Author Archive

Pretzels

Posted: April 24, 2019 at 7:04 am

Thank you all for interacting with me on this blog. It is really interesting to hear all of your thoughts and ideas. I really liked reading about the hook that brought you in, thank you for sharing! The common theme seems to be that SAINTS supporters are drawn in by the animals and the dignity they are treated with. That says alot!

We are starting to get ready to bring Skye home. We had extra hog fuel delivered yesterday so we can remove and replace all the mulch in the riding ring. Charlotte thought this was THE BEST IDEA EVER!

We could have boarded any other horse out at Rick’s barn indefinitely. Its a nice, quiet, safe place, Skye has been boarding there since mid-February. SAINTS normally has room for 5 horses. We have 5 now. Sophie, Dixie, Rudy, Raven and Amigo. We had hoped to keep Skye with Rick (who is quite possibly the nicest man ever) until we had an available stall in the barn. Skye was an sad, sore, old, lame horse who would have gone to the auction without SAINTS and Rick (we would not have been able to accept Skye if not for Rick agreeing to let us board with him, and board a cribber no less). We could not have saved Skye otherwise. Rick’s barn has everything a horse needs, a warm and comfortable stall, and a clean, safe paddock. Theres also a riding ring, but no acreage for turn out. Most other horses would be totally cool with this set up! Remember how I said I dont know much about horses? I did not really know breeds, and I for sure did not know about breed characteristics and behaviours. Skye is a Thoroughbred. Wiki describes them as “hot-blooded, known for their speed, agility and spirit”. Skye has been resting and putting on weight. Our vets and Ricks staff have found a great pain control regime. Turns out that Skye isnt so lame anymore. He isnt so sore. Hell, hes not even all that old (early 20s) and hes definitely done being sad. Skye needs space. He needs to run. He needs to come home. We are working on it. Its a pretty big worry. We have to set up properly. Is Skye going to get along with our horses? Is he going to run around like a nut for weeks? Are he and Dixie (both being ex-race horses) going to be competing in the Who Has The Best Looking Mane In The Wind contest? Oh boy. The sheep are all together at night now, and Em and Chevy get the open stall next to Doc and Chewy’s (near Hazel). We will set Skye up in the undercover area attached to Amigos stall/SueSues pen, and use temporary fencing panels as a walk out for him, and he will be turned out with the other horses during the day. Have you ever read a blog in the past about SAINTS being flexible? Of course you have. We bend and twist and hash and rehash ideas until we figure it out. Always have. 

In other news, little chi Molly has gone out on a trial adoption in the big city. So far so good! And Buddy has gone out as a trial foster! He is such a love. Good luck handsome pants!

The Hook

Posted: April 21, 2019 at 10:53 am

I started out volunteering at SAINTS ten years ago. Carol probably doesnt remember but she gave me my first introductory tour, just the two of us. Out in the barnyard I met Spritely, and I could feel Carols love for her in the way she spoke. That was my hook. That one day, that one tour, that one conversation. I became a regular volunteer immediately. Maybe a few months later, Spritely died. I remember standing in the driveway with a couple other volunteers, and Carol coming down the path between the MP and shop, bawling. I remember hugging her and how strong I thought she was, how many times had she been down this exact same path with this same shattered heart. I remember Lahanie and Percy in particular afterwards, calling out, the pain in their voices, the sheer desperate grief. My heart broke for them. I went home that day and fell apart in my husbands arms. He held me while I cried. Then he asked if I still wanted to be involved with SAINTS. He told me there would be more days like this. And there have been, for sure. The time between the tour with Carol and Spritely passing away, SAINTS had already become a part of who I am.

What was the hook that brought you in? When did things solidify for you that this wasnt just something to do outside of the house on Saturdays? What one time (or more than one?) really brought it all home to you? We are always curious what it is that brings people in, whether you are a volunteer, donor, blog reader or staff, and not just what cute face caught your eye but what particular thing reached into your chest and wrapped around your heart and is still there today? 

I am not religious, its just Friday to me

Posted: April 19, 2019 at 8:38 pm

Thank you all for showing up today to help us care for the Saintly crew! 

I got to spend some time with Phoebe today, she is alot different than I expected! She is so timid, it seems she gets startled every time we reach down to pet her. Today she spunked out after her bath, she got the zoomies (ok, not zoomies exactly..more of a quicker walk) but she was definitely having fun and showing it! She loves bum rubs. Bum rubs are my favourite thing to do to dogs, no idea why, but they almost always love it. Luna loves it so much when she comes up to me she offers her bum first 🙂 Anyways, Phoebe gives kisses right on the mouth, she is so gentle. I also like to kiss dogs on the mouth. Ok. I kiss cats and chickens on the mouth too. Rabbits dont seem to like to be kissed on the mouth, Smaug gets tons of kisses dont worry, I just kiss him all over his face instead. I am starting to sound a bit weird. There could be more than one reason I dont have many friends haha! Dionne says to me today (we share an affection for chickens ;)) that she gave Charlie and Annie a mini cupcake last weekend from the volunteer appreciation treats. I said, Shit! So did I! Haha, lucky birds those two! If you ask Annie if she wants Up, she squats and moves her wings out a bit so you can pick her up. I havent been able to catch it on camera yet, youll just have to trust me that it is The. Most. Adorable. Thing. Right up there with a rabbit eating greens. So damn cute.

Theres another newbie little dog waiting for a spot out at Chilliwacks CARE center. She will be coming in soon. I bet she really is old and broken and not in good shape. I dont understand how or why Animal Control is coming across this many ancient dogs, dogs that have zero ability to survive out there on their own, its totally crazy. 

Brooklyn went home again today. She trotted her little self down the driveway with her person pleased as punch that they came back for her (we did tell her they would be back, it was just a few weeks for a home reno, but seeing is believing). Jen and Jivans dogs Mario and Colin are visiting for a week. They are both calm and chill and fit in just fine, a home away from home. 

Roane sends me this message earlier today:

This is Shop Team Captain Steele being supportive! HAHA!Boomer2 and Farley are beginning to explore more. They have supervised time in the bun garden. Well, actually, just Boomer so far, Farley isnt quite as outgoing.

Caption this: 

 

HAHAHA! 

Trixie-Woo wants a home

Posted: April 18, 2019 at 9:00 pm

There is always someone (or a few someones) that I think to myself, Man, if I had the space at home I would take you in a second. Trixie is one of these dogs for me.

I just love her and I am shocked she has had zero interest. Zero! Are you telling me nobody thinks shes awesome? SHE IS SO AWESOME. Not only is she smart, she genuinely likes people and wants to be with them. She wants to be a family companion. Someones best friend. She used to have someone, for sure. She knows tricks and commands even outside the norm. Somebody spent a whole lot of time with her. She must miss them, she seems to be always asking, Are you my person? Could you be my person?

Trixie does not barge through doors, she waits until you invite her in or out. She will not just go outside and go pee, even if you go through the door first then call her. She waits until you give her permission to go pee. It took me awhile to figure this out, I would call to her to come outside, them I would go back in, thinking she would just wander into the yard and do her business. Nope, she stands on the deck outside the door until I come back to tell her she can go pee. She knows the regular sit, stay, lay down, fetch and drop it, you name it, she was taught it. We only recently found out Trix liked fetch, it just kinda happened one day. Trixie is so polite she would never horn into playing with a ball in the lower field. Ella plays with everything, Trixie would not dream of something as rude as barging in and chasing Ella’s ball. Vera chases Ella’s ball, but Vera could not care less about the ball itself, she just loves a reason to run. Clover doesn’t understand the idea of the game but she likes balls. So I have to throw for Ella, then throw for Trixie after Ella, Vera and Clover set off. Trixie beats Ella back every time. Ella fully understands the game she just comes back when she is good and ready, whereas Trixie comes straight back and not only does she know to drop it, she puts it right in your hand! No kidding! Who does that? Trixie does. The first time it happened, Trixie had found this seriously disgusting old tennis ball in the pond. I wasn’t even sure what she had in her mouth, she was just walking along with it. It wasn’t til I asked her if she wanted to drop it that I found out she wanted to go fetch this ball. Then when she returned she tried to put it in my hand, but I didn’t understand. It took a few times of her showing me what she wanted to figure it out (she was patient, she knew I needed a few repetitions to clue in. I am not the sharpest tool in the shed).

Trixie is a senior. She has degenerative spinal problems. She takes daily arthritis pain control medication. So? Does that make her somehow less worthy of a home of her own? Course not. She is actually the ideal dog. Loves people, listens well, housebroken. Likes short walks and naps (who doesn’t). 

Some of our dogs are a hard sell. Ella, Stella, Benjamin, Shyla. Only certain homes would be equipped to handle these guys. Trixie, she just wants a family. A forever family. 

Posted: April 16, 2019 at 5:10 pm

Volunteer week

Posted: April 13, 2019 at 8:57 pm

On this, the last day of national volunteer week, we thank you. Each and every one of you who dedicates time to improve the lives of our Saints, we thank you. You don’t do it for the recognition. You don’t do it for the glory. You do it because one hour at a time you are making the world a better place.

One of my favourite SAINTS memories is from my second or third shift. I had just finished cleaning in the rabbit room (back when it was in the mp building) and this woman sticks her head in the door and says Hey! Are you done in here or what? I said yes, I just finished. She says OK, get your ass in house then, I am by myself today and I can’t do it all my goddamn self! 

Yes ma’am! 

Can you guess who the mystery woman was?

What is one of your favourite SAINTS volunteer memories? 

 

Coming up soon!

Posted: April 13, 2019 at 3:38 pm

Sam’s first day.

Posted: April 12, 2019 at 9:41 pm

Before I introduce Sam, have you guys met Phoebe yet? Phoebe came from Chilliwacks CARE Centre. How dogs like this become stray is beyond me. I just dont see how it’s possible. Phoebe can’t hear much (if anything), can’t see much, very timid. No way was she was out there fending for herself for very long. Man she’s adorable though! Not one to barge to the forefront, she just hangs back trying not to get noticed. She’s very sweet. Phoebe was spayed and had a dental and enucleation through the CARE Centre. She’s healed now and is literally one reason Carol began SAINTS in the first place. 

Phoebe before grooming by Janelle

And Phoebe afterwards 

Isn’t she cute? 

Sam came in today. He’s 14, his folks are moving into assisted living and could no longer care for him. Sam is so cute and friendly! He’s got cushings and is chuuuuuby. It’s cuteness overload in the kitchen now.

When we built the medical room cats outside run we had hoped that the bird couple who nest in the soffets would elect to build their nest elsewhere this year. Well, they haven’t. They have come back to raise this year’s babies. We roofed part of the cat run back then but now we need to cover the rest. We cannot risk the baby birds coming out of the nest, trying to learn to fly but falling into the cat area instead. There’s one more sheet of roofing tin out near the shed and garbage bin. If someone was feeling handy we would really appreciate this tin bolted to the tin that’s already up there to provide baby bird fall protection. Please please please? I tried putting the tin up there today as I had the bright idea that it would just magically stay there (the roof is slanted I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking) then I tried putting a cinder block ontop but then the whole fucking thing slides off. Why don’t I just bolt the tin together you ask? Because everything I do has to be within reach of the third rung up the ladder. That’s it, that’s as far as I can go. I am quite possibly the UN-handiest person. It’s supposed to rain this weekend so nobody go up there if it’s risky.

Thank you! 

Peeps

Posted: April 9, 2019 at 8:03 pm

SAINTS took in a baby chicken yesterday afternoon. A family had thought it would be cool to take home some eggs from a local farmer and care for them until they hatched, then return them. Peeps took a day longer than his siblings to break through the egg, in fact he took so long the family assumed he (or she) had died. Peeps is a fighter though! The family couldn’t return a malformed baby chick to the farmer but neither could they afford vet care. Honestly we did not have very high hopes for this babe.

Peeps update!
Peeps saw Dr. Borgmann at Coastal Rivers. Carol was totally right, Peeps difficulties have to do with the mother hen not being very healthy herself, so she couldn’t pass along the right nutrients to her babies. This is not rare to happen to birds kept in large flocks without regular care and less than quality feed. Basically your average chicken farm. Vitamin deficiencies were a huge part of why Peeps developed this way. Peeps is actually not as bad off as we all thought. His (or her, too soon to tell) legs have been shunted together in the proper position. For the next two weeks we are going to try to train his legs to be underneath him, like normal. He has to be kept immobile with his legs held properly in place. We fashioned a make shift baby chicken bed for lil Peeps, we will feed him and bring him water in a syringe and keep him under the heat lamp for the next few weeks. At the recheck appointment we should have a better idea of how Peeps will grow and how much mobility he (or she ;)) will have. She/he will probably never be “normal” but hey, we are a special needs shelter after all ❤️

We lost Wyatt

Posted: April 8, 2019 at 6:01 pm

Wyatt was picked up by Animal Control back in the winter of 2017. How a rooster is loose in a city in early January is boggling in the first place  No one came to claim him so he came to live with us at SAINTS. Wyatt was king of the chickens (and the ducks). He and Charlie would have many conversations across the yard. Wyatt was spectacular, so handsome, but he didn’t like to be handled and we missed a growth on his neck that probably let to his death. Wyatt died overnight, at home with his family. We hope it was quick and painless and peaceful for him.

Everyone loved Wyatt. He is missed by all of us, especially Tris 😢