Thursday 28 November 2019

Hold On To The Bad Times... But Focus On The Good....

Rescue is hard, there are some amazing highs, and then some huge emotional lows, a lot like a rollarcoaster. I often find all I can do is hang on, and try and enjoy the ride. I have to make decisions everyday that affects living creatures, and I always want to make sure these are the right decisions. However, sometimes, it goes wrong, and that is one of the toughest moments... the what if moment.

Sadly two of the "Nuts" died on Sunday, it was a tragic accident involving a cockroach, which had been sprayed at some point with pesticide. The pups being pups found this one, small roach, which cost them their lives. Their small bodies couldn't fight the poison, and they died.

Now, this would have been tough enough if it had happened here, but it happened in a foster home. A "safe" place that I had decided to send them to, where there are loving people, small people to play with and all the love they could want. I sent them there, me I made that decision, and it went wrong. If I had made a different one, they would still be here.

I do not blame the foster family at all, it was a tragic accident that could have happened anywhere, but that doesn't make me feel any better. I failed those pups, the buck stops with me, my rescue, my decisions, my mistakes. I took a day to cry, get angry, and cry some more. Death in rescue is more common than people realize, many rescuers do not share the mortality rate, or harsh reality of loss, but you know me, transparency is key to a good rescue. So, although my heart is heavy, and those tears rolled down my cheeks, The reality is all the tears in the world is not bringing them back, we have to learn and move on.

RIP Nuts

Sunday 3 November 2019

Here We Go Again

Just to be clear I am in Gran Canaria, which is a small island of the coast of Africa, and is classified as part of Spain. It is not outer Mongolia, we are in the EU and have the same laws and treatments for dogs as the UK. Yet the moment one of my dogs so much as sneezes some people and UK vets scream "foreign" disease.

We don't have any weird and wonderful diseases, in fact the UK has issues and diseases that we do not have here. We have brown fleas, ticks, and worms just like the UK, however, some UK vets like to scare adopters by making out these three easily treated things are ..... FOREIGN!!!!!

The timescale between a dog coming into my kennels and reaching its new home is quite long, therefore, all my nasty foreign bugs are well and truly dealt with. Take worms for example, every dog is wormed on entry, due to the turnover of dogs, they are wormed frequently. Off I go wormers and hotdogs in hand ensuring that every dog is treated, and when a new dog enters, it all starts again. 

Then as per the law the dogs leaving are wormed the day before travel by a VET which is recorded in their passport. But it seems as always I am lying, my vet is lying, and the only one telling the truth is he UK vet. Ticks is another one, we test and treat on the same day, therefore, the crossover of ticks being on the dogs and infecting them is impossible. The dogs are then treated every month until they leave.

The snap test results are in the passport/cartilla but again we are all lying over here, and the UK vets are of course telling the truth. So, if you have a dog that was tested here, was negative, treated and wormed, all by a professional, qualified vet, yet then tested positive in the UK over 8 weeks after leaving our sunny shores, maybe just maybe the worms and tick was... wait for it...... from the UK.....

Why is that so hard to understand, or believe, oh yes that is because there is always money involved, and the blame game needs to happen. Not just oh well my dog has worms, lets get it a worming tablet, oh they have been bitten by a tick, lets pop them on antibiotics for 30 days. Both very easy treatments, both very affordable.

Sadly when a UK vet gets involved the affordable bit flies out the window along with any common sense.  That is when I get the emails, the blame, and of course the bills. I am prepared to pay for GC ticks and worms, but not UK ones, sadly that is you guys problem. As much as I cannot save every dog, I cannot also be held responsible for every tick, flea and worm in the world.

Friday 18 October 2019

What Have I done!

I have some epic ideas, well I think they are epic, and then usually after a while I think oh god what have I done. This happened the other day, I had an idea a while ago. It took a while to create, and plan and when it finally came together, I announced it, that is when I sat and cried, and had sick in my mouth.

You may be wondering what on earth caused such a reaction, well it was the volunteer program! To some this may seem like the most amazing idea in the world, to me it fills me with dread. I am letting complete strangers into my world, and releasing them back into the real world, armed with so much ammunition.

Now, this can go either way, as I know from experience, they will either understand, support, and become a voice for my charity. Or they will not understand, and use the whole experience against me. Trust me this has happened in the past, which is why I'm nervous.

There are days when I think the volunteer program is a fantastic ideas, and there are other days where I simply sit with my head in my hands, thinking what the hell am I doing! I don'y have many volunteers, and the ones I do have are great. Sadly some have tried it, and it simply wasn't for them.

In the past I have had people come to "help" that have been well shall we say useless. Scared of big dogs, refusing to pick up shit covered bedding, hating cats, horses, anything bigger than a jack russel to be honest. They have spent the whole of their time with me telling me how I could "improve" my rescue and detailing what i am doing wrong.

Now don't get me wrong, we all do this to a point, we have all gone somewhere and said "oh I would so do this differently" because as an outsider you do see things differently. However, live that life, day in day out, on your own, surviving life and everything it throws at you, and things would be different. Volunteers have left bad mouthing me, my life, my rescue, and this in my opinion is not cool.

So, to say I'm nervous hell yeah, but as with everything in my life, I have committed to this stupid idea, and I will take the leap of faith that it will all be ok. A bit like when you leap out of a plane, and pray the parachute will open, same panic, same fear.

Friday 13 September 2019

Fostering is Not For Everyone

Fostering is something that many people think they can do, but the reality is it takes a special kind of person to be able to foster. I have an amazing team in the UK, which is growing, and everyone of them is unique and special.

Not everyone is cut out for fostering, which is fine, but leave the team with your head held high that you gave it a try, not do the typical "lets slag off the rescue on FB" because you could not deal with the reality of what fostering is actually about.

A lady joined the team recently, she was overwhelmed before the transport even begun, but we thought lets give her a chance. I have no idea what she thought fostering involved, and no matter how much you tell people, they never seem to listen.

There is a lot of information to take in, and a lot that needs to be learnt, however, my team are amazing, and are there for each other, and newbies every step of the way. One of the first things we try and teach newbies is I am VERY busy, so if you message me and I don't answer I am either dead, or busy. Therefore, message through our "foster group" there are always lurkers there from the team ready to help.

Nope, she just didn't get it, so message after message came through, and of course, some were ignored, and this caused her to post that I was ignoring her. All newbies foster mums are given as their first foster, what we call "an easy adopt" These are dogs that my grandson could rehome, designed to ease the new foster mum into the role, and to find their feet. All the usual questions were asked before her new foster dog arrived, which was great I want them to be prepared.

Typically this dog decided he had other ideas, and refused to pee on transport, causing him to have a urine infection coming off transport. Now the foster mums have a huge amount of knowledge and often treat things without rushing to the vet. They offered help, advise, and treatments ALL were ignored.

The newbie then begun posting how the dog had to go, her mental health was suffering, it was all too much. Now this dog is the sweetest, most loving dog on the planet, so I really couldn't see what the issue was. She kept posting how no one cared, and he was suffering, yet she had listened to NO ONE on the team.

We organised for him to be moved to another foster home, but as always these things take a few days. So, in the end the foster mum announced she was taking him to the vet, no one said not to, but we did advise that UK vets can sometimes be dramatic.

The day of the vets came, and typically it was an awful day for me, I was rushing my dying dog into the vets, whilst this lady was messaging me demanding money for the vets bill. I asked her to post in our group as I was driving, and stressed.

Oh she posted, a load of rubbish, stating that I had refused to pay the vets bill and that I didn't care. Now, as many of the foster mum's said the one thing I never refuse to do is pay for vets care. The long whingy post went on and on, one of the other foster mums stepped up, paid for the antibiotics, as the foster mum had refused to pay for them.

The wonderful UK vet gave a 5 day course of antibiotics WTF 5 days!!! but as always in the newbies eyes the vet was god I was satan, and she was suddenly a dog expert. When I asked her what the vet had said, she answered I have no idea, you need to call them.

Whilst the newbie was launching a full scale attack on me, I was sat on my vets floor, with my dying dog in my arms, tears rolling down my face. Thank god for my team, as they stepped in, sorted the mess, and left me to pick up the pieces of my heart that were broken all over the floor.

A few days later the dog was moved to another foster home, the newbie was removed from the group, and all was well in the world. Don't be silly of course it wasn't, rather than her going back to her life, she decided to rant on FB how my rescue was disgusting, I neglect my dogs, don't care, send sick dogs, don't pay vets bills.

I commented on her post, stating some FACTS, and as always she blocked me rather than face up to the fact she was lying for effect, and to get the oh poor you's on FB. Got to love people that slag you off, but are not grown up enough to have a discussion about it. She called my UK team useless, said they were little minions, and how none of us cared.

So, if you are considering fostering, remember it is daunting, hard work, and stressful, but it is also incredibly rewarding, and my team are amazing. They not only care about the dogs, but each other, and that is huge. If you decide fostering isn't for you, no worries, but please walk away with your held held high, knowing that you had tried. Don't be a drama llama..... as it just makes you look even worse!

Friday 6 September 2019

Surprisingly I do In Fact Have a Heart

The last few weeks have been hard, I have not only lost one of my own personal dogs, but a few adopted dogs have died. This is always heart breaking to read, they have amazing homes, and all the love they could ever want, but sadly the universe has other plans for them.

Something that struck me when I was reading all the lovely comments to the adopters, and foster mum's on the post's was no one ever asks If I am ok! Now, my husband does tell people that my heart is on a shelf in a jar in the office, and that there is simply a lump of rock in my chest!

Is that what people really think? that I don't feel the same grief, or hurt just as much as adopters and foster mums? For me loosing a dog at any stage is heart breaking, I sit I shed a tear, I sometimes even ugly cry, yet it seems that people either think that I don't care, or that I'm made of stone.

I had a heated discussion with a person about this subject recently, as a dog she had been looking after was killed by the new new owner's vet. I'm not going to say PTS as she was killed. After the event, the lady got in my face, and expressed her unhappiness that I had not asked her if she was ok quick enough.

I pointed out I had asked her the next day, yet she and many others had not asked me at all. Not once did the words come from anyone "are you ok?"

Grief and heartache can be shared, many people can feel the same emotion all at the same time, it is not exclusive to one person.  I'm not writing this blog to get  a flood of messages asking if I'm ok, far from it. As always it is a platform for me to express how I'm feeling, and to ponder why people seem to think I am made of stone, and that I don't hurt just as easily as other people.

Monday 2 September 2019

Just Keep Swimming!!

Someone messaged me yesterday and asked if he had done something wrong, as I had been quiet. Sadly at this time of year, I don't have the energy to lift my head, let alone type witty answers. You can always tell what time of year it is by my answer to people when they message, in the summer months the conversation goes like this:

"hi how are you?"


In the winter they go like this:

"hi how are you?"


There has been so much happening on top of the usual heat of the summer months, and august has been a decidedly shitty month. The summer months are tough, financially, mentally and physically. I am not getting any younger, and every year I feel the struggle more, and do wonder why I do this. On top of the relentless heat, there have been disastrous wild fires, arsehole businesses trying to shut us down, many things that have broken, including my heart. 

So, normal service will be resumed soon I promise, loads to moan and write about, too many dogs, too many cases, not enough money, but hey

"Rescue dogs they said, it would be fun they said" and to add that extra edge do it in the Canaries, where it is always complicated, and the weather hates you. 

Wednesday 14 August 2019

Six Months On....

A lot happens in six months, and they say time is a healer, and to a point it is, however, some scars never heal. Six months ago I was being thrown around a pen by a dog that wanted to kill me. I learnt so much from that day, things that I never thought about until I was bleeding out on my stable floor.

I learnt that I do bleed, that I can die, and that I'm not quite ready to go just yet. Before this I was crazy fearless, I would put myself into situations that were beyond stupid, I would face the biggest dogs, and believed that nothing would happen.

Everyday I am reminded of what happened, when I walk into the outside pen the images and memories come flooding back. As I play with the dogs, I am reminded of every moment when my head smashed against the floor, as the dog threw me from side to side. I relive the moment every day, is this healthy probably not, but it's there, and the mind is a strange thing.

My leg also reminds me of what happened, the surgeons did an incredible job, helped by the tattoo they put my leg back together. Visually it is amazing, yes I am missing part of my leg, and it looks odd, but it could have been far worse. I am also reminded of what happened by the pain.

My leg hurts all day, every day, there is no let up from the moment I get up, to the moment I go to sleep. Is it an unbearable pain, no, just a constant ache, a constant pain, Simple tasks like walking, changing gear or lifting objects intensify the pain.

So when people ask how my leg is, well its there, and it likes to remind me every day of what I put it through. Has it stopped me doing what I do, nope, I just do it slower, and with more caution.

Friday 9 August 2019

Just A Street Dog

It has been a long week for Heinz, a dog I was asked to help, he has caused me more stress, emotion, heartache, and cost than any other dog, but he is worth it. Heinz was hit by a car and left on the side of the road, the car had broken both his hips, which meant that he could not move, so he laid there to die.

What makes this even more tragic is that Heinz only has one rear leg, so he had been surviving on three legs, and his good leg, only has half a paw. When I was asked to help I did not hesitate. I collected him, took him straight to my vets, and that is where the drama started.

Here August is a holiday, yep the WHOLE of August meaning that my "main" vet like many other people take the whole month off. Now if he had been here on the island he would have come in and operated, but sadly he had already left, meaning Heinz and I had no surgeon. He recommended three other good surgeons, and although not happy, off I went to get him booked in elsewhere.

I soon learnt that when he recommended three it wasn't because they were good, it was because out of over 50 clinics here on the island, we only have FOUR trauma surgeons WTF!  The vet had told me Heinz needed the surgery within the first five days after the accident for it to be a success, so the race was on.

The first clinic I contacted said their surgeon was also on holiday. The second I was told I needed an appointment, and the first one was in September, when I explained how urgent the surgery was I was told  "he is just a street dog, he can wait until September"

Now, this is a phrase that makes me go from calm, to psycho in seconds, and this vet got the full psycho. How fucking dare anybody say a living breathing animal, who has the right to this surgery is "just a street dog" So after 30 minutes of me telling this vet EXACTLY what I thought of him in two languages, Heinz and I left.

I sat in my car with him and cried, I kissed his nose, and told him I was so sorry that no one wanted to help. He looked at me and wagged his tail, as if to say it was ok... humans had let him down before, why should now be different. I told him, I'm not your usual human and I wasn't giving up.

On the drive home I contacted the last clinic, a clinic I had worked with before, they said their surgeon was going on holiday in two days, and to send the xrays over, and he would see if he could fit him in. I was grateful there was a glimmer of hope, however, also I was really confused why the hell do ALL the trauma surgeons go on holiday in the same month?

The next day the clinic called, their surgeon just did not have the time to do the surgery, my heart sank. I sat with Heinz and said sorry, he was right humans were shit. I spoke to my vet and explained, he said that all we could do was see how the bones fused, and when our trauma vet was back, he would see if there was anything he could do, but Heinz would be in pain for the rest of his life, and maybe might never walk again.

I was so angry, why can this happen, I began to message everyone I know, and ask for a solution, I was not letting this dog down. A message flashed up on my phone from the last clinic, they wanted to help and said there was a mobile surgeon who went round the island doing trauma surgeries, using clinics. If I could get him to agree to do the surgery, I could use their clinic for free.

After eight hours, I tracked down his contact information, a few emails, a lot of back and forth and he agreed. Probably just wanted me to shut up, but I didn't care, on day FIVE, his last day Heinz was booked in for surgery.  In my haste I hadn't even asked how much the surgery was, but what the hell I have a credit card, and an understanding husband.

I dropped Heinz off for surgery yesterday, kissed his nose, thanked the clinic, paid the huge amount on my credit card and waited. Heinz is home now, recovering, the surgery was a success. Is it as good as my vet would have done, no but Heinz has a chance to walk again.  The "street dog" will have the chance he deserves.

Friday 2 August 2019

When They Want To Live

Three months ago I was brought a very sorry looking little Yorkshire Terrier, she had been found on the road, discarded like rubbish. She had no hair, was blind and deaf and looked so sorry for herself. I took her to the vet, we did bloods, and his face said it all.

Rati as she was christened by the vet was one very poorly little girl, she had kidney issues, and was really on her last legs. As I looked at this small rat like dog, I just knew she wanted to live.
So, I told the vet I was taking her home for the weekend to see how she went, if she didn't give up, I would support this decision.

From the moment she went into recovery, Rati had a fight for life that I don't see that often, she ate like a horse, wandered around, and although she wobbled, and looked odd there was something about this little warrier. On Monday I took her back, and although the vet was impressed she had survived the weekend, his diagnosis was the same.

He told me she had weeks, and to take her home, and let her decide when she wanted to leave us. So, off I went, and Rati came into the house, as I thought well, she only has weeks, she might as well do it in comfort.

Needless to say we are now three months on, and Rati is still with us, her hair has grown back, she is a diva, trapped in a teeny body. This tiny little dog has proved that no matter what we think as humans, when they want to live they will defy everything.

Thursday 25 July 2019

See What You Want

I did a post on Facebook the other day, with one photo of a dirty kennel before I cleaned, stating that people always say they would love to do what I do. I was not embarrassed by the photo, and have no issues posting it. Yet, the trolls took it to another level.

There was a post about me, and the "state" of my kennels, the poor conditions my dogs are kept, and how I should be shut down. below is the photo, and I will break down the issues these dog caring people raised.

So,  these were the comments made:
  • The floor is DISGUSTING, I obviously have not cleaned in days! -  yep, it sure is and within 20 minutes, a bottle of cleaner, and a pressure washer it was spotless. trust me days would be far worse than this 
  • There is dog shit in the beds, OBVIOUSLY no one has cleaned in days-  see dogs step in shit, and then they leap everywhere. ALL bedding is changed every day, loads of washing loads of work but worth it 
  • The walls need painting- yep, they do, this would involve, time, energy and money, three things I do not have. 
  • Those are not REAL beds- nope, they are old transport boxes, recycling at its best. 
  • Those NOT real beds have been chewed, and should be thrown out - if I threw out everything that got chewed, I would be throwing out stuff every day.
The post attracted all the usual people, all the usual sofa surfers that have never actually been to a rescue or kennels in their life. So, whilst you are sat on your bum, trolling FB, I am cleaning kennels and saving lives. I know where I would rather be....

Sunday 7 July 2019

Magical Door To Narnia

Well it is the summer, which means a few things...

1. Far too hot
2. Far too many dogs
3. Far too many idiots
4. Far too few donations....

Every year it is the same, I know its coming, but bam it hits me like a freight train out of control. Everyone I know is in the same position, exhausted, broke, and FULL. Yet I still get messages everyday begging me to take more dogs, with pleas of "but we are full, and you are the only one that can help" and I sit there and wonder, do they think I have a magical door to Narnia, where I can take infinite dogs.

Fatigue and compassion wears you down, and the thought of what will happen to the dogs if I say no, wears my soul down. I cannot save them all, and although I know this, I also know many will die this summer. The faces of the dogs that I have had to say no to, haunt me. When I utter the words I simply cannot save them all, it is nothing but a line to try and ease my guilt.

Everything during the summer months suffer, my personal life, my bank balance, and my mental health all take a hit. So, if I lash out, ignore you or forget to get back to you entirely, take a moment and think why. Do not judge, until you are stood in my shoes having to decide who lives and who dies.

Many dogs lost their lives last week, for nothing more than a lack of space in the pounds and rescues. All because neutering is not heard of, and people treat dogs like an item they can get rid of when bored. So, whilst everyone enjoys the long summer days, and warmer weather, I pray for the summer months to rush by, or maybe for that magical door to Narnia.

Saturday 22 June 2019

No Dog Gets Left Behind

This week has been beyond stressful, with so many walls being put up to stop me getting dogs off this island. We had a routine transport booked, which are stressful enough anyway. However, when airlines then begin to make things even more difficult it makes me question why I do this.

Bjorn the St Bernard was refused boarding, due to his box being too big, although we had used the same box one month earlier for Bubba. The airline claim the plane was the same size, it "simply" wouldn't fit. Apart from argue, plead, and beg there is little else I can do.

As I saw his face when he was put back in the car, to go back to kennels I cried, I cried from frustration. It is not his fault he was born on this island, not his fault he needed to be rescued. I knew I had one chance to get him off this island and that was direct, which was going to cost.

Thankfully the ladies in cargo are amazing, and paperwork was processed, and accepted in rapid speed. The funds were raised by my amazing supporters to ensure that Bjorn got his chance. However, I was still feeling defeated, as I had received the news that the airlines had changed the laws, resulting in less animals being allowed to travel on one flight.

It felt yet another wall to overcome, why does everything in rescue have to be so bloody hard. I spent the day searching for solutions, as I am a great believer in the fact that every problem, has a solution, you just need to find it, but I also know I am human, and there is only so much I can do.

So, with a lot of stress and expense, I can still transport some animals, but not as many. Which means sadly less will be saved, as the space in the kennels will be full. With this problem sorted to a point, I loaded Bjorn in cargo and kissed his nose goodbye for the second time. He had a long journey ahead of him, but it was going to be worth it.

Someone asked me mid week, why I rescue dogs, and do what I do if it causes me so much stress, and heartache. That answer is simple, I do this because I can, and these dogs have no voice, I am their chance, and I will give them that. I make a promise to these dogs that their lives will change, and that no dog gets left behind.

Bjorn is now in an amazing home, no longer chained, hungry, or alone. He is loved, cared for, and treated as he should be. You need to ask why I do this?

Monday 10 June 2019

Dogs & Cats- The Hardest Relationship in The World

The dogs with cats debate often turns into a battle worthy of Game of Thrones, but it is something that needs to be discussed. I test ALL the dogs that come into my rescue with cats, and I'm not talking one cat here, I'm talking a lot of cats, however, I know what I'm doing.

Everything I do is based on my experience, AND mistakes along the way, dogs chase cats it is in their nature, so any intro with cats MUST be slow. You have to remember that me testing the dogs is not in a home environment, it is based on temperament testing.

When I rehome a dog, and people ask me if they are good with cats, I often wonder what does that mean? I have dogs they live with cats, 99% of the time they don't even lift their heads when the cats walk past, and that 1% they chase. Yep, they chase a cat they have lived with for months/years. Does that make them bad with cats?

When I test my dogs, it is about body language, how they react, the interaction between the dog and cat. From this I can make an assessment on whether this dog wants to kill a cat, or is likely to live alongside one. However, it still needs work on the adopters part to make sure the transition goes smoothly.

Cats are incredibly territorial, therefore, when you bring a new, stinky dog into their home, they will be pissed off. Even if they currently live with a dog, that is their dog, and a new one, well that's fresh meat to terrorize. Cats hate change, so slow and steady is what is called for, not open the door, throw them in the same room and hope.

So, it comes back to listening, asking advise, not thinking you know best as the adopter. Not throwing the dog back at us within 48 hours because you didn't want to slow intro. Some dogs will gel with your cat quickly, others will hate each other for eternity... thats life!

Sunday 2 June 2019

No, I won't be "Persuaded"

Over the years there have been several times when people have asked me to make a decision on adoptions, based on their shall we say generous offer of a larger adoption fee. The first time this happened I was honestly shocked, but now when it happens I get angry.

Why do people feel if they can offer more money that makes them more suitable to adopt. The amount you have in your bank account doesn't impress me, the way you conduct yourself as a human being does. My dogs are not items that can be bid on, and I find it incredibly offensive that people think that I can be "persuaded" this way.

People have said to me in the past "take the money, who will know" The thing is I would, I would know that I let a dog go to a home purely because they waved money at me. I am many things, but that is not me, my dogs deserve the best and I always promise them that is what they will get.

A woman stooped to a whole new level yesterday when she offered me a load of furniture, in exchange to pull a dog off a transport going to a new home. The woman is here on the island, giving away furniture, (I have a charity shop, just in case you wondered) So I commented, she then sent me a message through the page, asking if a certain dog was available.

I explained he was booked to go to the UK, which is when the passive aggressive messages started, stating that it is incredibly stressful for dogs to go to the UK and it would be better for him to stay here on the island. I explained that being a bit of an expert on animal transportation, that it really wasn't stressful, and repeated he was going to the UK.

The delightful lady then stated she would give me all the furniture for the charity shop, if I gave her the dog, she asked if I could be "persuaded" When I explained that is not how I ran my charity, and that I was offended that she considered my dog to be no more than something to "buy"

Needless to say the lady then in typical fashion got all defensive, and demanded my charity accounts. Trying to make out that I am doing something wrong, not seeing what she had done, written, or offered was well, disgusting to say the least.  So, safe to say I lost the donation, but hey kept my morals, my dignity and continue to run my charity with my head held high.

Sunday 26 May 2019

When They Are Ready

Dogs are incredibly loyal, and even if their owners are arseholes, it takes them a while to understand this fact. A few weeks ago as I drove down the mountain, I saw a dog sat by the bins. This is common as many people dump their dogs there, no idea why, but its a typical "dumping" spot. She was sat waiting for her owners to return, as often the dogs believe they will be back.
I stopped the car, got out treats in hand, but she was newly dumped, full of hope that her owners would be back. She didnt want my help, and showed me she was tough and brave with the barking, and the walking away. I got back in the car, knowing she needed time to realize they weren't coming back.

She stayed near the bins for around a week, it was where she last saw her owners, therefore, she didn't want to go to far just in case she missed when they came back for her. Every time I saw her, I stopped got out, approached, but she was telling me its fine, they will be back soon.

After a week she begun to venture further down the mountain, maybe her owners were waiting for her down there. She looked and looked always returning to the bins. Then the inevitable happened she got hit by a car, with an injured leg, and little food and water, she still was convinced her owners would return.

Yesterday as I drove down I saw her, but she wasn't searching, or running, she was laid on the side of the road. She had given up, you can always tell that face, the realization that her owners weren't coming back. I stopped the car, got out, same ritual, but she didn't move, she laid there looking at me.

I poured the water, got the treats, and she simply lifted her head for me to noose her. Three weeks of running, searching, and hoping were over, she was safe, and now able to have a meal, get the leg checked over, and start her life again. As I put her in the back of the car, she looked at me, as if to say they didn't come back you were right.

Thursday 23 May 2019

Dogs Are So Forgiving

We could learn so much from dogs, other than to pee on people we don't like, and to sleep a lot. Dogs are amazing, and some forgive so easily, regardless of what they have been through. I have a dog here at the moment that has every right to hate humans, but he sees them, wags his tail, and greets them like long lost friends.

A few months ago a dog was in all the newspapers here, he was on every TV channel, and of course social media went insane. This dog had been found by the police in a rubbish bin in the city. That's not unusual for this island sadly, but what made this case so different was the state of the dog.

The dog had been tied up so he could not move, defend himself, or run away. He was then repeatedly raped with what is suspected to be a metal pole. He was then beaten so badly with the metal pole that they crushed his skull. After they had finished they threw him in the bin to die. 

When he was found everyone thought his chances of survival were slim, he entered the main pound.

I read the article, shuddered, muttered WTF a lot, and moved on with my life. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I was asked to help a dog at the pound that was "special"

At first I had no idea who the dog was, but as they begun to explain the penny dropped. I was looking at the dog in the photos from the news articles, but he certainly didn't look the same. The transformation was amazing, and he was so happy.

Of course I said I would help, when do I ever say no! GI Joe as I have named him due to his amazing fighting spirit is an incredible dog. He is so friendly, so loving, and needs a home to call his own. Whoever is lucky enough to adopt this dog, can learn so much from him!

Thursday 16 May 2019

Reaching The Crossroads

Another long week, compacted by people attacking me on the internet, has brought me to a crossroads, where I am not sure if this is the route I want to continue on in life. This time of year is always exhausting, and internet trolls don't make it any easier. Too many animals, not enough donations, and exhaustion has caused me to stop and ponder.

Some say I deserve the abuse and others say I am justified in my answers, and the way I react. The honest answer is, I am who I am, and I'm not going to change. However, I don't deserve  to be attacked by complete strangers who know nothing about me.

You may not agree with me, or what I say and do, but until you have been here, seen what I do, and understood it all, you have no right to tell me what to do. People claim I have lost donations, support, and that I need to be more fluffy and nice.

When did we become a world where everyone is so easily offended, where people have to jump on a post that has nothing to do with them. I will not be bullied into removing comments and changing who I am, because people think I should. I believe in my charity, and I believe in what I do.

My father once told me, if you reach the crossroads, you must sit, and consider all the reasons in your life to be thankful. So, I sat, and pondered, and realized that life is good, and although the world is full of pain, suffering, and disappointment, there is always something to be thankful for.

I am thankful that I get to make a difference to both animals and people.

I am thankful for my husband, who is my rock, my strength and has never left my side regardless of what crazy path I have dragged him down.

I am thankful for my health, although I am aging, and I cannot do the things I once could, or I have to do them slower, I am alive every morning!

I am thankful for the opportunity to be doing something that I enjoy, and although it is stressful, incredibly demanding, and extremely hard some days, it is also very rewarding

I am thankful for my supporters, and my UK team who have helped to build the Pet Pals Gc family.

I am thankful for the people who live in my phone, and are there when I need them.

All in all I am incredibly lucky, and think this path is a good one to continue on, so for the time being you are all stuck with me. Embrace the journey, laugh at the comments, take everything in your stride, and support my amazing charity.

Monday 29 April 2019


Fostering is a huge part of what I do, and I have an amazing team in the UK, we are always looking for more like minded people to join the team, however, it is not for everyone. I'm sure some people want to foster for the glory, the look at me, aren't I amazing saving the little doggy.

If this is you, and you want to foster for the pats on the back, and the selfies, then please keep walking. You are there to help my dog on its journey. None of this is about you, it is all about them. I have got that dog so far, and now it needs help to learn the correct skills, and behavior to find a home.

Fostering also means I have spaces in the kennels, meaning that more lives are saved. My foster mums are amazing people, they open their homes, lives, and hearts to my dogs. They love them as if they were their own, but also know they are there for a reason. The foster mum's are simply a stepping stone to a fantastic home, which offers everything they need.

My team would tell you:
  • Yes, it is sad when the dogs go, and yes there are tears often spilt, but because they love them so much, and are happy to see them find their forever home. 
  • It is deeply emotional and can be mentally draining, but also immensely satisfying. 
  • They do not take lightly the trust that I place in them with my dogs
  • The dogs journey is celebrated, every step of the way 
  • They do not want thanks or recognition for what they do, as they choose to do this selfless thing
  • They do not foster because it is easy 
Many people do not understand how the foster team can say goodbye when they have seen the dog grow and adjust. However, that is the exact reason why they are there, to help these dogs get adopted. Once that has happened, their job is complete. 

As the dog is ready, the foster mums are too, they are ready to let go, to allow the dog the happiness of a family of their own. The place that they have told the dog all about, and have been building up to. Then they are ready to do it all again, with another dog, and another journey.

Think you can foster? get in touch 

Friday 19 April 2019

The Darker Side of Paradise

Welcome to the beautiful island of Gran Canaria where there is 365 days of sunshine, beautiful tropical beaches, friendly locals, and cheap beer. Millions of people flock here every year, spend time in the resorts, soak up too much sun and even more sangria. They go home, in awe of the island and everything it has to offer, not knowing that there is a real dark side to this slice of paradise.

You see, around every corner here is someone willing to hurt, abuse and kill animals. At this time of year every bag and box is likely to have puppies and kittens in, destined to be crushed alive by the bin men. I still cannot get my head around a human being that can bag a living creature up, and toss them in the bin.

Over the years I have seen so many different displays of animal cruelty, and it amazes me that people think it doesn't happen here. The truth is the government, and tourist boards don't want you to see it. God forbid a tourist would see a starving dog.

The reality is open your eyes, leave resort, and you will see the pain and suffering that many of us have to see every day. The thousands of puppies and kittens born to die on the streets. The older dogs chained, beaten and often starved.

So, you may ask why do I stay on this island surrounded with hurt and pain every day. Well that is simple, 365 days of sunshine, cheap beer, and the glimmer of hope that slowly we are changing things for the better. One day the locals will understand that sterilization is essential, and until that day I will continue to do what I do....... oh which includes picking up carrier bags full of kittens on the way home... four more mouths to feed....

Wednesday 10 April 2019

It Is All About The Size!

When I started doing this, all that time ago, I said I wanted to be different, I did not want to only take small, cute, fluffy easy adopts. I wanted to take any dogs that needed me. Far too many other "rescue groups" cherry pick, they want the puppies, the breeds, the small cute dogs. Basically the dogs that my two year old grandson could rehome.

I often get the call, starting with "we have asked everyone else, they have said no" I still wonder why they don't come to me first, but hey I'm used to it by now. I know why they have said no, because the dog is big, or a challenge, or going to take time, effort and money.

So, when I got the call the other day, I rolled my eyes, and asked the person to tell me more, about the two dogs that no one else would help. They had been chained up all their lives, they were big, they were un neutered, blah blah blah .... they weren't old though, or ill so what was so difficult. Then the photos came...

I would like to point out I had said yes, before the photos, so there was no going back. Well, how big could two Saint Bernards be.... So big in fact they had to be collected and transported on their own.

Now don't get me wrong these pair are HUGE, Bjorn the male weighs in at 86.7KG and is horny as hell, spending his days attempting to shag anything with a pulse. I am currently spending my days screaming FFS stop shagging, at the top of my lungs. Whilst watching male dogs run for their lives, as he has no care what sex they are when he batters them to the ground and gets jiggy with their faces.

Do they take up a huge amount of space, yes, are they going to be a challenge to rehome, and god help the girls on transport, however, they deserve a chance like every other dog. Why should they get overlooked because of their size, isn't that what animal rescue is all about, no dog gets left behind?

Friday 5 April 2019

The Skies Opened

I've been quiet the last few weeks, due to being even more busy than usual, and dealing with the rain. If you read the blog, you will know we have flooding issues, and when it rains here it REALLY rains. On top of us flooding, having no power, I am now ill spending very day very wet (not moist) in the cold with no way of getting dry or warm has taken its toll.

The problem is when it rains in the Canaries, it RAINS, and unless you understand tropical storms, or flash flooding I don't think you will ever understand. One minute the skies are blue, the sun is out and the next you are stood in a foot of muddy water.

As I watched the property go under water, I remember those little conversations of "we must get the gutters replaced before it rains" Ive learnt over the years now, not to cry, not to stress, just let everything flood, everything get muddy and when the storm passes, to begin the great clean up.

I can cope with the rain, its the stupid people that get to me, when they message over and over and moan as you have not answered fast enough. When you explain to them that you have no power, which means no phone charger, no computer, yet they still moan that you have not answered.

You know they weather is really bad when I go to the supermarket (hate shopping) trust me it was warm and dry and I could charge my phone on the journey, so the trip was bearable, and I got a dog (different blog) so, for the idiots that keep messaging asking if they can come visit, yeah go for it, it only took me 20 minutes longer to drive the flooded, rock scattered roads from civilization to my house.

Yes, I know it is sunny in resort, but as I keep telling you I don't live in resort, and yes I am still flooded, and yes it has damaged loads. The reality is I'm not social usually, and at the moment I am, sat in a muddy puddle, with no phone signal, no internet, and the black plague, I would advise staying away!

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

Sunday 3 February 2019

Five Long Years

On this day five years ago, I did one of the craziest things I have ever done in my life, and trust me I have done many crazy things. I decided in my wisdom, to move my animals, and family to a plot of land on top of a mountain that had no house, barely an buildings, but a huge amount of potential.

When I found this plot, I fell in love, it had the most amazing views, no neighbors, and space to build many areas for different animals. The fact it had no where to live did not put me off in the slightest. My husband repeated several times, there is no where to live, and I simply nodded and smiled.

This did not put me off, it would be an adventure I said, it would be fun I said! So, we moved in to an old goat shed, with one wall, no plumbing, no electrics, a leaky roof and nothing else, oh and did I mention it was raining. It was fine I had a plan, I had watched all these build it yourself programs, how hard could it be!

I had the idea that as we were living there it would get built quicker, the fact that we had zero building skills, and full time jobs didn't phase me in the slightest. I was also making sure that the animals had warm, dry housing, way before we did. So, we bought building materials as we could afford them, laid blocks in between work, and slowly made the goat shed home.

Building around jobs, animals and day to day life is stressful, hard work, and has taken so long, but I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved. Looking back I was insane, even more than usual, and five years on my goat shed still leaks, is still unfinished, and still needs a hell of a lot of work, but it is home.