In October 2011, we moved from another farm to the farm we are in now. the old farm had no running water or electricity so for 12 years we had to go to the river with a large bulk tank 3 times a day and fill 70 buckets in to the tank to clean the kennels etc then at night take it to the rented house to fill with fresh drinking water for the animals. It was torture and a waste of valuable time we badly needed. The winter before was so cold we got snowed in and had to sleep in the jeep to keep the fires burning day and night to keep the dogs warm. So we decided we better move and find somewhere better. When we did, life got so much easier. A house, running water, electricity and living on site with all the animals.
The first few days I spent washing everything I couldn’t believe that I had running water it was a miracle lol. I’d been so used to the hardship that I didn’t notice till I moved here. The other farm was so open in the wilds in the middle of nowhere but now the dogs had heat, electricity when we needed heat lamps and it’s such a sheltered place it’s not as cold here. It’s also set back from the road so I can leave so many dogs loose by day and know that they are safe. But the best bit, I get to live with them. This is where the fun starts…..
In the house I live with 2 crazy parrots. One African grey called Molly who is so demented I often think I should get a priest to perform an exorcism on her lol. She has 5 different voices, and mocks everyone who enters the house and she has my loud dirty laugh off to perfection. Then we have Charlie the blue macaw, who Sharon Shannon and her friends saved in a pet shop. Well he sounds like an old drunk in a toilet. Cursing and hanging out by the front door hoping someone will knock on it so he can abuse them.
A couple of weeks ago an older couple called as I was up in the kennels I didn’t see them so they must have knocked on the front door. Well he started knocking back and shouting abuse calling them names and saying go away and f off. So, they did. Later I got a call from them and boy did they give me hell. I couldn’t get a word in. they said I do great work but that man in my house was so abusive and how did I expect people to help me with him around. Well I just burst out laughing and explained it was Charlie.
I have a ferret called Pippen with a brain tumour that Anita is trying to suppress and although he’s getting much better he runs sideways and when he gets excited he runs in circles so he’s another lunatic to the mix. Then you have Renee the three legged fox. Well she thinks she’s the queen of AHAR, sleeps in my bed, too lazy to bother getting up but when she does she winds all the others up running up and down the hall jumping from the bed to the couch then all the dogs join in, the parrots start egging them on and all hell breaks out. It’s like someone left the door open in the looney bin.
Then there’s the bathroom. The magic bathroom as Suzy Glossip calls it. Well this is the talking piece of every volunteer who helps at AHAR. Whenever Mary O’ Shea comes she asks “is it safe to use the bathroom?” and she bursts out laughing. Well… what has been in there? When we get a tiny litter of pups, we put them in the bath in a basket and hang a heat lamp over them. As the bath is so easy to clean and can be kept sterile it’s such a safe place for them. We have had fish in the bath, ducks, chickens with broken legs , terrapins, a baby goat headgehogs, bottle fed tiny lambs and many a cat with kittens so I really don’t blame people asking is it safe to use the toilet.
At any given time my house is full of dogs all shapes and sizes including four 3 legged dogs of my own. You should see the looks I get when I take them all to the park lol, people staring at four 3 legged dogs and a 3 legged fox and the brave ones ask “do you collect them? And there I am wearing an AHAR hooodie with Animal Rescue on it. Sometimes…. I wonder.
Outside the house you can have anything from a donkey a horse a pony and a crazy pig called Honkey peeping in waiting for scraps and then they all start picking on each other and a scrap breaks out and I end up running out with the mop to split them up lol. There is never a moments peace here just constant madness but serious fun
Over the last 12 months we have taken in more and more animals in trouble and this number is rising by the day and does not seem to be getting any better and everyone knows I never say no. If we are full we ask other rescues for help or beg for foster homes as this rented farm cannot cope with such large e numbers right now the Cronin family foster all our horses waiting for homes in Kerry. But it takes 30 minutes to drive there it’s a nightmare and I am blessed to have their help.
My dream is to offer a better life to the animals and to make work easier for the volunteers so that in the long term we can offer a better service and better care for all the animals on site and also save the ever increasing number of un-wanted animals. Continue reading part 3 so I can share my dream with you, I am hoping you will become part of it and help me find a way to make my dream of AHAR real, my dream of changing history, a dream I have being walking a very long time… my dream of keeping AHAR safe for the future.