I remember my tenth birthday, my pink flair cords and likely non matching jumper! I had never had a pet other than a budgie. Here I am, with my handsome man … about to be celebrating our tenth anniversary of Twilight. Ten years of over 300 old or disabled doggies.
I can’t believe it really. We both remember little Nina trotting around the garden perimeter as she had for years, left alone in a garden after her owner died. But she stopped, settled, and taught us that patience, love and her own time were all that was needed. Who would have thought it would become our later life’s passion, one we wish only we had found earlier … and one we know, however tired or difficult it may become, we will do for our always.
I was asked in a recent interview what our plans were. I was aware I couldn’t give an exciting answer, one that would please a paper for a dramatic story. Keep going say I. Ten years in, has anything changed? Well, yes and no really. Yes, because we are all talking about all sorts of rescues more, and through social media more folks can be reached and more rescues made. But for the old … fabulous they are being talked about. Wonderful many write and tell us they feel more confident to take in an oldie in their pack. But less numbers … no. Humans will always die and leave their pudding. Humans will still fear sickness and shy away from helping, and humans will deny their own fear of immortality by running away from the death of a living creature. You might think me the dramatic psychologist, but we see it all the time. We hear it all the time. It might be worded differently, but the outcome is the same.
So many amazing refuges, rescues, rescuers and fundraisers in just our small part of the world and work. Michael and I cannot applaud you all enough.
What else have we learnt? We know we can only care for those that come to us. They may be needing solace, love or mending. We can give them all of that. We do not chase those who have perhaps, misguided or maliciously hurt them, not because we do not care, but we have chosen that our energies are for the dogs benefit and recovery. Others with better skills can follow these deeds. I mention this, as I know we have lost followers who think we should seek the revenge for the unspeaking canine. We cannot do it all. And I have to add … I wonder what those individuals themselves do …
What of foreign dogs? Well, to us a dog is a dog. We are ‘careful’ to take in only a small percentage of overseas dogs, aware we are a French charity, but we also feel we should and can do our bit. And for anyone who has looked into the eyes and felt the soul of a Romanian pudding, you will know an exceptional love.
Disabled? Now what a minefield that has opened up. Learning of organised human sexual abuse in the paraplegic canine world, to the narrow minds of those who believe that only four working legs is ‘normal’. For us, working and learning from a less-able pudding is a privilege and we learn so much. Don’t tell me Dobbie and Nala can’t speak!
But is it normal to share your home with 30 odd canine companions? Who poo and wee, vomit and fart and bark. Take over your every waking hour for cleaning, tending to, seeking and arranging ideas to raise the funds for their needs. Mmmm, well, I guess not, as not many seem to have chosen to do it … in fact … anyone else? But for Man and I, it really has become our norm. Mike commented recently he would feel selfish if we stopped now. We do need breaks now, sleeping as much as anything, but then we miss home and all that entails.
To lift the spirits of a broken dog is being given a gift of life and humanity that is so full of love, I do believe it is our drug. Why wouldn’t you do it, and why wouldn’t you do it for as many as you could? I pause … for the reader to maybe answer this. Not because I want you to feel guilty, we all have our own needs and beliefs as to what is important in our lives. It is, that when we ask ourselves this question, it is the most obvious answer.
We couldn’t do it alone, especially now. Whether you help us physically or with funding support, you keep us going, you give full life to the puddings who come our way. For that we thank you, from us and on behalf of the old and needy canine world. We thank you those of you too who take in the less able, for the gem of life you saved from a premature death.
10 years. Goodness. Mike at 71, me 52 … here’s to the next 10 years!
Thank you for caring like you do and for supporting us.