October 1986

gbsomerville By gbsomerville, 27th Nov 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/ohlxpqsw/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Diaries

This is based on a true story from October of 1986

October 1986

Dear Friends,

There has been such a demand for Newsletters that despite having had two hundred extra copies of the last one, I have ended up without a copy for myself. So, I do not know what I wrote in July.

The dogs, Bruce, Lida, Susie, Sophie, Misty, Buster, Poppet, Duchess, Minnie and Bruno are all well. Bruce had two back teeth removed in August because they were going bad. Since he is 14 years old, I agreed with the vet that the teeth should be removed while he is still strong and in good condition. I am sure it was four teeth Bruce had removed last year but as he still has plenty left I wonder how many he started off with. When he has a chewstick now, he sits with it sticking out of his mouth for ages and looks as if he's smoking a cigar. However, he does manage to eat it and has never been known to refuse a chocolate biscuit.

I had a real fright not so long ago when I came home to find the kitchen floor strewn with rubbish. Surveying the mess I had to clear up, I noticed my pill bottle crushed but no sign of the painkillers which I had just bought two days previously. There were over 90 pills missing so I telephoned the vet straight away. Mrs Penman admitted she was trying hard not to laugh as she told me the worst I could expect was diarrhoea; with eleven dogs, I felt like fleeing the country. However, I just had to sit back and wait. Duchess must have gobbled most of the pills for she was the only one to suffer so we got off very lightly indeed.

Having so many dogs, I do get a wonderful welcome every time I come home. One day, I returned to the kitchen, having been gone for about one minute, so you'll understand how excited the dogs were to see me again. Bruno was looking rather left out so I knelt to rub his tummy. He was so happy he could not contain himself and squirted me, full blast in my eye. I was so stunned that I almost sat there with mouth agape, but quickly realised the folly of that. It is sad that the touch of a hand can make a dog so ecstatic yet so many animals suffer horrendous physical abuse from the hands of humans.

Collie has landed herself a lovely new home where she has another dog for company. Her new owner is ver pleased indeed with her and will have her neutered when she is old enough. I saw her today and she is looking very good indeed.

Jenna came b ack to see me but I am sure she was terrified she was going to be left her again with the rest of the mob. I hardly got a tail wag for Jenna only had eyes for her new misteress. Mind you, if I thought I would be as "spoilt" as Jenna is, I would start looking for a new owner for myself.

Sweetie Pie lives near here so has popped in a few times. She is happy too and her owner is very proud of her.

Rascal's owners have been in touch and he is doing well also.

The two wee puppies I had, Sierra and Tango, have a beautiful home and give their owners hours of enjoyment each day.

Nikki and her seven puppies arrived recently. Nikki is a 3 year old mongrel and this is her third litter. She will be going back to her owner who will have her neutered before she leaves here. The puppies will all be found good homes, and as always, the new owners will have them neutered when they are old enough. I always insist upon this for it is the only way to reduce the number of animals being born.

The cats, Scamp, Scruffy, Matthew, Mark, Luke, Simon, Fudge, Wee Mat, Little Socks, Pixie, Bandit, Scraggle, Turpin, Pussy, The Other One, Tiger and Thomas are all well.

Sadly one of my feral cats, Ginger was put to sleep in September as he had a lung tumour.

Jo has just popped up on my knee to remind me to tell you about him and his two brothers, Bubble and Grey.

Before I tell you about the trio, please remember that it can be very difficult to sex kittens. Also, I am sure that I have read somewhere or other that some animals can change sex.

When Wee Matt and his brothers were brought to me, they were about two weeks old but were very poorly indeed as they had been without their mother for several days. They had inluenza which, despite all efforts, injections, pills, powders, steam baths etc., they could not shift it. When they were about three months old, after discussing the matter with the vet, I realised that they would always carry the "flu bug". I decided then, since they were all boys, not to have them neutered as I did not want to risk the anaesthetic. I was therefore absoloutely dumbfounded when Wee Mat, who was 2 years old, came up to me and told me he was very pregnant. I just could not believe what I was seeing and had to turn him upside down to confirm that the impossible had happened.

Wee Mat is extremely small boned and had to have a caesarian. The operation was successful and the kittens arrived. Wee Mat has now been neutered. The kittens were all boys (at the time of writing). and are looking for new homes. They are about 14 weeks old now.

I have good new about Cheeky and her three kittens. A new home was found for the white kitten and his owner will attend to neutering when she is old enough. It was intended that Cheeky would be neutered and returned to where she came from but I am really happy that I did not have to do this. Cheeky went with her two black kittens to a new home. She was neutered before she went and her new owner will have the kittens neutered when they are old enough.

As Cheeky's owner is not a member, I'll chance telling you something which amuses me. Cheeky's kittens were well past the stage where they need to eed from their moter, and indeed, Cheeky will have no milk. However, the kittens will continue to suckle, out of habit and for comfort, for as long as Cheeky lets them and this could go on for years. Cheeky's owner does not know this and is still giving Cheeky massive meals every day in the belief that she is "still feeding her babies". Cheeky, of course, gobbles up the food and never lets on. It is really heartening to know that these animals which have previoulsy not had a very good life are now so well looked after. Cheeky was very thin when I had her throughh bearing litter after litter, but I dread to think what size she'll end up now.

Pusskins is a beautiful young black cat with white markings. He is extremely friendly and playful. Can you offer him a home? He just appeared one day so I think he was abandoned near here as this kind of thing used to happen regularly. (Tom Cat).

I have two young tabby cats (1 male, 1 female) which are very timid. Although the mother is a feral cat, the youngsters are not wild; only a bit frightened of people. They really are beautiful and require a cat lover who would be able to spend a little bit of time in building up their confidence.

The goats, Lady, Melanie, Molly, Judy, Cindy, Wendy, Jill and Malo are fine. Malo, the Nigerian Pygmy is a full male and has become rather smelly and I am finding it rather embarrassing as those of you who know about goats will appreciate.

The donkeys, Charlotte, Pickle and Colt are well and Porky continues to grow.

I had the pleasure of looking after a fox cub, Frisky, for a few weeks but he has now gone back to the wild. e was last heard of causing mischief on Musselburgh Golf Course, (he scored 50 balls in one day, plus a cap or two and a blanket). As he has not been seen since, I like to think he is happily running free.

The best news I have had in a long time has come from Kathleen and Ian Barrenger who have helped me from the start and have now offered to arrange fundraising events throughout the year for the Sanctuary. This is not an easy task and I hope you will give Kathleen and Ian all the support you can.

The charity shop in July raised £1300, which was a great help in paying bills; rates were £735 and rent of £600 was paid.

A jumble sale at Duke Street Congregational Church brought in £63 and a sale at Marchmont St Giles netted £66.

The sale at Liberton Kirk on 13th September was well attended and raised £121 which has enabled me to buy my first load of hay for the goats and donkeys.

A donation of £60 was received from Mrs Meldrum, Dobbies Garden Centre. This was unexpected and very much appreciated as it helped me to clear the vet's bill and to purchase food for the dogs and cats.

Recently, over £500 (I have not counted out the coins yet) was raised during the week at the charity shop despite the fact that I had very few helpers indeed and much of the goods were stolen.

The charity shop is an excellent opportunity for fundraising and for advertising the charity but I find it extremely depressing and frustrating. Helpers are needed to run the shop but hardly anybody ever volunteers. The restul is that sales are lost and an amazing amount of goods disappear without having been paid for. I can not look after the amount of animals I have and spend all dayy away from home. Because I do not have the support I need, I shall not be hiring the charity shop again. It has already been booked for the week beginning 13th October, so I shall see that week through. If you can help out then, please do. You are needed.

Donations of the following items would be gratefully received:
Wool: any kind, any colour, any quantity.
Small jars: jam, coffee etc.

Two stalls have been booked at the Charities Hypermarket in November for the three days and helpers are needed then.

One member, Joy Gray, raised £102 towards feeding costs through a raffle which she organised. The success of this raffle was in no small way due to Joy's enthusiastic approach which appears to be very contagious so I hope Joy does not become discouraged.

The van has been rather an expensive item as it needed a new clutch which cost £85. I could really do with a bigger van for collecting feedstuffs as well as for taking the dogs out, but this is far too an expensive item to consider just now.

Mrs Adamson has kindly offered the use of her garage for another sale on 4th October and is a tremendous help as she collects so much bric a brac items which always sell quickly. I am very short of items to sell and would be grateful if you could help in this respect.

A garage sale will be held in Gilmerton on Saturday October 11th so if you can donate any items, please do.

A horse jumping event is to be held at the Pentland Hills on November 16th. This has been arranged by Collie's owner who has enlisted the help of the University of Edinburgh and the Army. Details will be in the press. Please support the charity by coming along on the day.

Anna, from the Royal Blind School has been enjoying helping me here and I have had several visits from groups of other blind and partially blind children.

I am rushing to get this newsletter, the last one of the year, out to you on time, so I feel sure that there are several things which I wanted to mention, but I can not remember them at the moment.

I have been unable to cope with the sponsorship letters as there is so much work involved in these. So, as from next year, anyone wishing to sponsor an animal shall receive one information sheet and a photograph of that animal only.

Anyone wishing to renew their membership for 1987 may do so anytime between now and the end of the year although I shall be sending out the appropriate forms along with the January 1987 Newsletter.

Thank you for your continued support

*Please note, all events, dates and times are in the past


Animal, Sanctuary

Meet the author

author avatar gbsomerville
I am 22 years old, play the piano and accordion. I'm a live sound and studio recording engineer, enjoy the outdoors / countryside, agriculture and most animals... except insects.

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