I was down in the village yesterday.
There was the usual chit-chat and banter in the shops, which is one of the many things I love about a small village.
One of the girls in one of the shops is a particular friend of Penny. Now Penny is a lover of the village too and is quite happy to sit patiently outside any shop while I'm inside. She'll greet customers as they arrive and is a favourite of many shopkeepers.
As you're probably aware, Penny is a rescue dog. We found her [or rather, she found us] in a charming spot called ASH, and the girl I was chatting to also has a dog from ASH, so the latter frequently crops up in conversation. That's how I heard that ASH apparently is in trouble.
Now ASH, for those of you who are new [or who have short memories] is an animal rescue centre here in Wicklow. It is run by a charming couple, Remi and Helena who live on a farm along with God knows how many rescued animals. They mainly have dogs and cats but wandering around the farmyard you'll find donkeys, goats and probably a fox or two. Because they have a no-kill policy their stock has a tendency to grow. They re-home as many animals as possible, but still animals continue to arrive.
Remi and Helena run the enterprise along with the help of local volunteers and as you can imagine, it's a full time job. They have large overheads as apart from food an bedding the animals also usually require medical attention, and all animals are neutered and vaccinated – an expensive business.
Take a look at their website here to see some of their stories. [The link is permanently on my sidebar to the right anyway.]
And if you have a spare few quid down the back of the sofa, I can't think of a better cause. There are no fancy salaries or even office staff to support – 100% goes to the animal welfare.
[Footnote: In case anyone is wondering about the title – it was a working title to be changed but I pressed the fucking Publish button by mistake. It can be messy changing a title after the post has been published. I’m getting old…]