Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Unwanted


Yesterday two perfectly sound warrens, left their new hen house in the Ukrainian village to run the gauntlet of the other hens. Their previous owner had an overwhelming rat  problem and confided to a work colleague that the hens were to be culled when he got home. Luckily the colleague knows me, so took it on herself  to bring them around
She knew I would take them in.
This morning a third warren arrived, the last garden pet of one of the village school kids.She arrived inside an old bread bin.
The usual platitudes were rolled out.
I've heard them all.........and I've smiled an understanding smile at each one....for what's the point of showing you're narked?

" it's cruel to keep just one at home"
" She's well loved...but...... "
" we thought you might like ....?"
" They're good hens..."
Ŷadder, yadder, yadder

I've just worked out just how many unwanted animals live at Bwthyn y llan. The list is sobering.
22 assorted hens, two cockerels, four ducks,1 gander and 1 Canada goose.
add to the mix a rescue black cat with huge golden eyes and a bulldog who was well loved but who was " let go" to have a better life and we are talking nearly 30 souls.
30 unwanted living things, many of whom were discarded without a second thought

The warren in the bread bin is now sat quietly in a spare hen house. In the great scheme of things, it's only a little life, I know that.
Unwanted stuff, should be old clothes, magazines, broken crockery ....junk
The unwanted shouldn't be animals.
Animals that rely on someone to care for them.

109 comments:

  1. I did not realise so many, nay, nearly all of your critters, were unwanted. Nice work.

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    1. On reflection around three quarters were unwanted.
      The rest perhaps were single animals that outlived their coop mates

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  2. I agree, all my pets are "unwanted" by someone but wanted by me.
    Cheers Peter

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  3. I second peter's comment; my 7 cats (4 now deceased) were all rescues. I would not have it any other way.

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  4. I know only too well but, mostly with cats and dogs.
    They are preying on your good nature and know you would rather take them in than hear later they were dumped or killed.
    Bless you John for being so kind to these animals xxx
    If you and I lived nearer to each other, I would have taken on the 3 Warrens, (if you were agreeable that is).
    You have lots of on line supporters, wish I could do more myself.
    The word is obviously out that you are an animal lover!
    Have a peaceful day!

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    1. I think some think they are doing me a favour as I am the one getting a new layers or a new duck.....

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  5. Abso-bloody-lutely!

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  6. Very true my good man, funny enough I've taken in my own 'unwanted' soul recently, suffice to say that Bear is well pleased...

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  7. We have about 1000 unwanted Canada Geese wandering around Bath riverbanks. I like them, but they seem to be unpopular - they are crapping machines, it seems.

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    1. And green crap at that!

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  8. People really don't think long and hard before they take animals on do they. The same old, same old excuses time and time again. An animal or a bird, whether it be for produce or a pet should have it's future decided before you get it.

    If it were not for good folk like you, with the patience of a saint, so many would be killed for killings sake.

    Mine drive me to despair at times, but they are family and the good times outweigh the bad, and they will all be here until the day they die.

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    1. Perhaps I am a little overly cynical?

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  9. Thank goodness for good, decent folk like you; lives are not disposable, whether furred, feathered, or species-centric.

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  10. maybe they need to bring back licences for animals and they are chipped. if the animal ends up in a shelter etc then the licence that is a bond should go towards getting a new forever home for the animal.

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  11. All our animals have been cast offs in one way or the other. I see it as the previous owner's loss and our gain, but it is a shame that people do get tired and move on.....

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    1. I tend to look at it in a similar way
      But the old and the useless should still be given a home they know....

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  12. It must cost you a lot of money feeding them all John? Would you like to expand and open your own animal sanctuary?

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    1. Absolutely not Dave
      As for cost.. It's not too bad...... The old hens ( a big contingent of the 30 refugees that arrived two years ago) have died this year.... It makes things a little cheaper

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  13. Most pets are bought while in the tiny cute cuddly stage....usually for children then when the "new" wears off they no longer care. All the animals we have are cast offs. And we love them.

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  14. One more example of today's disposable society.
    And "only a little life" almost broke my heart with its sweetness.
    I'm still annoyed at my fundamentalist neighbor who informed me with great assurance that animals don't have souls.

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    1. Dogs have
      Not too sure about a peanut brain chicken!

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    2. I think even peanut brained chickens might. Lovely of you to give them all home.

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  15. I have found that the complexities of life go beyond impulse animal purchases and have been on both sides of the equation myself. Long distance moves and new babies have caused a shuffling of animals more than once...and now all my furry ones are past surrenders. The yard birds are a mixed lot...the three geese are my own beloved pets raised by us and going on maybe 8 years now. The chickens are half and half, donated and bought, the ducks are pretty much self-propagating though we did acquire the drake through the area network of small homesteaders...to avoid inbreeding, ya know?! I love having animals in my life and am so very grateful that it's been possible so far...

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    1. There are always some shuffling where animals are concerned
      And I too have moved some animals on that perhaps don't fit in with the scheme here
      I am talking about those animals that are unwanted ( period)
      Those that are seen as a hinderence ..
      They are the sad cases
      X

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  16. More eggs for John...gotta love it.

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  17. That's why we have 14 cats,two pigeons, and a dove.
    Jane x

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  18. How true, How true its so easy for people to shed their responsibilities when its no longer fun! Now Florida is being overtaken by giant snakes of all kind where people have released them after deciding they don't want the bother anymore. Thank you for what you do do for all the little lives each one is as important as any.

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    1. Bloody hell...at least it's too cold in Wales for bloody snakes!

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    2. So glad I don't live in Florida!!

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  19. And a partridge in a pear tree...

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  20. People's situations change too, sometimes there is heartbreak in reaching those decisions to let pets go. The lady who had the hen at least did the right thing in trying to find a good soul to care for her- she wasn't neglected and abandoned. We've had lots of rescue animals over the years and while sometimes people are just gits who shouldn't have animals, sometimes they are desperately upset at not being able to keep them anymore.

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    1. Yes of course
      I am thinking here of the Llanasa refugees ( all 30 of them) that came across after their owner was threatened with divorce if he didn't get rid of his hens
      I acknowledge for some the decision to part from their animals was a difficult one
      But for this blog entry I am not thinking of them

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  21. You have your role in life. At least ONE of your roles. And that is a good thing, dear man.

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  22. That's right. Too many irresponsible people regard pets and other animals as disposable objects.

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  23. I wryly thought "Ah, yes, my grandchildren, on a smaller scale!" Immediately followed by the realization I do not muck out for them daily. And so we carry on.

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  24. all God's creatures great and small...thanks for giving a good life to so many of them John...sometimes we are blessed by others idiotic behavior...Winnie seems to have found just where she was meant to be!

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  25. No such thing as 'a little life'....all life is equal. You do wonderful things in your little Ukrainian village, John. The word is OUT!!

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  26. Very timely post. People need to think before they get a pet.

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  27. I fight the unwanted pet problem every day here in Florida sometimes it is so bad what humans do it makes want to give up but then you see that grateful face of a pet that was saved and you keep on going. https://www.facebook.com/agatha.mantanes

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  28. You're so right. And if I'm ever tossed aside, I hope there's someone like you around to rescue me.

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    1. As long as you are happy for me to de flea you and stick you in a hen house?

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  29. I wish all the parents who give their kids a pet chicken or rabbit at Easter would read this posting. I couldn't agree with you more and well done on your part!

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  30. This post is quite timely John. With the holiday season so many pets are purchased only to be dumped or taken to the nearest shelter when their cuteness is overshadowed by their responsibility and upkeep.

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    1. I think in this busy world we live in, the responsibility of animal care is sometimes one job too many!

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    2. When we got our first dog, the breeder asked if someone was at home during the day. She then checked to make sure I was telling the truth by asking someone she knew who lived near us. She also phoned during the day, presumably to check that I was at home. Her policy was not to give her pups to a household where nobody was at home during the day to care for them.




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    3. Our breeder did the same...if she had any concerns then no dog would be sold

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  31. There will be a special place in heaven for you John and the many like you. The special lady that homes the golden retrievers comes to mind. All of my cats were rescues or given to me except for Gracie. I had had 4 Siamese cats in the past and I desperately wanted another and fortunately found her locally from a girl who had bred her Siamese cat for a litter before she had her spayed. My only regret is that I didn't get her sister too. I still would love to have another but I refuse the pay the outrageous prices that breeders charge, especially with so many kittens and cats needing homes. Though, at this point Ms. Gracie is so spoiled she might not accept another cat in the house!! I do keep my eyes open for a yellow/orange tabby though. The first kitten I had at 4 years old was was a yellow tiger!!

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    1. Yes Kim at golden pines has my vote for animal saints
      She takes the seriously ill and old golden retrievers and so often her emotional roller coaster is battered time and time again by the ones that don't make it

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  32. Never thought about it, but I suppose our cat falls into the "unwanted" category, it was living in the greenhouse when we moved in nearly 4 years ago, and after a few weeks began to insert itself into our lives.

    Somebody mustn't have wanted it, but it's a great little cat for us, domesticated but still semi-feral, looks after itself outside OK when we go away on holiday, never stays in overnight, keeps the mouse population in check as well.

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    1. The best sort of symbiosis

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  33. I so agree and you are a good man.x

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  34. Yes, it breaks my heart, too, when animals are unwanted and uncared for, counted as disposable things.

    All of our cats except for Phoebe started out that way, and we are so glad they wandered into our lives!

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  35. It shouldn't happen...but I suspect they would all say they are ALL much better off with you.

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  36. Bless you John for giving safe haven to so many critters. We've just lost our beautiful four-year-old Labrador, Angie at home (she died suddenly last week as we were flying from South to East Africa) People (read backyard breeders) have approached the lady who looks after our home to take pups which are due for release by January.But she has told them we're going to get another from the SPCA in February when we get home. All our animals (cats and dogs) here in Tanzania and in SA are rescues. xx

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    1. Love the pups' ears
      Almost like wild dogs!

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  37. There quite simply is no better human being than an animal lover who takes in those in need. I would be proud to have you as a neighbor - and we would probably get on very well ... although smack in the middle of the USA, more than likely it won't happen. "Come on (22) chickens make a straight line we are getting on the plane in a moment."

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    1. I'll be over with a warm apple pie

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  38. Be wary of those stopping by in search of a lost puppy - they may be dumping off a kitten... or vice versa.
    Stay healthy, John, you need your health to take care of the little souls.

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    1. Thanks sharon.....still coughing well here!

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  39. Both of our cats were discards - and our lives are soooo much richer for taking them in. And yes, I agree the unwanted should never, ever include anything with a heart beat.

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  40. You're a good man, John Gray.

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  41. I was just having a very similar conversation at work with the lovely Dr M who has just taken on two unwanted Silkies who were given by some idiot who decided she wanted to keep chickens even though she didn't have room and then realised they suddenly weren't as chic and trouble free as she thought. They aren't the only animals that have discarded by her as they become too troublesome or fall out of favour with the kids. I'm not sure what sort of message this sends to her children about responsibility for living things. Thank goodness for people like Dr M and yourself.
    ps The Nu was a refugee too - luckily she has found a small empire to rule with her iron claw.

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  42. Oh God this breaks my heart. I am in tears.
    One year I was overwhelmed so overwhelmed and completely down on my luck and thinking I had no were to go. That I made the horrific decision to give away a dog instead of tossing away the X or just walking away I was stupid.
    The realization that even without a job I should have walked out. I later found out some terrible things that happen to dogs. Not knowing what happened to Berrnie is my punishment. I should have known better. I was stupid. The though of Berrnie haunts me to this very day.
    Now that I am somewhat sane again and the X is gone, I donate as much as I can to animal charities.
    At lest the former owners know their animals will be looked after. For what ever stupid excuse they have.
    One hopes they gave you some food also.
    So for what ever reason they gave up their animals, I hope my Berrnie found someone like you.

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    1. Don't knock yourself gayle .........xxxx

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  43. When I was doing Lab-Rescue fostering,I noticed the same old stories all the time. Moving, baby coming, new husband, new wife, allergies etc. The first one took in I heard the story and thought I was getting a monster. He was amazing,had 3 obedience certificates and was a lovely gentle boy. The previous owner kept emailing for updates...she loved him dearly. I figured out that her new hubby was behind getting rid of him and I think it was because he was jealous of it. I remember letting my daughter that if a man wants you to get rid of your dog, get rid of him.

    The lucky souls of your village have lots to be thankful for John.

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    1. You have reminded me not to be so cynical Chania x

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  44. That's how I ended up with 8 cats! I used to work for a vet and each time someone came in with a perfectly healthy cat that they didn't want and were going to have it put to sleep rather than bother to re-home it I used to persuade them to let me take it home. I only worked there for a year, it broke my heart when I couldn't take them all home.

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    1. Heart wins EVERYTIME eh?

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  45. 30 lives saved is quite the credit on your karmic balance sheet, my dear.

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    1. Well I have credit in the bank!
      That will be a first x

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  46. And that is what you will continue to do John, because you have found your role in life, news travels fast in country areas and folk have come to rely on you (and animals rely on you too). You are a lovely man - it needs to be writ large.

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    1. writ VERY large, Weave. Couldn't agree with you more.

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  47. Being usually a reader-non-commentor, I felt moved to write. I have quite a few "unwanteds" as well, and it steams me when I get the usual crap - "my son is allergic to the chicken", "I know YOU would provide such a better home than we can..." Pfft. I would like to turn it back on them - "Well, I'd love to keep my son, but we just decided we'd rather a daughter..." I'm sure that would not be a popular sentiment.

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    1. Nice to hear from you susan
      I hear what you say!

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  48. I was told recently that even some dog breeders are getting rid of their dogs when they are too old to show or to breed from, to make way for younger dogs. This really shocked me. We took on a one year old dog from a breeder as the dog hadn't turned out to be suitable for showing or breeding and didn't seem to be fitting in with the other dogs she lived with. She has been a right blooming handful and tried my patience time and time again, but I would never get rid of her. She's part of the family and is here to stay! Well done to you for rescuing so many animals x

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    1. Each of our Bulldogs constance, Mabel and Winnie were past their second litter......

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  49. You are so right.

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  50. "Animals that rely on someone to care for them"....says it all. How can you NOT care for them. Thank God for people that do.

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  51. Good on ya as my Dad would've said - personally I only have 4 dogs - all wanted by me but unwanted by others!!

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    1. Hello Katie jane nice to hear from you x

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  52. I live on a country road, across the street from a farm. People often dump their unwanted animals in the fields and then drive off. It is heartbreaking to see these animals trying to survive out there in the elebments. As a result, I have become a crazy cat lady, feeding the unwanted and finding them forever homes.

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    1. People don't believe this happens but I have been dumped upon at least 10 times with unwanted and unnamed animals
      I think some people think that I wouldn't notice test another strange animal turning up

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  53. John the Dogs, patron saint of 'unwanted' animals.

    I am happy to see that so many of your readers are also rescuers. Not surprising, really. You draw that kind of energy to you.

    My partner and I have 4 rescue cats, 1 rescue dog, and steady stream of foster dogs. Go ahead and say what you will; Lesbians with too many cats... the jokes just write themselves! :-)
    plufrompdx

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    1. It's been a while since I've been called " john the dogs"
      The other day one Mum who was picking up her girl from school referred to me as " chicken john"

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    2. Lesbians and cats
      Go together like apple pie and custard xx

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  54. '22 assorted hens, two cockerels, four ducks,1 gander and 1 Canada goose' and a partridge in a pear tree........

    Merry Xmas Mr Gray.

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  55. Aw - you are a good soul, John.

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  56. If we get back - what we give - there is a ton of good coming your way.

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  57. Absolutely agree. God bless. ♥

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  58. God bless you for saving their lives, John. When you go to Heaven, you'll be surrounded by loving animals and people who adore you.

    Love,
    Janie

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  59. OMG, John, you have hit my sore spot! Years ago, I stopped at a yard sale and tied to a tree was an old dog that belonged to the homeowners son who was away at college. Well, the homeowner just wanted to unload the dog to whomever glanced the dog's way. I walked over, united the dog, and got the best deal in my life! He was a wonderful dog that we enjoyed immensely and he was discarded like an old shoe which is what we named him. He's gone now but in his place, I have rescued 5 cats, 1 dog, and a bird. We are very full at the moment but happy.

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  60. 22 assorted hens, two cockerels, four ducks,1 gander and 1 Canada goose.....and a partridge in a pear tree.....Merry Christmas John.

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  61. Oops, I just saw someone else has written the exact same thing...Yikes !!

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    1. Great minds think alike.

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  62. It breaks my heart, the lack of respect for animals. All the cats and dogs I have been lucky enough to have in my life have been unwanted by someone prior to them coming to me, they have all been beautiful souls in little furry bodies and I love them all xxx

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  63. Thank goodness someone is there to take them in. I couldn't agree more -- when I adopt an animal, it's for life. Those animals are all thankful you have a big heart, I'm sure.

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  64. All I wanted yesterday was one more day with my beloved dog Tess. The wound of having to let her go is still so raw that I can't even touch it without tearing up again. 13 years of love and devotion, and then cancer had to rear it's ugly head and make her last days less than they should have been for the great dog and family member that she was to us for so long. I can't even do a post about it yet.........and so the unwanted pets you opened your heart to when others found them inconvenient makes my heart ache. Trust me, you are a amazing, loving & kind man!!! Bless you John for giving something to these unwanted lives what others didn't or wouldn't give them. Respect and love should not to be given out to a select few and you are one of those rare gems that know that.

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  65. You Sir are a very good soul. As a fellow animal lover, I salute you.

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  66. You're a good man, John. I'm sure all your animals appreciate everything that you do for them, they're all so lucky to have found their way to you.

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