A retired northern couple have explained their decision to foster a dog who only has a few months left to live.
10-year-old Boxer Mastiff cross Sugar has an inoperable, cancerous tumour growing on one of her anal glands that could eventually stop her from going to the toilet, which has meant that she had sadly been constantly overlooked at an Oldham-based rescue centre before being taken in by the kind-hearted couple.
Helen and John Brierley, both aged 64, welcomed Sugar into their West Yorkshire home so she can spend her final days in comfort with “unconditional love”.
Speaking on their decision to give Sugar the best farewell possible, Helen – a part-time carer – told TeamDogs: “My partner and I are now semi-retired, so we took on a boxer four years ago who was a senior rescue dog called Charlie and was lovely company – she became part of the family.
“When we had to put her down, John and I were absolutely devastated, and we said we wouldn’t have another dog.
“But when I saw Sugar on Pennine Pen Animal Rescue’s website, she just looked like Charlie.”
Helen continued: “Initially, we thought it’d be a no-go to foster her because we had two guinea pigs in the house, but she appeared not to be bothered by them at all.
“Her condition might be a bad thing to many people.
“But for us, we saw the bit of life that’s still in her, and we wanted to give her a chance.”
The couple explained that Sugar has taken everything in her stride and found herself very comfortable in the house, which has allowed Helen and Jon to provide her with the palliative care she needed.
“Originally, we thought that if it’s only a short term foster, then we might not get too attached to Sugar,” Helen said.
“But it’s not working as we thought and we are now very attached to her.
“She’s a lovely surprise in many ways. She’s great on the lead and enjoys a short walk. She’s not aggressive to other dogs, which is completely unlike Charlie, who was a puller.”
Staff at Pennine Pen Animal Rescue said Sugar stayed with the rescue for six weeks but “didn’t have much interest at all” before they sent out an appeal on Facebook and Helen and Jon were found to be suitable.
The rescue centre later announced the heart-warming news of Sugar finally finding a foster home on its Facebook Page to endless praise for Helen and Jon.
Featured Image – Helen Brierley
These three Greater Manchester Wilko stores are reopening as Poundlands this weekend
The first 10 Wilko stores to start new lives as Poundlands are reopening this weekend, and three of them are in Greater Manchester.
We all know by now that it’s been a turbulent couple of weeks for Wilko after it entered administration earlier last month, but after it was sadly announced back on 11 September that all of the retailer’s outlets across the UK would be forced to close, leaving around 12,500 jobs at risk, a glimmer of hope was offered.
And that glimmer of hope was that several dozen stores had been saved.
Only, they wouldn’t be remaining under the Wilko name, as they’d be reopening as another popular bargain retailer instead, and that’s because Pepco Group – the company which owns Poundland in the UK – managed to strike a deal with Wilko administrators PwC to take control of up to 71 store leases.
With lease assignments expected to be completed in the coming weeks, according to Pepco, this meant that the some 71 stores would join Poundland’s existing 800-plus UK outlets before 2023 is out.
Pepco Group published the full list of stores set for conversion earlier this month, and also confirmed it would be offering employment some of Wilko’s former employees – with it being good news for six Greater Manchester sites.
Altrincham, Bolton, Eccles, Sale, Leigh, and Stockport were confirmed to be the region’s towns set to get themselves a new Poundland, and Poundland added that it intends to convert the stores over to its brand “as soon as is practical”.
It turns out that window of practicality has arrived this weekend for three of those confirmed sites.
Among the 10 former Wilko branches across the UK that are set to start a new chapter and begin lives as Poundlands this weekend are sites at The Peel Centre in Stockport, The Mall in Eccles, and on Lord Street in Leigh.
It’s expected that dates for the new round of Poundland conversions will be announced in due course, as will news from PwC about the other deals it has struck for the Wilko name to live on.
You may remember that administrators had previously struck a deal for fellow discount chain B&M to buy 51 other Wilko stores, while another high street chain, The Range, had also confirmed a last-minute deal to buy Wilko’s brand last month.
The Range has bought Wilko’s website and intellectual property, so shoppers can expect to see Wilko own-brand items appear in The Range stores nationwide very soon.
Featured Image – Poundland
Iconic Sycamore Gap tree renamed ‘Sycamore Stump’ after heartbreaking vandalism
Someone has already changed the name of the iconic Sycamore Gap tree to ‘Sycamore Stump’ after it was felled in what’s believed to be an act of vandalism.
The famous tree was believed to be about 300 years old and was made famous when it appeared in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
It’s one of the most photographed trees in the world (Rockefeller’s Christmas tree might just edge that one) and has stood on Hadrian’s Wall for centuries.
But overnight on Wednesday, this world-famous tree was felled, leaving just a small stump behind.
Someone has already changed its name on Google Maps from Sycamore Gap to Sycamore Stump, echoing the public outcry over the tree’s disappearance.
The National Trust said on Thursday: “We are shocked and desperately saddened to learn that the famous Sycamore Gap tree at Hadrian’s Wall has been felled overnight, in what appears to be an act of vandalism.
“We know just how much this iconic tree is loved locally, nationally and by everyone who has visited.
“We are working with our partners to understand what has happened and what can be done. The incident has also been reported to the police.”
Police have now confirmed that a 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.
Supt Kevin Waring of Northumbria police said: “This is a world-renowned landmark and the events of today have caused significant shock, sadness and anger throughout the local community and beyond.
“An investigation was immediately launched following this vandalism, and this afternoon we have arrested one suspect in connection with our inquiries.
“Given our investigation remains at a very early stage, we are keeping an open mind. I am appealing to the public for information to assist us – if you have seen or heard anything suspicious that may be of interest to us, please let us know.”