June 7, 2010

Alas! Spring has arrived.

Posted in June 2010 Newsletter tagged , at 1:57 pm by havenoftheheart

Dearest Friends and Fellow Animal Lovers,

Alas! Spring has arrived. Trees and shrubs have burst into intoxicatingly aromatic, colourful bloom. Multiple schools of prolific Koi cast a reddish glow over the tepid waters of our ponds. A heron stands tall at the water’s edge, dipping his beak at every opportune moment at the bounty at his feet. Frogs croak with fervour in diverse harmony amidst the coltsfoot and the lily pads while the Kingfishers chatter amidst the willows. A pair of red-tailed hawks glide effortlessly over the field, circling again and again, determined to flush out some small prey below until a brazen raven, soon followed by another, gives chase. The air is alive with scent and sound. What could be more glorious?

A synopsis of the past 9 months

Posted in June 2010 Newsletter tagged at 1:54 pm by havenoftheheart

Winter was relatively mild and filled with promise of spring quite early on in the year. It seemed as though Mother Nature stirred from her deep repose way back in February. It was a good thing for it made a series of challenging events so much more bearable for us all. I’ll give a brief synopsis starting with the completion of my only newsletter in 2009.

No sooner had I finished my September news mailing, I realized that I had become run-down, both physically and emotionally. In fact I had developed a painful rash on my face and forehead. Thinking that I had contracted a virus, I went to see my doctor, who dismissed the rash as a sinus infection. As my condition deteriorated and I found myself unable to function on account of excruciating pain, I was taken to hospital, where I was diagnosed with a severe case of shingles in face, eye, ear and gums. Had I been given the luxury of remaining in bed, motionless for the duration of the virus, I might have recovered more quickly. As bed rest was not an option, given my intense workload, I am still experiencing post-shingles pain ten months later. On account of this major setback I could not send out the annual Christmas newsletter, as I had done for the past twenty-five years. My sincerest apology to everyone, especially to the very kind friends, who sent us warm greetings. As anyone who has ever had a bad bout of shingles knows, it’s a challenge to get through a day, especially if intense physical work is a part of the routine.

The animals, for the most part, sensed my dire state and showed some restraint on their approach. The very young of course, who had no concept of restraint, continued to body slam and jump on me and then look at me in the most bewildered fashion as I moaned and groaned in despair.

Since my last correspondence we’ve had dozens of requests for help and subsequently many new arrivals, most of which I was able to relocate into new adoptive homes. In each situation the animal required costly surgery, which their owners could not afford and had not anticipated. Not wanting to see the animal put down, they contacted me to see if I would take it on and provide the necessary care. Once the animals had their respective surgical procedures, I made the decision to either find new adoptive homes or, on occasion, return it to the original owner, provided that it was in the animal’s best interest. I try to do what’s best for the animal.

 

We are grateful for your support

Posted in June 2010 Newsletter at 2:34 am by havenoftheheart

Our cat influx has exceeded our adoptions, hence an old building had to be refurbished to accommodate our new arrivals. That means another place to heat and clean and drain our finances. The last couple of years have been a true challenge financially, especially in the winter. We offer animal lodging in 8 outbuildings, excluding the farmhouse. These buildings are all heated, some with propane others electrically, some using both. During a cold spell it’s not uncommon to spend between $8,000 and $10,000 a month on heat and hydro. The recession has not been kind to us making bill payment a challenge.

We are grateful to those who have supported the care of our waifs via a financial contribution. We are grateful for your cheques as well as Canadian Tire money and Zehrs cash register receipts. Contributions to our cause can also be made on-line at CanadaHelps.org

Good times at the Haven

Posted in June 2010 Newsletter at 1:39 am by havenoftheheart

There is never a dull moment at the Haven…

My mother is in ill-health

Posted in June 2010 Newsletter tagged , at 1:21 am by havenoftheheart

My mother’s health was relatively stable until the end of February, when she had to be hospitalized on account of a mild infection. She was to be discharged within a week but something went awry during a swallowing assessment, which resulted in her choking and retching violently until she lost consciousness. The severe strain apparently ruptured a blood vessel in her brain, which caused my mother to slip into a coma. Although a brain bleed can be terminal if the bleeding continues, a small bleed is self-resolving in due course. Such was the case with my mother. Unfortunately our health care system is not supportive when dealing with seniors. The next few months turned out to be an on-going struggle to fight for my mother’s right to life. Even though my mother had regained consciousness within less than a week of the occurrence, the system wanted to cut off life support. My mother’s speech had returned but she was unable to swallow liquids and required a feeding tube. For six weeks I watched, as my mother grew weaker and weaker without food while I continued my fight to try to get a feeding tube inserted. Once the G-tube was in place her condition gradually improved but not without my daily support, sometimes even twice a day. I learned that once a person is declared DNR (do not resuscitate), which seemed reasonable at the time that, indeed, all measures become merely palliative with the emphasis on a rapid death. In fact my mother would have expired ten days into her coma had I not dislodged a four inch long, tampon sized gob of mucous that had collected at the back of her throat and attached itself to her tongue, severely blocking her airway.  I was shocked to hear that severe cutbacks in funding have left seniors in very precarious positions, much of which I am certain is not known by the general public. Once my mother is stable and back at home, I shall pursue this matter more diligently not just for her sake but also for the sake of every elderly person, whose right to life is being compromised.

Read Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford’s piece on my mother’s ordeal, <Hilda, 84, was no frail lady until she received hospital ‘care>

Here is a picture of my mother, donating her hair to charity one week prior to her illness.

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