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Everyone’s best friend likes nothing better than being able to sniff out a seasonal surprise – and so the Merseyside charity is asking for help to give the dogs in its care a special treat on December 25.
“Every Christmas Day Father Christmas – or Mother Christmas – comes to Freshfields and spends time with every dog,” says its PR officer, Deb Hughes. “And he or she gets to excitedly unwrap their own Christmas present. It’s a wonderful tradition that we’ve carried on every year.
“It’s very important to treat every dog as an individual. The staff, the dog walkers and the volunteers all get to know each of them well, and what they like, so we like to give them a treat and a toy to make it a little special.
“We also like to give them a Christmas dinner which means a bit of chicken for them.
“It might not be a huge roast with gravy, carrots, sprouts and potatoes, but it is a lovely Christmas dinner just for them.”
Deb goes on: “Of course what we’d most like for them is that this is their last Christmas in rescue, and that next Christmas they’ll be spending it in a new home that we have found.
“But until we do, we want to make it a magical Christmas for our dogs just like it is, hopefully, for everyone else.”
Freshfields is appealing for anyone who can, to donate chicken to the charity in Ince Blundell.
“Either fresh or frozen would be great,” says Deb, “although we would ask people to contact the centre to let us know they’re coming, especially if it’s frozen.”
And the kennels staff have made an Amazon Christmas wish-list for the toys and gifts they’d like Santa to give them.
“We have got some big strong dogs who chew through everything our friends and supporters have kindly given them, so the gifts on the list have been specially chosen so we know that the dogs will like them – and that they will last longer for them to enjoy.
“The community that wraps its arms round us and has kept us going for 42 years is so important to us – and now more than ever.
“People do kind things at Christmas, but they do them all year round, and we are so grateful.
“Christmas Day and dinner is a special part of the season for us. No rescue is a substitute for a fireside of their own and lots of hugs, but it helps to make the dogs feel as loved as they possibly can.”
To donate chicken call Freshfields on 0151 931 1604 or email [email protected]
Article by Janet Tansley
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