~ My chocolate-free week for older dogs in rescue ~

Hello, I’m Angela and I’m a chocoholic! Not a day goes by where I choose not to have any chocolate. I also absolutely adore animals, especially dogs, so I have decided to take part in the September pledge for Oldies Club, a small volunteer-run charity that rescues and rehomes older dogs in the UK, by giving up chocolate for a week. Well eight days actually. The pledge is for each person taking part to raise £50, so that is the overall target I’ve set, but more is of course welcomed:-)

I have setup a fundraising page and I’d love YOU to sponsor me for my chocolate-free eight days. Please click HERE to donate – I would be most grateful. The more money raised, the more Oldies Club will be able to help older dogs. It’s a little dog rescue with a big heart and your support would be very much appreciated:-)

I will stop eating chocolate at the strike of midnight on the morning of Saturday 3 September 2016 and will not eat any chocolate (or any products with chocolate/cocoa in them) until the strike of midnight on Sunday 11 September 2016 – and probably right on the strike, followed by chocolate for breakfast!

11 September will mark five years since my precious Oldies Club boy, Jasper Bear, very sadly passed away and I am doing this in his memory as well as for all the older dogs Oldies Club currently cares for. You can see him in the photos. He had been taken to a vets to be put down and spent a night there:-(but thankfully the vets got in touch with Oldies Club and he came to stay with us for a night one New Year’s Eve … and never left!:-)He arrived, sad and confused at losing his person, his doggie friend and his home:-(but he really did learn to smile again and we did all we could to make his final 20 months or so as wonderful as possible. Amazing dog, who I miss so very much.

Back to chocolate … I love chocolate, so these eight days will be a challenge for me. I eat the yummy, dark, vegan stuff and treat myself to the lovely raw chocolate like Conscious Chocolate when I can. On a good day, I eat a vaguely sane quantity of chocolate. On a stressful day or when I’m feeling a tad emotional, I have the bar sat on my desk and eat far too much without really noticing:-(It’s a bit of a ritual to have the chocolate next to me as I watch TV and I’ll find myself going to the cupboard to grab a little piece by habit when I’m feeling anxious or upset.

Please support me in raising funds for the lovely dogs Oldies Club takes in!

Thank you, Angela xxx

~ Volunteering ~

Volunteering - someone has to do it, rescue, adopt, dog, fundraising, foster, staffie


One of my favourite photos:-)Such fond (and exhausting!) memories.

You can:

Foster. Transport. Homecheck. Fundraise. Donate. Sponsor. Help at events. Offer Reiki/photography/your own talent/skill/experience.

The world needs you.


~ The Original Stripey Sofa Hound ~

~ Today marks one of the most important and happiest days of my life. Today is the anniversary of adopting my first rescue dog, many years ago. Cassie, the original Stripey Sofa Hound.

Cassie passed away some years ago now, crushing my heart and leaving me wondering how I was going to carry on breathing, but today, I want to remember her with joy. It’s warm and the sun is shining – the only acceptable weather to Cassie – and I think of all the happy times she spent sunbathing.

I remember the moment I saw Cassie for the first time and fell in love. We were walking around the rescue centre and had noted down a few possibilities for our new member of the family, when I realised there was a path down between two rows of kennels. There she was, in all her brindle glory, soaking up the sunshine. We walked her, asked to adopt her, were told she was reserved. I cried. The rescue lady ran to check and came back and told us the reserve had been taken off and she was available. I stopped crying. We reserved her. Back then, the rescue held records on index cards and stapled pieces of paper with reserve details to those cards. I was worried they were going to lose my details and give her to someone else, so I wrote a letter and posted it with a dog treat, just to confirm our commitment to her.

Cassie came home after our home visit. She seemed to settle in immediately, as though we had always been meant to be together. I can remember her trying to steal our dinner that first night. She soon found her place on the sofa, on the bed, in front of the fire. She LOVED to be warm and comfortable. She didn’t like cold or wet. She would do a great pretend wee when the grass was cold and wet at bedtime. That was after I’d managed to get her off the sofa, where she was happily pretending she was asleep and couldn’t hear me.

Cassie was fantastic with dogs, lived so happily with every rescue dog we adopted after her, and she adored people. She loved children, she flirted with the postman (he was rather handsome) and she convinced people who were quite wary of dogs when they arrived that they rather liked being snuggled up to her on the sofa.

My beautiful Cassie soaked up Reiki like a sponge. I’d started on my animal healing journey the year before adopting Cass and we shared Reiki so many times during our years together.

My darling one-eyed girl, my brindle rock, I love and miss you so. You were the best first rescue dog, daughter, sister, best friend I could have asked for. You changed my life. You led the way for all the other rescue dogs who have come into my life since then and will do in the future. After you had left for the Bridge, I wanted to give something back to the rescue who cared for you and let us adopt you, so I went back to volunteering there again, photographing dogs seeking forever homes, something I hope to start again one day. There are always so many Stripey Sofa Hounds in rescue. I wish more people would realise what wonderful snuggly, loving beings they are and welcome them into their hearts and homes.

Cassie, thank you for bringing such love and joy and snoozing into our lives. Thank you for sending me my little brindle pebble. Thank you for everything. We’re going to sit in the sunshine for a while now, in your honour. I love you, always.

~ A heartfelt request this Gotcha Day ~

 ~ We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.

We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan. ~ Irving Townsend

This is my boy’s first Gotcha Day where he is no longer with me in his soft, physical doggie form, as we approach a year since he passed away. We met through Reiki and he left his body receiving Reiki and surrounded by love.

Realising how fragile this circle can be enables me to appreciate all the wonderful times spent with my dogs, my best friends. I am truly grateful for all the years we do share and I appreciate all the moments we have together, as we share a wonderful love and soul connection.

I have one heartfelt request for anyone reading this … please make sure you have some lovely, clear photos (and video perhaps) of your animal family members that you will treasure always. One thing I can tell you, after having to say ‘goodbye for now’ to a number of my beloved dogs in recent years, is that I have never sat with my grief and thought I have too many photos of them.

Take some photos yourself, or find someone to take them for you. I can’t speak for anyone else, but my photos of my beautiful dogs bring me such comfort when they are no longer around in earthly form. Although I do wish I could step into the photos to hold them once more.

I miss you, my loves,



~ Does your dog have the Woof Factor? ~

~ Think your dog is the most gorgeous and wonderful ever? (Don’t we all and aren’t they all?!)

If you’re in the UK and you have a dog aged 7+, do take a look at the Woof Factor photo competition. It’s open to all dogs aged 7+. They don’t have to be rescue dogs. You can even enter photos of dogs who have very sadly passed away, as long as they were age 7+ when the photo was taken.

The competition ends on 31 March 2016 and since Spring finally seems to have arrived, this would be a great time to take some lovely new photos of your beloved dog(s) to enter, or look through the ones you have already taken. Full details on how to enter etc. are on the above link.

I’m not able to enter, but I couldn’t post without sharing a photo of my own, could I? See, she really is sunshine. She was also most definitely 7+ when I took this photo, though it may be hard to believe. I think we made a secret pact when she came into my life that if she blessed me with as much love and sunshine as she does, I’d adore her beyond any words … and take all her silver-frosting for myself;-)

Good luck if you enter Woof Factor. Please share the links to encourage others too. The more money raised, the more it will help the beautiful dogs in Oldies Club’s care. If you are thinking of getting a dog, please do look at adopting from rescue. Please do look at adopting a more mature dog. Thank you:-)


Minnie, Woof Factor, rescue, Oldies Club, labrador, photo competition



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