Chaldon Animal Sanctuary
FROM CHRISTMAS TO EASTER
It's been and gone in most people's minds, but thanks to you, our loyal supporters Christmas and New Year were again special for the family here. Every one of the animals had treats, spread out over several days to prevent tummy upsets, and our thanks to those of you who included human treats for us in the festive seasons extras.
As usual we enjoyed a couple of quiet days just doing the basic jobs and then putting our feet up. Dogs and cats all love that as it means extra cuddles, which we were more than happy to give.
Boxing Day was marred by the death of one of our sweet little cats, Crumble. She was diabetic and sadly her diabetes hadn't been successfully controlled in the short time she was with us, and then the added complication of kidney failure meant she suddenly faded away.
January 2nd started the New Year badly when Cleo, our dear little blind Cocker Spaniel who loved to eat dandelions, suddenly developed terrible breathing problems and had to be given the final injection.
As always we miss Crumble and Cleo so very much as they had their niche within the family. Max, Cleo's dad, has certainly pined for her as well. The first night after her death he sat upright in the bed they shared (next to Jacky's bed) for half the night. He is slowly accepting her loss, but as his sight and hearing are very bad and she mothered him, he is finding life empty without her.
In February we lost out little three legged dog Ginny, who had been with us since she was 8 weeks old, having been born with a deformed leg and been labelled a cripple and unhomeable!!! She had the leg amputated on our vets advice and for eleven years missing a leg didn't enter her life, but sadly the auto - immune as well as the arthritis in her only front leg caught up with her and she slowly deteriorated until we had to take the decision that was right for her.
We also lost two cats that month as well, who had been poorly for a little while but managing their problems, but when Bodger and Briar started to struggle, it was time for their decision to be taken as well.
A few words that were sent to us...
Some animals come into our lives and quickly go,
Some stay for a while and leave pawprints on our hearts,
And we are never the same.
On a more practical side, turmoil has reigned in the bungalow as wooden floors and walls have had to be replaced by concrete due to damp and dry rot.
We're sure you can all appreciate the nightmare of trying to keep the dogs and cats off of wet concrete as four rooms were affected.
Still, it's a new year and our hopes are for another good one thanks to you all.
AND THEY SAY ANIMALS CAN'T TALK!!!!!
When starting the afternoon feed round, Trubshaw the bull and friends are first on the list. He always listens to the back door being shut and moos in response to our imminent arrival. He likes to have his say and is usually joined by Chance the cow and a goat (Icicle) and a sheep (Molly) in a chorus of "we're starving".
Their hay nets are hung up whilst having a chat with these poor thin creatures!!!! silence follows as they start eating.
However one afternoon Trubshaw kept talking and despite asking "if he was feeling well, and telling him how handsome he is"(which he knows anyway!!), he wouldn't shut up.
He then started licking his lips, which made us wonder if something in the food rations was not right.
And lo and behold, old clever clogs was telling us that their winter-feed block rations had been eaten and he wanted more!!!
The feed blocks are only fed when there isn't any grass during the winter months and no doubt, Trubshaw was feeling quite shocked as he espied an empty space for them. Strangely we know some were there in the morning, so feel his protestations were a little premature, but like good Mum's we stocked up the larder for him and silence was immediate.
On another occasion Trubshaw told us in no uncertain terms he was not amused. Some paving slabs were being delivered into his field to build a patio outside their house and no one had asked him if he minded!! He stood with Chance at his side, silently watching as the crane on the lorry delivered the said paving slabs. As the crane swung into the air Trubshaw lifted his head and watched it slowly descend with a palate of slabs. Having deposited them the crane gently rose into the air again and repeated the procedure. Poor Trubshaw, his head going up and down with the crane, could not believe his eyes an alien body had entered his territory
After the lorry had driven off, Trubshaw sauntered over to the "invaders" and sniffed them all over, and then just to let them know that he was in charge, rubbed his head and shoulders all over the slabs. Now that his mark had been left, he ambled off and didn't bother with them again.
Clever though isn't he!!!!
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Used postage stamps may not be the first thought that comes to your minds for raising funds, but as many of you know, we are always grateful to receive them. We give them to Elaine who sorts them into categories and then sells them to a stamp dealer (if you can separate them into British or foreign that is a help). She recently sent us a cheque for £65 and before that £45, so you can see they really are a help in raising funds.
Could we though please ask that you seal both the top and bottom of the envelope with sellotape, and even down the sides as they often get split in the post, and also that you check that the postage costs are correct as we have several envelopes full of stamps sitting in the sorting office. We have to pay the postage plus an excess of 68 pence, which is usually more than they are worth, but please continue to send us your stamps, and we thank you all, and Elaine for the extra funds they raise.
He arrived intent on doing "some damage" to any other dog he saw and "come" was only in his vocabulary if he chose it to be!!
A cute little cairn cross border terrier that had had two years in which to make his own rules up. As he jumped out of the car he saw four of our dogs and his eyes lit up...a battle forming in his mind. A horrified "what do you think you are doing" caused him to hesitate and think about it, but not to stop... so the question was repeated.
After four attempts he decided he didn't want to continue this silly game, so we proceeded to take him into our field, on a lead - so that he could meet everyone.
At first he must have thought he'd won the lottery with more dogs to do battle with, but as the numbers grew he lost interest and started to sniff around - at least there was hope. His lead was slipped off so that he could do his own thing and he seemed amazed that he could run free, as up until then he'd had to be walked on a lead.
Fortunately our land is fully fenced so that if he didn't come it didn't matter, but lo and behold, as we've found so many times before, when we came indoors, he followed to .The first big challenge had been won.
He occasionally forgot himself in the weeks to come, but he wasn't any longer frightened of at least our dogs, and now is learning how to play with them.
The "come" took much longer...terriers are renowned for having minds of their own, and Finn (named from Fingals Cave in Scotland) was no exception! Titbits, squeaky toys and bribery were just ignored and he came when he was ready. He was very head-shy so this didn't help either and even if he came very close he wouldn't allow his collar to be touched - he ducked, dived out of the way or rolled over, so if he came close by he was praised and gradually a tidbit was accepted, and now he turns on a sixpence to get to Mum if he is called.
The other evening when he was laid out on the settee next to Jacky, after a year of persuasion, she felt that at last he fully trusted her. She put her hand out to give him a stroke….and he didn't flinch or duck away, and more and more he comes and asks for a fuss...what a reward!!
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Most of our jobs are interchangeable - either of us can do them, but one or the other usually does them. While Jacky gives Trubshaw and friends their teatime hay, Liz feeds the foxes, but recently Jacky fed the foxes two days running instead of Liz. She chatted to them and fussed Fanta as normal - all seemed fine.
The next day Liz went out to them again and before she was anywhere near them was greeted with excited high pitches squealing from Fanta - you could almost hear her saying "look who has come to see us!!"
When Liz went in Fanta was completely beside herself and demanded the biggest fuss possible. She laid upside down having her tummy tickled, gently waving her tail and murmuring contented little squeaks. It was very touching to see and a lot more enthusiastic than the greeting Jacky got after Liz had fed Trubshaw a couple of days running.
When Jacky went back to feeding him, Trubshaw showed his pleasure by bellowing loudly that he wanted his hay - mind you, tickling his tummy wasn't really an option!!!
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
You know we often rename animals when they come to us to give them a fresh start. We thought we'd tell you about a few of them and the reason we chose it for them.
Buzby - a comical fun name for a comical fun dog who buzzes around.
Amy - because she was born in May.
Charmer - a handsome charming cat.
Forsyth - beautiful yellow eyes (forsythia plant) has this cat.
Humbug - err - it suits him!!
Widget - a fun dog, a fun name.
Kara - variety of clementine for a ginger cat.
Midnight - easy for a black cat.
Icicle - white goat, was a baby that arrived with her Mum -
Iceberg - bigger than an icicle!!
Quill - semi -longhaired cat whose tail is like a quill feather pen.
Webster - came to us via a friend's web site.
Chutney - a mixture of many ingredients in this dogs breeding.
Poppy - a puss that arrived a few days before November 11th.
Jiffy - fast collie.
Flight - jumpy collie.
Fanta - orange fox, brother of
Rio - another fizzy drink.
Dice - cat with black spots on his white tummy.
Chiffon - whose coat is like gossamer silk.
Sausage and Chipolata - pigs who would have been these.
Psycho - our ballistic rabbit who now doesn't live up to her name.
Fizz - explosive temperament with this cat.
We are having one of those glorious spring days when we look forward to whatever the year holds for us and are ready to meet the ongoing challenges that our lifestyle brings....be different when we have the return of the rain that is forecast.
As always, so many of you to thank for your support in all the ways that you do...the stamps, newspapers, bric-a-brac, towels, donations etc...all much appreciated and necessary to us continuing with our animal family.
We are still here because of your help that means we are able to continue, so many sincere thanks from all of us.
Happy Easter to you all!
Jacky and Liz.