Our regular update on what's happening in the World of Bulldog Rescue
This Blog is Tania's own personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the charity
So the rain has been replaced with a heat wave. The good old British Weather really is a law unto iteself, but can I please just take a moment to repost our "What To Do" video - please take a couple of minutes to watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB-0NSmQFys&t=6s
You may notice we're a day late, it suddendly dawned on me that despite having 2 years to earn my SQP CPD points this was actually my last weekend to reach my target. I do this every time and every time I promise myself I will do the courses as they appear instead of cramming the recordings at the very last minute - guess what?? Sunday was spent cramming the recordings at the last minute but fingers crossed I've done enough as the alternative is to resit the AMTRA exam which to be honest I'm far too old to remember everything now.
So what have we got up to this week? A new arrival here at the kennel called Mabel, she's got a skin problem at the moment and needs to put on a few kilo's but she's lovely. We collected a little dog from Portsmouth as Georgia collected Mabel from Birmingham and then met at Oxford Services to exchange dogs. It must look so dodgy as we take one dog out of each car and put them in the other car. Dear little Nellie has gone to Tom's to have a melting ulcer looked at and Mabel is back with us to get her skin sorted. My grandaughter made me laugh this week though, she loves helping in the kennels and on Sunday night she was helping me to do the dinners. On going down the line of kennels she asked "Who's this one?" so I said - "oh that's Mable, she's new and hasn't met you yet" To which she went up to Mable and said "Hello Mable, I'm Star". then put down her bowl of food, gave her a pat on the head said night night and shut her kennel door. It's all just so natural for this little 6 year old. She has helped at the kennels pretty much since she could stand up, she probably know her way around a mop and bucket better than I do
Evie has been back to the vets, although the metacam has taken the edge off the pain there's clearly still something not right in her jaw. We are now waiting on Blood Test results for a muscle condition - we will keep you posted on our Facebook page as it happens
Here's the latest: https://www.facebook.com/BulldogRescue/videos/2056018918036249/
Don't forget whilst you are here to get your Bulldog Picnic Ticket too - we can't wait to see you
Published a day early as tomorrow is my birthday and I am determined to have a day off. I love my job but sometimes the constant demand on my time is draining, Friday night for example - just going out the door when someone decides that now is the time to get rid of the dog. I will never not help someone but it turned what should have been a relaxing evening with friends that we haven't see for a long time into another mad dash to get ready and out the door. So many people now have bulldogs and so many of these people have made massive mistakes in getting one in the first place - beleiving the lazy dog hype that is often portraid in the press which often couldn't be further from the truth.
It's been a long week, horrendous weather which never helps and just the yuk feeling that goes with being so so tired. Both Winston and Trevor have had visitors every day this week too which of course the dogs love but it wears me out. Plus it was Picnic and Calendar Comp launch week which made the days even longer. The photos that are already coming in have really cheered me up though and there's still plenty of time to get your dog entered - just see our Picnic Page and follow the link to the calendar comp event page on FaceBook.
This will be our second year at Lodsworth. There's some lessons learned from last year and we've gone back to the original charge per person as the charge per vehicle caused some complications. We are keeping the pre booked ticket system though to speed up the gate entry again - so download your tickets here and make sure you watch your email for your proof of purchase too as you will need to show both at the gate. You can also of course pay on the day: £3 an adult, £1.50 for children aged 10 and under or a family ticket for 2 adults and 3 kids is a tenner. Stall places are booking up fast too, it's looking like its going to be another major bumper event and we can't wait to see you all again.
So just a quick check in this week, I'm off to bed and plan to sleep in for as long as the kennel dogs will allow (which if Evie has anything to do with it will still be very early). Evie is our new baby and we are trying to get to the bottom of why she has pain in her mouth. Xrays have shown nothing tooth wise but that it could be a trapped nerve in her neck. She's a week on pain killers now but is still showing sensitiviy around her neck so we'll go back to the vets in the week and see what the vet thinks. She's also got bad demodex but we havn't yet started that treatment yet as we don't want to stress her out by hurting her lifting her in and out of the bath. She's got a voice though and does this really sad low howl. We will keep you posted on her progress and you can meet her over on our face book page
So until next week, have a great Fathers day to all our bulldog Dads out there and enjoy your weekend
As promised last week, here's the link to the reports for our AGM that was held last Saturday: AGM Year End Reports
They make grim reading with regard to finances and you will note the theme that runs through every report is that it's not an increase in the number of dogs that is draining the funds, but a nationwide increase in Vet Costs. I really do not know how we can deal with the problem, with so many vets selling out to corporate companies gone are the days when you could walk in to see your friendly vet and ask an opinion - now it's all non commital and needing referrals and MRI scans on conditions that the vet knows what it is - experience of seeing things day in day out has to count for something? But protocal dictates that they have to go through a check list of treatment because that's how the computer system is set up. I took one of my own dogs in recently, she has a large hard lump under her teat. She's 10½ and there's no way she's going under. She survived Ovarian tumours a couple of years ago and there's a very good chance this is secondary to that - but whereas my old vet would have had a squeeze and gone "oh yes that's worrying" or "oh no that's nothing to be too concerned about" I was offered tests and scans that involved an anesthetic. We have all agreed that we won't put her through any treatment but vets are so keen to spend your money. Is this because of insurance? is it because they are now businesses and the emphasis is now on profit over care? I don't know but a conversation with an insurance rep earlier this week confirmed that they too have the same issues. Every claim is now for thousands over the hundreds it used to be so whilst the corporate vet companies rake in the profit, the likes of rescues, insurance companies and the every day pet owner struggle to do the right thing because they simply can't afford it or even get a sensible answer out of a company so afraid of being sued.
Unfortunately, the wake up call meant that I have had to finally stop resisting putting up our admin fee. It's always been £5 and has been since it was introduced over 10 years ago, every Trustee meeting I'm asked to increase it and every Trustee meeting I manage to keep it at £5, but now it's obvious that things cannot continue on the same path and we need to do something to cover our increased outlay. The admin fee is something we do simply because of the breed we handle, a breed very popular with those looking for fight bait the idea was always that by paying to become a member showed some commitment but I'm really not sure how it is going to be received. We will have to wait and see. The fee increases to £7.50 from Monday but your membership does get you regular contact and free postage on anything purchased from the The Bulldog Clinic
Our May month end showed that we were asked to help 21 bulldogs - an increase of 9 dogs on the same period last year. The Expenses run (which is paid a month in arrears) showed our volunteers had travelled 1400 miles and donated 655 hours during April 2019 and at the risk of sounding like a stuck record - these people really are the hard working cogs in the wheels that make up this rescue and words can never express our gratitute towards their support and loyalty.
Without our volunteers Evie wouldn't be with us. Having gone into a rescue in South Wales, it was soon obvious she had something seriously wrong with her mouth as it was too pain full to open it. A fund raiser for her treatment has brought in an amzing £1700.00 so we have had xrays done and are about to start treatment on her severe demodex. It's looking likely that she has a trapped nerve in her neck so she's on pain killers and anti inflammatories and we will keep you updated on our facebook page. She's a little bit special already
The week began with some very hot weather - I've realised that if you want to make it rain, put out some information on how to deal with overheating. We released this short video earlier this week and it's rained every day since, but please watch it because it is due to warm up again and once these things are in your brain there's a good chance you will remember it should you need it.
You can view the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB-0NSmQFys
So until next week, enjoy the weather
Another bank holiday!!!!! Can you beleive just how many we've had already but at least that's it now until the Summer. But this one was rather unusal and very special as we made our way across to Southend on Sea (or as the locals call it Saarfeeennnd) for an amazing fund raising event. One of our local volunteers has a partner who just happens to own a tattoo shop and on Bank Holiday Monday the shop opened for a very special reason - tattoo's in exchange for a donation to Bulldog Rescue. Over £600 was raised and it was really nice to relax and eat cake with some of our amazing Essex Volunteers. I finally got my "Smile and Wave" tattoo too which some of us have been promising ourselves for many years.
It was back to reality on Tuesday though with the usual day off back log and a letter from the Kennel Club to inform us that the grant, which they suggested we apply for after sending them the Trevor's Treaty campaign to help with our additional vet costs had been refused because they no longer gave grants for vet bills!!! You couldn't make this up really, we apply for this grant every year anyway so we found it strange that after asking them for additional support that that would be the suggestion - but since applying they've changed the rules. We have no idea where this will end but we will of course keep you posted on the campaign facebook page as there was no time to dwell on that this week. as the rehome requests continued to come in and we also had the added task of preparing for an AGM and the Annual Volunteer Meeting.
The AGM was bleak, as each of us gave our reports on what has happened over the course of the year it became obvious that a pattern was forming,The Chairmans, CEO, Treasurers and Coordinators report had all noted that our big problem was Vet Bills. Our Treasurer gave a very bleak warning suggesting that we only had a years worth of funds left if we didn't do something about it now. So sadly we have had to bring in a few contingency plans and hope that the current trend of corporate companies buying up vet practices like a desease crawling across the country reaches it's peak soon. It's clear that as they buy up the practices and double the prices they are beginning to lose clients who can no longer afford the prices. Assuming something positive happens within the next 12 months we will be OK, but if not we will have to start limiting the number of dogs we can help at any one time and I'll be honest - the thought of having to tell any owner we can't help makes me want to cry. We will publish the reports over the next couple of weeks, they make very interesting and bleak reading but it's a situation we will now monitor on a monthly basis (as opposed to our usual quarterly system) but the fund raising season has now begun after the Christmas lull when no one has spare cash to give to charities so I'm hopefull this is nothing more than a blip.
The following day was Vicky's amazing Bulldog Day. Unfortunately my health no longer allows me to do both the AGM and Bulldog Day but I bet they are having an amazing time. The point of holding the two events on the same weekend is so that some of our volunteers can stay over after the meeting to help with the day so thank you very much to all that did stay up in Newark and we hope you are OK. Obvioulsy Monday (3rd June) will see a very thin covering of staff so please bear with us if you find it difficult to get hold of us tomorrow. Batteries need to be recharged.