Spare Chair?, It’s Good to Talk & A Way with Flowers

Taken from Lynne’s weekly column ‘Green Scene’ for the Western Mail. 7th April 2018 
 Spare Chair?

The lovely Dr Rhys Jones, of BBC’s Wildlife Patrol, got in touch this week to see if I could help. In his usual exuberant way he said,  “I know you don’t sit down much so wondered if you had a spare chair …”

It turns out that he is the Ambassador for Friends of the Dogs, in South Wales and they are looking for small vinyl or leather ‘professor type’ chairs to furnish the kennels at Cardiff Dogs Home, so the dogs can be as comfortable as possible while waiting for their forever homes. The chairs have to be small enough to fit through the doors and not take up too much room in the kennels and also easy to clean.

If you can help, please email friendsofthedogs@gmail.com and do have a look at their website  www.friendsofthedogs.org.uk to see if you can help in any other way – from making a donation to dog walking. They are doing fantastic work, and have developed an innovative and ambitious Kennel & Environment Enrichment Program to improve and enhance the welfare and well-being of the resident dogs whilst they are waiting to be re-homed.

Friends of the Dogs was established in 2011 by volunteers to support and promote the unwanted, stray and abandoned dogs in Cardiff Dogs Home, the local authority pound. In 2016 they set up a similar support infrastructure for Newport City Council to enable them to commit to keeping safe their dogs until suitable homes could be found.

They have no paid staff, nor do they pay expenses. Most of their volunteers have full time jobs, their own dogs, children, and other responsibilities and commitments, yet somehow they find time in their busy lives to do something amazing for lost, abandoned, and homeless dogs.

So, a dog maybe Man’s best friend, but lets put the effort in and make Man a dog’s best friend too.

And on that note, if you get a chance, do go and see the film, Isle of Dogs. It is a comedy – but actor Bill Murray believes that “This is turning out to be a more important movie than first anticipated.  “I never stopped to think how much I love dogs and how much I undervalue my dog’s companionship. He sits and waits for me to come home and it’s not a fair exchange,” he says. “There’s something there about dogs and their inability to communicate and yet their infinite compassion, there’s a lesson to us and each other when there’s no shared language or culture. If dogs can do it why can’t we?”

It’s Good to Talk

I have cut my speaking engagements down lately but I will be speaking at Monmouthshire Golf Club, near Abrgavenny on Wednesday 18th April. Everyone is welcome, doors open at 7 and I’ll be talking at 7.30 pm about ‘My Own Garden Path’.  It is an eclectic talk covering my experience of gardening, TV, bee-keeping, celebrities, keeping pet pigs, barefoot running, writing a book and the latest super-exciting project – you have to come now to find out what it is!

Proceeds from the event will go to St David’s Hospice Care. Tickets are £10, payable on the door, and include a glass of wine.  Contact Brian on 01873 857065 for more details and I hope to see you there.

A Way with Flowers

I adore being Welsh – there are certain things that I believe can only happen thanks to Welsh people.

Last weekend a friend, who has been having a hard time of late, decided to escape to a holiday cottage in West Wales at the last minute. Unable to join her I went about sending some flowers to mark a particularly sad anniversary, which fell on Easter Monday.  I’m not a big fan of filling the boxes in for an internet delivery of flowers so found a ‘real’ florist in Haverfordwest and called them – on Good Friday. The phone was answered straight away by a cheerful voice who reassured me that ‘being of farming stock’, Bank Holidays were just ordinary days and not only was phoning on Good Friday not a problem, delivering the flowers on Easter Monday wouldn’t be either.  It was like talking to an old friend – an old friend I’d never met.  Not only was it no bother to print out a message that I would email to be put in a card, but upon realising that they didn’t take card payments and I didn’t bank online, we agreed I should put a cheque in the post.

The post that wouldn’t arrive until days after the flowers were to be delivered.  How’s that for good old-fashioned trust? And the lovely lady responsible for going that extra ‘smile’ is Rosalind Raymond who owns www.awaywithflowers.co.uk  So a heartfelt thank you Ros, both from me and from the very grateful recipient who not only received the flowers on Easter Monday morning but also got a cwtch from Ros when they were delivered.  Only the Welsh!

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