Tuesday, 3 August 2010

I know Luka is a girl's name!

Rather inadvertently I’ve started finding the blog is like a therapist to me. Each Sunday morning, after all the animals have been fed, I sit in front of my home pc and reflect on the week that was. It is quite a cathartic experience and one that allows me to then enjoy my day off and start the next week afresh.

This Sunday I just couldn’t face the blog. It had been quite a tumultuous week and I just wanted to run away from it all so off I escaped to my allotment and spent the whole day manual labouring and get some right royal blisters in the process. It was a satisfying day and from the fruits of my labour I fed the staff team lunch today.

Tuesdays are always staff meeting days and it has become routine for me to create some wondrous dish to feed everyone and now I have the allotment veg ready for harvesting the challenge is even more enjoyable. I brought the idea of ‘communal lunch’ from my previous place of work and I really hope that the other staff that have loved and left there have it in their workplaces too. It just adds a bit of enjoyment to the week, getting together and sharing food and a conversation. But I have to say I am struggling to lift my spirits still and really feeling fed up with it all.

I think if I’m honest, the work is no different than it has been the last few months but it’s the fact that everything is relentless and there is just no respite. We are in cat meltdown once again, our finances are so stretched that we can’t take on injured animals that have been taken to vets by finders, we’ve had several viewings in a row for dogs where people haven’t turned up (meaning that yet another week goes by where we lose other potential offers of homes and the dogs stay in kennels for another week), vet bills are stacking up (again) and rehomings have slowed right down because of the summer holiday period, oh and animals are being returned through no fault of their own.

Last week started with sadness as I had to put my Uncle Joe to sleep, first thing Monday morning on the way to work. But the outstanding feature of the week was undoubtedly the arrival of the lovely cat Luka. Before I tell you about him I need to talk about yesterday.

Mondays are always loathsome in the office. The phone rings non-stop with people wanting to relinquish their animals, have you pay their vet bills and insist that everything is your problem to sort out. It’s this attitude of passing the buck and not taking responsibility that really gets to me. I had one shocking phone call yesterday that I simply can’t repeat but I ended up being very blunt and telling the owner that ‘in the eyes of the law, it does not matter whether you have any money or not, it is your responsibility to ensure your pet is not suffering and gets veterinary treatment’. If I told you what had happened you’d be horrified.

I went home feeling really miserable and then hubby made me sit and watch the Panorama programme – and let’s just say the call I have alluded to was about the same topic - irresponsible breeding. I realised from watching that programme what a privileged position our branch sits in; we can only afford 8 kennels and all our dogs come via inspectors, so we don’t have the vast influx of unwanted pets as such. But then I suppose instead we do get some of society’s most damaged animals and we then have the task to rehabilitate them, which also means we fall in love with them like they are our own.

So, back to Luka, he was abandoned by his owner. The inspector who rescued Luka had met him before as he had previously been reported as an injured stray. Thankfully his owner came forward and claimed him and so it was quite a mystery as to why he had been left behind when his owner moved out of the property.

What is so special about Luka is that he is 10 years old and his back right leg sticks out straight forward in a horizontal fashion. The owner had previously told the inspector that he had been like that since birth. We figured we best get it checked out and on examination it felt like a fracture that had healed without treatment. So today we had him x-rayed, and wait for it, this odd back leg is actually a front leg! Yep, he’s been born with 3 front legs!!!! But whilst he may be a candidate for Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, it is causing him difficulties with walking and affecting his spine. So he is having his leg amputated (didn’t even dare ask how much it would cost) and he will be going into foster care for recuperation tomorrow.

What a special lad he is, and so lovely and friendly too. I just so wished people would take a leaf out the books of animals like Luka; I am just so fed up with this society’s attitude to life. Why have we become so enduringly selfish and tunnel visioned? When I die I’m coming back as a house rabbit at my house – what a charmed life they lead!

ps the piccie is of a former resident of ours, Brian. He came to us as a baby having been bought by accident at an auction for £6. He is all grown up now and with a beautiful lady friend to share his life with. Piccies came through email this week to put a little happiness in my day! xxx