AWOL…

Or is it MIA?

I have no excuse for not posting for so long, I haven’t been busy or ill, just lazy. ๐Ÿ˜€

Truth be told life is being pretty dull of late. I started my new medications for MS symptoms and apart from a little added fatigue and dizziness they work pretty well, once I adjust all will be well.

Today was likely to be the last of the really nice weather days of the year so Hamish and I decided to travel the full length of our linear park. The official park is approximately 2 1/2 miles long but we are lucky enough to live a street away from an area that is pretty much left wild that we call the “scrub”, this is another 2 1/2 miles long and like the park runs between 2 areas of housing. On my buggy I can’t easily access the top mile of the scrub as there are high kerbs where a road cuts through but that’s okay. ๐Ÿ™‚

The scrub is dotted with clumps of trees which Hamish has to visit in order to leave his calling card.

 

The scrub is largely even ground so my high ground clearance buggy copes well, the bodywork does crop some of the longer vegetation though. ๐Ÿ˜€ At the end of the scrub the cycle path begins next to a pond and marks the beginning of the park.

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After the pond section of cycle path is an area near housing which is a favourite of Indy now that he is older and his joints don’t want him to go too far. It is also an ideal posing place for Hamish.

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The main body of the park is served by the duel use cycle/ footpath which is well lit so can be used safely all day. The path runs through the middle and is flanked by football pitches (with changing rooms)and play areas but is mostly rolling grass with trees.

And a pause for a pose…

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The undulating part of the park gives a good overview of the football pitches and one of the children’s play areas which we avoid on busy days as Hamish isn’t keen on little people!

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After crossing the second of the 2 roads that dissectย  the park and the only one that needs to be crossed as the other has an underpass, there is a short final part of park before reaching Croyland gardens and then the end in the town centre.

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There is always time for one final pose before returning home. ๐Ÿ˜€

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Hamish was quite worn out by his excursion but I think he enjoyed himself.

Tomorrow strong winds and heavy rain are forecast, this is going to be the start of a longer period of unsettled weather so I will be hibernating for a while. Before we know it it will be books and box sets instead of buggy as winter starts. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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Living in chaos.

That was an interesting few weeks.

We have just reached the end of a complete kitchen remodel. It took two weeks to completely empty the kitchen and set up a temporary one in the dinning room before the work began. The old kitchen was torn out followed by huge holes being gouged out of the walls and ceiling for the rewire! The kitchen was rewired, plastered, painted, new cabinets, and then the new tiled floor we had done in November was extended to fill the exposed areas created by the new cabinet layout. Now we just have to find everything we took out and return it to the kitchen, don’t worry we put everything somewhere safe… now, where was that? ๐Ÿ˜€

I found the past 2 or 3 weeks interesting as I had to hide in the bedroom most days with Hamish to stop him getting stressed by all the comings and goings. I watched a lot of television and Hamish did a lot of sleeping, mostly across me! We usually found a time in the day when the contractors were either taking a break or going to get supplies when I could get my buggy out and take the woofers for a run. Indy was more than happy to just lay down somewhere and watch the workers doing their thing, almost all of the polish workers were terrified of dogs so we had to keep him a safe distance from the kitchen, it’s a good job they didn’t meet Hamish he would have scared the bejeesus out of them. ๐Ÿ˜€ Funny people, who doesn’t love dogs?

My MS is much the same, I am still having the balance problems that have plagued me for months. I have an MS clinic appointment in two weeks so I will see if I can do something different that might help. The weather has been like a typical English summer, warm for a few days followed by chilly and wet for a week and then warm again, so I haven’t suffered the “hot weather exhaustion” that I have during prolonged hot spells. Now we are nearing the end of summer it is unlikely the weather will cause any problems this year. This is good because I won’t be as exhausted but bad because I love sunny days out with the boys.

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A lovely mature pair of pooches from Irish Retriever rescue.

Doug and Jan.

Jan and her mate Doug came from a home with a very elderly owner who was was
going into a nursing home and, of course, couldnโ€™t take them with him.ย  IRR was
contacted to see if we could help. They have been together all their lives and have
a strong bond with each other.

There are other dogs available and always some being assessed and others still waiting to travel to The UK.

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A bit of a whinge and a warning.

First the warning.

I don’t know about others but I have 4 dental checkups each year, this includes a thorough examination of the soft tissues of the mouth. I think it is more common for people to have 2? My advice is to have as many as you can afford both financially and time wise. My 37 year old niece went for her regular checkup at the end of last year during which the dentist found something he wasn’t happy about, he referred her to the hospital for further examination. Her appointment was slow arriving and by the time it did she was heavily pregnant. The hospital found cancer under her tongue, treatment was delayed a month to allow the pregnancy to reach a point where the baby could be delivered. The baby was delivered early and surgery was done followed by chemotherapy. A few weeks after chemo my niece went for a follow up appointment where it was found the cancer had returned and had also spread, she was told she had just 3 or 4 months to live, she died 8 days later. My dentist told me that 75% of oral cancers can be spotted early with regular checkups which sadly means 25% go unnoticed until it is too late! He also said that most oral cancers are very aggressive so the sooner they are found the better the outcome. So if you are overdue a checkup perhaps it would be a good time to get it done.

 

My whinge seems a little self indulgent now but the reason I started the blog was to say things that bother me without burdening my loved ones.

MS has been a real pain for quite a while now. I may be having a proper relapse at the moment? 3 or 4 weeks ago I had a fall which left my arms and body scratched and bruised this was at the same time a I started suffering severe dizziness. At the time I wasn’t sure if the fall came first and I had banged my head or if the dizziness came first and this had caused the fall? The dizziness has continued since along with horrible neuralgia in my lower legs, feet, right hand, and arm and such bad fatigue I can barely move my arms and legs. I thought once I had been diagnosed with secondary progressive MS it would be a slow plod onward without relapses? I guess not, I will still get the pleasure of relapses. ๐Ÿ˜€

After summer ended a week ago with rain and cold temperatures it has now returned with blue sky and plenty of sunshine. ๐Ÿ™‚ The met office is saying that it will mostly remain like this until October? So, rain and cold for us then. ๐Ÿ˜€

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Irish Retriever Rescue oldie, Ralph is looking for a home.

Ralph

Ralph is 10 years old, in good health (apart from wobbly back legs) and has a pet passport. Further details of Ralph can be found by clicking wherever you see his name.

Other IRR dogs can be found here…ย along with success stories and ways you can help the rescue. IRR is a wonderful rescue and is where our gorgeous Hamish came from.

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Summer has arrived… probably.

As expected, the arrival of summer has lifted my spirits again. I know when the hot weather comes some of my MS symptoms like fatigue will get worse but I am happy to live with that and not be miserable. ๐Ÿ™‚

My motorhome fund took a bit of a hit last month when Julia decided I should replace my old mobility scooter with a new one. The old one had started to be unreliable and I had to be rescued a few times while out with the ginger demon. I bought the same model and colour of scooter (a slightly later model though) because I am a bit of a miser and thought the old one would be a good source of spares when needed in the future. ๐Ÿ˜€

I opted for the high ground clearance so that I can take Hamish to the scrub fields.

Bertie buggy.

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The boys and I have been enjoying the garden and getting a bit of sun today. I tried to get some pictures but Indy has to be bribed with a ball to look at the camera and Hamish is convinced the camera is stealing his soul. ๐Ÿ˜€

Hard to believe that Indy is 12!

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This is as relaxed as I could get Hamish to look.

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Hamish is slightly less nervous when he is with Indy.

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Indoors is a different story, Hamish loves to squish in next to his Mum and Indy relaxes with a fan blowing on him. ๐Ÿ™‚

ย And finally one with me, I’m not really this pudgy it is just my loose tee shirt.

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I finally got my driving licence renewed, 4 months after applying. The DVLA got a report from my GP, the MS nurse, and my neurologist and then decided I had to have an examination?! Last time I filled in a form and 2 weeks later the licence arrived, I guess they are being more careful with wobbly drivers now. I just about never drive these days, it is just good to be able to in an emergency.

While my life has been improving many others in the UK have been destroyed. Since my last posts there have been 2 terrorist attacks and a tower block fire in London which have claimed many lives and affected many more. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ย It is remembering these kinds of tragedies that make it so easy for me to put my trifling hardships into perspective.

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No rescue dogs at the moment until I get fully back in my groove. We are still looking after Pepper quite often as his person has her cancer treatment.

 

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Stop the world I want to get off!

Just a brief moan. I have had another unpleasant experience. I was out on my buggy yesterday with the pupsters when a man appeared coming towards me, just as he was about to pass he stepped in front of me and grabbed the front of my buggy before launching into a vile aggressive tirade of abuse!! It wasn’t a young thug or even a middle aged thug he was older than me? When did it become a thing to attack or abuse disabled people? I was brought up to respect everyone especially the elderly and people with disabilities. The current narrative regarding people with disabilities was started by our goverment about 7 years ago when the word scrounger started being bandied about as an excuse to reduce funding to people on welfare benefits. You can tell a lot about a country by the way it treats the most vulnerable, the same could be said of individuals. It’s at times like this that I miss Mack, he didn’t shy away in the way Hamish does, Mack used the bite first and ask questions later. ๐Ÿ˜†

 

My Mack.

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Don’t worry, normal service will soon be resumed. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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An update of sorts.

There is nothing new to report again. Due to my health nothing has happened since my last posting. I stay at home and maybe twice a week I get to take the boys out for a run.

I wonder if the main difference between my former condition of “relapsing remitting MS” and the current “secondary progressive MS” is psychological? Most of the symptoms I have now I have had on and off for many years, maybe now they are a little worse? The thing now is that in my head I know that things are not going to get any better. I still have times that don’t feel too bad compared to other days but most every day tasks are a real effort. In the not too distant past I could look forward to weeks without any troubling symptoms but over time those periods have vanished. It’s hard to get advice of dealing with this new stage because everyone experiences MS differently, there is no standard progression in MS. My best source of help is my MS nurse as she sees many people with different symptoms at different stages of the condition, she gives good advice for a range of symptoms. The only thing I can’t get her help for is getting my head to adjust to how things are changing. At my last clinic appointment I was asked if I thought I might have some depression as apparently I appeared “a bit down”? I don’t think I am depressed, just at a bit of a loss as to what I do next to adjust, I will probably just plod on until I figure it out. ๐Ÿ™‚

I haven’t seen any friends for quite a long time now as I have been a bit of a hermit, perhaps now that the weather is improving I should try to get out and see some. As always there is an upside to life. I haven’t had any bothersome Epilepsy stuff for ages. ๐Ÿ™‚ Nothing makes me feel unsafe as much as Epilepsy does. I have never felt at risk or vulnerable because of MS, only a bit redundant and useless from time to time.

We are still struggling to find an automatic motorhome to replace our old dead one, there are a lot around but they are either too expensive, too old or if they are just right they sell before we can get to them! The trouble with good used motorhomes that are automatic is that they are as rare as rocking horse poop because they are sought after by old duffers like me. ๐Ÿ˜€

Julia has suggested we go to Indy’s farm (our friend Andrew) for a break, he has a lovely cottage that he rents out. The farm is thousands of acres of beautiful rolling, Scottish countryside in the lammermuir hills. I always feel good at the farm partly because Andrew still has 2 of Indy’s litter mates and 5 others from the same parents but different litters. Did I ever mention that I love dogs? ๐Ÿ˜€

Indy’s family.

Indy’s parents. Amariliss and Craster. Both greatly missed.

Craster and the Mrs

Indy’s eclectic mix of siblings. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย (the retriever lurking at the back was the wonderful Luca)

 

Julia and me with our old dead motorhome in front of the view from the cottage.

At Godscroft 2

And down in Moneynut valley where we usually camp. Sorry this is our private campsite as the lane is only open to the public once a year for a special stage of the RAC rally. ๐Ÿ˜€

campsite on moneynut lane

I think Julia is right again, we should go soon.

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2 Love Underdogs in the “overlooked category.

Robinson is a very endearing boy who who does give the best smiles! There is nothing quite like his face when people he knows visit him! He is a year and a half but arrived at the shelter in Romania as an abandoned puppy so his age estimate is fairly accurate. He is a relatively small dog at only 18kg, the photos can be deceptive. He is about the size of a large beagle. He is a lovely and very attaching dog who has a real sense of fun in him. He also quite fancies a role as someone’s lap dog. Robinson has spent time in foster so knows the basic and is house trained.

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Zina was born in July 2015 (her age is approximate). She had a difficult start to life. She was brought to a Romanian public shelter by dog catchers before being taken into a private shelter and into our care here in the UK with her siblings.
She is still a youngster who is developing and progressing. Zina is unsure about things and people unfamiliar to her and needs a patient and calm home, to help her gain some much needed confidence. We are only looking to place Zina in a family with an existing confident dog, which will help her settle enormously.

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To get more details of these 2 click their name or for other Underdogs click wherever you see “Love Underdogs

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More plodding on.

Life is fairly routine at the moment, not too dull and not too exciting. I have just had my 6 monthly MS clinic appointment during which it was decided we should add another medication (Gabapentin). My Epilepsy has been manageable for a while so nothing to worry about there. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have just sent the papers for my Driving licence to be renewed so I now have to wait for medical checks to be done. I very rarely drive now, I prefer Julia being my chauffeur.

Today Julia and I are celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary, to think that nobody thought it would last! We met on the 19th of December 1981, I proposed on the 8th of January 1982, we moved in together on Valentines day and married on March 20th!! Quite a whirlwind romance. I have now been married for 60% of my life.

Us on our first anniversary.

Julia gave birth to our son just 7 weeks before this picture!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

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Us in New Zealand after 25 years of marriage.

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Us in NZ

I think perhaps I have aged a bit worse than Julia, it didn’t help that my hair colour upped and went. ๐Ÿ˜€

Today spring has officially arrived so I can now look forward to some pleasant warm weather, unfortunately the forecasters are saying it is going to be cold and wet. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Regardless of the weather I will be getting my buggy out and taking Hamish on some of his favourite runs, Indy being an old bloke can plod around with Julia.

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Some new Love Underdogs.

Robinson is a little over a year old. He arrived at the shelter in Romania as an abandoned puppy so his age estimate is fairly accurate. He is a relatively small dog at only 18kg.

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Gabriella has only just arrived and we are getting to know her. Gabriella is missing a front leg, she was found injured by the side of the road.

Gabriella

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Cora is a wonderful girl who was rescued 4 years ago from an illegal kill shelter in the Carpathian mountains in Transylvania. She was found in a terrible state alongside 46 other survivors who had been left to die in a hangar. She has been waiting a long time for a chance to be adopted.

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No apologies for featuring Grayson again, no pooch deserves a home more.

ย Grayson is a stunning dog who was rescued from a particularly terrible dog pound in Bucharest. He came to us as a very traumatised and scared dog and is making great progress. This is a dog who will likely always be somewhat fearful, but he bonds incredibly well with the people who care for him.

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Anyone currently looking to adopt a dog would do well to visit Love Underdogs. Those not in a position to could help in other ways details of which are on the website.

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It has been a while.

Having been in hibernation for a while makes it feel like the year is flying past. I have been housebound so far this year with only a few buggy trips out with the woofers. MS symptoms have been a bit unpleasant and I have been having a lot of Epilepsy brain wobbles, which are made worse by the medication causing tiredness and bad balance. I know this is my life from now on but it bugs me more during the winter, I think a bit of warm sunshine will make it all feel better. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย Not much has been happening so far this year, no foster dogs apart from the odd day or two of Pepper while his person is in hospital for tests etc.

As we are now too far fromย Love Underdogs I may have to find another rescue to foster for, it is a real shame as I have really enjoyed the Underdogs and the people who run it. I may check with Irish Retriever Rescue as they are the people we got Hamish from. They don’t really have a location requirement as they have volunteers who collect and distribute dogs and the adopters meet the dogs at the fosterer’s home.

I am continuing to share Love Underdogs pooches as they are special to me and so deserving of a forever home.

Grayson is going to be featured a lot as he has been waiting a long time for a home, he appears to be very happy at the newer kennels.

Looking handsome on the grooming table. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Emerline is 6 years old and will be available soon after a vet check and assessment. Perfect for the pocket pooch lover.

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Baldwin a young bloke who has had a very hard start to life but doesn’t let thatย get in the way of having fun.

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Cora is a beautiful girl rescued from a kill shelter in Transylvania, she has waited a long time to come to the UK but is up for enjoying it now that she is here.

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Apple Candy is a big sweet girl who waited in the shelter for 3 years before being able to come here, she is 7 years old. She is stunningly beautiful, my kind of pooch. ๐Ÿ™‚

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As usual, for more details on a dog just click their name or to see other dogs available click anywhere it says Love Underdogs.

Hopefully next time I will have something of interest to write about. ๐Ÿ˜€

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A special Hamish day.

Today is Hamish’s third “gotcha day”

3 years ago our son drove us (I had stopped driving because of my epilepsy) all the way to the wilds of Lincolnshire to meet Hamish. The meeting consisted of trying to coax him into the same room as us but settling for a distant view of him. We knew Hamish was the pooch for us because we had fostered so many timid dogs we saw he would come around.

Hamish in his old foster home,ย He looked so haunted ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Within 5 minutes of starting the drive home Hamish was curled up on my lap asleep.

First picture at home, still with the haunted eyes.

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Hamish looked healthy and well fed but when we got close to him we discovered that he was very thin with several large sore areas on his skin! We took him to the vet and discovered he had fleas and was allergic to them. We treated the fleas and the infected skin and started feeding him properly and he flourished. We think Hamish didn’t get to eat properly because he was bullied by the other dogs in his foster home, they were all quite plump? Even now Hamish will abandon his food if another dogs walks near to his bowl while he is eating, Indy is very good around food and doesn’t bother him.

Hamish and Indy after his first bath.

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Hamish soon made himself at home and began to gain some confidence, he was lucky to have Indy to show him how to be a family member

Hamish loves his Mum. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Hamish is still nervous of strange people when we are out and absolutely terrified of children but in the house he is fine with people? He does have a large circle of people at the park that he has seen regularly, he likes them.

An assortment of pictures, some I have used before and others maybe not?

Hamish has come a long way in 3 years. In the first 18 months of his life he had spent 12 months as a stray on the streets of Ireland. We know from experience that strays are not treated particularly well in Ireland, treated as vermin and often tormented and abused by some people. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ย Thankfully the majority of Irish people are wonderful and a group of them set about gaining Hamish’s trust until they could get near enough to rescue him, we are forever grateful that they did. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hamish has helped his brother, Indy, to teach quite a few foster dogs how to be pets. He is gentle, loving, playful, cheeky, and cuddly but most of all he is my best buddy and I love him.

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Almost Christmas…Already!

Where has the year gone? Although I have done all of my Christmas shopping I’m not feeling as though I am ready for Christmas? I think the problem is that we (by we I mean Julia) have been very busy on the house. Downstairs walls and woodwork have all been painted and the hallway,Kitchen, and downstairs toilet flooring has all be taken up ready for it all to be tiled after Christmas. We have put the flooring off for way too long as the stairs and upstairs is having new carpet at the same time, the problem has always been the turmoil of having to have my stairlift taken out and then put back in afterwards (sleeping on the sofa for a few days). Now it is all ready perhaps we can relax and get ready for the big day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Indy and Hamish are ready, just so long as Julia doesn’t make them wear antlers or Santa hats for the photos. ๐Ÿ˜€

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This is as close as we could get to a group picture in front of the tree. We spent quite a while taking pictures but they were a mixture of blurs, half dogs, dogs facing the wrong way, or me with my head missing (maybe not a bad thing?) butย this will do.

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On their own they will pose angelically, it must be something about cuddling with me that excites them.

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Our six months of caring for Pepper has ended prematurely, his person has had to stop chemotherapy as it has been poisoning her! She appears delighted with this? The doctors say they will now just monitor her and treat symptoms.

I may not post again before Christmas, it all depends on my MS symptoms. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a peaceful and trouble free New Year.

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ย It would be wonderful if Grayson could find a home for the New Year, he has been waiting for a long time.

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If anyone is looking for a fur baby to complete their family may I suggest looking at Love Underdogs, they always have a gorgeous selection of pooches waiting for a home.

Unfortunately it looks like I can no longer foster for Love Underdogs, it appears they want fosterers to be within an hours drive from the kennels (understandable if someone wants to meet a dog at short notice) but we are now about 3 hours away. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I will continue to promote their dogs as they are such a worthy charity and do fantastic work for the dogs of Romania.

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