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SUMMER 2022

Hello Friends,

I’m aware this is later than usual but trying to get this issue finished has turned into a bit of fun and games, let me explain !  It seems every time I think I have a chance to work on this ( and it is making progress ) something happens to sidetrack me, or there is new information to add about our summer fundraising events in August and September.

In the Spring newsletter, I wrote about Caterham Carnival which we had intended to be at, but unfortunately the event had to be cancelled. However, Chaldon Village Fete and Quality Street Fair ( Merstham ) are back.

               

We will be at both of them, and our patron Peter Egan is also going to be at the Quality Street Fair, and judging the dog show.

There is more information below and the help required if you’d like to, but our wonderful volunteer team look forward to hopefully see some of you there.

SUMMER FUNDRAISING

Chaldon Village Fete is at a new venue in Six Brothers Field, off Willey Broom Lane, CR3 5BN on 29th August ( Bank Holiday ) from 2 - 5pm ( just past the previous site of Chaldon infant school ). The proceeds are divided between local good causes and yes, that includes us - we have benefitted for many years. This is why I’m asking for your support please - let’s help them to make a success of their first post - pandemic fete.

Our amazing Chaldon team of volunteers are running a stall with pet items and a tombola, but extra human power is also needed please. If you would like to volunteer, especially at each end of the day for an hour or two to set up etc. Contact Graham Baker, chaldonfete@gmail.com  Tel: 01883 336631

There is NO bric-a-brac this year but we need good quality tombola items please. If you live locally and want to donate, please drop goodies off to us or to Graham at 15 Doctors Lane.

I have also created a special, one off tombola wish list on Amazon for ideas, or for those who don’t live locally but would like to indirectly support the sanctuary and other Chaldon community charities, we’d all be very grateful.

Small chocolate items for the children’s chocolate tombola.       Bottles, anything from water to wine.   

Good quality toys and teddies.   Plants for the plant stall.   

On Sunday 4th September 11- 4pm in Quality Street Merstham our lovely  volunteer team will have an information stall here. We have been fortunate as Quality Street Fair approached us to be one of the causes they support this year, also in their first post - pandemic event. The proceeds of the day will be divided between our animal sanctuary and Loveworks ( community charity ) so let’s help them make the day a success.

Peter ( Egan ) has kindly agreed to come along and say a few words, and to judge the fun dog show (Beautiful Bitch, Handsome Hound, Best Trick and Dog the Judge would like to take home).

They have live music and games, a marching band, dance troupe, gin bar, QS Pub, lots of food options and stalls from plants, preserves, crafts and art. So please pop along ( £1 per adult over 16 ) to enjoy all the festivities, Scrufts dog show and ending the day with a Feather Tug of War !

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Spring was very slow to arrive this year although we were very ready for it after the long, grey winter, but one rare, lovely spring morning, I sat in the dog garden with a cuppa after mopping the floors. There were a couple of red kites in the sky although not quite warm enough for them to be floating on thermals but the sun had burnt off the early morning mist, and there was no biting wind and a blue sky - lovely. Dinky dog pottered past me - with mud on his head as he had walked behind Jeeves who was scratching the earth and sending little clods of mud flying !

As I looked around, it seems as if everywhere, there were cats and dogs catching the sun rays, both indoors and out - on the draining board, window ledges, on a paving slab step or path as we all enjoyed the promise of better weather to come. I walked into the lounge and Taxi & Jeeves were laying in a sun patch on the floor and made me think “collies in the sun” - a song title  perhaps !  Didn't get their photo but do have Sparkle & Wizard another day.

As we went into the Easter weekend. I had a poorly dog to keep an eye on ( tummy upset ), so was working in my armchair in the lounge rather than in the office - this means working with minimal space for paperwork but maximum ‘help’ from furry noses as I squeezed in with Rosa & Maddy on my chair. As I put each Easter card up beside my coffee mug, Heidi came over to have a sniff and wagged her tail so I think she was adding her thanks for the donations and lovely words.

During the Bank Holiday in May, we had a lovely sunny and  quiet weekend, and while the dogs were pottering up the field, I went to Amazon to update our wish list and have a browse. On spotting a half price deal on some dog toys they like, and due to your ongoing support, I was able to buy a few extra ones for them and couldn’t do that with an empty piggy bank ! This is the soft pig toy I saw Taxi “killing” in the garden, shaking and throwing it about with great glee. It’s one of those without stuffing so has lasted quite well, with only a few missing bits -  ….. before Taxi                    ….after Taxi

                                                                                                                                                                           

Another item I bought when it was on a deal price is a  battery jetwash and it has made such a difference to keeping the dog concrete clean as it so easy to use - I’ve even started cleaning the paving slabs where I park as you can see.

There are many unglamorous parts to sanctuary life and it may be considered a not exciting way to spend your donations but the benefits for me with the ease of use, have been huge. Sometimes a little extra for me is added to donations received ( thank you ) and I treat myself to something I'd not usually buy, or Andrew & I enjoy a doughnut when one of us passes the local bakery.

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There are so many little moments during the days here, and I thought I’d share some of them to give you a little flavour of living with the animals.

A simple job like emptying the dishwasher can cause a pause, as Toto cat who is a shy soul and startles easily, was eating by the mug cupboard I  needed to go to, so onto another little job while waiting for her to finish. I go to wipe another surface and can only do half of it as Cinders is the other end having a little late morning nibble to sustain her.

During winter, the lounge door is obviously not left open so I stand by it, holding it open as the dogs go in and out, but it is sad how many that arrive here, have a fear about doors - both of the door shutting them out, as well as me being quite near. They may suddenly startle or hesitate but when Bumble recently happily passed me, without even a second glance or moment’s hesitation, I smiled at his progress.

I was working in the office and paused as movement in the cat run caught my eye. Slate was having a wonderful time chasing his tail until he was dizzy and pottered off with “nothing to see here” attitude and I went back to stuffing the spring newsletter into envelopes and sticking stamps on.

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Then I went through to the lounge where the laptop computer is, to check something. First I squeezed in with Rosa & Maddy on my chair, and then just as I was going to stand up, Toto cat landed on my lap for a snuggle, with cold wet paws as it was sleeting outside. Yes of course I postponed getting up and getting on with working - it doesn’t take much to delay someone who procrastinates !

One evening, I heard an unidentified sound in the kitchen and when I checked the camera footage, saw two wide-eyed girls - Boo & Cinders watching something.

The kitchen gate hadn’t latched properly so Taxi went and helped clear their tea time plate, ignoring the two glaring “spotlights” of cats eyes on her !

  

Typical cat, just sitting on a narrow strip of cardboard because it’s there is Tootsie - -

- - and she remains on it while Crusoe and Heidi are either side eating their dinners.

After a few days of non-stop activity by the hard working adults on the bird feeders, the baby tits soon arrived. To my delight, a young great spotted woodpecker also came to eat suet pellets and returned several times for a good feed. The disappointing early summer weather affected the flowering of plants and bugs for the birds to feed on, as the feeders usually go very noticeably quieter during the summer months but haven’t yet this year. We also have been discovered by local parakeets but as the feeders are not particularly easy to access, there are only 3 or 4 arriving for a nibble each tea-time.

 

Sometimes the sanctuary has to say no to a request for help, so as to not jeopardise the existing situation here, and how much work I’m already doing with the resident family I share my time, energy and love with. It’s not as if, when my complicated little souls arrive here, I can say “ in x amount of time, you will be fixed” because they are never going to “be normal” and I will always have to give them consideration, being sensitive to their individual quirks and needs.

Fagin rarely gets on the bench in the field but on this particular day, was laying there waiting for me - so I sat on the other end with the missing slat while he accepted the fussing he’d requested.

Does this mean he is “cured” and now “normal” - absolutely not - he is still and will always be, a fear biter. He now allows me to brush most of him, but he will always be sporting the rough and ready look, rather than me upsetting him and losing his hard worked for trust and confidence, by pushing him and insisting on combing every inch.

There are other ways in which Chaldon can help, not just taking animals in. Lots of ‘phone calls are asking for advice or can be directed to other organisations who may be able to help. As a well known advert goes - every little helps, as we make a difference for one animal at a time.

There have been new arrivals, some temporary and one joining the family home for life. Another rescue friend took some dwarf rabbits into safety and I fostered them for a short while before they moved onto a great place as loved animal therapy pets. Also I collected a stray ferret locally and housed him for a few days before meeting up with my friends at Ferret Rescue Surrey who took him into their care.

Another rescue friend approached me about a little dog who was proving tricky to find a place and if I tell you I’ve nick-named him “piranha”, you can probably guess why no-one would give him a home ! Dinky ( new name for new beginnings ) was a loved pet and when his owner died last year, the family did all they could with multiple daily visits, but Dinky was still home alone most of the time.

As I’ve already indicated, he will bite and is the only dog that Andrew is wary of, with good reason as Dinky would nip if he got close enough. Thankfully he has taken to me without a problem and is currently in his favourite spot on the back of my armchair, although here he is on my lap in the garden.

Last year a friend contacted me wondering if I could help as she had been caring for a stray cat but with winter coming and a house move on the horizon, there was no way he was going to be left to cope on the streets again. So a plan was hatched and Billy was duly caught one morning, taken straight to our vets so that he could have a health check, be neutered and microchipped. I then collected him and Billy was a very content to be in safety here, until he went off to happily live with another friend - here relaxing in his own garden. I don’t home to public but lots of my friends have found themselves with a new pet when I have one who doesn’t need to be here.

On the other end of the scale as always, there have been losses as I said a sad goodbye to Kismet ( dog ) and also the last two hens Chuckles & Cloud. I’m pausing from having chickens for a while, although no doubt, in due course, someone will come to take up residence in Cluckingham Palace.

I am now trying to finish this newsletter during the heatwave ( 36C / 96F outside ) so all active jobs were done well before midday, including fresh water in the wildlife bowls outside. Shortly after breakfast the cats vanished into the cool of our woods, and the dogs are indoors with the blinds down in the direction of the sun and the air con on ( 24 C / 75 F ). It’s only a small unit for the open plan bungalow but it makes a huge difference and keeps everyone safely cool indoors, but Fagin & Wizard decide to find and share the one patch of sunlight coming in !

The dogs are unaware of how hot it is out and are now asking for the garden, so a quick, supervised toilet break and I’ll pop the kettle on for me too.

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We’ve been fortunate to receive donations of ex-display garden furniture to raise funds, which has been particularly  helpful the last couple of years without fundraising events - thank you ( you know who you are ). Some of the items had damage but give spare teak wood to Andrew and ask for a fence in our car park area and this is the lovely result that now greets visitors.

Also I have been keeping an eye on Freecycle and collecting free animal garden ornaments to decorate the area so there is now a beautiful but battered white lion and other smaller concrete creatures residing here as well.

We are still collecting used stamps, with thanks to you who send them - the latest batch raised a very helpful £70

Anonymous donations, both financial and from our Amazon Wish List continue to arrive, thank you all.

Our Easyfundraising total continues to rise with thanks to all who use it, as our total is now well over £400 raised, amazing.

So many thanks for so many small acts of kindness that come our way, and help me to continue doing what Jacky & I always felt was needed for the unhomeable cats and dogs with no-where else to go to be a loved pet.

     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