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Author Archives: Darcey Dyson

Adoption of Kopo after 3 and a half years

Wonderful news to report today. At long last, Kopo has been adopted.

Some dogs stay at the SPA for a long time, and we are not quite sure why. Kopo arrived at the SPA in December 2013. That is three and a half years ago, and since he has been there I do not think a single person has shown any interest in him. Is it because he was already five years old when he arrived? Who knows. Before he arrived at the SPA he had spent his whole life guarding a wood yard, so family life will be something new to him.

But family life is what he will have from now on! Kopo is on his way to Germany, where a lovely couple have decided to offer him a new home. Kopo’s story (being effectively thrown away when he was no longer needed) touched their hearts. For them it was important that he was good with children, as they have grandchildren who visit from time to time. So we used the SPA guinea pigs to check. No, not real guinea pigs (although we do have some of those for adoption at the moment too). Rather the children of volunteer Fabien. The resulting photo was all the family needed and Kopo was told to pack his bags.

Like all our dogs who go abroad, Kopo has left under the European wide TRACES system, giving us the reassurance that he will be well looked after on his journey.

As ever, many thanks to everyone who has helped this lovely boy stay as happy as possible while he was at the SPA. Regular walkers Karen and Sebastien and of course Fabien and his family and others too numerous to mention. But thanks most of all to his new family.

We have news of another adoption, that of little TeX. But more news about that can wait till tomorrow, today is all about Kopo!

Kopo when he arrived in 2013 and now
white shepherd



















And the photo that helped clinch the deal

white shepherd with two kids

Adoptions of Cap and Camilla

More good news today with the adoption of two of our smaller dogs.

First up was Cap. This little lad arrived on Saturday, much to the regret of his owner, who is very unwell. Yes, there are legitimate reasons for bringing dogs to us, and when the process is respected, we know all about the animal’s likes and dislikes. This helps us to find the best home as quickly as possible; when we have a signed contract of abandon, there is no need for a dog to wait 10 days while we (and he) wait for his owner to reappear (or not).

Cap’s owner was extremely upset to leave him at the SPA, however we assured her that it would not be long till he found a new home. And sure enough the very next day he was reserved. The only reason he did not leave immediately was that he was not castrated, and due to the Bank Holiday, today was the first day when this was possible. So today, four days after arriving, little Cap is off to his new home. Now that is what I call a result!

Next to leave was Camilla. She arrived just over a month ago at the same time as the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Charles, who has since been adopted. A lovely young spaniel cross, Camilla is friendly and affectionate and just about perfect. A move to a different kennel at the refuge gave her the visibility she needed to catch someone’s eye, and today off she went.

On a less positive note we have three new puppies and a couple of new adults, too, all of whom arrived today. News and photos of them anon.


small jack russell










Camilla – ADOPTED

spaniel cross

Papy Oural leaves for a Foster Home!

A quick blog tonight to say an enormous thank you to Debbie and Andrew who responded to the urgent appeal for a foster home for Oural. Tonight he is safe and is doubtless being cuddled as I write this.

It is easy to assume that a dog who has the run of the SPA during the day is happy, and maybe Oural was happier at the SPA than many other dogs. However being alone at night has been hard for him, as he adores company. Debbie and Andrew already knew Oural from their dog-walking trips to the SPA, and they knew already how gentle he is. As they are at home all the time, their lifestyle is perfect for him. On their occasional days out, Oural will be “dog-sat” by a neighbour, so no more lonliness for him!

Elderly spaniel Tis has taken Oural’s place as the SPA mascot, and if he finds a home, the next suitable oldie will get an upgrade in accommodation.

But for now we say a huge thanks to Debbie and Andrew and to the other people who offered a home to Oural. Yes, they were not the only ones to respond, and we are glad yet again for the power of social media and for all the wonderful dog lovers out there!

Oural leaves with his new family

couple with old dog










And here he is exploring his new garden!

dog in garden


Adoption of Kathi

The SPA was closed today, but as is often the case, a couple of vounteers popped in to check on the dogs and to get a couple of them out for a bit of a walk. There was also an adoption in the offing; what better reason to give up a bit of the afternoon?

Kathi was found at the SPA gates almost three weeks ago, complete with a bag of food. So we had to assume that she had been abandoned, despite the fact that her owner did not take the trouble to bring her in and talk to us. Yes, admittedly he (or she) did not tie her up in the middle of a forest to die, but that hardly makes him worthy of a medal. He could have brought Kathi to the office and told us all about her character. As it was, we did not even know her name! Also having officially been “found”, newly renamed Kathi was obliged to wait ten days in case her owner was looking for her.

However all’s well that ends well and today Kathi left for her new home. Victoria came from Pau to meet her and to make sure it was a good match with her dog Winnie. And what a match it was. Apart from the size, the two dogs could be twins! A lovely life is in store for Kathi and soon her time at the refuge will be forgotten.

We know there were quite a few people interested in Kathi, so apologies to those of you who were disappointed. As we often say, small well socialised females tend to go very quickly. But there will be another one, for sure…and another one….

Tomorrow the SPA is open as usual, and we are hoping for lots more good news.

Kathi (now renamed Dixie) with pal Winnie and her new mum.
Woman with two dogs on her lap

Adoption of Puppy Neyla

As today was the first Sunday of the month the SPA was open thanks to the wonderful volunteers. And as mentioned in yesterday’s blog, we already knew that we would have at least one dog leaving.

Except that Neyla has never actually been at the SPA. Instead, immediately after being brought in, she went home with Isa, who has been looking after her while waiting for the perfect home. Neyla was one of three puppies who was found by a woman who homed the other two, but little Neyla, with her missing toes, was left behind. Her new family don’t give a hoot about Neyla’s “handicap”…and Neyla certainly doesn’t! She runs around and plays like every other puppy! Many thanks to her new family and also to Isa for giving her such a great start in life.

We had more good news. One of our foster families came to meet our older dogs, and tonight Gandalf is in a loving home. Despite being very lively, this boy is coming up to his 13th birthday, and as the weather warms up, he will find things harder at the SPA. Many thanks to Evelyne. She did Sasha proud, and her new charge, Gandalf, is a very lucky boy. Incidentally, he won the jackpot thanks to being good with cats!

We had a reservation, too and about half the refuge dogs were walked or had playtime in the parks thanks to all the volunteers who came along!

Tomorrow the refuge really IS shut, but we might have a sneaky adoption all the same…..


puppy in man's arms









“Old man” Gandalf – Long term foster!

Big border collie with woman

Adoptions of Jazzy and Fadista

Tonight we have two adoptions to tell you about.

First to leave was Jazzy, one of the sister dalmatians who were abandoned four weeks ago today. As quite often is the case with our long-distance travellers, she left in the wee small hours. This is because Jazzy has gone to live in the UK and she has a long journey in front of her. However she is travelling in a TRACES licensed van, with appropriate paperwork, of course, so we know that she will be well looked after and will arrive safe and sound. Thanks to Moira for doing the honours by putting Jazzy on the transport and thanks also to Carole, who sorted out a last minute hiccup with the departure documents, without which Jazzy would have been unable to leave.

Jazzy’s sister, Joyce, is still waiting for a home, by the way. She too is a purebred dalmatian who was born in June 2014 and is fabulous on the lead and adores children, but unlike Jazzy, Joyce is a bit reactive around other dogs. This is the only reason she is still at the SPA, but we are hoping to find her a home soon. As we are for dalmatian Dart, of course.

Next to leave, and during standard SPA opening hours, was Fadista. He had been adopted once before, but it turned out not to be a good match. However his new family fell in love as soon as they saw him, and their lifestyle sounds far more suitable for him…a huge enclosed garden sounds just what this boy needs; along with lots of love and cuddles, of course. No dog is too big to cuddle! We are all delighted for Fadista and so is his sponsor mum, Esther. Especially as, by sheer coincidence, she knows Fadista’s new family and can go and visit him whenever she likes!

Don’t forget that tomorrow is the first Sunday of the month, so the volunteers will be opening the SPA from 14H00-18H00. And we already know that one little girl will be leaving!










Fadista – ADOPTED

big brown dog with new owners

Friday Adoption of Bruce

We had another adoption today, that of eight month old “not quite pup” Bruce. He arrived exactly three weeks ago, and we have since worked out that he is the brother of Levis, who arrived a couple of weeks earlier. For a start they are almost identical, plus they were found in the same village and thirdly they are the same age. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to work out the connection, or that yet again these two young dogs must be the result of irresponsible breeding. Both are lovely dogs who are fine with other dogs, well socialised and extremely affectionate, and it was just the luck of the draw as to who was adopted first.

If you like the sound of Levis, he would love a new home too, of course. And don’t forget that this weekend you have twice the opportunity to come and meet him. This is because the SPA is open on both Saturday and Sunday, it being the first weekend of the month. And we know for sure that we will have a couple of adoptions to tell you about in tomorrow’s blog, too.

Black shepherd



Levis – Bruce’s brother is still waiting for a home.

black shepherd with whilte chest


Mozart Waltzes Off

Today we said goodbye to Mozart. He arrived on April 1st, abandoned by his elderly owner who was no longer able to look after him due to illness. You can see from his state that he was in when he arrived that he had been neglected of late, to say the least. What a shame for this lovely pyrenean shepherd cross who has just turned seven years old. In fact this was not the first time we had seen Mozart; he first arrived with his mum and sister when he was a tiny puppy. Now he is a big, handsome lad, or at least he has become one thanks to an enormous effort put in by toiletteuse Angelique.

We knew that Bev and Phil, who fell in love with Mozart first via Facebook then in the flesh, are lovers of hairy dogs. However it seemed obvious that Mozart would have to be shaved to get rid of the huge matts in his coat. However Angelique wanted to save his coat, and spent many hours (I don’t know how many, but well into double figures) painstakingly brushing and grooming him. Luckily this was possible thanks to Mozart’s amazing temperament. He is what we call a “bullet-proof dog!; one who just seems to behave impeccably, regardless of the situation. He has been an absolute joy at the SPA, and we hope he continues to be the perfect dog in his new home. He has a new friend, Fluffy, who looks like a mini-Mozart, too! Many thanks to Bev and Phil for seeing the dog under the fur, and also for their patience while Mozart was being given the finishing touches today.

Of course, he was bound to be a great dog; it is in his genes! (For those of you who don’t know, I adopted Mozart’s mum, Bella, in September 2010 after her two pups had been adopted). We might even arrange a reunion at some stage!

Mozart – ADOPTED
Here are the before an after photos. Many thanks to Angelique !

Refuge shut, but two adoptions nevertheless!

The SPA was officially shut for the May Day bank holiday, but several of the volunteers were around and keen to come along and walk dogs and let others play in the parks. Plus we had two adoptions, so it was well worth us being there!

First to leave was Noris. This lovely brindle dog crossbreed arrived as a “not quite pup”. This is the hardest age for a dog to arrive, both in terms of rehoming and his or her own development. Sadly it is so often the time when owners give up on a dog. Often it is due to lack of training; dogs are starting to get stronger and to need more time, and are no longer the cute little puppies they once were. Unfortunately rather than put in the required effort (which is often relatively small), owners often give up at this stage and rely on the SPA to rehome their dog. IN Noris’s case they did not even bring him in and explain the difficulties, they just let him wander off in the hope that he would be delivered to the refuge.

For Noris this meant the start of a long, long wait. He arrived in August 2015, meaning that he has done almost all his growing up at the SPA. He is very lively and active but luckily for him he is great with other dogs and has been able to share his kennel with Baila, who is equally lively!

Finally he caught the eye of someone via the internet and although for personal reasons she was unable to take Noris immediately, she has been to visit many times and has kept in touch with him via Facebook. Sometimes the right home is worth waiting for! Today she had a day off work, and finally Noris on his way to his new home, where he also has a new little friend!

We had another adoption too, making us even happier that we were at the SPA. A family came along to meet Odin, having seen him on the website. A quick walk later and this young malinois was off to his new home as well.

We also said goodbye to the Anatolian Shepherd who was brought in by volunteers on Saturday night. He was identified and it is not the first time he has been to the SPA, and there is no point in him spending longer locked up than necessary.

For those of you who didn’t make it to yesterday’s fashion show in Fanjeaux, you missed a treat. The catwalk show was wonderful with a group of stunning models, not to mention a dog, and just about everyone picked up a bargain along the sale rails. Oh, and we raised a huge amount of money, which will go to help the dogs at the SPA. Many thanks yet againt to everyone involved.

Noris when he arrived in 2015 and giving a kiss to his new mum today.

puppy-like dog




















Ejder – reclaimed








And one of the many stars of yesterday’s show, Tillylicious

yorkie wearing pink sunglasses


And Three More Adoptions!

Yesterday we mentioned briefly the adoption of Miss. She had only just arrived at the SPA, and we knew immediately that she would not be with us for long. The man who brought her in informed us that she was good with cats, other dogs and children, and crucually, that she does not wander from an unenclosed garden. With a CV like that it is hardly surprising that she was snapped up. Little did we know that she was destined to remain part of the SPA family, so to speak. Miss has been adopted by employee (and also volunteer) Estelle’s parents. So we know we will have lots of news about the progress of this gorgeous mini-spaniel!

Today we had two more adoptions, so it really has been a pretty good week.

First to leave this afternoon was Liquorice. You may remember that he arrived almost catatonic with fear, and was adopted once and brought back as not being good with cats. He has progressed enormously since then and has been sharing his kennel with another dog and gaining in confidence all the time. We are delighted that he has found a home.

Next to leave was puppy Thor. He has been at the SPA since the middle of March, arriving courtesy of a local vet who had operated on him following a car accident. A period of enforced immobility meant Thor had to spend a lot of time in a smallish cage, which must have been frustrating to say the least. However since he has been allowed out and about he has made up for lost time, and has been a favourite with employees and volunteers alike. There was a line of people waiting to give this adorable lad a goodbye cuddle. It is nice to think of him in a loving home tonight.

Please don’t forget the DRC Fundraising Function that is taking place in the Fanjeaux Town Hall tomorrow, and as Monday is a bank holiday, the SPA will be closed for the afternoon, although there might just be an adoption, so keep an eye out!


Black and white spaniel









Liquorice – ADOPTED

Black lab













Brindle coloured pup











And a reminder about tomorrow’s event