I always know when Christmas is not far away because the telephone suddenly  becomes five  times as busy, as do the number of people wanting to get rid of their pets.The second week of November is usually the beginning of this sad time for animals ,but this year it has started already and October is still not finished.I am dreading the next month.

The power is still not on in the house  and I am really feeling that I cannot take much more of living this way.The electricians have started their work  so I am hopeful that I will have power  back on by early next week. In the meantime ,the local Indian takeaway are doing very well by me as it is the easiest  if not the most expensive way to ensure I have at least one hot meal a day. What a nightmare!

Predictably the adoptions are slowing down as they generally do at this time of year  but we have still managed to home a few pets over the past few weeks.

An elderly neglected collie was admitted after being  found staggering along a busy road.His finder very kindly paid for the Veterinary treatment he required and gave us  a generous donation also. As she was about to leave she told me she was a hairdresser; never being  one to pass up an opportunity I asked if she had her hairdressing scissors with her as my hair was in dire need of a trim.She did not have them with her but I wasn’t about to let her go so easily and so I  came up with the scissors we had been using to trim the knots out of one of the dogs! So there was I sitting on a chair in the middle of a farm yard having my hair cut , and a very good job she did too, dog scissors or not!  Thank you Helen. I think maybe it has been the most bizarre place you have ever  been called on to apply  your hairdressing skills.

 I have already expressed my despair at those people breeding different pedigree dogs together, so apologies for once again mentioning it. I will probably moan about this issue for months to come! Recently  I was in the Vet surgery we use and I read some of the advertisements people had pinned to the message board. There were cavapoos and sprockers and labradoodles and the prices ranged from “£225 to £500!!!!!  Who  in their right mind pays that kind of money for what is simply a  crossbreed ? There is only one reason to breed these dogs and that is to make money and it isn’t as if these dogs are any better behaved or  different from any other dogs. We are  seeing so many  Beagle crosses nowadays and loveable though they are, Beagles must be one of  the  worst dogs to cross, they are wilful , difficult to train and notoriously bad on recall .Where is the sense in that? Pugs also seem to be favourites with the ‘cross’ breeders and  today we admitted 2 pups, one pug and one pug/beagle! They are the result of a couple breaking up and parents taking on the responsibility to find them homes . At just five months of age and being small , they have been snapped up quickly . Thank goodness. I just wish this craze for pedigre crosses will die out soon.

So many parents ring us for help when their offspring negate on their responsibilities towards pets. When I  was first married (100 years ago or so it seems) we went to a lady called Mrs Monks who took in rescue dogs in Southport.We wanted a mongrel and were happy to take on anything needing a home, but she took one look at us and slammed the door in our faces. I was so hurt that I cried all the way home ,but now I am involved in rescue myself, I understand, if not condone the door slamming episode. Clearly she had experienced the ‘young couple  syndrome ‘– where a couple get together and before they start their own family, they buy a pet , then discard when the real baby comes along. Thankfully not all young couples part with their pets so easily but the sad fact is that many do.  Never having had children myself and preferring to have dogs instead ( a less painful process)  she lost out on a good home with me but I still understand why she didn’t want us to have a dog. When I began rescuing animals, Mrs Monks and I became friends and she was horrified when I told her how she had treated me! Now I too am apprehensive when approached for a pet by young married couples , but each case is different and as such have to be addressed individually. Finding the right homes is so difficult. If we rehome to a young couple, it is entirely possible that they will not want that same pet when the ‘real’ family comes along, but when rehoming to older people there is  more  likelihood of illness or bereavement resulting in the return of the pet. It is a veritable minefield and with the best will in the world and with many years of pet rehoming behind me, there are no guarantees .

Incidentally, we finally rescued a dog via Una Loy, an rspca volunteer(there was no shelter in Southport at that time)  and English setter  Candy remained with me  for the entirety of her life.The husband went but the dog stayed!

Monday 30th October;

The day began with discovering that two of our horses were missing from their field. My first thought was that they might have been stolen – coloured cobs are very popular with certain members of the community.  Thankfully we found them about half a mile from the shelter and   within an hour they were back in their field. Naughty girls. The midden where we  put the used hay and straw/horse droppings is next to their field so they had used it as a stepping stone. Naughty definitely, but clever too. Methinks it is time to move the midden or muck spread on to one of the unused fields.


With so many cats and kittens on site, we are getting through so much food and so we were thrilled to receive  a big  donation of catfood from a lovely couple in Shropshire who had recently visited the shelter. What a difference an occasional donation of petfood can make to our dwindling coffers.Cats are notoriously fussy eaters and few will tolerate the cheapest foods.They are very discerning animals and even the strays and feral cats have been known to turn up their noses at some brands offered to them.As I finish  typing this blog ,another delivery has arrived, this time from the grateful owners of Esmee the cavalier who was missing for a week on Mount Snowdon.We were not the finders but sent a car to collect her and one of the staff here fostered her until the owners could return to collect her.She was a   lucky little dog to survive the cool temperatures on the mountain and she was also  out  during the terrible hurricane type gales .What a survivor.

Feral Cats;

Our feral cat enclosure houses up to 20 cats and although they are all up for adoption, homes for them are few and far between so we were delighted to recently rehouse  three to the same home ( a home which already has some of our pets ) and this week another 2  have been reserved. It will make more room for the remainder of the cats which belonged to our recently deceased friend Billy Meade.We are expecting them in this week .

Finally, if anybody can help out at our Xmas fair in Porthmadog on November  25th please let me know.I am also looking for help on a stall at Glynliffon xmas fair on Nov 11th and 12th. Ring me if you can help for a few hours on  any of those dates. Likewise if you can bake a cake or two, that would be very welcome.We  also need mince pies made for our Fair in Porthmadog (vegetarian filling please)I would make them myself but my last foray into baking was total disaster (see photo)

Photos: Welcome donations of catfood,naughty Poppy and Zola,Bella a beagle/springer cross, Feral cats  and My delicious burnt mince pies from 2 Xmases ago!