Wednesday, 21 September 2011


I have a quarterly newsletter to write and I have been trying to find inspiration as to what to write about. When I arrived home this evening, after yet another long day, I suddenly found myself asking what do other people find up-lifting, a mood-picker-upper so to speak.

Two things have kept me vaguely 'up' the last few days, which have been turbulent to say the least what with Cleopatra bunny going into gut stasis and developing colitis (she's still in the vets being intensively nursed) and Roxy the rotti and her x-ray, but more about that in a bit. My two things have been my house-bunny Domino and the colour of his chops after consuming a homegrown (yes, home grown!!!) beetroot - he ate it with such great relish that it stained all his face and down his bib and the shocking pink colour stayed for a good day or two. The other was the resurrection of Simon and Garfunkel's Live in Central Park album. It was a much cherished memory from my childhood that was unearthed to ease my swelling anger with the world. I'm pleased to say it worked, after several repeat plays whilst driving around with the animals. But I still can't shift that guttural panic I feel inside each time a bunny goes into stasis.

Today I have been preoccupied with that sinking feeling. It started this morning with the closure of the Urmston charity shop due to staff sickness. The shop is likely to stay closed for a few days longer yet as other shop staff are ill too so we have no cover. The loss of income sets me into panic mode but thankfully these problems are rare. The day continued with other animal worries and new admissions but above all it is Roxy that has spurred me to write.

When I was searching for themes for our newsletter one stood out above the rest. This year, more than any other time before, we have had dogs come into our care that we have not been able to rehome because of profound health problems. Sometimes the problems have been insurmountable, sometimes unaffordable and other times it has just been a combination of things amounting to an inevitable feeling of failure. I don't know where Roxy fits in to this all yet but what I do know is that it's not bloody fair.

Roxy is pictured above. She is beautiful in every which way. She is only just 1 year old and by my calculation we will likely be her fourth stop in her short life. She was removed by an RSPCA inspector from someone who had only had her 4 months and was keeping her outdoors with out adequate shelter. Aside from how awful that is it suggests she had a home before, and, logically a home where she would have been birthed in too. Therefore, making our care her fourth stop.

That in itself causes me a deep amount of anguish. And what evident betrayal by mankind that dog has experienced. Yet she is the most wonderful dog you could wish to meet. Admittedly a wee bit simple, but that's probably been her saving grace. But what is so upsetting for us all now, is that her likelihood of being rehomed is so remote.

Roxy was x-rayed today because she sits oddly. We don't usually jump to doing x-rays because of the cost implications but after 3 weeks of observation we really were concerned. The x-ray revealed two things. She has been born with a considerably shortened right back femur, which is already beginning to show mild signs of arthritis, whilst her left leg has signs of hip dysplasia.

The poor girl. Talk about the odds stacking up against her.

Roxy will need glucosamine and chondroitin tablets for life now and in later life, as both conditions degenerate, she'll need anti-inflammatory pain relief. But because this now a diagnosed condition it cannot be insured against so who is going to adopt her now?

I really do feel despair. But none of us want to give up on her so we really want to do all we can to try and find her that special home. It must be out there somewhere. She is so deserving and so utterly lovable and loving.

In the meantime we've been told that she would benefit from hydrotherapy but with us now only being able to afford a budget of £150 per animal for treatment (and it's been spent on x-rays and consults) we just can't afford it.

Miracle time please! I know. I ask too much.