Friday, 28 May 2010

Fluffy Friday #1

We have Wordless Wednesdays and Thankful Thursdays in Blogland so now I am going to pilot Fluffy Fridays! This week I have seen so many adorable animal pictures I just have to share them with you so we can all say awwwww together.

Now without hesitation I introduce to you our first Fluffy Friday...

How adorable! This image was taken from The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee Blog which has oodles and oodles of stunningly cute kitten pictures. Come back next week to check out the next face of Fluffy Friday. Best Blogger Tips

Dog Cull in Bali

I'm just catching up on some e-mails (it has been a busy few weeks) and spotted this one from PETA about how the Government in Bali are using strychnine poisoning to try and control rabies and reduce the population of stray dogs. Strychnine poisoning produces some of the most painful and dramatic symptoms of any toxic reaction currently known and is often used in film and literature for dramatic effect. I'm sure you will agree that this is extremely cruel and inhumane, the dogs exposed to this poison experience a great amount of suffering before eventually dying.

The most effective way to control rabies outbreaks is by mass vaccination and PETA informs me that local groups are working very hard to vaccinate as many dogs as possible.

How to Help

Please spare a minute and click here to contact the Indonesian Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Yuri Octavian Thamrin urging him to help call off this inhumane cull of 90,000 dogs. The link will take you straight to PETA's website where you fill in very few details and click submit.
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Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Update on the repeal

Most of the action alerts appearing in my inbox over the past few weeks have been about the possible repeal of the hunting ban. It really does seem like the new Government is prioritising repealing the ban. Rumor has it that the Prime Minister has appointed Jim Paice as Minister for Agriculture and Food and made him responsible for hunting and shooting. This is a new addition to the role as none of Labour’s last Defra team was responsible for either of these things.

I had an e-mail from IFAW today asking me to contact my MP and urge to protect the Hunting Act but unfortunately my MP, Caroline Spelman has already decided that the Ban should be repealed. Maybe your MP feels differently?

More ways to help.
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Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The Cinnamon Trust : Jack

The Cinnamon Trust is a National charity (founded in 1985 by Mrs Averil Jarvis and named after her Corgi Cinnamon), that helps the elderly and people who are terminally ill with their pets. The Trust works alongside pet owners to overcome any difficulties they may have in looking after their pet. A network of 15,000+ volunteers has been established to provide practical help with any aspect of day to day care that poses a problem. For example, a volunteer may walk the dog for a housebound owner.

"Pets are warm and intensely loyal. They do not criticise, they boost morale, they help reduce stress by providing emotional security, and they help to provide a fixed routine. Pets have the ability to bring happiness and laughter and lift depression. Communication with other people is often easier when a pet is present for reassurance."

The Trust’s primary objective is to respect and preserve the treasured relationship between owners and their pets. To this end it works in partnership with owners to overcome any difficulties that might arise. A national network of over 15,000 community service volunteers has been established to provide practical help when any aspect of day to day care poses a problem - for example, walking the dog for a housebound owner or perhaps fostering the pet if their owner is taken to hospital.

"The special relationship between owner and pet adds incalculably to the quality of life, but all the pleasures and benefits can be completely neutralised by intense anxiety regarding the fate of their devoted companion should the owner die, fall ill, or have to move to residential accommodation. If an ‘old faithful’ dies, elderly owners are often very reluctant to have another pet for these reasons, and life for them loses much of its warmth, light and purpose."

The Cinnamon Trust also provides long term care for pets whose owners have died or moved to residential accommodation. This is arranged between owners and the Trust to ensure peace of mind. The Trust enables the owner to keep in touch with their beloved companion with visits if at all possible or regular photos and letters.

I have been a voluntary dog walker for the Trust for a few years now, they contact me if there is someone in my local area which requires help. I have just started walking Jack the collie cross for a local man who is unable to walk very well himself. I am a petite 5.1'' build and Jack was so excited to go for a walk he very nearly dragged me on the floor! Seeing the pleasure on his face and his pink tongue hanging out as he trotted round the park was a lovely sight, we came back and he rolled on the grass happily before going inside for a well earned drink of water.

If you would like to volunteer for The Cinnamon Trust or know anyone who may need help with their pet please contact them on 01736 757 900 or via e-mail.

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Monday, 17 May 2010

Cafe Recommendation: L'Oranaise, Leeds.

I was in Leeds to visit my lovely boyfriend this weekend and he took me to a brilliant North African cafe called L'Oranaise for breakfast on Saturday morning (It wasn't IN North Africa, it was near Hyde Park in Leeds!) I have to recommend their delicious vegetarian breakfast. I am a great friend of any place that serves a traditional English breakfast veggie style but L'Oranaise did a really good job. The hash browns were the best I've ever tasted.

[Take a look at the rest of the menu]
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Friday, 14 May 2010


Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of Lucky's death. I feel as if it has been a whole eternity since I last held her. I hope she is happy, wherever she may be.

I honestly don't think I would be where I am today if it wasn't for Lucky coming into my life when she did. She taught me that I wasn't as bad as I thought I was. She showed me that I was worth something after all. She showed me what my purpose in life was.

Thank you Lucky. I miss you.
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Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Donate for free with Pedigree!

Pedigree have launched campaign for abandoned dogs entitled the Pedigree Adoption Drive. If you follow this link and watch the You Tube video Pedigree will donate £1 to the cause (unfortunately if you watch the video more than once You Tube won't count this). Also Pedigree will donate 50p if you "Like" their Facebook Page.

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Pledge to Support The Ban!

Image from Google.

(I'm sorry to jump on the bandwagon and talk politics, after reading some comments made by the Countryside Alliance last night I just couldn't resist)

I felt a growing sense of unease last night as I watched Gordon Brown leave Downing Street and David Cameron enter. I went straight online to see what this might mean for the Fox Hunting Ban. It seems that the Countryside Alliance are prematurely declaring victory. The Government are focusing on pressing issues like reducing the deficit but soon enough attention will turn to the Fox Hunting Ban.

I have signed up to The League Against Cruel Sports and Animal Aid's Campaign for Decency and depending on developments I am considering becoming a member of The League and definitely will be joining protests.

[More info to follow as and when]

Will you please join me in pledging to support the ban?

The League Against Cruel Sports

Campaign for Decency

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Tuesday, 11 May 2010

List - 5 Small Ways to Make A Difference

There are many ways available to make a small difference without putting too much effort in, obviously the more effort the better but I know life sometimes gets in the way. Here are five small ways to make a difference to the lives of animals and the environment:

1. If you are selling on eBay then allow at least 10% of your profit to be donated to charity, I did this recently and made a very small amount for The Dogs Trust and Cats Protection League. Even though it was a small amount it would have helped a little.

2. Pick up litter. Litter can be dangerous for small animals who can hurt themselves and get trapped inside. For example the plastic stringy can holders from multi-packs of cans. These are possibly the most damaging type of litter. I have seen pictures of birds and ducks with them trapped round their necks. If you do see one lying about please pick it up, break it into pieces and put it in the dustbin.

3. Sign up for Action Alerts, if you visit websites such as IFAW, PETA etc you are able to sign up for Action Alerts, they will e-mail you with any causes needing action. The actions are simply taking a few minutes to sign a petition or enter your details on a readily prepared letter. They do send messages asking for donations but as I can never afford to donate I stick to doing the other things to help.

4. Spread the word. Forward the Action Alerts to your friends, share it on Facebook, tell people you know why they shouldn't buy seafood imported from Canada. You'll be surprised what a difference this can make. There is a chance that your friends will tell their friends and so on.

5. Treat your loved ones and make a difference at the same time. Perhaps one of your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews would like to adopt a dolphin for their birthday this year, or perhaps the person who has everything would like to sponsor a dog from The Dogs Trust for a year? A few years ago I adopted a donkey from The Donkey Sanctuary called Oscar and received cards and newsletters on how he was doing, I even got to visit him once.
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Monday, 10 May 2010

Take Action on Whaling in Norway

Some wording and figures taken from Peta UK.

Despite an international ban on commercial whaling, Norway will this year hunt and kill nearly 1,300 minke whales in defiance of the ban. Only one per cent of Norwegians eat whale meat regularly and the majority agree that the suffering whales endure is unacceptable. Despite this, this year's quota is the highest in 25 years.

Norway has a new Animal Welfare Act however has made no provision for marine mammals within the Act. There is no known humane way to kill whales, they are shot with exploding harpoons and rifles and can endure an hour of suffering before death.

It is not only Norway who are rebelling against the ban, both Japan and Iceland also continue to practice whaling.

How Can We Help?

Please follow this link which will direct you to a ready prepared letter to Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg asking him to stop the suffering of whales today and to live up to Norway's desire to be seen as a progressive and modern country by promoting whale watching, not whale hunting. Simply enter your name and e-mail address, click send and make a difference. If you can spare some more time perhaps edit the letter to voice your own opinion about this.

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Friday, 7 May 2010

What will a Hung Parliament mean for the Hunting Ban?

...I honestly don't know and I don't think anyone does just yet. I used my vote for the foxes yesterday. I voted Labour in the General Election. As I stood in line to vote I thought about the three baby foxes that once sunbathed on the roof of our garden shed without a care in the world and wonder if they grew up and found themselves being chased and savaged all in the name of sport. I started to panic when the exit poll showed a hung parliament outcome and it has now been confirmed that this is in fact the case, the Conservatives have the most seats, followed by Labour and the Liberal Democrats. According to Support the Hunting Act (Ban) UK, the Hunting Ban situation will come down to who forms the Government but unfortunately some animal welfare MPs lost their seats last night which is a great blow.

If the worst case scenario does happen and the Ban is repealed I am going to contact the League Against Cruel Sports to see if there is any possibility of joining them in any action they may be taking in retaliation.

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Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Animals in the News.

I noticed in yesterdays online edition of The Daily Mail there were a few animal related articles well worth sharing so thought I would post them for you. (Most images are taken from the newspaper article.)

Hedgehog Awareness Week

This article points out that it is in fact Hedgehog Awareness Week until 8th May. This little lady (above) unfortunately has a broken leg but was thankfully discovered in someone’s garden and taken to St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Buckinghamshire for treatment and is doing very well.

Did you know our pets can be right or left handed? Even fish!

This is something I’ve not ever considered but apparently animals can be left or right handed. Interestingly, male cats are left handed whilst females (as demonstrated by Dusty, above) are right handed.

Beautiful Wildlife Images taken from the new book entitled Wild Wonders of Europe

For anyone interested in photography there is an interesting look into a new book which has painstakingly explored all the 48 countries of Europe, the variety of wildlife is spectacular. I have saved some of the pictures to my picture slide show screen saver.

An e-mail that will make you say “Ahhhh”

I often receive some interesting animal related e-mails and I just had to share this one with you. It is a story about a dachshund mother who has fostered a little piglet, it really is adorable. I can’t upload all the pictures unfortunately but if anyone would like a copy of the e-mail please leave a comment and I will forward it to you.

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Monday, 3 May 2010

It's been two years.

This time two years ago Dusty and Rusty were introduced into my world. On May Day Bank Holiday 2008, Mum and Dad came home wielding a box containing two wriggly, curious and absolutely beautiful kittens. I have never owned a cat before so this past two years has been a real learning curve for the whole family, and we are still learning.
Two became one on the 21st January this year when our beloved Dusty was mysteriously found dead. She had been out of the house about an hour that morning and had run into some trouble, we will never know how she met her untimely end and that is probably for the best. After three months still feel a sense of shock and deep loss. I worry an awful lot about Rusty as she seems lonely, she wanders around the house meowing and for the first few weeks after we lost Dusty she would sit in the kitchen at night staring out of the window (we used this window to let the cats in and out) as if waiting for Dusty to come back.
Dusty always used to be very clingy and liked to know where we were at all times, she seemed to prefer being indoors to outside, Rusty was the opposite and although she still loves the great outdoors she has become more clingy. I have done some research on pet bereavement and found a few interesting organisations and also this very good article by Sarah Hartwell about cats mourning the loss of others.

Animal Samaritans
Association of Pet Loss and Bereavement

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