Spring into Easter 2017
With spring on the horizon and a few pleasant hours or days beginning to herald the end of winter, I start my letter to you with a look back to the festive season. Thanks to so many of you, Father Christmas did come with cards, letters and bearing gifts - it was lovely to hear from so many of you.
You generously sent donations as well as supporting the updated sponsorship pets scheme, and a wonderful response of items bought from the Amazon wish list too - cat food, beds, antlers, disinfectant, tick tweezers, renal cat food, cat litter and cat flap.
Below is Tootsie with a hamper of cat goodies that arrived, and the dogs checking out their hamper, and I even had a hamper, along with other goodies and donations for me to treat myself as well - we were all spoilt and thank you from all of us.
Some of the dogs investigating their hamper, and enjoying various gifts, sorry I didn’t get the cats with their treats as I was under the weather with the cold virus that was about.
It’s wonderful to know that you support what Chaldon does for those that come here. Your support is essential and not taken for granted, thank you
If you bought a Phoenix hanging heart, you will know the making of them was featured in Dog’s Today magazine. Thanks to Pat who helped raise funds with these gorgeous items and if you missed them, there are some still available.
£10 each including postage.
Dogs Today also wrote about Chaldon which helps to spread the word to new supporters. Our patron Peter Egan keeps in touch while continuing with his campaigning on behalf of animals across the globe.
The Caterham Kind Tribe had a free book stall at Caterham Christmas Market, and thanks to Gail who suggested donations welcomed for Chaldon. A lot of hard work from her and the Kind Tribe team raised an incredible £229.30 - an astonishing total from generous supporters to the free stall.
As it was such a success, we are repeating the free but donations welcome at the Caterham Carnival in June, and we need books, dvd’s, cd’s as well as the usual bric-a-brac donations please.
We will also be attending Chaldon Fete later in the year ( August Bank Holiday Monday ), so please start your spring cleaning to collect suitable items to donate.
The used postage stamps we continue to collect, has helped raise a further £64 - thanks to all of you who send them to us.
It’s been a busy few months since I last wrote to you, with the usual mix of life here of happy and sad. Another anniversary of Jacky’s death has passed and I am very conscious of how, what I continue, is built on the shoulders of what Jacky & I did together for 30 years. Just before Christmas, a new little dog arrived instead of having a one way trip to the vet and he still needs sorting out, mentally and physically before I know if he'll become a permanent member of our family or going to a new home in due course.
In January there was a happy outcome for Boyce, the gorgeous cocker spaniel who came to us 18 months ago instead of a one way trip to the vet due to him not being good with children. Friends of mine sadly lost one of their dogs and the other dog was pining badly and as they haven’t young children, an introduction was arranged. Everyone fell in love - dogs and people so Boyce went home with them and is loving life with his new family.
As you know, I don’t normally rehome and it doesn’t happen often, but if I’ve stepped in when needed to save a life and later someone better comes along among various friends, I will do what is best for the dog.
February brought another dog coming in as an emergency, hours before a one way vet visit due to his behavioural problems. I had him a short time but wasn’t able to give him what he needed and thanks to Valgrays Border Collie Rescue who I’ve known for years, Val has taken him on and is currently working hard and making great progress with this troubled lad.
Also another dog arrived ( I’ll get to the cat news in a moment ) who had been rescued but was paraplegic with an uncertain future. Sadly further veterinary examination revealed other health issues which he couldn’t recover from, so the decision had to be made not to let him suffer.
Chaldon has been able to be part of a chain of rescuers to help these various dogs in the best way ( whatever that may be ) for each individual, and that is what helping them should be about.
There is sad cat news too as sweet Rosetta died after a short illness. She had been unwell last year and recovered, but went downhill again and went to sleep on my lap at home.
She was the last pet rescued with Jacky so sadly there is another link now broken between the past and current residents. Jacky wasn’t well when we were asked if we could help with Rosetta, but she managed the car journey to navigate for me, and then had the carrier with Rosetta on her lap on the way home - memories.
Sunrise had further surgery on her ear and is currently recovering well as the surgery was successful. It’s quite possible that more polyps will grow and mean further minor surgery in the future but the major operation is now out of the way.
Mr. Mouse ( cat ) is causing concern and currently being monitored by the vet to see what is happening with him, but he remains a purry old gent.
The dog baby monitor has been such a success that I bought another one for the new cat house, or rather you bought it with your donations. This has been as endlessly fascinating as the dog one and has also proved to be just as useful.
As I write this, it’s a wonderful bright day, sun is out and a blue sky but the temperature is barely creeping above freezing, day or night. The new cat house ( with heating ) is a great success with most of them preferring that to their indoor pen as you can see on the following page.
To my delight, Tarzan the feral cat I mentioned arriving last year, has decided that it’s rather nice in the cat house too. He can’t cope with my presence so the baby monitor has come into it’s own as I look on that first to see if he’s in before entering to top up their food, clean up etc.
They are poor photo’s as they are taken from the monitor but Tarzan is looking very cosy on the shelf, with other cats on a bed with a view - temperature outside a chilly 2 degrees but a comfortable 65F/18C inside.
Tarzan has no intention of making contact - well, at least not a friendly one and likewise Olivia remains aloof and her deafness is an issue for her gaining trust, but she is warm and well fed, happy with the other cats around so as always, it’s her choice how much contact with me she wants.
We welcome a new cat arrival too, with Cookie who is a semi-feral girl who the owners knew wouldn’t cope with them moving house. Instead of waiting until the last minute as so many people do ( “we’re moving next week and can’t take the pet” ! ) they explored their options and as Cookie loves other cats but not people, thought she would be happy here. She’s only 18months young, and been here just a short while but is making good progress that she’s safe, and in due course, will hopefully move into the new cat pen and run.
Stress affects us all in different ways and Cookie’s is to run and hide, Olivia just watches from a distance and Tarzan would tear chunks out of me if I got too close. If Phoenix the GSD circles, it is a negative behaviour when he is worried about something, usually visitors and I distract him. Yet when Kismet circles, it is for pure fun and I encourage him, so even the same behaviour can have completely opposite meanings.
Work has begun on the next part of the cat pen project with the massive job of clearing the ground first, which as it was the previous site of an old fox pen that included buried wire, has been a large job. Here’s Squire exploring the work in progress and by the next newsletter, you should see photo’s of a rather smart playground for them, full of things to do and places to explore.
The next big project I’m researching is renewing the flooring in the bungalow, which is going to be a massive job, both in terms of cost and practicality especially with all the ‘helpful’ cats & dogs supervising ! Apart from the years since it’s been done and the wear and tear, it worsened with Binty dog as she aged and suffered dementia and in her confusion, she ripped a piece of the lino up - and now it is Frisbee who does the same thing, for the same reason. So it’s time to get the holes sorted, preferably before another winter - and yes, I did say that last year too but the cat pen took priority.
I think the paw print photos in the last newsletter resonated with quite a few of you ! After a fairly soggy winter, there have been plenty more paw prints here but also a fairly decent snowfall which the dogs enjoyed more than the rest of us probably did, although I love to see them having fun and playing in it.
As if it’s not sometimes hard enough to find time to get office work done, it isn’t helped, despite what they think, by the furry family ! One side effect of being on Facebook is seeing a variety of images, both sad and good and this one is most definitely the latter and made me smile in recognition !
I hadn’t realised how often I’ve seen Off The Mark work as they are often on greetings cards as well as books ( click book image to buy ).
Think Outside the Cat Box - and Chew This Book and I now keep an eye on his website https://www.offthemark.com for his new daily cartoon too. As an aside, Mark went from weekly to daily cartoons in 1991 - the same length of time Chaldon has existed, so there are lots to browse and smile at on his website. With his permission ( thanks Mark ), I can share this one with you which is so accurate every time I try to sit and work on the computer.
My ‘desktop’ is whoever I’m trying to fend off the keyboard at the time with Wilson, Disney & Ruby being the most likely; the ‘laptop’ is a changing lapful usually including any of the following - Gershwin, Maddy, Sparkle or Toto and the ‘handheld’ is Disney who lays over my typing arm - as he is at the moment. Add to that the shoulder snuggler of whoever ( Ruby, Sparkle or Sunrise ) is on the back of my armchair and not forgetting ChipChap the yorkie tucked down the side of my lap too - it’s great in winter !
The dog’s add their ‘help’ too as someone needs to go in the garden, and when I return to the laptop that I thought was safely put to one side, it has a line of gobbledegook added to it by a helpful feline walking over the keyboard. I delete that, let whichever dog back indoors and return to what I was doing - but Disney is plucking at my arm for attention and he’s an old lad now who won’t be around forever so he wins, which seems a good reason to give in and stop for the time being - so you can blame Disney if this newsletter arrives after Easter !
A little smile for you as the breed characteristics are mostly accurate I think - and check the ending if you’re a cat lover !
How many dogs does it take to change a light bulb?
Border Collie: Just one, and then I’ll rewire the rest of the house !
Dachshund: You know I can’t reach it !
Boxer: Who cares, I can still play with my squeaky toys in the dark !
Labrador: Me, me!! please let me, can I, please, can I - please let me !
German Shepherd: I’ll change it as soon as I’ve led these people from the dark, check to make sure they’re all here, and do one more perimeter patrol to make sure all is secure.
Jack Russell: I’ll just pop it in while I’m bouncing off the walls and furniture.
Old English Sheepdog: Light bulb? I can’t see a light bulb.
Pointer: I see it, there it is, right there.
Greyhound: If it isn’t moving - who cares?
Poodle: Ask the border collie and he’ll do it while I finish doing my nails.
Pug: I can sleep in the dark.
A cat’s answer:
Words and pictures taken from copyright free internet search.
Purrs & woofs of thanks, Liz & the Furries
Saving one pets life won’t change the world...but it will make a world of difference to that one pet.
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