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.

Saturday 2 February 2019

Gracie Needs a Boot!

Gracie was an owner surrender, she had come from an abusive home, where the "man" of the house used to drop kick her across the room. After many years of this the woman who lived there saw sense and handed her over.

When Gracie arrived she had a strange walking position, and would often run with her leg in the air. Obviously there was more to this little dog than first thought, so off to the vets we went. The trauma her back leg had suffered was severe. She had a broken hip, which had been broken over and over, and then trapped the nerve.

Gracie just carried on, through the pain, and made the most of her life, she ran around, although it must have hurt, maybe she had learnt running away was the only way to survive. Gracie had surgery on her hips, and as always the vet did an amazing job, but years of carrying the leg up, meant it was now habit.

The vets have recommended a boot for Gracie, to help correct the strange walking position.  The boot cost a huge amount, but due to generous people on my page the money was raised, and the boot ordered. Next week Gracie goes for her boot fitting, and hopefully her rehabilitation can proceed.

Gracie is an amazing little dog that needs a chance of happiness, and as always I will go above and beyond to ensure that she has the best chance of regaining full use in her leg, and going on to a new home that will love her, care for her, and never use her as a football ever again.