So it came as quite a shock to discover two, very unexpected and woefully neglected items had been left at the end of our drive. It was hard to make out what they were or at least what they started life as.
A neighbour had spotted them on his way to work and was in the process of figuring out what to do when I came down the drive. They were a shocking sight, my stomach lurched in horror as I got closer. I fought back tears as I knelt down and spoke quietly to the two bedraggled bodies, shaking with fear.
Their coats were matted heavily in their own faeces, not a single strand of hair was free from the stinking mass of dirt. Angry red sores could be seen where their coats parted down their backs.
They were terrified, absolutely shell-shocked and I doubt from the pitiful expression on their faces that they’d ever seen the light of day. Several more people had stopped to help and we all decided that they needed veterinary treatment as they were beyond a quick bath and a bowl of food.
They both shook as we approached them, frantically trying to drag themselves away from our reach.
We eventually got them and lifted them carefully into the back of my neighbour’s van and were taken straight to our local vets.
I’ve seen photos taken by rescue and animal welfare charities of puppy farms. Bitches kept in tiny cages, churning endless designer puppies out with never a thought for their welfare.
To see such wretched examples of this cruel and greed-driven trade right on my doorstep has left me numb with despair. I will never cease to be astounded at the levels of exploitation that humans will inflict upon animals and this planet.
Whilst John-William and I were away at a pony camp, Paul finished the second cut of grass at Farnley Tyas. The chief bale wrapper was bitterly disappointed to not be there carrying out his duties, but meeting new friends at camp softened the blow!
With the vast majority of grass baled, wrapped or sat in the silage clamp, the possibility of a day at our favourite seaside haunt looks on the cards. The sheep are clipped and back out on the hill and with the dreaded return to school looming large, the pleading and nagging from the little guy has begun in earnest.
Fast running out of excuses, Paul will soon be coerced into taking us to Robin Hood’s Bay, where he will no doubt be forced into a pair of shorts and sit on a sandy beach for the day watching John-William excavate large areas of sand with his tractors.
To maintain tradition he will refuse sun cream as, of course, farmers don’t need that stuff and then spend the drive home complaining of indigestion from the fish and chips and burnt legs!