Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Busy needles

The long, dark winter evenings have given me ample opportunity to get clicking with my needles.

First up – I was asked to crochet this greyhound for Inge from The Netherlands.



Next a couple of crazy cats.



And then some dog coats of various sizes destined for some dog days coming up in the summer.




Lastly a trio of cushions


Saturday, 28 January 2012

Tillie’s 5th Gotcha Day

Yesterday, 27th January was Tillie’s 5th Gotcha Day and to celebrate, I made her a doggy cake.


Sorry Tillie, that it was a day late but I am sure you will agree it was worth waiting for.


Is it ready yet?


For goodness sake, enough with the photos!


Being a true lady, of course I gave half to Raven!


Oooooo! I think I over did it!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Friday’s Fiver No 9

This week’s fiver goes to The Lexus Project


I came across this group through two blogs I read Life with dogs and Two Cavaliers who both reported the case of a woman in America surrendering her son’s dog to a high kill pound, to punish him for not doing his homework.  Luckily The Lexus Project stepped in and Jewel the dog is now on her way to a foster home.


The picture says it all!

From The Lexus Project website

Robin Mittasch & Rich Rosenthal live in Oceanside, NY with their 5 retired racers and 3 cats.
Soon after adopting  their first Greyhound Beau from a local rescue group, Robin discovered Greytalk and the nationwide community. Having found her passion for these noble dogs, Robin began playing on an ever bigger level. When alerted about Lexus’ plight in the Rhode Island kill shelter, she was able to enlist the help of her attorney husband Rich to help free her. Over the course of the next 8 months they were approached a number of times by different groups to intervene on behalf of Greyhounds at risk. Finally, acknowledging the need for an organized group to deal with these unfortunate situations, the Lexus Project was formed.

the origin of the lexus project

In October 2009 a high prey greyhound named Lexus, having been declared a vicious dog, sat on death row in a Rhode Island kill shelter waiting to be put down. Her crime? Left unleashed in a dog park she followed her instincts and killed a Pomeranian puppy. (Small, long-haired dogs are perceived by many greyhounds as prey; this is the instinctive response of a sighthound.) The greyhound was seized and her owner attended a hearing without counsel and the judgment paved the way for her execution.
Luckily for Lexus, Robin Mittasch read her story on the internet forum Greytalk and was moved, together with her husband, Rich (who is an attorney) to fight for her release. Thanks to a quirk in the Rhode Island statute he was able (with the assistance of an attorney in Rhode Island who also volunteered his time to file the Court papers) to negotiate the release of Lexus from her cell and her removal from the state. As she jumped into his van, snuggled up and ate cookies, the idea of the Lexus project was born.
Although we do all our legal defense pro bono, there are always court fees, marshall fees and if we have to get a dog released from the pound, depending on how long the dog is in, there are release fees. Our last case they wanted $3300.00 plus vetting bills. We were able to settle for less, but this is all out of pocket, in addition to our travel fees.
All proceeds go to The Lexus Project, legal defense for greyhounds and all breeds of dogs.  We are currently in the middle of filing our 501c3 so your donation will shortly be tax deductible.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

A winters walk from Felbrigg

As we were lucky enough to have a couple of weeks off over the festive period, we were able to enjoy lots of country walks.  Since going back to work at the beginning of January, we have had to wait for Sundays to enjoy this activity.  A couple of weeks ago we decided to walk from Felbrigg Hall, an historic house now owned by The National Trust.  This Hall is set in beautiful parkland and has a lovely wood, appropriately named the Great Wood.  The weather was chilly but bright with blue skies and we set off in good spirits.IMGP1868


Tillie & Raven enjoyed romping through the wood, intrigued and excited by all the wondrous smells and occasionally being surprised by grey squirrels suddenly leaping up a nearby tree. 


This tree is huge and to put it into scale I made Raven stand in front of it.  I think it was a Sweet Chestnut.  I love the bark pattern on it.



We walked on and out of the Halls grounds and headed field by field closer to the coast.  Some of the walk was on the Weavers Way and some on the Norfolk Coastal path, but mostly they are circular walks worked out by Nigel from the Ordnance Survey maps, taking into account, not too much road walking and trying not to cross cow fields – I love cows but hate walking in the same fields as them and more often or not there normally is a bull in the field!  I will walk miles in a detour to avoid this!



Our main stop was of course for lunch.  We stopped in another wood called Roman Camp which has a few seats strategically placed to view the sea in the distance and is supposedly the highest point in Norfolk – This not being very high at all as Norfolk is mainly flat.  We always have to share our lunch but we never get offered any of the dogs in exchange – Funny that!




We always take water for the dogs with us, but nothing beats a refreshing drink from a cool stream or best yet, a dirty puddle.


After our lunch we packed up and plodded on towards Cromer.  We arrived at the outskirts of this lovely old fashioned seaside resort, first passing the old town cemetery, which we looked around.  There were several headstones with nautical themes as many of the old sea going folk of the town, fisherman and life boatman are buried here.  We also noticed some lovely headstones with entwined hands, which we see a lot in various churchyards we pass on our strolls around the countryside.

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We walked across town and then slowly made our way out again passing Cromer Hall (featured in a previous post) and then back across several fields.  The fields around this area are full of flint and lots of the houses have flint incorporated into their structure.  I wanted some big stones or bricks to use in some door stops I was making, so decided to pick some up.  They were actually brick size and weighed a ton in my back pack but luckily we only had another couple of miles to go.


By the time we got back to the car, we were all tired and the dogs clambered into the back of the car and crashed out.  I checked our mileage on my phone and we had done a total of just over 12 miles.


That was the last of the sweet and fattening take away picnic lunches for me now as I am now on the slimming wagon.  The last walk we did, I had a pasta salad and fruit – healthy but not as tasty as a Byfords delicious mince pie.  Also this last weekend we couldn’t go on our rambles as Tillie is walking wounded as she has cut one of her front pads and until this heals she can’t go far.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Friday’s Fiver No 8

This week’s fiver goes to The Greyhound Injury Fund also know as The Beading Divas to the Rescue.  Actually I didn’t donate a fiver, I ordered a bracelet from their online Etsy store.


They are a group of talented women who sell handmade one of a kind beaded bracelets to raise funds for animal charities.  This group first came about when one of the group whilst in her car with her two greyhounds were involved in a hit and run accident which left Lizzie the driver injured and her two dogs Opal and Rider seriously injured.  The resulting vet bills were in excess of $14000 and so the group set about fund raising to help pay the bill.  One of the ideas were making bracelets from donated beads and so The Greyhound Injury Fund came in to being.  They reached their goal and since then, chosen a different good cause too raise funds for.  Over the preceding years they have raised many dollars for deserving causes.  Please visit their blog where this month the beneficiaries are New Hope Cattle Dogs.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Friday’s Fiver No 7

This week’s Friday’s Fiver goes to Dumfires & Cumbria Greyhound Rescue in Scotland.


From their website:

Why, you may wonder, does Dumfriesshire and Cumbria need a greyhound rescue organisation? - Updated 14th April 2011

Well the truth is that Dumfriesshire is home, at Gretna, to one of the five remaining Scottish greyhound racing tracks. In addition the track is just a mile from the border with Cumbria and it attracts clients from much further afield.  And where there is greyhound racing there are retired or abandoned dogs.
In December 2001 some concerned owners of retired greyhounds and friends decided that something needed to be done to improve the lot of ex-racing and ex-coursing dogs. Dumfriesshire Greyhound Rescue came into existence. Although we are based in Scotland, our constitution covers ‘Dumfriesshire and surrounding areas’. ‘Surrounding areas’ is mainly Cumbria, though depending upon circumstances has been further away.

With the assistance of friends we were quickly able to qualify as a Scottish Charity. This has enabled us to raise funds more easily. We use what we raise mainly for kennel fees, vet fees, fostering expenses and advertising. However we also run an extensive ‘Events’ calendar (it all costs money) where we try to raise public awareness of the plight of dogs at the end of their racing/coursing careers. Our new white caravan decorated with running greyhound logos (donated by members Margaret & Graham), is becoming a familiar sight throughout the area. 

Due to the amount of work, rescuing and homing dogs that is now being done in Cumbria, it was proposed in May of 2007 at our AGM, that the charity's name be changed from Dumfriesshire Greyhound Rescue to Dumfriesshire and Cumbria Greyhound Rescue, the motion was passed and the charity name has now been changed.

To date (April 2011) we have found homes for just over 700 dogs, a few of them lurchers, but the vast majority ex-racers or coursers. Most of the coursers have originated in Cumbria. We have found that despite their size – they tend to be larger and heavier than racing dogs – they make equally as good pets. The lucky owners who have one would say better!
So if you live in Dumfries and Galloway, Cumbria or wherever, and would like to help us find homes for retired greyhounds, please get in touch. You don’t have to own a greyhound, or even a dog.  All you need is a little time and a big heart!

Registered Charity Number SCO32858

They have a very useful page on their website with a list of some dog friendly places to stay in the UK.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Friday’s Fiver No 6

Sorry!  A bit late this week.


This week’s Fiver goes to the Celia Cross Greyhound Trust

From their website:

We rescue, rehabilitate and rehome around 150 abandoned, sick or ill-treated greyhounds and lurchers each year at the Sun Valley Kennels near Guildford in Surrey. We were founded in 1970 after the late Celia Cross found her first abandoned greyhound which had been left to die in a disused barn. A registered Charity since 1993, we are small, independent and rely entirely on the fundraising activities of our supporters.

I would love to hear from anyone that has any suggestions for future Friday’s Fivers.