Sunday, 20 January 2013

Trust Me

I've missed it all this week. A week full of excitement and significant occurrence and I've missed it all. I feel oddly out of the loop but at the same time quite content in my own little bubble.

I've been away at Bristol Vet School all week learning about Abnormal Repetitive Behaviours in animals. It will hopefully prove a valuable learning experience and benefit our work no end (but before anyone thinks of it, I've paid for it myself, as the charity doesn't have the funds for this). It has, however, meant that I missed quite an important week in the world of the branch, no more so than because of the opening of our city centre charity shop in Manchester.

It has been so hard not being part of the action but thankfully I've had plenty of updates on progress and I'm delighted to say that our first week in the Northern Quarter has proven fruitful and we've made lots of friends with local business and we fast feel like we are becoming part of the community. We all have a really good feeling about the future there, providing we can get stock and that word of mouth gets out about us being there.
Our shop manager Stephanie has really done us proud

We've also broken a record, I think. All four of our dogs that are currently available for adoption have had viewings. I'm not sure this has ever happened before in one week. Even better news is that two of them have been reserved. Now I don't want to count my chickens before they have hatched but one may prove to be a miracle we've been waiting to happen since September last year, and if it does, I'll tell you all about it next time!

Handsome Harley

I also kindly lined up copious amounts of cat admissions, so I've been entirely unpopular with the animal staff this week as they've chased their tails, barely got in the office to answer calls and had puppies to care for round the clock too. (Said puppies are not available for adoption.) I suppose that's one way of making your absence felt. It actually just goes to show how much we depend on one another and what an impact one person has if they are away.

We've also had an incredible run on kitten adoptions, just when we thought they would never find homes our last remaining babies all got snapped up and rehomed in one week. It's great news and hopefully the much needed lull in the abandonment/rescue of kittens will give our two kitty foster carers a much needed break. Though as I write those words I'm chuckling to myself because no soon as I say that you just know what's going to happen....
Oscar and Sabrina settled in their new home.

We are actually desperate to recruit more kitten foster carers, having lost so many because they've adopted so many! The problem is kitten fostering requires an awful lot of time, dedication and a big tolerance to poo! Kittens can pooop for Britain (so can little puppies, as we've discovered this week) but kitten fostering is probably one of the best jobs in the world and one I used to love so very much but as I say, you need time.

You need to be at home a lot and you need to be super laid back to cope with their calamitous, baby elephant ways, oh, and to have a great sense of humour.....hmmm, not much different that human baby parenting then?! Ok, maybe not, but having a tiny life in your charge and watching them grow up and go to new homes is so unbelievably rewarding and heartbreaking all rolled into one. In fact last year we produced a guide to fostering based on the experiences of our wonderful carers, you can see it here. It's the section at the bottom, 'What our foster carers say', and the first line that to this day amuses me:

"They will not act like your own pets and will need more time, more attention and may not even like you!"

This is how I ended up with the now legendary Mildred. She is hateful to this day (nearly 5 years on) and believes she entirely owns my home and anyone who gets in her way, including me, is worthy of contempt and annihilation.

But by far the best bit of the week has been........the snow! Every year snow-time means doggy-fun-time and we love it. Here is a video of Holly having a lot of fun in the snow. We also have new dog Calvin all wrapped up and ready for fun.
Calvin has only been with us a week and came to us terribly underweight. His owner simply couldn't afford to feed him. I find this so sad, there was clearly no lack of love towards Calvin just a lack of money. When you hear on the news how people are struggling to feed themselves and are having to seek charity support for food handouts it makes you realise what a mess we are in. I would be deeply saddened if readers felt anger towards Calvin's owner, his owner was clearly struggling and clearly loved his dog. Calvin is a brilliant lad and we will do everything within our power to help him recover and go on to live a happy life. The following pictures are distressing but remember he's in good hands and his owner has done the right thing in signing him over.

But by far the highlight of the week has to be footage of our former resident and best friend Kia. She'd spent many years living on a balcony in a block flats without any shelter. This video brought tears to ours eyes and I hope you enjoy it too.

Until next time please keep your animals safe and warm. If you have animals outside please make sure they have plenty of extra bedding and they have access to water at all times.