I have neglected my blog these last couple of weeks, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. No ‘conversations’, no Illustration Friday … and worse, I haven’t properly done the rounds of your own blogs either!
Fact is, life got in the way, as it so often can. The sad plight of Mr T (whose head is shaved in these pictures from the surgery, giving him a kind of ‘masked marauder’ look) completely took me over.
Since I am pretty much all Brambleberry has in the way of local publicity and fundraising management*, except S’s good self and a lady who knits the most lovely greyhound dolls, I have felt rather overwhelmed by the task of raising money and monitoring the various sites and pages where his story had been posted. None of them take very long, but I’ve been checking and updating multiple times a day to keep an eye on what’s happening, both with fundraising totals and with what people are saying, because this is a sensitive case.
Many people have shared Mr T’s story on their own Facebook pages and by email and by word of mouth, and allowed me to post on their forums. People have had whip-rounds at work and donated the proceeds. R, of Newborough Dogs Hydrotherapy, very kindly offered the use of his notice board and space for a collection box and has been fundraising for us too. And so many people have donated to his fund that I’m deeply touched by the sheer numbers of compassionate and generous people out there – most of whom will never even see the sweet dog for themselves. Undoubtedly, other people have helped, quietly, without saying anything, perhaps by posting on their blogs or Facebook pages, office notice boards, or in other ways I can’t even think of.
I want to thank each and every one, from the bottom of my heart.
The good news is that Mr T is doing really well. He is now able to join the other Brambleberry house dogs in the lounge during the day, and is wagging his tail and beginning to get excited about watching the others play with toys – though he hasn’t joined in yet. He is eating well, and begging from the kitchen with the others, and taking himself off outside in the yard without the need for a lead, and feeling able to protest when returned to his bedroom at night with his single companion.
Two days ago, when S sat down in her armchair, Mr T climbed up into her lap. I think that was the most wonderful act of trust in mankind, after he had been betrayed so badly. I think if I’d been there, I’d probably have cried.
There are only two small concerns right now. One, he is becoming a ‘velcro’ dog, unwilling to let S leave without wanting to go with her, and he follows her about. This is very sweet, but it might make it a tad difficult to adopt him out again.
The other is that he is just a tiny bit slow sometimes to catch on to things. For instance, when the treats come out, all the dogs charge forward except Mr T. He does follow, eventually, and will push through to the front for his share, but he is slow. This could be hesitancy, nervousness or simply that fact that his head still feels very tender and he doesn’t want to risk getting it bumped, but time will tell. If that’s the only problem that results from this injury, he is a very lucky dog indeed, because his injury was severe and he could so easily have died.
So there you are. This particular crisis looks as if it might be – for the most part – over. And thank heavens for that.
Over this Easter weekend, I was out in the cold for two days rattling a tin in a local shopping centre at our first Meet & Greet of the year. And I can vouch for the fact that, while spring has officially sprung, it was in fact bloody freezing! We were both wearing so many layers – including, in my case a bum bag (fanny pack) under my coat – that we both look rather rotund. However, we collected so much in our two collection ‘tins’ that the last person to donate actually had trouble pushing his fiver inside, and five or six people took leaflets due to a definite interest in adopting a greyhound of their own. Anyway, I do always rather enjoy meeting the public and talking to them about these lovely dogs.
And if only one dog gets a home as a result of this Meet & Greet, it will all have been worth it.
* I say ‘local’ because of course Brambleberry is part of a much larger organisation: the Retired Greyhound Trust. However, while the RGT is happy to help out with publicity wherever it can, and pays for some of the retirees in the kennel and for neutering and spaying etc, its mandate is all about rehoming and there isn’t much left over for major medical expenses. This is where the local branch is expected to do a little fundraising of its own – and it’s right that we should do so.