As you may already know we did a crowdfunding campaign to finish the perimeter fencing of our shelter which is so desperately needed.
Thank you to everyone who has helped with this.
When the fencing is complete, we will have up to 10,000m2 of secure areas for the dogs to be free running. We will also incorporate an agility area into the area that was funded by one of our followers last year. We have bought the fencing panels and uprights and as soon as the recent snow has gone, we will be making a start. There is an area that is overgrown with brambles etc to be cleared but we have the machinery to do this and we will do all the work ourselves.
Another aim in 2020 is to have the shelter running much more efficiently, so much time is wasted daily because we haven’t had the finance to finish the work we need to do. One of the biggest learning curves that we have had is that the dogs needs to feel secure at night otherwise they get stressed and bark. Back in 2016 we built a large 600m2 pen and put free standing wooden kennels in there, we thought this was going to be the answer to all our problems! We soon worked out that the dogs were scared of the wildlife noises at night. We have Wild Boar, deer, Jackals and other wildlife wandering around which really unsettled the dogs. Our belief is that dogs who bark constantly are stressed dogs and we could tell this when we went to the pen to move them. Their heart rates are high and they are literally beside themselves with relief when we go to “rescue” them. We try to keep a calm, quiet and stress free shelter for the dogs and found ourselves woken at all hours night after night so every evening we now put the dogs to bed in various outhouses that we have and the horses stable, it usually takes around an hour. The plan is to have sheds in each of the 8 large pens so that the dogs can take themselves to bed when it gets dark. We can then shut them away last thing at night and let them out first thing in a morning, we can even have the sheds opening simultaneously by electric timers at a set time in the mornings which would cut out the last dogs to be let out becoming stressed. No matter what time of year it is the dogs want to be in bed before it gets dark. If we fail to do this for whatever reason it causes chaos and stressed dogs which makes the task ten times harder. Anthony & I are the only people to do this job, so our idea is to have more volunteers to take care of the dogs and train them, this will then free us up to finish the shelter. We are fortunate to have some very good Australian friends who are in Bulgaria, Maria & Joe. Joe is the manager of an international electronics company in a nearby town, the company are building a new factory this year and we have been offered lots of useful steel pallet racking that is no longer suitable for their needs but is perfect for our needs. We are also going to transform Anthony’s workshop into a nice space so that volunteers can sit with dogs, watch TV and have cuddles on the sofa. This will also double up as a sleeping area for our old dogs or dogs that we cannot rehome and need more comfort in their lives, some of the pallet racking will be used in here to make raised sleeping areas.