Chaldon Animal Sanctuary
Spring has passed and summer is here - well according to the calendar and weather forecasters !!! The sun is intermittent, warmth is up & down and the rain comes & goes but life still carries on here.
The animals all enjoy the better days as we do, and the dogs especially enjoy running through the long grass. We now only have 3 outside animals, Trubshaw, Albi & Whispa brought about by us saying that although we love them dearly, the years have rolled by and we are no longer able to care for them as easily as we once did. When these three have passed on to the great field in the sky, our field will remain empty - hence the longer grass this year as it is not being grazed by so many.
Poor Trubshaw is still missing his wife Chance and has broken the fence down in his field twice. He has Albi the sheep for company but still seems very lost and much quieter than he used to be, he is now an older boy of 13yrs, a very great age.
It is now a year since the court case brought about by our neighbour and we reminisced about the day and the wonderful support we had from all of you, something we will never forget. There have been some further minor niggles from our neighbour which meant with the lead up and hard work from before the court case, we have still taken a while to "get over" it, but are now finally trying to put it all behind us.
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED....
......one summer evening. We were sitting in the lounge with the door to the garden open and dogs pottering in & out, while we watched tv. and were singing along to a musical while Liz also surfed on the computer, all nice and peaceful.
Bingo ( remember him?..... taken to the vets to be put to sleep when 7 months old but has just celebrated his 1st birthday ), he suddenly went "woowoowoowoo" in a startled bark and some of our other dogs went "woof woof, what is it?". We assumed he’d seen a fox crossing our field which is a common sight. They all stopped and came indoors as we called to them but Bingo went back out and again, looked over to the field and went "woowoowoowoo - something’s wrong".
There was movement in the field and the next thing, Jacky saw Trubshaw up the other end of the field which meant he had broken through the central fence between the two ends - dogs on one side and Trubshaw & Albi the other. The garden & field gates are closed in the evening so there wasn’t any danger of dogs going up & chasing him, but Trubshaw was now very anxious and wanted to be back on his side of the fence.
Liz went up and opened the gate for him to charge through and then tried to make minor repairs to the fence in the dusk ( now nearly 10pm ) to last until daylight the next day. Then we put the tv back on but the programme had finished, and that is why we often ( but hadn’t this time ), record programmes even if we’re watching them as we never know what will happen next here !!
So from a relaxing evening to a bit of excitement for half an hour and then back to normal - if you can ever call it normal here !!!!
We all know of the dangers of the internet, it’s often on news reports that you don’t know who people really are ( axe murderers or worse ), or that using it to pay someone is virtually an open invite to your bank account.
We’ve told you about our new internet supporters who got to "know" us via the Ebay auction site that we use to sell donated items on. Ebay has a Community forum for chatting and also groups can be started between smaller groups of people with similar interests. These amazing people who have become Chaldon supporters, have come up with all sorts of fundraising ideas - raffles, tombolas, sponsored diet, auctions etc.
Our bank balance is regularly topped up by monthly auctions plus special events they privately organise between themselves with particular mention to the gorgeous Cossack recently raffled !! This "interesting" item was a Cossack shaped bottle of vodka and caused much hilarity with questions such as "what size boots does he wear" etc.
"On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog" !!
We wanted to say a special thanks to all our internet friends that show not only the good side of the World Wide Web, but also help prove that by no means is everyone on the internet an axe murderer !!!... ( as usual, the minority give everyone a bad name, justified or not )
It never ceases to astonish us how much ALL our supporters do for our animal family, and yet, a lot of you that are scattered around the country - or even abroad, have not actually met us or visited the Sanctuary. As we’ve said before - we see both sides of humans, the worst that means we continue to be needed to pick up the sad pieces of furry friends that have suffered, and you, our wonderful supporters who continue to give with your whole hearted generosity.
Over the years, our mailing list of supporters has settled with our long term friends as well as newer ones as word spreads. Although we send our fact sheet to new supporters, it is fairly limited in background info and we are asked "how we got together" etc, which we covered in our early newsletters. So, in an idle moment ( !!! ), Liz decided to collect together all our newsletters, right from the beginning in 1992 up to last year, into one folder.
It was quite a trip down memory lane for us as we re-read the news and stories of so many furry friends....Amadeus, Tilly, Poppin, Romeo, Ginny, Dickens, Sherpa, Chance, Silver, Polka, Cleo & Max to name a few, and the tales and adventures we’ve had over the years. We used to say we believed if "we could only hang on long enough" the Sanctuary could become financially secure ( by that we mean able to pay our vet bill on top of all the others each month ), and due to a couple of legacies as well as your continued faith and support of us, we are now in that position, which is the most wonderful relief after years of struggling.
We would like to thank our vet without whose support and patience in waiting for payment in those early years, we would have had to close down - thank you Ian.
Also here seems the right place to say "thank you" to those of you who have included us in your wills - we hope we don’t get to know about it for a long while to come, but be assured that your legacy will help a lot, either to buy something needed or do a job that needs doing but we couldn’t afford to or to generally help make the Sanctuary more secure.
We wonder what the future holds - as we’ve mentioned before, we have let our numbers reduce as we get older but it is very sad to see the field so quiet with only Trubshaw & Albi, as well as the pig paddock empty after over 15 years of piggy perambulations. However, we still have and will continue to have, a large family of dogs & cats, so many of whom were going to be put down but now have a future and love and care here for the rest of their lives.
Anyway, I digressed from the original direction of this article ( nothing new there then !!! ).
We know many of you keep your newsletters from us so won’t need to be bored by this offer, but the collection of our Sanctuary newsletters is now available to buy from us. It is a folder of just over 200 pages and is an entirely home produced effort. ( By the way, apologies for the dreadful quality of the last newsletter as we had printer problems but now have a lovely new printer.)
The cost of this collection has added up with all the ink, paper etc and it is heavy for postage charges, but for £15 you can have a copy. Is it worth it - we don’t think so as wouldn’t pay that for a proper bound book but those who have seen and read it tell us they’ve enjoyed it and it is worth every penny ( fool’s we’re sure !!! )
If you’d like a copy, just drop us a line ( making sure you include your address please ) plus £15 or telephone us and we’ll get one off to you. We do have a few printed and ready to go but if demand surprises us,there will be a delay before you get it.
LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP.....
.....and there’s a very good reason for that !!!!
In our kitchen we use a couple of small plastic bins to store cat biscuits in. The cats, especially the older ones, use them as "stepping stones" to jump up on the surfaces above .... and then there’s Gershwin !!
Gershwin is a lovely young tabby cat and recently as I had the lid off a bin and picked up the large ( 20 lb ) sack of cat biscuits and started to pour them in, Gershwin came flying in, jumped without looking and landed in the bin, knocking it - and the biscuits flying everywhere !! He just jumped out and continued, leaving a trail of biscuits behind him.....doubt if it will teach him to look first next time he does it either !!
DOGGY DOINGS & PUSSY POTTERINGS.
One afternoon walk in our woods, well not walk as such as was sitting watching the dogs pottering around, but gradually had the feeling of being watched too. Next to our woods is a horse field and there, sat in the middle of it, watching us was a fox, broad daylight and as bold as anything. By this time our dogs had also realised fox was there and barked at him / her, who took no notice at all knowing it was perfectly safe. The dogs soon stopped and just stood waving their tails and after about 5 minutes, fox stood up, ambled across the field and eventually melted into the hedge. How lovely to be able to see these gorgeous creatures who have been in this area for generations and many many more years than us. Not quite sure who enjoyed watching whom more !!
We haven’t updated you on Chico lately and that’s because no news is good news. One of the things during those difficult weeks after his surgeries, was wondering how good his quality of life would be and would we ever see him up a tree.....
....well, this was supposed to be a ‘photo of Chico up a tree but he didn’t want to co-operate so here’s Chico ...not up a tree !!!!
Most of the time we all forget about how severe his injuries were ( two fractured legs after a road accident at his previous home for anyone who doesn’t know ), but just occasionally he sprains his front leg which had the worst fractures and has a few days of rest and painkillers. Also when we trim that ridiculous long fur on his back paw where he had the skin graft, we think of all the dressings Chico endured to get through the healing. He’s a wonderful and very happy cat now.
It’s second nature for us to watch the antics of our family. The cats who have one best friend and are normally seen together, or the dogs who have a best mate but yet when out on a walk, play with a number of friends.
We have 2 yorkie crosses who love to run together until the bossy girl decides she wants to be in charge. Polly then takes the boy Chips by the collar and takes him for a walk ( guess who now needs a new collar !! ). He is not impressed and waits for Jacky to sort the situation out. Another time she is very patient if he is chewing a bone and sits watching him until he is finished, and then dives in and takes it for herself. On one occasion Chips apparently didn't finish quickly enough for her liking, so Polly ran up to our back fence barking as if there was someone outside. He dropped the bone and charged up to see what was going on by which time she had already turned and raced back down to where the bone had been left ....mission accomplished !!!!
Many of you may remember our Widget dog , an escape artist of many years ago, She is now 14yrs old and earlier in the year had 4 strokes, 3 of them together on the one day, after having recovered well from the first earlier one. It was a hard time nursing her and for a while was touch & go about her recovering at all. She has gradually improved although it has left her with poor balance when she tries to go too fast, but now she can run up to the field and bash Jacky in the legs to let her know that she is around and has arrived for her walk.
Our elderly ( 13yrs ) border collie Jiffy sadly has been diagnosed with lymphosarcoma and is at the moment pottering on quite happily. It is the same type of cancer that Amadeus our Persian cat had. Those of you who remember Amadeus will know that he was on chemotherapy and it succeeded in giving him nearly another 4 years of remission, but unfortunately the treatment does not suit Jiffy and she has had to stop having it . Makes us realise even more just how incredibly lucky we were to have that extra time with Amadeus, and we are making the most of the time left with Jiffy.
Do you remember Sprite & Spirit our feral kittens who came from the north of England via a 2 person relay? They have now been here 3 years and have blossomed into lovely cats who thoroughly enjoy themselves and during the summer we see little of them as they spend many hours outside, but as soon as the weather turns wet or unpleasant, are back indoors and on Liz’s bed. To think how very nearly they didn’t have a life at all, but thanks to all the hard work, avoiding their scared attacks and many hours of gradually stroking them and chatting to them etc, two wild little kittens have become beautiful happy girls.
One of our previous feral cats called Buck, who when he came to us would have taken our whole arm off not just our hand, but now seems to have forgotten that he was a feral once. At bedtime he strolls into the lounge, yowling away with a very small voice, considering he’s a very big cat and waits for us to talk to him and give him a fuss and stroke. He’s always around chatting away to us, indoors or outside now and it’s wonderful to see the transformation from a feral who was terrified, to a virtually domesticated and friendly boy.
Goodness, now it’s time for us to say our thanks and goodbyes.
Our friend Fred has been out of action most of this year due to his knee replacement operation and although feeling a lot better, is still recuperating. We send Fred our love and hope he’ll soon be able to get about properly again.
Work continues around the sanctuary and we have nettles cut down, as well as tree pruning which was badly needed as it felt like the "Day of the Triffids" with trees overgrowing the bungalow. Our thanks to Andrew & Nathan for all their hard work around the place.
Our thanks to Keith who keeps our little goat Whispa cleaned out and does other various bits & pieces that need doing, Elaine & Desmond who sort the used stamps for us and have just yesterday brought us the money from the last batch which was a lovely £50, and to all of you who support us in whatever way...used stamps, blankets & towels or collections of pennies and pounds.
As always our thanks to all of you who support us in such a magnificent way.
Our best wishes,
Jacky & Liz.
It must be summer, I can play outdoors with my kong says Finn.