Monthly Archives: August 2016

Forget About Your Foolish Pride

It feels like Monday needs to start with a hard rock riff today, so here’s Aerosmith with Other Side.

Joe Perry – definitely a manly man who likes to do manly things. Not so sure about Steven Tyler and his lace addiction, but hey, whatever floats your boat.

It’s back to school this week, though the temperatures are still high here. It’s a strange end to the summer – so hot that it’s forced the trees into an early autumn. I can’t remember my Indian Bean tree putting down its leaves so early, though the poplars often lose theirs in late summer. I know last summer I’d wound up a lot of projects around this time – our website is now a year old for the refuge! I can’t believe it has been up for a year! I look back at last year and can’t believe how productive I was in August and September. I’d already half knitted a pair of socks and written a book by this point. This year I have at least done the refuge calendar and I’m glad not to have any additional events on the agenda like organising fêtes and the likes… just where has my August gone though? Scary!

Last week, it was a faffy kind of a week. I had to take Féfelle and Mimir back to the refuge for vaccinations, and had various appointments here and there. We also had our first truck of dogs go up to be picked up in Poitiers on their way to Germany – it’s been a while for that as well. Six dogs went up this time and given that it was 36°C on Friday, you can’t appreciate quite how lovely the air-con was! There’s another trip going on Tuesday with another good number. Friday’s trip was dogs who hadn’t been at the refuge very long, but Tuesday sees the departure of I’sasha, Manix, Eloy, Chouba and Gabin as well as three others. I’m really glad to see them go. I’sasha is a gorgeous setter but he’s 100 miles a minute and he can jump two metres without thinking about it. Manix is… well… exactly as his name would suggest. Eloy is a gorgeous labrador that nobody has ever even looked at. Chouba came as a three-month old baby with his brother and mum. He was brought back eight months later for one reason or another, having had that adoption chance stolen from him like too many of our puppies. That really makes me mad. If you adopt a puppy, do it with at least a little thought! Gabin is the last of the group I know really well. This guy is an excited little labrador and I love him very much. He’s in with Dawson and poor Dawson makes me so sad; he’s such a lovely labrador and he’s aged so much this last year. He just looks bewildered and lost.

This week looks to be less hot – it was getting stupid last week and by Saturday, I was just crabby and bad-tempered. When you’ve got stuff to do and it’s pushing 38°C, you just feel cross. There’s only so much you can do in a six-hour window in the morning and in the afternoon, I just sat around feeling cross and hot, trying to minimise outside time and get stuff done inside.

My lovely sister will be here later in the week and I’m so excited to see her. It’s been 2 years since I last saw her and it is far too long. I miss her so much. A weekend doesn’t seem long enough does it?

Right, enjoy your Monday. Autumn is here. How strange is that? This time next week, we’ll be wondering where those 38°C days went!

She sets the world on fire

Well, it’s been a while! Not sure where July and August went to, but here’s a little funkadelic for your Tuesday evening. I know it’s not Monday. That’s how out of sync I am. And I know I’ve missed a gazillion weeks as well. Oh well.

Well, what have I been up to at all?

To tell the truth, it’s been a whirlwind of catch-up. I’ve got foster dogs, foster kittens, articles, advertising, calendars, Christmas, publicity and assignments coming out of my ear holes. I’m longing for September when there will be fewer demands on my time. Is that wrong?

Féfelle and Mimir are still with me – my two rather large fosterees. I knew it would be like that. Luckily, they’ve had a good month to adjust before I’ll be back to full-time work. Their owner – God knows what the story is – but they are big old boys and big old boys don’t move quickly from the refuge at all. Mimir is blind and he’s advertised everywhere – UK, Germany, France… but when you’re 9, even if you’re not the slightest bit of bother, nobody wants you. It’s pretty shit. He is so easy and it makes me so sad that he has to be here, because you know, who wants an easy, loveable dog who’s not a stick of bother?! Féfelle is a bit more of a challenge since he’s a bigger boy and he’s like Curious George. I suspect he’d never even seen dogs running before!!

I’ve still got kittens in the bathroom as well, which they are not appreciating because today it’s 37°C and they’re bored.

The refuge calendar is well under way – a bit of a difference from last year’s calendar, since I’ve had more time to prepare and I have more animals in their homes. It’s been lovely doing photoshoots of adopted dogs outside the refuge. I don’t see enough of our happy dogs and it does get you down when all you see are the sad stories. We’ve had a really virulent strain of kennel cough at the refuge as well, which has meant fewer adoptions as we tried to contain it. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you about the puppies abandoned, the one-day-old kittens left in a bin bag on someone’s gate or the dogs surrendered for growling at kids. Every day, it seems like people leave their brains behind and have bigger and bigger expectations of their animals.

I’m also a good way into a diploma in Canine Psychology and Behaviour, which I’m absolutely loving. It’s not before time. Luckily, most of the things on the reading list are things I’ve already read, but those first assignments were tough and scientific! It’s a challenging course with sixteen 3000-word assignments to complete, case studies and a thesis at the end, but I’m enjoying it so much. The tutors are really inspirational and I feel very much in an environment that suits my own view of animals. What I’m loving is the leaps in knowledge that it drives me to make – you know me and how much I love reading and doing assignments! Everything had been very arse-backward for me with practice before theory.

My own four are their usual selves. Tobby is way past his sixteen-month anniversary and is as wobbly as usual. Seeing him being herded by Féfelle was quite comical. A herder herding a herder. Tobby didn’t get what was going on with that! Tilly has had infection after infection, compounded by a flea collar failure (grrrr! and grrrr to my own self for taking so long to really investigate the scratching, so now she is on an elimination diet of turkey and sweet potato. So far, scratching is little better, but at least the fleas have gone. Curses, Seresto, you monsters. That set me back a good 60€ in Advantix and another 20€ in flea spray. Mostly, I think it’s the kittens that bring them, since the last three families have been infested. I pulled 50 fleas off one kitten in one sitting a few weeks ago. Trouble is that they are so small and fragile, you can’t use a flea treatment. In the end, we decided that we had to – flea anemia would have killed them.

Well, I had planned to get a couple of new e-books out for GCSE English Literature, but I think pulling them together will be more of a winter-time pursuit. Still, my teacher blog is getting a LOT of traffic, which is great. Woof Like To Meet, my dog blog, is also getting a lot of traffic as well, which is even better. Very glad about those two things!

Anyway, it is time to give Tilly her Thanksgiving elimination diet and get on with a bit of poetry analysis in preparation for a long-overdue post for my teacher blog, which has gone sadly neglected for an embarrassing amount of time. Nothing like a bit of Shelley to get you ready for the new school term. I have to say though, with temperatures up in the 30s, it doesn’t feel like September, even if the trees are saying it is and even if the mornings are dark until 7am.

Have a good week and hopefully I’ll manage to get myself on track!