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NEWS - March / April 2015

Puppa's birthday

puppa the dog

Puppadog celebrated her 18th birthday on the 7th of April. She was found at the Henley in Arden Horse Auction when she was about 6 weeks old. She hadn't been weaned, she was skinny and scared, her coat was dirty. The man selling her wanted money to buy beer. She came here to Manor Orchard and developed into a small but perfectly formed feisty little dog, head of the pack. Other rescued dogs, five times her size all treated her with due respect. She's enjoyed all eighteen of her years, she's chased foxes, rabbits and hares through the ridge and furrow fields, disappearing down the furrows and appearing seconds later, ears flapping, covered in grass, tongue hanging out, full of the chase. She never caught anything, she did once come very close to a rabbit who decided to stop running and just sit still. She approached the rabbit and then looked back. "What do I do now, it's stopped?"

Puppa with human and canine friends

She learnt to swim when she followed a vixen up into one of the willow trees and then fell off a branch into the stream. She disappeared down holes and appeared hours later strolling down the lane having found her own way out. She has many friends, she's happy to spread her favours. Now in her dotage she spends much of her time sleeping and dreaming but is still the boss, still the contented, generous little dog who continues to make us all smile.

Five new cockerels


We were asked to take in five young cockerels who were all surplus to requirements and were all due to have their necks pulled. We were able to find space for them in the little bachelor garden which houses four ganders who all share one house, one gander who lives alone in another house and a drake in a third house. The four ganders have to be ushered out of their house first thing in the morning before anyone else gets out as their sole mission in life is to attack and dismember anything they can get hold of. In the past this has included Beatrice the dog, Hosanna the donkey, several of us, the wheelbarrow and anyone foolish enough to cross the footpath. And they are all a menace towards anything of the female species, regardless of species or size.

The five new boys settled in fairly quickly and haven't as yet attempted to escape and who manage to dodge the open beak of the hissing, bad tempered old gander who shares their space. The one with the mad haircut is Boris, (Johnson), the other one with the bad haircut is Rod, (Stewart). The others have yet to acquire names. Any suggestions?

Hero the lamb


A small white lamb, born on a local farm, was due to be put down when he was six days old. The reason? It was realised that he was blind. He was being bottle reared but couldn't have been sent into market when he reached slaughter weight for welfare reasons. The effort to keep him alive was time consuming and ultimately he had no commercial value. The farmer agreed that he could come to us, so he was brought here by Fay who used to help us out as a volunteer. We carried him into the barn housing the pensioners to see if any of the older ewes would call to him, and then we realised that not only was he blind, he was also deaf.


Two of the ewes called to him when we put him in with them but there was no response, we tested him with other loud sounds, still no response, so this little chap had been born into a totally isolated world and cared for by a totally alien species. He was installed in my bedroom like so many orphaned lambs before him where he set about exploring his surroundings, which he did surprisingly well without bumping into the furniture. It appears that he can distinguish shapes, or he has inbuilt radar. He also has an ability to sense movement, which he demonstrates by searching out Beatrice the Alsatian, who also sleeps in my bedroom, when he wants to go to sleep. We've named him Hero. He's growing, he's confident, he plays and spends the warm days pottering around in the garden. When he's stronger we'll look out for a companion for him, preferably a ewe lamb as boys always manage to pee out of the top of their nappies.


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