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  August 2015

 Summertime

 

Well, it’s been a busy few months since I last wrote to you and to start with the good and most exciting news - Chaldon Animal Sanctuary now has a Patron.

This came about via new contacts, partly made online through Facebook which I have avoided in years past. I’ll come back to that in a moment but first, for those of you who have not yet spotted it, I’d like to tell you who our wonderful Patron is - Peter Egan.

                                                                                                                                       

I’ve enjoyed many of his acting performances on television ( Joint  Account, Ever Decreasing Circles and Downtown Abbey to name a tiny few he’s been in ) though never seen any of his stage work. I was aware he is a very strong and active defender of animals rights, so when he approached me and offered his support - what a lovely surprise that I was delighted to accept. Peter visited the Sanctuary in May and when he announced the news on his Facebook page, this is what he wrote ( shared with his permission of course ).

I visited Liz at the www.chaldonanimalsanctuary.co.uk a few weeks ago. I'd heard lots about the terrific work they do for our voiceless friends who are deemed to be un-rehomeable. I wanted to see for myself what the sanctuary was like. I was amazed at the care and dedication shown to such a large and wide variety of friends, in their care, for life. It's a huge and wonderful commitment which Liz takes on with extraordinary care and understanding. I was so impressed by their work I've decided to become their Patron. I'm delighted to be a part of their work and I urge you to give them your support. They'll be delighted to have it and so will all their guests for life, and so will I. Cheers Peter (-:)

As many of you no doubt are aware, I tend to shrink from publicity, however, it is lovely to share that wonderful endorsement from Peter with you. But I do what I do because, as it was with Jacky and still is, it’s what, with your help, can be done to make a difference for a few of the many that need help.

It’s been a pleasure to meet Peter and for those of you in the local area, he intends to be at Chaldon Fete on August Bank Holiday Monday afternoon, other commitments allowing, so we’d love to see you there. 

Peter is a genuine animal lover and actually puts himself out to be involved with improving life for all animals, especially dogs and Moon Bears, and I’m thrilled to be able to call both Peter & his wife, friends of the Sanctuary.

                                                                                                                                                 ~~~~

Going back to my comment about Facebook ( which is an online world wide community ) Jacky & I started Chaldon before the days of the internet and so if it hadn’t been for our supporters that are now considered by some to be  “old fashioned”, the Sanctuary would never have survived, much less grown into the established haven it now is. When the internet came along, Jacky & I deliberately made sure that our paper printed newsletters went out before the handful of online e-mail letters, and that remains so to this day.

The internet has grown into a huge and now normal part of life for many of us - yes, I include myself in that statement, and for some time I’ve been wondering how to merge the two branches of our supporters in a comfortable way. Many of you have converted to receiving the e-mail notifications to save postage which all helps the funds of course.

I shall continue as always with our paper newsletters ( that was never a consideration not to ) but the progress being made by the two dogs ( more about them later ) that already have an established online group of supporters of another rescue, I shall write about on Facebook.

Therefore some of you who are online on Facebook will see extra information but just about those two dogs, and I am sorry to those of you who can only receive posted newsletters. I don’t think any of us had any idea just how giant a monster ( for better or worse ) the internet would become and I’d hate those who helped Chaldon get to this position, to feel left out as that is absolutely the last thing that is intended but somehow Chaldon has to move into the modern times.

The newsletter will continue to be posted out first and they will remain the same content for everyone, with tales of our furry family and as always, with never ending gratitude for your support.

                                                                                                                                              ~~~~

{C} {C}As you know, fencing has been done to encourage the cats to stay on our land, but while the work was in progress, Andrew & I would be chatting and one of the cats would appear on the ‘wrong’ side of the fence to see what we were up to. It was as if they were having a laugh and it was frustrating but we had to smile at their incredible ingenuity and athleticism to prove how hopeless we were !

You may remember Sunrise who needed complicated ear surgery and I’m delighted to update her progress. She has done very well from the surgery with some minor treatment still ongoing at the moment, and the slight head tilt remains but doesn’t bother her at all. She now is firmly part of the family and thoroughly enjoying her life.

                                                                                                                        

I had an emergency plea for help one Sunday morning from a friend that resulted in me taking a mum cat & her 5mth kitten to remove them from the position they were in. Sadly the owner has some health problems that meant that he was unable to care for himself properly and certainly not the cats as well. They were both very jumpy but the mum cat ( Raisin ) was very aggressive to her kit, so much so that BG ( Baby Girl ) couldn't even move without being attacked and it had left BG terrified of other cats of course, and she was also scared of humans and still is very wary.

Raisin made good progress though BG took longer but in due course, I introduced Gershwin to her, who you may remember from the Christmas newsletter. After a few daily visits, BG realised Gershwin was a safe cat and she  started to interact with him, even playing with his tail. Then I moved BG in with the three Spanish cats who are completely non aggressive and they happily accepted her into the group with them. I'm thrilled they are such a lovely natured trio who have helped BG move forward from her early troubles and it’s wonderful to see her curled up with them and be part of their family.

                       BG - JASPER -  MOMMA

Gershwin’s brother Benson has been causing concern with a variety of confusing symptoms and it has been quite a rollercoaster with him swinging from    being very poorly to doing really well. He is his usual purry, cuddly self, and remains on treatment so we hope he continues to make good progress.

                                                                                    CHICO

     Well, I’ve been putting off writing this but I have to say that sadly our dear Chico cat was put to sleep in June after an incredibly short illness of three days when his kidneys failed.

There are many of you who will know Chico’s story from 2006 and others that knew him because he was self appointed chief to greet visitors. And if anyone thought they could ignore him if he wanted attention, they were wrong but woe betide you if you actually thought he wanted you to tickle his tummy when he rolled over to show you his beautiful white tummy - many a time Jacky or I would quickly intervene with “NO - don’t touch” to save someone’s hands !

Not sure if this was an evil cackle of intent or an “I’m innocent” comment !

                                                                         

                                                                                                         No, I didn’t believe him either which is why I just took his photo instead !

                                                                                                                                    

People ask “Are there favourites?” and I always answer “No, but some are easier to live with than others”. Well, Chico wasn’t easy to live with in many ways but boy, did he have a HUGE character - and leave a huge empty space too.

Briefly his story is that he was run over in his previous home requiring expensive specialist surgery ( with the Supervet on television ) to repair two broken legs and the owners couldn’t afford it but also knew that Chico might not be so lucky as to survive his next brush with a car, and being Chico, there would have been another time as this was his second road accident ( first was a glancing blow and concussion ). This is where Chaldon came in and although we also couldn’t afford his treatment, we appealed to you wonderful supporters who raised every penny and pound needed and gave Chico his treatment and his wonderful life that he had here, in safety.

Chico came home to us two days before his first birthday ( that was a celebration ) and still needed a lot of treatment which he didn’t approve of ( putting it politely ! ) With his furry back paw from the skin graft his story was told to many curious visitors about why his nickname was Yeti. The paw is plainly visible on the stuck up leg as this photo caught him in mid wash, but perhaps he should have been called Arthur as he imitated that well known cat from years ago with helping himself to a tin of food.

                                                                            

Losing him has also bought back memories of when Jacky & I shared the many journeys to the specialist and only once managed to arrive without taking any “scenic routes” - ok, “going wrong” as it was in a maze of country lanes without signposts. I’m finding this difficult to write but know that we, that’s all of you, have shared in the story of a wonderful cat who crossed our lives and hearts.

                                                                                                  

I didn’t intend this to be so long and I don’t single out many individuals for their own memoriam but as I went through some of my photos to illustrate what I was writing, I kept seeing more to share with you so have now moved Chico into prime position of the middle pages of the printed version - he’d have approved.

                                                                                                                                               ~~~~

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So you want to know more about the new dogs mentioned? “Yes, I thought so”!

It started with an e-mail arriving one day asking for help and as I read it, I said to the dogs here - another sad tale but we can’t help them all as we know. BUT this photo made me hesitate and say - “uh oh, I’m in trouble” !

Exactly - you can see the pure fear and if you knew you could help, would you find out more or would you be able to say no? Well, you know what I said as it’s obvious from my previous comments so here is the sad story of Maree as she was then known.

She lived on the streets of Bosnia where dogs rarely survive beyond a couple of years due to the frightening situation there. I’d like to explain as I wonder if anyone has yet said “But there are so many in this country to help” . . .

Yes, and don’t I know it, perhaps more than most after over 35 years of helping dogs in this country but - if a dog, cat or fox, badger etc is seen injured on the road, how long before someone stops and helps in this country? In Bosnia, a dog suffered a road accident ( which are often deliberate ) and was left with a broken back for three days before he was helped ( and peacefully put down ). Now, should we help dogs abroad - where there is no access to countless

organisations including vets who will help, as we are fortunate to have in our country?

The words I found on the internet are very appropriate added to this ‘photo of Maree, sadly watching another litter of her puppies being taken into rescue. Some of her pups now live happily in UK, Germany & Italy but you can’t explain to a doggy mum that it’s being done to save them suffering and dying on the streets.

                                                                                                                                               

 Maree managed twice to escape from the street cleaners who capture stray dogs and that would have meant an unpleasant death for her. She succeeded in surviving Bosnian winters which are particularly unforgiving with freezing temperatures of below -20 in 2012, the floods in 2013, and the heavy snow last year. She is a real survivor and by not trusting humans even if they provide food, she proved incredibly difficult to capture for years but it became a matter of urgency when the latest round of street clearing was being done before a visit from the Pope. Thankfully there is a lady in Sarajevo doing what she can to rescue dogs which is a constant battle of funding and finding homes and fosterers, and she feeds strays until she can get them into safety.

So finally in January Maree was caught, placed safely in kennels and able to be spayed. However, the problem remained of what to do next with her. There was a realistic chance of her being released back onto the streets in her area due to her extremely high stress levels and self harming in kennels. And that is when the e-mail asking for help arrived here.

As I write this, Maree - now renamed Zora which means dawn ( for her new beginnings ) is asleep on the settee that she’s adopted. She is making progress, sometimes for me, frustratingly slowly when she takes a step forward and slides back two but she is safe and not living on her nerves to survive. She eats while I hold her dinner bowl and even wags her tail though I’m sure it was because I had her dinner not actually at me. And when deeply asleep, I’ve been the first person to see her dreaming, wonderful for her to be that relaxed.

                                                                                                    

And the second dog who through a strange twist of fate, is actually one of Zora’s sons although I didn’t know that when first approached about him, and it wouldn’t have affected my decision. He was rescued as a puppy from the drainpipe he was born in, and here he is in the Bosnian kennels last year, then known as Dominique.

He came over to UK last November and went into kennels with his brother, and then into foster care but unfortunately, he then disgraced himself with his behaviour towards the husband, and ended up back in the kennel. At this stage, everyone was scratching their head as to what next as a dog labelled a biter, can not be   rehomed through the normal channels of course. I initially said no to being able to take him but followed his story, and as I realised the predicament he was in, I changed my mind and he arrived shortly before his mum Zora.   

 He’s a gorgeous young lad ( 20 months ) and now named Crusoe, and by my ( rather strange standards ! ) is fairly normal though he undoubtedly has a variety of issues, particularly trust like his mum and would not cope with the average lifestyle expected of family pets.

Here he is in our field when I’d just renamed him and called out “Crusoe” - lovely response of “yes, did you want me?” I think he approves the change of name with his new beginnings and no more dangerous adventures or travels for him or his mum.

                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                             ~~~~

After a quieter patch, there have been lots of vet visits this summer, sometimes even two on the same day when someone has unexpectedly become ill after I’d already done a routine visit earlier in the day with a different patient. I’ve certainly noticed the difference in petrol costs with the vets not being quite so close and it does take more organisation from me with regards to timing and getting jobs done at the Sanctuary, but it’s worth it to get the excellent care for the Chaldon furries that makes such a difference by having vets & staff who understand my non normal pets ! For that I will always be grateful, thanks to Johnny, Ian & team.

The longer journey emphasized another problem which is the temperature in the car, especially if stuck in traffic never mind mildly warm days. So I decided it was time to change my car from the box on wheels I had ( Renault Kangoo ) and get one with air conditioning to keep stressed pets cool, if not calm, on the way to the vets. After much research, my brother and I went round garages and found just what I needed ( secondhand Skoda ) and luckily I collected it a couple of days before that incredibly hot weather arrived, what a blessing it has been for all of us.

                                                                                                                                               ~~~~

And last but most certainly not least, the marvellous team were at Caterham Carnival again this year and raised the smashing amount of £413.89. Thank you to them and all of you who donated items as well. I was particularly grateful for  having such a great team of helpers as Fiddler dog had major surgery the day before and wasn’t doing too well so I needed to remain with him, and ended up not attending the carnival to help at all ( Fiddler is now completely better ).

                                                                                                             Purrs & woofs of thanks,

Liz & the Furries 

DON’T FORGET - - Chaldon fete, August Bank Holiday Monday afternoon at St. Peter and St. Paul's School.

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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