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Morag's 
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Drum Blog - Nowzad 
 
So, the other week was Nowzad T-shirt day. Some of you may have seen our photo on our facebook page!! 
 
This was to raise awareness of the Nowzad charity that was founded by Pen Farthing originally when he was on deployment in Afghanistan. 
 
As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, we at Drum Kennels try to support a couple of charities and Nowzad is one of them. 
 
I first met Pen many years ago at our dog training club. He had been invited to take his own dogs, Nowzad and Tali, that he had rescued from Afghanistan, to Crufts and wanted to make sure that they weren’t going to eat anyone that wanted to stroke them! It is lovely to know that their visit to Crufts was a great success. 
 
Pen has written 3 books about his time in Afghanistan as a Royal Marine and subsequently how the charity was started and has grown over the years due to his hard work and dedication. You can buy these books (One Day at a Time, No Place Like Home and Wylie) through their webpage www.nowzad.com. All three books are a great read (you will definitely need a box of tissues!) and we are mentioned in a couple! So head over to their web page and get these books, especially as all the proceeds go to helping the dogs. You won’t regret it. 
 
So, how are we involved with the charity? Well, sometimes a rehoming doesn’t work out. It could be a number of reasons from home circumstances changing to a dog just struggling to settle in their new surroundings. We get a phone call from Pen saying he’s bringing us a dog. This could be anytime of the day or night! Our ‘job’ is to asses the dog, settle them in, care for them and begin the journey of preparing them for a new home. Sometimes our job is an easy one! Other times it may take a little longer!! But, we have lots and lots of successes and I can honestly say that no dog has ever had to be put to sleep because the charity couldn’t home it. 
 
We have seen some amazing dogs come in and while its so exciting to see their progress we know we are all going to shed some tears when they go off to their new home. While they are with us they become one of our own in the way we treat them and love them. 
 
One such dog will always remain my fondest and my most satisfying success in bringing him round enough to now be such a happy, loving dog in the best ever home. His name is Callum. We renamed Callum to protect his identity and give him a new beginning. 
 
Callum came to us in a crate in the back of Pens truck. “Mind your fingers” Pen said when we lifted the crate out. Callum had tried to eat a few!! We got him in his kennel and there we left him for a while with fresh water so he could settle down and get used to his new surroundings. I won’t go into what we think had happened to him in his previous home. 
 
As the days passed, Callum let us feed him and keep him clean but he was reluctant to leave his kennel which had become his safe haven. Eventually we could sit on the floor next to him, stroke him and finally coax him out! From that day, he made good progress to even allowing some volunteers to walk him down the lane. I will now say that these volunteers have become life long friends of us all at Drum and in fact one of the couples became Callum’s new home. This lovely couple have gone on to re home 2 more Nowzad dogs from us too! I could write pages and pages about our experiences with Callum but that’s for another day and another blog. 
 
We regularly get to see Callum and he always gets so excited to see us, showering us with kisses and with such a smile on his face. That in itself is the best reward I can ever have. 

Drum Kennels Blog 
 
Hi again..... 
 
So my blog today is all about cats! Yes I know we are called Drum Kennels but we also have a cattery and can look after 20 cats at one time. We also have 6 cats of our own that live here and we are their servants! I have 5 and Jackie, who works for me and lives here, has 1. 
 
Let’s tell you a bit more about our cats first. 
Willow is our front of house cat and is a gorgeous tabby who we have had for well over 15 years now. He is becoming an old man and he decides what he does and when! In his youth he was such an adventurous cat and was always up to mischief. He has had a few run ins with dogs and twice it has resulted in emergency dashes to the vets. But he lives to tell the tale and still he trusts some dogs way too much! 
 
Then there is Puddles or Puds as she is fondly known. She is so pretty but you may not see her very often as she is very shy and hides away unless she knows you. 
 
I have also taken on 3 cats from a lovely rescue Centre in Romania. At Drum Kennels we are involved in a couple of charities but I will tell you more about them at a later date. 
 
These 3 are adorable and so different from each other. Pirate came to me with only one eye as she had to have an infected one removed at a very early age. This does not hinder her at all and is one of our best hunters. Then I have Bree and Biscuit. They are our latest arrivals and are just finding their feet around here. As we only let them out on their own during lockdown, they haven’t experienced customers yet! 
 
Then there is Milo, Jackie’s cat. He is very aloof and even if he looks cuddly you are probably best not to touch him too much. He can have a very short fuse! 
 
So, our cattery. As I mentioned earlier, we are licensed for 20 cats. We have two houses with 5 pens in each. These are situated on the other side of our house from the kennels so its lovely and quiet and they have an amazing view of the valley but they are probably not as appreciative of that as we are! Sadly they don’t have an outside run but they can have plenty of fresh air. 
 
We give them lots of enrichment with toys, scratch posts, lots of different levels to climb, sit or lie on and human contact to make their days as normal as possible. Radio 2 plays away in the background too! 
 
Cats do love their comfort, so there is always a couple of different beds to choose from with cosy bedding. In the colder winter months we heat the cattery throughout the day if needed and at night. 
 
Customers are welcome to bring anything that they think will make their cats stay more enjoyable such as favourite bedding, toys etc. 
 
We are always happy to show people round and answer any questions but do feel free to comment here with things you may want to know and I will do my best to answer them. 
 
Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 
 
 
Drum Kennels Blog 1 
 
Returning from lockdown 
 
 
Hi. 
I thought it would be nice for our customers (and hopefully potential customers) to learn a bit more about Drum Kennels and what we do! As this is my first Drum blog, I hope you enjoy and if there is a particular subject you would like me to cover then do ask. 
 
Lockdown for us, and I’m sure a lot of others, has been a very strange and worrying time. At first it was weird. All our bookings were cancelled which left us with one long term boarder to look after. 
 
We had a few boarders in over April and June for people either working extremely long hours or who were in hospital. 
 
So what did we do? 
 
Well, we painted all the outbuildings and kennels. Revamped the exercise paddock. Cut the hedges and lawns and had a general tidy up. 
 
So then to plan for a return of customers, whenever that was going to be? 
 
I completed a course on COVID and how to safeguard our staff and customers. A lot of the content of the course, we already do, but other information was a useful reminder of how to stay safe. 
 
At last our phone has started to ring again from hopeful customers booking in their dogs and cats. Everything’s crossed that we don’t go back into another lockdown! 
 
Holiday destinations have started to open again so our customers can now begin to plan for a get away, even if its only for weekends at the moment. 
 
I can’t deny that it has been a worrying time financially but we have been kept busy all the way through. 
 
We will be PPE’d up to receive our boarders and we thank all our customers for being patient and understanding during this transition period. 
 
New customers are still very welcome to visit and we always encourage this but for the time being we are asking that you give us an approximate time when we can expect you so that we can be wearing the appropriate protection. 
 
The current situation however, does not impact on how we care for our boarders. They continue to get the best care, exercise and enrichment possible and I will talk more on this subject in another blog. 
 
No-one knows what the future holds regarding COVID but I think we will be seeing this new “normal” for some time. 
 
Do follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and look out for further blogs. 
 
Thank you for reading 
 
Morag 
Drum Kennels, Roncombe Hill, Sidbury, Sidmouth, EX10 0QN, East Devon. Tel: 01404 871247 Mob: 07771 821861 
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