The Ark Rescue & Rehoming Centre, Ashbourne, Derbyshire
My name is Marigold and, when my humans saw my big ‘bush baby’ eyes, they couldn’t resist me and I went off to Oxfordshire with them (luckily, I don’t mind car journeys)! I like to help my humans out, so I wake them up with a few meows in the morning and, once they’re up, I lead one of them downstairs straight to my food bowl. I have special food because I was born with kidney problems, but that doesn’t stop me from wolfing it down! Sometimes I then meow at the other human, in case I can trick them into giving me more, but that’s only worked once!
While my humans are at work, I like to play on my cat tree. It has a basket that's brilliant for a quick cat nap, but my favourite is the top platform, where I spend ages staring out the window at other cats. I have lots of toys to keep me busy, and I line them up in the hallway near the front door so that my humans can play with me as soon as they get home. When we’re not playing, I like to follow them around the house and meow until they stroke me. The best time for this is when they’re watching TV. I pick whichever human looks the comfiest and curl up on their lap. If I’m lucky, they get my brush out and groom me until I fall asleep. Although they don’t purr as much as I do, I make my humans very happy. Thank you to The Ark for looking after me so well and for helping me to find my forever home! Love from Marigold
We thought we would let you know how Jill, the Border Collie we adopted from you in April 2018, is getting on. After a rocky start, very temporary, Jill settled really well and has made a very loving and intelligent dog. She now gets on well with our daughter and her two children and greets them all with a wagging tail. The children enjoy playing with Jill in the local park, throwing her favourite stick for her to retrieve and take back to them. Jill has been with us on holiday to Cornwall, where she had a fabulous time on the Atlantic beaches, playing and running about in the sand. Jill is still very active and loves to play, although she is now 11 years old but thinks she is about two! Jill will stay, off the lead and await commands at distance, including stay, lie down or sit, fetch and come. She will not be distracted by other dogs or people passing by and will wait until given a command. Jill is an absolute delight and gives us enormous pleasure and even gets on with the cat. We are so pleased that we found Jill and she now has her forever home. Cherry, David and Jill
It's a year since we adopted Skye and she has settled really well, enjoying her walks and going out, especially to the Lake District and other forest areas. She also loves the snow! She has got to know some other dogs - a Husky who lives nearby and a Labrador she met in the Lakes. Last October we welcomed another member to our family, our daughter Scarlett, and Skye is very protective of her and checks on her all the time! Thank you from Paul, Claudette, Scarlett and Skye
Pear and Cholla, adopted 10.9.18 are now doing really well. Within a couple of weeks Pear (now Ninja) who was so timid when we first met her, is a different kitten! She will come up to you purring, wanting a stroke and fuss now. I'm so proud of her being so brave, she is turning out to be a real sweetie. Cholla (now Jinx) is still shy but will let you touch her, though she's not ready for too much fuss just yet. They're both eating and playing well and spend most of their time high up on the beams catching the sun under the roof light instead of the lovely bed we bought them, typical! We are aiming to let them out of the barn in the next week or so to explore the farm....
7.10.18.... First day outside today and they loved it! They are hilarious to watch playing with each other and chasing everything that moves - they are great hunters in the making! We couldn’t be happier with them and they seem happy with us too.
12.11.18....Both kittens have now realised humans are not so bad after all and are happy to be handled and fussed. They are really affectionate and follow us round the farm and have even met my horse!
4.2.19....I am pleased to report that we have finally cracked it and they are super friendly and affectionate cats, completely settled with us and enjoying life on the farm. They are always making us laugh with their antics - found them both on the bird table the other day, helping themselves to stale bread.... naughty girls!
Editor's Note: This just shows what patience can achieve as Pear and Cholla were very timid and wary of humans.
A Remarkable Little Chap called Jack
We are two old farmers and have had loads of dogs but we love terriers and when we lost our last old boy (leaving us with Retrievers Wallace and Gromit) we kept saying another dog would come our way, but it didn't. We went online to find a little dog to love and cherish and cuddle in front of the telly at night and we found The Ark and the answer to our dreams. We found a truly remarkable little dog called Jack. He looked a handsome little boy on the website but apparently had a few issues...an older boy, about 8 years, a bit shy, didn't like his neck stroked or being picked up and not good with kids or other dogs! None of that bothered us, we knew our big softies, Wallace and Gromit, were good with other dogs so we went to see Jack and he was perfect! He came and made a fuss straight away and we had a little stroll. His tail never stopped wagging, it still hasn't! Maybe it's clockwork as something keeps winding it up! In the Dog House he jumped straight onto Lorraine's knee for a cuddle and a tummy tickle. He was completely relaxed and took everything in his stride. He seemed the perfect dog to us and we both knew he was the one but we needed to come back with our two and everything depended on Jack's reactions. Next day, off we set, full of nerves, it was D-Day. Wallace and Gromit barked happily all the way to The Ark and then sat waiting to meet Jack. Round the corner he came, spotted our two and with a hearty voice started barking at them, marched straight up to them (four times as big as him) not knowing if they would set about him, but he didn't seem to care! However, they wagged their tails, as we knew they would, and they all had a good sniff nose to nose. They were instantly pals! I think we were all amazed. Off we went for a little stroll, Jack leading the pack, and we were over the moon. We sorted the paperwork, put the big uns back in the Landy and Jack then jumped straight in and settled down for the ride home (see inside cover). Back home he marched in with the other two just as if it had always been home! A good explore and sniff round while we made a cuppa and the big uns lay down for a nap then Jack came and jumped on the sofa, claiming it as his own. He takes everything in his stride and loves being picked up for a kiss and a cuddle. We are so happy and proud of him and are truly blessed to have such a remarkable little dog. Pete, Lorraine, Wallace, Gromit and Jack
You've heard of the seven year itch...well we think this is what Scala got..because after all this time she has got a home of her own! She was put on the Sponsor a Long Stay Cat Scheme as it soon became obvious that she was going to be a challenge! For a start we never saw her...some of our volunteers thought we were making her up and no such cat existed! She was so exceptionally timid and wary of people that she chose to live high up on top of the cat pens in the Garden Room Cattery, eating and sleeping up there well out of sight and reach! We did see her peeping over the top sometimes but, if she thought she had been spotted, she quickly went back to hide in her bed!
As time went by she became more confident and discovered that people often came bearing edible gifts, so started venturing down to sit on chairs and the sofa..finally we could prove she did exist! She became much more friendly, enjoying visitors to her domain.... and, if you had roast chicken about your person, you were her friend for life! She even started to enjoy sitting on knees...however, we still could never get hold of her to pick her up and trips to see the vet were rather fraught! Whilst she developed a large fan club, she never really got any suitable offers of a new home so, when out of the blue a couple who had already adopted another resident of the Garden Room Cattery offered her a home, we were completely taken aback. Should we or shouldn't we let her go? Would she cope, would she be so frightened at the change of scene after so long in the cattery that she would go into hiding never to emerge (although as Mal cynically pointed out...yes she would if there was chicken on offer)? She was going to live with ex-Ark cat Charlie (now called Solomon) who she shared the Garden Room with for several months. We did feel rather sorry for him as, whilst living with Scala, she bossed him about and never let him share the sofa...he always had to sleep in his pen! Solomon certainly had a big surprise coming his way! To our delight she settled in very quickly and, within a few days, was sleeping on her new owners' bed and sitting on laps! We had to smile when they told us that Solomon was also used to sleeping on their bed but had now taken to sleeping under the covers next to them as Scala made him nervous! You can see from the pictures just who is boss!
It is coming up to a year since we adopted Rusty and Molly - our lovely pensioners, now aged 11 and 10, so just wanted to give an update.
They had obviously been very well looked after in their previous life and we hope we have continued this care now their previous owners are unable to.
My mum and I came to an open day and fell in love with them at first sight, and we all had a lovely Christmas together. Sadly my mum died suddenly in January, and Rusty and Molly have been such a comfort, we all loll about on the settee and go out for walks. They are brilliant in the car and been on holiday with us twice. Rusty has his eccentricities. He gets spooked at certain noises e.g. aerosols and certain adverts and runs off to his food bowl for comfort. He manages very well with his arthritis but some days takes it easier than others. He loves to lick us very enthusiastically. Molly talks in her own “wooky” language and sits in the window watching the world go by, and then sits on our knees. The pair are devoted to each other, but Molly is boss. They drop hair absolutely everywhere but that’s a small price to pay for all the pleasure and love they give.
Thanks for all the work you do.
Soozie and Bob here... Bob and I wanted to let you know that we have just passed with flying colours our Kennel Club Good Citizen Award Gold Test. Mum and Dad are very proud of us and the examiner said we were superb! We're still going to go to training classes but in truth I've already learnt loads - I particularly liked learning how to use my nose and Bob and I have great fun now hunting mice on our allotment! I don't know if you can remember what we were like but can you believe we took part in an Obedience demonstration at Draycott in the Clay Show!!
I just wanted to let you know how our kitten Midge is getting on. We have changed her name to Hermia because of the small feisty lady from a Midsummer Night's Dream and she is living up to her namesake! On arriving home she was nervous for about an hour, then she was into everything!!! She loves snuggling up but she also loves tearing around like a demented lunatic. She enjoys chasing games and will play with anyone. She is affectionate and brilliant with my sister's dog, who came from The Ark and is a regular visitor. I really want to thank Vicky for the amazing job she did rearing Hermia. Thank you for letting me be the owner of such a great personality!
Just wanted to let you know that Gnat (now named Onion) is doing great and is growing in confidence.
She knows what she wants and will squeak if she doesn't get her own way! She loves snuggle time and often follows us round the house. We love her to bits!
Editor's note: Midge, together with litter mates Gnat and Maggie, were found abandoned at a few days old after their mother was run over. They had suffered from flystrike and were covered in maggots. They were rushed to the vet to be checked over in case they had suffered any internal damage. Vicky, one of our staff, then took them home and took on the difficult task of handrearing these sickly babies. After many ups and downs, they all survived and are now healthy and are obviously enjoying life in their new homes