By Karen Lippitt
My day job is renting villas in Portugal via my company which has offices in Peacehaven www.thevillaagency.co.uk Over the last 35 years my job has taken me to Portugal many times and at Christmas 2012 I was staying with some friends at their rather nice villa when they mentioned that they had given money to a collection for The Goldra Dog Sanctuary http://www.thegoldradogsanctuary.com I had been meaning to pay a visit for years and thought there was no time like the present so I hot footed it up to Goldra and met the lovely Jan Henderson who does an amazing job running Goldra. She was, as always, madly busy and has admitted since that at the time she thought “Here we go, another do-gooder who is going to promise the earth and will do nothing”. How wrong she was! Jan and I formed an instant bond and since that first meeting have between us brought around 200 Goldra dogs to the UK, along with almost 200 more from other rescues. Why do we bring dogs to the UK when there are so many here? That is a big subject for another day, so back to Goldra.
Help for Goldra Dog Sanctuary
We continue to help Jan with vets bills, projects at the sanctuary including concrete for the runs which were previously mud baths and trees to give the dogs respite from the hot Portuguese sun, food, neutering and whatever else she needs. We also go and visit regularly and so do many of our friends and helpers (or Pawsters as we like to call ourselves).
Jan and her partner Ray work around the clock looking after in excess of 100 dogs, many of whom have simply been dumped by their owners when they become surplice to requirements. Just a few weeks ago a car pulled up at Goldra, dumped a bucket of day old puppies and drove off. Jan and Ray had to bottle feed the pups around the clock which required special, expensive, milk.
Fundraising to help
We had hoped to get the number of dogs down but things seem to be getting worse. Goldra desperately needs money so while I was there a few weeks ago I promised Jan we would do a fundraiser just for her. My slightly quirky brain came up with Podingo-Bingo (the breed is actually Podengo but it didn’t rhyme) and I am lucky enough to be owned by one of these gentle creatures along with a good old English born Staffie, but I digress.
I think most of my friends would agree that being a friend of mine never comes cheap and I am forever shamelessly asking for favours for the animals so I hot footed it over to The Telscombe Tavern, run by my good friends Lynn and Annette, and asked if they would host the event. Of course they would! And not only that they have given us a raffle prize of dinner for two at the Tavern (I had dinner there last week and there is a new menu, the food was delicious).
Podingo-Bingo Event - 26th August
So on 26th of August we will be holding one of our slighty wacky events, in addition to the bingo there will be our Most Magnificent Tombola, Lucky Dips for kids and dogs, a stall and our very own Russ the dog – if you haven’t met him yet you are in for a treat!
We have some amazing raffle prizes, some of which have donated by local businesses. Raffle tickets are on sale now in The Telscombe Tavern so if you can’t come on the day you can still be a winner.
Oh and if that isn’t enough to tempt you, we have a local VIP coming down to draw the raffle. Matt Rood, is a great dog lover and runs his own dog walking business in Peacehaven and he has recently been named Mr Gay Europe! Fancy!
There will be live music later on from Rosanna, who sings Jazz, Blues and Pop from Dinah Washington to Amy Winehouse so you can come early and stay late.
Kids and well behaved dogs are not just welcome but encouraged. Entry is free but if you would like to bring some dog (or cat) food we would love you forever, all dog food collected on the day will go out to Portugal and will feed a lot of very hungry pooches and moggies. The bingo will start at 4pm but we will be there from 1 o’clock and if you would like to book for lunch in the pub mention Helping Paws and you will get a free glass of wine with every meal.
Oh and PS. All of us “Pawsters” have full time jobs and raise money in our spare time. We are always desperate for people to help. We hold regular fundraisers and always need bodies to man our stall. At the moment we have had to close our online shop because we don’t have anyone to run it, we hold online auctions and always need extra assistance with these. If you would like to get involved please send me an email Karen@helpingpaws.co.uk or call me (after 6pm or at the weekend please) on 07818 402771.