Counting on the night for a beautiful day

I’ve been on Kings of Leon overload this weekend, so here’s Be Somebody to give your Monday a lift.

And heaven knows I need a lift this Monday.

First on the agenda is a market that Les Dames de FER is setting up for September. Luckily I’ve got a whole load of superbly organised people on the team as I’ve got a list of about five hundred questions to work through this morning. All the artwork has been done by the amazing Sylvie and if the market’s not busy in September, it’s not for want of trying! Still, I’m going round trying to round up as many stallholders as I can and it’s not so easy.

“You want me to earn some money? All I have to do is show up? Nah…. not sure about that. What’s in it for me?”

People are so suspicious these days.

We’ve got six weeks before the event and I know it’s going to be all swan-like with lots of flapping beneath the surface to look even slightly graceful on the day.

Then I’ve got another big thing coming, which is a book I wrote last November (!) and have just got around to reworking to make a book. It’s called Finding Shelter. I’m hoping I can have it ready for mid-month. It’s about my year at the refuge last year. This year, during National Novel Writing Month, I’m going to write the sequel. Hopefully it will raise me enough money to buy a dedicated camera for the refuge. Mine is dirty and grimy, the battery died last week and the charger is busted. I’d love it if I could buy some higher-end lenses. I’ve been looking at some ‘professionals’ photos and (in my very humble opinion) all that’s better about them is the focal length I can’t get from my lens. I am very proud of my ability to get dogs to look at the camera and take a winning photo, since most of the other photos I see don’t manage to get that.

ebookcover4

Before I do it, I’ve got a few website hiccups to fix. You  know, the kind where your host deletes all your content and can’t find it again. It was partially my fault as I seem to have been in a confused torpor when I was reordering the domain name. I knew I should have set it on automatic!

It’s been hard re-reading it. So much has happened since I finished it last November – so many dogs adopted and some deaths too. Very hard reading the bit about Ralf. I miss that crazy big fool. Tobby just isn’t quite silly enough, giddy enough, stubborn enough or stupid enough. That said, he did get out three times last week – mostly inspired by some little fosters I have here I think. He’s had enough of young and energetic. I caught him trotting down the road like an arthritic Littlest Hobo.

Last week was a very hard week at the refuge – two dogs died of parvovirus (and you can imagine my delight over a thread of discussion on Facebook about how dog vaccinations are just there to rip us off, how we vaccinate too much. As I said there, perhaps a little harshly, 27 dogs died of a completely preventable disease last year at the refuge. No dog died as a result of their vaccination. Watch some dog die of a horrible allergic reaction now… )

Worse still, sweet little Jojo, a fox terrier, died last week too – he’d had parvo earlier in the year and I don’t know if he was just weak as a result.

Then there was Drack.

Drack was a 12 year old shepherd cross who was one of my favourites. He’d been there sixteen months, seen three pen-mates adopted, never had a chance himself. It was tough – he needed a home with no cats and no male dogs. Those are tough homes to find for an old boy. When you’re big and old, that’s two strikes against your name. Nobody wants to take a chance on you. He died of a stomach torsion during the night on Friday. He’d been having increasing problems over the last six weeks or so. 12 is a good age for a big dog, just as 13 was for Ralf. Doesn’t make it better though. No dog should die at the refuge.

What really got me was the reaction of a few people, as if the refuge was negligent in some way. Why don’t we have night staff, they asked. Why are we allowing dogs to die? Suffice to say these are people who hadn’t shared his photo when he was alive or helped me find him a home, so in my opinion, you don’t get to be outraged when he dies. Be outraged at the fact dogs are mistreated and dumped. Be outraged at this careless throwaway society. But don’t be outraged at the hardest-working, most dedicated, most caring team of people I ever met, doing it on a tiny budget with nothing to spare.

I wouldn’t mind but three of our closest refuge/pound neighbours euthanise dogs for space. Two associations exist solely to help deal with the euthanasia/space issue. Another refuge doesn’t always vaccinate, chip or sterilise the dogs that leave them (even though it’s illegal to advertise dogs who aren’t identified). One refuge cherry-picks dogs that arrive. One makes you make an appointment to see their dogs and the woman who runs it would rather poke her eyes out than let a dog be adopted from ‘her’ refuge. One of our English-speaking associations has in its coffers half of our yearly budget and isn’t spending it on rehoming animals. That’s what makes me mad. Mornac is a great place where volunteers are up at all hours sharing photos, writing stories, helping our dogs and cats get seen in the wider world. Many of the staff regularly work twice as many hours as they are paid to, and come back to volunteer when they’re on holiday!! Everybody works so hard, and to be judged by ill-informed people when you have just lost one of the animals you’ve tried so hard to give a second chance to, well, it’s nothing short of soul-destroying.

Anyway, as I said in the book, “Suck it up, buttercup.” I shall take my own advice.

Enjoy the Kings. I am. Today I’m back on punk and searching for energy. Exams are finished, the new refuge website is under construction, my Woof Like To Meet website is gradually finding its content again, my little foster cats are almost all ready to be advertised for adoption, the book is coming together, the September foire is lucky to have a dedicated team to pull it all together and I’m happy to know that today I will be spending my time with ladies who work just as hard as I do, if not harder. Lessons this afternoon and this evening. Busy week right through until the weekend. Let’s hope a burst of energy today will carry me through!

 

 

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