Dream Becoming Reality

The last few weeks have been more hectic than normal.

The kennel block has finally come together, we have had some amazing volunteers helping with building, welding and electrics, and as a consequnce we are now housing dogs. So on top of bulding and painting we are now cleaning out, walking, playing with and assessing dogs. Shame there aren’t more hours in the day!

Having the kennels has really helped with the re homing process though, as people are able to come along and meet the dogs, and bring their dogs to play with potential new dogs. This has resulted in 3 dogs being re homed this week, including Lexi one of ourt long term dogs. We were all delighted to see her happy and settled in her forever home at last.

 

On Bank Holiday monday we had our dog show at Wigfield Farm. There was a great turn out, and it was lovely seeing so many of our dogs come along. We also raised £638 – so well done to everyone involved!

 

There have been tears in my house tonight, Nova my current foster dog is going to his new home tomorrow. My 6 yr old daughter has become particularly attached to him. He realy is a wonderful dog. I think my pack will be glad of a rest and I will be taking a short time out of fostering just to let them all settle down again.

All Systems GO!

The world of rescue is always fast moving, and never more so than the last few weeks.

I currently have a gorgeous foster dog in our family, a lovely husly called Nova.
I collected Nova and had him here for 2 nights, we really bonded together. I sent him to another temporary foster, but decided I couldnt bear for him to be in kennels, so back he came! It hasnt been plain sailing introducing him to my other dogs, but I think after nearly 2 weeks we are getting there. People often expect too much when they get a foster dog, and just because your dog loves every dog they meet in the park, it doesn’t mean that they will welscome another dog into their home. Most dogs do eventually settle, but it requires patience, time, a firm hand and an understanding family. Fostering is so worthwhile though, you get to watch the dog develop and grow, you are preparing them for their forever home.

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Last Monday I was having a coffee with a friend when I got a call from a dog warden in Manchester, I could tell that this was no ordinary dog. she explained to me a little of the dogs history, and I could tell that she had a real attachment to him.
Luckily we had a child free foster home to send him to, so I agreed to take him in. Dogs from a pound must always be placed in a child free home, until they are fully assessed. About 10 minutes later the dog warden rang me again, explaining that teh BBC were following her making a documentary, and that the crew had followed the husky’s story and wanted to film what happens next to him. Would it be ok if they filmed me picking him up and taking him to his foster home? I was a nervous wreck but I agreed. I spent a really enjoyable day filming, and I had the opportunity to tell them all about 8 Below, what we had achieved in our first year, and all about our new kennels. The program will be aired in September and I am really looking forward to seeing it.

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We have taken posession of the new kennels, and it has been all hands on deck, cleaning, painting, cutting grass and much more. It has been fantastic seeing so many volunteers helping. Every time I go to kennels I can see it coming together. I will give a more detailed update in my next blog.

We Did It!

his week has seen 8 Below Husky Rescues 1st Birthday, the icing on the cake was achieving charity status.

It has been an eventful year, an emotional roller coaster with many highs and lows. At times I felt that I just couldn’t carry on, I have seen the most awful sights, and heard the most terrible stories. On the eve of our birthday I took time to reflect on the year, and think about all the dogs that I have helped to get to their forever homes. I made a video showing some of the dogs we have helped, you can watch it here http://bit.ly/1eQGSyS

This video features less than half of the dogs helped by 8 Below and it makes you realise just what has been achieved.

We have also acquired 2 blocks of kennels, that need massive refurbishment, so that they will be a safe haven for rescue dogs.

This weekend I am spending time at venues raising awareness of sled dogs, and raising vital funds to enable us to help more dogs.

We are always looking for new homes, and volunteers to help with fundraising, so if you would like to be involved in any way please do get in touch.

I wonder what the next 12 months will hold?

Waggy Walk Frenzy!

We have been brain storming lots of fundraising ideas to make the dream a reality over the last few weeks. My wonderful husband came up with the idea of a walk in a few locations across the country that you pay a small donation to join in.
We chose 4 locations and thought of volunteers in the locations that could help to organise each walk. By the power of social media this idea has exploded, we have been bombarded with requests for even more locations for walks, and people are volunteering to host the walks to help raise much needed funds.
It is wonderful that this is proving to be so popular, but at the moment I am lost under a sea of paperwork.
If you don’t hear from me in a week or two please send in the search parties!

 

If you are interested in attending or organising a walk in your area please let me know

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/waggywalk/

 

Exciting times

The last 6 months in rescue have been the hardest I have ever known. Every rescue is full and cannot take any more dogs. I am contacted daily by people wanting help to re home their dogs. It is heart breaking and frustrating in equal measure. I speak to people who are in real crisis, losing their homes desperately trying to do the best they can for their dog, when a rescue cant help them, the only other option is that their beloved pet is euthanised. The next phone call could be someone re homing their dog for the most fickle of reasons, he has chewed my husbands shoes, he barks when I leave him in the garden for 12 hours, or like one today – I have bought a puppy and he doesn’t like the pup. I have to stay professional with all calls, but sometimes it is hard.

A week ago I got a call from Craig, saying that he had found an “opportunity”, then on my phone appeared pictures of kennels and land and much much more. My heart stopped then and there, I knew that this is what the rescue needed to help more dogs. It was 4 days before I could visit the site, 3 nights of virtually no sleep. I kept waking up with ideas and questions to ask. On Monday morning bright and early I was in Yorkshire waiting to be shown around. It exceeded all my expectations. I knew it was going to be hard work, but I knew we could do it. In my mind I could see it all finished and being used as a safe haven and education center.

So now my head is spinning with fundraising ideas  – If you would like to help in any way please visit http://www.gofundme.com/emergencyboardingfacility

How I came into rescue

My love of all animals started at birth, my mum had quite an array of pets when I was born, she was the one that taught me about love and respect for all animals. As I was growing up all I ever wanted to be was a vet, when I was about 8 years old my mum and dad asked if I would like a baby brother or sister, I thought about it for a while and said yes to a sister, but if there was a chance that it may be a brother could I have a pony instead! I got my first pony called Swizzle! (I’m still an only child)
I spent every waking hour at the farm with Swizzle, while I was there every injured animal or bird was brought to me to look after, my mum was very patient!

After I grew out of Swizzle I got a weekend voluntary job at our local vets, they were fantastic and before I knew it I was assisting with operations and anaesthetics. They even arranged for me to do a holiday placement at Jersey Zoo. During my A levels I became pregnant so never made it to Uni.
Instead I became a nurse, and eventually became a hotel manager. I used this position to fundraise for local animal charities.

In 2001 I met my husband, who is as animal mad as me. We soon adopted a GSD, after 6 months we decided he needed a playmate. Our local rescue was having an open day so we went along. I seen fell in love at first sight, I spent all day fussing him. An older dog with lots of scars on his face and gunshot wounds to his shoulders. We just connected instantly. We asked about adopting him, but they told me that he could never be re homed, and that he would spend the rest of his days at kennels. No amount of pleading would change their mind. We adopted a lurcher, but my heart still belonged to Spritz. I kept visiting him, and in the end the rescue agreed for me to take him on trial. We took him home, it was obvious that he had never been inside a house before, he spent the first few hours cowering behind the sofa. Eventually he came out but if one of us moved he would dash behind the sofa again. He followed me upstairs, but then could not work out how to get down, so he lay down and slid on his tummy.
When I had a baby he adored the baby, and never left his side, when he was toddling they became partners in crime!
We took in a pregnant cat, I was nervous about how he would react, but he looked after the kittens more than the cat.
We only had 2 years with Spritz, but he was very special to all of us. When he became ill and had to be put to sleep, I held him until he passed over rainbow bridge.

Since Spritz many many foster pets have passed through our home, and my children’s lives have been enriched by the experience. We have failed once or twice, and the dogs have stayed with our family.

If you have ever considered fostering a pet please feel free to ask me about it.

Aim of my blog

The aim of my blog is to give people a chance to see behind the scenes of the world of rescue.

I am hoping to update at least weekly but I think it may be when I have had a particularly bad day!
If you have any questions about rescuing a dog, or any other animal for that matter please feel free to contact me.