Tag: Nuneaton & Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary

Learning love from our dogs

Just a very beautiful true story. (And I am indebted to Suzann for sending it on to me.) One couldn’t ask for a better post to follow on from yesterday’s Picture Parade theme on parenting.


The Greyhound

In 2003, police in Warwickshire, England, opened a garden shed and found a whimpering, cowering dog. The dog had been locked in the shed and abandoned. It was dirty and malnourished, and had quite clearly been abused.

In an act of kindness, the police took the dog, which was a female greyhound, to the Nuneaton Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, which is run by a man named Geoff Gruecock, and known as a haven for animals abandoned, orphaned, or otherwise in need.

Geoff and the other sanctuary staff went to work with two aims: to restore the dog to full health, and to win her trust. It took several weeks, but eventually both goals were achieved. They named her Jasmine, and they started to think about finding her an adoptive home.


Jasmine, however, had other ideas. No one quite remembers how it came about, but Jasmine started welcoming all animal arrivals at the sanctuary. It would not matter if it were a puppy, a fox cub, a rabbit or, any other lost or hurting animal. Jasmine would just peer into the box or cage and, when and where possible, deliver a welcoming lick. MD2 Geoff relates one of the early incidents. “We had two puppies that had been abandoned by a nearby railway line. One was a Lakeland Terrier cross and another was a Jack Russell Doberman cross. They were tiny when they arrived at the centre, and Jasmine approached them and grabbed one by the scruff of the neck in her mouth and put him on the settee. Then she fetched the other one and sat down with them, cuddling them.” “But she is like that with all of our animals, even the rabbits. She takes all the stress out of them, and it helps them to not only feel close to her, but to settle into their new surroundings. She has done the same with the fox and badger cubs, she licks the rabbits and guinea pigs, and even lets the birds perch on the bridge of her nose.MD3 Jasmine, the timid, abused, deserted waif, became the animal sanctuary’s resident surrogate mother, a role for which she might have been born. The list of orphaned and abandoned youngsters she has cared for comprises five fox cubs, four badger cubs, fifteen chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and fifteen rabbits – and one roe deer fawn. Tiny Bramble, eleven weeks old, was found semi-conscious in a field. Upon arrival at the sanctuary, Jasmine cuddled up to her to keep her warm, and then went into the full foster-mum role. Jasmine the greyhound showers Bramble the roe deer with affection, and makes sure nothing is matted. MD4They are inseparable,” says Geoff. “Bramble walks between her legs, and they keep kissing each other. They walk together round the sanctuary. It’s a real treat to see them.MD5 Jasmine will continue to care for Bramble until she is old enough to be returned to woodland life. When that happens, Jasmine will not be lonely. She will be too busy showering love and affection on the next orphan or victim of abuse. MD6 Pictured left to right are: “Toby”, a stray Lakeland dog; “Bramble”, orphaned roe deer; “Buster”, a stray Jack Russell; a dumped rabbit; “Sky”, an injured barn owl; and “Jasmine”. All told a mother’s heart doing best what a caring mother does.


It was but a moment to find a video about Jasmine over on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a57ibUayKc Finally, if you feel like translating your affection for Jasmine and the good folk over at Nuneaton & Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary into a donation, here’s the page to go to:

We are completely self funded. We receive no financial backing and so have to raise every single penny towards the upkeep of the sanctuary. It costs on average £360 per week to keep the sanctuary open, and a further £120 per week on food and bedding for the animals in our care. Please help us continue to rescue and rehabilitate Britain’s wildlife.

If you go to this link you can see what would be the best donation method for you. Plus, because the Sanctuary is not open for callers on Sundays I will call today (Monday) * and see if there are more details about the best way to offer support from those living outside the UK. Unconditional love is so perfectly demonstrated by our incredible dogs.

* I did call and speak with Catherine who recommended PayPal as the best means of donating to their cause, especially for those outside the UK.

Letting go; a dog lesson.

Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go. Hermann Hesse

Nuneaton in Warwickshire is a town about 100 miles North-West of London.  It’s firmly in that part of England known as the Midlands, encircled by such places as Birmingham, Coventry, Rugby and Leicester.  It is also the home of the Nuneaton & Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary  So what, you might ask?

Watch this!

On the Wildlife Sanctuary’s website, there is the story of Jasmine,

Jasmine was a rescue dog who lived at the sanctuary until her passing in 2011. She was no ordinary rescue dog, she was the most amazing greyhound in the world!

She was only a young pup when she was locked in a shed and abandoned. When she was discovered by the police many days later she was emaciated, mange ridden and terrified. She was taken to the RSPCA quarters in Coventry where Geoff just happened to be visiting several weeks later. They were introduced and as they say ‘the rest is history’. She came to live with Geoff at the sanctuary. Each day her confidence grew and her personality flourished. But the most amazing thing was yet to come….

It turned out Jasmine was a natural ‘Mother hen’. One day a young fox cub was brought in to the sanctuary. She had been tied to railings and left to die. She was very small and weak and the outlook wasn’t bright. That was until Jasmine sauntered over to the fox cub’s basket and started to lick her. Geoff was immediately concerned, followed by bemusement, followed by amazement as he saw before his eyes the fox responding to Jasmine’s touch. He quickly realised that Jasmine was acting in the same way the fox cub’s mother would have done in the wild!

Over the next few days Jasmine continued to ‘mother’ the fox cub who Geoff had named Roxy. Roxy grew strong and grew up. She lives at the sanctuary with Jasmine who is mum and best friend all rolled into one.

Jasmine was truly one of a kind. She mothered many of the sanctuary’s residents back to health including Bramble the roe deer, Humbug the badger and two of the other sanctuary dogs, just to mention a few.

Sadly Jasmine passed away in 2011. She is greatly missed by all at the sanctuary.

So what’s Geoff’s story?  That is beautifully explained here,

In February 2001, an injured swan was taken to a veterinary clinic in Warwickshire. The swan was injured, but needed only a week of rest before it was able to be released back into the wild. However, there was nowhere in the area for the swan to rest and receive care, so it was put to sleep. This was when Geoff decided to set up the sanctuary.

Geoff had worked as a security guard for many years but was injured at work and forced to retire. He used his savings to transform his garden into a haven for wildlife and has never looked back.

Geoff, all the caring people in the world salute you!

As of 2011, the Sanctuary has been open for ten years, and has had 6,500 birds and 4,250 animals.

The Sanctuary relies on the work of our dedicated team of volunteers; who accompany us on fundraising events, talks, and shows to help raise money for the Sanctuary.

So let me close by thanking Suzann for sending me the video link to this beautiful story.  And do make a note to look in on Learning from Dogs next Saturday to marvel at yet another example of the way dogs (and Geoff!) throw off their pasts and rejoice in the present.

In the end these things matter most:

How well did you love?

How fully did you love?

How deeply did you learn to let go?

The Buddha