Patch

Patch

This is Patch, the latest addition to the family. Patch is a sweet natured, 12 years old, Jack Russell Terrier who lost her previous owner and needed a new home to make the rest of her days as happy as possible. Step forward the Pointons!

Patch was staying at the boarding facility where Tina works as her elderly owner had gone into a hospice as he had dementia. Patch had been there several months, and both Tina and Patch had taken a shine to each other. Lethargic and asleep most of the time, Patch would come alive when Tina was in work. Sadly her owner passed away and Patch’s future looked uncertain. There was about a week in which she had to find a new home before the boarding facility care ended. Thankfully Patch’s care was being covered by the excellent Cinnamon Trust, a charity for people in their last years and their much loved, much needed companion animals.

Given her age and the fact she is completely deaf it was likely that she would have been overlooked and found it hard to get a new home. Members of the old man’s family didn’t want her. One person did take Patch home for a trial but brought her back the next day because Patch caused the woman’s cat to hiss and the cat was not to be upset. Tina and I had discussed getting a second dog as a companion for Bevan. But we had envisaged another sighthound, probably an older female to keep him in check. We were not convinced the timing was right for another sighthound as Bevan was still in training to sort out some of his issues on lead. A rescue greyhound or whippet with issues of their own were probably not the best choices now.

Yet Tina had fallen for Patch and asked if we could at least foster her until she could find a permanent new home. Having met Patch it was hard to say no. So on 6th June we took Patch home for a 24 hour trial, following a walk with Bevan under the watchful eye of our trainer Wendy, ensuring that both dogs would get along. Thankfully Bevan has always been respectful of older female dogs in the park so we expected him to treat her as the alpha dog (as the eldest female is). The way that Bevan accepted Patch into our home and let her share his “territory”, sofa, bed, and us couldn’t have been better. He clearly is very fond of her and protective of her.

Patch and Bevan

Patch and Bevan

So the idea of fostering swiftly changed into one of adopting Patch. We passed the home visit which went perfectly, Patch, Bevan, and Amelia the cat all sitting together on the sofa while the Cinnamon Trust volunteer was there. Patch has had an eventful first few weeks with us. We noticed her teeth were in a shocking state, and her mouth had open sores and gum disease. It was causing her distress and affecting her ability to eat. She had to undergo an operation to remove five teeth, and have the rest cleaned and de-scaled. Once the pain of the operation subsided you could tell she was a lot happier, her appetite returned, and Patch was able to eat crunchy kibble and was no longer limited to wet food. Having got that ailment sorted out we went on a short break to Brixham in Devon where she picked up some sort of bladder infection leading to me visiting the site laundry far more times than anticipated to wash dog beds after night time accidents! So that was another course of antibiotics.

Apart from the discomfort of the infection, Patch seemed to enjoy her holiday, exploring the nearby wood, and playing on several beaches. On one day we ventured into Cornwall and walked along the cliffs at St Agnes, some of the most stunning coastline in Britain. As well as the scenic beauty of the place there are remnants of the old tin mining industry, ghostly engine houses and chimneys built close to the cliffs. We knew that this walk would be too long and involve too much climbing for Patch, so we bought a carry bag for her, and she was in her element sat on a cushion and receiving lots of fuss and compliments from passing walkers.

I don’t know whether it is because Patch lived with a man for most of her life, but she has formed a strong bond and attachment to me. If I leave the house she will stand on the sofa so she can look out of the window to await my return. She loves to curl up next to me wherever I sit, and at bedtime. Patch is such an easy going affectionate dog that so far has got on with all dogs, cats, and humans she has met, it is hard not to fall for her. She is a welcome addition to the family and I hope she enjoys a long happy life with us.

One of my favourite photos of Molly. Typically exploring, typically posing for the camera. RIP precious angel with fur.

One of my favourite photos of Molly. Typically exploring, typically posing for the camera. RIP precious angel with fur.

The 24th June was a painfully sad day for our family. Our beloved Molly cat was so ill Tina and I had to make the heartbreaking decision to have her put to sleep. She was only three years old and the illness came as a huge unexpected shock.

Only noticeably unwell a few days before, we took her to the vets on the Saturday morning, and were advised to admit her to animal hospital that afternoon so she could be put on a drip. Overnight she worsened significantly rather than improved, and the tests suggested her kidneys had failed or her bladder had ruptured. The tests required to ascertain a full diagnosis were unavailable until the following day, and the results would have been the day after. If it was kidney failure the prognosis was very bleak. Molly was in great pain and failing fast. She was swelling up with the fluid retention as she could not pass urine. It was unlikely she would make it until the Tuesday’s results. We felt it better to end her suffering and let her pass away in the arms of her loved ones rather than most likely alone and scared in the hospital.

It was one of the most horrible and saddest moments of my life. Molly was like no other cat I’d ever encountered. We used to say there’ll never be another Moll-Moll and it was so true. Incredibly affectionate, so full of life, demanding of near constant attention, Molly seemed more dog-like than a cat. She was a right character, with her own personality. Not a day went past without her making us laugh at some crazy antics. Sometimes I’d wonder whether she was daft and not quite right, but then other times it seemed more like she knew exactly what she was doing and successfully gaining our attention. When Bevan arrived she was certainly jealous of any fuss he received. Molly liked to get into bed with us, and curl up in her “cave” purring like a motor. Naturally inquisitive she loved sitting in the window watching the world go by, and when she could she loved to hang out in a sunny backyard. When I laid some turf in the front yard Molly decided it would be fun to join in, rolling around in the earth, and coming in absolutely filthy. There are so many happy memories of her and we can draw consolation from the fact she was rescued at 3 months of age from the “kill list” in a Jacksonville animal shelter, and she had three years of a happy life in a very loving home. At the same time we felt robbed. We knew one day we’d have to say goodbye but we never expected it to be so soon.

We brought Molly home curled up in a blanket, looking like she was just asleep. Bevan, who always desperately wanted to be Molly’s friend, was incredibly upset when he saw her. I’m sure he mourned for several days afterwards. Hadley cat, who despite some evidence of affection only ever really tolerated Molly, and gave the same reaction as when they had first met when Molly was a kitten – she hissed. Molly was laid to rest in a favourite sunny spot in the backyard, buried in a whicker basket that had been the cats’ toy box in America. We bought a white dwarf rose bush and a cat garden ornament in her memory.

Tina and I felt raw for several weeks. The house seemed quiet without Molly, the balance didn’t seem right. While outwardly affectionate and demanding of fuss from both of us, Molly had always been a “daddy’s girl” where Hadley always preferred Tina. So I was particularly affected by Molly’s passing. But we had no intention of getting another cat at that point, it seemed disrespectful to Molly’s memory and we were still hurting too much. We missed our Moll-Moll immensely. There was always something to remind us of her and set us off crying again. Plus Hadley actually seemed a lot happier. Maybe a one cat, one dog home was the right mix. Life however throws up surprises, and after the tragic one losing Molly, a more pleasant one occurred.

Amelia on her first day in her new home

Amelia on her first day in her new home

Tina at this stage was still working for MyPetStop and caring for RSPCA animals. She was particularly fond of Mario a beautiful grey rescue cat, although any chance of adoption was out as he could not be rehomed with other cats. One day when I collected her from work Tina took me to the RSPCA apartments to meet Mario. Wandering around I spotted a cute bundle of fluff climbing up the mesh on its apartment door. It was almost at chest level. Like Molly this cat was white but had black and calico splodges and tail. It was like a cross between Molly and Hadley. The kitten was named Imogen by the RSPCA and had been brought in after it had followed another cat home in Bramley. She looked small for her age. She was in with another kitten of a similar age called Miles who was a tearaway, running around having fun while Imogen looked on. I held her in my arms, and on my lap, and against my shoulder and she was so calm and relaxed, purring away. It felt right. I wanted her to be ours. I did wonder a little whether the timing was good, or whether she was just a “rebound cat”, but that feeling subsided when I held her close. We went back several times, and each time that bond felt stronger. At first it seemed like we wouldn’t be able to adopt her as the RSPCA wanted both kittens to go to the same home even thought they weren’t siblings. However the adoption was approved and on 5th August Amelia, as she was now renamed, came home with us.

Bevan meets his new sister cat Mimi

Bevan meets his new sister cat Mimi

Bevan was delighted with his new sister cat. From the start Mimi (as Amelia gets shortened to) was confident around him and happy to play. Bevan is gentle and very protective of her. Mimi likes to provoke him into a chase, hide, then sneak up on him to provoke him again when he gets bored looking. They happily curl up together in Bevan’s bed. Hadley so far is less impressed with the new arrival. Mimi doesn’t seem to be intimidated by Hadley like Molly was, and despite being much smaller puts up a fight. Normally scared stiff of Hadley, Bevan will actually stand up to her if she’s threatening Mimi.

Mimi will never be a replacement for our special Molly that we still miss so much. Yet Mimi is special in her own way and has already captured our hearts. Like Molly, Mimi is very affectionate without demanding attention. She is sweet natured and full of mischief, giving us plenty of smiles and laughter. Mimi loves human company and shares Molly’s tendency to get into bed under the covers with us. Quite early on Mimi decided to perch on my shoulder, and this is now her preferred method of travelling around the house.

Amelia settles in on her first day home

Amelia settles in on her first day home

She is definitely another “daddy’s girl”. Furthermore she is lovely with Bevan and he now has the friend he wanted so much in Molly. Although she does try to steal his dog treats! I never expected to get another cat so soon after Molly passed away, but I feel Mimi was meant to be with us. She has brought balance back to the home, and helped us heal the pain of losing sweet Moll-Moll.

Andy and Bevan 30th November 2012

Andy and Bevan the handsome hound, 30th November 2012

It’s never my intention to go long periods without blogging but I seem prone to doing so! Somehow it was July 2011 when I last posted. One reason was the frustration of having to upgrade to a later version of WordPress because the old one would no longer let me upload photos. Having upgraded it turned out my old K2 “theme” didn’t work, so I rolled back to the previous version and never got round to revisiting it. That was partly due to the second reason where health issues had a knock on effect on most things I was doing.

Anyhow I’m back. The latest version of WordPress is installed, I’ve chosen a bright new theme and modified it to my liking, and I hope to keep up with regular blogs in the future. There’s a lot to catch up on. It has been a busy time my last post, particularly with the Green Party activities. While I may reflect a lttle on the past, I suppose it’s best to keep focused on the present and the future. I hope you like the new look site and enjoy the blog. Cheers.

Bevan looking skyward
On one of their walks this week Tina captured this shot of Bevan looking to the heavens. I like it very much and it is now my desktop wallpaper.

Photobucket

When at the end of June Tina started a job at a boarding facility for animals I didn’t realise that as well as paying customers she’d be looking after dogs in the care of the RSPCA. It was probably inevitable then that she would eventually fall for a rescue dog. We had discussed getting a dog in the past and arrived at the conclusion that with cats and both of us potentially working, it would be unfair to introduce a dog into our family.

However a 7 months old male Whippet-Cross, named Thorn by the RSPCA, captured Tina’s heart. This was a special dog she claimed, a gentle soul perfect for our family. He’d even been taken past cats to gauge his reaction, and passed the test. He was not interested, and a hiss from one angry feline saw him cower behind his handler’s legs. She begged me to let us adopt him.

I was still unconvinced. Tina’s job allows staff to take their animals to work with them for free day care which solved one of the problems, but I was worried about Hadley’s and Molly’s reaction to sharing their house with a dog. However seeing how much it meant to Tina I agree to meet Thorn one evening when I collected her from work. I was smitten. He put on a good show, if anything more pleased to see me than Tina. Clearly affectionate, he did have a calmness about him that I didn’t expect. I agreed to return the following day for an official viewing appointment. We went on a walk together, and as a novice I was petrified, and horrified when given a bag to collect any potential poop. Thankfully it was not needed, and Thorn behaved very well, showing no signs of the issues that sadly often beset a rescue dog.

By this stage my stance was faltering. I was falling for this dog too. I agreed to a 24 hour trial, taking a day off to bring Thorn home to see how he would settle. He did well, and a week ago today we signed his adoption papers and Bevan (as he is now known) became a part of the family. It may have been Tina who wanted this dog, but he seems to prefer me. He follows me around and misses me when I leave the room. Already there is trust and unconditional love. I have enjoyed the time we spend together, walks are not a chore as I feared, but relaxing and pleasurable. I am no longer in fear of the poop scooping bag but proficient in its use! Everywhere Bevan goes he received compliments from dog walkers and passers-by alike. I think we do have a special dog, and in honour of his first week with us here are some photos.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket