A week of Lurchers


People who work in animal shelters notice that every now and again there seems to be a glut of one particular breed and we find that is often the case here.One week we will never stop answering calls about Collies, the following week it is all Jack Russells, the week after that it will be bull breeds.Well this past couple of weeks, it has been all about lurchers.We have  two in foster homes and three more desperately waiting for places. Lucy Lurcher is likely to be the easiest to home as she is a smaller whippet cross, the others less so due to the fact that they are greyhound size and one has only three legs due to an earlier accident.Personally I love lurchers and have almost always had one of my own since I frst started taking in animals 35 years ago, however they do need sensible lurcher'people' due to the tendency of some to chase smaller animals.

Although we are now full to capacity, we admitted two cats over a period of three days because their condition was known to be poor and we felt that we had to offer our help. Sadly one of those had to be put to sleep but at least he was not left to suffer.It is fairly likely that he was a feral cat and had been poorly for some time.The other cat is still with us and is being treated for a skin condition but she should be fine within a few weeks and  then we will place her for adoption. We were delighted that an appeal on our Facebook page to home some of our kittens was successful and a lady who took little Ash, a pretty little black/grey longhaired boy,and another kitten, actually came back to adopt another (adult) cat she had seen and could not get out of her mind. Three cats to one home!  - a real boost to those working in the cattery who sometimes feel they do not home enough cats and kittens.When you are working with animals, you can become very attached to them and it pains us all to see those who seem to be so often left behind when others are chosen.It is almost like your child not being invited to a party to which all the other children are going!

Dexter the cow is not a cow,or so I am reliably  informed.He is a BULL, albeit a castrated one. HE is a very gentle soul but it saddens me that when I move close to him to caress him, he slowly moves away out of arms reach.That is unsurprising, when for most of his life, he associated people with discomfort or pain. Having blood taken on a regular basis has clearly made him mistrust humans but even so he is totally passive. Poor old boy. I hope he learns to trust us. The horses have accepted his presence so we will be moving him into one of their groups over the next few days,

I went out on a call to an injured or sick cormorant on Pontllyfni beach,but sadly he died before we could even place him a basket to bring back to the shelter. The young bird  looked as though he had been poisoned.So sad, such a handsome bird.

Baxter the collie who spent most of his four years living a lonely life in a shed,  has been really enjoying his life since he was admitted,and has  now gone to live with a family in Berkshire .They actually came to see Goldie the Cockerpoo but it was Baxter who got on better with their little border terrier so it was no contest. I just love it when dogs like him find homes which are worlds apart from the homes they came from. It is so uplifting to watch  a  downtrodden dispirited animal become alive. The eyes change from dull to shining and the tail previously hidden under the body, suddenly starts flickering a little and then to full on waggy!  Wonderful.

We have been hearing how our dear little CharlieJack Russell has been doing in his new home.It was third time lucky for this loving little dog  who came in from the Dog Pound.His first home said he was too lively, the second kept him a few months and then said he  wasn’t good with the children even though they had previously said that he adored the children! Now he is with an adult family who love him dearly and think he is a marvellous little dog.(as we did)

WE have been interviewing people for a weekend job with the cats and dogs and a very strange but ultimately upsetting  situation occurred today  when one young lady came to see us.The interview over, she was making  her way to her car when suddenly she spotted Freddy the Staffie being walked. ‘He’s my dog’ she cried out and was in floods of tears.He had gone missing a year before(when we rescued him from the Dog Pound) A happy reunion followed with Freddie being  happy to see her though I did later remark to a staff member that considering she had him for years he was  not as hysterical or overjoyed as one would expect and he was equally as happy  to see us! The staff were all close to tears too(except cynical old  me who thought it too good to be true) I asked how long she had him and her answer was too vague for my liking,I then asked if she  had reported him missing to us and the authorities, again the answer was vague. She wasn’t sure if she reported him missing or another member of her family! Already suspicious I whispered to Gail that any minute she was going to say she couldn’t take him back and guess what- that is exactly what she said.The staff were dumbfounded. To cut a long story short, when Freddie went missing , she had lived in her own home but was now living with her mother who had five dogs .Well we know that Freddie was not great with many dogs so that would have quite understandably  caused a major problem.

My problem was that when he was found, he had no identification on him, was not neutered or microchipped and before we took him on,  he was in the Dog Pound  for a week waiting to be claimed. The woman also admitted that the Dog Warden had returned him  on several occasions (I discovered later that he was always out wandering) and that she did not look  hard for him because she thought he had probably died!. We were just a couple of miles away from where she lived but nobody  at that time came here looking for such a dog. Would we really want to take on somebody to care for our animals who had such an irresponsible attitude towards her own pet? Had we not taken him from the Pound he would have been destroyed at the end of his seven days time.The worst thing of all is that after she announced that she was not in a position to take him back, we had to put Freddie back in his kennel.What did that reunion do to him? I was so upset on his behalf, though in truth I would not have considered her a suitable person to adopt one of our dogs, would you?

Update on Melody the 30yrs old cross  Clydesdale marewho was 517kg on admittance , she is now 589kg. A weight gain of 72 kg in this space of  time is very good .Our Dentist Andre says that heavy horses take a lot longer than others to gain weight once they lose it so we are very  pleased with her progress. Blodwen and Melody are rapidly becoming great favourites here as they are both such gentle affectionate horses.

The ticket sales are going well  for the Halloween Barn Dance on October 28th. I am pleasantly surprised at the interest being  shown in  this new venture. Whether we will make much of  a profit remains to  be seen but we need to try different fundraising ideas as well as the usual coffee mornings and this is definitely a departure from the usual.If you want a ticket please ring the shelter on 01286 479711.

I f you live in the Porthmadog or Blaenaufestiniog areas don’t forget our 80’s night at the Lakeside Café in Tanygrisau  on October 22nd. Tickets  are £20 which includes a three course hot and cold (vegetarian) buffet and  welcome drink with eighties music. Transport available from  Blaenaufestinog  if you  don’t drive.Please ring Gina on .01766

There will not be another blog until I return from holiday on October 4th.I am going to stay with a friend in California whom I have not seen for a  long time. Katy volunteers with a  Horse rescue over there. We have always shared a love of horses since we were both very young and living in Crosby,near Liverpool  and Katy now fosters two ponies after losing her own horse last year.Her mother  who was a trustee of Fresh fields for many years, and my sister have been close friends since their schooldays so we have a lot in common. I am looking forward to recharging my batteries and the joy of not dealing with daily problems for a while .


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