Mon 23rd November: Last minute changes

In this business it’s impossible to plan ahead.  Things happen that you can’t predict or expect, and today was no exception.  I thought I had a fairly clear day and would make the evening Peak to Fong volunteer briefing on time, but it wasn’t to be.

Monday is Kathy’s day off (we really need her seven days a week but somehow she’s not keen on the idea), leaving Alice on her own in the office.  Mark would normally be there but he was out and about getting backpacks delivered to the various outlets which had quickly run out over the weekend.

I arrived in the early afternoon as usual, and had brought fluffy pup Boo with me for his vaccination.  That done, I left him in his travel crate while I went to AFCD to take out a black labalike that I’d reserved last week.  Of course, things being what they are there were many new dogs and puppies in the centre.  The dog catchers had had a busy weekend by the looks of it.  Not only were there puppies that had been caught, but a dog that had arrived last Friday had since given birth.   I was reminded of Lorna and her nine-plus-three puppies, and the fact that I still have three of them on  Lamma (Zeb, Ticket and Arthur).

I had to leave the mummy and her babies for now, as there was another litter of very young puppies but without their mother.  They were dirty, but oh-so-cute and pretty, and they were a priority, all seven of them.  They were put in one of the modified AFCD dog crates with wheels, while I went back to have another look at the newbies.

There was a pretty pom cowering in the corner of one kennel, a surrender so I could take her straight away without having to wait the usual four days.  I always ask why a dog was surrendered in case it was for biting or illness, or something that I should know about.  I’ve said before that people lie when they surrender dogs, and so it was in this case. The owners said the dog was too old – at nine years!  I discovered the truth when I took her for her vet check, and she turned out to be pregnant.  Now I was faced with the awful dilemma of having her desexed and the puppies removed, or letting her give birth. She’s booked in for tomorrow, but it was with a heavy heart that I signed the consent form.  As a rescue organisation that sees the effect of dog over-population, our priority is to re-home the dogs that we save, not to bring more into the world.

The seven new baby pups are already seven more than we need, and there is the mother with her litter, plus the many others that are waiting to be taken out.  It’s like a never-ending cycle.  Luckily the new pups are cute, and most of them have stumpy little tails (naturally) which make them a bit different, but I know I’ll be lucky to home all of them while they’re still at that adorable stage.

The black labalike, Chudley,  was picked up on the street but has obviously been a pet dog as he was still wearing a collar.  He’s at the usual age for getting rid of a dog, the difficult “teenage” phase.  He’s just under a year old, full of enthusiam for life – and sex of course!  His tail never stops wagging and he loves the whole world, and hopefully he looks enough like a labrador to find a new home very soon.

By now the afternoon had passed and I discovered that we were yet another staff member short as one of the cleaners hadn’t turned up for work.  That meant that Alice was totally on her own to get the dogs to their various sleeping quarters, and to make sure every kennel and space had water for the night and so on.  It’s too much for one person, so I had to let the volunteer meeting go and knuckle down to help.  That is until one of our great (student) volunteers, Leon, said he would stay until closing time and I was free to go. I was still an hour late for the meeting, but better than never.

Now that Peak to Fong is just days away, we are closing the online ticket sales as from today.  Please check the website for all ticket/backpack outlets that still have stock.  We are really close to a sell out now, so apologies if you have trouble finding the remaining few.  I did tell everyone to buy early!

New recruit, Bounce, is smiling at the thought of going to the big party on Sunday. Yeah!


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