Saturday, 16 March 2019

Neutering- Isn't all About The Puppies!

Neutering is something that I feel really strongly about, and a subject that I get into many arguments about. I have refused a lot of applications to adopt my dogs because a resident dog has not been done. I listen to the protests about the fact the dog doesn't go out on it's own, and they don't want puppies, but you know what it isn't all about the puppies.

Neutering a dog is the responsible thing to do, there are so many health issues with not neutering from cancer to pyometra. Most of the surgeries we have to do are removing mammary tumors from dogs that have been unsteralised. They are then put through huge surgeries, rather than a 30 minute quick neuter.

Pyometra, is a killer, and I nearly lost a dog that had this due to an irresponsible owner, who simply didn't give a damn.  A female dog was tied to the gates of the pound one day, not only did she have this killer infection, but she was blind and terrified.

This infection, literally means "pus in the womb" and is an infection that acts quickly taking over the uterus, and in most cases causing death. Every time you allow your female dog to have a season, you are putting them at risk of getting pyometra.

So, when you tell me that you love your dog, and it is "personal" choice not to neuter, I don't consider it love when you are endangering that dog. In my mind you are irresponsible, and I don't want you having one of my dogs. You can then go on to try and justify your decision, and often you will get abusive calling me rude because I have an opinion, just like you do.

The simple fact of the matter is, there is NO reason not to neuter, I don't care if your vet has advised not to, or you believe they are "more" of a dog with balls. I don't care, if you have never neutered your dog (in fact that just makes you even more stupid) I don't care what your reason is, simply put you will never convince me otherwise.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Dog Fest 2019

I am convinced that my best ideas are hatched when alcohol is involved, and Dog Fest 2019 was no different. CBH and I were sat one night, few ciders later and not only was I going to take over the world, but we had come up with an idea for everyone that has adopted to meet up. 

We thought that throwing a complete load of strangers together, in a field, with dogs of all ages, personalities, and sizes, was the best idea ever. Fast forward four months, and the reality was born. So, there is me in 3c in a muddy field in Oxford, thinking WTF. 

Yes, I got on a plane, did a two hour drive, and stood with a group of insane but amazing people to celebrate one thing, my amazing dogs. I didn't tell anyone I was coming for several reasons, me getting on a plane and going anywhere can change up until the last second, also I didn't want it to be about meeting me. 

Now that sounds big headed, but as proved, since coming back, many people have messaged and said "oh if I had known you were going I would have gone" no guys you were supposed to go for the dogs, for the UK team and for each other.

The day was everything I wanted it to be, it was happy other than the moans of its cold. People were smiling, dogs were causing chaos, and friendships made, between people that would not normally have met. I always say when you adopt one of my dogs you become part of the crazy Pet Pals GC family. 

It was also great for me to meet many of my UK team, sadly not all could be there, but they all do an incredible job, helping to get these dogs homes. I also got to meet adopters that I speak to often, and it is surreal meeting someone lives in your PC. 

Needless to say that we ended up in the pub after the event, watching the snow falling through the window, muttering we really should make a move for at least four hours! Finally we braved the weather, left the comfort of the pub, and all went our separate ways.
As I battled the M25 for another two hours (what is so fucking smart about a motorway that you have to do 40 on I will never know) I was exhausted but incredibly proud of every foster mum, adopter, but mostly my dogs. They looked amazing, they behaved so well, and they reminded me why I do what I do day in day out.

Thank you everyone...... Dog fest 2020 will be later in the year next year (due to weather) see you all there! 

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Pop it in a Turkey Baster!

I have some great friends, we don't need to speak often, and the odd random message can lift a crappy day. One of my friends lives here on the other side of the island, she owns a goat farm, and makes amazing cheese. She is talented, and wise, and I would like to say far more sensible than me.

Mrs L has a small Pygmy goat that she would like to breed from, so when Horns arrived her eyes lit up, and she begun to plot romantic dinners for the goats. A few messages were passed, but due to chaotic lives nothing much came from the plans of our goats getting it on.

Randomly I received a message the other day from Mrs L asking how the leg was, and after we got through the small talk she jumped in with the goat talk. She was still looking to get the goats together, and asked if she could borrow Horns for a few hours.

Now this may sound straight forward, as goats are horny 28 hours of the day, but Horns is in with my sheep, which means catching the little speedy goat would be a challenge. I told her she was more than welcome to chase him around, pop him in with his date and let nature take it's course.

She, however, had other ideas, she messaged back with "oh can't you just pop it in a turkey baster for me" Now I'm one of those "would do anything for my friends" type person, however, pleasuring my pygmy goat, and popping the results in a turkey baster simply wasn't going to happen.

So, for now Horns is safe he has not got to go on any awkward dates, or have anyone playing with his man hood. Mrs L has got to come up with a plan B that doesn't involve some goat porn, a dark room and a turkey baster, and I can breath a sigh of relief that I can keep my hands clean.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Three Weeks On and I Have New Jeans!

The last three weeks have been longer than usual as I have attempted to shrug off what happened, and get on with life. I was very lucky the first week to have CBH here to help, but once she had waved adios, it left me, myself and I

No matter how many times I tell people that there is no one here to help, a huge majority still don't listen. When I was attacked so many people posted "call the volunteers" "get help" I read these and pondered. What volunteers? what help? I don't hide them in the cupboard and sit with my feet up, there really is no one.

Some people here did offer to come and help, but the reality is if I had to be in the kennels showing people what to do, then I might as well be down there myself. With this many animals, you simply cannot "wing it" you have to know what you are doing.

So, the reality was suck it up and get on with it, just very very slowly. The other comment that made me laugh was the "I hope you are resting" comment. Again if I'm resting who is doing everything I do in a day? My body did tell me several times to stop, and when it said stop, it meant NOW as in it knocked me on my arse, vomiting, and saying no more.

I have never been one to sit around, and I tend to try and power through pain, and simply get on with things. I quickly learnt that my body was having none of this, and days where I drove too much, or was on my leg too much, oh yeah everyday, it made damn sure I knew it wasn't happy.

 As regards to the leg, and the wound it is doing really well, I removed the drain weeks ago, and the stitches I took out this week. Some people are mortified by this thought, the vets and animal people are like "well you know what you are doing" As I keep telling people, I am crazy not stupid!

I feel three weeks on I have turned a corner, I have bought new jeans, have stopped throwing up every five steps, and am finally sleeping through the night again. Mentally I still have a very long way to go, the flashbacks and cold sweats are real, but as with everything I will take those steps (slowly) and succeed.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

The Nasty side Of Rescue!

Rescuing animals is amazing, it brings so much happiness, and a feeling that you have helped something that may not have been saved without you. There are some incredible people in the world of rescue, and then there are "others" There are people that are in rescue for the wrong reasons. There is a dark side to rescue which makes it a horrible place to be, and this week one of my volunteers experienced it.

I try and keep out of all the crap in the rescue world, and am a great believer in not my monkey not my circus, but sadly some people love a drama, and attempt to drag me in at every opportunity. This week a woman from another rescue took a pop at one of my volunteers, and as any good mama bear would do I jumped in.

I had been asked to take a puppy that was found in a compactor, and whilst it stayed in a vets overnight, waiting for me to collect, other rescue groups begun to share the source photos asking for "help" Now this happens a lot, an awful photo that isn't theirs is shared, with a dramatic write up, and pleas for "help" with of course details of how to donate.

Bear in mind that the photos aren't theirs, the puppy is not in their care, they are simply praying on peoples good nature, and in ability to check facts. Well, CBH pulled a woman up on this and in good human nature, the woman had the choice of doing two things, saying sorry admitting she did wrong, and taking down the post or, attack my charity. Of course she did the later!!

This woman was nasty, she was rude, and abusive, and really angry on CBH post, she really showed her true colors. Then the usual bullshit was spouted, how I only take dogs for money, how I kill dogs, and the icing on the very boring cake, how me and my whole family live off the donations.

Apparently, the charity she volunteers for has dignity, which is why they don't need donations. The truth is the lady who owns that charity is married to a highly successful and minted business man. It seems if you ask for donations for a non profit charity, you have no dignity, hate to tell you guys my dignity went a long time ago.

As always she wouldn't answer the simple question of why she was asking for "help" for a puppy she did not have, or tell me how to raise funds without asking for donations. That's when she announced that none of my family work, and we should go get jobs. Now the reality is we do all work, in fact my husband had just walked in from a 12 hour shift, and my son was still at work. I had been at work all morning, yep not in the kennels at CBH was here, so I could put in more hours, and my daughter who doesn't even live at home anymore, was home after a long day at oh yeah work!

This delightful woman had obviously listened to the lies that the charity had told her about me, the same old boring lies and rumors. Can they not come up with something more original, needless to say when she was told that she was lying, and making herself look very stupid, she crawled back under her rock.

Money is a horrible thing, and brings out the worst in people, it makes people jealous, and angry and very short sighted. Yes I receive donations, but not as much as people think, and yes I have to work to help pay for what I do. But the difference between myself, and other people in rescue is, I don't care how they run their charities, I don't care how many donations they have as long as lives are being saved.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Why Assessing Is so Important!

Years ago I said that I would never rehome any dog that I had not met, assessed and spent time with. This gave me peace of mind that I knew that dog inside and out, that I had done everything possible to ensure that it was ready for every situation. I also think this makes my rescue better, and why I have so many successful adoptions.

So, 16 new dogs came in, all needing assessing, with dogs, people, different situations. I have been assessing dogs for years, and take things slowly, as I have no background history. I am starting from ground zero, often with the larger dogs they have been caged separately, therefore, I don't even know how they are with dogs.

I had several large dogs come in, one was huge, but a breed I know as I have one of my own. He showed no issues or problems around people or other animals, and on the third day of him being here, it was time for his assessments to start. I spent around 20 minutes in the pen with him, playing, recalling, no issues at all. The other dogs were let out to join him, again no issues at all.

I took photos, played with the dogs and was confident at this point, he was going to adjust to life well, and that yet again another dog that had been let down by humans. In the next few moments my life flashed before my eyes, as he grabbed my leg, knocked me off my feet and dragged me around like a toy.

As my head hit the floor with every throw, he never let go of my leg for more than a second, and only to re grab, and shake some more. At this point I thought I was going to die, this dog was relentless. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one of the other dogs coming running towards us, and I thought I am truly fucked now, as more than one dog there was no way I was going to survive.

As Solomon leapt in the air, I did my hail mary's, and waited, but it was not me he wanted, he had jumped on the rottweiler biting down on the back of his head, and at the moment he released. I took my chance and got to my feet, adrenaline carrying me I got to the gate and out.

I looked down, my jeans were destroyed, I knew I had to see the damage he had done. As I cut through the jeans the pain was unbearable, and my legs went from under me. I called people, and explained what had happened and I needed help, yep takes a dog attack for me to ask for help!

I peeled back my jeans, and saw just how bad it was, in parts I had no leg, what was once an amazing tattoo was all but gone.

My daughter arrived, and as always her pleas to sit went over my head, as I had to get the dogs back in and kenneled for the night. With that achieved, the next hour was a rush of ambulances, instructions being shouted out about who to call, what needed doing, and that I would be back later.
At the hospital the reality of how bad my leg was hit me, this was far more than a couple of stitches. In places he had eaten my leg, and others the flesh was badly torn. He had destroyed a tattoo, and a new pair of jeans.

I underwent two hours of reconstructive surgery, and three hours after it I had discharged myself. Not because I think I'm so big and brave, but because there is simply no one else to care for all these animals. I also had to face that dog, to look him in the eyes and ask why. Of course he could not tell me, and I will never know why.

For now I am carrying on with life, just slowly, I am strapped from thigh to toes, and in the next few days the dressings will come off to reveal the work they have done.

I would never wish this much pain on anyone, which is why assessments are so vital, and why I know I do a good job. I may have paid the price but better me than an innocent person in the street or in a new home.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

How Many More Times Can It Break?

People often tell me I have a huge heart, what I believe is that I am strong, and can handle pain, and loss well. However, just because I am strong enough to handle pain, doesn't mean I deserve to. A little tiny dog broke my heart this week just a little more. Sometimes I wonder if I will run out of pieces, and one day it will break entirely.

A pug was found in appalling condition, he was so emaciated that he had lost all muscle from his body. He was to weak to stand, too weak to move, and was one of the worst abuse cases I have seen since the Telde 4.

The group that found him, asked for my help, there was no way I could say no.
I collected the little old man, just 2.3KG of him, and brought him home, I sat with him, spoke to him, and told him to fight. He looked at me and wanted to live, he had not given up.

Off we went to the vets, and days like this I need to remember that they are human, they do not super powers, and cannot perform miracles. We discussed Mr M's condition, and my vet had the serious face, the one that means he wants me to listen, and think with my head, not my heart.

Although I listened, and I knew what he was saying was right, I asked him to try. Mr M didn't want to give up, his eyes, and his brain wanted to live. Sadly his body had already shut down.

The following day I got the call that I knew was coming, but I hoped would not. Mr M's organs were shutting down, he was dying, I told the vets to tell him I was on the way. I walked in the clinic, straight to his cage, and took the frail, little dog, disconnected him from his drips, wrapped him in a blanket, and sat in the corner.

As I sat cuddling a dog, I had known less than 24 hours, I could feel my heart breaking a little more. I kissed him on the nose, stroked his head, and told him we all loved him and I was sorry. Sorry that humans had done this, sorry that I could not get to him sooner, and sorry that I had failed him, by not producing the miracle he needed. He took his last breathe, in my arms.

I got in my car, the place where I can let it all go, and for 20 minutes as I drove, the tears fell onto my lap. I often need that first 20 minutes when I leave the vets, as I learnt a long time ago, you cannot bottle it up. A broken heart is the worst, it is like having broken ribs, nobody can see your pain, but it hurts every time you breathe.

RIP ... Mr M I am sorry <3