We knew we wanted another dog...eventually. We also knew the next dog we got would be a rescue, we wanted to give a dog a second chance, in a loving family. We also felt Bennie needed a buddy, a friend to play with, but we would wait until our Buggie was a bit older. But wonderful things happen when you least expect it!! One Saturday I was on my way with friends to Ikea, and down by the tram stop there was an older gentleman and his wife holding a dog. This man had gotten this poor woof off the tram line, where he had been running along, not knowing where he had come from or where he was headed. He had a harness on and a tag, but it had no information on it. The gentleman had called the Tram stops security on the help box and the council's dog unit was on their way to collect him. The gentleman was in a rush, so my friends and I volunteered to stay and wait until the council got there. My friend used the strap off her hand bag as a lead to keep him close (such a great idea!). In the interim, I called my human, who was luckily still at home, and asked him to bring some water, for this clearly thirsty little woof. Bennie came along and him and this little brindle French got on straight from first sniff! The poor guy drank the water so quickly, it splashed all over the floor and he proceeded to lie in it. After a fifteen minute wait, and Bennie and this little dog having an absolute blast together, a gentleman from the council came to collect him, and we carried on our journey to Ikea. But I couldn't get the thought of this little fur-ball out of my mind. First thing on Monday morning, I called the council"s dog unit to find out if the little guy had a chip with owners details, or if his owners had tried to find him yet. He had a chip, but no registered details of ownership and his owners hadn't yet come forward. So I asked what would happen to him, and they explained that he stays in the council kennel for eight days in order for his owners to try and locate him, and if they don't come forward after the eight days, he is then available to re-home. My heart sank for this poor dog. All I kept thinking was if it was our Buggie that was missing, I would be absolutely heart broken, and doing everything I could to find him! So I asked the council, if they would consider us to re-home him after the eight days was up and they said certainly. When I got home on Monday evening, my person and I chatted about taking on another dog, we both wanted another dog, but thought we would wait a bit, and then we both thought, if this little guy was meant to come live with us, then we both wanted to give him a loving home. No-one came forward in the eight days and the council called us to ask if we would still like to home the dog, to which we responded a very delighted yes! So that is how we came to have Frankie in our lives, such a gorgeous little soul. Him and Bennie have fast become brothers, and makes us so happy to see them happy together!
So, I'd like to introduce you to Frankie!
My human asked me if I would consider going camping with his brother and sister in-law over the long weekend at the end of August. My response "Sure, as long as it's not the Bear Grylls kind of camping you and your brother do". I like camping...at a campsite, with a fire pit, and some necessities, like a toilet facility and shower. But this was a whole new level of experience! Now, I term "Bear Grylls Camping" to be real wild life, live off the earth kind of camping, the way Bear Grylls does on television. Our camping trip wasn't exactly like that...we took food with us, and didn't have to eat bugs, or any type of reptile, thank goodness!
So it was decided, we were going camping in Brecon Beacons National Park for four days, us four and the two dogs, Bennie and Mocha. As my human would put it, "I had all the gear, and no idea!"
After our four hour drive from London to South Wales, we did an hour and a half hike ( me in my trusty mustache gumboots!) to where we were to set up camp. The whole hike there I couldn't believe I had agreed to do this, I had voluntarily said yes to carrying a ton on my back through long grass, mud and stinging nettles, and up the steepest hill! The dogs on the other hand ploughed through it all, so excited about the adventure they were on. The amount I value our little dog Bennie could never be completely described in words, he always stops and looks back to check on me, making sure I haven't fallen too far behind, that I'm still alright with the task he's so happily doing. When we got to the top, the guys got to work setting up camp and making a fire in between tall pine trees, and I set off to explore our surroundings with Norman (my camera) in hand... And it was magical! The trees looked like the could touch the sky, they were so tall, and there was moss covering everything, on the rocks and hanging from the trees. As I kept walking the scene changed from mossy greens to autumn browns and it all looked so gloriously secluded and untouched. The dogs were in their element, sniffing every little this and that. Mocha (my person's, brother's Jack Russell) was super keen to jump in and out the little streams and explore all the new smells.
Being in the woods like that, make one appreciate the small things like a tap with water, an extra blanket in the cupboard when you're cold, clean socks and a stove. But I was so amazed at how efficient my human and his brother are with the resources they have at their disposal in the wild. They knew where and how to set up our camp, got our fire going, collected logs to keep the fire going, collected water and boiled it, prepared our meals, and when we left, there was very little trace that we had been there at all...well rounded wildlife camping men!
Next time...and yes there will be a next time...I will be more prepared, now that I know what to expect! Nature is beautiful and mystical, and there is nothing quite like breathing in that glori
For a while I've been feeling the urge to aid a animal rescue or shelter, by going in and providing them photographs for their use on their website, helping by providing photographs of animals needing homes, or what amazing work they are doing by giving animals a halfway house to their forever home. I've found an amazing cause, and man alive they do amazing things for animals! I was in absolute awe at the work that Foal Farm do and the fantastic sanctuary they have created for the animals. Their aim is to take in as many sick, distressed and unwanted animals as possible and restore them to health and happiness, and where possible find them good new homes, or provide sanctuary for life. The amazing stories I got to hear in my hour there made my heart lighter with happiness. Seeing the inspiring work done there has me hooked on going back and I encourage everyone to take a look. They have a wish list of items that would help in making the animals stay there just that much more cozy, and of course donations are always a generous gesture and aid in making a huge difference.
On my first visit I was shown around and got to see where Foal Farm is, see the work they are doing, the animals they are housing, and it's not just cats and dogs...there are horses, cows, goats, sheep, ducks, geese, rabbits, pigs, guinea pigs, chickens and other small animals! I only took a few photos on my way out, but cannot wait to go back and be able to share some more!
P.S. The bunnies I photographed were a newly "wed" pair...how cute they are!!
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