Another year of unwanted dogs

Guest blog by the human who needs to vent!tetris-1

So far in 2017, yes, as of today January 10th, we have taken in 16 dogs.
Which means, with the Christmas foster dogs also returning, we start the year under severe pressure for space yet again.
Every year, we start on an optimistic note and say this year will surely be the one that allows us to cut back on intake and run the kind of rescue that we dreamed of in the beginning. The one where we have time to actually train and enjoy the dogs, rehabiliatate the troubled ones, work with owners, spend some more time promoting responsible dog ownership… Play with puppies all day like the idealised image…

Instead, however, rescue is always more and more like a game of Tetris. They come in, you find a space for them, assess their needs, sort out their medical issues (few are vaccinated, let alone neutered and some have never known any kind of medical care in their lives), assess their behaviour, try to find them families.

And just like in the game, they come in faster and faster as time goes on.

Some are easy and slot neatly into their slots. Others are a bit sticky, but can be sorted out in time. Some have severe issues, be they emotional or medical and tie up kennel spaces, medical bills, time taken away from other dogs who also need you. Some dogs are just not appealing to people, be it due to age, breed, lack of interest in humans who have repeatedly let them down or due to being “just another Collie”.
Our longest stay dog last year was literally there for all of 2016.

All of this of course takes its toll on the people involved in rescue. Be it us volunteers who give far more of our spare time to rescue than we should for the good of our own dogs, our jobs, our studies, our health, our emotional well being, our relationship with those nearest and dearest to us. Or the few overworked and underpaid staff, who quite often also end up being volunteers on the side as things need to be done and there are not enough hours in a day to do them.

MADRA has amazing support from a lot of wonderful people who we can never thank enough. It’s due to those people that we are able to keep going, in spite of a constant shortage of funds, of time, of space.

However, we do often feel like Sisyphus at times, doomed to roll the same rock up that same hill for eternity, as every year sees the same march of dogs coming in, from the pound, from wandering, as owner surrenders.

As it becomes clear that, while Ireland has taken a huge step forward in the awareness of animal welfare over the last 11 years since MADRA started, the same old attitudes are still out there and dogs are still seen as disposable commodities by so many.

That some people still put less thought into getting a dog than they do into buying a new smart phone and that they value them even less – no one has ever let their iPhone take a stroll around the block and been surprised when it didn’t come home after all.

There are many rewards to being in rescue, especially the happy dogs who are alive today because of us. Who at this stage number in the thousands.
Seeing them and their happy families does make it all worthwhile.

But I must admit to feeling just a little like Groundhog day as we face another year of unwanted dogs…

Maja, Jasper’s human, MADRA volunteer since 2009


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MADRA Christmas Appeal

D7K_2262 copy

Happy Christmastime! Thanks to Tracy Kirby for the photo.

Hello humans!
The human couldn’t decides what kind of nice present she should get me for Christmas this year, ’cause she says I got enough stuff alreadies. So she says, instead of buying me more stuff that I don’t needs and wasting her monies, she’s going to make a donation to MADRA in my name instead.

I wasn’t that sure about it reallies, ’cause us doggies can be a bit selfish about sharings our stuff.


I admits, I got lots and lots of toys alreadies!

But then I thoughts some more and realised that I can always use my big eyes to get the human to get me more chewies, so I don’t needs her to buy me those for Christmas. And I got lots and lots and lots of toys, even I got to admits that! And we all knows that there’s always lots of doggies that need to be helped just like I was long, long ago.
So, I had to agree with the human.

But it did give me an idea…


Fundraising is an importants job.

I bet there are lots and lots of you humans who have got the same problem as my human and can’t decides what to buy people. And we got lots and lots of doggies needing help ’cause they don’t even got homes, let alone chewies and toys to share with their humans. All that rescuing doggies costs lots and lots and lots of monies you know.


Feeding that cat is expensives you know!

I mean my human always complains about how expensive looking after me is and I’m just one doggie (actually, she usually complains more about the cats, but we won’t go into that as it’s Christmas and you’re supposed to be nicer at Christmas!). So you can imagine how much rescuing some 800 doggies a year costs!

So I had a brilliant idea!

Jasper bucket

Please help feeds my friends in MADRA!

I decideds that my Dogathon collectings in the spring goes so well that I would try it for Christmas too, except this time I would give all you people who can’t decides what to buy the other humans (or your doggies!) the chance to donates some monies in their honour. I can then send them an email wishing them a Happy Christmas on your behalf and thanking them for helping us doggies. (You’ll have to give me the email address though, ’cause I can’t do magic!)

So pretty please wonderful human, if you want to donates to MADRA instead of giving a present, please follow the linkie here: Jasper’s Christmas Fundraiser



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#85 – Fight for your right to mooch!


We already got some stupid laws, but they wants to make it for all spaces all the time now!

Humans, I need your help!


What do you mean I might never get to mooch off lead again?! We’ll kill each others!

Last week, I heard the most terrible news evers! The humans in charge of all the lovely places we likes to go to on our walks are planning a really stupid new law! You’re not going to believes this, but they wants to stop all doggies in Galway City from EVER being alloweds off the lead in publics!!! I mean reallies, can you think of a worse thing to come up withs?!


Even us old doggies likes a bit of freedom!

You might say that I’m an old doggie and I don’t really needs to run and play anymores, so it doesn’t affects me as much as the young doggies. This may be a little bittie true, but I still likes to mooch without being tied to the human.


Swimmings is definitely better off lead.

And I likes to go swimmings, which doesn’t work very well on a lead you know humans! It was tangly enough when we trieds putting a rope on the toy so I didn’t keep losing them! And how is a doggie meant to chase bubbles on a lead?! Getting over exciteds and leads do not go together very well, thank you all the same!

When I was still young and crazies, I know I would have gone insanes if I never got to play properlies – you humans are too slow to be tieds to all of the time!


Moochings is importants to keep doggies happies..

I asked the human why on earth would anyone want to come up with a stupid law likes that?! And she said she didn’t know, but that some peoples don’t like us doggies and think we shouldn’t be alloweds anywheres. And some people are afraid of us and think that we should stay at home in case they someday wants to walk along that little doggie walking place where you never meets anyone except people with doggies and gets scareds. I think that’s a selfish attitudes if you ask me! I mean, I’m scareds of horses, but I still admits that they should be alloweds to be outside and not lockeds away all day. I’ll just stay away from where they goes and that way everyone is happies.

I don’t know why peoples think that we need any more laws than those we got alreadies?


One doggie, walkings happily and listening to the human when she says “wait”.

There’s already a law that says that doggies have to be under the effective control of our humans when outside. That doesn’t mean on a lead, that just means that us doggies got to not bothers other peoples and doggies and come back to our humans and not run in front of cars and stuff. Sensible stuff like that, not: “Doggies got to be led along on a rope and never gets to play properlies unless their human owns a field.”.


Moochings happily. Bothering no ones.

I never bothers anyone when I’m out mooching off leads. I know we sometimes pass peoples who don’t like doggies, but guess what – I got no time for people who don’t likes me, so I just ignores them. I only say hello to nice people with other doggies.


Happy to be on lead when there’s lots of peoples.

The human puts me back on the lead when we walks past people with young kids, ’cause she knows they might be scareds (or I might be scareds!) and she puts the lead back on when we walks past other doggies on the lead alreadies, ’cause it’s not fair on the other doggie otherwise. And she keeps an eye on me and make sure she picks up my poos so other peoples don’t step in them.

So why do we needs more laws?!

And I haven’t even mentioneds the worst bit yet.
They say all what they calls dangerous breeds should never go anywheres at all, even on lead, except the pavement! There’s no such thing as dangerous breeds humans! All doggies is different!

It’s not even likes they enforces the laws they made alreadies. I know for a fact it’s illegals for a doggie to roam by himself, but we sees doggies doing it all of the time!


Please fight for my right to mooch!

So please lovely humans, tell the humans in charge that us doggies should get the chance to play and mooch and sniff and play ball off lead! Think of the youngsters coming up behind me if you don’t think of me…

PS: I know it’s been ages since I posted anythings, but that was the human’s fault, not mine. You see, when she’s finished with workings, she says she doesn’t feel like writings my stories for me, ’cause she’s been sitting in front of a computer all day alreadies. So I got no one to dictates to!

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A little movie about when I was rescueds!

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#84 – Busy life (and thinking about endings)


Helping at the Dogathon!

Hi all you lovely humans. I know I’m lates with updatings you all after my super duper collectings for the Dogathon and everything.


I loves you all humans!

First of all, I has to say a great big, big BIG thank you again, as I still can’t believes that I collecteds an amazing €1,565 in monies for my fellow MADRA dogs. That was three times more than I collecteds last year! I am feeling really proud and appreciateds and thanfuls thanks to you lovely humans.

One of the reasons I haven’t updateds earlier is ’cause I’m worn out with all of the events that I’ve been helping with.


The Dogathon was hard work!

First there was the Dogathon, which was lovelies.

I got to say hello to all my fans and meet lots of dogs, including lots and lots of lovely MADRA dogs with the lovely humans who adopteds them.

That bit is always nice, but exhaustings I can tell you. I had to have a nap half way just to get through the day, ’cause I’m not as young as I used to be.


Meeting lots of nice nurses with Bella, Stella and Radar.

Then last week, I helpeds by attending the IVNA Irish Veterinary Nurses Association conference in Salthill. I met lots of nice vet nurses there (I likes them all much better when they’re not pokings me like at the vet!) and got to hang out with my friends Bella and Stella and that mad blind looper of Edel’s, Radar.


Radar thinks everything is a chewy toy!

I has to admits I usually end up telling Radar off, ’cause he can be pretty annoyings.

And that day was no exception, but I has to admits that he has improveds a bit since the last time I met him. I only had to give out to him after a while, instead of right away like I used to.

You see, that dog has no manners at all. My ears are not chewy toys, you young whippersnapper!


Helping sell MADRA merchandise by showing how comfy the beds are!

So, all that was exhaustings and I’ve had to catch up on my sleep all week afterwards.


Honestly, I’m perfectly fines!

This weekend, the human had a bit of a scare about me and it’s left her feeling all sentimentals.

You see, it was time for Jade’s boosters at the vet, so the humans asked me if I wanteds to come, “just for the walk”, she saids.
Now, I never says no to a walk, so I said OK. I wasn’t so happy about it at the other end though, ’cause I remembereds that I don’t likes going to the vet.
Anyhows, the human tricked me, ’cause she said while I was there the vet might as well have a quick look at me and check why my legs are so ouchies latelies.

You see, I’ve been feeling a bit extra slow and ouchies and more like an old man latelies.

Jasper at vet.jpg

Wait a minute, I remembereds I hates the vet!

So next thing I know, I was up on that horrible examination table and the vet was doing uncomfortable things to my legs again.

That was fine with the human, but then the vet starteds poking my stomach and mutterings about big stomachs and possible water retention and listening to my heart.


I am in perfectly fine health as long as I takes it easy, thank you Mr Vet!

Now, I knows I feels perfectly OK apart from my legs being ouchy and so should the human, ’cause she sees that I’m perfectly happies when we’re not going for walkies.

But I could tell she was getting worrieds, even though she always tries to pretends that everything is just fine so I don’t get worrieds too.


Blood tests?! No thank you!

Anyhows, before you all gets worrieds too, my heart is just fine!

The human and the vet did agrees though that they’re going to give me some blood tests in July when I go in for my boosters, just to make sure my other bits are still working properlies too. I don’t likes the sound of that, especially after Jade told me about the horrible times she had when they tested her bloods! But the human tells me I am bravers and better behaveds than a cat and I got bigger veins too, so it won’t be so bad. I don’t know if I trusts her though… But I needs to help her stop worryings, so I guess I has to do it.

I also got to take these anti-inflammatories for a good bit now too, ’cause just taking all those supplements and natural stuff isn’t keeping me comfortable enough anymore. The human says she doesn’t like it, but it’s better than seeing me be extra ouchies.


Can you two smuggle me out your leftovers for me please?!

But the worst thing is that they decideds the big stomach bit was me getting fatters and the human telling me that from now on, there will be a zero tolerance policy in place towards stealing left over cat foods. I’ll probably starves now…


I know, I know, you loves me!

Anyhows, the human has been acting all over-sentimenatals ever since we went to the vet.

She’s been tellings me that she loves me (I knows that human, it’s hard to miss!) and that I am a good doggie (I knows that too..) and that she was really, really lucky to have had me in her life – I’m not dead yet human!

She also says I’m the best doggie she ever had, but I happen to know for a fact that I’m the only doggie she ever had, so that doesn’t mean as much as it might really!


Not more cuddles?!

But on the upside, she did decides that she needs to spoil me more while she got the chance. So I got a nice new teddy and a nine pack of bubbles!


Come on human, we still got lots and lots of fun to have before we goes anywhere!

And on Sunday she decideds that we deserveds a nice afternoon for just the two of us and we went swimmings in the Jasper chariot.
That’s more like it I says! You can keep all that sentimentals stuff, give me action instead.


Swimming like a two year old!

Anyhows, I proveds to her that my heart is just fine, thank you very much.


I could swim all day!

I swam non stop for half an hour and would happilies have swum for another half an hour, but the human said we hads to pace ourselves, ’cause we’re not as fit as we useds to be. Speak for yourself human –  I wasn’t even out of breath after!

Jasper chariot.jpg

A sensible conveyance for the older dog with no car!

The human has hardly taken the Jasper chariot out since we got it, ’cause she says that peoples laugh and give her funny looks and say stupid stuffs. But she says she’s going to ignores them in future, ’cause having a good time with your doggie while he’s still able is more importants than stupid peoples.

I got to say I agrees with her there!


There’s no point in worryings about stuff you can’t do anything about human!

Anyhows, I don’t know how long I’ll lives, but apart from my legs I feel just fine, so I reckons I could keep on going for a long, long time yet.

But I knows one thing, worryings about it is not going to help at all.

So I’m just going to enjoy myself and carry on having as many good times as I can for as long as I can.

After all, we could all drop deads in the morning at any time, so there’s no point worryings, ’cause we could all lives to be twenty (or a hundreds for you humans) as well. It’s all luck in the end…

Human, you know I loves you too, but you also knows I don’t goes in for all that smoochy stuffs!

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#85 – The price of fame



Thank you all lovely humans for sponsoring me!

Hello humans, first of all I wants to say a great big, big, BIG thank you to all of you who sponsoreds me for the Dogathon and helpeds me reach my target with three weeks to go.

I’ve been asking my human if she thinks it would sounds greedies if I ups my target and tries for a thousand monies instead of six hundreds. I don’t think it does, but the human often tells me that us doggies have no sense of proportions when it comes to stuff like eatings, ’cause we’re nearly all greedies. So maybe it’s the same with collecting monies? So I thought I’d better ask.


Beggings is OK if you does it for other people.

The human said it was OK though, ’cause I’m doing it for other dogs, not myself and I might as well tries it. But she said I better tell you one of my super duper lovely adventures to thanks you all for being so generous and lovelies.


Gardening is really hard work!

I don’t have very much exciting stuff to talk about really, but I have been pretty busy latelies doing household stuffs. See the weather got better and my grand human has started workings in the garden again, which is pretty exhaustings I can tells you. She keeps complainings about me barkings too much when I helps her, but I think she’s exaggeratings again. I only barks a teeny, tiny little bitty here and there…

And with this nice weather, me and my human have been going on extra long moochy walkies again, without the human getting all grumpies and moanings about being cold and wet and stuff.


Moochings all the way!

On Sunday we had a really lovely one, two hours of sniffings every single bittie we passed by! And the human let me and only started complainigns about my being too slow and wantings to get home because she was hungries and neededs to go pee at the very end. Human, you’re completely confused about peeings – you’re meant to pee OUTSIDE on your walk, not wait until you get home again! If someone could explain this to my human, so she’ll stop moanings, I’d be very gratefuls indeed.

Would you believe she had the nerve to say that watching me pee every two minutes only made it worse?!


Maybe if I hides here she won’t make me have a bath…

Anyhow, all that was lovely, but then came the downside of fame…
The human said if I was collecting monies and showing my face all over the place, I’d better look nice and clean and brusheds so people wouldn’t think she was neglectings me. She said my spring bath was way overdues and I was filthies.

There’s no arguings when she makes up her mind about stuff like that, so I tried to hides instead…


I think I’ll pee on your shoes…

So, there I was, hidings under the table and I got dragged out and carried into the bath tub. Then, to add insult to injuries, the human took pictures of me ’cause she said I lookeds so depressed it was funny?! Sometimes I hates the human…


Gotta shake off the shampoo stinky!

Horrible stinky shampoo all over…


The things a little dog has to put up with…

Then it was dryings off, which isn’t too bad, but then the human put the towel coat on me. So I thought I might as well lay down and dies…


Jade even came to sit next to me ’cause she felt sorry for me!


You owes me big time humans!

So that ruineds my weekend really – all the kennel dogs better appreciates all of the sacrifices I makes for them!


Still, I did get rewardeds with a nice chewy at the end, so life isn’t that bad!


Don’t forgets you can still sponsors me for the Dogathon.

Jasper’s Begging Bowl

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Happy 9th Gotcha Day!


The humans say I just keep getting better lookings!

It’s 9 whole years today since I first came to live with the humans! (You can read the story of my first day HERE in case you missed it .)
That was a really, really good day and I always says thank you to Marina when I sees her for bringing me to such a nice home. Well, I says always, but I’m embarrasseds to admit I was a bit ungratefuls towards her for a long, long time.

You see, every time I saw her in the beginnings, I was always afraid she would bring me back to the kennels and I didn’t wants that of course. So I used to avoids her a bit when I met her. I know she knows that it wasn’t ’cause I didn’t likes her, but I still feels embarrasseds about it. Nowadays of course I know the humans would never let anyone takes me away and I says hello properlies when I see her.


Life is full of good times since I got rescueds

I owes a lot to MADRA you know, ’cause in 2007 when I was rescueds, MADRA was just starting up and only rescueds 78 dogs that year! They hadn’t starteds working with the County pounds properlies yet and over half of the dogs who endeds up there was killeds! 405 dogs were killeds in the Galway County pounds in 2007 alones… That’s a lot of doggies who never got to be as luckies as me… And it was mostly Marina’s hard work back then, although of course nowadays there’s loads and loads of more people who helps, ’cause no one could manage to rescue over 750 dogs a year by themselves!


Thank you very much nice MADRA humans!

And they’re all wonderfuls and I wants to give them all a big, big, BIG lick for helpings us doggies. And I’m really proud and happies that I gets to help a teeny, tiny little bitty too by showing everybody how wonderfuls us rescue doggies can be.

Jasper bucket.jpg

Help me help my fellow MADRA doggies please and thank yous!

Of course, all of those doggies needs a lot of monies spent on them, which is why I’m collectings monies for MADRA again this year by getting people to sponsors me for the Dogathon. If any of you good peoples wants to help by donatings to my fundraiser, I would be most gratefuls and will send you a big virtual lick!

You can donates to it here: Jasper’s begging bowl


Cardboard box, treats and toys – heaven!

PS: The human told me I wasn’t getting any new toys for my Gotcha Day unless I gave away my old ones, ’cause I got too many alreadies. But guess, what I found today?!
She even hid treats in with my presents and it was lots and lots and lots of fun.

cat on bed.jpg

Excuse me, bed thief!

And I even got a new bed from Geraldine (thank you Geraldine!), but Jade said it wasn’t fair that she never got a Gotcha Day and stole it! It’s not my faulty if she just sneakeds in and never left and no one can remembers when her Gotcha Day is ’cause they didn’t actually decides to get her like they did me…

pano 2016.jpg

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