Indy’s twig.

Just a quick update on how the boys are doing. Indy is continuing to recover from his surgery, he is still not allowed to run or jump so he is being taken to the fields instead of the park so that he doesn’t meet his chums and over play. Today he decided to carry a “twig” that he found, he carried it the whole way around the fields!

Indy's twig!!

Throw it will ya?

Hamish has had a few sessions with his friends so has continued to progress, he has been a bit more nervous around the streets as there has been a lot of children around due to the Easter break and Hamish just isn’t ready for kids yet. The Golden Retriever in Hamish is coming to the surface more often in the form of selective deafness! Hamish made a new friend on the scrubby fields when he met a Flatcoat Retriever who he really enjoyed running with, on Hamish’s microchip entry it says he is 3/4 Golden and 1/4 Flatcoat? The Flatcoat’s owner said this is likely to be accurate as Hamish has a black spot on his tongue which apparently Flatcoats have? plus his narrow back end and tail are also typical of Flatcoats? We love him whatever he is and sometimes he is 100% cheeky! :-D



This is how Luca used to pose with Indy.

This is how Luca used to pose with Indy.

Hamish's good side.


Hamish got a gift in the mail this week, it was a shamrock shaped dog tag already engraved with his details? We guessed it was sent by Irish Retriever Rescue? we will have to check, it looks good though. :-)



O’Driscoll is a gorgeous 3 year old Golden Retriever who needs a home, he is in the care of Irish Retriever Rescue.

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Indy’s progress.

Indy has been back to vet twice for checkups since his surgery, we have been told that he is progressing well. :-)

The area in which he had the lump can cause some healing problems so he has had to rest to ensure he doesn’t open the wound.


Indy did get to go for a short walk today just so that he doesn’t go barking mad, he was only allowed to go to the top of our street and back but at least it stopped him crying when I took Hamish out. :-(

Stylish dude.

Indy is getting a liking for fashion, in the past he hated us putting things on him, he dreads Christmas because of hats and beards! Julia will be shopping for some more shirts for him tomorrow as now he is going out he is getting mucky. With luck Indy can have some normalish walks next week after he has the stitches removed? It will be hard not allowing him to run and play but he is such a placid bloke, it wont cause any problems with him.


Monty needs a home, he is in the care of Irish Retriever Rescue.

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Indy has had surgery.

Indy has had a lump under his arm for a few months, the vet said it was fat and as long as it didn’t bother him we could leave it. In the past couple of weeks it has grown a little and was making him uncomfortable so today he had it removed. I hate having things done to my boys, I am a nervous wreck all day and then I feel guilty when they arrive home all sore and confused. :-(

Indy’s wound (not too gory)

Indy wound

The dreaded “lampshade” they sent him home in.

Indy in a lampshade

A better solution is a shirt, Indy never messed with his wound when he had the “snip” so he should be OK.

Indy tshirt

The worst part for Indy will be that he can’t go out for walks for a few days and running and jumping could be several weeks! Poor baby. :-(

Thank you to the many hundreds of people who have viewed the blog since Saturday. it will be strange to return to my usual 30 or so views per day, I will miss y’all. The serious point is that perhaps we shouldn’t assume that all rescues are looking after the animals in an ideal way, if they appear not to be open to closer scrutiny we should ask why? also, the owners of animal sanctuaries shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help, in these tough times when money is in short supply people are usually willing to give time instead of money. It is now obvious to me that a lot of people really care about the welfare of dogs and are prepared to do what it takes to help them.

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Words fail me! :-(

I will post this link almost without comment.

I stopped going to Wiccaweys 2 years ago because I had ethical differences with the proprietors after that I just stuck to fostering. The RSPCA seized these dogs but later returned them? What were they thinking?

For people who don’t use Facebook here is the post with a few of the pictures. (there are 86 on Facebook)
Liz Clarke; Sometimes the truth is so awful we want to hide from it – but it still needs to be told, first hand and with evidence. This is not gossip or people jumping on a bandwagon, this is the real story of what has happened at Wiccaweys Border Collie Rescue from one of the people brave enough to speak out for the dogs – a really honest and genuine person.
“The Wiccaweys propaganda machine continues to mislead supporters by spreading lies suggesting that no offences were ever committed and that the RSPCA investigation was simply the result of unfounded allegations by a disgruntled employee. Therefore, after much thought, I have decided to release some of the many pictures which I took over considerable period of time. As a key witness, I was asked to remain silent during the RSPCA investigation for fear of compromising the outcome. However internal issues within their own organisation have meant that the RSPCA managed to do this all by themselves. At the outset of their investigation I was assured that Wiccaweys would face prosecution due to the offences which had been committed under the Animal Welfare Act. However after making a huge mess of things the RSPCA realised that they would not win the case in court. This is the reason why Wiccaweys were not prosecuted for animal abuse and neglect and the rescue closed down.I have fully supported Wiccaweys for many years, financially and by homechecking, fostering, cleaning, walking the dogs and generally helping out where needed. Historically I would not hear a bad word spoken against them. However I became increasingly concerned about the welfare of the dogs, and during my years of helping out I have witnessed many examples unacceptable standards in how the dogs were treated and accommodated. I reached a point where I could no longer “turn a blind eye” to the conditions and acts of abuse/cruelty I had witnessed and neither could I walk away and do nothing to help these dogs, the innocent victims of this abuse.Prior to the raid when over 20 dogs were removed, the RSPCA had visited Wiccaweys on two separate occasions following complaints received. The second visit was during the time when some of these photographs were taken and while a complicit RSPCA Inspector felt everything was alright, clearly my pictures demonstrate otherwise.

I have known and loved some of these dogs for years. It saddens me to see that some of them shown (Kiki, Cody, and Buddy) are still waiting adoption. Others like Prince, Lenny, Fifi, Judy and Rosie will almost certainly remain at Wiccaweys until they die.

The young collie pictured in the back of the van was born at Wiccaweys and has spent half his life in the back of this van. He is actually one of Sarah’s “own” dogs. It was common to have 4 dogs accommodated in this van in all weathers. Further dogs were kept in assorted crates in the shop area, where cupboards had been constructed and dogs kept in these confined, dark, poorly ventilated spaces. Cody and Piper were kept here for a long period. Cody’s only crime was that he “chased traffic and was stressed out in a crate”. Sadly Piper was moved into one of the yards just prior to the RSPCA raid and then deemed “unrehomeable” and put to sleep.

The large barn was fitted out with crates which soon became dirty and broken. The majority of crates had a plastic basket for the dogs to sleep in, but very rarely was any form of bedding used. The dogs remained in their crate for virtually 24 hours a day, having to lie and stand in their own excrement, thus making them absolutely filthy. They would only have a walk at the weekend when folk like myself would volunteer and walk the dogs and give the crates a good clean. I have seen so many dogs upset and their spirits broken by being kept in this way, which is heartbreaking. The dogs were fed irregularly with a block or two of frozen food, making many of them very constipated.

Some of the dogs are deemed “sponsor dogs/special case” dogs, but they were just kept in the crates, the same as the other dogs. They certainly did not receive any extra or special care. Rosie, cocker spaniel, was kept in an odd crate at the top of the barn. She often didn’t have any bedding and her crate was always soaked in urine, both from herself and from the male dogs who would always cock their legs up her crate as they were passing. The top of her crate was always piled high with rubbish.

It is ironic to see that across the banner for Wiccaweys new venture “Inspire your Dog” is a picture of Merlin the lurcher. Merlin has spent the last few years living in one of these crates in the barn, again rarely with bedding and he is supposed to be a much loved member of their family!

The dogs had been living in these conditions for a few years. Paul’s heart attack was used to explain deteriorating conditions but the situation had been like this long beforehand. My actions have never been personal towards Sarah and Paul. I tried to talk to them but I found that they were not open to any suggestions and I was told “if you don’t like it, don’t come back!”. I would have taken the same action in reporting my first-hand fully evidenced concerns to the RSPCA no matter who was keeping dogs in this way. I was and still am only concerned for the welfare of these vulnerable dogs I have nothing to hide and I have never been anything other than honest.

Obviously I have been banned from Wiccaweys for simply telling the truth. My only comfort is that Wiccaweys are now firmly on the radar of the RSPCA and should undergo regular inspections and monitoring for the foreseeable future. Sadly the cosmetic facelift with new kennels does not mean that these dogs are going to be looked after properly. I know this couple too well and worry about what is going on behind closed doors.

Before you jump in to defend this “rescue” I would simply request that you ask yourself “Did I go into the barn, shop and van and see for myself where and how these dogs were kept? ” BECAUSE I DID and this is what the Wiccaweys scandal is all about. The truth about Wiccaweys needs to be made public so people are no longer misled but fully informed. “


This is in the back of a van, 4 dogs often live in here!
Mack lived in the van for 5 months before I brought him home. :-(
I’m not the kind of person to join a “witch hunt”  but it breaks my heart to know dogs are living like this at a place that is supposed to be their sanctuary.



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Hamish and his crew.

While I am still enjoying my latest flare up of MS symptoms posts will be limited, although I can’t stop myself from posting pictures of the woofers. :-)

At the park, Indy and Hamish have collected a disparate group of hounds with whom they play and hang out every day. Indy stays to the edge of the group with either a toy or an empty plastic bottle in the hopes that someone will throw it for him, Hamish just takes turns chasing and being chased. Hamish is very happy to greet the people owned by the various dogs and is even happier to take a treat from them. :-D





Both of the boys really enjoy going to the park now, in the past we often had to avoid loose dogs as various foster dogs didn’t react well to strangers but Indy and Hamish are very sociable. Hamish ends every trip to the park by having a swim in the stream, he really loves water. :-)

Another giant step forward came yesterday when I was returning from the dentist on my mobility scooter, I cut across the park and met with Julia and the boys, when Hamish saw me he came running and jumped up onto me! the first time Hamish saw me on the scooter he ran away shouting. :-D

I will try to post more frequently when I feel a little better.

Loulou is in need of a home, she is in the care of Irish Retriever Rescue

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Is it spring yet?

I haven’t posted for a wee while as I have been under the MS weather a bit! luckily I was due an appointment with my MS nurse this week so I was able to get my medication adjusted. I haven’t slept through the night for a couple of months due to nocturnal nerve pain which could be renamed as a “pain in the a**e”!! I have been on an increased dose of my medication for nerve pain since Friday and last night I slept the whole night. :-)

I am being referred for assessment for some cognitive problems which could be MS but could equally be Epilepsy but the worrying part is that the testing is done by the “early dementia testing team”!! My nurse said not to read anything into the name but I think she is trying to tell me something. :-D

On a jolly note, Hamish is doing great. He is confident enough to be loose on the park although we leave a lead attached just in case. That boy can really run! Indy doesn’t stand a chance of getting to the ball first even with a decent head start, Hamish has a very good recall already as we started teaching him with food rewards and Hamish really likes food.

Here is a photo of Hamish running free followed by a short video of his first day of recall in the park.

Hamish gallumphing

At home Hamish is really settled, he loves to lay with Indy (they snog a lot) they still tumble but less often. Hamish has established a routine and is happiest when we stick to it, he knows when it is time for eating, going out for walks and cuddles.

We love our dad. :-)

We love our dad. :-)

We definitely made the right choice when we adopted Hamish, he may not be the purest bred Golden Retriever but he has all the best traits of one and we love him. :-)

I am just about to renew my fishing club membership so I should be starting to fish again soon, it will be really good to get out of the house once in a while. Now, WHERE IS SPRING? :-D


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A gay player to join the NFL.

I just came across this video of an American sports reporter’s take on a college football player coming out. Perhaps the homophobics out there might listen and learn?

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The council must be blind or uncaring if they grant this licence!

Originally posted on cariadcampaign:

In response to Neil Speakman’s application for a Pet Shop Licence, we have submitted the following briefing paper to all members of the Bury Council Licensing Committee.

Representation to Bury Council Licensing Committee

Regarding application for a pet shop licence to be considered under Item 8 of the Agenda for the Licensing Committee meeting on Thursday February 13th.

Submitted by: C.A.R.I.A.D. (Care and Respect Includes All Dogs)

Date of submission : 11 February 2014

C.A.R.I.A.D., an organisation which campaigns for improved welfare standards in dog breeding, and which represents a coalition of over 30 dog rescue organisations, requests that Committee Members consider the following submission, in relation to the above pet shop application. We believe that this application relates to Bentley Hall Farm and has been submitted by Neil Speakman of that address.

1. Members are likely to be aware that there has been much publicity, including in the…

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While the wife is away…

The dogs will play.

Julia is in Indianapolis, she went at very short notice because she finally got a court date for her case against the crooked preacher. SHE WON!! The judge awarded guardianship to the family and declared the will and power of attorney to be invalid having been obtained fraudulently!  I will do a post in the future naming names and giving detail but at the moment a file is being prepared for the prosecutor. If you have older family in central Indiana especially Avon and Indianapolis,  check on them to make sure they haven’t been persuaded to sign a power of attorney by a crooked preacher.

Indy decided that as Julia is away it is ok for him to sleep on her sofa, after finding him on there a few times in the night I decided to put his “blanky” there, this is in no way condoning his behaviour!  :-D


Hamish is continuing to settle and has finally become confident enough to play “tumble monkies” with Indy, this was always a favourite game of Luca.

Hamish has a really big personality, he is cheeky, playful, loving and has all the makings of a really great dog in the not too distant future, I think the right dog for us came along at the right time. :-)


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A Hamish milestone.

After a very muddy day in the fields we decided that today was a good day to give Hamish his first shower, he was quite brave unlike Indy who has a lot of experience of showers and he hates them.

This picture makes me realise just how big Hamish is, Indy is no titch!



Last night the boys slept together for the first time. :-)



Hamish is becoming a bit of a celebrity at the park, all the dog walkers know who he is and many can’t wait until they can fuss him (a few have managed the odd stroke or two) I will not rush him, I am very pleased with his progress he is just a great big giant puppy who is starting to learn about the world.

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