“It’s a really hot, peaceful day which feels very strange, as we should all be busy preparing for our annual Open Day and Fun Dog Show. How about joining me for a socially distanced, virtual stroll around my estate. The garden looks lovely thanks to the extra time spent mowing, weeding and planting. Quick, move aside, here comes Jeanette with a wheelbarrow full of hedge clippings!
The Aylesbury Ducks waddle past as we turn the corner and the geese hiss a protective warning to keep away from their goslings. Some of the animals at SESAW, like me, are permanent residents including Bob, the Kune Kune pig – give his head a rub as you pass by. Next door is the rabbit shed which is about to be renovated, now that the new Keebles cat runs are nearly finished – the COVID shutdown has enabled us to carry out maintenance more easily, but it’s a pity it has also stopped our fundraising to pay for the work. Beyond the ducks swimming on the pond, we see Michelle with buckets of food, being hotly pursued by the paddock animals. The ground is rock hard now, unlike the springtime when she almost lost her welly boot in the mud!
As we follow a volunteer returning from walkies we can hear Dicky Dove cooing. He’s been with us for years and although he cannot fly, he is in lovely condition. All the other injured wild birds have recovered and been released, except for a few pigeons and a very noisy baby Jackdaw, but his time will come.
Last stop is Ruggs Cottage, close the door quietly so we don’t disturb a young mum suckling her little family of three – so that’s why Mum said we need kitten food! Ollie is usually sunbathing nearby, but we don’t see much of him since there are no visitors for him to inspect. I would say greet, but the warmth of that superior cat’s welcome depends very much upon which side he got out of his basket that morning!
Don’t leave without browsing the bookcase by the gate, which Dawn replenishes regularly – but wait a minute, people are here by prior appointment so keep your two metre distance. They are collecting some Rainbow of Hope car hangings and washable masks for children and adults, made by our craft ladies. Jayne takes orders on 07720 079370 and collection slots are booked to keep everyone apart. By the way, we are sticking to the two metre rule to keep our precious volunteers doubly safe.
I hope you enjoyed the ‘tour’ and like the photos of previous happy Open Day memories. We look forward to the day you can visit us in person and even see me, Kenny (the Boss) Chihuahua.”