Haibun: Nature’s Spirit

Cairngorms National Park

a blue and white whippet in a purple harness sniffing the bark of a pine tree on a forest trail

We’re walking through the forest at Easter, the sun is bright and warm. It’s the warmest Easter we’ve known since moving to the Highlands. Eivor walks beside us, touching my hand with his nose to let us know. To let us know, how good it feels to be here.

Pearl walks slightly ahead of us, sniffing the bark of a pine, touching a twig or leaf. Prints from paw and foot weave on behind us. Our eyes follow the movements between the trees across the water, where pairs of geese go quietly.

nature’s spirit
stars flicker through the temple
of this world

© Xenia Tran

a blue and white whippet in a purple harness beside a pine tree on a forest trail
two pairs of geese swimming across a lochan surrounded by trees and reeds

Wishing you all a beautiful Tuesday and a wonderful week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Settings: f/3.2 – 1/400 s – ISO 100 and f/5 – 1/160 s – ISO 160.

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Cairngorms National Park

a black whippet in a black jacket pausing on a forest trail beside heather and pine

the air sleeps
through the trees a starry song
rises and rises

© Xenia Tran

a blue and white whippet in a black jacket pausing beside an ancient pine tree
view through the pine-clad glen towards the snow-capped mountain peaks at Rothiemurchus

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 – 1/500 s – ISO 100, f/2.8 – 1/100 s – ISO 125 and f/2.8 – 1/2000 s – ISO 160.

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Twiglet #122: The Air Sleeps

Villanelle: A Voice that Knows

a blue and white whippet in a black jacket walking along the beach

the wind is strong where soft sand blows
along the shore the water’s speech
releases the waves, a voice that knows

perhaps that’s why we feel so close
on every walk along this beach
the wind is strong where soft sand blows

we seek adventure, step in the flows
a faraway wind from the East
releases the waves, a voice that knows

the scent of freedom, a thought that grows
can show us the treasures that lie within reach
the wind is strong where soft sand blows

beneath the moon, a star that glows
we stretch out our dreams where each
releases the waves, a voice that knows

when colours brighten our rainbows
mirroring all that they teach
the wind stays strong where soft sand blows
releasing the waves, a voice that knows

© Xenia Tran

a black whippet in a black jacket landing on his front paws in the sand by some driftwood along the waterline
driftwood sticking out from the sands with soft sand blowing past

Sarah at dVerse Poets invites us to write a Villanelle this month and this is our first contribution. Our second contribution has now been published at Where Seasons Meet and our third contribution Worth Waiting For can be found on our sister blog Tranature.

A Villanelle is a French verse form consisting of five three-line stanzas and a final quatrain, with the first and third lines of the first stanza repeating alternately in the following stanzas. These two refrain lines form the final couplet in the quatrain (the Poetry Foundation)

The prompt at dVerse remains open if you want to participate and there are now more than seventy contributions for you to enjoy.

Wishing you all a beautiful Tuesday,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.5 – 1/2000 s – ISO 100, f/3.2 – 1/2000 s – ISO 100 and f/3.5 – 1/1000 s – ISO 100.

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Haibun: My Friend, My Rock

a black whippet in a multi-coloured jumper sitting beside his bed on a red carpet floor

My friend, my rock. Many people feel this way about their dog, including many homeless people.

Last Friday was the funeral of a homeless man called Nick. A homeless man who loved to read books and could often be found in London’s Strand near the Adelphi Theatre, his trusted dog Scarper by his side. Scarper is one of many dogs receiving free veterinary care and support from a charity called Dogs On The Streets (DOTS). In addition to veterinary care DOTS provide collars and tags, toys, dog coats, blankets and food. They provide support for their human companions too and will take the dogs into temporary foster care at their sanctuary when their human needs hospital care or rehab treatment. Ultimately, they aim to help both the homeless person and their dog into permanent accommodation.

seeing
through rising and falling mist
the first swallow

© Xenia Tran

a blue and white whippet in a multi-coloured jumper resting her chin on her pal, also wearing a multi-coloured jumper

As some of you may be aware, when Nick passed away on the street, his dog Scarper would not leave his side. It was through the DOTS tag on her collar that Nick’s identity could be established. She was taken into foster care and has now been re-homed with Nick’s family.

DOTS is one of the charities we support through Sharing Our Horizon. We believe in the work they do and the crucial role dogs play in the lives of homeless people. For most, these dogs are all they have. They spend 24 hours a day together and provide their dogs with the kind of companionship some dogs in big houses may never know.

People can end up living on the streets for all kinds of reasons, especially in light of the current welfare system. Many have turned down offers of accommodation when they’re not allowed to bring their dog with them. These people have no desire to abandon their best friend, their rock.

If you want to find out more about the work DOTS do, are interested in volunteering or want to support in other ways, please check out their website.

Wishing you all a beautiful Tuesday,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Pananonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 – 1/6 s – ISO 200 and f/2.8 – 1/40 s – ISO 200.

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Haibun: Growing

a black whippet in a winter jacket standing on the dunes below the pine trees with an orange ball in his mouth

Ah those waves can roll. Standing here, with the sand between my toes, I wonder. I wonder what it will be like to run along with the waves. The wind is cold and strong. I’m wearing a warm jacket. Sometimes, I remember how scared I used to be. Scared of the waves, scared of the wind. The outside world, which seemed normal to others, was new to me. There was a lot to take in. A lot to understand. A lot to trust.

every step
in eternity’s light
a full star

© Xenia Tran

a black whippet in a winter jacket running along the beach with an orange ball in his mouth
a black whippet in a winter jacket running along the beach with an orange ball in his mouth

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 – 1/800 s – ISO 100 and f/2.8 – 1/2000 s – ISO 100.

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Haibun: Mountain Layers

 

a blue whippet in a black winter jacket climbing a mountain with snow fields in the background

 

We tiptoe through layers of grass, brown heather and stone. The mountain’s steady pulse becomes our anchor with the wind whirling around her boulders. We can rest here. We can sip from the rising spring.

sunlight swims
between the melting snow fields
this wildness

© Xenia Tran

 

two whippets in black winter jackets climbing a mountain trail

 

landscape shot of a mountain trail leading towards a corrie with snow fields near the peaks

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.2 – 1/1000 s – ISO 100, f/3.2 – 1/1600 s – ISO 160 and f/4.5 – 1/1250 s – ISO 160.

 

dVerse Poets Quadrille #74: Sip

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Helping the Hounds of Macau

 

a black whippet with a green collar sitting on a blanket and green sofa

 

We want to share a story with you today about greyhounds that have been racing far away, in the Canidrome at Macau. Greyhound breeders from Australia sent their slower dogs here without much regard for their welfare. The ground on the track was hard, the facilities for the greyhounds were poor. Many were injured, many were put down if they weren’t fast enough. Animal welfare campaigners have been raising their concerns for years. Finally, in 2016, the decision was made by Macau officials that the Canidrome had to close. The owners were given two years’ notice. They were obliged to arrange a suitable rehoming programme for 650 dogs. When the Canidrome closed its doors in July 2018, 532 dogs were left inside, in urgent need of rehoming.

Local charity Anima (Society for the Protection of Animals in Macau) appealed for help to save the dogs. Volunteers began pouring into the Canidrome to help clean the kennels and care for the animals. An international rehoming programme was launched with the help of Pet Levrieri (Italy) for Europe and GREY2K USA Worldwide for the USA and Canada.

 

Kennel Sponsorship Certificate for Macau Greyhounds at Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary

 

We are sponsoring a kennel for the Macau dogs at the Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary. This weekend five of the six dogs (aged between 5 and 8) arrived at Heathrow airport and are now safely recuperating from their long journey in their foster homes in Scotland. One more dog, aged 13 (Hong Kong Ace in the photograph above) will arrive in March. There are several other senior dogs still to be rehomed in Europe of which six will go to Italy, five to the UK and one to France.

The key to the success of this programme is the help and goodwill of many people working together. Every positive contribution has played its part, however small. Watching video footage of Heathrow’s Animal Team handlers walking through the sliding glass doors and handing dogs over to volunteers from various greyhound charities has brought tears to our companion’s eyes. Tears of joy. After everything these dogs have been through, some were smiling and wagging their tails. It’s as if they know that a happier life is ready to begin. The kind of life that every dog deserves. With walks in nature. A loving place to call home.

 

close up of a blue whippet with a pink collar looking up at the camera

 

For up to date information about the rescue and rehoming operation you can visit Save the Macau Greyhounds’ Facebook page.

The National Greyhound Adoption Program in the USA has taken one hundred of the Macau hounds in for rehoming in the USA. If you are in the US and interested in adopting or offering help, please contact them in the first instance.

Pet Levrieri in Italy have been co-ordinating the rehoming of the hounds throughout Europe and currently have dogs in foster and waiting for rehoming.

Levriers en Détresse is rehoming dogs in France and Greyhound Protection is rehoming dogs in Germany.

Several UK charities are taking in fifty dogs rescued from the Canidrome between them, of which Celia Cross Greyhound Trust is helping to rehome twenty.

Forever Hounds Trust is taking in three and have set up a Just Giving page.

We are supporting the Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary who are taking six dogs in total. They have a special sponsorship programme for the Macau greyhounds which remains open until April.

Some of the other UK charities involved are Erin Hounds Sighthound Rescue, Foal Farm Animal Rescue Centre, the Greyhound Awareness League (GAL), Greyhound Gap, Greyhound Rescue and Co-ordinated Emergencies (GRACE) and Makants Greyhound Rescue North West.

If you know anyone who might be interested in helping or adopting, please share. The remaining greyhounds are scheduled to arrive by the end of March.

Please help us say a prayer that they will all arrive safely in their new homes to enjoy a happy and loving retirement

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 – 1/125 s – ISO 100, f/3.2 – 1/2000 s – ISO 160 and f/2.8 – 1/400 s – ISO 160.

 

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We are are delighted that on 26th March 2019 the remaining greyhounds left the Canidrome for their forever homes. You can read further details in Edge of New Tomorrows.