SYLVIA'S DIARY

Sylvia writes a diary entry when there is something important she wants to share. This is where you will find news about the rescue and what's going one as well as the place Sylvia puts her thoughts, haoppy stories and sometimes sad ones

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14-06-24 IT'S BEEN A CRAZY WEEK

What an absolutely crazy, ridiculous and unbelievable week I have just had. Somebody said to me ”well it's swings and roundabouts”…. And I thought what the heck does that mean?!

I looked it up and apparently it means “what you gain on the roundabouts you lose on the swings” or vice versa. Well, what a ridiculous saying…. I like both swings and roundabouts!
 Well let me explain about my week. It started off with me seeing a post from another rescue that I know work very, very hard with very little help.
Two years ago, there was a lady who used to pick up Romanian Dogs and she had a transport van that she called “The Dog Bus”.  This van would pick up the stray dogs from pounds that were due to be put to sleep in Romania and she would arrange for the passports and vaccinations and take them to the UK to safety and to be rehomed.
When Ukrainian war broke out, she felt tasked with helping there too. Sadly, everything got on top of her, and her van kept breaking down. I didn't really know her, I just knew of the great the work she was doing abroad, and as we had a van we were about to sell, and as I was so sad for the people and the animals in Ukraine and wanted us to do something to help, it was agreed that we could donate the van to her, but this would be overseen by another charity I knew, that would look after it if needs be.  So, we donated it to her cause.

 Not long after we donated the van very sadly the lady committed suicide. She couldn't help all the dogs she wanted to. She couldn't bear the thought of them all being put to sleep. She could no longer cope, and I imagine all she thought she could do she was to get out of this life, it was terribly sad, and I understood how hard it must've been for her.

She left her legacy, and someone needed to step in to take the reins and help the dogs she had already started to help. Gallantly the charity “War Paws” ( the charity who oversaw our donated van) stepped in and tried to hold the dogs that were left rescued by he lady but still awaiting transport in Ukraine and the Romanian boarders.
Now 2 years later there are still 12 dogs over there. These are the ones no other rescues have offered help for. Three of them are very scared, the others are big or non-descript cross breeds. War Paws have paid boarding kennels to care for them hoping for a lucky break for them, they have sent an employee out to assess, train the dogs to walk on leads etc, and train the kennel staff how to help scared dogs, but now they are at rock bottom not knowing what these poor dogs’ future will hold. Desperate they put out a frustrated and final post asking for help, and I answered it.

In my crazy way, even though I know that last month we were £50,000 down, I just felt it was in my heart that it was right to go all out and take all these dogs and bring them home. These dogs were found as strays when people found they could not board lifesaving buses and flee conflict with their pets and so they let them free. Others were put into boarding kennels on the border with the promise they would be back, but they never did or could go back.

All the dogs were taken on by the poor lady who took her own life, and then by War paws, and now us.
War Paws have ensured that all the Ukrainian dogs have a Passport, some a Romanian passport,  because they were found at that border. It's terribly sad and these dogs have been there 2 long years.

 I know it's going to be very hard and we will need help. A wonderful group called The Bristol Buddies said they will help us by holding sales, making things and fund raising, for the dogs may well be very long-term stayers here with us before they get rehomed.
 War Paws have very carefully and responsibly arranged all the health tests to ensure the dogs will be covered to travel and are disease free and will bring them to us. We just need to fund their stay and find them homes, and that’s not going to be easy! My God will help me, and as long as I can stay strong, these dogs are coming and somehow, we're going to change their lives.
Look at these beautiful dogs we will help

I'm going to talk about the dog show now that I mentioned before.

A team of us went to a huge dog show were allowed to have to stand free, the agility club who allow this is called Thames agility club and I am very grateful we were allowed to attend that show. We raised over £11,000 which helps towards the loss of money from last month. We also received a legacy to help us with that loss and on top of that wonderful lady who has been reading these blogs donated to help us as well. We are so grateful!
We sold everything we could… people brought along all sorts of things, some not even dog related and we were able to sell them.

We saw so many of the dogs that we have rehomed, all so loved now. It was such a special, wonderful few days, but maybe the most tiring days of the year. My helpers just worked so hard and are coming with me to the agility show at Ardingly next month, which brings me to the scrounge bit:
If you have anything new or nearly new, we can sell at the next show, please let us have it.
We are trying so hard to help so many dogs, but it’s so expensive to do this.

I told you last week or so that we had a vet and I was so excited she was coming from abroad where she  had been working, and when she accepted the job I asked her if she was sure about it, because I had one other candidate who I really liked the sounds of, but she was very sure she would take the position and we had to wait until July 15th  for her to start.

Sadly when I was fund raising at the dog show she text me to say she changed her mind. I had to leave and go and sit on a caravan step as I  needed to be on my own and have a cry. Not having a vet at Many Tears makes everything so complicated and so worrying. If it wasn't for Jane, our Homeopathic Vet and Tom who have both stepped in so many times and the wonderful Mel and Sarah… all people who have their own lives and own jobs, yet still help us here, I don’t know what we would do. There are also so many others that come and help to keep us going. I don't know what I would do without all those wonderful vets and there are others that I haven't named also, so I guess yes, it’s swings and roundabouts.

That's my week so far. Joyce is off on a huge drive to pick up some dogs. I'm busy as I can be trying to sort out everything as I've been away for a few days. Bill is getting better slowly which is amazing and fantastic.

I'll finish the diary in a few days but should mention that while I was away beautiful Dalmatian came in emaciated and desperate for water. He's so thin and we don't know if it's because he's not well or because he's been starved, we don't know what he has gone through. He is called Moose so keep an eye out for Moose on our website.

There have been so many other new dogs here this week, so many sad stories. 

Moses the pup I gave the kiss of life to has turned into a swimmer pup. This is a term for a pup that has a flat chest and legs growing splayed out the wrong way. Moses is an only pup and has too much milk to himself from his mum that he is overweight and chubby even though he is only a few days old. We are going to try to correct his problem, but there is little documented to help a pup who is only days old.
So every day I work on new ideas and invent a new harness to help him and spend time doing physio on his front legs, while his sweet mum looks on.

 At last, the end of the weeks in sight, even yesterday over 15 dogs came in, luckily the staff are great and have it under control, but WHAT A WEEK!!!!

As always thank you for reading my diary, accepting my bad grammar, and not criticising but helping us all to share the care of these very precious animals.

In our shop hangs an embroidered picture. Read it please… I think you will like it.

If you feel able to support what we do here and want to help pups like Moses, the Ukrainian dogs like Muki, Kaila and Sonia then please make a donation to Many Tears. It is only with YOUR help that we are able to continue our work here.

Thank you
Sylvia


 



06-06-24 New Lino and Im off to a Show!

The week has started with bad news. I ask for numbers every month, how many dogs homed, how much has been spent, how many staff have been away and how many dogs have come in, how many have needed specialist consultations, or operations, and then I have some idea of where I must pay more attention or raise more funds etc.
This month the bad news is we are 50 thousand pounds down, and as every month we have been down for quite a while that is a nightmare waiting to happen.
We have auditors accountants and a administrator, but these are the people that pay the bills and keep the accounts but don’t have the worry of the bigger picture of how the rescue is truly doing and for that you really need to know all that’s going on... every single little aspect and here at MTthat is a huge amount of info! So I apologise if you come to the centre and I don’t remember your name, but I usually do remember your dog’s name, but I often feel my brain has an overload of information in it constantly.
Instead of worrying I said a prayer and got on with planning the dog show I will be at this weekend. It will be really busy, and I hope I may be able to get some much needed funds raised, however it takes a load of planning and organising and days of packing three vans.

Adoptions have been slow, which is not surprising as all rescues are full resulting in an abundance of dogs for prospective adopters to pick from.
Of course, to the staff, fosterser and I we feel ours are the most important, though I would hope all staff of rescues feel the same about their charges too. However, I  do wonder if their staff do what ours do... I will explain.
We have a staff chat group just for the staff. There we can post rota changes or anything we want the other staff to know, and they can post too. I always have my phone with me in case of emergencies and all evening, every evening the phone dings with updates from the staff discussing their favourite dogs, or a cute video or picture of a dog that day, or perhaps telling early staff about what a dog would prefer for breakfast, or sharing a dogs achievement that day. The level of care that goes on whilst on their shift and in their minds all night is exemplary, and I am so glad I am able to work with likeminded folks.

We had a dog in this week with a very sad tale. She is a lab and had lost her pet home and was given to a breeder to hand to me when I was up his way next. However, she was totally stressed out in the breeders kennels and barked nonstop so he asked us to go and get her.
The second she arrived I could see her eyes were not right, so booked her into see the eye specialist. The dog is called Jazz She is very anxious and needy, scared insecure, clingy but so loving. I cannot imagine how stressful the last months have been for her. I really felt desperate for Rowe referrals to be able to help her, I sat through the examination only to be told that her cataracts were not the problem, the problem was she has PRA and the condition thar will slowly make her go blind and indeed she is nearly blind already.  This is terrible news for her. She is a dog who is better as an only dog, as she wants all a human’s attention, so she does not even have a canine companion to live with as her sight deteriorates. On top of this it’s been suggested she will make a great companion for an elderly person, but sadly she could probably end up tripping them up so perhaps this wouldnt be right for her either. So, this special lab who enjoys her walks and attention and loves to swim is going to have a tough time finding a home
.

The good news is that the little schnauzer I took along with me to the specialist IS a candidate for cataract surgery, and though the cost is 6 thousand pounds it is so worth it The lady who cares for nearly all our cataract dogs and is a trustee of ours says the difference after surgery even the next day is phenomenal. These dogs get a whole new lease of life.

The week is racing by. The vans are packed for the show, and I am all but ready, however I keep remembering more and more things to take and the nights( which is when I have time to think ) are getting longer and longer.
I feel under pressure to raise a lot of money as this month we have had to spend so much, so I am hoping for great weather and kind public willing to buy our goods.
The show is run by Thames agility and every year they have been SO good to us. I am hoping I can repay their kindness one year and do something for them.
The show attracts so many agility handlers, they camp at the showground at Newbury show ground and run their dogs in the classes and then have nothing particular to do for the rest of their day, so visit our stand. It's on for two days and there will be around 3 or 4 thousand dogs on site I would think. ( all, who I hope would need a new lead collar or coat). These items are donated all year, and our wonderful volunteer Kay washes dries and packs coats ready for the show. I then store all year long to use for the two shows I attend. Both shows do not charge for the stall we have , so it’s a win/win, except all the nights I spend sorting these items, and all the hours Kay spends washing and picking off dog hairs on beautiful but hairy coats.

Last week a lovely caring council worker called about three cats that had lost their home. No cat rescue that they tried would or could help, and the future was looking very grim for all. We stepped in and took them here, we would have held them for the family, but the council only has temporary accommodation and cannot foresee when permanent accommodation will come up, it could be over a year. So now our worry is the sweet cats and finding them a person or people to help them and adopt them to give the love they are used to
.

One worry is being fixed today. We had tiled our front reception with donated lino floor tiles, sadly these due to wear and tear started to come up and be a trip hazard.
A lady who adopted and dog from us works for a company that installs floors is sending guys to lay donated lino that she has arranged for us, and that’s what I have done all morning until now, moved everything ready for them.

I am very excited about this too. Bills better though still tired, but now allowed to drive, so he’s off to pick up a dog and I am waiting for lino men. It’s now the day before I leave to go to the showground to set up.

In previous years a very big, strong man has come and helped erect the tents, but this year he’s busy, so I am worried just how we will manage.

The lino was laid by a lovely man and the company even sent a waterproof carpet to do the shop as well, and that product would be ideal for all pet lovers. We are super grateful as it looks wonderful. Next week I will tell you what’s playing heavily on my mind, but I won’t tell you unless I can think of a solution as I don’t want you all to worry too. Thank you all for your support, it means a whole lot to me the staff and our wonderful dogs.
If you feel able to support us and help us continue by making a donation we would be so grateful
Sylvia x


 



31-05-24 END OF MAY DIARY

What can you say about Wales? Yes, I know it's green and beautiful, but boy is it wet!!!! And it's so much easier to smile when the sun is shining.  However, for some, namely the new ex-breeding dogs who are learning to settle into our routine, every day is a day full of smiles. These beautiful gentle souls have learnt to walk on a harness, play in our lovely play yards and to recognise their carers and greet them happily - all of these are huge deals for these dogs. I know the wonderful feeling it is to help these dogs on the way to their new homes and new lives.  

This week I spent a lot of time lying in bed when I should have been asleep wondering what I can do to help these dogs further. I know the answer is really to get them into a foster home asap so they can have more one-to-one help with great human fosterers and good, kind, well-loved and trustful canines to be their role models. However, the reality is there are just not enough amazing fosterers around for all the dogs that come through this rescue and I wish we had more. 

I truly wish money was not a problem, that we did not have to worry week to week about the finances, that we too could afford a big flashy advertisement on TV with specially composed lyrics and music to back it up, that apparently will bring in thousands of pounds in donations, but we don’t as I prefer to spend the sort money it costs to advertise directly on dogs needing help instead. I guess I am just not a good business woman.   Imagine this though, a room with a pool where all dogs could play and learn to swim, the old and the young, the disabled, all free to enjoy the water.  Yes, it's just a dream, but what a dream it is...

The Cane Corsa pups are still here with us and looking for their perfect homes. They are like mini bulldozers and when they decide they will sit on your small lap which is already occupied with three (two of which are too many!) they just bulldoze their way into the mix and there is little anyone can do… bar get squashed!  If anyone does adopt them ever, they will be amazed at what big babies they are. They are all getting on so well at learning to walk on the lead and are walking out daily. Volunteers love their company and they seem very content and happy here, but they eat tons of food and need a lot of love. They will need good guidance in their new homes so they can grow up just as perfect as a cavalier pup... only rather a lot bigger!


Today a lovely golden retriever started to give birth. She really does not look pregnant, and only when about to be spayed did the vet think her belly felt unusual so scanned her. We were all so surprised as the pup was nearly full size so due very soon. Only one was seen on the scanner, but sometimes there can be more unseen. It was a worrying time, as I feared she may need a c-section, and if so this makes it so much harder for the mum to bond with her new pups and stillbirth is a very sad but real possibility. At the end of the day when I had checked her so many times my fears became a reality and this dear girl was taken to our vet for a c-section. One pup was born and needed to be resuscitated. Please send your good thoughts and prayers for this sweet pup and his Mum, I can only hope all goes well and he survives and I hope to bring you good, happy news of this in my next blog.

Our new vet starts on July 15th, but until then we rely on heroes like Jane, a sweet kind homeopathic vet who comes to spay for us and has taught us all the powers in her passion of homeopathy. Also, Siriol and her hubby, who work through their breaks so that more dogs can be seen and so more can be ready to go to new homes or to foster homes. Then there is Tom, a big, tall, kind and cheerful Austrian vet who has come so many times after his own 8-hour day vet work and neuters for us in the evenings. Also Mel, who loves to kayak but so many days that should have been her days off, she comes to help us instead. There are so many more too and I can only tell you how lovely they all are and so happy to help our dogs. One, Wendy is even, along with her friend, getting us a blood analysing machine. I could go on and on about the veterinary world helping me but I will end with Emerald vets a local practice who have supported us for years, who X-ray our dogs that need this, and Sarah the vet nurse there who operates the X-ray machine. These people have helped our dogs now for over 20 years, always being so kind and helpful, squeezing our canine charges in at the last minute. THANK YOU ALL.


This week we have all been working with Winnie, a really dear little very exhausted Cav. She’s just a little dot and came in underweight and walking with a very unusual gait. We all enjoyed enticing her to eat, but in turn that upset her belly. On top of this we had her x-rayed and found that many years ago her pelvis had been broken, and this had mended badly.  Because of her poorly belly, she was isolated until she better, and she has had lots of real one to one time with us. I know what she wants, she wants a special Cavvy home to nurture her and treat her like the princess she is. A home where there are other cavaliers or even just one cav that would allow her to snuggle with them, She breaks my heart thinking of all she has missed out on, so now is the time to pile on the love. I do so hope I can say she has a home in my next diary entry, but in these tough times where new homes and funds are very low, and the number of unwanted dogs and cats and even horses too is very high, well who knows. 

The local council have just called with three VERY urgent cats that need somewhere to go. The family that own them are being evicted and the cats have nowhere to go. The council have no idea how long it will take to find a permanent home for the humans, so the family are forced to give up their three cats, one of which is elderly. This is heartbreaking for all, even the sweet lady from the council was very upset and we will help them.  Poor humans and very poor felines.      

Thank you again for your support, kind words and time and love you give to our charges. If you feel you could make a donation to our rescue and help us to continue please do. 


 



25-05-24 Puppies, Loneliness and Such a Busy Week

Some of you know having read my diary weeks before my husband Bill had a heart attack out of the blue.I have tried not to allow this to affect the rescue but of course it has.
This got me thinking that all my staff ought to be trained to do some life-saving resuscitation, should it ever be needed. This week I'm going to give everyone time off at the end of one of their working days so they can go home and look up on the British Heart Foundation website and watch their video showing what to do if someone has a heart attack.
I heard a footballer on TV who had had a heart attack and he said everyone ought to learn to do this, as how would we feel if we couldn't give 15 minutes of our lives to learn how to save someone and then didnt know how to help when faced with an emergency?
Then it got me thinking we needed to get a defibrillator so that if someone has a cardiac arrest we have what's needed here at the rescue. I have no idea how to get one so if anybody knows more and can let me know it would be very helpful. I know it may be expensive but what is someones life worth?

The three Puglets that came in last week have settled to a the routine but the one Pug, Kermit who we were told could be an only dog went off to his new home yesterday and we had no idea of the impact it would make on the other two dogs, especially the pug cross who has howled, and with his little head raised is calling for his friend. It's made me so so sad.
Yesterday was the foster run and one Bichon Frise from a pair was due to go to foster. As I took her out to her place on the van, the other dog left behind stood at the bars and howled. It broke my heart so I asked Joyce, our van driver to take her along too and prayed that a kind fosterer would take them both. I took a chance as it was too early ( before 6am) to call around and ask anyone to take and I so hoped that when the fosterers saw her, they would want to have her and thank goodness they did, so at least that was one dog who wasn't parted from her very best friend.

Horses also have special friends in the form of other equines. If they had the chance, they would choose to stay with their friend all their lives…. if only we would allow them to. If you've read the book “ Black Beauty”, you know that Black Beauty had equine friends and those friends also had a friend. There was Merrry Legs and Ginger - and this wasn’t just a story. It was written from observations from the writer who I understand was not very well, and watched horses out of her window working in their carriages, watching the way man worked them, the way they reacted to other horses andsadly how abused they were. It was later that the book was distributed in America to thousands of children and it taught them compassion and justice. These children from thousands of schools across the USA wrote to the government, to the White House and to the president about the injustice of the way the government allowed Mustangs to be run to exhaustion captivity and death with helicopters.
They had learnt about horses and their feeling loyalties equine friends, all from that special book. It was the children’s questions and demands that were heard and acted on to stop the mustangs enduring the atrocities that they had been put through. This made a huge difference for those Mustangs.

Anyway, back to what I was going to say. We have a horse called Molly. Bill and I rescued her in North Carolina and found her a home when we moved away from North Carolina but a year later her owner didn't want her and I was in no position to find her another place to stay in America because I was at Many Tears in Wales by then.
Bill very kindly paid for her to come back even though she had a condition called laminitis and couldn't be ridden. However Molly was very lonely and sad, so I went to the market where ponies were being sold for as little as £4.00 and I bought a little Shetland foal who became Molly's best friend.
Molly has survived another 17 years from then and is now probably in her latter years and maybe not going to be with us a lot longer and Kenny her little toy boy companion is her best friend ever. Sadly Kenny isn't well either and I dread to think when we lose one or the other how hard it's going to be for them. We don’t always think about friendship animals have for their own kind, animals can have a deep deep bond for their partners and in the world of rescue, especially from breeders, I see it a lot where dogs have come away from the breeder and probably from a sister or mother who they've grown up with and then are torn away from and put with dogs they don’t know or worse than that on their own at a rescue.
I will hear them howling and miserable longing for their soulmate and there's no consoling them at that point because they don't often relate to people at all when they first come in.

We've been very, very lucky we have secured a new Vet for the rescue clinic and I am praying for great things because this lovely Vet has worked in rescue before and understands probably all the things that I worry about so much as she will have seen it all firsthand.

This week after four puppies were born here and were doing so well one of them just went downhill. We couldn't tell why and whilst we were waiting on test result for the pup, our special puppy just crashed, and we worked so hard to save her.  I got up all night worrying about her but I lost her the night before last.
I didn’t tell Bill because I did not want to burden him with my worries. He needs to just get better.

I went to Ireland and I Bill so many times I an sure he was sick of the interruptions! I got family and staff  to check in with him too and a staff member to live in the house whilst I was gone. I drove so many miles, saved so many lives, but I had to park next to a lorry full of veal calves, which made me feel sad.
I got back to the rescue and settled the dogs with our wonderful staff helping. I banged my head so badly that apart from the colour one side of my forehead you’d have thought half my forehead was botoxed!

 
I slept less than two hours. next day picked up more dogs this time in Wales,we accepted in a whole litter of Cane Corsa pups which had not sold, because this is such a difficult breed and accepted in Frenchie pups, their parents and a poor mangey collie, as well as a dog whose tail had been all but chopped off in an accident -  in a door perhaps, and the wound had gone gangrenous and the owner couldn’t or wouldn’t pay a vet to help her, and a doodle.
Now almost comatose, I am wondering where the next day will lead.
I am going to stagger to bed ( if there is space without disturbing the doggy darlings of my household, who think it their God given right to use up at least 7/8ths of the bed!)
  

So that's the news so far this week, one of the panels in the fencing has rotten out and we've got a big white board over it. I am aware I have got to think of something to write on that board as it hits you seeing this blank space not filled.

In two weeks time we've got a stall at Newbury Dog show (June 8th and 9th) which is an agility show and I'm desperate for help on every day I am there, then the beginning of July I've got another stall at Ardingly Showground July 5th, 6th, and 7th) in Sussex and that's the three days show and again I need volunteers. it's very tiring, but a BIG fundraiser. If you can help please let me know.

Everything has to be fitted in with the rescue life and it’s so very tricky... but well worth it.
Because of you all who share our care we can keep going. If you feel able to donate to help us then please do every penny helps these dogs that so desperately need us.
THANK YOU X


 



22-05-24 LIFE SAVING TRAINING

Some of you know having read my diary weeks before my husband Bill had a heart attack out of the blue. I have tried not to allow this to affect the rescue but of course it has. This got me thinking that all my staff ought to be trained to do some life-saving resuscitation, should it ever be needed. This week I'm going to give everyone time off at the end of one of their working days so they can go home and look up on the British Heart Foundation website and watch their video showing what to do if someone has a heart attack.

I heard a footballer on TV who had had a heart attack and he said everyone ought to learn to do this, as how would we feel if we couldn't give 15 minutes of our lives to learn how to save someone and then didnt know how to help when faced with an emergency?
Then it got me thinking we needed to get a defibrillator so that if someone has a cardiac arrest we have what's needed here at the rescue. I have no idea how to get one so if anybody knows more and can let me know it would be very helpful. I know it may be expensive but what is someones life worth?

The three Puglets that came in last week have settled to a the routine but the one Pug, Kermit who we were told could be an only dog went off to his new home yesterday and we had no idea of the impact it would make on the other two dogs, especially the pug cross who has howled, and with his little head raised is calling for his friend. It's made me so so sad.
Yesterday was the foster run and one Bichon Frise from a pair was due to go to foster. As I took her out to her place on the van, the other dog left behind stood at the bars and howled. It broke my heart so I asked Joyce, our van driver to take her along too and prayed that a kind fosterer would take them both. I took a chance as it was too early ( before 6am) to call around and ask anyone to take and I so hoped that when the fosterers saw her, they would want to have her and thank goodness they did, so at least that was one dog who wasn't parted from her very best friend.

Horses also have special friends in the form of other equines. If they had the chance, they would choose to stay with their friend all their lives…. if only we would allow them to. If you've read the book “ Black Beauty”, you know that Black Beauty had equine friends and those friends also had a friend. There was Merrry Legs and Ginger - and this wasn’t just a story. It was written from observations from the writer who I understand was not very well, and watched horses out of her window working in their carriages, watching the way man worked them, the way they reacted to other horses andsadly how abused they were. It was later that the book was distributed in America to thousands of children and it taught them compassion and justice. These children from thousands of schools across the USA wrote to the government, to the White House and to the president about the injustice of the way the government allowed Mustangs to be run to exhaustion captivity and death with helicopters.
They had learnt about horses and their feeling loyalties equine friends, all from that special book. It was the children’s questions and demands that were heard and acted on to stop the mustangs enduring the atrocities that they had been put through. This made a huge difference for those Mustangs.

Anyway, back to what I was going to say. We have a horse called Molly. Bill and I rescued her in North Carolina and found her a home when we moved away from North Carolina but a year later her owner didn't want her and I was in no position to find her another place to stay in America because I was at Many Tears in Wales by then.
Bill very kindly paid for her to come back even though she had a condition called laminitis and couldn't be ridden. However Molly was very lonely and sad, so I went to the market where ponies were being sold for as little as £4.00 and I bought a little Shetland foal who became Molly's best friend.
Molly has survived another 17 years from then and is now probably in her latter years and maybe not going to be with us a lot longer and Kenny her little toy boy companion is her best friend ever. Sadly Kenny isn't well either and I dread to think when we lose one or the other how hard it's going to be for them. We don’t always think about friendship animals have for their own kind, animals can have a deep deep bond for their partners and in the world of rescue, especially from breeders, I see it a lot where dogs have come away from the breeder and probably from a sister or mother who they've grown up with and then are torn away from and put with dogs they don’t know or worse than that on their own at a rescue.
I will hear them howling and miserable longing for their soulmate and there's no consoling them at that point because they don't often relate to people at all when they first come in.

We've been very, very lucky we have secured a new Vet for the rescue clinic and I am praying for great things because this lovely Vet has worked in rescue before and understands probably all the things that I worry about so much as she will have seen it all firsthand.

This week after four puppies were born here and were doing so well one of them just went downhill. We couldn't tell why and whilst we were waiting on test result for the pup, our special puppy just crashed, and we worked so hard to save her.  I got up all night worrying about her but I lost her the night before last.
I didn’t tell Bill because I did not want to burden him with my worries. He needs to just get better.

I went to Ireland and I Bill so many times I an sure he was sick of the interruptions! I got family and staff  to check in with him too and a staff member to live in the house whilst I was gone. I drove so many miles, saved so many lives, but I had to park next to a lorry full of veal calves, which made me feel sad.
I got back to the rescue and settled the dogs with our wonderful staff helping. I banged my head so badly that apart from the colour one side of my forehead you’d have thought half my forehead was botoxed!
I slept less than two hours. next day picked up more dogs this time in Wales,we accepted in a whole litter of Cane Corsa pups which had not sold, because this is such a difficult breed and accepted in Frenchie pups, their parents and a poor mangey collie, as well as a dog whose tail had been all but chopped off in an accident -  in a door perhaps, and the wound had gone gangrenous and the owner couldn’t or wouldn’t pay a vet to help her, and a doodle.
Now almost comatose, I am wondering where the next day will lead.
I am going to stagger to bed ( if there is space without disturbing the doggy darlings of my household, who think it their God given right to use up at least 7/8ths of the bed!)

So that's the news so far this week, one of the panels in the fencing has rotten out and we've got a big white board over it. I am aware I have got to think of something to write on that board as it hits you seeing this blank space not filled.

Intwo weeks time we've got a stall at Newbury Dog show (June 8th and 9th) which is an agility show and I'm desperate for help on every day I am there, then the beginning of July I've got another stall at Ardingly Showground July 5th, 6th, and 7th) in Sussex and that's the three days show and again I need volunteers. it's very tiring, but a BIG fundraiser. If you can help please let me know.

Everything has to be fitted in with the rescue life and it’s so very tricky... but well worth it.
Because of you all who share our care we can keep going
THANK YOU X



17-05-24 MY WEEKLY DIARY

So yet another week has passed and of course it's been full of all the ups and downs that this world has to offer.

Some beautiful little cavs came in last week and our hearts went out to all of them. They looked so used up, so lost, and so sad, it's very hard to see such a gentle kind breed like this.
Today it is no longer sunny and instead we have a storm and cold winds blowing with driving rain and slate grey skies.
We had a wonderful foster come from up North and collect not only some very beautiful dogs to go to foster but one of our lovely Cavaliers who was in such a state went too.
This will mean for the first time in her life, tonight she'll sleep in a house and be loved and cared for. So, despite the rubbish weather my heart is full of happiness.

There has been a lot of phone calls this week we've had a lot of dogs brought to us.
One poor lady brought her young Doberman to us, he is less than a year old.
She had to bring him because both her daughter and her husband were unwell and in hospital. It must have been so terribly sad to have to let your dog go because you literally cannot care for him because you're caring for your family members.
He's a wonderful dog but very, very bouncy! His name is Winston and I saw him when he arrived, He greeted someone like they were his long-lost soulmate, even though he'd never met them in his whole life!
 

The police brought in Labrador, to help somebody who was having a terrible time and could not care for the dog any longer.
It would have been very easy for the police to not help, to wash their hands and say…. "well you've got the dog, you need to find a way to get it to someone to care for it,” , but when somebody is already not well, this is very hard for them mentally and physically.
Anyway, the dogs with us and he's a beautiful labrador, so he should find a home. We are very grateful to to the police for their kind actions and compassion for both the dog and the human.

 

 

We also had three terribly sad old pug-type dogs brought in, they had been looking for a home desperately and I mean desperately asthe owner had to move and where she moved to she wasn't allowed to keep the dogs.
She left the dogs with  her elderly mother who had a garden with a shed and as her own dog did not like being around the puglet trio she had to have them live in the shed. A few years ago, one of the pug was diagnosed with cancer and they were told that the dog would have a few months to live, so obviously he's on borrowed time but he is doing so wll and he is still happy!  This little trio that were homeless  are not dogs that many will want to help. They're old dogs and deserve a soft place, a wonderful place, with humans that will love and provide them with warmth comfort and kindness.

I feel so sorry for them when I see them looking out waiting for someone who will never be able to come back and get them.

We have kennels full of these very sad dogs now. It’s important that my staff have some good happy things that happen to keep their spirits up, and the fosters taking some of these dogs into their homes is what really lifts our spirits.

The whole week has also been full of phone calls after our opening hours. I always pick up the phone with ”Hello this is Many Tears emergency line, is this an emergency please?” and nine times out of ten they say it is. Then I hear their emergency.
Last night the emergency was “ I have just come back from being out”( it is 11 .45pm at night so where was she out that late leaving a dog?) and my dog has torn up my house and I don't want it!!! "
I felt sorry for the poor, poor, lonely sad dog, but obviously at that time of night I can't do anything to help so I asked her to call in the morning. I don't know if it was her or someone else, but every hour that night I got a call and when I answeed they down the phone, over and over. This is very annoying and worrying because I'm trying not to wake Bill up, as he needs as much sleep as he can so he can recover.

Another man phoned up and said he had a pocket bully and asked us to take him. I said I wouldn't know until the morning whether we had the space and that the dog  would have to get on with other dogs because we are very short space . He said "Oh no, he can't do that. He can be a bit violent at times".  I said I'm really sorry we wouldn’t be able to take him, so the man got angry, saying “ So you want me to shoot him do you?”
I tried to be calm and tell him how we have no spare kennels at the moment, so he then said “ You call yourself a dog hotel?” I explain no, we are not a dog hotel but a rescue who are very full!
He wasn't very pleased and put the phone down on me and then about five minutes later called me and called me a name which I will not write and put the phone down again.
Poor dog, what is going to happen to him? It's horrible.

Some people have been lovely. The staff seem to be working extra hard and have been helping so much so that there's less worry for me  and I've been able to look after Bill as best I can.
Hank, my Irish Wolfhound and I have been  doing lots of cooking for Bill. Hank does the clean-up but he is not supposed to... but if my backs turned he is so tall that he counter surfs with ease and then afterwards he sits there all innocent, like nothing happened, but then I notice something is missing off the counter! (It could be a lump of cheese or whatever he fancies!)
I've been trying to train him to go and lie down whilst I'm doing the cooking but he's not that good at that bit. He's certainly very, very good at the clean-up bit though!

Bill is recovering, thank goodness and now I'm worrying about the next dog collection run that we've got coming up. We've got to pick up a lot of dogs and I am worrying about where they're all going to go and how we're going to keep them all happy, how much  bedding we have and dustpan and brushes and all sorts of ridiculous things that play around in my mind at night that haven't happened! 

I then remember to say a prayer to thank my God. I am hopeless at that but I'm really good at asking for things, like, "Please get Bill better", "Please do this", "Please do that", but I'm not that good at thanking my God for all He has done to make this happen and whether you believe in God or not Someone up there, or somewhere, is looking over this place.

It's a tough place to manage, a tough place to run but an incredibly wonderful place to be, so thank you everyone for your support as always thank you for bothering to read this. And remember if you need healing, our dogs will supply the tools. So please feel welcome to come. Please email mtvolunteering@gmail.com to arrange this. 
If you care about the rescue and support what we do, please consider making a donation to help us to continue to rescue the Winstons, Marleys and Puglets that desperately need us.


 



09-05-24 MY FIRST WEEK OF MAY

To say it's been a hard week isn't an underestimate.  Coming back from Ireland and finding Bill had had a major heart attack was a huge sad shock and fitting in going to see him, trying to keep strong myself and making sure that the rescue was running properly was extremely hard. However, I have really amazing staff and they all carried me and I was able to keep going.  Of course there were a lot of phone calls, a lot of dogs coming in and going out and a lot of sadnesses this week.

A wonderful husky who we called Dancer came in on the last run with a terrible mammary tumour.  This had spread so far that when the vet removed it she felt there was no hope for her. Dancer had a huge operation and we sent the lump off to the laboratories to be tested. The report back showed that the operation had been done very well and because it had huge margins (which meant there was less chance of the mass having spread) and that it had not involved any lymph nodes (which make things spread much faster) we went from thinking that Dancer would not have a chance of much life to suddenly believing that she might have a decent amount of life left. This makes us very happy as Dancer has never had the chance of a home and to be surrounded by those who love her. She's a calm gentle dog, and it will make all the difference in the world if somebody could just adopt her.

We've had the usual phone calls wanting to bring in dogs. It's been a Bank Holiday weekend and because of that our local council are shut and there is no dog warden to pick up stray dogs that are found. We end up taking them here which I personally hate because if the people who own the dogs do come forward to claim them and I’m unsure of them or they have a negative attitude, I still have to give the dog back.

It's been particularly hard this week as I wanted to visit Bill in hospital but twice had to wait a long time for strays to be brought in. I've been so preoccupied worrying about Bill, worrying about how to keep the place running and worrying about the things I think I've forgotten that it's made the week very long.

A beautiful dog called Macaroon who came in a few weeks ago very pregnant had her puppies by C-section and then had a calcium deficiency.  She now has mastitis very badly and this entails us giving a lot of medicines and having to wrap her with cabbage leaves which is supposed to help mastitis. It's a horrible painful condition and results in very very hard inflamed mammary glands. There isn't a cure but to help poor Macaroon she is on pain relief, antibiotics, homeopathic medicine and a lot of TLC.

Leah my daughter got one of those suits for dogs who have been spayed and cut holes for Macaroon’s nipples. We could then poke the cabbage leaves up there around her nipples which were exposed out of the suit so the puppies could still feed on the good unaffected nipples. It was quite genius and has stayed in place. Sadly she doesn’t seem to be getting a lot better and in the worst case scenario we are going to have to take the puppies and hand rear them and give this Macaroon something to dry up her milk.  The vet who came and did C-section spayed her at the same time which means she won't have to go through anything like this again.

We just seem to be full of puppies at the moment.  So many little souls who are born into a world who doesn't seem to want them.  We're very lucky to have good volunteers to sit and help socialise them but it still makes me so sad to see them all in kennels.

We had a litter of retriever cross pups however they are a good 5½ to 6 months old. Some are quite pretty and others quite plain but today my spirits were lifted when the puppy I would've predicted would be the last to be adopted was in fact the first! She was a beautiful dog but jet black and for some reason that is the least likely dog to get adopted from a rescue. It really shouldn't be about the colour but it does seem to be. There's only another 4 to go - all big puppies that will grow to big dogs and well past the date of being desirable to most of the public.  They are all being loved here but needing so much more than they can get in kennels.  Sadly less than 24 hours later the black beautiful pup who got adopted was returned as she was guarding her new dad and snapping at the other dogs in the home.  I explained she is terrified, all is new and she needs time but they said their dogs and kids are scared of her. As I have said so many times, the highs are often followed by BIG lows.

Bill was allowed home after a week away and its WONDERFUL! He is weak and tired after the lifesaving care but he’s back.  We have to keep our 15 dogs we live with away from him as he cannot afford to get a bruise or worse still get a cut.  It’s doable but sad as I cannot change the dogs routines.  Some of them are very old and slept with us all their lives. So he sleeps away from me and the dogs and I miss him although he’s only in a room below mine.

The week’s been a real open eye for us both Bill and I. When you nearly lose somebody, it makes you really think about your life. For me I think about how little time I give people and how I'm always wrapped up in the rescue, and I don't deserve any friends as I never give them time.  When this happened both my daughters offered help, one daughter and her husband and my grandchild came down and stood by my side and worked tirelessly to make things better for Bill when he got back. In addition, Joyce came and scrubbed our cottage and they all came without being asked and without expecting a word of thanks as I was so wrapped up in what I was doing, but of course I thank them all because without them I wouldn't have been able to keep the place running and my sanity.

Snapping back to the running of the rescue, we've got no vet now as our vet has left. We are running with the help of all the kind vets who have ever helped us in the past who come and giving us a day here and there. I interviewed somebody who's living in the Cayman Islands but they might well want to take a job elsewhere.  At last vets are being valued but that means to hire them is very expensive but when I saw how hard the nurses and doctors worked in the hospital it made me think about the vets and vet nurses too.  They all do very long hard hours.

It's really important that we find our own vet because

  1. Our dogs are scared and I don't want to put them in vans and drive them to places, leave them and then pick them up and put them back in the van and bring them back.
  2. Having the vets surgery on site is so much better for the dogs, cats and me as I then can help all night keep their spirits up and love them.
  3. It works out more cost effective in the long run as we have to see vets all the time for our dogs even if it's just for worming and inoculations.

My challenge this week is to try to find a compassionate vet and quickly which also means finding extra money as this will not come without considerable expense.  This has made me think about the dog shows I attend next month and the month after. I will have to have somebody stay in our cottage to make sure Bill is safe while I'm gone as the venues are quite far away. These two shows are a few days each bring in £7,000-£8,000.

In addition to everything else I have worried about little Brian a darling little cavalier pup who came from a breeder who said he could not bare to put him to sleep so could we take him?  Brian arrived with a big swelling on his head which our vet thought was possibly hydrocephalus, a nasty condition dogs and humans can have.  We asked a wonderful fosterer to take him to a specialist. There they thought some of his skull is missing and what was making the lump was his brain. They wanted to investigate further to see if they can fit a plate over the hole and yes all that would cost thousands of pounds. However, thousands against the value of a pup's life… well there is no comparison, so I said please go ahead and see what can be done.
Brian is as bright as a button and there are no neurological signs of any difficulties.  He’s just such a dude so we all crossed our fingers and toes for him and have just heard the wonderful news that little Brian does not have hydrocephalus!!  Instead, the swelling has possibly been caused by trauma or a cyst. Tests are being done for him and he has already had an MRI and ultrasound and now samples of the fluid on his head are being sent away to see whether he needs antibiotics, or an operation. So that is great news and someone somewhere will one day hopefully be able to adopt this wonderful, playful pup and he will be forever cherished. The bad news though is that he will still have a vet bill that has cost us at least £3000!

Today we had an emergency call to take in a dog and if we had not taken this sweet dog she was to be put to sleep. When Shadow arrived, we were all completely taken aback. All her ribs poked through her hide as well as her hip bones and back bone. She is an 8-year-old Weimaraner, still trusting and loving man, even though a human had let her get like this. We are doing all we can for Shadow but she truly did take my breath away.

It's important to me that the staff are happy because if they're happy in turn my dogs are happy. You might ask yourself what makes the staff happy and you'll be amazed to hear what it is. It could be something as simple as the fact they can find a dustpan and brush, a pair of scissors or a thermometer as all of these things seem to have their own legs and walk off and disappear when you need them!  Oh and especially a microchip reader along with so many other things but usually it’s because a puppy that hasn't had a good tummy has had the perfect poo and then we all jump around and are so happy!

This world of rescue is a funny seesaw of a job with plenty of highs and plenty of lows and so I try hard for the dogs and staff to get the balance just right which is not easy.  However the staff, volunteers and my God all help me and of course knowing this place is magical keeps me going!!!!



03-05-24 NEWS OF THE WEEK

Week one million and one of 2024.Yes, I know it’s not but it really feels like it is. It’s been a super busy worrying week. I am writing this on the boat yet again (the only cruise I know!) on the way to Ireland. I was not going to go this week, but heard of some dogs being PTS, so I came.

Saturday nights are my special night (supposedly). Once I finish work, I try not to work all evening. This Saturday Bill and I agreed to watch a film. I was really looking forward to this but then I wasn’t. A phone call changed everything. A very upset lady called who was desperate for somewhere to take her beloved dog at that very moment at night. It took her well over an hour to find us. As I walked out of the house I could hear her sobbing uncontrollably. She was having to leave the area, her beloved dog, her life, immediately. Her dog, a wonderful black lab watched her intensely, wagging trying to get her attention. She signed her over and I took the dog to kennels, turned on her heater and rushed back to make sure the lady was ok to drive. After a while she left and I went back to see the dog. She had long spaghetti like drools hanging off her lips. She sat at the kennel door worrying. I gave her a pig’s ear and stroke but she was so upset. I went up to see Bill (now in bed), then went down to see the dog again. The sight was the same, so I went in and lay on her duvet, and she lay beside me until about 2am when I snuck away. In the early hours I took her out and played with her. My staff got word of her story and all morning staff visited her, walked with her and comforted her until she was a wagging happy girl enjoying life again. The staff decided to do a special video to find her a home. Now she’s booked in with our vet schedule to be spayed on Tuesday.

Up here in Wales life is very hard for many, the cost of living is high, the amount of government help low. It’s almost impossible to get a dentist unless you go private. If you have a problem and need surgery the waiting list is years. The nurses are just paid enough and work very long shifts, dogs lose their homes each day just because people lose their homes, jobs, partners, etc. It’s MISERABLE. Especially for the dog who has no idea why his family is gone. There are so many reasons dogs are losing their homes but these dogs are the saddest ones to be in kennels by far as they have known the good life. My staff are incredible, the compassion they have, the devotion they show, I am so so lucky to be surrounded by them.

Last week, Joyce picked up Dot - a frenchie from our agent in Ireland (she was rescued there along with her friend, who the vet could not save). Dot had an ulcer that had burst in her eye, her other eye had severe eye pressure problems. Bill, bless him, went out at night to a chemist open late and got a special prescription of eye drops to try and help her. By Monday we will know if these are helping, if not she will need not only one eye out (the ruptured eye), but also the high blood pressure eye. The plan is for a vet to take her eye pressure, if its gone up we rush her to a specialist. If the pressure keeps going down we continue using the drops. I have seen many many ex-breeding dogs that lose both eyes. They go into a complete melt down, deep depression, sit miserable for weeks. This is very hard for them and desperate for those who love them, like me. I so hope I can report something happy later this week, but I think it’s in God’s hands as we are doing all we can.

Well, its late now, I must try to sleep so I am strong to get around to all I need to pick up from tomorrow. Its been a long long drive up here and the boat was late in, I am exhausted and yes worrying about tomorrow.

Next day, up early thinking of Dot, life cannot be that mean to a little ex-breeder who has never seen the beach, the sea, riverbanks and meadows. I say out loud as I drive the van with only dogs in cages to witness “please God, let Dot keep at least one eye”. The vets to arrive at 9am, so I pull over to call. I can hardly contain myself. Great, amazing, fantastic news, her eye pressure has decreased a little! We are not out of the woods yet but we are heading in the right direction. I am excited, though have a migraine starting.

Now, nearly 4pm, watering 30 plus dogs, only 3 vaguely walk on leads so not able to exercise all the dogs in case they get spooked and I lose them here. It’s been a very long day but at last it’s stopped raining. I have had a breeder call to pick up dogs near home, so Bill is going out to do that. Still no vets have applied for our job. So much going on in my head, I wish I could find peace for all the dogs and me.

On my way back home, last dog loaded (stinking of fox), I’m about to leave for Belfast port and I got terrible news. Bill has been found collapsed. They had rushed him to hospital. I am now on a different ferry to Scotland that leaves earlier so I can get back to him faster. I will drive through the night and my amazing staff will be there to support me so I can go to the hospital. The dogs on board are all so special and I just know tomorrow will be the start of an amazing new start for them all.

I come home, dump the van and dogs with any extra instructions and fly to the hospital broken. I get back from the hospital to find staff all respectfully leaving me alone. The place was buzzing, dogs bathed, having vet health checks and everyone working so hard. Even the stinky collie (now called Lucy) I picked up was smelling better. Joyce had picked up the dogs for us too that Bill wasn’t able to and Dot’s eye pressure remains better, she has an appointment on Friday to see the specialist.
It’s been a tough week, but Bill and the dogs are all alive, the rescue’s still running, dogs lives are being saved. We need a vet and to win the lottery but lives are being saved every day, so I have a lot to thank God for.


 



29-04-24 INTRODUCING RAINBOWS END

At last, there is a glimpse of spring, and I promise you that’s not a second too early. The weather has made my job even harder this year, and everyone had started to feel low. My staff have constantly suffered from colds, flus, bad stomach bugs and so much more. Of our 63 staff, we are truly lucky if at least 3 are not away sick at any one time. It's miserable for them, and for me. For them as they cannot be with the dogs that they are all so passionate about and me because even if I dream of a day off, I never seem to get it.

The week started very badly, with the sweetest little puppy fitting. Despite all we did, we could not get the pup to come around and just before we were going to put the little guy to sleep, he died. The pain of losing him was intense. A vet told me that she too had raised pups to 7 weeks once, and then lost one and never found out why. We both suspected this pup had a liver shunt, something that often does not show till a pup is weaned, and is often sadly inoperable. Things like this happen and usually I have taken full responsibility for the pup so have taken hours nursing them, getting up in the night and praying. I leave Bill and the dogs asleep and creep with dread to the surgery, where I will check on pups or adults that need nightly monitoring, praying they have not died without me. If they have to die, I at least want to be there to say to them that we love them and care. It's so very hard.

This job is much more than the obvious. Many Tears was my dream, and as I got older, sadder and tired, I also put together a bucket list. The more I have learnt, seen, and understood, the more responsible I feel. Every day, hour and minute are precious to us all, but for the dogs we have rescued, it’s even more precious. Their lives are so much shorter than ours, and so many who arrive here have had their lives tainted with bad experiences, or no stimulation at all.

The last BIG project on my list is now completed, and though there is the ongoing worry of running costs for the rescue, needing new vans, the hiring scheduling, and having time to breathe, my last big push for this to happen is done. This is something that some would say was not needed, but I think it is VERY much needed. My bucket list of 20 years is a play enrichment area for the dogs, horses, ponies, and people who spend their time here both voluntarily or paid, and of course for the dogs who are in kennels through no fault of their own. As every penny here is valuable and I make sure it's never spent on frivolous things, I had to plan how to do this.

First, I wrote many letters to companies, celebrities and anyone who I thought would be able to help. I asked for a contribution to making the area and explained why. Though thousands throughout the UK have built sand schools for their equines with no planning permission, I wanted to be sure to get this right. When my friend Sue died, she left me money for the dogs, ponies and especially for the donkey's enjoyment. With this, I was able to buy land. Some of the suitable land was only overlooked by a place that made metal trailers and buildings, and had no planning for anyone else to go there, so I thought this would be a good place. It was easy for wheelchair access and easy for us to use as it was so close. The plans were submitted via a professional who charged us as a charity £2000!

The plans had gone through, but when Bill was marking the area out, he saw that the architect had mistakenly drawn the plans up in feet not metres. The architect was super embarrassed and said he would not charge to submit it again!! Sadly, the council made us pay again. Then a neighbour, who did not like the view from his workplace, went to lots of other neighbours and asked them to sign to block this. Some of these people lived half a mile away! I was so sad, not just for the animals, the staff, the volunteers and the groups who come to enjoy and help, but for how sad, mean and unkind humans can be.

Eventually, we got the planning permission and the sand area and fencing were paid for. However, the equipment to explore, play, climb on and enjoy needed a lot of imagination. Then, it was time to put my imagination on paper, source the materials and build, paint, and install. I wanted the equines to learn to trust us, face their fears and enjoy the space. I wanted the dogs to have free spirits and be able to run, jump, climb, chase each other and enjoy.

I started to appeal for scrap, tyres, plastic tarps, off cuts of artificial grass, packing materials, old spoons, old pallets and more. I drew up my plans and with the help of the staff, the equipment and toys were made! Some grew as they were made owing to the size of some of the tyres. Each piece took many hours, a mass of imagination and lots of dedication. Mike, Simon, Bob and myself worked so hard to achieve this, while staff would pop in and out of the barn to see the progress. Now it's finished and I cannot explain what it looks like so instead here are a series of pictures to give you a clue.

It is the only enrichment area in the World like this, as every piece is custom made from my dreams and recycled. I called this enrichment area “Rainbows End" and I hope it will be like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow for many. The beagle that stands at the gate is to remember all the beagles that die needlessly for vivisection. The huge horse is to remember all of the horses who died in wars.

Now a little about my staff. Of course, they are not really my staff, as they don’t really work for me but instead work for the dogs and horses that we all love so very much. There are 63 staff members and all are special, all with a deep love of animals. We all recognise the mental pain the dogs go through, like this week when someone died and sadly left his dog behind. His son lived next door and took the dog in, but she was SO distraught and all she wanted was to go back to her home next door and to her dad, but she could not. Her pain was immense and so the son made the decision to bring her to us. It just so happens that we have an amazing lady called Kay, who cleans our vet surgery and lifts all our spirits, and she has two springers. So I called her and asked if she would foster this lovely old springer who was pining so hard. She immediately came to collect her and all is going very well.

At the end of the day, if a dog is in a kennel alone and sad, the staff are asked if anyone can help, and SO many do and will step in and welcome the dog into their homes, it's amazing. But sometimes it’s the staff who need that extra love, help and a hug and this week it’s Toni. She is a very popular staff member who loves the dogs, people and life. Very sadly her Canadian dad is very unwell. In Canada, the health services are poor with long waiting lists, and without treatment very soon Toni's dad will die. She is proud with a wonderful heart, so I am hoping that you all may spare a pound or two and donate to Toni's Go Fund Me page. Toni's dad is now in Texas, where he only has a tiny window of time to find the funds for treatment. 

I know this is not a normal request, as we are a dog rescue primarily and not a human one, but this place wouldn't exist if it was not for the humans who support it to grow and to become a place of dreams.

Lastly, thank you for your support each week. It means a lot. EVERY single week there is at least one dog that must go to a specialist. This week it is a little Frenchie who has a spinal problem. She is having X-rays and then will most likely need to be referred to a specialist. We never know what dogs we are picking up or what problems financially and emotionally we will face, and how and if we will be able to help these dogs. It is because of you all we have the chance to keep helping them. THANK YOU!

 



23-04-24 ANOTHER WEEK OF MY DIARY

I would first like to say I am sorry if I offend anyone with my diary for the week. These are my thoughts, pains, and elations. We all have opinions and mine are based on what I know, the vets I have worked with and the dogs I have met.

I fight for the dogs as they live in my world, and they often have no voice. To me, a dog is superior to humans.
If you take the percentage of humans who have committed terrible crimes, to the percentage of dogs who have, there is no competition.
If you take the percentage of humans who are loyal and honest, to the percentage of dogs who are, there is no competition.

Yes, humans can invent, build and get rich but at what cost to others? Trust, loyalty, and love outweigh human assets. But this is just my opinion, and that’s why, to me, a dog is far superior to humans. So again, for last week's entry and the person who was so sad about what I wrote, I would never try to hurt anyone. Those words are just my opinions at the time, no one elses.  For those dogs lost last week I engraved 3 leaves and hung them in our remembrance tree, all never to be forgotten!

The day after the terrible day of last week, still feeling low and full of cold, I walked by “Yuma”, and he made me smile...

I will try to explain.
Over 25 years ago on a sponsored lonely 3,500-mile horseback ride in Arizona, I made the decision to open “Many Tears”. It was a good 5 years later I did this, but I knew it would happen. After the ride and when just married to Bill, my cowboy/businessman of my dreams, he took me on a road trip.
To impress me, he booked what he thought was a special hotel along the way, it was in Yuma and in the middle of nowhere.  The hotel turned out to be a real dive with cockroaches running on the floor. It was  certainly very memorable!

On the trip home, we stopped at a roadside service for fuel. Beside the pumps were hundreds of plaster statues of dogs, lizards, donkeys, just about anything you could imagine.
I wandered about until I came to a pile of rejects, one of which was a 2-foot plaster dog. Some of hisforehead, back and rump broke off and missing. I wandered into the shop where Bill was paying for the fuel and asked about the dog on the scrap heap.
They looked at me with a knowing expression (I’m sure they were thinking “Yes, the English are mad”) and told me 1 dollar was his cost. I picked him up and told Bill I was going to mend him as I had a big job for him (and at that point I think Bill had thought “Yes, English people are nuts).

Bill’s dad had one of those workshops every man envies. Every tool, clean and in its place, drawers of extras, glues, nuts, screws, sheets of fibre glass, resin, the lot. I asked if I could use it, and on the go ahead set about mending “Yuma”.

Once satisfied, I painted him, put a slot in his neck for funds, and proudly showed him to Bill, his dad, and family. His dad said I was mad, shipping him home would cost a packet. And years later it cost $40 to send to the UK.
The reason I smiled that day on passing him, was because a staff member threw their coat over him, and it brought back memories. This plaster dog who no one at the rescue knows his name or history other than Bill and I, he has raised well over £10,000 over the years. (From scrap heap to that!)

So that smile on my face set me up for a days success.

xxxx
My remaining 3 tiny pups seem to be on the mend and the larger oneswere going from strength to strength, they started playing, snuggling, crying when I left, being aware of my love, and craving my comfort.
The staff, through hard work and belief, homed a long-term staying dog called Hazel, a Pug x Boxer, and to top it all off, a big donation of raw food came in. What was there not to smile about?

Once or twice a month, I travel to pick up dogs in either North or South Ireland. This takes a huge amount of planning, organising, and of course money. The planning to making this trip go without any hiccups is so huge. I always get a 3-day migraine on the buildup to going, I take pills, do massages on my head, pressure points to stop this from happening, but it doesn’t, its just my way of life. Ive had to get used to it for many years. I dont say much to anyone anymore, as its so boring for people to hear, just try to grin and bear it, and work through it, so I have one today, yes, 3 days before I leave.

I used to go with my dogs as company, but now with different travel laws in Ireland I cannot take anyone, so for company I have a talking book. I’m grateful I have the privilege of collecting these dogs to find new homes, but sad I have to put them into crates, and take them all that way to start their journey to happiness.

Wonderful supporters cut up duvets, and I make each dogs crate comfy and inviting, I drip lavender oil on their beds to relax them, good food and sausages (thank you to Stenaline who give them to me for breakfast + extras, but as a vegan I save them for the dogs) I try to make the journey as easy as possible, but as I drive through the Many Tears gates I thank God for getting me home safely.

Sunday is a very early start for me, in fact 3:30am, as I have pups to feed, 2 tiny new borns to tube feed as mum hasn't got a lot of milk, then all the sections that I am assigned to do in the morning and feed.

Next, all the paperwork for the foster van to check, 6am staff and Joyce who drives, comes in. The dogs get microchip scanned, checked, and a wooly jumper so they aren't cold in the van. This Sunday 24 lucky babies will go to foster homes where they will be loved, cherished, and helped until their forever homes can be found. However special we try to make it in kennels for the dogs, nothing can compare to a home.

Sunday is also decision day for me, I count those who have gone to foster, count those who have been adopted, and look at the number of dogs coming in on the Irish run, and I look through a huge amount calls, begging for help. Some, we had asked to only call if it was at the end of their lives, because no one else can take them. Many this week are because they cannot afford veterinary treatment and have been advised to put their dog to sleep if they do not want to or cannot pay. Some, because people are moving, others, relationship break ups, deaths, and even a dog if it's growing too big for the home! I won’t write my thoughts on that.....anyway, this is not a nice job playing God, in the past I call back to make sure they have found a place because I have not heard from them, only to be told “we had to put him to sleep because we were moving” they had never made the second call to say it was an emergency.

To me, dogs are so much better than humans who can treat them as throw away commodities. A dog never throws away his loyalty to a human, now this may make me sound so cynical, I meet some amazing humans and admire them greatly, so please don't think I hate people, it's just on the whole, I love dogs more. So today I have to try to help all I can who no other rescue or individual could help and it's a really big weight on my shoulders, of course all week we have taken in the desperate, the no hopers, and of course the ex-breeders, but now it's the list that needs to be checked, as for me, they should never be never out of sight out of mind, if I slip up and don't follow up some get put to sleep, but others will suffer.

That brings me to Dupree and all those that came with her, a good 5 months previously I had a call from a breeder a long way away, wanting him and his friend's bulldog types to be picked up. I talked at length to him and said to call someone I knew nearer to him who ran a great rescue, but to call me if they couldn't help. He didn't call me. And neither did I check with my friend or him.

It was a human slip up, and one I cannot forgive myself for, as 5 months later he called again, same dogs, same problem. I was so cross with myself for not picking them up the first time, we were pretty full, I still sent the van out to collect them. I wish I had gone myself, but I could not, and neither could my usual driver, so we sent a new driver.

When the dogs arrived home it was clear that they some were Frenchie's, but others were British Bulldog mixed with Frenchie's to get the appearance of mini British Bulldogs. They had mange, breathing problems, and worse. So far, their vets' bills exceed £10,000, and one died a week after having an emergency surgery.

These poor bull breeds of dogs that have very flat noses suffer beyond belief, next time you see one on a walk, stop and look at its nostrils. Are they big and round? Or are they slits? Now, pinch your nostrils, not completely shut, but nearly, now breathe, now run about a bit, by this time I expect your mouth is open, but what if the inside of your mouth was so fleshy, and your airways so small, that the intake of air was a true problem? Now imagine this every day, all your life, until you possibly die gasping!!

Now tell me you still want these breeders to breed these poor suffering dogs, and hey, what's the Kennel Club, or the major animal welfare authorities, or the council, or the public doing about it.
We had to do nasal wedges to open the dogs' airways so they could breathe, one dog has a collapsed trachea, all underweight, and had mange.

One very special girl Dupree, was sick every time she was fed, we tried feeding her small feeds, liquid feeds, so many variations, but she was still being sick, we had her x-rayed to see if she had a deformity like megaoesophagus and found she did, but it was a very serious type, as the problem was before her heart, not after.
Our vet felt it kindest to put her to sleep, but I saw her in between being sick and she was happy, lively, and loving, so I disagreed and sent her to a specialist for an MRI, this did not give us any answers, and they could not see any operation that could help her, but told us about some drugs we could try. Dan and Lily, two employees offered to take her to their home, and they, and the drugs have worked miracles.

She was spayed this week, and is going from strength to strength, and now just needs a home with a little bit of time to feed her the correct way, and a few times a day.  So, though I messed up, and did not pick these guys up sooner, we have managed to make their lives a lot happier, and though I went against the vet's advice, Dupree is alive, very happy, and hoping for a forever home, and that is yet another thing to smile about. 

And now I’m writing my final part for my weeks entry and I’m on a ferry feeling flustered and worried, the crossing is rough, and expected to get worse.  When I left the rescue I had to let Bill go alone to a very isolated farm to pick up a lot of dogs and puppies, it's a very hard location to find, and you literally have to drive through fields, farm yards, and around the side of a mountain, I felt so sad he had to go alone, as I know how hard it is to find the place, but I had to catch that ferry.

I will get into Ireland, drive nearly 4 hours, sleep, then start driving to my first pickup. By starting early I can stop lots to change beds, water and feed, believe me, it will be a very long day.  The whole trip turned out to be a real adventure, even the ferry crossing was a real eye opener. On board there was a clan (maybe that's the wrong word) of well over 30 men, around half I suspect were inebriated, and loud, there was also about 40 old age pensioners who were on a coach trip. When it was time to disembark we line up by the door to the stairs, and the sweet very old age pensioners were standing with sticks etc. waiting. However, a man from the large group literally pushed us out of the way and told all his clan to come too, and then, at the top of his voice, he announced “We do what we want, take what we need, and go where we please” and they did, despite the old age pensioners squished up against the wall like sardines.

When in my van waiting to get off the ferry, the men were in their cars smoking, and flicking the lit cigarettes onto the deck, under the cars that stood there possibly dripping oil!
It's like everything, some can spoil it for others, not all men are like that, but these ones will make others feel like they are.

Later in the same trip, the police were pulling cars, lorries, and vans on the motorway. Everyone was interviewed and breathalyzed, something that I never had done in my whole life. However, the police were charming, kind and helpful, but best of all, hugely compassionate towards the dogs and wanted to meet them and felt such sadness for them all. It was a very positive experience even though I've never been breathalyzed before. And yes, I was clear!

Well my long blog is nearly ended, my heart is not heavy, even though between Joyce and I, we brought back over 80 dogs, instead of being sad, I feel privileged to be in a position to help dogs, some have miserable stories like the JRT’s that escaped when a farm was targeted and raided, stealing all the dogs, causing the farmer to lose his mind, shoot his cows, and take his own life. The 2 Jack Russels were found later waiting at the farm waiting for their dinner.
Or there is the blind Pointer who wasn't wanted as she wouldn't work, or the Husky with the huge tumor on her side.

So many stories, now safe because of this place and your support. This rescue cost a lot 80 dogs' passports, which was £5000 +, and then the ferry, and the vans wear and tear and fuel (and on top of that we need to replace this van which will cost £60,000 with it all fitted out) and all of this is not possible without you all. So, thank you for your support, and reading my week.
Sylvia

 



11-04-24 A WEEK IN MY LIFE

Another week has passed - one with a whole lot of drama attached to it and also a week that proves our name “Many Tears” is so apt.

Days have flown by and exhaustion has settled into some sort of flu like symptoms, which is convenient, as my nose & eyes are streaming. My eyes are filled partially with cold symptoms but also a lot with tears, sadness and despair.
The weather has done nothing to lift my spirits with rain and winds that brought down many trees around these parts. The amount of calls about homeless people with homeless dogs has increased tenfold. We had a very sad, overweight Collie brought in a few weeks ago called Lang. His owner had died and a relative did not want him so was considering putting him to sleep. He came here in the nick of time but sadly poor Lang needs to be on heart medication and no one seems to want to offer darling Lang a home at all.

This is a typical story; although it comes about in various scenarios… Nella came to us as her owner had died but when the Police found the body they had no idea there was a dog on the property. The next of kin were called, who was in fact a friend, not a relative. She told the Police the deceased had a dog. The Police explained the person had been dead for 3 or 4 days, and now they had to seal the home up. The friend was insistent there was a dog at the property, and searched the house, and then the grounds. At the back of the garden there was a wall 15ft high of brambles, and deep in there was a poor terrified dog, who was too scared to go back into the house. The shocked and upset lady called and asked for our help. She explained the dog was in poor condition, but of course we took in the dog who is called Nella and was microchipped. From the chip we found Nella was 13 years old. After shaving off her matts and bathing her, we made her a comfy warm kennel. Two sad, confused and older dogs were then waiting for a forever home.

But it didn’t not stop there… A lady phoned as her dad had unexpectedly passed away and he had adopted one of our dogs - a dear cheerful little Jack Russell Terrier. Nesta is now waiting all over again to find a human soul mate having lost hers. People say I put my own emotions onto dogs thinking they think like me. However as years roll by, I understand dogs far better than I do human, and they do have emotions and feel the pain of loss intensely.
At night I lie in bed and I can hear dogs howling for their loved ones, whether a canine companion they have lived with all their lives or a human. My heart truly breaks for them. Bill says 15 dogs is enough, and I know he’s right however I still wish I could have them all indoors with me.

The days jogged on until yesterday. My days for the last few weeks have started at 4AM, as we did still have 10 pups to hand raise, and there was no point going back to bed. However the pups, or at least some have got really tricky to keep healthy. After being so elated last week that we had solid poo’s, the smaller pups got loose again. The smallest of all went home with a very knowledgeable & caring staff member, Chelsea, but very sadly the pup had a fit and died. That left me with 5 larger pups in one unit and 4 smaller pups in another.

The day had been terrible. It had started with a call from a specialist, they had a dog in that had 6 weeks earlier belonged to us. Felix, a Dacs, came to us from a breeder. As the climate for homing dogs is extremely poor at the moment, Felix stayed with us quite a few weeks, despite the fact he was a really sweet fella. The specialist who called said that Felix had become paralysed and they suspected a slipped disc. He said there was only a 50% chance of him coming right and his new owners wanted decided to put him to sleep. I said we wanted him to have the chance and said we would take him back to our care and pay what was needed, although he was supposedly insured. Sadly, no amount of reasoning or asking the vet to let me speak to the owners and so Felix would be put to sleep. With a very heavy heart, I tried to get on with my day, however it went from bad to worse. Next, a sweet poodle who had a broken leg that was not mending despite surgery with a specialist had to have her leg amputated. She went thought all the surgery, then 5 minutes from the end died under anaesthetic. I was devastated and kissed her soft white face, said goodbye, and had to make a quick exit as I believe crying in front of the staff is not helping them at all.

So I went to the 4 tiny hand raised pups and one was fitting. I gathered her in my arms and cradled her, but she could not regain consciousness, so I had to take her to the vets and put her to sleep. The wonderful vet was still grieving over the poodle and I had to find her a tissue to wipe her eyes as she could not see what she was doing from crying so hard. It was a terrible day.
We are losing our own vet in 2 weeks time, and I am feeling desperate as despite advertisements, agencies, and word of mouth - we still cannot find another. There is a nationwide shortage of vets, and we will be extremely lucky if we can find a compassionate, knowledgeable vet who is fast at neutering, realistic and resourceful to join our team. Our dogs need a vet on site, so this is undoubtedly a crisis. A good vet it getting a salary of around £65K-£75K a year. Unless we can match that, we have no hope.

So if you win the lottery, please remember ‘Many Tears’. Our logo has a meaning of love, compassion, and family. The saying that goes with our name is “The soul can have no rainbows, less the eyes shed some tears” (meaning amongst the sadness, there is the chance of happiness). Please God, I need to see some rainbows. Beagle pups being raised to be butchered in labs are still very on my mind. Beagles being bred for unthinkable experiments with no regards to the Animal Health Act and The 5 Freedoms - even without the thought of what these pups will endure once in the labs. Surely this is not right? Surely Government rules and legislations should apply to all dogs whether in rescue, boarding kennels, breeding kennels, or breeding places that breed only for experiments. It’s appalling and us dog lovers need to be doing something about this and not just cry!
I promise to try to make a happier, less depressing account for the next week but for that I will need God’s help.

Lastly, I want to thank
Jon for sharing the night duties with the pups.
Chelsea - for her care.
Kayla - for all the pups she’s tube fed and saved in the last year.
Dan & Lily -for all the dogs they foster AND all the team for their support!

 



05-04-24 NEWS OF THE WEEK!

Other people’s diaries may well start with memories of wonderful dinners, or walks, or visits to the grandchildren, but not mine. I will start with the thing that made me happy first. Though before I tell you that, I need to tell you how it all came about.

About 6 weeks ago, I picked up a very thin golden doodle (a golden retriever crossed with a poodle) whom we called Yitty. She was tall, lanky, very scared and extremely thin. We knew she could not be spayed with out risk of loss, so we set about fattening her up.
We added supplements and fed her Arden Grange, our really good quality food. We added a good worming plan, regular health checks and weighing too. Having had her 2 weeks Yitty started to bloom, however her back bone still stood out and her ribs showed, but she was getting a good little belly.

Two days later when I watched Yitty being walked I suddenly thought “My gosh” this dog looks pregnant. We took her in the vets and scanned her and saw the skeletons and heart beats of pups (we never abort pups). We prepared ourselves knowing we may need to supplement the pups feeding, if they survived. We had no idea when they were due, or what the dad would be. I called the breeder who gave her up and he said he had had her 5 months. She had been so stressed in kennels so he gave her to us. She had been kennelled with a standard poodle male, but never showed signs of coming into season. He was worried she was so thin and his vet said to call us, as all his other dogs were not thin, and he felt her poor weight was related to her being stressed and parted from her sister when the breeder bought her 5 months previously.

A week passed and Yitty started to nest and then without help had her pups. Amazingly she had 10, she came into milk and fed all the first week. However the pups only chose some of her nipples, as the back ones were inverted. We tried to release milk and pressure from the inverted nipples, but slowly we noticed them getting hot and sore, then hard.
Yitty had mastitis in those, so we bandaged her so the pups did not touch those incredibly sore nipples. But she started standing and not allowing the pups time to feed. Eventually we took her away from her pups and took on the HUGE job of hand raising 10 pups.

We started by tubing them, then bottle feeding, then as all of that was so time consuming, especially at night and they were older now, I made up a gruel with milk and mousse and with a big round dish to explore. When they licked their dirty whiskers and found they liked the taste, they started eating and climbing and skidding in the dishes, so at the end they were wet sticky messes. Next we got 10 tiny dishes and did the same. Feeding took less time, but was still messy.
For a week these little pups had runny motions. Then, and this is the exciting part, we seemed to have cracked it – FIRM POO’s “YES YES YES”! I was so excited, but it was 2 in the morning. I ran upstairs “hey you never guess what Bill, the pups had firm poos!”. Not sure he felt as I did as 10 seconds later he was fast asleep again, but I lay grinning.

It’s still not plain sailing but we are, I hope, on the road to success. 10 little ginger babies getting stronger each day. Yitty, their mummy, though not with them, is recovering well and putting on weight so we can spay and try to get her out of the kennel situation, and hopes of a nights sleep ahead, which is something I am really looking forward to.

Dupree our frenchie who has a form of megaesophagus, went to the specialist. She was thoroughly examined, had blood tests, x-rays and an MRI. Sadly there was nothing that stood out to see how we could help her that little bit more. One of our staff Dan took her home and with Lily, they worked out a special feeding regime; oily food fed the same way a mummy bird feeds her babies, followed by a slimy sardine along with prescribed meds, it seems to be helping her a lot. Though we were advised to put her to sleep the staff and I knew her quality of life was great in between brief regurgitation, and she was, and is, very happy. Of course caring for her takes a good few minutes a few times a day, but Dan reports her love and happiness and zest for life are all well worth it. Maybe you have the time to help her? We are very grateful to Eastcott specialists who were very helpful and all fell in love with her and understood why we were so keen to help her.

I have been following Camp Beagle. They campaign for the poor beagles used for vivisection. It plays heavily on my mind. I feel surely at the very least the public should have the right to know straight away if animals, especially beagles, have been used to test so a product can be manufactured. Just like you can see on a label that a farm is said to be humane or on cigarettes you get this warning that they can kill you – it should have that on products tested on beagles, it should say for instance “THIS BRAND” is tested on beagles.

Anyway I saw a list of brands online that still test on animals and it really made me think. If you feel as I do, and have the time and energy to ask everyone in the UK if they’d like that information printed on each product as law, you could get a petition up. Also, I’d like some people to ask the question are the vans used to move these poor dogs Defra approved with fixed cages and proper ventilation, like we have to have to move dogs. I wish I could do this, but I do not have the time to do this justice. Those who spend days and nights trying to help the beagles find justice, live on the road side outside the gates of Britain’s biggest puppy factory, MBR Acres, Marshall BioResources, the industrial breeder of beagle dogs supplied as a commodity to toxicology testing laboratories and Universities, could be described as the canine equivalent of Auschwitz. These activists are heroes. You may like to tell them this with a small package of chocolate or cakes (they are vegans mainly), just to boost their spirits. If you email hello@thecampbeagle.com and they will advise how you may send donations.

This week we had a call from a breeder on the borders of Scotland (a very long drive) so we are off to pick up those dogs. Our vans do a ridiculous number of miles, the wear and tear takes its toll, so we are trying to plan how to replace the vans that either wont pass their MOT next time, or are simply so high in mileage we worry they are no longer reliable. These vans are very expensive, and very expensive to kit out too, so quite a worry. With the bills per month, we never have 2 years running costs in the bank of which we were advised to do, but I trust in God, and somehow we will sort this worry out.

Lastly, May is coming. In May we will have been running 20 years and saved many many thousands of lives. I have a surprise for the dogs 1 st May and have spent 5 months working on this project along with others who have carefully followed my plans and dreams. I am so looking forward to showing you all this and think about it each day.

Thank you for your support. Without you, the dogs would have no hope.
Sylvia

 



29-03-24 ANOTHER WEEK OF WORRIES

Yet another weeks passed, and yet another week full of worries. Staff have left to study new careers, potential new staff are being interviewed. What I look for is hard working, reliable compassionate animal lovers with plenty of common sense. You would think there would be many wanting the job, but sadly no, they show interest, we talk on the phone. They ask for an interview then don't turn up, don't phone, don't email. Just disregard our calls and disappear!!

I have over 60 paid staff and we need all of them our dogs need extra time love and help and that’s why so many staff are needed.

The week started with a dog urgently needing a specialist as she had a broken leg. A fosterer with a dog having a fit and a lady falling on the walk around looking at the dogs. All of this was called by phone to me while I was in Northern Ireland picking up dogs.

Dear Dupree our Frenchie was due to go to a specialist for an MRI on Tuesday too. All played on my mind as I drove around chasing the clock to get to all the kennels picking up dogs before the ferry left.

Picking up dogs from Southern Ireland requires an agent in S. Ireland vets to do health checks and passports but it is so much easier than Northern Ireland. Southern Irish dogs cost a lot in vet bills, getting passports, but you know exactly what is coming, weeks in advance.

 However, picking up from Norther Ireland is a different story. I am contacted by breeders or by vets or by individuals who have been given my number by other breeders or vets. Breeders supply me with a picture of their licence and address to pick up, and I always ask how many dogs and what they are. Those licensed kennels are inspected regularly, they are not back yard unlicensed breeders. However, from the time I get the info, to the time I pick up the breeders often change their minds, and from picking up the 5 they asked for, there could be 10 more. Anyway, the port demands that no breeders are met on the roadside, which means a considerable amount of driving, watering dogs, cleaning out dogs crates and walking those who will and completing paperwork. From the 55 dogs you think you're bringing home, you may end up with 71, like I did. You get to the port and all your forms and paperwork, licensing and van inspection work must be correct.

Every dog is scanned for a chip, and I am asked to tell them where each dog came from and where I picked it up. This inspection takes over an hour depending on the vet, you can can get written up for any errors or misdemeanours. I did for taking a matted dog.  They said this dog should have been left as not fit to travel as matted. This is hugely stressful as leaving a dog literally makes me so sad I cry and cannot stop.

Anyway while I did all this I was trying to sort out specialist surgeons for broken legs, talk to the fosterer with her fitting dog, and sort out other calls too. I came home exhausted.

Dupree however had a lovely day with amazing vets who gave her an MRI and did many, many tests. The conclusion sadly was not determined as to what is wrong and she needs many more blood tests and a swallow study. So far we have spent over £3,000 and a £1,000 for swallow study.

If an operation to help her can be done we will have to double, or triple this, but Oh Boy is she worth it. She won all the vets, vet nurses and office workers hearts as she had ours and when Dupree came home all the staff greeted her.  One person offered to take her home on his days off and every night, and I cried for joy with her (then felt very embarrassed)

Just before I left for Ireland we had a call from a vets. They were literally about to put a Chihuahua to sleep. They had a catheter in the dogs leg and the liquid ready in the syringe to inject. This was because the little dog had a pup caught in her pelvis whilst she desperately tried to push it out, and the family could not afford the many thousands for a c-section. I told them to bring the dog to us to save her life, and spayed her. Two pups were dead, but the other survived 5 days but very sadly died last night. We feel he was oxygen deprived due to the whelping problems. Mummy Chihuahua went back to her family and they have agreed a payment plan at cost price of what the op cost us. The little dog went literally wild with excitement to see her family. It was great to save a life and make a family so happy.

I have a loving supportive pair of adult children who help me when ever possible. One of them, Leah, is an artist and knew how worried I was about the 10 frenchies and bulldogs that came in with so many problems that have cost so much to mend. Very kindly Leah (whose work you can see on https://www.instagram.com/leah_gardner_arts_/?hl=de) has donated 2 wonderful limited pictures of a British Bulldog and a Frenchie to auction to try and raise funds. So every one is trying to help get through these very expensive times. The auction will be on our sites very soon.
  
Well, that's my week, I am sleep deprived but happy we have had some successful stories and many happy dogs whose lives have been saved because of people like you who have supported us.

And as for that matted dog? Just look at the difference now! How handsome is he underneath all those knots and tangles! I am so glad I did not leave him behind.

Please help to care for these dogs, it is only with your continued support that we are able to keep going. Thank you 

 

 

 



23-03-24 ANOTHER WEEK IN MY LIFE

This week has been far from easy.

Last night I lay in bed sleepless and worrying and I thought of the prayer “God grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” ... it's a very hard quote to live by.

The Bulldogs and Frenchies are still causing big concern, not all, but the ones that are make up for all.

 
My first is Dupree. She’s a small grey beaten up lady, ears in poor condition (from fights I expect, though she never fights here, so possibly picked on). She is super cool and would win over even those who are never drawn to this breed. She regurgitates her meals every time, sometimes two or three times over, and is always hungry. She came in very thin, and is still thin. We had a special x- ray done that watched a liquid go down, and this showed she had an unusual lip of megaesophagus. I had already fed her up, fed many different combinations of food, liquid, sticky balls of food, I cooked food, I gave raw food, but nothing worked, so the vets said to put her to sleep. It broke my heart as they did not see her in between – lapping up our love and enjoying life. I felt there may be the slightest chance some referred vets could save her but this would come at a huge cost, in a way it’s like gambling money. Dupree has weighed very heavily on my shoulders all week.

Next a lovely senior dog came in a few weeks ago, so fat the heart was hard to hear over a wheezy chest. Now some weeks later the chest is better, but a high grade heart murmur has been found; an x-ray showed an enlarged heart. Who will want to adopt him? I don’t know. He’s not castrated and gets very excited with other dogs. His owner died and he’s missing him too. It feels not only he has a broken heart, but I have too.

Then Timmy came in, an ex-farm Collie. They had kept all his siblings and parents to work sheep, but Timmy just hid they said. Here it’s clear he has hind leg problems and is in pain, so this must be addressed. I can see the £’s just mounting up.

Then yesterday a Frenchie was being castrated but the vet could not get a tube down him, all because man has bred this poor breed so badly that they literally are born to suffer, and it seems my standards don’t apply to those still breeding and buying these poor messed up dogs. So he now needs to go to a specialist, have a nasal wedge done as well as an x-ray to see why his airway is so tight. The cost will definitely be well over £4000.

This is all in just one week.

Then a tiny pony arrived skinny, covered in lice and with a really big lump on her face. I recognised food going up and up her cheek making the lump bigger - when I freed it up, the relief it gave her was quite clear. I just knew there was a reason this happened. So I called out an emergency horse vet who cranked her mouth open with a machine that looked like something out of the times of torture in the tower of London. The vet found her teeth were so bad that one has grown out and embedded itself in the little ponies cheek causing it to cut her and making eating, though a necessity, never a pleasure. So she ate less and less as the pain grew more and more. The vet was able to improve things but not solve it - it will take a few times of coming to see her over the next six months to sort it out properly.

So this is why I lay in bed remembering that quote.

This week has had a few good positive things though. Staff have had more training and some seem to really want to learn more and increase their skills. A wonderful vet and vet nurse friend came all the way from London to spay for a day which was really kind. Plus it only rained 5 ½ days out of 7.

We also managed to raise most of the funds for the agility equipment, so hopefully by the summer, the dogs and staff will have a chance to learn new fun skills.

We have a foster run tomorrow, so some of these precious dogs will be in a loving home very soon, though others are waiting to come in sadly.

Thank you all for your support, and have a wonderful week with your best four legged friend or friends, and enjoy every minute with them.

If you would like to donate towards the rescue we would be so very grateful for your support - thank you so much.

Sylvia x

 



16-03-24 A WEEK IN MY LIFE

One Week In My Life by Sylvia Van Atta
CEO of Many Tears Animal Rescue

There is never an easy week at Many Tears. Rescue is filled with a lot of heartache but the thing that keeps powering us through is the love and passion we have for saving these dogs’ lives. With every heartache there is always a flip side: meeting the incredible adopters, watching sick dogs get better, seeing updates of past dogs living incredible lives... the positives are what keeps me going. This week, however, has been difficult for another reason, and to be truthful, the past few weeks have been the same. After falling off a new horse we had in recently, I have been limping around and although I should rest, the rescue comes first.
After some weeks of trying my best to heal myself while also working around the clock, my purple-swelling knee has meant that ultimately, I have been feeling useless and the need for an operation I had to have because of the fall only proved it to be the case. It’s been miserable not being able to be as hands on as I usually am, and it’s meant that I’ve had the chance to look at the rescue from a different perspective.
By no means has this meant that I’ve been able to rest, in fact, quite the opposite. I still had a job to do and for this week I thought I would share my days with you, our supporters, in the hope of getting to know me and my role a little better and what the world of rescue is like. 

MONDAY
At first I was full of enthusiasm as behind the scenes I’ve been working on a massive project that is close to my heart and is almost coming to the point of being unveiled! It’s somewhat of a dream of mine, and seeing it come together brings me nothing but joy. I told myself that enough was enough for my self pity and today was the day I was going to limp faster, complain less and focus on doing something I loved.
But one thing to know about my role is that no two days are the same and you can never tell what the day will bring.
Today I had to halt my project entirely and focus on those that needed my help. The day began, instead, with a video from a staff member that is currently fostering a sweet old girl who was in clear distress and had to see a vet as soon as possible.
The problem was that we didn’t have one on site that day, so instead we had to find an emergency vet to take her to. We quickly found out that she was having mini-seizures and luckily managed to get the right medication she needed to relax her and get her back on track. She is doing well, though it’s always sad seeing dogs in their older years displaced and still without their forever home.  

My next worry came from a lovely Collie that came into us pregnant, but had no historysurrounding her. She was full of milk, uncomfortable and had a belly full of pups but wasn’t pushing. I wasn’t sure what to do. She seemed like she was in such distress that it was causing me to worry about her. I called another emergency vet, who was also worried about her symptoms, and suggested we do an emergency c-section. As we didn’t know how far along into her pregnancy she really was, the idea of performing a c-section was a difficult decision to make. There was a chance of losing both the mum and the pups, but if left too long, the same could’ve also happened. I decided to go ahead with it and prayed everything would be okay.
Thankfully, the vet came to our rescue and so did a team of staff, and with all hands on deck, the beautiful Collie had 8 pups who are all so gorgeous and wonderful, but will inevitably mean 7 weeks of sleepless nights to make sure they’re still thriving after staff hours.
 
But the day wasn’t done there. Next was the news of a Chow that came into us last week who alsohad to go to an emergency vet. That’s three trips in just one day!
I was devastated when I first met her a few days before. To look at her was like looking at every dog that had ever been treated poorly in the past and my heart ached for her. She was in such a sorry state.
Her eyes were so gunky that she couldn’t see from her double entropion, and she had a bad case of mange that had caused her to go completely bald. The fur she did still have around her head was matted so much that all our volunteer groomer could do was shave her off entirely. Yet when I met her, she buried her head into my hands and begged me to give her love. That was all she had wanted and the instant trust that she was willing to put into me broke my heart. It was clear from the beginning she wasn’t very well but after an examination, the vet found out that she had a terrible pyometra. He was shocked at the sight and said he’s never seen anything like it. She had extensive surgery to fix this and got spayed at the same time, and luckily seemed to be recovering well, at home with a staff member. This was just one single day in my life, and although it had been stressful, it was lovely to see that everything worked out and all the dogs I was so worried about were doing well. I then thought, ‘tomorrow can only get better’, but how naive I was!

TUESDAY
Tuesday came and I didn’t get a chance to work on my project further, instead there seemed to be one problem after another. We had a dog brought in to us that had been with their deceased owner for a little while. He was very old, skinny and in a bad state both mentally and physically. The body of his owner was thankfully found by the police, but who knows that the dog had suffered in experiencing this loss. I wish I could say this is rare for us, but we often have to help guide a dog through loss whether it’s because their person has passed, no longer wanted them or have come from a similarly sad situation. It’s painful for us all, especially when you can hear the cries of a dog that just wants its person back, but it wasn’t as bad as what the poor dog was going through. All we could do for the dog was make him feel safe, loved and well-fed. He quickly went into foster care with a staff member, and I just pray that his twilight years won’t be completely overshadowed by the loss of the person that cared for him until his old age.  

WEDNESDAY
On the same day the Chow arrived to us, we also had nearly twenty Frenchies,Bulldogs and mixes brought into the rescue. They were being assessed in our care and by today it was clear that they were all showing respiratory problems, and suspected kennel cough, which meant they all had to move into isolation. In cases like this it is vital that the staff scrub and disinfect everything, and it took a lot of people to make sure there could be no instances of cross-contamination. Beyond that, nearly all the new arrivals needed nasal wedges, which is an expensive operation just for one, nevermind nearly 20! It’s going to cost thousands, but at this moment, they’re unable to breathe and have such a poor quality of life. We are fortunate to be able to help them, so when it's time for them to get spayed/castrated, they will also be getting this vital surgery to ensure a better quality of life.
I personally believe it’s so so wrong that humankind has bred dogs to suffer purposefully, but it happens all the time, so if I can help those that come into our care to thrive a little more, then there’s no amount of money that deems their little souls not worth it. Still no time to work on that project and now the fear of money was creeping up on me. ‘Maybe tomorrow’, I thought, but with it being this far into the week, I was becoming less hopeful.  

THURSDAY
Thursday consisted of another day of problem-solving, and sometimes life can feel like it’s full of nothing but negativity. The Frenchies andd Bulldogs were still not well, but on this morning, one of the Frenchie’s began to regurgitate food. It’s a difficult job to try and figure out the reason why - is it because they ate too quickly? Is their throat sore? Do they have some kind of problem with that particular food? Is there something more sinister going on? It’s hard to be sure but with them being ill-health to begin with, I found myself worrying and worrying and worrying. Again, and for maybe the fourth time just this week, we had to make a trip to the vets as I thought that maybe she had a megaesophagus, but only the x-rays could tell and all we could do was wait. I had no choice but to push my project to the side, but realised how lucky I was to have some others giving me a helping hand with it, otherwise it could never get done!  

FRIDAY
I will be honest, by Friday I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. I still had limitedmobility, and I had spent the entire working week being worried sick over dogs and trying to solve their issues. By today I was completely overwhelmed by the paperwork I had mounting up and felt like I was getting too far behind to recover. I had been up every couple of hours to check on the new pups, and began to feel like there just wasn’t enough hours in the day. But today wasn’t the day to focus on the negatives, instead all of my own problems became secondary as the start of my day consisted of getting those x-rays back. Unfortunately, they gave us no answers.The x-rays were very strange and no vet was too sure what was going on, so I had to find a specialist that could give us more insight. Once finding the specialist and going through the Frenchie’s x-rays again, I was told that she could’ve been born with a deformity and to scope her to check. Our only problem being... we didn’t have one!So my day became filled again with calling around vets and finally managing to book her in for this upcoming Monday.
While this was going on, we also had a dog come into us who was originally from the rescue and had been adopted out over a year ago, but after a change of circumstances, found his way back to us. These cases are always so sad, but what’s worse is that he was a longstayer before and it breaks my heart to know that it’ll be the same case again, the only difference is that now he’s experienced everything a home has to offer and it’s all been taken away from him. I worry about this boy and it reminded me of how much I hurt for our longstayers. I always have them at the forefront of my mind in the hopes to get them noticed by the right people, or wondering how to enrich them more, and a lot of the time I try and think about how I would feel if I was stuck in a kennel and what would I need to make sure I wouldn’t go crazy.  

SATURDAY
Saturday came much quicker than expected, and the day consisted of scrambling to catch up with the ever-mounting paperwork. I was tired from the constant nightly checks, the ever-growing worry over the old girl in foster and the dogs that weren’t feeling great, but none of that was anything like the news I was about to receive.
I was contacted by the staff member who was looking after the Chow and hit me with somedevastating news. Yes, she had been doing well. She had slept well since coming back from her operation, ate all her food and seemed like she was on the mend but sadly things took a turn. I was told that she had got up in the morning and did her usual routine, then just passed away right in front of the people caring for her.
It was a huge shock to everyone, she was so special. I thought about when I first met her and how much of an impact she had on me. We think she suffered from an embolism, but don’t know for sure. All I do know is that I feel terrible for her. She had a long life, full of suffering all the way until the end, and all I try to remind myself is that at least she had one good week. It may not seem like much, but at least for that week she was loved more than she had ever known before and in the end, it was apparent that that’s all she ever wanted.  

SUNDAY
As the week was coming to a close, my mind was still racing at a million miles an hour. I was still on night shift and still in a lot of pain, but in rescue you just have to keep on going, because if I don’t then who will? I had to remind myself that I could only tackle one problem at a time, and although my project hadn’t progressed, the dogs currently in the kennels came first. In weeks like this, it’s so important to dwell on the positives, and I decided to use all my sadness to inspire me instead. I had already been thinking about the long-stayers, and with that boy returning back to us, what I could do to make their lives better played on my mind.  
A long-stayers is a term used for our dogs that have a difficult time finding a home. Whether it’s because they’re in need of a specific type of home, have an attitude, they aren’t understood by the average person, or have just gone unnoticed, I constantly fear that they’ll end up in kennels forever and I know in my heart that none of them belong here.
When my new inspiration hit, I got straight to work. I wrote down all of our long stayers and brainstormed what could benefit them. I wanted them to have something that wouldn’t just bide their time here, but something they could take with them to their new home. All the dogs are so vastly different, but when whittling it down, it was clear that nearly all our long-stayers love and need a focus. They are all intelligent, all happy to learn and need that extra enrichment that shorter staying dogs don’t require.
A few weeks ago, and with the help of our lovely dog behaviourist, we put a plan in place for these dogs to ensure they were learning skills that would attract similarly ‘doggy people’.
Since then they’ve been learning about routines and tricks and the dogs have been thriving with their new programme.The intention was that by putting in the groundwork now, it would help set them up better for the future and by doing that, we’ve seen the dogs begin to flourish more than they ever had before. I decided to get in contact with the behaviourist to talk about the long-stayers and how we could make their lives better. I had several ideas and with her help, began to pinpoint exactly what each dogs’ needs were and found the greatest benefit to them would be agility. Learning agility would mean that they’d have a job, they’d get to learn new tricks, they’d be enriched and, by the end, be so tired that they are only thinking of sleep and not of their sad situations. The problem? The equipment for this costs around £5,000.... (WOW!) It seemed like the perfect solution, but that huge figure made it feel out of reach. And that brings me to tonight. I’m sitting here, writing this all out between my night checks and catching up on work. As I reflect on this week, I can’t help but think about those we lost, those we saved, those we tried to but couldn’t and those who I don’t even know exist that are still pining for my help.
Then, I think of the dogs that are here and how I feel we could always do more for them. Then I think of my project, and even though it’s so special for me, the dogs that are currently staying with us come first. As the new week comes in, I find myself thinking more and more about the Chow and the rest of the rescue dogs. They’re in the forefront of my mind, and I want to do something special for them in memory of those that just don’t get the opportunity to have a chance at life.   So that’s been my week. It’s been full of ups and downs but I have to be hopeful that things will be better in the next. My inspiration will carry me through and so will my hopes to better each and every dogs’ lives.
I think agility is the next step for us in the rescue and would help our forgotten souls thrive, so I am asking that if you enjoyed reading about the week I had, and have gotten this far, then please consider making a donation toward the agility equipment.
The benefits of having such things will mean nothing but joy for the dogs and will help a busy-minded, untrained dog to change their ways and perspectives and will help them, sooner rather than later, to find their forever homes.  
Thank you,
Sylvia Van Atta

TO DONATE TOWARDS SYLVIA'S GOAL OF CREATING A PLAY SPACE WITH AGILITY EQUIPMENT PLEASE CLICK BELOW

 



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