
Echo & Mittens.
As a nod to this years football, here are some ‘photos of our dogs, practising their dribbling !!
Which ball shall we use?.....
...."this one" says Barney.
Granville tackles him...
and the chase is on ....
Ball back in play...
"My ball" says Parker, game over !!!
... don’t play football but are expert sun bathers !!
Many years ago when we had quite a large herd of goats, sheep & then Trubshaw & Chance our cows, we used to have an old bath for their drinking water. It was supplied by a hose but we had to remember to turn it off so the bath did not overflow. When we were left a little legacy, we spent it on a proper water trough, it was lovely to have one with a ballcock plus a proper drainage plug for ease of emptying to clean it. We have now only Albi our sheep left, a bucket of water is enough for him so the water trough has stood empty for the last year.
About 5 years ago, Liz heard on Ebay about a horse in a dreadful state who was rescued by a user of Ebay and people online offered to help raise funds towards his incredible expenses ( huge amounts of vet & dental treatment plus livery, food etc ) Goods were sold on Ebay and various fundraisers were organised including a "name the horse" competition. The winning name chosen was De Novo meaning new life and that has been shortened to Deno.
Deno was rescued in the nick of time as he was literally starving to death with a fractured jaw amongst his other health problems but he has come on an absolute treat. When his first rescuer could sadly no longer keep him, a new horse lover was able to take Deno on and the Ebay supporters were able to continue to be involved in his life, and we have had the pleasure of meeting Deno and his new family of humans & another rescued horse he lives with.
Obviously we do not donate money to Deno but it is a classic case of being able to help in other ways, so recently we drove over with our old water trough in the back of the car to give to Deno, as he had a bath being filled by a hose just like us all those years before.
Many of our online friends & supporters are fans of both causes - Deno as well as Chaldon and this autumn when trying to think ahead and organise Christmas items for sale, the idea of a joint fundraiser came about, combining talents from both sides.
So, as a one off special, all these Christmas goodies are to support both causes and the profit will be split 50 / 50. We hope you agree and feel able to help spread the Christmas cheer a little further this year, thank you.
As we are coming close to saying goodbye we’d like to thank all of you who send donations throughout the year, whether by cheque, cash or direct debits via the bank, we don’t take any of it for granted. We do receive anonymous donations and to those we take this opportunity to thank you.
We do usually write personal thank you letters to our supporters but have reluctantly this Christmas realised we need to make life a little easier for ourselves due to Jacky’s ongoing poor health, and are therefore sending an individual standard reply. Please don’t be offended, we don’t like doing it and hope it’s only short term.
Thank you for buying mugs, bookmarks & air fresheners from our last newsletter. An order form was enclosed with our printed copies but for our website readers, please go to our shop page for our latest Christmas items which include bottle / gift bags, tree decorations and cards.
Order from our webpage ( Paypal takes fees ) or drop us an e-mail with your order and address details ( Paypal by gift ) or post a cheque, thank you.
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We do appreciate all of you who send used stamps as it is an ongoing source of fundraising and thank Elaine & Desmond for all their work in sorting and selling them on the animals behalf.
May we just mention that when sending stamps we have still have the occasional package sent with insufficient postage and we have to go to the sorting office to collect it plus pay a handling charge of £1- on top of the postage charge. It is best to take them to a post office to be correctly weighed as a small packet or large letter etc.
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Although we don’t have a Rudolph here ( yet !! ) ... all our animals and us, thank you very much for all your support that has helped us through another busy year.
Without you we can’t be here to help the animals that need us.
We wish you all a peaceful Christmas season.
Jacky & Liz.
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