Leeanne's Dog Blog

July 2017

Sunday 30 July 2017 was our fourth Open Day in the last two years. It celebrated our ninth birthday, the launch of Liz’s Twilight book, and the delight of so many puddings with their happy and extended loving lives.

As always, there was so much preparation, so many behind the scenes hours from the mighty volunteers to get us looking up to scratch. The baking, the making of artistic goodies, and even just the folding of the tombola tickets. British, French, Dutch and German volunteers doing so much in so many ways; what a family of friends we have.

Then the visitors came. Lunch for many was the priority, then the Pudding cuddles, the bargains on the vide, the books, the prizes and the sweet shop had its first very successful yummy outing! The  atmosphere was wonderful, team spirit, caring and interested visitors. Goodies of bedding, food and bric-a-brac galore. And, just when all the goodwill couldn’t seem better, the pennies taken on the day added up to just over €1,600. Very goodness, wow xxx

The day was tempered at the end. Sadly, that night Coco the white dwarf goat died. We had to call the vet, but despite all his best attempts, the treatment wasn’t enough. The next day we had an autopsy to learn why: it was a sad case of just a young poorly lad. We will miss him, he was special. And Alpaca, Toodlepip, has lost a good friend.

The clear-up operation team on Monday was entirely unexpected and by Jove what a swift and mighty job they did. We look almost back to normal!

Thank you, such an inadequate word, but it really means the world, and indeed life, to the Puddings. Thank you, all, however you were involved, you made a difference.

June 2017

The last few weeks have been life at its highs of peaks and lows of troughs. Michael’s brother sadly passed, ironically as we, too, had spent the day in hospital with my own failing body, albeit just pained, so no comparison really.

Events various and the mighty Hope Book Sale weekend was a treasure to be part of. If you have never been, October in your diary is a must. Twilight’s own Open Day loomed, as storms rallied, but volunteers beat back all damp and wind, their efforts shone like a golden light. Such treasured friends to the Puddings.

Poorly puddings required regular vet visits, and we held several together. But, as I write, it is time to prepare to say au revoir to some special canine pudding friends. And then, Edgar, dear, dear Edgar. What a sad and grim life card he had been dealt. He touched us for the longest and heaviest six nights and seven days. Yes, so much in such a short space of time. So many lessons learnt, so much to be blessed for, despite the tears. I am afraid you will have to understand as we live with this precious and beautiful fragility each day that the burdens of this sad material world of terror and politics which seems to have engulfed us are there, but I try to keep the colours around me vibrant, deal only with what I can have control over, and make the smallest difference with a full heart, as best we can.

The Open Day here was wonderful. We were in abundance. Food arrived like I have never seen before, 29 volunteers made the day shine, and about 70 folks came and supported in a loving, caring and gentle way. Mike and I are deeply proud to know our volunteer team, proud of them for all they give, touched they choose the Puddings for their limited time and resources. The caring stretched further too, as Facebook team Linda joined in, and more funds were raised for cakes to be shared in the community. Such thoughtfulness; such love.

As we put out our first ever FULL posts this last month, as we have been stretched to our most physical, financial, and boundaries various reached. We come to a summer of needing to learn from this last nine years, take stock of where we are, and look to how the future can best be placed for those inevitable puddings waiting in the wings for the years to come. All the wonderful material things we have now need maintenance and care, no longer with a van we need help, no longer with full physical abilities we need help for certain areas. Marquees for events look pretty, but they need putting up and taking down. I never fretted when we started. We can only go day by day. If the funds came in, we took the dogs, as we knew we could give them all the care they needed. Now, if the help comes in, we can sustain in other ways, if not we need to reassess. No different to the last nine years, just different and new priorities as life changes. The only bit in this is that it is hard as Michael and I always did it all, we asked only for the dogs. Now, we feel asking for this extra is like asking for us, but it is actually for the dogs. We just have to accept this!

So, my darling man, daddy Twilight, will be 70 later this month. We will be taking a couple of little breaks through the summer, to celebrate and to catch up with Michael's family. We will have our second and last Open Day for this year on the 30th of July and so hope you can join us. For now, deeply and from the very bottom of our hearts, we thank you – our supporters, our volunteers, all of our friends, for keeping Twilight going for the needs of the old and disabled Puds. Averaging 35 in number at the moment. The Puddings owe their lives to you. Bless you for caring.



May 2017

Thank you to EVERYONE who made the wonderful La Charrue Vide for Twilight a success on 7 May. Firstly, our mighty hosts. Pauline and Clive have hosted the Big Vide for many years now, donating all the pitch fees and supporting the Twilight team in so many ways. Not least now. La Charrue is one of our major drop-off points, where you can peek and buy all that lovely bric-a-brac while it’s in storage ... fabulous! To all of you who donated bric-a-brac and books to allow us to have a stall in the first place ... we would be gazumped without you! For all the collection points, and our Paul of collecting fame. For all those who donated bedding, croquettes and cleaning items – the life blood of Twilight’s daily needs. And, for your brown stuff (coins) that we turn into food and cleaning materials.

And, perhaps more than normal, thanks to the Twilight team. I couldn’t be there, my body was having a Fibro flare and keeping me on home light duties only. Clare, Jacquie, Dawn, Sherra, Gwendoline and Rita, all on stall duties, set up and clear up, it was a long, long day. Also, to those stall holders who donated much of your takings on the day and your left over goodies!

Iris and Jane were on spinning. Aline was on auntie duties with our precious tripod Mia. Thanks to JP for the shifting of stuff from Twilight to La Charrue and back, those of you who donated cakes and yums and for Annie on the DVN for advertising, amongst others. And finally, all those of you who came and bought. Whether you spent €1 or €30 between you all, you made a whopping €739.

But there is one more thank you, and I don’t do this very often. My man, my darling hubby Michael. He took the morning strain at home so I could follow Dr’s orders and rest. The morning clear-up of 30 odd dogs is not to be underestimated. We then had a rare but gentle afternoon of just pudding loving. Beauty and Tigger needing extra reassurance as their age and hearts are beginning to fail them. The five blind souls who need to hear us talk to them and keep their day in loving colour. And darling Dennis, who, as I write this now has come to find me just as he knows he is going to have a fit. (30 mins later I am back, and he is fine.), Mike has just changed dear Dobbie’s nappy (again), and time now to collect the tea bowls and rest awhile. Twilight is a golden team that includes you all. Huge loving hugs to you all, and an extra kiss of thanks to daddy Twilight. Bless you all for caring.

On an admin morning and it is that monthly vet bill time again. Our vets are amazing to all the Twilighters; they are an integral part of the team that keeps us going. But the bills still need paying and the help that Association Hope have given us for this makes all the difference. The weekend after La Charrue is the humongous Hope Book Sale at Clussais la Pommerie. Over three days, food, artisans, plants and books in their thousands. It really is a must do. This Charity is exceptional and we are delighted to be invited to share in their weekend.

Once again, the May 2017 Hope Book sale was quite remarkable. I use the word remarkable very easily. It is incredible. The volunteers are now like a well-oiled machine that make it all look so easy, despite the hours of effort behind the scenes to set up some 25,000 odd books, bake cakes, grow plants and veg, make cards, butter the butties, clean and iron all those clothes, and clean and select the bric-a-brac. Never mind the prep for tents, rubbish clearing, and all those smiles for three public days!

Then there are the supporting artisans, the other caterers, the musicians, and the growing number of associations who are there to share how all the money raised helps them to help the many animals in need. It really is one big family weekend and then there is all the supporting public who come with barrows of books returned and more bought. Cake consumed in kilos. Laughter, tears, adoptions, folks all there for one goal: to make a small part of the world a better place for animals.

For Mike and I, we watch in awe. We hug old friends and new. We are proud to share with anyone who wants to listen how we can do what we do, thanks to so many, but with special thanks to Hope. Hope have generously donated to Twilight for a good few years now, and this was no exception. Their support gives us security for our vet bills. They don’t just make a difference, they are the difference, and for that we thank each and every volunteer for their effort, care and selflessness.

Verity, the president of Hope, and your team, you are all exceptional and from all the animals you have helped and in our case, from the Puddings, we thank you all so very, very much.