Bad News, Good News

Well, I got back from the UK last week and the little cat we had been caring for – one of the feral brood, the mamma cat – hung on long enough for me to say goodbye. She had skin cancer which had really attacked her poor ears and face and she died in her sleep, poverina. So now she is in the garden with the others. We have lost so many cats here!

I did my stint at the canile Casentino kennels on Saturday and I am going again today as it is a holiday here. I was so sad that in the one month since I had last been there two lovely dogs had died, a very old and totally adorable German Shepherd called Lula and a funny looking little thing with golden eyes called Pluto. He was quite young and apart from a dramatic weight loss had seemed OK, so I was quite shocked.

However before it gets too gloomy, some great news too, that an extremely old and virtually toothless little soul called Ovidio has been adopted. It used to break my heart seeing him trot along in his stiff legged way, sometimes stumbling, and I dreaded the thought of him having another cold winter in there, so that is a tremendous relief.

And Ambra, a fantastic but average looking dog has also been adopted after THREE YEARS, which gives hope to all the others. There seem to have been more enquiries recently after a quiet summer so I hope lots more get adopted as it's so heartening for the volunteers.

Happy Endings!

Don't you love it when things work out? I've just heard from Bethany that thanks to the site, she has found a new home for Barnaby the Bichon. Great news.

Also Aprile the pregnant cat I posted about has been relocated to a lovely animal shelter in Umbria. I can't take any credit for that one, but it's still great that the situation has been resolved and that the poor little thing can have her kittens in peace.

Let's hope we can keep up the momentum as there are so many animals out there looking for homes.


Fattoria della Pace, Pisa

fattoria della pace, Pisa Every so often I hear about amazing people doing amazing work. This circular is from an organization called Fattoria della Pace (Peace Farm) situated at Marina di Pisa and I thought I would share it with you all.

The place is run by volunteers and is home to a variety of unwanted domestic animals, including horses, donkeys, cows, pigs, rabbits and chickens. They have taken these animals from other voluntary organizations and animalisti who couldn't place them and in doing so saved them from certain death.

The farm cover three hectares, (about six acres)and is open to visitors, children being especially welcome. The animals help educate the children about how to look after then and they are also used for 'pet therapy' for children with problems. The animals, many of whom have had lives of immense suffering, are free to roam around and enjoy the companionship of people and other animals in peace, safety and dignity. The volunteers try to train, rehabilitate them and rehome them if possible.

The reason I am posting this is because they are in urgent need of funds to complete some fencing. This is needed to keep the animals safe and to section off a new area for visitors to get to know the animals.

If you can help them their bank ref is:

Banca Popolare Etica

IBAN  IT56B0501802800000000131885.

Payable to: Fattoria della Pace IPPOASI



Two Beautiful Dogs in Pavia Urgently Need Home

I have been contacted by a desperate couple who are heartbroken at having to leave their beloved dogs, rescued as puppies, behind because they must return to the UK. I have posted the appeal on the Dogs and Puppies Looking for Homes page. I'm waiting for a photo and will then put that up too.


Driving Me Nuts!

Maia and the walnuts, pets in italy I am typing this to the background sound of crunching. It's walnut season and as we have two huge walnut trees in the garden, this means hours of fun for the dogs and loads of mess for me.

They ferret around looking for the black oval fruits hidden in the grass or gravel, then carry them into the house (not while I'm watching you understand!) and then bite off the black husk and bite through the shells to the walnuts inside. You would not believe how much debris one walnut makes! They also stain things black, especially if they are wet, like today.

The walnuts don't seem to do them any harm as very often the shells are empty or the meagre pickings so crushed by their teeth that they are hardly worth eating, but it is a constant battle to keep one step ahead of the relentless and clearly very exciting hunt and its resultant trail of little pieces.

It rained heavily last night and the wind has blown down another load of walnuts, most of which seem to be on the floor. If only I could train them to use a dustpan and brush!