People, will you help me make 2015 a successful “adopt a dog” year – starting with Barclay?

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Can £1/$1/€1 get you anything worthwhile today – YES it can.

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Dear Readers – an appeal to all of you who love dogs and have a spare note or coin in your bank account.

I don’t usually do money appeals, not via this media anyway, but this is a very special case.  This is because HUMANS have ruined the life of a dog.  I hear you think it.. “Oh no not again, someone touting for cash!” Well, I’m not ashamed to say – on this occasion yes I am.

Here’s the story of Amil, Continue reading

It’ll never happen to me……..Ooops, it just did

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Once again I’m sort of a bearer of sad news… not the worst, but sad.  A friend shared a post on Joe’s Facebook page .. STICK INJURY . The guy’s story follows at the end of this.  I will not add to it other than say that PEOPLE WITH DOGS, NEAR DOGS, LOOKING AFTER A FRIENDS’ DOG, please do not use a piece of tree in any form as a toy for a dog. Throw a frisby, and old tied and knotted rope, a large-ish ball, a dog toy …ANYTHING but sticks and wood.

After over 140000 views on Joe’s story, https://mrsskeats.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/dont-let-another-good-dog-die-needlessly/, numerous views on his facebook page, views tweets and retweets on twitter and word of mouth via other circles I believed naively that people were getting the message.  To read those words ‘it’ll never happen to me’. made me shiver.

Martyn and Jet’s story

Like most dog owners, I’ve been warned countless times that sticks and dogs are a bad combination and thought ‘it’ll never happen to me’. Well last night it did.

Jet brought a stick back and her mouth was covered in blood. I wiped it away and it came back instantly. Managed to prise her mouth open and blood poured out and onto the grass, and I do mean poured. I ran her to a water bucket nearby and washed some of it away but more and more kept coming – easily a pint in the space of a minute. Finally it slowed and stopped and I got her inside for a look. I couldn’t see much but all that blood had come from somewhere and I’ve never seen an animal look so wretched and in pain in all my life, so to the vet it was.

The vet couldn’t see exactly what she had done, but knew it was bad so took her straight in for a look. One operation later and it turns out that the stick had tore through her tonsil and soft palate, nicking an artery on the way and ploughed over an inch into the soft tissue above her palate. I was told in no uncertain terms that it was a miracle she didn’t bleed out in the field there and then, and had the stick went in even a millimetre to the side she would have been dead, no question.

Once I had her home i went and found where it happened and got a few pictures. Hopefully they will make you all think twice before throwing a stick. I’ve definitely learned the hard way.

***Update 25/09/2014***

Jet has been for her 3-day check-up at the vet and it all seems to be healing okay, but she still has a hole in her palate and is still on plenty of painkillers and antibiotics. Back on Monday for a check-up again but we seem to have got off lucky, although the hole might not heal properly and it will take her a few weeks to fully replace all the blood she lost. Glad my girl is tough as old boots!

jet stick 1 jet stick 2 jet stick 3 jet stick 4

 

 

 

 

Why pick a Romanian Rescue? – It was the “song” that played on the heartstrings.

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I came across this wall poster on yet another Rescue site on Facebook yesterday and there’s a lot of truth in it. Since looking for another dog to go with Annie (a Romanian Rescue) after Joe’s death I have spent weeks spiraling around a head-spinning array of sites for fosters required, adoption required, rescue this, rescue that… It’s mind-blowing to say the least.

Now, I had to make a decision.  As someone said recently “Taking in one dog won’t change the world, but it will change THE DOG’S world”.  So, I couldn’t go about trying to change the world per se, but I most definitely could change the world for one dog. I trawled quite a few sites, both UK and abroad – Spain, Cyprus, Romania, Spain again, Romania, UK, Romania…. One site stuck out – for me.  A lady who was a teacher by day and a carer for over 100 dogs by night/spare time had her story. It was no worse than some others I’d read, but when I read that she’d just taken in 18 pups barely 8 weeks old, that would have been put to sleep, I felt the tug.

We all get it at some point in life.  Not always about animals. Sometimes it’s children or elderly or disable people, or gardens, or buildings, or old cars … something somewhere hits a note in the heart that sings just slightly louder than the melee of other notes and there’s the tug. Some call it passion, some a calling, but whatever name you choose it’s that defining moment that leads you in a different direction from the one you intended. That’s also the point we can choose to ignore what we know and carry on our merry way, a pang of guilt or doubt or a 2nd thought soon wiped away by life itself and it’s forever busy goings on.

Sometimes we don’t ignore it, we’re tugged closer, pulled into the outstretched arms of the melody that begins to rise from that one different note.  We look, we search, we ask, we read – each time knowing that the more we know the more we’ll be dragged deeper into the song.

When I saw the pups, barely old enough to be away from their mum, I wanted to help.  After all, what animal/dog lover can turn their head from a babe in need, especially those of one of the species of animal that truly does just bond with man on a whole different level? Practically,  I couldn’t do a huge amount, I couldn’t house them all, pay a fortune for care or drive over and rescue the lot, but tiny stones dropped in a pond make a foundation on which someone can stand one day. I sponsored and offered to foster one (Maiya) , and said I’d adopt another (Tess) to have as a playmate for my Annie as was the original reason I was looking.

Maiya enjoys a chew

Maiya from a public shelter was to be put to sleep if nowhere could be found for her and 17 other pups

tess 8 wks

Tess when she was first rescued from a Gypsy cellar with her siblings who were all kept in the damp and the dark.

It didn’t seem much but the money I paid for both to be transported to the UK, plus the sponsorship money, paid for food for them and a lot more besides.  All of the medical costs for vaccines etc was included in the adoption pack for Tess and I could have avoided costs for Maiya (fosterers don’t pay these the charity does) but that note in my heart twanged regularly and I didn’t mind paying a bit extra.

All but 2 of those pups are now in safe, happy homes across Europe as fostered or adoptee pets. The success of this drive is testament not only to those who’s heart played a specific note that they could not ignore but also to the woman who took them in, loved them and made them ready to leave, whilst still caring for another 100+ dogs, working as a teacher in a school and being a wife and a human being to boot.

Why didn’t I ignore it all when there are thousands of dogs in UK rescues?  Simple answer is: – the UK rescue centers have many volunteers not just 3, they have a lot of ‘press’ and reasonable funding, some even from the government, and the dogs here are safe already.  Many people adopting a pet will go to RSPCA or the like, or even a local place: that’s the first place they’ll look. We did the same with Joe and Annie. The issue with Romania is longstanding and is now becoming known but has been overlooked to the point of utter meltdown for dogs.  The UK is well known as a country of dog lovers, there’s plenty of love to go around.

In Romania dog lovers are rarer as most people see these animals as vermin and starve them, hurt them beyond what we could imagine and then leave them to die. At the very least the country is so over-run the population is exploding ridiculously. A massive neuter drive is also happening but it can’t keep up.  Years ago dogs were loved in the country but social and economical happenings changed people’s lives and attitudes and dogs went feral.

I can’t save them all but so far I’ve saved 3…and that is reason enough for me.

My story is for the one that struck that note then struck the chord, the chord became a song I could not ignore – I still sponsor with the few pounds spare and Barclay and Sophie are among the many that need to be taken out of that dog hating trap called Romania – but for the animal lovers of this world that’s a whole other story.

If you as a reader have an interest (and if you don’t you won’t have got this far) then take a look at the links for Barclay and Sophie and go from there – Maybe your song will begin too.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.677382875677732.1073742294.580398328709521&type=1&l=ca936e704c

Joe’s story…………….

https://mrsskeats.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/dont-let-another-good-dog-die-needlessly/

Oh Annie…not again! Now for my meltdown!

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Today is Saturday.  The day of the week is actually rather irrelevant, but just a statement of fact at this moment in time.

Saturday is usually a mixture of day off, rest, play, a bit of housework and so on for me.  Nothing too strenuous.  I work 4 days in an office, 2 days online at home, look after house, husband, teen, 2 cats and 1 dog, so I give myself an “easy day” each week as a way to prevent complete and utter meltdown.

This particular day the plan was – sleep in a little; breakfast; walk Annie; coffee; work on a project on the pc; vac the house, coffee… well you get the idea.  Busy but not strenuous.

Annie, my little treasure, my angel, my furry baby… had other ideas. Now don’t get me wrong, she didn’t do it on purpose.  She was just being – well – A Dog.

to explain some of the problem, Annie is a rescue dog.  We had two, but sadly lost Joe to an awful accident in December (please feel free to read my post about that-Don’t let another good dog die needlessly).  Since losing Joe, Scaredy-pup Annie, who was just about gaining confidence went right back to square one.  She’s from Romania, found in a rubbish heap as a puppy, kenneled with several more strays for what must have been an eternity for a puppy.  A few months in Romanianan kennels and she was shipped to England, into kennels.   February 2013 when it was estimated she was about 1 year old, we picked her.  Fluffy, frightened and foreign. Reaction to uncertainty – she wee’d.  She always does.

Now, that all seemed a little boring I’m sure, but the reason I put it down was that this issue was the start of upturning my planned ‘easy day’.  

This is how my easy day actually went – thanks to the scaredy pup Annie.

8am:woken by husband offering large coffee.  Sat in bed and sipped said coffee.  Husband left for work.  I played games on my phone, read emails and snuggled into my warm sheets, looking out at a sunny, but cold, English winter day.

9am : wash, dress, waddle downstairs for another cup of coffee and breakfast.  Teen yapping in my ear about some inane teen talk.  Let Annie into the garden; feed cats.

10am : let Annie in from garden, fat cat hisses at Annie, Annie bounces to play, mud all over the rug- we’ve had a very wet winter and the garden is getting quite boggy.  I sigh, I’ll let it dry and vacuum it later.

10.15am : get Annie’s walking harness.  Call Annie, teen stands by door still yapping. Annie so excited she wees.  I sigh.  Annie thinks she’s done wrong (she has but I try not to get angry – she can’t help it.). In response to that she wees as she walks back to her bed.  She wee’s in her bed.  I start mopping floor.

10.30am : we try again.  This time I take harness to Annie, lay it in front of her.  She knows it.  She loves to walk and on a good day she will sit, raise paw to put one leg in the loop and so on.  Today she’s nervous.  Who knows why. Perhaps she’s heard some banging outside.  Banging makes her nervous. Annie sniffs the harness to me cooing “wanna go walk?”.  Tail wags, and dog wees.

10.45am : we’re out.  A car goes by, Annie looks wide eyed at it.  It’s going to be one of those days.

We walk through the woods, Annie has her fluffy white tail high, bouncing in the leaves, through the trees, over the fallen trunks, nose in this and that. Back on the lead we walk the path to the field.  We meet a large growly dog and Annie hides behind me and wees.  I walk her away, fully aware that I don’t need to stress her any more than she already is.  We meet a black waggy dog.  This is better.  Nose to nose with waggy tails she greets him and vise versa. We reach the field.

Annie runs, bounces, hops, skips, jumps…………and rolls.  “Oh Annie” escapes my lips once again.  But this time she just doesn’t care.  Every last bit of nasty, foul smelling, disgusting thing she could find on that field she rolled in. My shoulders slump.  She’s loving it.

11.45am: I head home with one rank dog trotting happily by my side.

Now, what should have been a nice walk and a steady afternoon has now turned into a nice walk for Annie, an unwanted bath for Annie, an unwanted soaking for me, 2 carpets vacuumed, 2 carpets washed, and wet dog smell throughout the house.

I love Annie to bits and I know she’s a dog with issues.  She’ll get over them, we love her too much to allow it to rule her forever… but why does she have to wee and roll in poo on my easy day :-/  I’m now off to have a genuine, exhausted, meltdown.

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Drop and roll doggy

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Well, I think my doggy Annie is on fire – not in the quick learning kinda way.  Two walks this weekend and she’s practiced her “drop and roll” technique so much.. and it stinks…

Fox poo in mud = “ooo we’ll roll in that”.  Bird poo in mud = “oh yeah, that too.”  Oh and look – some dog pee on the path.  MUST drop and roll in that too.

Why do dogs do that?  I walked my lovely fluffy dog with her coat on, luckily, as she would have been covered (it’s easier to wash the coat!).

So there may not have been a fire but if ever there is, my Annie Baby will be ok if it gets her

Butter would melt in her mouth ......

Butter would melt in her mouth ……

, as long at there’s poo around too.