I found Maria at the shelter cleaning the indoor animals and in a bit of a confused state worrying about the busy day ahead and having to be filmed! After being told they had finished all the filming, they phoned Maria and told her they were coming again! The film crew were due at 11am, so we all quickly set to work. I helped Maria clean the indoor animals and then all of a sudden the film crew arrived peering over the door. Cameras and microphones were quickly set up and they began filming presenter Andrew Lamberty at the front gate. We carried on cleaning and then I had to take four female guinea pigs up to the top field and introduce them to the outside guinea pigs (many females living with one very lucky male called Howard!). By the time I got back, the film crew (presenter, director and cameraman) were in the room talking Maria through what they would like to do, so I had to wait outside and play with the goats until they came out and headed towards the top field. I then could carry on with cleaning indoor animals.
Sssh Filming in Progress
While they were filming Maria, Morgan arrived and Maria asked him to tidy up the big animals housing, yards and paths, however, as soon as he began to sweep he heard ‘ssshhhh, be quiet, we’re filming’, so headed down to help me for a while. I groomed Louis, a dear old rabbit that has arthritis and has just lost the last of his two girls and put him outside in a new hutch and pen. He now has a lower hutch without a ramp, so he can easily get in and out. Morgan then headed off to do the hay nets and was startled to find himself being filmed! I think John and James also got caught on camera while working.
Maria said they were working on the continuity and asked her to wear the same pink gloves as she was wearing last time and they wanted her to remember where they filmed her talking to Andrew last September!! Its hard to remember what happened five minutes ago sometimes at the shelter! They turned her into a little actress, as she was directed to do things like just standing and nodding with Andrew, which she found hilarious and I can’t wait to see!
Just before we stopped for a break at lunch time, Sam the cameraman wanted to film me doing something with the rabbits, so I just went in and gave some their dry food, but he dropped his microphone in the mud and had to stop. I think most of his equipment became caked in mud…..he’ll never film at an animal shelter again!
No Rest for the Wicked
Maria had just sat down and had one sip of coffee and a little nibble when a couple arrived to look at the guinea pigs, as they wanted to choose another female to rehome with the one they already had. Maria went off to the top field with them and then the film crew started packing up. They had said they would do a little more filming of us all working or saying goodbye to Andrew or something, but I think they had to go and catch their flight back to London. I had to go and find Maria, as she was still wearing her microphone! Maria went back to them and I took over with the couple who chose a lovely guinea pig called Lucy, one that I had only just taken to the outside house that morning. I took them back to the room to write down their details and found that the film crew had left, so Maria took over again.
Finally a break for Maria
The couple left and Maria finally sat down to drink her coffee and eat the rest of her lunch while watching the rest of us prepare the animal food. She told us that the new BBC 2 series ‘Auction Hero’ has been brought forward, so now it will be shown in March! Really hoping it won’t be during our fun auction evening on 22nd March!! She also said that she had cheekily asked Andrew lamberty to be the shelters patron! He kindly agreed, so we will be allowed to mention him in publicity from now on.
After feeding the animals, Maria and I were washing the bowls when a potential new volunteer arrived to have a look around, so off she went again. After showing the volunteer around and saying goodbye, a lady arrived to choose a neutered male rabbit to rehome with her female and a young lady arrived with two male guinea pigs for us to find a new home for. Maria showed the lady to the rabbits and I dealt with the young lady and guinea pigs. The two male guinea pigs had been rescued by her from a home where they had been mistreated and had to hand them over to us to find the best new home for them. I asked her to fill out the entry form, while I put them in their new temporary housing. Meanwhile, Maria came in and started to fill out the rehoming form for the lady who had chosen her new male rabbit. I saw the young lady out and then another lady arrived with a hamster for us to take in, a sweet little female Syrian hamster called Boris. Another entry form was to be filled out. The lady taking the male rabbit then fell in love with two gorgeous male guinea pigs called Basil and Dumbo and decided to take them too! Maria then had to fill out the rehoming form for them.
We chatted about the animals for a while and then saw both out.
Vet call while on toilet break
Maria had been meaning to take me up to the public toilet (still waiting to hear about being able to get one at shelter) right after lunch, but it didn’t work out that way! We only now had the chance to go. Maria had to telephone the vet while we were there because Oliver, the little goat we recently rescued, has not been eating properly and getting thin. The vet asked for us to take his temperature, so Maria had to pop up to her house, pick up a thermometer and take us back down to the shelter. While we were gone, Morgan, James and John had been busy tidying and finishing up.
John distracted Toffee (who was trying to get Marias attention) and Maria and James restrained Oliver while I took his temperature. It was 39.5 C, which the vet said is normal, so it couldn’t be an infection. The vet said he would come and have a look at him the next day. After using Marias own thermometer from home, we found the animal one in the medicine cupboard! I told Maria she was welcome to take the thermometer back home and use (with a grin on my face), but she wisely said we can now have two for the animals.
Olivers First Walk
After I had quickly taken some photos of new guinea pigs and the hamster for rehoming, Maria decided to take the goats for a walk with Oliver on his first walk since arriving at the shelter. James and John took the leads of Toffee and Fudge and Maria took Oliver with a lovely red lead that matched her coat! We went on a lovely little short walk finding some lovely fresh grass for them to enjoy and a hedge full of ivy and brambles to browse. Maria, John and James started to get a little bored just standing around waiting for the goats to finish munching before moving on. Oliver really enjoyed the grass and a few brambles, so we hope the vet can get to the bottom of why he is not eating the food we give him.
When back in the shelter, Maria put Oliver to bed and James and I had to leave her and John putting the other animals to bed so that we could catch our bus and have a welcome sit down!
I don’t know how Maria copes with so much. She constantly has busy days like this, sometimes without the help of volunteers and it doesn’t stop when she gets home. There are constant phone calls, text messages, Emails and messages on the Facebook page to be answered. She also works 5 nights a week and makes delicious preserves to sell and make money for the shelter. An amazing and inspirational woman. Please have patience if your questions are not answered straight away, but the busy lady will get back to you!haha