Penney Ellis

Documentary photography

In the UK we followed the fortunes of the kennels over Skype. During lean times Mom worked at the hospital to support income from the kennels. For a decade they managed to keep going. Dad worked every day without a break and was happy.

Then news of Geoff, an old friend of Dad’s, laid back and easy going, Geoff lived on a nearby plot where he mostly kept himself to himself. Hearing noises outside his house one night, he went to investigate. He was shot and killed.

The announcement that Mom and Dad planned to sell the plot and move to town came as a relief. Mom was tired of the struggle to stay on the plot. She’d had enough.

The price they were asking seemed ambitious but, without pensions, it was what they needed to see them to the end of their lives. Mom’s spirits lifted as she started looking towards a new start.

A year passed without any real interest from potential buyers.

Then a dog-rescue charity made an offer. They didn’t have enough money to buy the plot, but were sure they could raise it. In the meantime they paid a nominal rent to keep 120 dogs in the kennels, 40 more than the intended capacity. Dad volunteered to oversee their care.

The charity battled for eighteen months to raise the money, coming up with increasingly complicated schemes. They could hardly find the money to cover the cost of dogs in their care.

Finally they pulled out. All the dogs were moved to different premises.

No sale. No buyers. No income from the kennels.