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Author Archives: Darcey Dyson

Adoption of Dia”bob”lo

Well, the dog who was reserved on Sunday left today. The lucky boy was Diabolo, and we are over the moon for him. He, as you may remember, was found along with his brother Panach at the Club Canin at Trebes. Panach was adopted last weekend, and everyone was wondering how Diabolo would get on without his brother. He proved to be very sociable, sharing his box with firstly with DJ (adopted) and then Sam (still waiting) and is just such a lovely, gentle character. However he risked being passed over, as he looks like many other dogs at the SPA (shepherd cross, black and tan), and we wanted this young dog to leave before he did much more time behind bars.

Diabolo is still a bit timid, for instance he lies down when a car passes, and there is still some work to be done, but with love and patience, both of which he will receive plenty of in his new home, this is going to be a true gem of a dog. Many thanks to his adopters, but also to volunteers Virginia and Nathan who spent so much time walking Diabolo and Panach, and to everyone else who spent time with these two lovely dogs.

In other SPA news, a bit about yesterday’s arrivals. Firstly old lady Nala. She was found three weeks ago, but the people who found her did not bother telling the SPA. This means that her owners may well have had three weeks of sleepless nights. How many more times do people have to be told; if you find a dog, let the SPA know. And yes, that applies even if you want to keep the dog for yourself. How would you feel if someone stole your dog?

As Moira told us yesterday, the nine (yes, 9) pups are all being fostered, so many many thanks to the volunteers who are fulfilling this crucial role. Just as well Joelle didn’t keep Jazzy, isn’t it? She has 2 new house guests. Thanks also to Melanie (2), Audrey (2) and Marie- Pierre and family (3). As to the person who brought them in saying merely “Oops”, you really need to get your dogs sterilised. The SPA is not just a dustbin where you can offload your mistakes. It is not fair on the other dogs who are waiting patiently for homes and whose departure is almost inevitably pushed back by the arrival of cute new pups. We have dogs who have been waiting for over three years. Stop bringing more dogs into this world which is already overpopulated.

Tonight we are happy for Diabolo, or rather “Bob” as he is now called, but sad for all the other unwanted dogs both at the SPA and elsewhere.

Bob (ex Diabolo) – ADOPTED
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Jaïa, one of yesterday’s many pups.

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Christmas Cheer!

Today was the day of the Christmas Market at Cavanac, where the SPA had a stall. It looked very festive, the weather cooperated and the team seems to have had a great time. One of the highlights was a visit by Kaiser, who had spent so long at the SPA that some of us were wondering if his time would ever come. Look at him now, all sleek and lovely. Just goes to show, you should never give up!

Also the SPA was open this afternoon, which was a bit of a last minute decision based on availability of volunteers and the weather. Of course, without the usual publicity we could not expect too many visitors, but at least the dogs and cats were not alone, as is usually the case on Sunday afternoons.

We had two reservations, including Jazzy, the second of the puppies who have been fostered by Joëlle. Probably just as well, as I think her husband was about to give in and adopt her. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but our foster families are a precious commodity and once a household reaches critical mass, fostering becomes impossible.

Plenty of dogs were walked thanks to our volunteers and we sold some more Xmas baubles to hang on the tree. All the delicious gingerbread cakes were bought, too, so thanks to our talented baker!

We also gained a couple of new dog walkers, who are always welcome. And no dogs or cats were left at the gates, so it was a good day.

Finally I thought you might like to see this picture of Callie, who was adopted almost 2 years ago. She is just getting some sleep before joining Santa on his journey! After this weekend we are all much more in the mood for Christmas!

The stand at Cavanac

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And a visit from Kaiser 

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Callie prepares for her flight!

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Fundraising and the adoption of Balou!

Last night DRC had a Christmas fundraiser and as all the funds will make their way to the SPA, I think it is okay to share the news with SPA supporters too! Karen and “Team Balestide” hosted 50 guests, all of whom enjoyed an evening of food, dancing and merriment. Of course there was a raffle and we had a guest appearance from Leika, who has been to the poodle parlour and is all white and fluffy!

Thanks so much to Karen and her team. We all had a lovely evening whilst raising money for an excellent cause. It was lovely to spend time away from the SPA but in the company of so many like-minded people!

At the SPA today, yesterday’s arrival, Slack, was reclaimed. Her owner was not too happy, as apparently the dog was outside her own house and she did not want to spend the money getting the dog identified so close to Christmas. Well, there are two solutions to this problem. One, get your dog identified beforehand (identification is obligatory, after all). Or two, do not leave your dog to roam all day. Oh, and of course there is number three; leave your dog at the SPA where she will be sterilised and not have unwanted litter after unwanted litter (which is the inevitable fate of a female who is left to stray). Hey ho.

We had an adoption too, which is always good news. Lovely Balou left with a family who has three children and two cats! Balou was abandoned at the end of September, so he has not had too long to wait compared to some other dogs, but I am sure he agrees that it was quite long enough!

We are open tomorrow afternoon, so why not come along and join us for a walk or maybe meet the dog or cat of your dreams.There will be some cakes for sale and gifts for the dog or cat in your life, too. And of course don’t forget that there is the market at Cavanac too!

Oh, and finally, I thought you would like to see this photo of Bowie, who has just set his paws on English soil for the first time. He has been an angel to travel with, sleeping most of the way. He missed his one and only chance to see Paris; maybe he is just waiting to get into his kilt!

Leika has been to the poodle parlour!
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Balou – ADOPTED

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Bowie – well on his way

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We are open tomorrow from 14-17H00

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Bowie leaves as does Zumba. One arrival.

Today was a tough one for one foster family. When Bowie arrived in late October he went straight home to be fostered by Carole. She is a great lover of golden retrievers, and Bowie was thin and had some issue with his back leg. Initially everyone expected (hoped) that the foster would turn into an adoption, but with great sadness the decision was taken that there was no room at the inn, and so Bowie needed a home.

Of course, being a stunning lad, this was not too hard, but the problem was that Bowie would not be able to leave until today. That is a long time to keep a dog, especially one who has fitted into your life with such ease, despite the presence of cats, toddlers and other dogs. I can only imagine how Carole and her family felt as goodbyes were made. I know Moira felt guilty as hell, as it is she who is taking Bowie to his new home in Scotland.

I am sure she will tell us all about his journey in a future blog, and I am looking forward to a picture of Bowie under the “Welcome to Scotland” sign that greets visitors who venture north of the border! But three cheers to Carole for saving this lovely dog from ever knowing the inside of the refuge.

In other SPA news, Eloi finally left (if you recall I accidentally announced this when he had been reserved) and one of Joëlle’s puppies, Zumba, was adopted too. Her sister Jazzy still needs a home. And we had an arrivavl. One of our volunteers found a dog wandering between Malves and Villalier. She is not identified and is currently “in the pound” hoping either that her owners will come and get her or that someone else will adopt her.

Apart from that we have decided that with such a fabulous weather forecast for Sunday, the refuge will be open, but just until 17H00. After that it is too dark to really see the dogs. It will be volunteers only and I for one need to get back to walk my own pack before night falls. If you wish to come along, we would love to see you, but please leave adequate time to meet your future pet, as gates will shut an hour earlier than usual. There will be Xmas gifts on sale for both you and your pets!

Also please don’t forget that also on Sunday the SPA will have a stand at the Xmas Market in Cavanac. There also you can buy Xmas treats for dogs and cats, as well as other Yuletide gifts. Come along and support the team, you will have a lovely time. It starts at 10H00, so you could pop up to Cavanac before coming to the SPA!

This is the last photo Carole took of her beloved Bowie today. Fostering is not easy. 
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Zumba is adopted too, so foster mum Joëlle has just Jazzy left now

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This girl is probably just lost as she is in great condition.

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Departure of DJ. But two arrivals.

There is a really strange phenomenon that sometimes takes place at the SPA. We have no name for it, so if you can think of one, please let us know. What happens is this: nobody pays any attention to a paticular dog, and then all of a sudden it is like a button is pushed, and everyone wants him.

The couple who took Nina on Tuesday had come to the refuge with the intention of adopting DJ. Their dog, Berlouf, had other ideas, and so they left with Nina. Then today another family came to see DJ, and things went much better with their dog (Hansel, adopted from us too), and DJ went off to his new home. How strange is that; nothing for five months, then BAM, two potential adopters in one week.

We are all very happy for DJ who arrived very subdued and with a bad eye infection. He has turned into a smashing fellow, and it is great that he has a home for Christmas.

His place was soon taken by a dog who has been extremely unlucky. I will not go into too many details, as a formal complaint will be made probably followed by a court case. This dog was found as a stray and taken to a place where he should have been safe before being brought to the SPA. Except that he was forgotten about completely and has been locked in a cage with no food or water for nine days. I am so shocked by this that I can feel my hands shaking as I type. Quite frankly this dog would have been better off on the streets where at least he could have gone through the bins to find food. Or perhaps someone would have brought him in. In any case, I can’t imagine an alternative that would have been as bad as what he has endured. He is safe now. I won’t say that is all that matters, but at least the torture is over for this boy, whom we have named “Forgot”

We also had the arrival of a lovely young dog who has changed homes more times than Imelda Marcos changed her shoes. Grignotte is identified but she has been given away several times since then, and it is time she found the home she deserves. She is young and sociable (Blacky is happy again!) and great with children. She would just like someone with a bit of time and space.

So a bit of a mixed day all in all. However there were quite a few dogs walked before the rain started. Again!

DJ – ADOPTED
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Yesterday’s arrival, Alouette

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New arrival , Forgot. How could they???

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New arrival – Grignotte

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Adoptions of Leika and Rox

Today was a day that couldn’t come soon enough for one couple and their new dog! Louise said yesterday that the ten days between reserving Leika and the day of her collection have been the longest ten days of her life! The delay was not due to pound time; that has been over for ages as far as Leika is concerned, but the family had other commitments which delayed the adoption.

Many of you will remember that Leika was adopted at October’s open Sunday, and brought back the following day as she was attacking the woman’s other dog. We had warned her, but some people think it is worth a go, and admittedly sometimes it is! This time Leika will be homed alone, but with other dogs close by. If harmonious integration is not possible, then so be it, but Leika has her own family and is going to be treated like a princess! At over ten years old and with one eye, she is a very lucky girl indeed!

Leika was not the only dog to leave today. A couple who visited the SPA stand at La Cite on Sunday came along to the refuge in the afternoon; she wishing to adopt, he not so sure. So it was important that it was the right dog! Luckily they saw Rox. He had been abandoned, recently so we knew his history. Not too big, not too small, not too young, not too old. There was only one problem, and that (or rather THEY) were dealt with at the vets today.

Rox had been abandoned due to a change in family circumstances on November 15th having been adopted from us as a puppy. He is now six years old, and I am so glad he did not have long to wait.

In other news, today saw the arrival of a black and tan female ratier, who was found by the police. I will try and get photos of her tomorrow. She sounds sweet, assuming you like small dogs, and she is already sharing her kennel, so she sounds sociable. Bet she doesn’t hang around for too long!

Not a bad day; two out, one in.

Rox  – ADOPTED
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Leika – ADOPTED

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A new life begins for Nina

Today I almost skipped home. We only had one adoption, but it has made all of us really happy.

We have been “looking after” a dog pending a court case, and the decision had just been taken to create an album for her on Facebook in order to try and find her a home. Why this decision after seven weeks you may ask. Well, because the former owner has been banned from ever owning another animal EVER ! So no more dogs being beaten when he has had too much to drink! At last a sensible judgement that is in favour of animals!

And lovely Nina has gone off to a new life. Better still, she has gone to live with a couple who have adopted from us before. Watching Berlouf playing with Nina was just wonderful; her life will be filled with joy from now on (assuming she is introduced to the cats in the proper manner, that is!)

Despite this photo Nina is not an unhappy dog, but her life until now had not been easy. She will learn to trust properly again very soon, as she is just 18 months old.

In other SPA news, an identified dog arrived today and her owner is coming to collect her tomorrow. The magnificent Newfoundland who arrived yesterday has not been reclaimed, which is odd. The clock is ticking; in nine days she will be up for adoption.

On the subject of which, we often post photos of a dog and say that we are unable to find their owners because the details are not up to date. You may think you are being helpful when you suggest that we try and look up the people via the phone book, internet etc. We do all those things, and more, thanks to our network of helpers, although sometimes it does take time.  If it is easy to find the owners, we do it. If it is harder, we still try.

Facebook is an excellent way to find “missing” owners as well as missing dogs, so please share our albums far and wide, and let’s get as many owners and dogs reunited as we can.

Thanks to those of you who braved the icy wind today to walk the dogs. Bracing, wasn’t it?

Nina – ADOPTED
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Adoption of Flint, but three arrivals, including poor Falko

Today has been bad. It started with the return of Falko, the dog Argentin. This despite the regular updates on Facebook showing him lying calmly with the family’s other dog and the two of them being described as “inseparable”.  Apparently things weren’t always as peaceful, and although it was always the other dog who was to blame (she kept attacking him), it was Falko who paid the price and who is now back behind bars. When will luck finally turn for this boy? He is good with other dogs, children and chickens. He deserves a lovely home!

One dog’s luck finally changed today. After a long eight month’s wait, spaniel Flint finally found a home. He is a great dog, a completely different creature out of his kennel than when in it; but very few people saw this and appreciated that he had a calm and gentle side to his personality, as well as a crazy one!

Three other dogs arrived, one of whom was identified and left with his owners. But that still leaves us two up on yesterday, despite the departure of Flint. A depressing start to the week, and we hope it is not an omen for the rest of the week.

On the plus side (cos sometimes we have no choice other than to be optimistic), both are beautiful dogs. One, Chanel, is a magnificent Newfoundland who is identified but whose details are not up to date. The other is a male fauve de Bretagne, who is not identified and who has been named Scapin.

Yesterday I was so happy about the two adoptions that I forgot to pass on some great news! We had confirmation that the family who took Bidule home to foster are keeping him! We thought that might be the case when we heard that they had renamed him Popa, but we wanted to be sure before announcing the good news. So with him, Truk and Hercule now out of the SPA, the three oldies who were our really urgent cases all safe and warm.

Of course we want every single dog to be in a warm home, and we still have several oldies who would be much better off inside; but those three were the most vulnerable.

You see, optimism in the face of adversity!

Falko is back. He was not to blame and deserves much better!

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Flint – ADOPTED after eight months

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15 year old Bidule (now Popa) – Staying with his foster family.

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New arrival  – Chanel. Identified but owner’s details not up to date

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New arrival – Scapin.

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Windy Cité and Open Sunday.

The weather was much kinder to us today in that it did not rain. There was still a cold wind, especially in La Cité, where it was day two of the Fete of St Nicolas. Well done to the team who managed to endure the arctic conditions! The presence of Benedicte’s huge Great Dane certainly drew the crowds, and one onlooker suggested that we charge a euro per picture; we would have made a fortune!

This afternoon the refuge was open as it was the first Sunday of the month. That is not the same as Christmas for the Animals, which may happen next weekend, if we feel there is enough interest (and if the weather looks okay; I don’t think any of us can stand another weekend wrapped up like the Michelin Man!)

Still, at least it wasn’t wet, and so although we were not as busy as we would have liked, we did have two adoptions. Usually we only have reservations on Sundays, but today Carole gave up her one free day to join us for a couple of hours, and her timing was perfect!

First to leave was old man Hercule. His new family are first time dog owners, so a calm, older dog suited to apartment living seemed just perfect. Hercule was the oldest dog at the SPA, and it is lovely to think of him in the warm tonight.

Then we had the adoption of Caramel. He has gone to the mother of friends of volunteer Deb. See how this whole word of mouth thing works? They were looking for a calm, medium sized dog who would not be too difficult to walk. Carole was there to advise, and her choice proved to be bang on. Caramel needed to get out of the refuge, he arrived fairly thin and refuge life has not been helping at all; he has been looking more and more whippet-like as time went on. He and the family, including two young children, seemed to form an instant bond, and off he went!

There was a reservation too, but even had Carole been there at the time, this dog would not have left, as he needs to see the vet first. I am sure you can guess why; we haven’t told the dog yet!

A couple of other visitors are thinking about whom to choose, so all in all it was a pretty good day. Especially as the only dog who arrived was micro-chipped and was reclaimed as soon as her owners could make it.

Thanks to everyone who showed up. Should we do it again next week?

Team Cité. Spirits are high despite the icy cold!
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A sprightly eleven year old Hercule – ADOPTED

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And Caramel – ADOPTED

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Rain didn’t stop play!

Well, what can I say? What a day to choose for day one of the Christmas events! Who the heck ordered the wind and rain?

Market traders on Place Eggenfelden looked on in envy as the guys from the Mairie set up the DRC tent, complete with wind-proof side panels. We were quickly installed and drinking hot coffee and eating warm croissants from the stall next door. Tinker the raffle dog was on display and we had many other “crafty” good on sale, as well as cupcakes and other delicacies. Being a new association, we were keen to let people know who we are and what we are about (rehoming dogs!). Moira’s lab, Zac acted as doggie ambassador, wiggling at everyone he met, the way labs do!

Due to a mix up, we were herded off the square at 13H00, despite having official authorisation to be there until 18H00. We didn’t put up too much of a fight, as we were not particularly warm and the crowds had thinned out in any case.

Almost all the perishable items were sold, and what was not will go to either La Cite or the SPA tomorrow, both of which will be up and running and with (we hope) better weather.

Thanks to everyone who braved the weather and came along, and particular thanks to our artisans for their creativity. We made quite an impression, I think! I love the fact that after shutting her stall, a woman selling vegetables rushed over to buy a handmade coat that she had been coveting all morning.

All the money raised, several hundred euros, will go to help the dogs at the SPA, of course.

I have no news from our colleagues at La Cité as yet; they are presumably still thawing out.

Meanwhile at the SPA, we had an adoption, that of lovely Panach. He was found as a terrified “not quite pup” in Trebes, and the staff and volunteers have worked wonders socialising him. His brother, Diabolo, is still waiting for a home. Hopefully he won’t have long to wait.

Also Princesse, the old lady who was brought in yesterday, was reclaimed. Her owners were there to collect her on the dot of 14H00 and were delighted to have their girl back again. You see, not everyone gets rid of elderly dogs!

Tomorrow the SPA is open, as it is the first Sunday of the month, and we will be present at La Cité again, hopefully with better weather.

A few of Team DRC, complete with Zac and his Xmas coat!
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Panach – ADOPTED

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And the SPA Xmas tree is up ! Why not come and buy a bauble for your favourite dog or cat!

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