Thursday, 20 March 2014

To the Rescue

Just popping in to show off our two bundles of joy. GP dog II, (the fluffy one), is growing more confident by the day; she's a real comic, with a character all her own. So different from the timid little creature that came to us in December. That said - the two foster famililes she'd been with previously had worked wonders; without their hard work we'd not have been able to get nearly as far as we have  with her. We've gone down two routes with our dogs: the pedigree  route with GP dog I. We were very fortunate there - he came from a reputable, loving, dedicated breeder, who  unlike some, loved her dogs like children, had their best interests -  not commercial gain - at heart and wouldn't for a moment have let her precious charges go to anything but a good home. 

Come GP dog II, we went down the rescue path and began to learn about some of the horror stories behind the murky world of back street breeders, puppy farms and internet dealing. Fluffy dog we hope, may be one of the least damaged ones, relatively speaking. Relatively, because although we know little about her past in detail, we do know from the rescue that for the first four or five years of her life she was used for breeding. If you can imagine being taken from your mother, held down, forcibly impregnated, kept in disgusting conditions with little food, water,  medical attention, no kindly human contact and made to churn out litter after litter of puppies. Rinse and repeat for the first half of your life, only to be 'disposed of' once you're no longer in fit state to be of any more economic use. And we'd best not go into details about what exactly 'disposal' entails.  

Enter the organisations who rescue the 'lucky' ones. Fluffy dog was quite unusual, I think, in that she was discovered to be pregnant whilst she was in rescue, so was able to have her final litter in a proper, loving home environment. (Not ours, I might add - think our cat might have packed up and left home if he'd been faced with four little fluffballs!)  So far so good, she's not as yet suffered any major health niggles, as so many rescue pooches do, sadly. And, though not perfect (what dog ever is?), she seems to be remarkably free of behavioural problems. Sadly, that's not always the case. 

'Our' rescue drew our attention to another little rescue dog - Susie-Belle. She even has her own blog: Susiefoodie where you can read her story and learn more about some of the work being done to try to stamp out the puppy farm trade. 

Saturday, 1 March 2014

First Day of Spring - Summer Dreaming

Ah me...just been taken back 40 years or more: Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream Overture, courtsey of 'Carsick' FM. Memories of a school production of Shakespeare's play when I was in my early teens: flowing robes (white sheets) ;  rags in my hair every night to achieve that Grecian ringlet effect (not so much fun having to walk past the nearby boys' school with Violet Elizabeth style curls!)No speaking part for me thank goodness: I was one of several Grecian ladies whose sole purpose was to glide  on at intervals and drape themselves in  tasteful manner over a flight of steps (more sheets fixed over wooden boxes). There was a mild frisson of excitement  at one point when the girl who played Puck trod on a drawing pin mid-speech yet continued - dripping blood - with one foot stuck backstage whilst we tried to unstick  her. Laughs  as always at Peter Quince,  Bottom and his cronies, Titania, Oberon and the lovers,  relief at the happy ending. Above all - that magical sense of anticipation - of long Summer days, of promise and happy times ahead; that sense of common purpose when a project comes together after so much blood, sweat and tears. I've a hazy memory on one day of us  rushing  outside - still in our costumes - straight after the curtain call to line up outside the school to cheer on a visiting dignitary: (Princess Anne? Duchess of Kent?). I can't recall who exactly, it's all part of a dreamy haze now.

Such a long time ago - but however grey the day,  it only takes the opening bars of the overture for me to know that   Summer is  on the way.