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SPRING 2022

Hello Friends,

We are starting by looking back to Christmas, and looking back has been the theme of this anniversary year. By the time you receive this, the date of Jacky & I beginning the sanctuary will have just passed ( March 1991 ) bringing to an end this 30 year celebration anniversary.

However, naturally the sanctuary continues what we do and even saved a dog’s life two days before Christmas when a vet nurse rang from a local practice. By being available on the ‘phone and chatting to the owner, a plan was put in place and the young dog avoided a one way trip to the vets - that was a gift to me.

Talking of gifts, these are some of the many Christmas goodies you so kindly bought the furry family - there were other toys and food not in the photo, including the unseen costs of vet bills etc that are also covered by your kind donations.

In spite of the struggles of our poor local post office staff who were hit with illness during December, cards, letters and parcels arrived including human treats that came my way too, and we all had a wonderful Christmas.

It has been a long grey winter so far and we’re all ready to see the early signs of Spring and have the sun show up as we head into another year of helping our 4 legged friends.

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When setting up the front page photo, we were emptying boxes and if you have boxes, there will soon be cats in them -

Dilly, Tootsie & Katie !

          

It’s Christmas Day as I sit to write a few words for the Spring newsletter and no - I’m not working but today of all days, is a day of gratitude and friends so I naturally think of you and the wonderful outpouring of support and love to our residents and myself.

Dogs have had their breakfasts with treats sprinkled on top, had their walk and are snoozing now until more gifts and edibles later, and likewise our cats have found Dreamies and snacks scattered about and their toys etc will be this afternoon. I have a cuppa by my side now all the litter trays and cleaning is done, and have just been opening my lovely gifts too - more smiles. There is little else planned for the day other than a couple pf phone calls, lots of putting the kettle on, eating and enjoying snuggles with the furries with a bit of tv too ( edited to add that I watched Mary Poppins Returns, with a lapful of Rosa, Sparkle & Ruby, surrounded by snoozing furries ).

While waiting for dinner to finish cooking ( stuffed butternut squash, vegetables and gravy - it was delicious ) I spent ten minutes watching the birds on the feeders out the front, away from the cats. I rarely stop and take time to stand and stare but it was wonderful to see the mix of birds that turned up - blue and coal tits, nuthatch, Mr & Mrs Chaffinch and blackbirds, dunnocks and a robin. There was also a hopeful parakeet that tried unsuccessfully to get in the feeders but found the seed scattered on the ground for the wood pigeons and magpies, along with a cheeky squirrel or two.

I know this time of year can be hard and the last couple of years, far more so than usual for so many, but although I shall always miss Jacky ( and other friends ), I absolutely appreciate what I do have, which is all you amazing people - thank you so much and I wish you all happiness for 2022

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Recently I’d just sat down with a cuppa and Taxi dog who 5 seconds earlier didn’t want to go out, then changed her mind so up I got again. However, a nice little bonus treat for me happened while I waited for her to return, when Jeeves ( biting collie ) came and stood next to me, and softly put his nose in my hand for a stroke. Sounds such a little thing to happen, but it really isn’t for this dog with a terror of hands hurting him

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Jetta is what some people are rude enough to call “ a plain black cat” - is there such a thing as a “plain” cat, I don’t think so ! She was taken to the vets ten years ago to be put down for biting but was signed over to the sanctuary instead.

I’ll admit that her temperament can be challenging and although she’ll never be able to be trusted entirely or be a lap cat, she most certainly is a bed cat who will share with me overnight. Jetta wants to be fussed but after only two strokes, becomes defensive and starts biting the hand that strokes her, so a lot of interaction is just chatting to her. However, there is one game she loves and although I disagree with using human hands as playthings, I ignore my policy with Jetta as she loves it when I put my hand under the  duvet ( for protection ) and play “mousie” for her to chase it. Fortunately she’s not a lover of outdoors as she’d be a fearsome huntress who is fast and always catches my wriggling fingers ! Walking past my bed while working one day, Jetta reached out with her paws which usually means I’m about to get swiped but to my absolute delight, she only tapped my hand for attention but with her claws sheathed - another small but significant step  forward.

I’m not sure if the dogs were practicing for a new Olympic sport or back scratching is contagious, as yawning is to humans, but on a walk one day, Nikki rolled on her back in the field, followed by Fagin who did the same and then so did Rosa - it was such a funny sight with all their legs in the air.

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I’d just given the dogs their lickimats one day and oddly Crusoe walked away, and then I realised I’d given him a mat with the “wrong” design on it ! Most of the mats have little soft rubber “hairs” but I gave him one which has dimpled squares and he disapproved. Of course, I swapped it and that’s my lesson learnt, and more of the preferred design now bought ! 

Unusual view from behind as Nikki & Rosa were busy on their lickimats, which were used a lot during the February storms we had.

Fagin, Bumble, Nikki & Dinky seeing what’s coming.

Then Bumble & Wizard, followed with Jeeves, Taxi & Crusoe all busy -

      

            

- - and the end result is snoozing and settled happy dogs.   

   Possibly not obvious but Nikki is cradled by the Freecycle beanbag that she often uses, very cosy. And from all her paws hanging off to a pair of pawless wonders as Wizard & Fagin laid down like cats with their toes tucked underneath them - looks very odd !                

            

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New cat beds make a regular appearance on our Amazon wish list and here are some of the feline reasons. They have a mixture of flat or igloo type beds, but there is a right and not quite right way to use the latter ! 

Here are Juliette, Dilly, Toto & Cinders showing how it should be done.

            

Katie & Mason pile on top of a bed, in spite of the empty one to their right - - and Popo & Katie also showing how the end result is flattened beds !

            

Lunar demonstrates her fondness for a bed as yes, she has chewed holes in that one and effectively killed another bed - 

   

- but as long as there are spare dog beds -  

- or a human one, they are happy as Jovi &  Sparkle show, and then Ruby, Sparkle, Maddie & Jetta on my ( our ) bed.                                               

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Another Freecycle find were some metal fence panels like the ones seen around building sites, and I was lucky enough to have my request for them accepted. However arranging collection was proving to be awkward, but when I asked our friend Stephen, he and a mate with a trailer, were able to help and went and got them - thank you both. Our wooden boundary fence by the public footpath was already being patched up as it went up in 2007, so Andrew erected these in front and we are safely dog secure again. Site inspection by Fagin, Taxi and Bumble.

After storm Eunice ( what is it with naming storms nowadays ! ) - I was more grateful than ever that these panels were in place by then so I didn’t need to worry about possible security for the dogs. However, a fallen fence post outside the kitchen which is the cats favourite area, meant that Andrew came and for the cats safety  did an emergency propping the fence up as it shouldn’t look like this !

Plus the old pig sty that is used for storage, lost it’s roof so that needs to be replaced too.

Last summer we had temporary residents in the work shed and when the wasps finally left, it was lovely to see the amazing nest they had built, an incredible structure. 

The view that alerted me that my assistance was required ! There is a live catch trap behind that kitchen unit for any live voles that are brought in, and yes, another successful safe release but a very disappointed Juliette !

Another time as Andrew & I were in the kitchen, a bird struck the window and I don’t know who moved the fastest ! Katie cat dived on the stunned bird as Andrew & I raced out to rescue it, but with encouragement, Katie dropped the nuthatch which was unharmed and after 5 minutes recovery, it flew off.   

Recently I had to change the food Rosa was on due to a health issue, but with her flat face, she had been on a dry food with very small pieces that she could easily manage. The new food has larger pieces and so my unused food mixer, now does the job of breaking up the food into Rosa sized nibbles. And on the subject of what to feed dogs, please do not feed “grain free” as there are concerns and investigations that the absence of grain may cause a heart condition that can kill dogs. This is very scary and not worth the risk - after all, in the wild, dogs do eat grains when they eat the stomach of their prey.

There’s no need to sit on the empty plate Pandy as you aren’t the meal - you’re friends not food, so share tea with your friends Cinders & Mason.

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Forty years ago when I became a strict vegetarian, it was considered very odd. There wasn’t the information easily available as it is now - this was pre-internet and pre-decent food labelling so it was routine to be standing in a supermarket reading a list of ingredients ( I still find hidden items I don’t want to consume such as beef gelatine ).

Nowadays we see the same attitude to veganism, which very, very loosely is consuming no dairy as well as no meat or fish but also includes environmental and lifestyle choices. However a meat eater reducing or stopping meat consumption ( meatless Monday etc ) will still have a huge impact on animal welfare, and in the same way the sanctuary cheers every little step our pets make, every animal kept off our food plates is one or two ( mother and baby ) not living a life of hell. I would never be able to put a piece of meat ( beef = Trubshaw; lamb = Albi; turkey = Trevor etc ) on my plate, any more than I would one of our resident cats and dogs. Some of you will remember that we had a couple of pigs who we named Ham & Bacon ( as well as Sausage, Chipolata etc ) because Jacky & I were making a point with a sense of humour, and they all died of old age, in peace at the sanctuary.    

Photo credit unknown but I think it’s the Vegan Society

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Caterham Carnival is happening this year - Saturday 11th June at Westway Common, Caterham, from midday.

We will be attending with a redesigned stall - which could be interpreted as Liz and team are still working out what we’re actually doing ! However we are no longer doing bric a brac, so don’t require that this year, but would gratefully receive nearly new items for our stall, online and car boot sales. The team look forward to seeing you there.

We are still collecting used postage stamps - thank you to those who send them as they raised £58 last year. For those who may not know, any stamps you have with 1st or 2nd class printed on them, need to be used this year before barcoded stamps arrive next year.

The Easyfundraising total in the year since it started is an amazing £326.47 - that is incredible from just a handful of approx 40 people shopping online as usual and costing not a penny more to you or us, thank you so much.

We receive donations and Amazon wish list items for people I don’t have contact details for or they were anonymous, so I hope you read our newsletters to see my thanks - it all helps keep the furries fed and happy.

As I finish writing this, Spring is just in sight so with thoughts of warmer times ahead, we leap ahead into another year helping our furry family, and wishing you sunny days ahead.

     With enormous gratitude and purrs and woofs from all of us, 

Liz & Furries

        

Chaldon Animal Sanctuary

The Chalet, Birchwood Lane, Chaldon, Surrey, CR3 5DQ

www.chaldonanimalsanctuary.co.uk