Our mission is to find loving, kind, forever homes for these unfortunate dogs. We also seek donations to help cover transport costs and other fees that we incur. We constantly collect flea and tick products, toys and treats to give tot he dogs whilst they are waiting.
The dogs with cats debate often turns into a battle worthy of Game of Thrones, but it is something that needs to be discussed. I test ALL the dogs that come into my rescue with cats, and I'm not talking one cat here, I'm talking a lot of cats, however, I know what I'm doing.
Everything I do is based on my experience, AND mistakes along the way, dogs chase cats it is in their nature, so any intro with cats MUST be slow. You have to remember that me testing the dogs is not in a home environment, it is based on temperament testing.
When I rehome a dog, and people ask me if they are good with cats, I often wonder what does that mean? I have dogs they live with cats, 99% of the time they don't even lift their heads when the cats walk past, and that 1% they chase. Yep, they chase a cat they have lived with for months/years. Does that make them bad with cats?
When I test my dogs, it is about body language, how they react, the interaction between the dog and cat. From this I can make an assessment on whether this dog wants to kill a cat, or is likely to live alongside one. However, it still needs work on the adopters part to make sure the transition goes smoothly.
Cats are incredibly territorial, therefore, when you bring a new, stinky dog into their home, they will be pissed off. Even if they currently live with a dog, that is their dog, and a new one, well that's fresh meat to terrorize. Cats hate change, so slow and steady is what is called for, not open the door, throw them in the same room and hope.
So, it comes back to listening, asking advise, not thinking you know best as the adopter. Not throwing the dog back at us within 48 hours because you didn't want to slow intro. Some dogs will gel with your cat quickly, others will hate each other for eternity... thats life!
Over the years there have been several times when people have asked me to make a decision on adoptions, based on their shall we say generous offer of a larger adoption fee. The first time this happened I was honestly shocked, but now when it happens I get angry.
Why do people feel if they can offer more money that makes them more suitable to adopt. The amount you have in your bank account doesn't impress me, the way you conduct yourself as a human being does. My dogs are not items that can be bid on, and I find it incredibly offensive that people think that I can be "persuaded" this way.
People have said to me in the past "take the money, who will know" The thing is I would, I would know that I let a dog go to a home purely because they waved money at me. I am many things, but that is not me, my dogs deserve the best and I always promise them that is what they will get.
A woman stooped to a whole new level yesterday when she offered me a load of furniture, in exchange to pull a dog off a transport going to a new home. The woman is here on the island, giving away furniture, (I have a charity shop, just in case you wondered) So I commented, she then sent me a message through the page, asking if a certain dog was available.
I explained he was booked to go to the UK, which is when the passive aggressive messages started, stating that it is incredibly stressful for dogs to go to the UK and it would be better for him to stay here on the island. I explained that being a bit of an expert on animal transportation, that it really wasn't stressful, and repeated he was going to the UK.
The delightful lady then stated she would give me all the furniture for the charity shop, if I gave her the dog, she asked if I could be "persuaded" When I explained that is not how I ran my charity, and that I was offended that she considered my dog to be no more than something to "buy"
Needless to say the lady then in typical fashion got all defensive, and demanded my charity accounts. Trying to make out that I am doing something wrong, not seeing what she had done, written, or offered was well, disgusting to say the least. So, safe to say I lost the donation, but hey kept my morals, my dignity and continue to run my charity with my head held high.
Dogs are incredibly loyal, and even if their owners are arseholes, it takes them a while to understand this fact. A few weeks ago as I drove down the mountain, I saw a dog sat by the bins. This is common as many people dump their dogs there, no idea why, but its a typical "dumping" spot. She was sat waiting for her owners to return, as often the dogs believe they will be back. I stopped the car, got out treats in hand, but she was newly dumped, full of hope that her owners would be back. She didnt want my help, and showed me she was tough and brave with the barking, and the walking away. I got back in the car, knowing she needed time to realize they weren't coming back.
She stayed near the bins for around a week, it was where she last saw her owners, therefore, she didn't want to go to far just in case she missed when they came back for her. Every time I saw her, I stopped got out, approached, but she was telling me its fine, they will be back soon.
After a week she begun to venture further down the mountain, maybe her owners were waiting for her down there. She looked and looked always returning to the bins. Then the inevitable happened she got hit by a car, with an injured leg, and little food and water, she still was convinced her owners would return.
Yesterday as I drove down I saw her, but she wasn't searching, or running, she was laid on the side of the road. She had given up, you can always tell that face, the realization that her owners weren't coming back. I stopped the car, got out, same ritual, but she didn't move, she laid there looking at me.
I poured the water, got the treats, and she simply lifted her head for me to noose her. Three weeks of running, searching, and hoping were over, she was safe, and now able to have a meal, get the leg checked over, and start her life again. As I put her in the back of the car, she looked at me, as if to say they didn't come back you were right.
We could learn so much from dogs, other than to pee on people we don't like, and to sleep a lot. Dogs are amazing, and some forgive so easily, regardless of what they have been through. I have a dog here at the moment that has every right to hate humans, but he sees them, wags his tail, and greets them like long lost friends.
A few months ago a dog was in all the newspapers here, he was on every TV channel, and of course social media went insane. This dog had been found by the police in a rubbish bin in the city. That's not unusual for this island sadly, but what made this case so different was the state of the dog.
The dog had been tied up so he could not move, defend himself, or run away. He was then repeatedly raped with what is suspected to be a metal pole. He was then beaten so badly with the metal pole that they crushed his skull. After they had finished they threw him in the bin to die.
When he was found everyone thought his chances of survival were slim, he entered the main pound.
I read the article, shuddered, muttered WTF a lot, and moved on with my life. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I was asked to help a dog at the pound that was "special"
At first I had no idea who the dog was, but as they begun to explain the penny dropped. I was looking at the dog in the photos from the news articles, but he certainly didn't look the same. The transformation was amazing, and he was so happy.
Of course I said I would help, when do I ever say no! GI Joe as I have named him due to his amazing fighting spirit is an incredible dog. He is so friendly, so loving, and needs a home to call his own. Whoever is lucky enough to adopt this dog, can learn so much from him!
Another long week, compacted by people attacking me on the internet, has brought me to a crossroads, where I am not sure if this is the route I want to continue on in life. This time of year is always exhausting, and internet trolls don't make it any easier. Too many animals, not enough donations, and exhaustion has caused me to stop and ponder.
Some say I deserve the abuse and others say I am justified in my answers, and the way I react. The honest answer is, I am who I am, and I'm not going to change. However, I don't deserve to be attacked by complete strangers who know nothing about me.
You may not agree with me, or what I say and do, but until you have been here, seen what I do, and understood it all, you have no right to tell me what to do. People claim I have lost donations, support, and that I need to be more fluffy and nice.
When did we become a world where everyone is so easily offended, where people have to jump on a post that has nothing to do with them. I will not be bullied into removing comments and changing who I am, because people think I should. I believe in my charity, and I believe in what I do.
My father once told me, if you reach the crossroads, you must sit, and consider all the reasons in your life to be thankful. So, I sat, and pondered, and realized that life is good, and although the world is full of pain, suffering, and disappointment, there is always something to be thankful for.
I am thankful that I get to make a difference to both animals and people.
I am thankful for my husband, who is my rock, my strength and has never left my side regardless of what crazy path I have dragged him down.
I am thankful for my health, although I am aging, and I cannot do the things I once could, or I have to do them slower, I am alive every morning!
I am thankful for the opportunity to be doing something that I enjoy, and although it is stressful, incredibly demanding, and extremely hard some days, it is also very rewarding
I am thankful for my supporters, and my UK team who have helped to build the Pet Pals Gc family.
I am thankful for the people who live in my phone, and are there when I need them.
All in all I am incredibly lucky, and think this path is a good one to continue on, so for the time being you are all stuck with me. Embrace the journey, laugh at the comments, take everything in your stride, and support my amazing charity.
Fostering is a huge part of what I do, and I have an amazing team in the UK, we are always looking for more like minded people to join the team, however, it is not for everyone. I'm sure some people want to foster for the glory, the look at me, aren't I amazing saving the little doggy.
If this is you, and you want to foster for the pats on the back, and the selfies, then please keep walking. You are there to help my dog on its journey. None of this is about you, it is all about them. I have got that dog so far, and now it needs help to learn the correct skills, and behavior to find a home.
Fostering also means I have spaces in the kennels, meaning that more lives are saved. My foster mums are amazing people, they open their homes, lives, and hearts to my dogs. They love them as if they were their own, but also know they are there for a reason. The foster mum's are simply a stepping stone to a fantastic home, which offers everything they need.
My team would tell you:
Yes, it is sad when the dogs go, and yes there are tears often spilt, but because they love them so much, and are happy to see them find their forever home.
It is deeply emotional and can be mentally draining, but also immensely satisfying.
They do not take lightly the trust that I place in them with my dogs
The dogs journey is celebrated, every step of the way
They do not want thanks or recognition for what they do, as they choose to do this selfless thing
They do not foster because it is easy
Many people do not understand how the foster team can say goodbye when they have seen the dog grow and adjust. However, that is the exact reason why they are there, to help these dogs get adopted. Once that has happened, their job is complete.
As the dog is ready, the foster mums are too, they are ready to let go, to allow the dog the happiness of a family of their own. The place that they have told the dog all about, and have been building up to. Then they are ready to do it all again, with another dog, and another journey.
Welcome to the beautiful island of Gran Canaria where there is 365 days of sunshine, beautiful tropical beaches, friendly locals, and cheap beer. Millions of people flock here every year, spend time in the resorts, soak up too much sun and even more sangria. They go home, in awe of the island and everything it has to offer, not knowing that there is a real dark side to this slice of paradise.
You see, around every corner here is someone willing to hurt, abuse and kill animals. At this time of year every bag and box is likely to have puppies and kittens in, destined to be crushed alive by the bin men. I still cannot get my head around a human being that can bag a living creature up, and toss them in the bin.
Over the years I have seen so many different displays of animal cruelty, and it amazes me that people think it doesn't happen here. The truth is the government, and tourist boards don't want you to see it. God forbid a tourist would see a starving dog.
The reality is open your eyes, leave resort, and you will see the pain and suffering that many of us have to see every day. The thousands of puppies and kittens born to die on the streets. The older dogs chained, beaten and often starved.
So, you may ask why do I stay on this island surrounded with hurt and pain every day. Well that is simple, 365 days of sunshine, cheap beer, and the glimmer of hope that slowly we are changing things for the better. One day the locals will understand that sterilization is essential, and until that day I will continue to do what I do....... oh which includes picking up carrier bags full of kittens on the way home... four more mouths to feed....
When I started doing this, all that time ago, I said I wanted to be different, I did not want to only take small, cute, fluffy easy adopts. I wanted to take any dogs that needed me. Far too many other "rescue groups" cherry pick, they want the puppies, the breeds, the small cute dogs. Basically the dogs that my two year old grandson could rehome.
I often get the call, starting with "we have asked everyone else, they have said no" I still wonder why they don't come to me first, but hey I'm used to it by now. I know why they have said no, because the dog is big, or a challenge, or going to take time, effort and money.
So, when I got the call the other day, I rolled my eyes, and asked the person to tell me more, about the two dogs that no one else would help. They had been chained up all their lives, they were big, they were un neutered, blah blah blah .... they weren't old though, or ill so what was so difficult. Then the photos came...
I would like to point out I had said yes, before the photos, so there was no going back. Well, how big could two Saint Bernards be.... So big in fact they had to be collected and transported on their own.
Now don't get me wrong these pair are HUGE, Bjorn the male weighs in at 86.7KG and is horny as hell, spending his days attempting to shag anything with a pulse. I am currently spending my days screaming FFS stop shagging, at the top of my lungs. Whilst watching male dogs run for their lives, as he has no care what sex they are when he batters them to the ground and gets jiggy with their faces.
Do they take up a huge amount of space, yes, are they going to be a challenge to rehome, and god help the girls on transport, however, they deserve a chance like every other dog. Why should they get overlooked because of their size, isn't that what animal rescue is all about, no dog gets left behind?
I've been quiet the last few weeks, due to being even more busy than usual, and dealing with the rain. If you read the blog, you will know we have flooding issues, and when it rains here it REALLY rains. On top of us flooding, having no power, I am now ill spending very day very wet (not moist) in the cold with no way of getting dry or warm has taken its toll.
The problem is when it rains in the Canaries, it RAINS, and unless you understand tropical storms, or flash flooding I don't think you will ever understand. One minute the skies are blue, the sun is out and the next you are stood in a foot of muddy water.
As I watched the property go under water, I remember those little conversations of "we must get the gutters replaced before it rains" Ive learnt over the years now, not to cry, not to stress, just let everything flood, everything get muddy and when the storm passes, to begin the great clean up.
I can cope with the rain, its the stupid people that get to me, when they message over and over and moan as you have not answered fast enough. When you explain to them that you have no power, which means no phone charger, no computer, yet they still moan that you have not answered.
You know they weather is really bad when I go to the supermarket (hate shopping) trust me it was warm and dry and I could charge my phone on the journey, so the trip was bearable, and I got a dog (different blog) so, for the idiots that keep messaging asking if they can come visit, yeah go for it, it only took me 20 minutes longer to drive the flooded, rock scattered roads from civilization to my house.
Yes, I know it is sunny in resort, but as I keep telling you I don't live in resort, and yes I am still flooded, and yes it has damaged loads. The reality is I'm not social usually, and at the moment I am, sat in a muddy puddle, with no phone signal, no internet, and the black plague, I would advise staying away!
Neutering is something that I feel really strongly about, and a subject that I get into many arguments about. I have refused a lot of applications to adopt my dogs because a resident dog has not been done. I listen to the protests about the fact the dog doesn't go out on it's own, and they don't want puppies, but you know what it isn't all about the puppies.
Neutering a dog is the responsible thing to do, there are so many health issues with not neutering from cancer to pyometra. Most of the surgeries we have to do are removing mammary tumors from dogs that have been unsteralised. They are then put through huge surgeries, rather than a 30 minute quick neuter.
Pyometra, is a killer, and I nearly lost a dog that had this due to an irresponsible owner, who simply didn't give a damn. A female dog was tied to the gates of the pound one day, not only did she have this killer infection, but she was blind and terrified.
This infection, literally means "pus in the womb" and is an infection that acts quickly taking over the uterus, and in most cases causing death. Every time you allow your female dog to have a season, you are putting them at risk of getting pyometra.
So, when you tell me that you love your dog, and it is "personal" choice not to neuter, I don't consider it love when you are endangering that dog. In my mind you are irresponsible, and I don't want you having one of my dogs. You can then go on to try and justify your decision, and often you will get abusive calling me rude because I have an opinion, just like you do.
The simple fact of the matter is, there is NO reason not to neuter, I don't care if your vet has advised not to, or you believe they are "more" of a dog with balls. I don't care, if you have never neutered your dog (in fact that just makes you even more stupid) I don't care what your reason is, simply put you will never convince me otherwise.