Wendy Jordan

New Year 2016

New Year’s Day seems an appropriate time to do a round-up of the last few months of 2015. It was July when the last update was published on the website. Plenty has happened since then.

As usual I’d like to get the sad news out of the way first. There have been losses. Howie was a little old terrier picked up as a stray and who languished for a long time in a pound. He was kindly fostered by Gemma Ahearne. He left this year after a great end of life with his last and best family.

howie bed (2)

Another Kim’s Home dog was Vinnie, a tiny, skinny, elderly Yorkshire terrier who also landed in a dog pound. Helen Jennings adopted him and cherished him for the last 2 years of his life. He left his loving family just a few days ago.

vinnie red jumper

The family dogs who passed were my beloved Shayla. I don’t know how old she was – at least 14 – and she contracted lung cancer. On 19th August she was struggling to breathe and I had to let her go. She leaves a huge gap and I miss her every day.

Shayla 4 acres 2012
Tom came from a traveller 14 years ago and was rehomed to an active elderly lady. For 8 years they were jolly companions. Then his owner had to move to a care home and Tom came back to me where he stayed for the next 6 years. He was ancient but kept going heroically and we visited his mum every week. He left us peacefully in September.


We also have some newcomers. In July we adopted Rhoda from Cardiff Dogs’ Home. She is very elderly with a grade 6 heart murmur but has flourished since she arrived in July. These days she occasionally breaks into a run – which does my heart no good!


And then Kim’s Home unintentionally went international. Firstly I was sent a picture of an apparently elderly hound in an Irish pound. She was on the “put to sleep” list and had just a few days left. The person who sent me the picture asked me to help. So, with the help of Mary Fox of Orchard Greyhound Rescue and Ciara Corrigan, the hound, later named Sally, was sprung from the pound and fostered until she had the necessary veterinary treatment and a passport. Then her very kind foster mum brought her all the way to Wales to meet me.

Sally is a one-off dog – much younger than first thought, a dedicated follower of her nose to the exclusion of everything else. She has had some adventures since arriving here. Once, when I dropped her lead, her nose led her down a grassy bank, across a river and into a scrubby area not far from a motorway. That was a bad moment. Thankfully a kind cyclist went off to search for her and found her very quickly. Her next escapade was disappearing from a locked field. In 14 years no dog has ever got out of that field – well, except George, but he’s tiny and doesn’t go anywhere. Sally slithered and wriggled under the fence through a space that looked as if it would defeat a rabbit. I could hear her baying in the distance as she had obviously run something to ground. But the area was impenetrable and all I could do was wait and pray that she would return. She did – 4 hours later. Needless to say she is now on a long line when we are out and about. And the field has been made Sally-proof (I think).

She is the most wonderful dog with a big heart and a sunny nature. She loves all the other dogs and acts as a sort of nanny to them. She has been attending dog-training classes and has shown that she has a fine brain and learns very quickly. In the hall she is a model student. As soon as we leave the hall, the head goes down and the nose takes over, and she’s off. Ah well…..

sally lake 4

Then we went even further afield. Someone sent me this picture of a dog they called the Old Lady of Oltenita in Romania.

Romanian dog

She had been a street dog – allegedly for 15 years – had been captured and was now in a public shelter and due to be killed. “Please help”, the message said. But how? Anyway I contacted the original poster of the dog’s picture, Margarit Mihaela, who is a dog rescuer in Romania. I sent her some funds to get the dog out. She then transported the little dog 200 kilometres to Constanta where she left her with a vet, who was also running a rescue. The vet, Luana Sabau, nursed the little dog back to health and prepared her for a journey to the UK. She arrived in November and settled straight in. She is now Vita. She loves the good life, loves the dogs, loves me and a few visitors, but barks at everyone else. She is a little star.

IMG_6209 (3)

That was the start of my association with Romania. My first priority will always be to local pound dogs and gypsy/traveller dogs, but I can see how desperate Romanian dogs are. So I will help from time to time if I can. One of the best ways to tackle the problem of stray dogs in Romania who live in such poverty and who are so cruelly treated when captured, is to neuter them so that the numbers diminish over time. To that end, there is a project underway to build a Neutering Clinic in Bucharest. If anyone would like to contribute to the costs, please contact Dr Stephan Aurelian, an amazing vet, who spends all his free time neutering dogs in many different areas of Romania and even in other poor neighbouring countries. https://www.facebook.com/aurelian.stefan.9 Kim’s Home has helped a few dogs come over the UK and into homes, but, in the future, I would prefer to fundraise occasionally to support the new clinic.

There is one more Romanian dog to come though. The vet who fostered Vita told me about another elderly little dog in trouble. She had been found collapsed on the street by a colleague of hers. She was very sick but has been getting stronger. If she is well enough by the end of January, Flora will travel to Kim’s Home – either to stay or to move to an excellent forever home. We will see which after I’ve assessed her and sorted any further veterinary care needed.


Lottie, the Lurcher SOS foster dog who arrived before Christmas last year, is still here. Her leg operations were successful. She had another op to remove 4 mammary tumours. These turned out non-malignant and so Lottie was put up for re-homing. In November she went into foster for 10 days with a lovely couple while I took the Kim’s Home dogs on holiday. It seemed likely that it would prove the perfect home for her. And I hoped that her foster mum would fall in love with her and want to keep her. Well that bit happened but Lottie would have none of it. She pined for us. It has now been decided that she will stay here forever. She is now having fun again – off-lead and scampering about. Lottie has also found her vocation in life. She has taken over from dear departed Tom as visitor to a care home. She is perfect at it and greets everyone as well as Tom’s owner.

Lottie and Joan

We fostered another LSOS dog for a few months – middle-aged, depressed-looking Fletcher. He soon perked up. And, when he was let off-lead in a locked field, he took my breath away with an astonishing turn of speed. He out-ran all my dogs with glee. In December he moved to a lovely forever home where he is adored.

Fletcher field
The feeling of dread that I had in July was well-founded. Those pesky Saluki pups, Stella and Arthur, stayed and ruined my house and my life. I love them dearly but…………..oh dear, they can be difficult. Never mind, things are improving and gradually they are becoming good citizens. I might be kidding myself there.

arthur and stella rough play sue

In November we had our usual holiday in West Wales. It is primarily for the dogs because they have masses of land to run in and also a daily gallop on the beach. It was particularly great for me as well this time because I was joined by my daughter and her partner from London and also my son, daughter-in-law and baby grand-daughter all the way from Chicago. The dogs were beautifully behaved with a little toddler and all was well.

P1020492 (2)

Once again I would like to thank all the people who have helped me with Kim’s Home either by donations, running fund-raising events (thank you, Caroline Mathews), gifts, transporting (especially Lucy Blight who has done a heroic mileage during the year for Kim’s Home dogs) and any other form of support.

One of our supporters, Fiona Kelly, not only ran fund-raisers to collect funds for Sally, Vita and other Romanian dogs, but she also wrote to some dog food companies to ask for donations of food. Lily’s Kitchen responded kindly to the request and sent a massive amount of food here. There was so much! It took 3 men over an hour to unload the lorry. It filled a bedroom from floor to ceiling. Since my dogs eat mostly raw and because the food was close to its “best by” date, I decided to share it. So 152 kilos went to Greys Eleven Plus, 152 kilos to Eli Romanian Rescue, about the same amount to Strayaid in Durham. More went to smaller local rescues. After several months we are now getting towards the end of it. Thank you Fiona and Lily’s Kitchen.

Here’s Fiona with Sally and Vita

IMG_6078 (2)
So what will 2016 bring? More dogs, I suspect. However, I hope to foster more out or to find them excellent forever homes. I really can’t take in any more myself. There’s only me here and I already spend most of every day trudging round the countryside to make sure that all the dogs get free runs twice a day. I do 5 walks a day and don’t think I can fit in any more dogs.

One of my main aims for this year is to find a field for my dogs. The one I have been using on weekends for the last 14 years passes into the hands of the demolition crew on Tuesday, 4th January. And then life will get really hard because then I shall have to do 5 walks a day even on the weekends.

One other thing I must do this year is to submit the necessary paperwork to the Charity Commission and apply for Kim’s Home to be registered as a charity. I have hesitated for a long time before doing this because I prefer to operate independently. However, I shall have a small group of tried and true trustees to help me steer the rescue/sanctuary.

Finally I’d like to wish you all a happy, healthy, interesting and fulfilling 2016.

Wendy and the Kim’s Home dogs: Ruby, Bayleaf, Grace, Griff, Zoe, Hebe, George, Emma, Lucy, Nell, Charlie, Dolly, Lottie, Stella, Arthur, Rhoda, Sally, Vita.

P1020389 (2)


Kim’s Home News July 2015

July already!  So it’s time to do a round-up of the goings-on at Kim’s Home.

First of all, the cast:  Here they are in order of length of stay:

Ruby, red lurcher, aged 11, been here 9 years, rescued from a traveller home where she was found tangled up in barbed wire hanging from a wall. Re-homed but bounced.

 Ruby sig

Bayleaf, brindle Greyhound, aged 10, been here about 9 years. Was being taken up the mountain to be shot at 8 months, but someone phoned me in time. Re-homed but bounced

 bayleaf collar 2

Shayla, grey, rough-coated lurcher girl, aged about 13. Was rescued from Ireland, unwisely homed, dumped in a pound, re-homed, given up after 3 years and finally came here where she belongs.


Grace, blue Whippet cross, aged about 8. Came in from a gypsy/traveller site as a skeleton 6 years ago weighing just 9 kilos; got well against the odds and has stayed forever.



Griff, he arrived from a the same place at about the same time – a blue, Whippet x terrier, aged just 6 or 7 weeks and already fending for himself. Re-homed but bounced back. Now 6 and a half years.


Tom, about 16, liver and white Spaniel. Arrived from travellers 13 years ago – looked old then. Re-homed for 8 years but owner developed dementia. Tom still sees her every week in her care home.

 Four Acres 2010 039


 Zoe, cream Saluki, aged 12. Came from travellers aged 8 with pyometra and mammary tumours. Fine now.

 P1010831 (3)

Hebe, White and fawn Whippet, aged 4. Arrived as a pup from Gumtree, offered to a Whippet rescue but after 5 months no home had been found. So she stayed.

 Hebe sig


George, tricolour Jack Russell, aged 11. Came from travellers 3 years ago. Had been stolen 5 years previously. Owner agreed he could stay with us

 George Broadhaven

Emma, black and silver Saluki cross, aged 5-ish. Lived feral for a year in the vicinity of a traveller site. Took me 3 months to gain her confidence so that she could be caught. Will always be a scared dog but happy at home and great off-lead




Lucy, black-fringed red Saluki, aged 6, came from a shed on an allotment in the NE. Used for breeding. The most terrified dog we’ve had.


Nell, black-fringed, red Saluki, aged 5. Came from a local working home. Terrified of men but more relaxed generally nowadays. With Lucy she forms the Red Devils or the Evil Twins

 Nell head



Charlie, black with white lurcher, aged 2. Came in as a starved, beaten dog from local traveller site. No-one offered him a home – so he stayed.

 Charlie river Tuesday17 june

Dolly, ginger terrier, aged 15, found as a stray and not claimed by her owners. So pound passed her to me


There are also 2 little stowaways – Stella and Arthur – more of them later.

And foster dog, Lottie – more of her later too.

17!  No wonder I’m tired and frazzled.  But we did peak at 19 a few weeks ago. So things are getting easier.

 I’m Wendy by the way (not Kim), their devoted handmaiden.


So what have we been up to since the beginning of the year?  I guess the early part of the year was dominated by Molly, our elderly Staffie’s struggle to overcome her health issues.  Her fast-growing mammary tumour was removed but the wound broke down leaving a big gaping hole.  Against the odds, this healed with amateur nursing from me and a lot of cooperation from Molly who learned to roll over on command so that I could flush out the hole. Then just as the wound closed over (my vet said he was gob-smacked), she developed very painful back problems.  The pain was uncontrollable.  The cancer was growing again.  So I had to take the decision we all dread, and Molly left us peacefully on my lap at home while eating treats.  We miss our little powerhouse of a dog who overcame so much but lost the last battle.  A pox on the person who bred her half to death and then dumped her!

 IMG_4943 (2)


Another of our oldies has also left us:  Pixie. She arrived on 2nd June 2014 and left on 2nd June 2015.  She was totally deaf, with failing eye-sight, and had dementia.  That showed in her constant pacing, random weeing and pooing.  But she still enjoyed her food and her walks.  And she loved the cuddles she got all evening.  But one day something very painful arose – she was too far gone to wonder what.  She left peacefully eating sausages.


 Pixie close up


Two days before Christmas Lottie arrived.  Found as a stray on the streets of a town in the North of England. She was taken to a pound but not claimed.  Her seven days were up and so was her luck.   I asked Laurie of Lurcher SOS if she would give her rescue back-up if I fostered her.  Laurie agreed and so she came here.  And that’s when we discovered that all was not well with Lottie.  Two of her legs on the same side had suffered traumas and were seriously deformed.  To cut a long and expensive story short, Lottie needed operations to ensure she was pain-free and could walk and run properly.   So far she has had a toe amputated on her back leg and has had her front wrist fused.  We are in week 3 of a 16 week endurance test.  Lottie is being very patient and amenable.  She is a lovely dog and will be looking for a home once her legs are sorted.  She has specified that she would like a man, please.  She drags me to all the men she sees when we are out.  If I were on the pull she would be a real asset.

 IMG_4955 (3)

Kim’s Home also took in Louise, a rough-coated lurcher, who found herself in a local pound.   A rough diamond but with a good heart, she was given rescue back-up by GRWE and soon found her perfect home.

 louise door

Then life turned upside down. 

This is the story of Rosie and the pups.

It all started one day when I saw an ad for 3 Saluki pups on Gumtree. Every day I trawl through the ads to find the FTGH (Free To Good Home) dogs in order to warn the owners of the cruel fate that they could be condemning their dogs to.

The pups looked very small. There were pictures of the Dad, a handsome red Saluki, and the poor mother being mated by the male while both chained to a tiny kennel.

Buying pups is not what one does in rescue. I haven’t done it for twelve years but these dogs haunted me. I had a feeling I knew the breeder. A few enquiries gave me the information I needed. The breeder was a known dog abuser and dog thief who lived on a nearby gypsy/traveller site. He had recently tried to steal some rescue lurchers belonging to my friends. His last litter of pups had died of cold. And here we were in January and he had tiny pups.

After some soul-searching for about five minutes, I decided to buy one of the pups, preferably a bitch, to give her a chance of a good life. I mentioned this on the Lurcher SOS forum. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with generous offers to help get the other 2 pups out as well. So it was decided that I would try to get all 3.

No way would a gypsy sell a dog to do-gooder woman who kept dogs as pets and so I used an intermediary to buy the pups and to get the price knocked down. And so I ended up with 3 small scrawny pups that had worms, mange and campylobacter and moreover were too young to have left their mother. After a few days of hell and mess, the 3 pups went off to Surrey to be fostered by a Lurcher SOS angel.

But……the three I had were not the 3 in the picture. Where was the cream one pictured? Back to the intermediary who found that one of the pups had been sold but taken back because the buyer hadn’t paid. So I arranged to buy that one too. He arrived but he wasn’t cream. So again where was the cream one? I was chatting about this to my gypsy contact and was a bit taken aback when one of his young sons piped up to tell me that they had a lovely cream bitch puppy. My pal (who had first inspired in me the love of Salukis) just couldn’t resist and had bought one for himself. By the end of the day that one too was with me. She’d spent a night on her own in a filthy, cold stable, fed on cows’ milk and played with by feral toddlers. She was a poor little scrap. I decided to foster her and number 4 until they were well enough to be re-homed.

But we hadn’t finished. The breeder decided he didn’t want the pup he had kept and so offered it for sale. Madness had really set in by now. So I bought her. This one was shipped off to Surrey to join her siblings. The four in Surrey were given posh Persian names: Faris, Nouri, Sami and Minoo. The Cardiff Two were more prosaically Arthur and Stella.

And that is where the story could have ended. All pups safe and cherished in foster homes waiting for their forever homes. But I could not get the picture of the pups’ mother out of my head. I asked my pal to see if he could get her too. He said he would try. A few days later he rang to say that he couldn’t get the mother because she had been dumped. He didn’t know where. Her only chance was that someone might have picked her up and taken her to the local Dog Pound. I rang them and, yes, someone had picked her up and brought her in. She was in a poor state and the pound would not release her until she was well – she was bleeding from mange and general neglect. About a week and a half later, the dog, now called Rosie, was gifted to me, thanks to Cardiff Dogs’ Home and the Friends of the Dogs, Wales.

The next step was to get her to a Lurcher SOS foster home. I appealed on Facebook for someone to drive her to Surrey. A kind person volunteered and I phoned her to make the necessary arrangements. She told me that she was a volunteer dog-walker at the dog pound. She had become particularly fond of a cream Saluki bitch they had in. Imagine her surprise and pleasure when she learned that it was that very same dog that she would be transporting to her foster home. That was the first coincidence in this story.

So Rosie, as the pound named her, went off to her foster home. She settled well and soon adjusted to a pampered life of kindness, good food and comfort. She was recently spayed and will be up for rehoming soon.

The story doesn’t quite end there. I received a phone call a few days later from a friend of mine who is a Dog Trainer and Behaviourist. She had been out on a consultation with a person who had 3 rescue Bichons. At the end of the session, they chatted and the Bichon owner told my friend about a dog that she had picked up on a busy industrial road and taken to the pound. From the description and the photos she had taken it turned out to be Rosie. What are the odds, eh? My friend was able to tell her that Rosie was safe and in a foster home. And the name of Rosie’s saviour? Well, Rosie, of course!

And here is Rosie’s account of the day she rescued Rosie.

“That was such a crazy day, I was on my way back to work after lunch and saw a dog running in and out of traffic. I turned around at the roundabout and pulled up in the entrance to the boat club opposite Tesco’s turning. She was terrified and confused so I had to stop the traffic and herd her up the road to the boat club. I managed to get close to her and put the tie from my jacket around her. She just cowered but let me gently lift her into my car. I’d already been on the phone to the Dog warden and they asked if I could bring her in as I was so close to the gypsy site (and in dangerous territory). I’ve attached a couple of pics of the ‘rescue mission’

“Even though she was in such a poor condition and at first terrified, she became very calm, almost as if she knew she was going to a good place.

“One of the saddening things about that day was the lack of help, the road was full of traffic but only 1 car stopped even though I was a female on my own. Hopefully people will read the full story and see what can be achieved if everyone pulls together, a very happy ending for Rosie and her pups”.

So many people have been involved with the rescue of Rosie and her pups. And they are certainly worth the time, money and effort.
And here are some photos of the stars of this story – the canine stars.

The Surrey Four Sami, Faris, Nouri and Minoo (all rehomed)

saluki pups 4

The Cardiff Two, Stella and Arthur trying to look cute

Arthur and Stella looking cute

Rosie as she was when Rosie picked her up



Rosie as she is now


And Rosie’s little clone, Stella, the elusive cream pup, who now lives with me after bouncing from her home with an ASBO. There are plenty of dogs here to keep her in order.

 Stella Chair

Job well done by rescuers, fund-raisers, foster homes, Cardiff Dogs Home, Friend of the Dogs, Wales, transporters (one of whom went all the way from Cardiff to Edinburgh to get Arthur to his home), Lurcher SOS. You know who you are – thank you so much!


And still the story goes on.  Arthur, with the help of his guardian angel, Lucy Blight, bounced back all the way from Scotland to Cardiff.  He was miserable in his new home because the other 2 dogs hated him and the family activities changed.  So he came home with great delight.  He is now completely re-bonded with Stella.  I would like to re-home them together but have an inner dread that they will be staying.  I really don’t want 2 pups. 

stella arthur park 

Other dogs that passed through were Fliss, a lovely cream, rough-coated lurcher, who came from a gypsy/traveller site.  Lurcher SOS gave her rescue back-up and she flew out to her new home after a few weeks here.

 IMG_5353 (2)


There was Clyde, the elderly terrier, who was picked up as a stray and was stuck in the pound with no interest.  We put out an appeal for a home for him and he was adopted by Gemma Ahearne and her lovely dogs.   He is now called Howie and is amazingly rejuvenated.

 clyde sprung


And then there was Polly (real name Dolly but we already have one of those).  I saw her advertised on Gumtree FTGH (Free To Good Home).  The ad said that she had to be gone that day.   I phoned the advertiser and explained the dangers of giving dogs away willy-nilly.  Her reason was that her elderly neighbour had died and that the relatives did not want to look after her dog.  So they sort of dumped her on the neighbour (the advertiser).  It’s convoluted, isn’t it?  Anyway, within 24 hours, the person who now had the dog realised that she couldn’t cope.  Hence the ad.   I suggested that the dog could go to the local Dogs’ Home – better than an uncertain fate with a Gumtree opportunist.   But it costs £50 to hand in a dog and the advertiser couldn’t afford that.  So I said that Kim’s Home would pay the fee and that I would take the dog in.   Sorted.  Or not.  On the way I rang the Home to say that I was bringing the dog in and that, by the way, she had a large mammary tumour.  The person on the phone then told me that they couldn’t take her in that case.  Let’s skip the irate response from me – you can imagine that quite well, I’m sure.  The dog came home with me.  She was spayed and the lump removed.  It was benign and Polly was fine after a couple of weeks.  Best news ever – she’s been adopted by a dog-walking friend of mine who has 2 similar terriers.  Polly has now reverted to Dolly and is having a great life.

 IMG_5443 (2)


And so life at Kim’s Home goes on.   In a few weeks’ time I lose the locked field that I’ve had sole use of on weekends for the last 15 years.  So I am frantically trying to find a replacement – 2 or 3 acres of land that I can buy (gulp), rent, borrow.  I would pay for it to be fenced safely.  So, if you know of anyone who has a parcel of land within a ten mile radius of Cardiff and which would make my dogs very, very happy, please get in touch.  They run free twice a day anyway but it is so relaxing to be able to take them all together on the weekends to a safe place where we are not disturbed. 


Many, many thanks to all the supporters of Kim’s Home, especially my daughter who hares down from London to help out when there’s a crisis; Caroline Cowan of Cardiff Canine Citizens, who gives me free dog-training classes, invaluable advice on all matters canine, helps enormously with fund-raising.   I couldn’t do it without her.  But then, as I’ve often pointed out, I probably wouldn’t have to – since Caroline is responsible directly or indirectly for most of the dogs in the house over the last 17 years.  She was the first person who took me to a Gypsy/traveller site.  Consequently I have had hundreds of dogs from the gypsies.  And then she became a Dog Warden…….she would telephone me and say emotionally blackmailing things like:  “there’s a little old dog in the pound, she is going to die soon.   No-one is going to want to adopt her”.  And so the dog came to me and lived happily for another 5 years and gave me plenty of scary moments in those five years.  But that was the start of the oldies, I suppose.  So Caroline, I blame you for all of it!   But, don’t worry, it’s been a blast!


And now the grovelling bit:  if anyone would like to help me to continue the work of Kim’s Home for Elderly/Abused Sighthounds by making a donation of money or stuff, then I would be very grateful.  Ways to donate funds are on the (very out of date) website:  Kim’s Home  on the Donations page.  And if you prefer to donate things that we need, I promise that I will do a wish list.  The things we use most are mobility supplements like Yu move and also foods that old dogs can digest well like Liquivite.  We don’t need beds, clothes or collars and leads.  Oh, and a field would be very welcome!  Thanks again from the Kim’s Home crew







Autumn News 2014


Don’t you just love this time of year?  The frosty mornings make the dogs so excited and they have endless mammoth chases over the fields and along the river.  And in the afternoon they tear around farm fields until they are exhausted.   That’s how I love my dogs – too tired to be naughty. 


As soon as the sun stops shining the fair-weather walkers disappear and we have our running places back to ourselves.  This means that I can relax a bit and enjoy the walks more: spotting our friend the heron and occasionally glimpsing the dazzling blue of a kingfisher zipping upstream.


I’ve just realised that I haven’t written a blog since July.  Time goes so fast when one is busy.  And we’ve been so busy.


First I’d like to get the bad news out of the way. On 28th September Kim’s Home lost its longest resident.  Zebedee had been with us from the age of 6 months and was only 10.  He became ill one day and I took him to the vet where he was diagnosed with colic.  He was no better the next day and so I took him back.  Still no firm diagnosis.  Later that day I returned to ask for an x-ray – this showed that he had a blockage in his intestine.  The vets operated immediately, removed a chunk of plastic and Zeb seemed to be OK. He was allowed home on condition that I would contact the emergency vet if his condition deteriorated.  He had a peaceful evening while I stroked him.  Every time I stopped he would nudge me to continue.  But about midnight he started to be very ill.  I rushed him to the vets but he died in the van.  That was such a shock.  No-one knows exactly why he died.  I feel he was cheated of at least 5 years of his life.  It will take a long time to get over his loss.  He was such a high profile member of Kim’s Home, so very much my dog.  I still say his name in the roll-call for food and treats and say goodnight to him in his bed in my room. 


P1010812 (2)

Two other losses that we have had to face – though not so shocking as Zeb’s demise:  Twix, the chocolate Lab who had cancer, eventually succumbed when her tumour returned.  Thank you to Alison who gave her such a great time for the last months of her life.


And the other lost friend was little Morris, the Shih-Tsu with a long list of life-threatening ailments.  He was fostered by a kind person, Ann, who lives close by.  She lovingly administered his daily medication, groomed him, pushed him round the park in his stroller and gave him all the love and cuddles he craved.  But sadly Morris started to have fits that could not be controlled.  His kidneys failed and he went off to the Bridge in my arms munching on sausages.  It was a gentle passing.



And now to jollier news.

We’ve had some lovely foster dogs in.  First was puppy Freya. She was a tiny pup who had been thrown out of a car and was brought here by the son of a friend of mine who had saved her.  The puppy seemed fine at first but went downhill alarmingly fast.  She ended up in the emergency vets for several days and we feared that she would not make it.  Facebook followers were amazing and raised the funds to pay for her treatment.  And Freya rewarded everyone by fighting to stay alive.  Soon she was home and making the adult dogs’ lives hell.  Happily she went off to a lovely foster home with Hounds First and has since been rehomed to a lovely family.

Puppy Freya

Apricot puppy3

Then we thought we were done with pups.  But no, another came along.  He had been picked up as a stray and taken to the pound.  His legs were crooked and the pound felt that they could not re-home him in that condition and asked me to have him.   Not exactly elderly but I suppose he had been abused.  I called him Rafael and he delighted us for quite a few weeks. With a good diet and a happy life his legs straightened and he became a normal, happy, energetic pup.  Lurcher SOS found him a lovely home in London and he now runs his socks off on Hampstead Heath with his lurcher sister and many, many friends.


Rafa Garden

We have had our share of oldies too: Marbles, an elderly Staffie, spent months at the pound where he was always passed over for adoption.  But a Facebook appeal found him a great home in Glasgow with Lynne where he is doing so well.


Molly, another allegedly elderly Staffie, who was being fostered for me in Bristol, had to leave her foster home because circumstances changed.  So she came to Kim’s Home where she seems to be very much at home.  This was the dog who had a pyometra, a wound breakdown, persistent E.coli infections.  She is now bombing around chasing Salukis and having fun.  She is supposed to be 13 – I really don’t think she can be.  We are still teaching her some basic manners but she is a good learner.  She is such a sociable dog and has to say Hi to every person and dog that we meet on our travels.

Here she is chasing Saluki Nell!



Just 2 weeks ago, a Facebook appeal found a wonderful home for Maggie, an elderly Collie, who has gone to live with Jude and Graham in Staffordshire.  There were a number of excellent home offers for her.  The power of Facebook in reaching good people is awesome.   I often get contacted by people who need to re-home their dogs for one reason or another.  Sometimes I can help.   But again it’s usually our Facebook followers that come up trumps.  That’s how James, a lovely rough-coated lurcher, found his new home.

Other fosters that we have had in include Willow – a 6 year old Lurcher who was on death row in a pound in Sunderland.  Thanks to an epic transport run by David, Willow was brought to Kim’s Home.  She has been spayed, vaccinated etc and will soon be off to her new home.  She is being adopted by the same lovely people who adopted Daisy, an earlier foster.   She will have a great life.


IMG_4804 (2)

We also currently have Louise, a big, black, rough-coated Lurcher about 5  years old.  She was picked up as a stray, has bald elbows, rough, raw patches on her chest where she has been kept on hard surfaces.  She currently has kennel cough.  Once she has been sorted at the Kim’s Home spa, she will be re-homed via GRWE.  She was supposed to go to their kennels but the Kennel Cough put paid to that.  And the pound didn’t want her to stay because they are so over-crowded, which is why she ended up here.  She is such a lovely girl and will make someone a wonderful companion when she has been given some tlc, a good diet and some basic training.


IMG_4820 (2)

In September we had our usual week away at Four Acres, part of the Little Dumpledale Farm holiday complex in West Wales.  We had a grand time.  The dogs scream with excitement when we arrive there.  They have such a good time tearing round the enormous garden, the paddock and enjoying fun on the beach.   I wish we could live in Four Acres – my ideal home.


P1010819 (3)

At the end of October I had a few days away from the dogs.  My wonderful daughter came to look after them while I paid a lightening trip to Chicago to visit my first grand-daughter.  I flew out on Friday, and flew back Sunday night.  But I packed a lot of cuddles into the time I was there.  And my daughter, Francesca, and my kind friend, Caroline, looked after the dogs superbly.


I usually end my blog with an appeal for funds.  But another friend, also called Caroline, very, very kindly ran an online auction for Kim’s Home last month.  And it raised just over £2,000.  And Charlie also ran a fund-raiser.  So we have a nice buffer against emergencies at the moment.  So I won’t be asking for funds just yet.  But we know how quickly vets’ bills can run away with money.


But I would like to make an appeal…… for you to vote for Dylan/Bill.  Bill and Ben were 2 lurchers who were found starving and riddled with mange by a kind man, Bryan Butt.  It seemed unlikely that they, Bill particularly, would survive.  They were taken to Croft Rescue kennels and given excellent care and nursing for many weeks.  And they both survived.  The pound they were in is the one that I work with to re-home their elderly dogs.  So I was able to visit Bill and Ben while they recuperated and take them food.  And when they were ready to leave, they were gifted to me.  At this point I passed them to Hounds First who took over their foster care and found them wonderful forever homes.  Bill, now called Dylan, has been shortlisted by the PDSA as rescue of the year.  So please follow the link and vote for Dylan by texting the name Dylan to 70099.  He so deserves to win.



Finally, Kim’s Home would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were fewer dogs abandoned and abused, fewer puppies bred, fewer oldies dumped in 2015!  Alas, it won’t happen.  As I drive around I see people everywhere walking new pups.  And many will be given as Christmas presents.   So this is the season for dumping the old dogs to make way for the cute pups.  And in February the pups will have lost their cuteness and they too will be on the rubbish pile.  And so it goes on and on and on.  So I thank you all for helping me and other bigger rescues to salvage these poor dogs and give them the good life they should have had from the beginning of their lives right to the end.  


Dogs in the garden at Four Acres

 Garden 17

Summer News from Kim’s Home


So what’s been happening since the last BLOG that I wrote in April?  Well quite a lot.


I don’t like starting with sad news but it was the most important event that happened in Kim’s Home – Freya left us.  She was 15 years and 2 months old.  She’d been with me since she was three months old – an unbelievably abused puppy who grew into a wonderful big brown dog who brought happiness to everyone who knew and loved her – both dogs and people.  I miss her so much.

 Freya15th Birthdaycropped

Moving on……

 The day after Freya died, I took on a cruelty case for Lurcher SOS.  Hope, a Saluki cross, was in an awful state of neglect: emaciated with horrible pressure sores and other deep wounds.  In a way, caring for her distracted me from the grief over Freya.  And on the first evening she was here, she sank peacefully and thankfully on to Freya’s lovely bed and slept and slept.  I’m sure Freya would have approved.

 Hope start

HopeFreya's bed

Hope has since got well and healed up.  And the best news – she has gone to live with the lovely people who adopted Bella.  So she is close by and I shall be able to see her regularly once we’ve broken the bond with me.  She looks so happy in her new home – ungrateful minx!


The other foster we had in was Charlie the big black lurcher lad.  He put on weight, gained in confidence and learned some manners.  He was a total star at the Fonmon show.  I was so proud of him – such a long day and so many people and dogs and he was perfectly behaved.  He’s also been to training classes and will soon get his Good Citizen award.  Oh, and I’ve decided that he can stay.  Not the age dog that I really want, but when did I ever get to choose my dogs, eh?  He was certainly abused and he thinks he’s home.  And I couldn’t tell him otherwise.  Anyway no-one offered him a home.  So it was an easy decision.


I’m pleased to say that I’ve been sticking more to my mission for the last few months and have found homes for lots of oldies who were languishing un-wanted in the pound.


In the last Blog, I mentioned 2 Collies who were in the pound.  One was so ill that she had to be put to sleep, but a wonderful home was found for Snoop thanks to the Facebook followers of Kim’s Home.  Snoop lived only a few months but he had so much loving and comfort in those months.  His new owners are devastated at his loss.  Thank you, Laney and Paul.


Then along came Morris.  I brought him here because he was not doing well in the pound.  Morris is a Shih Tsu who had almost everything imaginable wrong with him: severe arthritis, luxating patella, retained testicle, grade 4 heart murmur, dry eye…  One day when I was walking in the park with him, a lovely lady made a fuss of him and he really seemed to like her.  I explained his circumstances and she offered to foster him.  With a grant from Friends of the Dogs, Wales, Morris had quite a lot of equipment to take with him – a stroller, a harness, 2 beds, lots of medication and lots of food.  So, while Kim’s Home is still responsible for all his costs, he gets all his loving from Ann and her elderly Yorkie, Poppy.  Perfect! 


Next was Alfie, an elderly Terrier who had been in the pound for a year while the council chased a prosecution for neglect and abuse.   When he was allowed out, he was adopted by another FB follower, Carrie, who has given him the most wonderful home with her dogs. Alfie particularly loves her tortoise.  There’s no accounting for taste, is there? Thank you, Carrie.


And then came Pixie.  She is a rather morose, elderly Staffie x Terrier who is totally deaf and partially blind.  She is not the prettiest dog in the world but she’s lovely.  She moved into Kim’s Home and is doing well.  She loves her food and gets very excited at meal times.  And twice so far she’s worked herself up to a joyful run on the field.  But she doesn’t expend her energy too often.  She loves cuddles.  Because her eyesight is so poor, she often steps on other dogs but they all seem to understand that she can’t help it and they accept the space intrusion calmly and cheerfully.

 Pixie shiny

Kobi came next. He is a fourteen year old Rough Collie – again a stray.  His owner rang to check that he was in the pound but never came to collect him. In answer to my appeal Lynn stepped forward and invited Kobi to live with her and her other dogs in sunny Cornwall.  And that’s where he is.  An Anonymous Angel paid for him to have serious work done on his teeth and now Kobi is pain free and enjoying life at last.  Thank you, Lynn.

 Kobi and Friend

Twix is a middle-aged chocolate Labrador who was found straying.  She had an enormous tumour on her abdomen.  The dog pound paid to have it removed and analysed.  Sadly the tumour was malignant and so Twix probably doesn’t have long to live.  But, in response to my appeal,  Alison offered her a lovely home in Herts with her dogs.  And that’s where Twix is now.  She doesn’t know that she’s ill.  She enjoying her life to the full as only a Lab can.

 Twix happy

The next dog that I met at the pound was dear little Sindy, a terrified Staffie girl, with strange scars on her body and a large mammary tumour.  She was judged to be about 13 years old.  Found as a stray – as they all are.  Again I put out an appeal and Kate offered her a home with her family and her equally elderly male Staffie, Reg.  Kate is a vet nurse – which is perfect because Sindy is going to need surgery soon to sort out her lumps.  Sindy, now called Dotty, has settled well and she and Reg are great pals.  Thank you, Kate.

Cindy and Reg Sofa

Now that I’d diversified from sighthounds into Terriers, Shih-Tsus, Collies, Labradors and Staffies, there was no stopping me.  And the next dog to need help was Gary, a fourteen year old German Shepherd.  He, too, was a stray.  He was in excellent condition and looked as if he had been well cared-for at some point in his life.  I wish I knew the stories behind the abandonment of these lovely, lovely dogs.  Again an angel came forward via UK-GSR.  Suzanne found a wonderful permanent foster home with Alison and Steve and that’s where he is now and having a great time with his foster sisters and brothers.


That’s not where it ends of course.  These poor dogs keep landing in the pound that I liaise with.  There are 2 elderly Staffies there at the moment – Molly, a black girl and Rob, a fawn boy.  Any offers, please? 


Rob Staffie cross

Just a note:  when I put out an appeal for homes or long-term foster homes for these dogs, I always stipulate that it should be a quiet home with no young children and no cats.  This is because I cannot accurately assess dogs who are in a dog pound.   Elderly dogs are usually no trouble, but you never know.  That is why I either offer rescue back-up myself or secure back-up from a breed rescue.  All home offers are home-checked and/or vet references taken up.  Not all home offers are suitable, sadly.  And I have to be sure that the dog and the adopter are going to get on and make a success of the arrangement.


As you can imagine, I am so, so grateful to these wonderful people who have taken on these old dogs, many of whom have medical problems.  It almost restores my faith in people.


Likewise I’m grateful to the kind people who send donations to Kim’s Home.  I could not operate without you.  Apart from having 17 dogs here most of the time, I am financially responsible for some of the pound dogs too.  And having so many dogs isn’t cheap.  I pay £320 a month just on insurance before I start feeding them, accessorising them, driving them out to their running places, paying for their supplements, medication and vet bills etc etc.  If you feel you can help financially, please look at how you can do that here: http://www.kimshome.org.uk/sponsor-donate/


Many, many thanks from all at Kim’s Home


PS – I haven’t updated my signature pictures yet – can’t quite bear to take Freya off.  So here are the Kim’s Home dogs, with Freya still in our hearts, and Charlie and Pixie waiting to join the gallery.


April 2014

April 2014


Things are as busy as ever at Kim’s Home.  We’ve had so many fosters in and not so many out that our numbers have increased somewhat.   We peaked at 19 last week but things have eased off a bit since then.

These are the current ones


The Kim’s Home permanents are all well and happy.  Freya did make it to her 15th birthday in March and is threatening to chunter on to her 16th.  She still does at least one walk a day and often two. 


Freya15th Birthdaycropped

Tom, our old Springer,  has had a third stroke.  He can no longer manage stairs and his eyesight seems to have been affected.  But he’s still jolly, does 2 walks a day and visits his mum in her care home every weekend.  He’s a great favourite there.


Merry, our Lurcher SOS foster, went off to her wonderful new home.  Then along came Bella who had run out of time in a dog pound.  So I agreed to foster her and Lurcher SOS offered rescue back-up.  We fattened her up, spayed and vaccinated and then found her the best home in the world.  She’s been there about 5 days and has settled very well.  She and her new folk are enchanted with each other.

I usually take in only one dog as a foster on top of the 15 Kim’s Home residents.  But Daisy, a little Saluki cross, was also on death row in a dog pound.  Rescues all over the country were full and so once again I said I would foster and Lurcher SOS gave me rescue back-up.  Phew.  Daisy is a lovely dog, lively and engaging.  She loves playing with the other dogs.  At training class she is a model pupil. Daisy is now ready for her new home.  Could it be yours?  She needs a home where she has plenty of free running, a good varied diet, comfortable beds, coats and jumpers when it’s cold and of course lots of loving.  Please contact Lurcher SOS for an adoption application form.


Sitting Pretty

Sitting Pretty

Two days before Daisy arrived a gypsy/traveller friend of mine told me of a dog who was being systematically starved and beaten because he was not a good hunter.  He wanted to bring the dog to me.  Of course I had to say yes.  And so Charlie, a big, black lurcher arrived.  He was painfully thin and so terrified that he was aggressive.  He spent the first 24 hours in a crate upstairs and I couldn’t get near him.  When I did manage to lasso him while he was snarling and lunging at me, he let out a scream the like of which I’ve never heard before.  Eventually I had to get him into the garden before the house became disgusting.  So I dragged him down the stairs on a slip lead and introduced him to a few of the KH dogs.  And that’s when he started to relax.  He met the rest of the family and became a changed dog.  My wonderful dogs never fail to reassure the waifs and strays that fetch up here.  It turns out that he was only about 10 months old when he arrived.   Four weeks later he’s gained 5 kilos and has become a happy chappy.  Once he’s neutered and vaccinated he’ll be looking for a new home.



Our numbers are now back to an almost sane 17.  However, I have been asked to take in another 3 dogs and so must find somewhere safe for them to go.

We continue to look out for elderly dogs in trouble.  One person contacted me about an 18 year old Maltese cross for whom she could no longer care because she had to leave her home.  I asked the good folk on Facebook and sure enough a few people offered to give Ginny a great retirement home.  She has now gone to live with a wonderful person not far from Ginny’s original owner.  So they can keep in contact.

There are two fourteen-year-old Collies in the local pound.  No-one is going to want to re-home them.  They are brother and sister and have always lived together.  Will we be able to find someone to foster both of them?  Miracles do happen.

Kim’s Home, like all rescues, needs funds to help with the vet bills for elderly or ill-treated dogs.  And some very kind people have been helping out.  Tilley Farm started the Cool to be Kind project to raise funds for rescues.  They sent me 300 wristbands at a low price to be sold at fundraising events.  So please look out for us at the South Wales Dog Charity Fun Day at Fonmon Castle on 26th May where we shall be selling the Cool to be Kind wristbands – as modelled by Benedict Cumberbatch.

A tack sale has been organised at Heol y Cyw near Bridgend with profits going to Kim’s Home.  This is on the 20th April.   Thank you, Gill Hamer.

And so we go on.  We are expecting an abused lurcher to be heading our way in the next few days.  Eventually she will be up for re-homing.  Please look at the Foster Dogs page of the Kim’s Home website.

Thank you to those people who make donations to Kim’s Home.  You are very kind.  And thanks to you we  manage to get through each month without turning away a needy dog.


End of 2013 and Start of 2014


So what were we up to at the end of 2013? 

Well….  a mix of things as usual.

Bang on mission: we welcomed another permanent member into Kim’s Home.  She is Dolly, a little terrier, about 13 years old, found as a stray, micro-chipped but no owners traceable.  So she was probably dumped.  The pound rang me to ask if I could help her.  Of course she came home to us.   She is an absolute angel – clean in the house, very affectionate, runs like a rabbit in the park and like a Whippet on the beach.  She’s fitted in perfectly


We had another visitor just before Christmas – a very tiny, elderly, toothless, sickly, incontinent Yorkshire terrier – also found as a stray.  He did his 7 days in the pound but there was no-one looking for him and so he came here too.  And then a wonderful person, Helen Jennings, offered to adopt him. She was an expert on elderly dogs having 2 of her own already.  So some wonderful volunteers, including our good friend and supporter Lucy Blight, helped get Vinnie from Cardiff to Durham.  Since landing with Helen, Vinnie’s health has improved amazingly:  his cough has gone, he is no longer incontinent and he has put on weight.  He gets on well with her 2 other little dogs.  Don’t you just love a happy ending!


At the end of November I packed up the van and set off with my daughter and 15 dogs for a week in West Wales.  We stayed at Four Acres, part of the Little Dumpledale Farm holiday place.  We go there every year because it has an enormous safe garden, a paddock, lovely walks just opposite the house and beautiful beaches not too far away.  The dogs had a great time and it was a holiday for me too since we didn’t go to the beach every day and so I didn’t have to drive the dogs about all the time.  Just a note:  Kim’s Home funds are not used for holidays, vets’ bills, food bills or insurance.   My personal fortune (which is my teacher’s pension) pays for all that.  Donations to Kim’s Home are used for the extras and mostly for helping get other dogs out of trouble. 

four acres 2013 024

Christmas was a very sociable time for the dogs.  My daughter and her partner came to stay and my son and his wife came over from Chicago.  I thought Nell and Emma would be wrecks but they soon calmed down and were tolerant of the men if not enamoured of them.  In fact Emma did get to love Mick.  All the others were ecstatic to have so many people to make a fuss of them.  The dogs had lots of toys and everyone was very jolly. 


Since Christmas it seems to have been Saluki season.   I was offered 4 in one week.  One in a pound In Norfolk went to a lovely home recommended by Ann Blake who used to run Saluki Welfare.  One local to me went to Lurcher SOS and has been rehomed happily.  Another dog went to GRWE and the fourth turned out not to be a Saluki but a lurcher, Charlie, who is still looking for a home at Croft Rescue Kennels.  

For the last few weeks we have been fostering a lovely young dog for Lurcher SOS.  She was very emaciated when she was picked up and so came here for some fattening up.  Merry has been a joyful bundle of energy.  She will soon be off to her new home where I’m confident that she will be very happy.  

So that was 2013.  We lost two lovely dogs: Zak, an elderly Whippet cross aged about 15 and my lovely Lily, a Saluki cross, who had been with us for nearly 14 years.  

And that’s where we are now.  Most of the dogs are well. Freya is the last left of the original dogs.  She will be 15 in March if she gets that far.  Every day is a bonus – her back legs are very weak and she has persistent urinary tract infections.  In order of arrival: Zeb, Ruby, Bayleaf, Shayla, Grace and Griff are all fine.  Tom is still recovering from his second stroke but seems happy. Zoe, Hebe, George and Emma are fine.  Lucy is still as nervous as a deer but otherwise fine.  Nell is lovely as is Dolly.

I’m hoping that in 2014 we can afford to go on helping dogs that need us – either by bringing them here to Kim’s Home or by passing them to the safety of a good rescue. 

As always I really appreciate the support given to us.  I know everyone has a lot of calls on their own funds.   So we are really grateful if anyone does contribute to the cause.   I can’t do it without you.

Finally I hope 2014 brings you all whatever you wish for.  I know it won’t see the end of animal abuse but I hope that we can do what we can to help at least some of the dogs who are being cruelly treated.

Happy New Year from Kim’s Home!

 readyfor walk


A Life in the Day at Kim’s Home

A Life in the Day at Kim’s Home


People often say to me that they wish they could have as many dogs as I have.  Or they say that I am living their dream and that it must be so much fun.  Well, yes, it is, but more for the dogs than for me perhaps.

Our day starts about 7 (now that I’m retired we take it easy).  The alarm goes off earlier but the dogs know that we ignore that. The signal that the day is going to start is when I reach out to pick up my glasses.  I do it so quietly but I can never fool Zeb.  He is instantly on his feet, whooping around the bedroom waking the others and telling them that there is another glorious day ahead.

So we all troop downstairs and they whoosh into the garden to do the necessary.  I mop up the 2 wees and occasional poo that are on the dog room floor. I don’t know who does this but I have my suspicions.  And one day I’ll catch them………..Then they all stay in the dog room while I go upstairs and do a minimal “toilette” and get dressed.

Next it’s the ceremony of the collars, leads, harnesses and coats.  It takes ages with 15 dogs even though they are very good and don’t wriggle much.  Check:  poo bags, balls and toys, long line, treats, phone, keys.  Off to open up the van, then let them into the front garden, pick up all the leads and herd them into the van.  Crossing the pavement is always a fraught moment – just in case a neighbouring cat pops up.  It’s only happened once in 12 years and there were no casualties – though it took me a while to find Zak.

If it’s the weekend, we all go down to a closed 3 acre field, but on weekdays Freya and Dolly stay at home while the rest of us drive down to the river.  Today it’s the river and so we drive the few miles in the van and park next to the river walk.  I pick up the leads and get them out of the van with some semblance of order.  Then the good, responsive dogs are let off lead.  I keep the 2 young Salukis on for a while longer.  They need my full attention, but first I must pick up all the poos that some save for the walk rather than the garden. 

Finally I let the Red Arrows – Lucy and Nell – explode from their leads and see them shoot off chasing each other noisily.  Zoe usually joins in – it’s an exclusive Saluki club.  I put Hebe Whippet back on lead – the Salukis sometimes bully her.  And off we go.  After about half a mile along the river with running, sniffing, mooching, Tom chasing and losing his ball, Griff and Bayleaf swimming after their balls in the summer, we drop down to a playing field where Griff chases his rope ball and Hebe plays with her Space Hopper.  The young Salukis are still running.   We then move along to a wild meadow where they all have mad runs – though Griff does most of his digging projects here.  Ruby tries desperately to persuade Bayleaf to organise a big run for all of them by leaping at his head.  Sometimes it works.  Next I have to get Lucy and Nell back on lead.  No easy job.  Lucy is not so bad because she has a long line and I can get her quite easily.  Nell is a horror though and will avoid me as if I habitually beat her!  I need to get her on lead though because she barks at men and we could meet some on the way back.

If I see someone I don’t know with a dog, I put Bayleaf, Nell and Lucy on lead.  If it’s a Labrador type I’ll put Emma and Griff on too.   If it’s a terrier, I’ll put George on lead.  If it’s a crowd of dogs, I’ll put most of them back on lead.  So our walks are a constant stop/start of leads on/off.  People assume I must be very healthy because of all the dog-walking but, no, it’s a trudge with many stops for crowd control. The dogs do all the exercising.

On the way back to the van an hour or so later (depending on weather and season – it can sometimes be 2 hours), we usually meet friends:  Linda with her 5 terriers and Cavaliers.  My dogs love them all.  And Shayla is particularly fond of Linda.   If Nell is on lead, all is well.  If she isn’t, then I often have to apologise to any passing man about the barking.  Most understand but some don’t.  Being shouted at is an occupational hazard for me, alas.  It happens even if my dogs are on lead and an unruly off-lead dog runs into us.  It’s always my fault apparently.

Back at the van all the dogs jump in.  Nell will jump in on her own – so at least she doesn’t faff around for hours like Lucy used to.  And so we drive home. 

Coats and collars and leads off.  Hot towels if they are wet and cold. They settle in the dog room while I tack up Freya and Dolly.  Into the van and off to the park we go.   Often Griff, Grace and Hebe come too so that they can have more of a social life.  We mooch round the park.  Freya greets her public, rolls on the grass and has a good sniff about.

Back home to breakfast.   This is a long preparation because in addition to biscuit with sardines/tripe etc this is the meal that is a vehicle for most of the medication and supplements.  This is the current protocol: they all get fish oil; the older dogs get vitamins and minerals etc to head off arthritis.  Freya gets Previcox, Propalin and often anti-biotics.  Tom gets Vivitonin; Lucy gets Zylkene; Grace gets her SLO medication:  high doses of Omega 3, Biotin and Nicotinamide; Dolly needs eye ointment. 

Breakfast is an orderly meal with each dog standing by his/her bowl on a stand.  5 of them get fed in the passage way or sitting room.  The other 10 eat in the dog room.  No-one pinches food from anyone else – though Bayleaf and Zeb have to be watched carefully.   If anything is left – Zoe is a fussy eater – it is shared out between the skinny dogs. 

And then they are all allowed into the sitting room to flop onto their comfortable beds for some serious sleeping and recharging of batteries.

Now I can have my breakfast and get onto the Internet to pick up emails, messages, appeals, etc.  I always check Doglost for anything going down in my area or for any sighthounds anywhere.   Then it’s on to Gumtree and Preloved to look out for stolen dogs and to send emails to people offering their dogs Free To Good Home to warn them of the dangers.  Very few people take any notice of this.  Occasionally someone will reply and thank me for the warning and offer of help.  Some folk respond with abusive messages. 

Now I have a window of time to do the cleaning, clear the garden, put washing on/out.  Living with so many dogs means that the washing machine never stops.  It’s not that they are not house-trained.  They are good in that department – apart from the phantom nocturnal wee-er.  And Freya has no control over her bowels and has frequent UTIs which mean urinary incontinence too. I like to keep all their throws, bedding, cushions and towels fresh and clean.  They all have white brushed cotton sheets on their night beds in my room – that might be an obvious sign of my insanity.  But I think it’s so much easier to put cotton sheets into the machine every few days rather than have to wash thick squidgy mattresses that take ages to dry. 

So cleaning, clearing, washing, shopping done, I can return to the computer to organise transport runs, liaise with pounds and rescues etc. This takes up a lot of my time.

And then it’s time to do the walking all over again.  So we just re-run the morning process.  We tend to linger longer in the park in the afternoon because there are more people about and Griff, Grace and Hebe love running with their non-family friends.  If Freya says she’s up to it, we sometimes do a shorter walk down at the river and she comes too.  That is physically very demanding for me – controlling 15 dogs, one of whom weighs over 30 kilos and needs support; another who freaks out if she sees a man and tries to do a runner.  But I manage it about once a week because Freya loves it so much.  Other days I drive the youngsters – the under 12s – to farm fields to let them have a good blast.  We go to the beach only when I have a helper to share the burden.

Back home, collars, leads, coats etc off and a rest for them while I do things like grooming, tidying, cleaning – yes, that again!  And yet the house never looks pristine.  At least once a week I put a flea comb through all the dogs just to make sure that they haven’t brought any uninvited guests home.  Quite often I have to bath Griff or Zoe – they are chief fox-poo rollers.  Hebe and Ruby are also occasionally guilty of this. And sometimes we have routine or not-so-routine vet visits to fit in. 

Back on the computer for an hour while I try to ignore the whines and whinges of those who assure me that they are dying of starvation – mostly Emma, Griff and Bayleaf.  Though little Dolly can be quite bossy too.  At 6 pm I give in and we all troop out to the dog room/kitchen for dinner.   Dinner is usually an easy meal – no bowls, just raw meat on or off the bone handed out in order of arrival in the family.  New dogs in soon learn this routine and don’t try to jump the queue or snatch.  Everyone eats in the dog room.  They all go off to a part of the room to eat in peace, often very, very close to one another but no growling or bad behaviour.  This I find surprising but I suppose from the beginning I nip any anti-social behaviour in the bud with a sharp “UH-UH”.  In 16 years we have never had a fight in the house.  We’ve had plenty of tooth tears when they are out running and get over-excited but rarely any that warrant a stitch-up.  They are very civilised, polite dogs on the whole.

Evening meal over, I tidy up the sitting room, refresh all the water bowls, encourage them to go to the garden to wee if necessary.  And then like a herd of wildebeest we all make our way back to the sitting room.  Once settled, I return to the kitchen to clear up – Griff is usually still there sucking blood out of the towels that I am about to throw into the washing machine.   Quick wash of the floor to clear up any remains of the raw meat, thorough clean of all kitchen surfaces and then at last I can think of getting some food for myself.   Quite honestly, I’m  usually so tired by this time that I rarely make the effort to cook – sandwiches, fruit and chocolate do me fine.

Last job of the day: back on the computer to catch up with emails, to track dogs in trouble or in transit.  I have to do my accounts, order dog equipment/food online, contact rescues about dogs stuck in the pound and in danger of being put to sleep.  There are phone calls to make to gypsy contacts about dogs lost and stolen and about dogs that need moving from an abusive situation.  It never stops.  And I don’t do nearly as much as a proper rescue. Time on Facebook is just scrolling down through image after image of cruelty cases and feeling helpless that one can’t help them all.

At last I can snatch a couple of hours to relax.  I don’t sit on a sofa – they are all occupied.  I squeeze in between dogs on the floor on a memory foam bed and we spend a nice snuggly time. But I always have nail clippers and comb to hand to groom anyone who is in reach.  They love this.  Any attention is good when you are a member of such a big family, eh?

At about 11 we start the bedtime routine.  All out into the garden for last wees.  Freya a short walk round the back lane because she won’t wee in the garden.  Last treats all round.  I go upstairs to make their beds, put clean water down for them and make sure that all is well.  If it’s very cold, some of them need fleece pyjamas because I always switch the heating off when we go to bed.  And so about midnight it’s a mad stampede up to bed – I don’t know why they get so excited about bed time – it’s not like I read them a story or anything.  They all settle in their own beds – no messing about.  Tom sleeps on the landing in his bed, George just outside the door in his and Freya sleeps on the sofa in the dog room because she can’t manage the stairs any more.  

I read for about an hour or so and then put the light out.  Soon Grace will creep on to my bed.  And not long after Hebe will sneak under the duvet.   And so we all pass a peaceful night.

The alarm goes off at 6.45 and, in true Groundhog Day fashion, we do it all over again……and again……and again. 

I suppose it’s one way for an arthritic old woman to spend her retirement.   I worry constantly though that I’ll get ill and not be able to look after the dogs properly.  Somewhere in my Documents is a list of where the dogs can go if I pop my clogs – so that my daughter knows what to do.  I also worry that I’ll run out of money and then one day you will be able to see me in Cardiff City Centre – a bowed old hag in a grubby mack and dirty trainers with a Tesco’s trolley and a string of hungry dogs….

Still think I’m living the dream?  I don’t suppose I’d have it any other way though – most of the time.




September/October News

September/October News

On the whole the last 2 months have been quite Groundhog Day-ish.  The usual routine of walking, feeding, exercising dogs, cleaning up after dogs and keeping their home in a state fit to keep them in the manner to which they have been accustomed.

We had a foster dog for about 3 weeks.  She was Trixie, a lovely lurcher who is desperate to love and be loved – she is especially fond of men.  She is now in Surrey with her rescuer and is still looking for a permanent home.   Thank you so much Lucy Blight for doing a mammoth transport run.  If you would like to offer Trixie a forever home, you can see her on Lurcher SOS.  Here she is with my Freya:

Freya and Trixie.jpgFreya and Trixie

The home dogs are all fine – even those who have ongoing conditions – like Grace’s SLO and Freya’s long list of minor ailments that accompany old age.

Tom, our Springer, had a bit of a stroke a few weeks ago but is doing fine considering.  He has recovered all his mobility but still gets confused.  The worrying thing is that he goes out into the garden via the dog door and then just stands there – even if it’s raining.  So I have to be vigilant and check where he is all the time.

Quite a bit of my time has been spent trying to recover lost and stolen dogs.  There is such heart-ache for families when their dogs go missing and the chances of getting them back if they are not micro-chipped are minimal. I am particularly concerned about a little Chihuahua girl, called Tia, who was stolen from her garden in Cardiff in July.   We’ve had several leads but so far no dog.  Her young owner is so, so upset – understandably.  Here is a picture of Tia who is long-haired, dark fawn and white:



Do you remember Amos, the elderly Labrador that I took out of the pound and took to Hollyhedge Animal Sanctuary?  He went straight into a foster home and was immediately adopted.  Have a great end of life, Amos!

Do you find that you spend quite a bit of time on Facebook looking at images of abused and homeless dogs not only in the UK but in Spain, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and further afield?  I use Facebook only for rescue work and so these horrific images scroll relentlessly down my screen.  I feel so helpless.  Yes, I could offer to sponsor and re-home one dog but that wouldn’t solve anything.  Like you, I sign various e-petitions.  I wonder if they are effective.  So much cruelty in the world can be depressing for us all but must be so much worse for those brave people who work at saving these dogs from abuse.  They are the true rescuers.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the direction of Kim’s Home.  Our activities have been rather dispersed recently:  looking for lost and stolen dogs; fostering for other rescues; organising transport runs for pound dogs and other rescues’ dogs, getting dogs out of pounds into rescue but not so much getting dogs from gypsy/traveller sites into Kim’s Home or to rescue.   It has become a full-time job.  However, I am doing very little to fund all these activities.  What’s more when I do receive donations – and there are a few loyal supporters of Kim’s Home who regularly make donations – I tend to use the funds to make donations to organisations like Strayaid, Strayaction to buy their waifs and strays and get them to rescue and to buy other dogs out of trouble.  Very little of the money that is donated to Kim’s Home actually goes on Kim’s Home dogs.   So a slight amendment to activities is called for, I think.

Back to the mission statement:

1.     To provide lifelong sanctuary to elderly and/or abused dogs who cannot be rehomed in a caring, comfortable home with good food, appropriate veterinary treatment and exercise

2.     To provide temporary sanctuary to sighthounds in need – whether homeless, sick, abused, threatened with euthanasia – while waiting for rescue place or forever home

3.     To care for sick hounds and rehabilitate abused hounds so that they can be rehomed

4.     To neuter and microchip all hounds before re-homing in order to prevent irresponsible breeding and to promote responsible ownership

5.     To promote awareness via the website of the often cruel conditions of working sighthounds – notably Greyhounds, Lurchers, Salukis and Whippets- with a view to educating the public and improving the lives of the dogs

6.     To liaise with local dog pounds and gypsy/traveller sites in order to transfer needy dogs to rescue or to the sanctuary

7.     To liaise with other rescues and online forums to locate dogs in need and to find rescue places or homes for dogs who have the potential to be pet dogs

And I have to go back to this.  If dogs are in a rescue, then they have already been rescued.  They just need a forever home but they don’t need me – unless they are very old and so unlikely to be rehomed and could come here.  What I should be doing – as I was doing for 15 years – is finding the dogs who have not been rescued and who probably won’t be rescued and then either offering them a home with us or passing them to good rescue organisations.

My role model for Kim’s Home was the late Angela Hogan who ran Tailends – a sanctuary for elderly dogs.  Angela stayed true to her mission – she did not have more than 12 dogs in at one time and she took in only dogs who were likely to enjoy being part of a big family of dogs.   And that’s what I must do.  So I am going back to trawling the pounds and gypsy/traveller sites to find dogs in trouble.  And I shall also keep an eye on the vile traffic of dogs on Gumtree and other online sites to get vulnerable sighthounds away from a cruel working/breeding life.  I shall continue to warn folk every day of the dangers of offering their not-so-beloved pets as Free To Good Home on these sites. 

So what does Kim’s Home need from its supporters?

1.     Supplements for the older dogs – particularly for arthritis.  Freya is arthritic and a whole clutch of the dogs are in the 9-12 age bracket and need extra joint support so that they don’t get arthritis in old age.        

We don’t use chemical stuff for worming, flea treatment etc – natural remedies work just as well.  And we have some lovely natural products from a local business that produces their own ethical, cruelty-free treatments and supplements:  Health Mutt.  They have some good remedies for dogs who are scared of fireworks.

2.     Grace has a condition called SLO (Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy) whereby her nails fall out painfully.  This first happened in September 2012.  There is no absolute cure – it’s an auto-immune condition but heavy doses of supplements do give the nails a fighting chance.  Every day Grace has 2 double strength Omega 3 and Omega 6 capsules as well as Biotin and Nicotinamide.  So far she has not lost any more nails. But the supplements will be for life – and are expensive.


3.     Freya every day has Previcox for pain relief, anti-biotics to combat her regular urinary tract infections, Propalin to help with her urinary incontinence and other supplements to help a very old dog.  She is doubly incontinent and that aspect can be expensive. Thanks to Karen Wall and Dog Mobility she has a special “nappy” and I just have to buy the incontinence pads.  Here’s hoping the chemist doesn’t think they are for me!  Tom will be on medication for the rest of his life.  And Lucy is still taking natural remedies for her fears and aggression.


4.     All the dogs have comfortable places to sleep day and night.  The washing-machine never stops in this house as I refresh daily their covers, throws, towels, mats etc.  Their night beds in my room are soft round snuggly beds to which I add a memory foam mattress.  On top of that I put white brushed-cotton sheets because it’s so much easier to wash a cot sized sheet as soon as it starts to look grubby than it is to wash mattresses. So if you have any of these warm-feel sheets going spare, we would be grateful.  They could be for single beds because I can cut them up. 


5.     Every dog has at least one coat and rain coat and collars and leads – so we have no needs in that department.  When a new dog comes in, I use Kim’s Home funds to buy any necessary equipment for the dog – like the escape-proof harnesses that Lucy and Nell, aka the Red Arrows, have to have.  And there are plenty of towels, throws, blankets etc.  In fact it looks like Dunelm Mill here.


6.     On the whole we do not need much food.  The dogs are mostly raw-fed and thanks to the generosity of Martin Player we have plenty donated every week.  Their other food is paid for by me and not Kim’s Home funds.  The only non-raw food that we use regularly is Burns Lamb and Brown rice and Nature diet – so that is always welcome.


7.     The insurance for these dogs costs £320 per month – and that also comes from my personal fortune aka my old-age pension <g>.  I have considered stopping the insurance and just keeping the third party liability going – which I can do via the Dogs Trust – but it’s too risky.  Some accidents can cause damage costing thousands of pounds. That’s never happened to us………. yet.


8.     One of heaviest costs of running Kim’s Home is the cost of Diesel. I live in town and have to drive the dogs out of town twice a day every day to places where they can let off steam and gallop about.  That means usually 2 medium drives and 2 short-ish drives.  It all mounts up but, no, I’m not asking you to bring round some jerry-cans of diesel, thanks!  I’d move to the country but how do you sell a house with 14 or 15 dogs in residence and where there are wall to wall dog beds?


9.     Finally, if anyone knows of a field to borrow or rent near to Cardiff, I would be very grateful.  Kim’s Home dogs are on the whole very well-behaved and greet their public politely twice a day on our walks.  And then there are the wild ones – Nell and Lucy – who cannot be trusted to go off-lead in places where there might be other people.  Lucy barks non-stop at dogs and Nell barks at men – because she is terrified of them.  This is not good PR for Kim’s Home.  So somewhere where these 2 could run safely with their mates not too far away would be great.  We are fine on the weekends because I have access to a locked field and they can run until they drop then.  But 2 days a week is not enough for a young Saluki.


We have something to look forward to in November.  This year I had decided that I could not afford to take the dogs away on holiday in September as we usually do.  But then I got really depressed at the thought of missing our beach runs.  So I’ve booked a holiday at the end of November when it will cost only about half what it would have cost in September (again this is paid for me personally and not Kim’s Home).  My daughter will help me take the dogs there.  And I’ll be buying us balaclavas for protection on the wind-swept beaches.   As usual we will be going to Four Acres part of the Little Dumpledale Farm complex, the best place in the world for a doggy holiday.  I took 19 dogs one year.  See if you can spot Kim’s Home dogs on the publicity photos.

Thank you to everyone who supports Kim’s Home in any way.  We are truly grateful.  Please keep your dogs safe during the firework season.

Best wishes

Wendy and the Kim’s Home Residents

kh sig october

kh sig october.jpg


August News

August News


There has been lots of good news in the past few weeks and also some sad news.

Firstly the pound dogs who needed your help have all found wonderful homes:

  • ·        Sparky, aged 14, has gone to live with Liz Williams and is very happy


  • ·        Xena, 12 years old, was adopted from the pound by a lovely family who also had an elderly Lab


  • ·        Matt, Yorkshire terrier with a heart murmur, also found a home with great people who were happy to cope with his medical problems.


  • ·        Casper, the terrier with the bad teeth, also found a home and your donations went to the new owners to pay for his dental work.

Kim’s Home has also helped other pound dogs:


  • ·        Amos, an old Labrador, also went to Hollyhedge at the beginning of September.

Kim’s Home paid £200 to get 2 dogs from Strayaid in Durham to rescue.  Nancy, a Saluki cross, and Lola, an elderly Whippet cross, were given back-up by GRWE and have already found homes.  Thank you, GRWE.

Molly, the elderly rough-coated lurcher who we featured here a couple of months ago,  had to leave her foster home but luckily a forever home came up for her.  Kim’s Home had the joy of organising a transport run from Sheffield to Orkney!  It was so worth it though because Molly now has a fantastic home.

Laurie, the Kim’s Home foster, who arrived in an emaciated state at the beginning of May, has at last found his forever home with a couple in Bedfordshire who have other dogs for Laurie to play with and their own fields for him to run in.  He has settled well and his new family are enchanted with him.

Nell, the nervous Saluki, who arrived last month, has decided to stay.  She is really happy here and has become a bit of a clown.   She runs well with Lucy (the only dog who will) and she feels like she should be family.

reservoir nell, tom, hebe, emma

The sad news for this update is that we lost our dear Lily a couple of days ago.  She came from a traveller/gypsy site 13 years and 4 months ago at the age of 8 months.  So we’ve had a long and loving relationship with Lily.   Fourteen was too young to die but there was nothing that could be done to save her.  Sleep well, Lily – reunited at last with your Mum Suzi, your favourite running mate.

Lily sig

You can read all about her on the Dogs section of the website.

Thank you so much to our loyal supporters who donate money or items to help Kim’s Home carry on.  Thanks especially to the support from Lisa at Health Mutt for the natural products that keep the dogs healthy and the fund-raising activities, and thanks to Martin Player for the organic raw meat, to the sponsors of the Kim’s Home residents. If only there were more of you, I could do so much more to help dogs in trouble.

Ways to donate can be found on the website HERE.

July News


This rescue lark is never-ending, isn’t it?  So we’ve had yet another busy month.

The good news is that Kim’s Home has managed to get some dogs out of the pound and off either to rescue or into homes.  Sparky, a 14 year old GWP cross went to a lovely home in Oxfordshire.  2 elderly Jack Russells terriers, Jack and Jill, brother and sister, have gone to Hollyhedge sanctuary from where they will be rehomed.   Kim’s Home supporters contributed to vet costs for a lurcher called Jazz.  She is now in rescue and will be moving to a foster home when she’s had her vaccinations.

In a couple of weeks we shall be welcoming an elderly Whippet cross who is stuck in a northern pound.  If she is healthy, she will be rehomed by GRWE.  But, if she’s elderly and frail, she will join us at Kim’s Home.

Still to be sorted at the pound is Xena, a tiny, friendly, bouncy, 12 year old Staffie who has lingered unwanted for a long time.   Surely someone can offer this beautiful girl a home for her last years? 


And then there’s Casper, a 9 year old terrier, who has a mouth full of rotting teeth and who needs dental work before anyone would consider re-homing him.  There is an appeal for him on Facebook.  Please contribute if you can.

Molly, the 13 year old rough coated lurcher, still needs a permanent home.  She is enjoying life in foster but can’t stay forever.  She is cat-friendly.

And Laurie, the Deerhound/Saluki, who we are fostering for GRWE, is still here.  He is now a model citizen and has calmed down a lot.  He is very bright and will give his new people a lot of pleasure – where are you????  Here he is:


We have also taken in Nell this month.  She is a young Saluki who was being sold on Gumtree for a very small price.  Fortunately I got there before the working homes, thanks to alerts from Saluki-loving friends.  She is terrified of men to the point where she will wee and poo if one approaches.  So she’s going to be a long job.  At Kim’s Home she is very happy, playful and affectionate. She loves running free and playing with the other young dogs.

All the Kim’s Home residents are doing fantastically well on their raw diet.  Many, many thanks to Martin Player, our generous butcher, and to Lisa of Raw2Door for the wonderful food they are getting. 

Kim’s Home hit the headlines this month and we featured on the front page and centrefold of the South Wales Echo.  The article was not totally accurate but I am assured that all publicity is good publicity….hmmmm.  Anyway here it is:


One of the most exciting and scary things to happen in July was that I actually got to go away.  My son was getting married in Chicago and I really wanted to be there. So my lovely daughter volunteered to look after the dogs and my amazing friend, Caroline (Cardiff Canine Citizens) offered to help walk them.  I was away only 3 days (most of that time spent on planes) and it worked out beautifully.  All the dogs behaved. No-one was too freaked out.  In fact they were perfectly happy.  I don’t know – you devote your entire life and income to looking after these dogs and they hardly notice when you go away.  There’s gratitude for you!!!  I did get a fantastic welcome when I got back though.  I asked Francesca how she found living my life for 3 days and she replied: “it was sheer drudgery!”  Yep, that about sums it up.  But I guess the dogs are all worth it.

Thank you to those who continue to support Kim’s Home.  I just wish there were more of you.  This is an expensive activity.  The vet’s bills are the biggest expense.  If you can help in any way, we would be very grateful.  Details on how to donate are here: http://www.kimshome.org.uk/sponsor-donate/

Best wishes from all at Kim’s Home

KH Sig May 13