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Author Archives: Darcey Dyson

Adoptions of Nino and Otto

We had a fabulous day today with lots of sunshine and lots of walks; it was another day when almost all the dogs went out, and so thanks to the ever-growing number of volunteers, and of course Sebastien who is the official volunteer-wrangler!

And we had some adoptions, too. First to leave was little Nino. This tiny ten year old yorkie arrived identified but to an address in a department far far away. All attempts to find his owner have failed, and believe me, there was lots of effort made. The time came to find this little lad a home. And today a family came to meet him and took him home.

yorkie cross


We then said goodbye to Otto. He is one of two dogs who was left to starve in an appartment when his owner moved house. Yes, this actually happened! Luckily the landlord went to collect the rent arrears and saw the dogs. They were brought to the SPA and that of course will not be the end of the matter. However as far as Otto is concerned, it IS the end as he has a new life. We hope that his father, Gustav, doesn’t have long to wait.

pale lab cross


Dana, an elderly dog who arrived fairly recently, was reclaimed as well, so it was all good. Although after yesterday’s blog was posted we did have some sad news; one of the family’s huskies refused to accept poor Texas, so this lovely lad is back at the SPA. Let’s hope he finds true happiness soon.


The SPA is shut tomorrow, but it will be open next Sunday, of course, and there is talk of a mass walk taking place, too.

Adoption of Galilé

An early and quick blog tonight, as both Moira and I will be attending the monthly SPA board meeting. We will catch up on any late-breaking news tomorrow. But we didn’t want Friday to finish without news of….an adoption.

This time it was the turn of Galilé. This stunning pup arrived at the very end of January, and his patchy fur led us to suspect that he had la gale (mange), hence his name. Mange is caused by a parasytic mite, and can be communicated (by contact) to other animals, but also to humans. Tests for this skin disease were negative, but the symptoms seemed to be so obvious that it was decided to not take any chances.  This has meant that Galilé has spent his time at the SPA alone, and contact with the staff and volunteers has been through gloves. But he has had as many walks and as much love and attention as all the other dogs, we promise.

Galilé was reserved last week and had a final control today, just to be sure. He went off very happily to his new home, where we are sure he will be more than ready to experience his new found freedom to the full. Many thanks to his new family for their patience.

pale broun and grey shepherd pup

Galilé – ADOPTED

So that is at least one adoption every day this week so far. What will Saturday bring?

Adoption of Podenco Sacha

Yesterday we mentioned that more good news was due, and we also mentioned that Queenie’s podenco friend, Sacha, would be leaving the SPA soon. By putting two and two together, you can guess that today was the day that Sacha left the SPA for her new home. She is a very lucky girl, she caught the eye of Sylvie straight away. She and her husband had adopted podenco Bill from the SPA last year, and when Sylvie saw Sacha she said “She is MINE!”

At first Sacha was too thin and weak to be able to make new friends, but as soon as she had gained a bit of strength, she was introduced to Bill to make sure it was a good match. Today she went to the vet to be sterilised and then went straight home to start the rest of what we are sure will be a long and happy life.

tiny podenco in arms of woman

A rather sleepy-looking Sasha – ADOPTED

In other good news one of Saturday’s arrivals was reclaimed. This mini labrador, whom we called Huxley, is really called Floyd, and by all accounts is a bit of an escape artist, despite having a huge garden to amuse himself in. At least now he is identified, so will be able to find his owners quicker should he wonder off again.

pale lab



Two Adoptions and Fynn’s Family are Foster Failures

In the first of three wonderful news items today, we have the adoption of Texas, hopefully bringing to an end the rather disrupted life this dog has had recently.

Texas was rehomed directly from his former family last year, then brought to the SPA (together with recently rehomed English bull terrier Gino) when his new owners no longer wished to keep him. This was a total shock for Texas, who was not at all suited to life behind bars. When not sharing his kennel with another dog, this boy would perform Houdini-type feats of escape, all to search out company, be it canine or human. Worst of all, if confined to his cage, he used to press himself against the bars looking miserable.

He is a beautiful dog, so inevitably there were several people interested in offering Texas a new home. But there is no point letting a dog leave for an unsuitable home. Yesterday’s visitors looked far more promising, however. They have two huskies, and a well-enclosed garden. But would the dogs get on? Cue Vincent, our dog-whisperer, who supervised the meet and greet today.

Texas left with a huge smile on his face, and his joy was shared by all the staff and volunteers. Long and happy life to you, Texas.



Next we said goodbye to Queenie. She arrived a couple of weeks ago, together with a tiny podenco cross. Both dogs were thin and timid, but the lovely SPA staff found a place in the warm for them both. As neither dog was identified we had no way of contacting their owner(s), and of course the best thing was for them to find new homes. Lovely Queenie was sterilised today, and has gone to live with a volunteer! We are not sure if she knows yet, her husband is planning on surprising her this evening, so no names. But we will have lots of news of this little lass. And don’t feel sorry for Queenie’s podenco pal; she will be leaving very soon as well.

small spaniel

Queenie – ADOPTED

Finally today we can tell you that bruno de Jura Finn (now Fynn;the Y is a very important letter for personal reasons) has been officially adopted. Most of you will have read about him; wandering in a nearby village and evading capture for several months before making it to the safety of the SPA in mid-December. His arrival coincided almost exactly with the tragic death of adored ex- SPA dog, Lily-Blue, and her owners took this as some kind of sign.

Other signs were of course Fynn’s unfeasibly long ears (Lily-Blue won three of the prizes in last year’s DRC dog show, including “dog with the longest ears”), and the fact that he was timid but trusting and loyal. And good with cats. Yvonne and Henny followed Fynn’s progress at the SPA, and by attrition he worked his way into their hearts. A couple of weeks ago they offered to foster Fynn to get to know him, but by then I think we all knew that the writing was on the wall. Regular updates showed just how much they had fallen under his spell, especially after he and their cat started sharing a basket (on day four). And then the announcement on their Facebook page, LangueDog, told us what we had already guessed; Fynn is staying right where he is.

bruno de jura

A nervous looking Fynn on the day he arrived at the SPA

This is the best possible news for this lovely dog, and shows once again how quickly and dramatically a dog’s life can change once he gets to the SPA. Yes, Fynn still has a long way to go, but he is in the best possible place to develop. He is already attending dog school, where, to quote Yvonne, “he continues to impress in a handsome, quiet kind of way”. And he will not be short of love and affection, that is for sure. Many thanks to Yvonne and Henny for opening up their huge hearts to this boy. They have promised us a story for “Life after the Refuge” in due course and that will be a fascinating read.

DRC sponsored Fynn while he was at the SPA. Moira was one of the team who fed Fynn and tried to catch him for several months. And I walked him at the SPA while he was there, seeing him evolve from a terrorised newbie to an affectionate and relatively happy boy. So we both feel very close to this lad. We couldn’t be happier for him. It is almost as if he is staying part of the family.

bruno de Jura

And a much happier looking Fynn – ADOPTED by his foster family

And more good news is on the way tomorrow, too.

Lucky Laslo

As we had hoped, the last pup didn’t have too long to wait! Little Laslo left for his new home today, and we are delighted for him.

black and tan puppy


If you are after a puppy, however, dont be upset. There is a litter of six pups who will be ready for adoption soon, and of course we will show you photos of them as soon as we can. But please do not forget the “not-quite-pups”, either. One of them, Marcus, was adopted as a tiny puppy and brought back when he was a bigger puppy, and gorgeous Lafille is the kind of dog that turns heads at any age.

black spaniel cross

Five month old Marcus is looking for a new home

Okay, they may have lost their initial puppy cuteness, but that happens to all pups! And these two are well on the way to being housetrained, even if they do have the occasional lapse. Let’s not let them get left behind, just because there are younger pups at the SPA.

sharpei cross

Six month old Lafille is looking for a home too

We have at least one adoption in the pipeline tomorrow, by the way, so remember to read the blog!

Adoption of Puppy Lisette

Two dogs of very different sizes left the SPA today.

Lisette was one of the pups from the litter of five, her brother Samy was adopted on Saturday. In fact Lisette’s new family met her that day, but decided to think about the implications of adopting a puppy. Yes, it is not to be taken lightly; this puppy will become an adult dog who will rely on its owners for upwards of ten years. That is quite a commitment, so best to think about it first. Besides which, this thinking time meant that Laslo was not alone all day yesterday. He is alone now, however, so it is fingers crossed that he finds a home this week.

black and tan pup

Lisette – ADOPTED

And on the big dog front, Saturday’s arrival, a beautiful Pyrenean mountain dog whom we named Jaqin, but who is really called Diesel, was reclaimed today. Of course he is now identified, so should he ever go walkabout again, his owners will be easier to contact.

pyrenean mountain dog

“Jaqin” aka Diesel – RECLAIMED

So that is all the news for now, but there is more good news on the horizon this week for sure.

Life of Brian

Today the refuge is shut, so we are happy to share yet another tale from our section devoted to Life after the Refuge. Tonight’s guest blogger is Kim, who, with husband Arthur, adopted Gino a week or so ago. All is going well, as you can see below.

Brian (fomerly Gino)

Well, where do I begin. My name is Brian. I was adopted from the SPA in Carcassonne on Friday 9th February 2018, so only a week or so ago and I already have my paws well and truly settled under the table.

My original name was Gino, but my new feeding lady had to change it because every time she called me she would start singing the Geno song from the 1980s, it was driving her madder than she already is, though that isn’t difficult, it doesn’t take much for her to be a bit batty.

I have a new sister called Roxy, she’s lovely most of the time, we have had a few spats but it soon calmed down, especially when the feeding lady said she wouldn’t give us a treat, blimey, that was a shock to hear, no treats! but I love my bits of apple and stuff she sneaks to me.

Ain’t I cute? And look at my sexy bum!

She whispers in my ears that I am a lovely boy and she will love me forever, not just me Roxy as well, she thinks we’re the bees knees (I didn’t know bees had knees)

I get fed twice a day, which is brilliant, feeding lady mixes grated carrot and chopped apple in with my biscuits, AND, I get sardines or yogurt in it as well, Roxy only gets fed once a day but that’s because she’s smaller than I am and fatter but don’t tell her that. Oh oh oh, we get to go for 2 or 3 walks every day, unless it’s raining, then the mad lady only get to take us once if she’s really lucky, I don’t like the rain much and my new bezza mate hates it, so we get to stay warm and very farty in the house, it’s brilliant.

Here I am, all warm and farty

The weather up here is wayyyy colder than it is in Carcassonne, I get to wear a new coat every day but sometimes the sun shines and it’s lovely and warm so I go on more walks in the forest and by a canal somewhere oooh I nearly forgot, Roxy likes rolling in poo nearly as much as me, the thing I don’t understand is why the feeding lady goes a bit weirdly batty, all I can hear is ‘NONONONONONONO’ this is when I decide I can only understand French, it’s great being a bilingual dog, I can get away with selective hearing.

In the snow with my friend Roxy. She’s okay….

There’s only a few things I don’t like very much, mad feeding lady cleans my ears out twice every day and puts squidgy stuff in them, not only that she cleans one of my eyes and puts stuff in that as well, she tells me it’s going to stop my ears itching and my eye will feel better, oh the price we dogs have to pay just to keep you humans happy!

So, a week of living with feeding lady, Roxy and beardy bloke, I think I’ll stay, I’ll let you all know how things go but I reckon I’m gonna be happy here. Sorry, I have to go, I was sure I heard something that sounds like food, I need to rest my head on anyone’s knee to help them feel sorry for me, maybe if I breathe in I’ll look like a little waif! that might work, Bye for now.

Life is GOOD!

Lots of love Brian

Super Saturday

Just like at the Winter Games, today was Super Saturday at the SPA!

First off, the adoption of Izzie. She was brought in for rehoming last week as her owner no longer had time to look after her. Inevitably this seven year old labrador looked quite bewildered by her change in fortune. It must be strange for a dog to arrive in a busy (and COLD) refuge after being in a home for that long.

Luckily Izzie got quite a lot of attention on Facebook, and several people mentioned how much she looked like a dog from their past. One such person was Jackie, who drove for 5 hours to be able to introduce Izzie to her 12 year old doberman today. The SPA is closed in the mornings, but when someone has made this amount of effort to meet a dog, popping in during the morning is the least we can do!

Izzie was introduced to Tess on a walk, and then they were let off together in a park. All went well, needless to say, and Izzie was more than happy to jump into the car for the long journey home. A wonderful life awaits, and of course we will post photos of Izzie in her new home.

lab cross



We had more wonderful news this afternoon…the adoption of Brenda! Her new family had been talking about getting a dog for some time, and decided on the spur of the moment to come along today. Sometimes timing is everything.

It was love at first sight when they spotted Brenda. A walk made them even more confident in their choice, and they were further reassured by the notes left at the SPA by Debbie and Andrew, who had looked after Brenda while she was recovering from her sterilisation. It is logical that the more we know about a dog, the easier it is to find him or her a new home. Brenda has a great CV, and now she will have the life she deserves.

white and brown griffon

Brenda – ADOPTED

We also said goodbye to three puppies. Earlier this week we were worried that Samy would be alone this weekend, as he was the only pup from his litter (of five) not to have been reserved. As it turned out, however, the people who had reserved two of his siblings were no-shows. So there are now two pups left, one male and one female. But at least they are not alone, and we hope they will find new homes next week.

brown and tan puppy

Samy – ADOPTED (as were two of his siblings)

So a good end to the week after all.

Adoptions of Coco and Jango

At last, some more adoptions! Yes, it has been another slow week at the SPA, but the departure of two dogs today has put a smile on our faces.

First to leave was Coco, a tiny pinsher who was found straying in a nearby village at the start of February. Initially someone from the Paris region thought they recognised him, but sadly the dates did not match. The SPA loves reuniting dogs with their owners, and sometimes dogs can travel remarkable distances. However they cannot travel backwards through time! Microchipping your dog makes it harder for cases of mistaken identity to happen, of course.

Coco’s new family had missed out on adopting another pinsher from the SPA, and they were very quick to react when they saw Coco. Many thanks to them for holding out for a rescue dog. We look forward to news and photos of Coco in his new home.

black and tan pinsher


Today’s second leaver is a real DRC favourite. Jango has been at the SPA since May last year, and we have no idea why he was not adopted sooner. Probably a labrador/spaniel cross, Jango is a lovely boy, and although he is a bit strong on the lead when he walks with his kennelmate, alone he is as good as gold. His new family took several dogs out before deciding that Jango was the one for them; the combination of affection and good looks was a winner!

lab/spaniel cross


Tomorrow is Saturday and we are hoping for more good news ; something is on the cards, so fingers crossed everyone!

And don’t forget that today is the official start of the Year of the Dog. Let’s make this year a wonderful one for dogs the world over, but especially those at the SPA Carcassonne.

A Home to Home for Spirit

Beautiful 8-month-old Spirit

Dog Rescue Carcassonne have been asked to find a new home for Spirit. This fabulous Pyrenean mountain dog / labrador cross was born in June 2017 and from what we read, seems just about perfect!


At present Spirit lives on a large domaine, but his owner has personal problems, meaning that Spirit is spending too much time on his own. Like most puppies he loves company and he is looking for a home with people who have plenty of time to devote to him.

big pyrenean mountain dog cross

Spirit is handsome

Friends of his owners have been taking him to puppy training classes and so he has good basic obedience skills. He is very eager to learn, and will form a very strong bond with his new master.

Being a puppy, Spirit is busy discovering the world, and he has no shortage of energy. He loves long walks, he loves playing with toys and he knows how to retrieve. A great all rounder.

Spirit is playful

What’s more, Spirit is good with other dogs and is used to living with cats. He is very loving and affectionate, and although he has not lived with children, he will be fine, providing he is not allowed to be too playful; he is a big dog!

Naturally Spirit is clean in the house and can be left alone for a couple of hours without any problems. Of course as a puppy he likes to chew, so don’t leave him alone with your best shoes!

Spirit is fully vaccinated, he has a passport and is identified by microchip. He is not castrated as his vets wanted to make sure he is fully grown before this is done. This will be organised between his current owners and whichever family is lucky enough to take on his magnificent dog.

Spirit is obedient

He is just waiting to be someone’s best buddy!

If you think this might be you, please get in touch!  A visit to meet Spirit can be easily arranged, he is not far from Couiza.And of course he can travel to his new home.

Please send an email  to Darcey at website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk