Abi the Yorkshire Terrier was pregnant

Abi the Yorkshire Terrier was pregnant

Ania had not owned a dog for several years. Recently, she found herself at a stage in life when she had the time, space and energy to have one again, and she knew exactly what type of dog she was looking for. She wanted to rescue an unwanted dog, and ideally it would be a young, female terrier-type. She searched on the internet, looking at dogs that had become available after being abandoned in dog pounds across Ireland. When she saw Abi’s photo on the Dogs in Distress website, she realised at once that this was the type of animal that she’d been looking for. Abi had been picked up on the streets of inner Dublin, and had not been claimed from the pound after the statutory period of five days. In former times, she would have been “put down”, like the thousands of other healthy dogs in Irish dog pounds that are euthanased just because they’re unwanted. Happily, Ashton Pound has an excellent working relationship with the Dogs in Distress team of volunteers, so that the destruction rate of unwanted stray dogs is now kept to an absolute minimum Ania went down to the pound to meet Abi, and she fell in love with her straight away. She has a lovely gentle temperament, and when Ania took her back to her apartment, she settled in at once: it was as if she had “come home”. Soon after her arrival, Ania gave Abi a bath, to give her a fresh, clean start in her new life. Abi’s fur flattened down when her coat was wet, with the shape of...
Max suffered a dislocation to his hip

Max suffered a dislocation to his hip

Diana has two cats, both obtained at the same time from the DSPCA. Sophie was a young mother cat, aged just a year old, and Max was her kitten. When Diana saw them together at the sanctuary, she felt that she couldn’t separate them, and so she brought them both home. It was obvious from the start that the two cats had completely different personalities. Sophie soon became an indoor cat, only going outside for an hour every day. She loves the quiet life, sleeping on the most comfortable couch in the warmth of the sitting room. When she goes outside, she finds the sunniest spot in the garden, enjoying a little sunshine before returning indoors. She’s very happy with a calm, settled life. Max is the complete opposite of his mother. He heads off every morning at 6.30am, as soon as the humans in the house are stirring. If the weather is wet and windy, he’s waiting on the back doorstep for Diana when she gets back from work at 2pm. If the weather’s fine, he stays out till 6pm, when he returns for his supper. Max’s adventurous nature has got him into trouble before: two years ago he fractured his lower back after being hit by a car. He made a full recovery, and it hasn’t slowed him down at all. Max’s routine has become very predictable, so Diana knew at once that there was something wrong when she came back from work one afternoon last week. It was a fine day, so Max should have been out and about. Instead, he was lying quietly on a...
Tumbles the cat who was tumbled in a tumble dryer

Tumbles the cat who was tumbled in a tumble dryer

Trish works as a care assistant in a busy south County Dublin nursing home. During a recent cold spell, one of her colleagues was doing the daily early morning laundry routine. The first load of clothes had been washed and spun, and were transferred to the industrial-sized tumble drier for the first drying session of the day. As soon as the machine was turned on, it was obvious that there was something wrong. A loud banging noise could be heard, so the tumble drier was switched off at once. The clothes were checked first, but there was nothing amiss in there.  The back and underside of the machine was then inspected, and something was seen moving in the darkness. The first suspicion was that a rat had crawled into the space beneath the tumble drier, but in better light, a cat could clearly be seen. She’d been badly injured, and she was lying in a pool of blood. The poor animal was terrified, but she didn’t resist as she was gently lifted out of the works of the machine. Her left front leg had been mangled by the moving parts of the tumble drier, and she was bleeding badly. She was wrapped in a towel and brought immediately to our veterinary clinic for emergency treatment. It turned out that she was a feral cat who had never been in close contact with humans before. She must have been lurking in the yard outside the back. On that icy cold night, she had found a five-inch-diameter vent on the outside wall of the nursing home. It was about two feet...
Blossom a 7 year old King Charles Spaniel

Blossom a 7 year old King Charles Spaniel

Anna had never owned a dog until Blossom came along: she’s a rescued dog, whose owner had died suddenly. Anna’s daughter had heard that Blossom needed a home urgently, and when she arrived back with her one day, Anna felt that she couldn’t turn her away. She has never regretted the decision. Blossom is a gentle dog with an exceptionally good nature: her tail wags continuously. Anna has grandchildren, aged between two and four, who often visit her home, and Blossom is hugged, poked and prodded, but she never growls. If she tires of the children’s attention, she simply runs away from them, escaping to her own quiet place. She has been the perfect dog for a household that’s visited by young children. Blossom can seem like a lazy dog, sleeping all day if she gets a chance, but she does love exercise when she has the opportunity. Anna lives in the countryside, and she makes a point of taking Blossom out for a long walk every day. The two of them head off for up to an hour and a half, varying the route and location. Sometimes they go on forestry walks, other times they walk around lakes and reservoirs, and occasionally they head to the coast for a beach walk. Blossom loves being in wide open spaces, sniffing around and trotting happily by Anna’s side. The regular exercise keeps them both exceptionally fit. When Blossom started limping on her left foreleg last week, Anna initially presumed that she must have twisted her foot or sprained a joint. They stopped going for walks for a couple of days....
Saffron and Amber are Lurchers

Saffron and Amber are Lurchers

The Lurcher is a type of dog, rather than a pure breed, but it’s instantly recognizable. It’s usually a result of a cross between a sight hound (typically a greyhound) and a pastoral dog (such as a Collie). The resulting animal possesses a combination of speed, intelligence, and a willingness to work for their owner. Traditionally, Lurchers were known as poachers’ dogs, bred for hunting rabbits and other small animals. In recent years, they’ve been known as excellent family pets, with their gentleness and loyalty endearing them to their owners. Karen obtained her two dogs when they were eighteen months old, as rescue animals. They’d been unwanted by their original owners, and because they weren’t cute, cuddly puppies, they’d ended up with the DSPCA. Both dogs have settled in well with Karen. Karen takes the dogs into the Wicklow hills and woods every day, and they love to run off the leash. She’s trained them to come back to a referee-type whistle that she bought in a Euro shop. They’re very reliable: one blast of the whistle and they come charging back to her, eager for the treat that she has ready for them. Last week, the two Lurchers disappeared deep into the undergrowth during a walk, staying out of sight for a little longer than normal. They have jangly bells on their collars so that Karen can hear where they are, but this time she couldn’t hear them. When she blew her whistle, there was still no sign of them, and she began to get worried.  She blew the whistle repeatedly, and after another five minutes, first she...