Back to newsletters

December 2018

Here's our photo special and after only a short summertime news, I've managed to do a bumper issue. As I mentioned in the last newsletter there is good news about the flooring, in fact it's excellent and exciting news on two fronts!

Firstly, I found a suitable flooring and secondly due to our patron Peter Egan, we applied for, and were given, a generous grant towards the cost of flooring and labour. With your help, we had already been fundraising and had raised more towards this expensive but necessary and important project.

I'd been researching various flooring options that would suit the set up here of the Sanctuary home, as the entire bungalow needed new flooring. It looked as if I was going to have to choose what to compromise on with the various options. Lino, including commercial ones ( could be chewed again ), tiles - slippery and cold for the dogs and grout is a nightmare for cleaning, resin was a strong favourite until I discovered how long an area needs to be closed off for it to set, and so the search continued until finally, I discovered a suitable surface which are waterproof laminate boards.

I am so grateful to all of you who helped make this huge job happen, and when finished, we will have a safe, easily cleaned and comfortable floor throughout the Sanctuary which I have every confidence will last for very many years.

Due to the country lane access, Andrew collected the first part of the delivery and filled his car, which was very exciting.

Thankfully Andrew has been able to take on the job so the animals haven't been upset by having strangers on the property, which has been a huge help for this massive task, which is exhausting with the chaos of work being done. Stating the obvious, every item on the floor has to be moved - units, cooker, kitchen sink, dog beds etc, so it's not straightforward, and we're taking the opportunity of re-organising and generally renovating as we work from room to room. Here Wilson is keeping an eye on news and getting in the middle of the work and tools.

Sparkle however kept an eye on things from a cosy box.

Parts of the surface needed repair and screed laid so this is the sight if we're not quick enough to cover it ! Tess was determined - and faster - than me as she headed over this patch ... ( no cats were harmed in the taking of this photo ! )

Phoenix and Nikki check progress -

- - while Wilson asks "what's going on in here?"

The work for humans has been fuelled by doughnuts and choccie digestives, and I am so grateful to Andrew for his willingness to tackle this - and every madcap idea I have along the way ! As I write this ( late September ) work is ongoing with a way to completion. Hopefully I'm not jinxing things by saying by the time you receive this newsletter, it should be finished throughout the bungalow, in time for winter setting in and lots of muddy paws.

Here is the before and after view of the kitchen, what a wonderful difference.


Thanks if you let me know you wish to stay on our mailing list for the newsletters. We continue to raise funds with the used stamps you send, plus being grateful for all the donated items for fundraising. My gratitude also for posted donations / cheques / fundraising / monthly standing orders / sponsorships and even unexpected lottery wins that have been kindly sent to keep everyone fed and vet fees paid. Many of the donations and wish list items say no acknowledgment or arrive anonymously, so via this newsletter - THANK YOU - none are taken for granted as without you, I couldn't help them.

You continue to enrich the animals lives by using our Amazon Wish List and I can not over state how important every item is that arrives. For instance, I asked for a bag of guinea-pig food and was grateful that someone had generously sent three bags which meant I didn't run out when I had a sudden influx of rescued piggies in one day.

Once again Caterham Harestone Rotary have generously paid for the Christmas newsletter printing and postage, plus extra donated for general costs - thank you for your continued support.

We attended Chaldon Fete in August and are grateful to the committee who organise this - it's not just the hard work on the day but many months of planning and behind the scenes effort. Our wonderful team of volunteers ( thank you ) run the bric-a-brac stall on the day and we were again lucky with the weather staying dry. This year a record sum was raised to be shared out to the local good causes and we are one of the grateful recipients, thank you.


I saw pink under Tootsie's paw and investigated expecting to see blood but found a cherry blossom petal, which had bloomed beautifully in spring.

Jacky's favourite Peace rose did wonderfully this year too. There are still dogs and cats here that Jacky knew, but there are now less of them than the newer arrivals, since her death nearly eight years ago.

I knew this day would come but during the autumn, I had a nasty shock when the last of Jacky's dogs, Polly, still a relative youngster, was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Polly in true terrier style, didn't let it bother her and surprised the vet and me by how much longer she remained happy for, until one day, it was time to let her go to Jacky - a happy reunion I'm sure.


After eye surgery I had to resort to the dreaded buster collar on Cristal to stop her from rubbing. It is so rare I've needed to use one, that I don't remember the last patient who wore one but to my relief, Cristal accepted it straightaway, in spite of her looking sad with her ears down while sunbathing.

She had none of the problems associated with the 'lampshade' and navigated doorways and obstacles without difficulty, and seemed happy to have the protection that kept her from being startled or knocked on her blindside until it healed.

Cristal says "all better now."

When a friend told me about a gentleman who was refusing to go into care as he wouldn't leave his cat, I offered a temporary foster place here, so the owner could get the help he needed knowing his cat was safe. Thankfully the owner survived long enough to also know that Tommy had found a lovely home with another friend of mine who had recently lost her previous dear old girl, and they are both very happy to have found each other.

When some guinea-pig owners circumstances changed, I was able to help prevent them falling into the wrong hands ( there are some nasty people out there who watch for free to good home adverts ). So one morning, I had my 2 guinea boys, that afternoon I had 4 guinea boys and by bedtime, another pair had arrived so then there were 6. Thankfully a lovely local lady who does guinea rescue was able to help, and two of the boys have already been neutered and gone to her for rehoming, with the other two due to follow later if I've not found a home.

Hens are supposed to enjoy greens hung for them to peck at which sounds a good idea, however after a cursory peck, my girls decided they were not impressed !

Earlier this year, a lovely local chap offered free photo sessions of dogs and I said “if he fancied a challenge, mine were available” and was lucky enough to meet John. All the following photos in this centrefold are by him and I think you’ll agree, he captured some gorgeous shots - thank you John for your time and patience, especially with the less co-operative canines !













"Somebody in my territory?"asks Zora


Look of love - or treats !









And don't expect anything other than a mad look from a mad collie !



If you want to contact John ( does pets and people ), here are his details - John Lazenby Photography.

Tel: 07806 207146




Mason says "hello" but ever had the feeling you're being watched?

Look closely at his photo and on top of the roof was Ruby keeping an eye on us !

Then Sunrise




Ruby and Mason sunbathing


- - before we end with Maddie's close up.


We all know cats love boxes and Tootsie is a particular fan of getting inside any container as soon as I put something down. So she helps herself to biscuits from the cat bin when the lid is off, as well as sitting pretty in other objects ( the litter tray was clean ! )

The hot and dry weather lasted over 8 weeks, and then one day there were a few spots of rain - and three cats came racing in the back door, visibly disgusted that they had got wet !

Here we have photos of a newly donated bed that the resident cat would not use but as you see, the black & white brigade here thoroughly approved as they took turns testing it.




Wilson & Mason



The very hot weather this summer was a bit of a change after the sodden winter we had, and when the heat climbed to 34, it was not enjoyed here though we had a wonderful view across the field.

What was enjoyed was the lovely cool wood area newly accessible to dogs. The cats disappeared into the woods after breakfast and didn’t reappear until the evening was a little cooler - very sensible of them. The dogs & I went out early and also enjoyed the dark cool spinney in the morning, and then I’d get the active jobs done before the heat climbed and we’d all sit quietly the rest of the day.

There are no photos of dogs racing through tall grass this summer as it didn’t get tall of course, but here are some shots in and out of the dark, cool woods.


Jinxy ( dog ) had her first year anniversary with us and she loves life though she's not an easy dog to live with. A friend asked "am I still sane?" and there are many possible answers to that of course - insert your own reply ! While I think my lifestyle is not mad, others may see things differently. A friend came indoors one day saying "it looks like rain" - and I disappeared out the back door and returned with guinea-pigs in hand, while they thought I was going to rescue the washing on the line ... priorities !

A new dog had me stumped for a while as it seemed as if she was wearing those sunglasses where you can't see peoples eyes. As we know, eyes are an important part of expressions, regardless of what the body is doing or saying. This little girl arrived and it was like looking into a black hole, no sign of who was inside.

As you can guess, she has a poor background despite recently having been well cared for in kennels, but she would still avoid contact and keep to herself. We have a long way to go to help her but on day 10 here, she looked at me and I was able to say "well hello, there you are" as she let her guard down and started allowing me to see who she is, and let me into her world just a little. You can imagine my pleasure with this photo of her in bed as she makes relaxed eye contact, and Dawn is dreaming and twitching as I write this, welcome little girl.

Here's another of our little shy ones

BG ( BabyGirl ) who remains an independent girl in the cat pen, content with the company of her friends. The family of three Spanish cats adopted BG when her mum Raisin not only rejected her, but beat her up leaving her terrified of everyone and everything - people and other cats. To see her happily enjoying her safe environment is wonderful, and she comes to me for a fuss when she wants to.

One day I walked into the lounge with a cuppa, sat down and promptly jumped back up as I saw Maple chewing something that wasn't one of their toys or bones. As I got closer and could see what all the parts strewn around her were, it was a mouse - don't panic, a toy one from the cats, phew !

Thought I'd share a smile as it's the season of Christmas cracker jokes. Taken from the internet with original authors copyrights where available. Starting with the good British weather as experienced by cat and dog owners.

Then vegan Halloween ( yet to come as I write ) - - so much nicer than eye of newt etc !

On to Christmas and dogs idea of 'helping' !

And Tootsie says - "I don't need any New Year's resolutions -

"I'm already purr-fect"

From all the the residents

                    Liz & Furries