Monday, September 18, 2006

Another week flies by..

Well it appears im turning into the Monday Blogger. Probably because Mondays are the days that I take the morning to go through all the previous weeks happenings and sort any loose ends that need tying up up!

Its been another manic week with yet two more new arrivals! I know I know dont ask! Both were desperate both were small (snigger) so both were squeezed in.

First up is poor little Della. She had been in the stray pound for a week and hadnt even received a vet check. She was so scared that she screamed if they tried to approach her and they just hadnt been able to get anywhere with her, the vet couldnt get within a foot.

She is a middle aged lady who currently is in a bit of a mess. She has kennel cough, what was thought to be mange but is indeed a very bad and mucky flea allergy. Ive never seen so many fleas on one poor dog. Her skin was blood red when she landed and such a mess, hot to touch and you could see the reason for the screaming in the pound was probably fear of pain at being poked and prodded. She has now been bathed and strongholded and ive also been using Bob Grass skin cure on her daily her skin is already 1000 per cent better just for a little tlc. We are also treating the KC with antibiotics and that doesnt seem to be getting any worse. She very quicky came around to myself and my son and is a real little cuddle monster. I just feel a little guilty at the moment as she is being nursed in the kitchen as she doesnt like my other dogs and is swearing at them repeatedly through the dog gate. Still she is better, safer, more cared for and loved with time in the kitchen than in a kennel scared and without any company.

Im sure once she gets further down the road to recovery her forever home will be literally seconds around the corner she is such a wonderful little girl.

Second in is Myrtle. Myrtle is the tiniest little whippet x lurcher at just 20 inches. She has been in the care of another rescue since July this year but has been overlooked probably because of her age we estimate to be around 9.

She is an absolute joy to have around is cat friendly, spotlessly clean in the house and fabulous with other dogs. The only problem we can see perhaps with Myrtle is that she loves her humans so much that she may be unhappy being left even with the company of other dogs at first, however we envisage once she has happily settled into her new surroundings she will be totally fine, she is just a little insecure now. She is currently in foster with Sue and Andy and their eight yes eight wonderful senior greyhound girls.

I dont think someone this little lady will be waiting long.

Thankfully we have had a good week with homing also...

Arnold left us to join his new family in Alsager where he will be living with his new family and sister Carlie. Updates so far are that he is settling in fine and all is well.

Dipsy left to join his new family in Leicestershire and again apart from peeing up the speakers (which in all fairness he did before we parted company with him lol) he is being a really good lad.

Alfie Pickles our big rough coated Hancock boy also went to start his new life with Nicky and Kim in Nottinghamshire and has settled down like he has always been there. The old cat was a little peturbed at the interlopper but Alfie did what Alfie usually does and just got on with it bless him.

This week should also hopefully see both Charlie, Hero and Bryn leave for their forever homes too but more about that once they are safely instilled and settled.

Oh and hahah we added two more failed fosters to the batch! Sue failed miserably for the second time and has decided that Amy who is wonderful was being overlooked for so long she cant bear to part with her and she is staying and Laura and her OH first time fosterers of the beautiful Twigg screamed that all the people circling could get away from their pup so I had a feeling that meant she was staying *giggle* which was later confirmed by telephone conversations. Congratulations to you all.

Other news...... Homechecks are going well and we have some lovely families looking to add a dog, sometimes it can be a little frustrating though when the homes are there and fabulous and you dont have that *just* right dog for them. We are looking with other rescues we work with so fingers crossed more hound bums on more vacant sofas should be achieved.

Also the kennel hounds.... I nipped up to visit them on Saturday to take them some new toys. They are staying a little longer than normal in kennels at the moment so we decided they needed to be occupied. We have also appealed for folks to send them more durable toys through the post... if you have any you can spare please email for a posting address.

They were all more than made up as you can see. Baron was treated to a huge football but it was already fizzing before we left lol so that didnt last long.

As you can see they all thought it was Christmas!

Onto Sunday and the end of the week.. I met up with Trish and Nicky and we decided to take eight of the dogs including Lilly, Fallon and Sam who are looking for homes over tot he RSPCA Dog Show in Buxton.

We had a fabulous day with lots of awareness raised for the hounds and they did really well in the rosette stakes to. I think we brought about 9 home between them. Sam who can be a real monkey out and about actually had a relatively good day for him. There was a couple of episodes but other than that he was a credit to the rescue. Ive been using a dogmatic head collar with him out and about and it helps to get his attention quickly back onto me as opposed to other dogs or happenings and he seems comfortable with it and its definatly doing its job..

A couple of pictures of the day

Sam having a cuddle with me

Lilly and Bea playing

And Ice Cream time

Once again I need to thank our wonderful volunteers and supporters! The last few weeks have been a great worry to me, having so many dogs in our care and more than we have ever had in the past you start to wonder if all the current Gap hounds are receiving all they need whilst on their quest for their forever sofa. Im happy to announce THEY DO and more. So many people put so much time into making sure they are so well socialised, loved as part of a family and cared for aswell as the kennel hounds having Christmas in September its wonderful.

Being a Gap hound whilst waiting for your family in fact aint that bad at all!

Monday, September 11, 2006

What a weekend!

Shattered as im sure are some of the volunteers who helped out over the weekend and put in the legwork.

Saturday was such a busy day! It started at 10.30am up at the kennels. Firstly we walked Binky and Baron and I dont know whether its a full moon but boy did they both have a Mickey on them, they were fine once out and about but talk about headlong battle to get them ready. After walking those too it was the turn of Marley to come out. Poor lad is only around 10mnths and is going stir crazy in the kennels out of them he is such a lovely laid back dog for his age but kennel life just isnt for him so starts the search for a foster home.

Whilst walking Marley, Amy arrived from Birmingham Dogs Home with our two new arrivals both of whom have kennel cough so need quaranteen. One isnt a lurcher but a lovely skinny laid back crossbreed lad but ney mind he is safe now. Hope Rescue have agreed to take and home him and we have offered to keep him safe isolate and kennel him until the KC is cured. The other lad the Hancock lurcher Smokey is a really handsome lad but again feel he will struggle and go downhill rapidly in kennels so another who needs a foster home as soon as it can be arranged.

After we had settled them in we still had little Chas who landed the day before to walk out. I also spent a little time with a beautiful 5 year old blue bitch who had landed in kennels before in the care of GRWE such a lovely but scared girl. Im sure she will be a lovely gentle little soul once she is finally into a caring forever home, bless her she really stole my heart and I was so tempted to say I will have her but there is definatly no more space left on my sofa.

The little cross breed lad yet with no name!

Smokey the Hancock Lurcher boy.

We left the kennels about 1.30pm and headed up to Knutsford services to drop little Twigg off to her foster Mum, she has gone to stay in Colwyn Bay, North Wales with Laura and family and Oz the 9mnth old Deerhound x GSD. She is settling in well and I think they may be rapidly falling in love with her, its not hard she is adorable.

After that and on to take Arnold for his second visit to his prospective new family with Carlie the Beardie. All went well and this time Carlie didnt even have a grumble at him in fact she was pleased and excited to see him.

Arnold and Carlie

We arrived back at Trishs (who with her daughter Tia had been with me all day) at around 6pm, so then it was time to take our own poor long suffering hounds out for a run bless them. We headed to Hanchurch woods and onto the bottom path where you very rarely see walkers which is great because it means all the dogs including the greyhounds can get off leash for a romp. They had a wail of a time especially my Greyhound Girl Bea and current foster girl Fallon who both rolled in copious amounts of fox poo!!! Delightful!

Lilly who is looking for a home plays frisbee with my son Jack and Lurcher Tzar

Queenie Bea my very own little Minx treats herself to some eau de fox poo!
How pleased does she look with herself?

Fallon who is currently looking for a home and fostering with myself decided she wasnt to be outdone on that expensive perfume and indulged herself!

More playing frisbee with Jack.

And .... yet more of the dogs using my son for entertainment value.

I finally got back into the house at 8.30pm before collapsing shattered and catching up on the evenings calls etc.

Sunday I took a much needed half day out! After dealing with everything we needed to deal with in the morning I headed up to Biddulph Grange country park with Caroline and Trish to take the dogs again for another long hike. Sadly it was ruined by some people who were strolling half an hour behind their off leash dogs that had no manners but other than that the dogs enjoyed it. We ended the day popping to a local pub for Sunday lunch before coming home and dealing with the evenings calls and catch up!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Famous Last Words

Well today has been odd even by our usual odd standards!! So much for no more intakes.

Firstly today Nicky landed with the first of the three pound boys we are expecting today and the following two tomorrow. He is a beautiful dark brindle, small saluki cross boy. I would say around 4 - 5 years old very sweet and gentle natured. We took him over to the kennels and settled him into the isolation block, he has though been on treatment for KC for a week now and it wasnt showing, no coughing on leash or when I palputated his throat so fingers crossed its dying a death.

We have called him Chas, you can see below what a handsome boy he is......

After that, we headed to the vets with Rodney one of my own hounds, he isnt well at the moment and as suspected goes in for tests for Cushings later in the week. To be honest although Cushings is a knaff diagnosis I kind of hope it is because then at least we WILL have a diagnosis and can treat accordingly as at the moment he isnt good.

This is when the bizarre chain of events started to unfold....

Around four weeks ago when visiting the vets with Tzar for his annual jabs we saw the most beautiful little saluki greyhound girl. She was just four months old and had been purchased as a worker but had had an off lead run in with a horse and suffered damage to her eye. It was obvious that the eye couldnt be saved. I tried everything to give the owner my number but it wasnt to be. That dog has haunted me on and off the last few weeks. At the vets today I mentioned to Nicky I wondered how she had gone on.

When we left the vets we decided to call at Pets At Home, they kindly allow us to empty the charity bucket off dog food and treats, whilst there I happened to glance at the notice board which is directly above the food bucket and there she was......

young saluki greyhound with only one eye

I almost screeched to Nicky across the store that that had to be Twigg, it had to be our girl.

I took the leap of faith and telephoned the number not knowing what response I was to be met with. After explaining who I was and where I met him thankfully he agreed that the little lady could come to us to be given the chance to find a wonderful pet home, he only wanted what was best for her for her future.

We got the address and shot down to fetch her, so far she is a total joy, very sweet and very obedient and currently asleep in my livingroom crate. After a night here she is off to North Wales to join her foster home and have fun romping on the beach. Her eye is now totally healed and except giving her only vision on one side shouldnt effect her.

So remind me again! Next time I say we are full I mean fullish, erm slightly full as in just about room to squeeze in another. Tut, who am I trying to kid, im just a sucker for a pretty face and a hard luck story. I cant help but think though that Twig finding her way into our care was fate playing more than a little hand...

Could you resist this face?

and so to bed before the start of yet another busy day!

Tommorow starts with walking the four kennel hounds then awaiting Amys arrival with the next two poundies lad and a bit of assessment time spent with them.

We are heading then to meet Laura up at Knutsford who is going to be fostering Twig and after that off to meet Arnolds prospective new family once again to continue introductions with their Beardie girl Carly.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Charlie Me Darling

Well yet again another busy and emotional day that didnt get off to a great start! The alarm went off this morning at 7.45am and I fell back asleep till 8.45. I made a concienious effort to awake and before I knew it it was 11am. This is so rare for me and all day I feel like ive not been able to wake up properly. By 4pm I headed back to bed for 2 hours (me sleeping in the afternoon is totally unheard off) and was woken at 6.10pm by a fosterers call. Ive just had a bath and am updating the blog and turning in for the night yet again! Lets hope its just an off day and im not coming down with something as we are so busy at the moment I cant afford to be laid up in anyway.

Around 12noon we received a call from Birmingham Dogs Home to ask if we could help with two lurchers who are getting no interest. One is a Hancock Male the second dog by so called lurcher breeder David Hancock to come into our care within a week, the dogs are bred, sold as pups and then he doesnt take back when the owners no longer want them, they use to be rare in rescue but more and more are turning up ive lost count of how many we have had to home this year.

Both of the dogs have kennel cough so another emergency call had to be put up into the kennels, thankfully they have already had to set us up the isolation block for the pound lad arriving tomorrow and it has four kennels so all three can be safely held in isolation together and receive the needed vet treatment administered via the kennel staff. I will be going up to the kennels tomorrow to admit the first of the new lads and get them settled down.

Shortly after that another call, a male greyhound Charlie, five years old and originally homed by Lodge Hounds, sadly though they have closed and emigrated to Spain so the dog now has no rescue back up or provissions made. The ladies husband is no longer around and she cannot stay in her home so Charlie needs somewhere to be. He is said to be great to be left, good with kids and fine with cats, he was collected quickly and tonight is in a foster home so we can double check his cat status. So far he is proving a real Charlie me Darling and other than being panty is settling well.

That puts us up to 6 new intakes this week and sadly there is no more room at the Inn. We are comfortably set up to handle around 12 - 15 dogs. 20 in times of severe strife but are now sitting at 24. The culmination of kenneling costs and veterinary treatment means we have had to make the difficult and heartbreaking decission to close the doors for immediate intake. We need to try to rehome around half of the hounds we currently have waiting before we can consider taking anything other than dire emergencies. We are pushing towards Bonfire night and also the dreaded *C* Christmas word, so we need to be straight and ably available with emergency places and kenneling plus with a healthy enough bank account to see the hounds through the winter months as due to commitments the general public has over the festive period its the hardest time of year to make ends meet with funding dropping alot lower than during the Summer Show months.

Fingers crossed that good homes for the current hounds are just around the corner.

Just a quick photo of todays newest arrival Charlie...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Leggy Cleggy Lands at Gap

Today saw another new arrival. A beautiful lanky oldie saluki cross boy who arrived from a stray pound situation. Leggy Cleggy or Clegg as he is to be known is around 9-10 years of age (vet estimate) and has the most sweet nature.

The poor boy is in a bit of a state at the moment, very underweight at only 25kg, with a mouthful of filthy teeth and seems to have a very sore bum and the runs and also possible worry of a water infection and what appear to be arthriticy stiff back hips.

I will be interested to see if after a couple of weeks of tlc and gentle excercise if the age estimation stays the same. Its amazing how many times we see them almost rejuvinate when into a warm loving foster environment. As he is guesstimated to be an older boy we made sure he bypassed the holding kennels and has headed straight to Sheffield into foster care.

Massive thanks to Nicky for collecting him and to Anna and David for fostering him on Gap's before. I hope its not long before we have him medically sorted and he is on his way to his forever home.

Here he is arriving at mine waiting to be collected ignore the weeds!!

and just hours later settling into his foster home looking much more comfortable and settled

Other news today this evening I did a fabulous homevisit for a lovely couple and there beautiful Beardie Collie girl. She recently lost her companion and has been mourning. However, she does have some problems with bringing new dogs into her home so we took Arnold over (who incidentally they fell in love with) and took them for a short walk together before walking them into the garden without stopping. She was fine and accepted it. We then risked moving into the house and apart from a couple of growls she actually enjoyed having him around. They will be meeting again this weekend and after a couple more introductions if she seems happy then Arnold may be heading home so fingers crossed.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The rough with the Smooth

Well what can I say? Ive been a lazy blogger!

Things in Gap land have been terribly hectic the last couple of months and until the launch of the new website which finally happened this week ive ended up completly forgetting about our blog.

Hopefully now that its up and running I will remember to update you all regularly.

This last week so far has been awful. We are probably going through one of our busiest periods ever and have had four returns, four returns its heartbreaking and more than we usually have in over a six month period.

The sad thing is that non of them have been because the hounds arnt right for the home just purely circumstantial and they havent come back through fault of their own. With 14 dogs already in our care and 6 more waiting to come in this will put us up to a ridiculously high 24 dogs. Most will be in foster but others will have to be placed into the kennels.

Home offers are starting to pick up again though and hopefully some dogs will be heading off to their fabulous new forever homes soon.

On a plus side once again the volunteers have suppased themselves and its been amazing to watch everyone muck in and all hands on deck, every scrap of help is appreciated no matter how big or small.

Now we are all up and running on the fabulous new site, I really hope you enjoy it I promise to keep all this up to date with the daily comings and goings of the hounds entering and leaving Gap's care.