Chaldon Animal Sanctuary
I have a lap full of cats and quietly snoozing dogs as it’s definitely a hibernating sort of day so we must be heading for Christmas and time to write to you all. Last newsletter was during the heat wave but now it’s a wet and cold day rather than a lovely bright crispy autumn day. I hope we have an easier winter than the last one which was a long miserable one with poor weather but we’ll get whatever comes - and keep the washing machine and mops busy with all the muddy pawprints ! When I’m wiping the surfaces down, Tinks ( very elderly puss ) loves to help - I start where she isn’t and she arrives wanting to eat from that bowl, so I go to the other side of the kitchen - and Tinks comes for a drink from that bowl so in the end, the surfaces have grubby little Tink shaped patches left as I wipe round her until she goes off for a snooze.
We were lucky the day we attended the Chaldon Village Fete as the rain held off though it was rather windy but we had a good day, raising funds for us and the local organisations ( Brownies, Scouts, Friends of local hospital, Village Hall, Church etc ) and raising the profile of the Sanctuary.
My grateful thanks to all our willing helpers who again were wonderful at getting everything organised, running the stall and tidying up at the end of the day - a lot of work but many hands made light work. I smiled at the comment about how many helpers I’d recruited - I didn’t recruit anyone, they all offered and I said "yes please", and it was a pleasure to work with everyone and have you all representing the Sanctuary - thank you.
My apologies as on the last newsletter, to my horror I found too late that some address labels went out uncorrected - my fault entirely and to those of you affected - I’m very sorry for my mistake.
Thanks to those of you now added to the e-mail mailing list, saving postage costs. And the irony of me mentioning how hard it is to collect stamps nowadays due to lots of post being franked - and then sending our newsletters out franked, was not lost on me.
Thanks to those who continue to send used stamps and although we receive less for the ordinary 1st and 2nd class ones, we still collect them as well as foreign, collections or old ones found in the back of a drawer - all are welcome as they continue to raise funds for the Sanctuary.
Being able to keep on top of the vet bill each month has been a huge relief as many of you no doubt remember the struggle that we had in the early years, and without the support of our vet, Chaldon would have ceased to exist before it ever really found its feet - thank you Ian.
Thanks to those who supply blankets / towels, food and money donations, it all helps keep Chaldon going. Here’s a wheelbarrow load of food being investigated by Chico and Gershwin. The 2 wheeled barrow was bought by an online group of friends fundraising and the food was bought from all of you who support the Sanctuary.
We used to be able to accept Gift Aid donations through the online giving website Charity Giving ( Dove Trust ) but they have been suspended and are being investigated. So I do not have an alternative that doesn’t create more work for me to take on ( not practical ) but will update you when I sort something else out as I’m looking into ways forward at the moment.
This year Jacky’s Patch had a redesign as it wasn’t quite working as I’d intended. There was a lot of water lost due to splashing so instead of the fan shell that was originally used, I had a better idea and with Andrew’s work, changed it around.
Some of you may remember a few years ago when Jacky & I bought a little water feature in a sale that Jacky nicknamed Cracked Pots - like us ! It is now proudly in place and works really well I think.
As you can see, the shell soon found itself otherwise occupied !
And I realise it may not show properly although I hope it does, but this is Jacky’s Patch sign in the snow - with cat paw prints -
it seemed appropriate and made me smile.
I read something that made me think how very true of pets as well as people. The article was about bullying and spoke about how we crumple wrapping paper but if you unfold and try to smooth it out, the creases and scars of the rough handling remain. No matter how hard you try to fix it, the harm has been done, the scars don’t go away. Some people or pets find the creases run too deep and remain damaged, but it’s amazing when you see the scars fade and progress and healing happen.
Rosetta has been here over 3 years now and after years of living on the street and keeping herself safe by avoiding contact with people plus being blind in one eye, she still sniffs my hand to reassure herself it’s me and then accepts being stroked. One day when I was stroking Mason, Rosetta strolled over to my hand - no checking me out first but just a demand that I stroke her as we’d like to think we can any cat. I was grinning from ear to ear at her apparently sudden decision that she could do it, however, in reality, it’s the culmination of weeks and months of letting her go at her own cautious pace until she felt ready to take the next step. Well done Rosetta.
Phoenix arrived last year, the obsessive compulsive gsd and you can see how much he’s improved in his year here. He still has moments of seeing fairies,
usually when there are visitors about and he feels unsure, but he is also able to relax, a wonderful sight.
I was giving treaties to the dogs and one slipped out of my fingers and hit the floor between my feet. So I closed my feet together, I thought covering it so I could retrieve it, however - - I’d not realised as it landed, the treat had kept sliding, straight through my feet and out behind me. It was obviously spotted and Polly munched the extra treat that had come her way, no self respecting dog could ignore that bit of good fortune !
While washing the dogs dinner bowls up one evening, I looked out the kitchen window and wondered what on earth a young fox cub was doing. It was bouncing about and leaping up and I couldn’t work out at all what was happening to start with - and then I realised. The cheeky youngster was making sure he went partway towards his 5 a day as he was picking ripe raspberries for his dinner!
One evening I was sitting quietly with my eyes shut with the television on as a gentle background, and I had the remote control to hand and used the volume button - but the volume didn’t alter. So I pushed it again and still no change so I opened my eyes to see why as I knew the batteries shouldn’t be the problem - they weren’t but someone was and guess who - yes Max of course. He was standing in front of me, peering anxiously and blocking the signal to the television. After reassuring him I was alright, he happily went and sat down and I altered the volume. He is really a rather lovely boy even if I do seem to always be mentioning something he’s getting up to - think it’s called character !
Another time I heard Toto come running down the lounge to my lap, chirruping as she did and I knew what she was saying and yes - one soggy kittie arrived to tell me she was wet as it was raining and what was I going to do about it as it must be my fault!
Recently I called Taxi ( border collie introduced in last newsletter ) in from starting her tree herding behaviour and she not only turned and came instantly but did so with a happy and waving tail, a moment to smile as I see the difference in her. And one evening after dinner, a few dog heads lifted in surprise at an unusual sound and it was Merlin who had lived on the streets, but he was fast asleep and dreaming with little woofling sounds, lovely to hear.
We’ve all heard of a bicycle made for two and we start with single occupancy of beds . . .
. . . then Toto and Mason are double trouble.
An armchair apparently for two - Harley & Binty, then ginger friends - Schui & Echo
Settee of three . . . Cristal, Purdey & Granville - and looks like it’s how many can fit in as Gershwin, Rhapsody & Summer share.
An armchair of four canine chums . . .
Chips, Finn, Murphy & Polly.
Or four feline friends - Mason, Wilson, Rhapsody & Summer.
And a settee of 4 became 5 when Max arrived and hung off one end! And supposedly my armchair . . . 5 cats disagree !
I should mention that there are plenty of empty beds and places available and they don’t have to cuddle up together due to lack of space, it is their personal choice.
And then why use a bed at all when there’s a box or plant pot available !
You Talking About Me?
A selection of photos of the furries doing what they do best - smiling for the camera and looking cute, well, most of them !
Bad Bertha who arrived with a reputation - and lived up to it !
Chico - is doing very well with his heart problem and has enjoyed this lovely summer.
Popo - "yes?" - some cats come when called !
Chutney - older lad enjoying the sun on his back and Echo in a deep thinking mood
Nikki - always ready to go in typical terrier fashion . . .
. . . Unless you’re an older chap like Ben having a snooze.
And Albi wasn’t being rude poking his tongue out - he was savouring a treat, honest !
Tootsie with her head tilt but doing very well now.
Purdey ‘nose’ she’s pretty !
Why’s that my name? asks Sandy!
Schui shade-bathing during the summer.
Fifi ferret in bed.
Chips smiling for the camera and Taxi improving with time, training and chiropractor treatment.(P.S - yes. she’s staying.)
Jetta relaxed on my bed.
Had to be one facing the wrong way - guess who?
In case you need the answer, it’s Max of course!
I saw an advert one day that said something like "do you want to work with dogs all day?" and I said "no way" before the absurdity of my remark struck me ! I realised and had a laugh but though I may be surrounded by dogs and cats all day, I don’t in any way, consider it work, it’s just the way I’m lucky enough to live. A small example of life here was when I opened a door and we all filed out - cat - dog - dog - & me bringing up the rear !
One mealtime Disney (cat) slipped off a shelf and landed in a dogs dinner bowl beneath. No, Kismet (dog) didn't attempt to eat what had landed in front of him but ran away and had to be coaxed back to finish his dinner, what a good lad and who said cats are sure footed hadn’t met Disney !
Albi is still pottering on as I write this, over 15years old now. I clip him each year and the timing mostly depends on the weather and as it warmed up. I gave him this rather fetching hairstyle!
I didn't want to shear all of him so I left the fleece on his back to insulate as well as protect from rain, but with the lower part of his body clipped short as usual so that he wouldn’t overheat. So no laughing at his haircut please, it may not be pretty but it certainly was practical for him.
There is one photo that makes me laugh ( not included ) but it’s out of focus, muddy and just a general snap but - in the middle of the screen, straight up is a tail, nothing else of the dog visible and you might guess who it belongs to - yes, Max in the frame again, quite literally !
Getting old isn’t any fun - no, not me thankfully before you worry although I’m what is called middle aged but I don’t expect to live until I’m a hundred and something! With the golden oldies here, they naturally slow down and deafness is another issue of course. Perhaps they are going in the wrong direction and I can’t call them and they don’t see me waving at them. Just recently I was in the garden early one morning in dressing gown and slippers trying to overtake Mungo so I could get in front of him to show that the door was open. Another morning after breakfast, Binty dog turned and started out of the kitchen as they’re all taught to do when they’ve finished eating ( so they don’t dive into someone else’s bowl ) but I didn’t want Binty going straight out as I needed to give her a tablet. Binty is now 15 yrs old and deaf so talking to her is pointless although I give her hand signals and smile at her if she’s looking at me, but a disappearing backside meant that wasn’t going to work.
So I gently stroked her to alert her that I wanted her, and even after all these years of being safe here, the scars from her youth are still present and she briefly sped up before realising it was only mum and all was OK, so obligingly stopped and turned to see what I wanted.
Dear old Mungo pottered on and passed his 16th birthday, but sadly time ran out for us together when his legs finally gave up. He was originally taken to be put down when only 2 years old and turned into a wonderful love of a dog. Also sadly three other dogs have been diagnosed with cancer and so far as I write this, they are all still enjoying life but time is finite for them now. Quality of life is the most important factor and while they are happy, I’ll do my best to keep them that way but when life begins to be a struggle for them, then no matter how much it pains me, it’s time to show them the greatest love and say goodbye. And no, it never gets any easier no matter how many times I face the situation.
It’s been a hard few months followed by sad ones. Tigs (cat) worried me one day when she had an injured leg. We charged off to the vets of course where an x-ray showed not a fracture but a torn knee ligament. Tigs had already been diagnosed with kidney failure but the leg healed well though sadly her kidney problem was terminal and I had to say goodbye to her a few months later - a lovely girl who was always about and greeting visitors. Tinsel ( cat ) had also been diagnosed with kidney failure and died the day before Tigs. Tinsel was our one and only pregnant mum to arrive here 13 years ago and thank goodness she was rescued when she was, as she was so badly matted the kittens would not have been able to get out and mum and kits would have died. Tinsel was a gentle girl who adored her cuddles but avoided visitors.
It has been due to the kindness, ongoing support and belief of so many of you who have sent "a little something" when you could afford to - and some of you I fear, when you couldn’t afford to, that has meant Chaldon is still in existence. It has been the continued "it’s not much" letters and donations from so many of you over the years, that quite literally meant we were able to buy food and vet treatment, I hope you know how much it matters that you care.
Thank you all for the difference you make to so many animals lives.
Liz & the furries.
Saving one pets life won’t change the world...
but it will make a world of difference to that one pet.
Then Max licking the snow - or being rude poking his tongue out !
While on snow pictures here is Harley trying to camouflage himself.
A cold wet walk - "well, I’m not out here for my fun" said I when Cristal and Chips looked accusingly at me!
But we did have sun and buttercups too as Frisbee shows.