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

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/

Joe died but his death is still carrying a message

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It’s 19th June 2014. Joe died 6 months ago on 23rd December 2013.

Joe was a 6 year old beautiful boy taken from us after only 10 months by a cruel twist .. an accident .. lack of information .. so I started a mini campaign.  And I’ve just read about another poor soul, a friend of a friend, having to wait to see if his dog will survive a stick injury.  Heartbreaking.

Ok so writing about it channelled my grief but the whole thing goes beyond that.

What was to be thought a rare freaky accident turned out to be all too familiar to vets and families worldwide.  What was thought to be a personal kick in the nuts turns out to be a case of ignorance is most definitely not bliss.

I received hundreds of comments on my first post after Joe died. I received hundreds of facebook and twitter comments too.  The current WP views are at over 139000 which is great, and yet not enough.  Dogs are still being treated for nasty stick injuries, vets see a few each month.  I can’t preach and stay stop it, but I can let anyone and everyone who cares know what a potential danger stick throwing is: better than being totally ingnorate of the risks.

What happened to Joe, and happens to dogs all over the world at a frighteningly all to often occasion was borne of ignorance, stupidity, even years of  “that’s what we do with dogs”.  We simply never thought about the consequences it could bring.

Historically, when man decided to have dogs as pets and not merely working companions (not all that long ago in the UK) chasing a stick was a favourite game.  We’ve all seen the old adverts in faded yellows and reds with a boy, stick in hand and his faithful dog pantng happily as he waits for the ‘toy’ to be thrown.  Why should we think it’s dangerous? We see things like celebs on the One Show with their dog, happily throwing it a stick, or in videos…. Dogs and stick throwing seems synonimous

These are but a few stories of reasons why we should try and change this……………..

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

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/local-news/dog-saved-stick-throat-scare-6645241

http://www.croftreferrals.co.uk/news  read Flick’s story

The list goes on.

Please think twice before you throw a stick for your dog to chase.

In memory of a beautiful dog, whose life will not ever have been in vain, but will mean so much more if we save others from pain.

In memory of a beautiful dog, whose life will not ever have been in vain, but will mean so much more if we save others from pain.

 

Don’t let another good dog die needlessly

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This page is set up as a memorial and as a legacy for Joe- Boy, a lovely collie dog rescued by us and loved by us until a freak accident took him away.  We intend to stop as many people as we can, and as many dogs as we can, from suffereing as we have.

Joe LOVED sticks! Joe would dance in front of one he had rooted out from somewhere.  His eyes were bright, his paws would pad the floor and he couldn’t wait to chase the wood.  Mostly I’d kick it along the floor but at times people would throw it and he’d gleefully chase, find and return until he could barely breathe, he’d ran around so much.  Then home for a long sleep.

From the first day we met him at FAITH Animal Rescue, in Norfolk, he chased sticks.  We walked along a country lane to see if we ‘liked’ him.  He didn’t care – where’s the stick? He won our hearts and we found a stick, threw it and won his.

Joe was already around 6 years old, a beautiful face with pale brown eyes and an adorable grin.  He’d obviously been used to sticks.  Perhaps a million times he’d chased after an innocent looking peice of wood.

22nd of December 2013 that changed!

Joe was out with his adopted sister Annie and a family member.  The stick was thrown, once, twice, twenty times…. then disaster fell like a sword, cutting short the fun, and very soon his life.

Joe caught the stick as it fell, it went down his throat, ripped his windpipe….Joe collapsed.  He managed to get up and the family member got him home.

A trip to the vets, 3 times in 36 hours, £700 later we were still unable to save him.  It was too much, the pain too bad.  He lost his strength, lost his will and one and a half days after he caught his last ever stick, he left us.

Now, if EVERYONE who can to post this line on their timeline on social media or via blogs does so, whether you have dogs or not, you will HELP me, in Joe’s name to save another dog, and another family from going through the pain.

Use a proper toy with your dog and keep your best friend with you for longer… and please don’t think “It’ll never happen….” it does…., it has …… but we can stop it from happening again.  PLEASE pass this message across the world.  I’ve had almost 500 shares on FAITH Animal Rescue facebook page alone – that’s potentially 500 dogs and families saved from the agony or this situation.  Every share of the message may prevent just one more…………………….Imaget

Such a sad year- is there anything good to focus on?

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It’s 27 May 2013 and I’ve had yet another notification from a friend that she has lost another family member to the grim reaper and that her one remaining dog (after having two put down earlier this year) had to be rushed to the vet and seems to have had a stroke affecting his mobility amongst other things.

This set me to thinking, something I do a lot of but get nowhere with…

Is 2013 a particularly horrific year for everyone, just a minority or is it simply because I’m getting to that age… you know, the one where everyone who was old when you were 20 is now ancient and therefore knocking at, if not going through death’s door..

Personally I fear it’s a combination but maybe I’m missing an angle.

Only a few months ago, a young fella I knew from when he was merely 11years old, a snotty schoolkid knocking at the door for one of mine – he commited suicide, only 27 years of age. A month later, a colleague I know well suffered a much deeper heartache for the same reason. It was his son who hung himself, age 26.

These events were 2012 but towards the end of…. which led to the particularly dreadful 2013 start.  My husband’s nan died January, my good friend’s brother died February and she had to have 2 dogs put down due to one having a heart attack and the other having cancer, in March my sister-in-law died, in April another good friend found out that they’d lost their job, then was diagnosed with cancer, 4 work colleagues have been diagnosed with various cancers……and finally May, the one who lost her brother has just also lost her grandpa and her remaining dog has just had a stroke and my cousin in Australia has just had to have a pacemaker fitted and is very poorly- and I only found out she existed 6 months or so ago!…………

Now, one would think it a string of coincidences based on ages etc, include the dogs in that – but no.  If you recall, 1st person only 27 and the 2nd 26.  OK, Nan was 96 but the brother was 54.  The dogs were 6, 8 and the eldest remaining,  but sickly now, is 10.and so on.  No, age isn’t the reason, it can only be factored in as part of…

On a personal note, we as a family suffered massively financially for a decision I made 7 years ago – it catches you in the end.  Nothing illegal or immoral I hasten to add… I just tried to help someone but never thought it through, never considered the what ifs.  Then with 2 funerals in the family in as many months, work pressures, the resident offsprings natural mother causing grief, the resident offsprings sisters adding to that grief, the boiler broke, the electricity bill was massive, a cat got sick, cost a fortune, got well again, I suffered a mini (and they call it silent) heart attack, more on that another day……… life in general seems to be knocking my legs from under me almost daily.

So, such a sad year for many.

We don’t have to go far to read daily other peoples’ struggle with 2013 either … Drummer Lee Rigby being the most prominent in current news.. actions so horrific, barbaric and aimed at dividing a nation.  The family hear the sorry for your losses and many condolences… but behind the doors is this the first this year for them or simply the worst?

Tornadoes, plane crashes, earthquakes, killings, threats of violence, wars, economic struggles and ruin, threats against religion and religious ceremonies. … Life seems to be rocked at every corner of the world more so this year that ever.

But why?

Is it ‘fate’?  Has the world literally ‘gone mad’?

I fear it is mainly coincidence…sad but still coincidence.  Some of the actions- the hacking of a soldier, the hanging of self, these are results of today’s pressure in life and expectations of redemption in one twisted way or another.  Those dying of diseases, sadly just a time where I personally know people who are older and more susceptible. Natural disasters always happen, and perhaps the angry planet is getting a little more ferocious but I’m sure records have shown worse.

No, there’s nothing sinister about 2013 that isn’t just life bludgeoning on in it’s own interminable way, dragging souls, killing those who, for whatever reason can’t keep up.  It’s not the end of the world, or bad just because 13 is ‘unlucky’.  It’s not worse now than it’s ever been. It’s the same as its always been, we… or maybe I should say ‘I’  just notice more.

2013… unlucky for some, Chinese year of the snake – translated to ‘full of obstacles’, some viscious in nature, full of solar flares and economic mismanagement… yeah – a bad year……….isn’t it?