Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Chickens Are Stupid!

I have said it before, and I say it again, chickens are stupid, and not just a little stupid but really stupid. When people tell me how their chickens are intelligent, and funny, I ponder whether I simply got the defective ones. I have some chickens that lay and sit on eggs which is great, however, where they decide to lay is beyond belief.

In the corner I have a clean bedding pile for the dogs, this thing is huge, and in the eyes of a chicken, must look like Mount Everest. So, you would think that a chicken would stay away, oh no I have a chicken that decides down the back of Mount Everest she will lay eggs, and then sit.

Now for her making the climb to the summit every day for water, and to stretch her legs is possible. She is like the Bear Grylls of chickens, fearless but stupid. As she has not worked out that when her teeny tiny chicks are hatched, how the hell are they supposed to that climb of death.

So, eventually I hear cheeping, the day has come when proud mama appears with her brood and then gets stuck. She gets to the summit and the chicks stand at the bottom looking at her in stunned awe of her ability. There is no way in hell they can make the climb, and are even more likely to make it down the other side alive.

I know what I have to do, but I don't want to as chicken mama's are vicious, they will defend their babies with full force, and claws. This may sound like me being a wimp, as it's only a chicken I hear you say, however, have you ever been on the receiving end of a ninja chicken.

With a bin lid for protection, I maneuver around the bedding mountain and locate the chicken nuggets. One eye on mama, who is ready to kill me, and one eye on nuggets I carefully scoop them up and roll them down the mountain. Thankfully all survived, and although their descent was not pretty it was not fatal.

Mother reunited with nuggets I breathe a sigh of relief, as she wanders off through the stables, I think although stupid they are good Mum's. Oh no wait, maybe not so good, as she has just led her nuggets into Maggie's stable..... One 800KG horse, four teeny chicken nuggets this isn't going to end well.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

I Hate Wet Feet

Well it is that time of year when the skies open up and it rains, now before everyone says "Its only a bit of rain" yes it is, and the island desperately needs it, however, when I see the forecast my heart now sinks. For me it is not "only a bit of rain" and it isn't "great for the ducks" as so many people state. For me it means, devastation, expense, tears and wet feet.

The rain started slowly which is manageable, the dogs went out much to their disgust. Then it got heavier, and heavier, and the mud started to move, and the gutters begun to bend, and then all hell broke loose. Mother Nature is a bitch, and when she wants to make a point, she makes it with full fury.

For me, sat on top of  a mountain, with no real protection, no real house, and very old buildings basically I am fucked. As I watch the water pouring through my house, bringing the mud with it, and the water running down the walls into all the electrics all I can do is watch.

I know it is only time before we loose the power, which means I then have no way of charging phones, making coffee or keeping sane. The more I try and keep animals safe and dry, the wetter I get, with wet feet , soaking clothes, and no way of keeping warm, the day is pretty miserable.

A friend asked me "what do you do when it rains" and the simple answer is pray for it to stop, and ride it out. There is a certain amount of sweeping you can do, and buckets help to a point, but after five solid hours of torrential rain, there is a point, when no more can be done.

I think unless you experience flash floods and storms to the scale we do, you will never fully understand the dread, and fear you feel. So, needless to say my sense of humor went, and a few people got the wrath of my temper, as they whinged and moaned because I was late answering them, or had not been online much. As I sat waiting for mother nature to decide she had rained enough, I looked down, and muttered to myself... "I really hate wet feet"

Thursday, 25 October 2018

When 10 Became 11

People often ask me how I choose which dogs to keep as I have a varied bunch, and the simple answer is I don't choose them they choose me. The other question I get asked a lot is "how do you cope with so many" Honestly once you are past six dogs you really don't notice anymore. So, my ten became eleven, and as always I knew it was the right decision. 

Garfy has joined our home, and from the moment he walked in I knew I had made the right choice. He had been offered a home in the UK, the guy sounded great on paper it was everything a dog needed, and would love, but not Garfy. I had discussed with the guy Garfy's "need" and all sounded great, but there was a niggle.

Rule number 50 is "trust your gut" and I always do... Garfy had come so far, yet had so much further to go. Although his guarding issues were controlled he loved being outside. He would leave the kennels in the night to go and lay in a hole in the play area.

How do I say to someone in the UK, yep you can adopt my dog, but never close your door, and please leave him outside regardless of the time of day or night. I also had serious concerns about how Garfy would react to the real world. Again the moment he came into my home, I knew he could not live in a "normal" home.

Garfy freaked, he freaked at the TV, the fridge, the other dogs, the noise, the sofa, Garfy went into complete panic mode looking for an escape route. The sheer panic in his eyes was enough to re enforce the fact I had made the right decision.

We never close our doors, even in winter, even when its raining allowing the dogs to come and go as they want. This made Garfy's escape route easier, and ensures he feels less trapped. At the moment he is happy living in our garden, everyday I bring him in, and get him used to home life, but as soon as he can he bolts, and off he goes back to the outside world.

I know that one day he will come in on his own, he will join the others for coffee and biscuits (us coffee them biscuits) But I'm happy for Garfy to make that decision on his own. I always want what is best for my dogs, and although I didn't need another dog, Garfy needed me.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Meet The Gruffalo

There are very few people that have not read, or heard of the Gruffalo and although you may think he is a scary monster, he is in fact scared of the smallest thing... a mouse. When I collect dogs, I try and give them names to reflect their personalities, so when I saw a big old, gangly shepherd mix, who should be scary but is scared of everything, he had to become the Gruffalo.

Gruffalo is a typical larger, older dog who went into the kill pound, and was a target straight away. The other dogs attacked him, refused to let him eat, and slowly he got more and more withdrawn. When I met him he was in a sorry state, however, after his 21 days he was even worse. He had numerous bite marks and had the look of please kill me now.

The fact he was so skinny is simply food, there is nothing medically wrong with him, but he will not eat with the other dogs through fear of being attacked. Thee are the dogs that break my heart, the ones that do nothing wrong, yet struggle to survive in the world. Slowly slowly he is beginning to learn that food is something that happens often, and he can eat as much as he wants.

On top of food the other thing that the Gruffalo craves is love, and attention, and kindness. All he wants is to be close, and feel that humans do actually want him near, So, when I am stood and I feel a head nudging on my leg or arm, I know who it will be. He doesn't impose, he doesn't force himself but he wants to be near, and know that everything is going to be ok. When I look into his eyes I can see years of hurt, and I make sure that everyday I give some of my time to this big old Gruffalo and make him realize that life will get better and that one day he will have a home of his own.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Why Help Foreign Dogs?

One of the most asked questions these days it seems is why do people help foreign dogs, when the pounds and rescues are full in the UK. Well for me it is simple, I live abroad so these dogs arent foreign, but for all the people who adopt they are, so what makes them want to adopt from abroad?

The debate, arguments and stupid comments surrounding adopting from abroad baffles me, when an animal needs our help, does it really matter where it comes from? Dogs don't know where they were born, they have no concept of borders, and countries. It is us humans that have split the world into different areas, and made it a territory debate.

Many people struggle to rehome from UK rescues, which I am amazed about, but the amount of my adopters that state they were refused due to having children, or working, or having a small garden is crazy. I have noticed more and more that the majority of the people that are criticizing adopting from abroad, have in fact bought from a breeder, and have no idea what they are talking about.

I am often accused of taking homes from dogs in the UK, this is simply not the case, I am offering people another option. I am helping dogs on a very small island that have no chance of a home. I always think that the people complaining about foreign dogs, could spend their time complaining about breeders and irresponsible owners in the UK.

There are never going to be enough homes in the world, so it simply comes down to numbers, aiming to save as many as possible. Sadly the ignorance shown is widespread throughout many UK rescues and many vets. Over the years the number of dogs in rescues all over the world has increased not decreased which is concerning, and shows we are doing something wrong on a huge scale.

The world needs to change  its attitude to rehoming dogs, and look at the bigger picture of how to make changes. The Yulin meat festival causes huge outcry with people in the UK getting behind saving these dogs, yet a small rescue in Spain gets slammed for trying to help. Maybe it is because f the huge social frenzy behind what happens in Yulin.

One of the biggest dumb statements I hear is that foreign dogs are damaged, or difficult. So many people are quick to dismiss things they know nothing about rather than taking the time to do some research. All rescue dogs are amazing, loving dogs, it doesnt matter where they come from.

Friday, 12 October 2018

GoodBye Jabba

You cannot save them all, I think I am going to ram those words down someones throat soon. I use that phrase, but I am sure it is to simply make me feel better, which actually it doesn't at all. The logic is I know I cannot save them all, however, it doesn't stop the frustration when I have to let one go.

Jabba's test results came in this week, the results were as we thought they would be.. bad! he had cancer, of course he did, there was really no other explanation for the awful growth covering his body. Even before the results, I knew the outcome was not going to be good, as he got worse.

One of his ears was full of tumor, and I noticed that he was struggling to balance, his eyesight on that side was affected, and he would stare at the wall for long periods of time. As I sat with him before the visit to the vet the light had gone out in his eyes, and it was obvious he was in pain.

I said my goodbyes, and then I got angry, as yet again a beautiful dog had to die, because of human neglect. Would he have still got the cancer of course, but had he been treated before it took hold, or even seen a vet sooner the outcome could have been so different.

Why do humans never ask for help, they simply watch an animal suffer, and when they don't want to make the tough decisions, simply discard it for others to pick up the pieces. So to Jabba's old owners, dont worry I sat with your dog until he took his last breath, I stroked his head and told him he would be pain free, and that he was going to the place with endless bones. RIP Jabba... Im sorry I could not save you <3

Monday, 8 October 2018

Murtle The Mole Rat!

I received a call for help last week from one of the holding pounds, they had found a dog, well, we presumed it was a dog, although it did look more like a naked mole rat!

A small terrified Pod pup had been found, with no hair, infected skin, and one of the worse cases of scabies I have ever seen.

The poor dog was red raw, had swollen limbs, and was basically one huge mess., so of course I said yes to helping. As always there was no way I could say no to this dog, or the people asking for help. 

Murtle as she was christened was incredibly sick, and the first 48 hours was critical. She was put on fluids, and various other antibiotics, and drugs to try and bring the infections under control. So whilst my guest slept..... I got up every two hours to check on Murtle, and ensure she was still with us.

I reminded my minion how I had got up every two hours, throughout the whole day! As the I am walking in your shoes, seems to only apply to daylight hours. In her defense she didn't hear the vet tell me to check on Murtle every two hours, or so she claims!

This little pod is a fighter, and she came through the first 48 hours eating well, with a desire to live. Murtle is doing well, and with time, and meds she will regain the hair. Scabies is something that cannot be rushed, and Murtle will be with me for at least three months. Small steps every day and she will one day turn into a beautiful pod, rather than a naked mole rat!

Thursday, 4 October 2018

My Student You Have learnt So Much!

Well, what can I say last week was a first, I managed to interact with a human for six days and not kill them. All joking aside it was actually a very interesting, and enjoyable few days. For me not a lot changed as I rushed around, doing what I do but the difference was I had someone following me who had a genuine interest in my rescue.

I made it very clear before my minion arrived that I had doubts, and that in many ways I wish I had never opened my mouth and allowed it to happen. However, I admit that I was wrong, and that it was an incredibly beneficial for my charity, and I even learnt a few things about me.

From the moment she landed it was obvious that she was going to fit in, her humor was very similar to mine, and her passion to learn about my charity was real. She showed an interest, she wanted to see everything, and understand why I do what I do. She didn't judge, she observed, and even admitted that some of her views had been changed by her visit.

There are many awful things on this island, but there are also some incredible people, and I allowed her in to my world to meet them. She literally walked in my shoes, asking questions, but not in an annoying way. Taking in everything, and it was great to have a pair of hands to help that actually wanted to help.

At no point did I fluff things up, I literally did what I do everyday, cleaning, feeding, vets, pounds.... and repeat.... When she said that she was going to do "live" videos I took a deep breathe, but again she did them well, and made people sit up and take notice. Soon, the Kate Adie of animal rescue was out there everyday going "live" at every opportunity.

Watching them back I saw a side of my rescue that I had not seen, as when you are absorbed in the middle, it is hard to see the wood for the trees. I begun to realize that people did support what I do, and that a huge majority actually did understand.

My minion came as a stranger, but left as a friend, we laughed, we joked, we bitched, we moaned.. oh hang on that was me .... most of all she listened, and she advised, not in a judgmental, I can do this better way, but in a have you thought about doing it this way.

As I bid her farewell at the airport, the master was happy that the student had learnt... she had learnt that dog shit spray gets everywhere..... that when buying cans of coke, to look at the picture of the cherry, and realize that it was cherry coke, that she needs a map, to understand where Madrid is, and not think we were going to Malta.. oh wait was it Malaga!

She learnt that horses eat banana's, and that the feed bin was the safest place to leap on when the sheep run past. She learnt that every rock tells a story, and that King Kong will one day reach the top. These and many more vital life skills she took home with her, so my student I will see you soon, and you can continue folding my washing, and lecturing me about holes!