Our Special Friends has the most amazing Facebook Page, currently just gone over the 1000 people who like the page (now on the way to the next 1000!). In the last Newsletter, we had the story of Marion who responded heroically and fostered the Coronation Street fanatical Cockatiel.
Geraldine responded to another appeal for someone to foster a terrier-type dog Billy, while his owner was in hospital. Belinda made the journey to see Geraldine with Billy and they stayed for 1½ hours waiting to see if Billy and Geraldine’s cat, Lello, could exist together in the same space. But clearly the answer was NO. Happily, after all that time in Belinda’s company, Geraldine was hooked and became an OSF Volunteer.
Then another foster placement was needed for Goldie, a yellow Lab, again due to the owner being in hospital. Goldie came with a large amount of baggage after a hard life full of work and breeding. She was described by another volunteer Bee, who had previously known Goldie, “As the most shut down dog she had ever seen”. Geraldine worked so hard with Goldie. As Goldie wasn’t making any eye contact with humans, Geraldine made her a den in her sitting room where Goldie could hide herself away if she wanted. Anyone who has owned, or spent time with, any Lab will know they were created to command humans with their big brown eyes! Geraldine’s cat Lello however was an instant hit. Goldie adored him, possibly because no cat had ever caused her any harm!
It took three days for Goldie to start to relax and engage with Geraldine, but it wasn’t too long before they were both enjoying the walks and each other’s company. But Goldie’s insecurities did mean that she was getting very paranoid about where to wee and poo, refusing to ‘go’ in Geraldine’s garden, near a road or near any traffic. Since Geraldine lived in a town this situation became more and more problematic. It isn’t funny getting in the car last thing at night to find a quiet field!
So as the owners still weren’t able to have her home, Goldie came to Belinda’s house where there was no traffic and three other dogs for company and once she had accepted the new humans, she began to enjoy life again. Just to finish her story off, both her owners died, and again through the power of Facebook, a permanent home was found, where Goldie has loads of human, dog and cat company and is set to live the rest of her life in a happy situation.
Meanwhile, back with Geraldine. She very kindly said she would walk a Retriever named Silas. It was quite a trek to get to him and certainly amazing that she is happy to be there for 7.30am twice a week, as Silas is another dog who won’t wee in his own garden. Silas and Geraldine have a lovely relationship: as Geraldine says “Life is bliss for Silas”. Geraldine extended her time with Silas by taking him home with her on a Friday, for a Silas Doggy Day. He plays in her large garden, they walk together and as she says “take naps together” (well she does have to get up extremely early to go and get him). Her husband has renamed Friday to Siday. Silas gets loads of stimulation and Silas’s owner gets a day of rest.
OSF have since found another volunteer, Carole, who is doing dog walking another day a week, so Silas is gaining lots of admirers – and he deserves them.
So thank you Geraldine for interacting with Billy, Goldie and Silas, Greta with Billy, Bee with Goldie, and Carole with Silas.