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.