52 Mondays #42


Well, I missed a week that I didn’t think I’d missed. Ho hum. It’s been busy as anything though things are settling down a little. The main busy-ness in my two-week hiatus has been the whopping Hope Association Booksale, which raised 20,433€ this year – another record-breaker. All the money is split between refuges and associations, helping animals in need across the region.

IMG_5285Verity, Jocelyn and I ran a stand for the Refuge de l’Angoumois, where we walk dogs. Well, I say we walk dogs. Jocelyn is apprentice-in-training to Nicky, the dog groomer, and I take photos. This is recently becoming videos – you’ll understand how far things have come when you know that most dogs had a face shot and a body shot on arrival and then not much else – the staff have more than enough to do besides trying to take appealing photos – and so often, the dogs are gone before a photo has made an impact.

Our stand was very busy – often busy enough to warrant needing three or four people talking to interested individuals. Fingers crossed, but two dogs have found a home off the back of the event, and hundreds of people now know there is a refuge when they didn’t before. I spent the week before printing off the prettiest pictures along with a bit of info about the dogs. Ralf earned over 100€ with his ‘Euro-A-Pet’ booth.


He even found a girlfriend, bless him. He had a lovely time and met lots of doggies. He seems to get very upset if dogs don’t come over and say hello to him, and is fascinated by the little dogs and the kittens. Both Frank and Harry found a home (yes!) and I am very glad to have been able to find homes for all five kitties. To be surrounded by such a caring community makes all the difference – and so many people said that about the booksale – it’s the people who make the event magnificent.

Last week was a tough refuge week. Two dogs died – unusual I know – but one of them was Lou, the Leonberg cross. He was coming up to ten years old, so he was old for a big dog, but that is beside the point. He had been at the refuge for four years. Sadly, so few people want a big dogs.

LouLou had a stomach torsion on Thursday – something big dogs can be prone to – and even though it was operated on quickly, he didn’t make it. It’s beyond sad to me that such a handsome and marvellous dog can spend four years waiting for a home. He was gentle and sweet. I had lots of kisses from him this time last week when I was doing his video montage.

The other dog was a mistreatment case that had come in – the second from the same guy – and the dog died from secondary infections. That’s the second dog this year that has died at the refuge as a result of the actions of their previous owners. You really do get to see the best and the worst of people. Saturday wasn’t much better. Verity and I went to help out in the morning as they were short-staffed and I ended up transporting three kittens to the vet to be put to sleep – two suspected to have feline typhus. Between coryza, cat flu and typhus, many of the kittens this year have been finished off before they have even started life and it makes me really angry that people just let their cats breed with no forethought or care. Every litter takes a year off the life of the mother and it’s just another form of cruelty if you ask me. Fox and Bird, my two beautiful males, born with feline HIV; Clint, left to die with cat flu at less than four weeks old. It makes me so angry that people are so thoughtless – all for the sake of a few quid savings in not getting their cats sterilised. The people who drop these litters off at the refuge are little better. They wash their hands and it becomes someone else’s problem. They subject these kittens to a short, miserable and painful life, mitigated only somewhat by the fact they are cared for and looked after in their final days.

Today, I am taking video footage of six old-timers, dogs who have racked up an enormous amount of time between them for no good reason than they are big and they are male. Ufo, Wolf, Paulo, Nichmann and Artiste are up first. Then hopefully the three brothers, Usty, Tino and Edge. Hopefully it will help them find a home before it is too late for them to enjoy it.

Yesterday, I had my first day off in ages – lit a fire, went for a walk with the dogs and came back to a warm house and a lot of admin. Though it’s the holidays, I’m still running about 75% of my lessons, so I’m not being too hard on myself for not getting more done.

Time to get the cleaning started and get on with the day’s tasks I think!

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