On the shop side Christmas is quite simple: we get the decs out and all the Xmas themed stock we've saved up all year (you'd be amazed at what you can pick up from a charity shop to deck your halls with) but on the animal side of things it's all rather quite fraught. I try hard not to be anthropomorphic with the animals but when it comes to Christmas it's the one area I where I fail. My rational brain says it's just like any other day for them, but then the emotional side takes over and I feel great sadness that they won't be in a forever home enjoying plenty of 'comfort and joy'.
Last year there was a perfect example of my inability to be rational about the animals being homeless at Christmas. We had a young dog in called Heidi, she was too young to be in a kennel but sometimes this is unavoidable. We had a wonderful family come to view her the eve of Christmas Eve and they were just perfect for each other. I couldn't get the home visit done until the day after Boxing Day but I just couldn't bear the idea of Heidi staying in kennels another day longer. I did something I have never done before, and haven't done since; I let her go home with the family there and then. I knew I shouldn't but I just couldn't bear the idea of Heidi being in a kennel another day longer when there just was no need.I visited her a few days later and it was like Heidi had always lived there. We got some cracking photo updates over the following weeks and months and it was so reassuring to know that I'd made the right decision.
I think Heidi was one of the luckiest dogs alive last Christmas to have found such a fantastic forever home, but sadly they'll be many more unlucky animals this year and I already know now, out of the 80+ animals in our care, who is going to still be with us on Christmas Day. They are all animals who don't have a universal appeal, or are maybe being overlooked in favour of festive preparations. The reduction in animal adoptions in the last couple of weeks is quite dramatic and I suspect things won't pick up until Spring time now. This factor is probably what tugs on our heartstrings even more than usual at this time of year, so I need to share with you all some of the animals who won't be having a happy ending to 2012.
|Harley enjoying cuddles and tummy tickles|
|Paris, shamelessly named after a Morrissey song.|
|Ellie is a little lady|
And my favourite? Well, it will come as no surprise to learn that it's a bunny. She's not available for adoption and I've spent too much time thinking about bringing her home but so far I've resisted.
Come Christmas it will be sad to see these animals still with us but be rest assured they will all get Christmas treats: the cats and dogs will get turkey dinners and the bunnies will get sprout 'trees'.Well, we can't have them missing out now can we? And yes, I admit it, I'm guilty of anthropomorphising our animals at Christmas time, but it's hardly a crime!