Subject: A Greyhound Mother

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

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

Geoff Grewcock 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.

The dog had other ideas. No-one remembers now how it began, but Jasmine started welcoming all animal arrivals at the sanctuary. It wouldn't matter if it was a puppy, a fox cub, a rabbit or, probably, a rhinoceros, Jasmine would peer into the box or cage and, where possible deliver a welcoming lick.

From left, Toby, a stray  Lakeland dog; Bramble, an orphaned roe deer; Buster,a stray Jack Russell; a dumped rabbit; Sky, an injured barn owl; and Jasmine

Geoff Grewcock 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."

Doing what she does best, being a mother.

"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."

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, 15 chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and 15 rabbits.

And one roe deer fawn. Tiny Bramble, 11 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 in her fur.

"They are inseparable," says Geoff Grewcock. "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."

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.


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Mischievous Maggie in a hole

Safe and Sound:Maggie the dog gets some attention from Carole Hardy after her ordeal in DroylsdenMISCHIEVOUS Maggie the lurcher sparked a rescue operation after she tumbled down a l0ft-deep manhole. The three-year-old disappeared for more than 30 minutes after she bounded off into bushes during a walk. Gary Hardy father of Maggie's owner, Clare, raised the alarm and the entire family turned out to hunt for her. Eventually they heard faint whimpering and found Maggie trapped in the hole. But Gary who lives with wife Carole in Droylsden, couldn't reach her and was forced to call the fire brigade. A fire-fighter lowered down on a safety rope managed to pull her back up to safety. Maggie escaped the fall without a scratch. Her owner Clare Hardy 26, said: "Luckily,the manhole was not flooded or she could have drowned. She is a really feisty one and she does love to run around a lot. She loves to let off steam hut this time was a bit unlucky We will all try to keep a close eye on her in future." The family believe the hole was covered until Maggie placed her weight on it. Clare told how her father tried to reach down but Maggie was too far down. They eventually dialled 999. Clare added: "It was unbelievable. A fireman was hoisted down, and pulled her back up. "She came out with not a bruise on her. Something must have broken her fall."
The family contacted Tameside Council, which is to send out an engineer to cover the hole in Copperas Lane. Carole, 49, a caretaker at Droylsden Academy praised the fire service. She said: "It was all very bizarre but we can't praise the fire service highly enough." A fire service spokesman praised the family for dialling 999 and not putting their own safety at risk.

Then and now: Barney ballooned to more than 70kg (11st) but should have weighed 40kg (6st) and he is now in RSPCA kennels

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