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The Birkett-Smith Animal Sanctuary

Dec
04

Love Does Conquer All

Viva For Vivi! Our hearts are smiling today and we know those of you that have followed Vivi's rescue will smile too because this is the first time we have looked into those beautiful eyes and had them look confidently back at us....Vivi is out of hiding! For those of you that don't know Vivi's story here is a some backstory so that you can understand todays celebration. Vivi arrived at the sanctuary in June this year for some major rehabilitation and a permanent home with us. Vivi was very sadly the victim of horrific sexual abuse and sustained violence; the hell she came from is too disturbing to even recount and for her safety and the safety of her rescuers, her past will remain in the past. Suffice to say it is a miracle she survived but survive she did and she was saved by a dedicated group of angels who can never be thanked enough. Her physical injuries were repaired but her mental scars are deep and unbelievably painful, she was completely shut down and traumatised to the point that all she wanted to do was hide away from the world. She is terrified of everything, the outdoors, cars, people, being touched and defecates and urinates when approached especially by men understandably. Before she arrived, Joy and Dave worked quickly to create a special area for her in the house under the stairs where she could be quiet and alone whilst still being close to Joy and where there would be no danger of her even hearing a male voice. She immmediately went into hiding in her new den on arrival and she is one of the worst behaviourally effected dogs we have ever seen. Just watching her and imagining the hell she had suffered turned our insides out but Joy knew she could help her... You can read more of her story here: Vivi's Story Its been baby steps all the way since June but love and Joy's patient, no demands rehabilitation has won out. Vivi is now out and about upstairs and on the landing. She is giving full on eye contact, moving about happily in the daylight....up and down and even in and out of doors. Her trust levels have improved and she pops out to the courtyard with Joy, moving around and becoming interested both in what Joy is doing and in the wider area. She no longer feels the need...

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Dec
01

Gus Wobbled In And Stole Our Hearts..

And it didn't take much...just one look into those eyes and we were smitten with our gorgeous boy Mr Wonky Head, an affectionate nickname for a boy we already love so very deeply.Gus had a long and painful journey to us and endured beatings, starvation and lord knows what else but he is finally home, tucked tightly into the heart of the sanctuary and starting to love his life. Since arriving Gus has grown in strength and character and is showing his big puppy side, he is so playful and loves lolloping around the play area on his wonky legs and generally hanging out being a daft pup. His favourite thing is watching his dinner being prepared and who can blame him after being hungry for so long. He has a mix of puppy and adult food as he is still underweight and will have missed out on his puppy nutrients. He is entranced by his new world and into absolutely everything, adores cuddles and fuss and loves female company. Here he is using Sandra, one of our lovely volunteers as temporary seating. An amazing lad with a massive heart, definitely one of the biggest pups we have met and a real joy to have at the sanctuary. The past few weeks have been a revelation for him, he has been playing and starting to talk and communicate, in fact he chatters non-stop and bounces on his front feet like Tigga when excited *smiles*. He is so happy and is so excited to see Joy in the mornings....he's a total heart melter and even more so when you see him running about on his gangly legs. His injuries as you will have seen from our initial blog were extensive and his brain function has sadly been affected. He is slow to process things and is a bit uncoordinated but that just makes him extra special and even more lovable. He is very afraid of men and would react given the chance so it's all girls for Gus whilst he adjusts and heals and we will work on his fears early next year, there is no rush and we just want to let him be for now....in his happy place of routine and safety. So that's our Gus, he has settled in well, has the heart and courage of a lion, the playfulness of a young pup, a cracking sense of humour...

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