Well, another year has passed. In terms of numbers, up till closing time today (and of course there may be some arrivals out of hours) we had 706 dogs brought in in 2013 and 276 cats. Not quite a record, but depressing all the same.
But the year ended well. A further five dogs found homes today. First to leave was little Polka who had been adopted from us as a pup and then abandoned as she was a “runner”. Her new fa,mily, who travelled 6 hours to collect her are determined to enclose an area of their garden to deal with the problem.
Today also saw the departure of Flora, aka Chipie, who was brought to the refuge after the death of her owner and who was lucky enough to be fostered with volunteer Isabelle. Gary found a new home, too, which was great as he is the sort of dog who can just go unnoticed in a refuge. No, he isn’t a black lab, he is a boxer-y sort of mix, but one who had enjoyed a lovely home life before being abandoned due to a house move. Pfff, as the French say. Lots of walks in the mountains await this lovely affectionate dog.
Some more wonderful news came with the adoption of Onyx. Although officially he had “only” been at the refuge since August 2012, in fact that was his second visit here, as he had been adopted briefly before, but turned out to be “too lively” for the family. This life looks much better for him, with lots of land and horses and other animals. Here is a photo of him with his godmummy. Dominique, who is a bit emotional at saying goodbye to her boy. That is two of Dominique’s favourite dogs in two days!
Today we also saw the departure of Winter. He arrived exactly ten days ago, on the same day that Karting found his owners, and he immediately stole my heart in the same way that Karting had (and I think Carole felt the same). Soon after his arrival a couple came to the SPA looking for a small female, probably black in colour. I told them to take a tour of the refuge and they returned to the office, having fallen in love with Winter, a big male. He was not up to date with his vaccinations, so the safest thing was to go into his kennel, which is what we did. Instant bonding was followed by a nervous week; would his owners reclaim him? The days passed and today, minus his family jewels, Winter left for what will be a life of nothing but love. There is some work to do with this beautiful dog who has clearly suffered some mental trauma, but he is in excellent hands.
As well as the adoptions of recent days, there have been some lovely gestures on Facebook and by post. A couple who cannot adopt any more dogs have offered to sponsor ten dogs, and a parcel is on its way containing blankets, collars, flea treatment, treats and toys. They will then concentrate on sharing photos of these ten dogs, in the hope that someone may fall in love and adopt.
Another great supporter of the refuge, Didi, has paid the adoption fees of Braquou, so if you are able to offer a home to this handicapped (but treatment free) dog, there will be nothing to pay. Having a badly healed back leg means this boy limps, but he is as deserving of a home as all the other dogs in our care. He has already been at the SPA for over two years, so maybe Didi’s kind offer will help Braquou find a new home.
So although the year ends with the refuge full to the brim and the worries about the inevitable influx of chasse dogs which will start when the hunt season finishes, we have had a good couple of days.
I would like to thank everyone for their support during the year; through the hard times and the good (to quote Fatboy Slim). No blog from me tomorrow; I invite the volunteers and other supporters round for a wee drinkie so we can chat away from the noise of the refuge and on subjects other than animals. We will be starting afresh in the New Year.
Thanks to the employees who work so hard, and thanks to everyone who has adopted from us this year, or helped with fund raising or publicity. It all counts and together we really do make a difference.
Let’s hope for a better year next year, with fewer animals abandoned and fewer unwanted litters.
Happy New Year to you all.
Flora (aka Chipie)- ADOPTED
Gary – ADOPTED
Onyx (with Dominique) -ADOPTED
And the last adoption of the year, Winter, now “Fender”.