Home » A few firsts….

A few firsts….

Feeding frenzy

Feeding frenzy at the rescue

I have to say, it’s certainly been a week of firsts for me. Some of them good…..some certainly not so good!



As some of you may remember, I signed up as a volunteer months ago with the Cinnamon Trust This is a wonderful organisation where the pets of elderly people are cared for while they are ill or in hospital. The aim is to keep pets and owners together.

Well, I hadn’t heard a thing from them until last week when I got my first gig. So I’m now walking these two, Oscar and Charlie, four times a week for the next month, while their owner recovers from an operation. They’re gorgeous and are really enjoying their long walks. By the end of the month I’ll be all walked out I reckon as I also have my two to exercise. And it NEVER seems to stop raining, but funnily enough, dogs don’t seem to mind the rain!


Home grown potatoes

The last of my home grown potatoes


Another first this week was not so good. If you’re squeamish, please skip this bit…..

I was at the rescue mucking out a hedgehog when I noticed that it had half a dozen ticks on it, so I began to remove them one by one, you have to be really careful not to leave the head of a tick in a hedgehog as that can cause infection. So there I am de-ticking away when suddenly one of the ticks burst……and sent blood splattering across my face….and into my mouth! Yes, I actually swallowed hedgehog blood second hand from a tick!!! I don’t know how I wasn’t sick!!! This has NEVER happened to ANYONE in wildlife before so a MAJOR first there!

Talking of hogs, their autumn litter is really late this year so the babies coming into the rescue are only about 300 grams, which is far too small to hibernate so if you see any out now they really won’t make it so need to go to a rescue. I’ve found two this week alone.

Home grown apples and plums

Home grown apples and plums


This week also found me trying to coax a GIANT rat out of one of the aviary’s at the rescue I was plodding along doing my thing when I spotted the rat sneaking up the side of the aviary, it could easily kill a bird and maybe even a rabbit, so it HAD to go. The next half an hour was spent leaping clumsily about with a brush while trying to dodge the rats teeth!!!!  I had no idea that rats could jump so high, and I had angered this one no end….it’s eyes were like slits and it was frantic by the time I finally managed to get it out, and, at the same time I also managed to keep all the birds in. Quite chuffed with myself I was! Never a dull moment eh?


Time to sort the potting shed.

Time to sort the potting shed.


I also discovered something rather interesting this week so it kind of belongs with the firsts. Now at the rescue we are always coming across nests of baby mice. We leave them alone until they’re old enough then we try to catch them and re-locate them. This week, I came across a rather unusual nest, for as well as having newborn pinkies, there were several other babies of various sizes, some of which were even grey. I can only assume the mother mice are bundling their babies together as I did spot several adults going in to care for them. Mice nurseries eh????


Tidyish potting shed....well at least I can get in it now

Tidyish potting shed….well at least I can get in it now


Now this first amused me no end. I was asked to do a home check for a cat so I rang the people concerned and left a message giving my name etc. A while later I had a call back from the lady in question who said how very weird it was that I was called Dina, apparently that was the name of her cat which had just died. Dina is certainly not a name I often come across so I had to agree it was rather strange. When I went out to meet them I began to feel a little spooked every time I heard them say things like, Poor Dina only died a few days ago and  Dina was such a sweetheart, we really can’t believe she’s gone. Mmmmmm….creepy stuff.


Winter veggies in, spinach, beans, peas, garlic, potatoes, asparagus, onions

Winter veggies in, spinach, beans, peas, garlic, potatoes, asparagus, onions



Another first…..I got to see my very first, close up police chase. There I was walking the dogs and minding my own business when the peace and quiet was disrupted by the sound of blaring police sirens. Racing down the road came four police cars, two in front and two behind a black car. They were all doing about a hundred miles per hour until the front police cars managed to get the black car to stop. And it stopped RIGHT next to me. For a minute I thought the guy may actually jump out and try to take me hostage so I ran like the wind with the dogs into a muddy field. Then I worried that someone may decide to chase me thinking I was the criminal…..what a drama queen eh, I’ve got FAR too much imagination!!!!


New dog game

New dog game


And finally….the dogs have a first too, pests that they are. Annie reckons it’s good fun to GALLOP from couch to couch at fifty miles per hour while Sam adds to the racket by pounding the floor and barking. Sighs….



46 Responses to “A few firsts….”

  1. rusty duck says:

    Crikey, what a week! You’re going to be one fit lady with all that walking. And running..

    • Snow Bird says:

      Lol….I am a lot more tired than usual!!! As for running, I avoid it like the plaque, my mother always advised me to never run after a man or a bus….always heeded that advice.xxxx

  2. What a week – what to comment on? The tick episode – gross!! Very brave of you to get into a cage with a mad rat I hope you were well protected.

    We found an underweight hedgehog a few years but after ringing around the nearest animal sanctuary was 30 miles away so it was quite a trip. We also once uncovered a hedehog nest mum and three babies. It was in a pile of straw we were moving. The babies were tiny and pink and screamed like piglets so we covered them back up and left the straw. When we moved it later we were worried that we would find dead babies but all four hogs had gone.

    • Snow Bird says:

      Oh yes….the baby hogs do squeal for sure. So glad yours all survived Sue. The tiny unformed prickles are so odd as well….

      I had my brush re the rat, but that’s a far as it went in terms of protection! Thanks Sue.xxxx

  3. Jenny says:

    Completely manic! I love the idea of the mice nurserys, not so much the rat chasing or the ticks, eugh!

    • Snow Bird says:

      Lol….manic is such a GOOD description….it was nice to see so many different sized mice in the nest. I think the mothers also do it to protect the babies from the latest boss male mouse on the block as they do kill the young to bring the females into season again. Yes tick blood and enraged rats are not my idea of fun! Thanks Jenny.xxxx

  4. Jo says:

    Well, you will deprive Sam and Annie of the grass in the garden, what do you expect? Lol! Just look at their toy box, Archie’s got one just as full. Oscar and Charlie are gorgeous, isn’t it lovely that there’s organisations set up so that people can keep their pets? Obviously, they depend on kind hearted souls such as yourself though. I bet their owner is so grateful. I see Curly Cat is surveying your work, is she still coming in to the house?

    • Snow Bird says:

      Lol……Sam and Annie still get to run in the front garden! It’s impossible to wear them out though and they’re always coming up with some new game! Now you must post a pic of Archie’s toy box, I’m sure my two would like to compare notes in case they’re missing out on something!
      The Cinnamon trust is a really worthwhile organisation, they do such good work nationally. Charlie and Oscar are little sweethearts and so much easier to walk than mine. Their owner is very sweet too and really grateful so it’s so worthwhile.
      Curly came knocking on the kitchen door for a few night, now she’s staying in the shed again. If it gets really cold I’ll bring her in. Thanks Jo.xxxx

  5. Flighty says:

    Goodness what a (mostly) fun filled week you had, and there’s certainly a few firsts that you clearly didn’t expect or want.
    Reading this post I kept wondering what was going to happen next.
    I think that you deserve a quieter time for a while after all that. xx

    • Snow Bird says:

      Thanks Flighty, things are getting busier with new zany chores being added by the day….so no chance of a rest for a while. xxxx

  6. Bushka says:

    Mmmmmm….Love those ‘Tatties’ and ‘Plums’…..Yummy!
    Had to ‘smile’ when reading about ‘poor old Dina……HUGS!!!! ;) xxxx

    • Snow Bird says:

      Oh those plums are gorgeous and me tatties too!

      Lol….I was becoming a little freaked out hearing about Dina’s departure…..brrrrrr….Thanks Bushka.xxxx

  7. godschool says:

    Love this post – even fuller of thrills and spills than usual! I’m utterly intrigued with it all . .. as well as MOST impressed with all your lovely garden produce. I’m in awe – you are such a talented lady. And look at the silky ears on those dogs … even I like them … ;)

    • Snow Bird says:

      Lol, thanks SO much Gilly…..love that you find it all intriguing, sometimes I think my life is a bit of a pantomime! The dogs have the softest most strokable fur and look like fluffy toys. One of them, Oscar, has the longest eyelashes I’ve EVER seen on a dog!xxxx

  8. Glo says:

    Well, what a week of firsts ~ being ticked off is one thing, but your experience was just awful! Yuck ~ next time you’ll have to don a mask. Interesting to read about the mice and hedgehogs. If I saw a rat I’d be long gone, but I can imagine chasing the things with your brush ~ gosh, there’s never a dull moment, is there? Your harvest of fruit looks ample and delicious. I think you should have a video camera following you around ~ ;)

    • Snow Bird says:

      Hahahahaha….ticked off! Loving that! If I donned a mask I’d be laughed out of the wildlife unit….and anyway we barely have a plaster kicking about!!! I had to de-tick another hog the other day, my mouth was jammed closed this time, once bitten and all that…..
      The rat battle was rather intense, they are smart and fast and will bite, because of all the animal feed about in the rescue the rats there are absolutely huge!!!
      Y’know, hubs has just bought a video camera so when he gets back I may try posting a couple of videos….risking boring everyone even more! Thanks Glo. xxxx

  9. Marian says:

    Goodness gracious …. where do I begin??? Erm … a dry pair of knickers first!!!!!!

    I love you ~ you mad. mad woman!!!!!!!!!!! ~x~

  10. Scarlett says:

    Hahahaha, the police chase is the best thing ever. I’m surprised no bloody do-gooders got out their cars and chased you, thinking you were the criminal! Especially with a big dog like Sam. The tick thing…. urgh… were do I even begin. Perhaps a tetanus shot might be in order? xxx

    • Snow Bird says:

      Tetanus shot????? I think I’m immune to everything known to man by now….tough as old boots I am!

      I’m SO surprised I wasn’t chased, I was almost expecting it as everything weird always seems to happen to me! Thanks Scarlett.xxxx

  11. menhir1 says:

    You haven’t thought of joining a Gym or an athletic training club have you?

  12. Well done for surviving all that and doing all that dog walking on top of all your other responsibilities. xx

  13. Jason says:

    Wow, you’ve had an eventful time. You have such a good heart to take those dogs for walks while the owner is sick. I would think you are already busy enough. I had to cringe when I read about the hedgehogs and the ticks, not to mention the rat. Funny you mention the name Dina, I just finished a book where the main character is named Dina – The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. It’s a re-telling of the Genesis story of Dina – talk about a story that is not for the queasy Not on my top ten, but a pretty good novel. Keep avoiding those getaway cars!

    • Snow Bird says:

      Oh …I must say I cringed too re the tick blood….how gross! The rat was rather determined to stay….so the ensuing battle did get a little heated.
      How very odd you’ve just read about a Dina, suddenly my name is popping up everywhere! I will add it to my reading list…….and will start wearing good running shoes, a girl never knows what is going to happen! Thanks Jason.xxxx

  14. Kitty says:

    You cram more excitement into a week than I have in a month, Dina, and it’s always roaring good fun to read about it while I sip my wine and laugh out loud!

    Wouldn’t have done the tick or rat exercises for love or money, but do envy you all that dog-walking.

    Your produce looks so beautiful! Wow! This Irish girl is very ashamed to admit she planted no potatoes this year and after seeing your bounty, I’m more remorseful than ever. Think of me as you enjoy them.

    I would like to play with Sam and Annie. They always think of such fun games! :)

    Joy to your week, Dina, and thank you for the stories. be well and safe and merry. And keep writing!

    • Snow Bird says:

      Lol….I love the image that comes to mind of you reading my post sipping wine and laughing! How lovely, and it makes the world such a smaller place.
      I have to say I didn’t cope too well with the tick incident, a lot of gagging went on, but the rat?….wow was my adrenaline pumping! I was hammering the floor with the brush while all the time the huge slit eyed rat leapt at me with bared teeth….did I feel ALIVE by the time I got it out, totally unharmed mind!

      Oh dear me….no tatters at all…..sobs….I shall think of you with every bite!
      Y’know, I have to say it’s good getting entangled in Sam and Annie’s games, even if I do accidentally nip them at times….Thanks Kiity.xxxx

  15. Good morning Dina….and yes, what a week you have had!
    Oscar and Charlie look absolutely adorable, and aren’t they lucky to have you as their walker…..
    It’s funny ticks don’t bother me too much, because when I lived in the States, I had to check the children every day to make sure ticks hadn’t nested in their heads or anywhere else….and some of them were big……however, the thought of one bursting and shooting blood is a big gruesome:)
    What I am squeamish about are rats…….and so that part of your story, really sent the shivers down my spine….You are a trooper.
    Well done with the potting shed, and as for Annie and Sam….well, they probably have one of the best homes ever.
    Keep up all your amazing work…and to think that you are an accomplished artist as well………I can see an illustrated book out of this.
    Have a beautiful day.xxxxx

    • Snow Bird says:

      Oh…..you would ADORE Oscar and Charlie Janet….they are so cute!
      Goodness me….fancy having to check KIDS for ticks, I don’t associate them with people, so I’ve learnt something new today. Yes, they don’t bother me, but wow….I’m sure wary of them bursting now!!!
      Now give me the rat any day over swallowing tick blood….lol….lots of people are squeamish re rats, I think it’s because they are such good slinkers and can be very aggressive.

      Awww….a book….what a lovely idea….thanks SO much Janet.xxxx

  16. I forgot to say how much I LOVE the first image….amazing:)xxx

    • Snow Bird says:

      Thanks Janet, they are birds that have been released which we still feed each day, they all pile in the seed trays, it’s lovely to watch.xxxx

  17. ShimonZ says:

    The mice nurseries sound great… but to tell you the truth, I can’t understand your prejudice for mice over rats. Rats need love too… and being that they most resemble human beings, except for pigs maybe, I think it’s unkind of you to get in the way of their having a lamb chop for dinner… or in this case, a leg of bird. After all, isn’t that part of nature too. I know, we want a perfect world… Loved sharing these firsts with you Dina. I can’t get over your bravery and support for good causes. It’s always such a pleasure to visit with you.

    • Snow Bird says:

      Lol…..you do make me smile…..now, I get the rats need love, and I admire their ability to survive very much, and their intelligence, BUT, they can eat all the food on site and leave our birds and rabbits alone!!!! No lamb chops for them….no Sir!
      It’s always lovely to have you visit Shimon. Thanks.xxxx

  18. Rose H says:

    The tick has certainly freaked me out! To think that our lovely hedgehog rescue lady Joan was going to show me the drill as I’ve always left well alone – and now I still will!
    I’m about to take hog #5 to her this morning, I’m sure all from the same litter.
    You’re doing a splendid job walking all those dogs :) bless you.
    We had wood mice in the dry stone wall for almost a full year, but I think the neighbourhood cats frightened (?) them off and they’re all gone now – I used to love watching them grabbing food from the ground feeder and got some great shots of them too.
    Sorry, but I really cannot stand RATS :(
    Rose H

    • Snow Bird says:

      Lol….the tick blood FREAKED me out too Rose…..maybe keep your mouth tightly clamped shut and go easy on the pressure of the tweezers!
      I’ve found three hogs from the same litter this week so am keeping a sharp eye out for any others, it’s such a shame isn’t it, the poor things have no chance now, they’re all so small. I’m SO pleased you are saving your babies too, the hoglets need all the help they can get at the moment.

      Awww….the mice in the wall sound so cute…cats eh????

      Lol….the rats aren’t going down very well at all….you would die if you saw the size of ours, they’re about the size of cats! Thanks Rose.xxxx

  19. Wendy says:

    I always love reading about your work at the rescue, but crikey, you do have a strong stomach! Ticks and rats – they both make me shudder. What cute dogs – it’s wonderful that you’re caring for them like that.
    I think it’s lovely to have an unusual name like Dina, but I bet you did feel a bit strange to hear it spoken like that.
    And what a drama with the police and the getaway car – OK in films, but not so welcome in real life!!

    • Snow Bird says:

      Lol, thanks Wendy….my stomach has become so much stronger. The funny thing is though I simply cannot cope when anything vomits, I’m always immediately sick, I just can’t deal with it at all!!!
      I’ve kinda gotten used to the rats, I see them all the time at the rescue so they don’t bother me and they don’t show aggression unless cornered. Thanks re my name….it is different and it was so strange hearing talk of Dina having died!!! Lolxxxx

  20. Linda says:

    What an eventful week! You’re an intrepid lady and I so admire you as you care for animals big and small. I’m sure your dog walking will keep you fit, but I hope you get some time to relax at home and you have an essential quiet corner just for you. Lots of lovely produce still to enjoy.

    • Snow Bird says:

      Thanks Linda, I am feeling super fit at the moment with all the dog walking and gardening….I really do fancy a week of peace but I can’t see it happening for a while.xxxx

  21. nikkipolani says:

    My dear, reading your posts have begun to feel a bit like entering an alternate universe where rats can fly and dogs bound from couch to couch and police with sirens blaring race to scare innocent bystanders and potting sheds are full of …pots (if it were mine, it wouldn’t be near as tidy and probably not full of pots!). I’m glad you’ve survived the week. Oscar and Charlie remind me of my dear Cooper, also a golden coloured Cocker Spaniel. So tell me, is it D-eye-na or Deeena?

    • Snow Bird says:

      Hahahahahaha….your comment had me laughing out loud. Y’know, at times I do feel like I’m in an alternate universe!!!
      Tidy?????Wot???? My potting shed….goodness….it has a long way to go before we can call it that, the object of the exercise was to get in the darn thing!!!!
      Awhhhh….Cooper sounds adorable. These two are the happiest guys, their little tails go wag wag wag all the way around.
      I’m a Deena. Thanks Nikki. xxxx

  22. nikkipolani says:

    p.s. best wishes to those underweight hedgehogs! You’ll have to wear a face mask to de-tick in the future…

    • Snow Bird says:

      Thanks Nikki, I don’t dare to wear a face mask, my workmates would rib me NO end!!!! You should see how tighly I close my mouth whenever de-ticking now though!!! xxxx

  23. Hannah says:

    What a wonderful idea for a charity! I really admire your dedication to it. It must be a great comfort when you’re ill to know that the pets you love are being cared for by someone :)

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