Shelter 25 – 30.08.2018 – Adoromimos, Mafra, Portugal.
This is a new shelter, so it’s still early days and construction continues. Already there’s around 35 dogs and two enclosures of cats. Fortunately lots of volunteers come weekends to busy themselves with cleaning, walking, loving and building. As usual, during the week it’s pretty quiet. The dogs are kept in three general areas and most get out to play while their pen is cleaned. Not much mixing goes on due to fear of fights. One pen had five older puppies in, like lurchers, and it was a nightmare to clean. There’s no drainage yet, so pools of dirty water gathered in certain places and you had to do frantic brush movements to try and expel it. It was exhausting. Next to their pen was a group of big girl sisters. They were like burly hockey players – fun, rough and tumble types. On a day when all other jobs were done and I was still furiously trying to rid the puppy pen of water, everyone else went home. After they left I had a thought. Why not try the puppies with the sisters? Then both groups could be out double the time and you could start cleaning the puppies earlier, instead of waiting for the sisters pen to be finished. My strategy was simple – let one puppy and one sister out at a time and monitor. The system worked like a dream and within half an hour everyone was out playing together! It was wonderful to see and great socialisation experience for both groups. Result! 😁 Different day, totally different experience. One area of the shelter houses two kennels and another cat pen. A mother and her young pups were in one kennel. I’m so paranoid about Parvo these days, I wanted to make sure it was cleaned properly. With mum AND puppies still inside with me, I was planning my strategy when I heard a scuffle, as some cats escaped their pen while the lady was going in. When it comes to cats, I’m not so brave. I’m allergic to their bites and scratches – body AND mind. 😕 The girl cleaning with me went to help catch them, right at the moment when the original cat girl caught one by the tail and back end. Predictably it turned to scratch and bite her! And this was the moment I knew. From inside the mother and puppy kennel I knew I was going to say ‘No’ if anyone asked for my help. 😦 Normally I offer to help with EVERYTHING, but I just couldn’t. I think cats should be free to roam anyway, so if they’re sterilised and have access to food, let them be. That’s my excuse anyway. Plus, these guys sure didn’t look like they wanted to be picked up and cuddled. Eventually I did kind of help. I put a load of wet food on the floor in their pen to try and keep the rest away from the door. They LOVED that. 😊 I think they were all caught in the end. One of the last ones was caught because it was fence fighting with the mum in her kennel?! A chance of freedom and that’s what it decides to do??! 😂 Anyway, after that episode I made sure I always gave the cats some wet food when I was going round feeding the dogs. 😉 All in all it’s a nice place and set in beautiful surroundings. There were often kids helping, which is fantastic to see and the lovely Ana takes photo’s of EVERYTHING, so updates on the work going on are constant. I think these guys will do well, as they’re lovely people with a great attitude. I’ll look forward to coming back once it’s all finished. And apologies about not helping with the cats. 😞 I must try harder in future with cats. 👍🐈 https://www.facebook.com/adoromimos2013/