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Author Archives: Darcey Dyson

Christmas round-up

At hte SPA today it was more of the same. That is more walks (although the weather was not as kind as it had been yesterday, sadly), more treats and more fabulous donations.  Two families arrived to test their dogs with SPA dogs, and so we have at least two adoptions planned for the coming week. Thanks to everyone who came along, especially people who came to show us their now happy dogs. There were not as many visitors as in previous years, perhaps, but sometimes it is better to have quality rather than quantity.

Of course there were yet more volunteers busy at Jardiland and at the Christmas Market at Villedubert for a second day. This is the first time we have been to Villedubert, and it was on the initiative of supporter Sarahyeli (who also adopted Cheyenne, ex Sweety last year) that we had a stand there. Visitors were lovely, donating both treats and cash to help make the animals at the refuge a bit happier this festive season. Recently abandoned SPA dog Hope went to represent the canine contingent of the refuge, and she behaved immaculately. As you can see from the photo, she found the experience very stressful (!).

Dog lying on her back

Hope at work

Jardliand was a huge success yet again. A small team of SPA volunteers met shopeers to explain that they were collecting donations for the animals at the refuge, and the good people of Carcassonne were generous to a fault. Bags of dog and cat food, treats and toys were piled up and will be transfered to the refuge tomorrow. Again there were some dogs present to say hello, with Alya charming everyone she met, Captain Trip showing that three legs can be just as good as four and Gallopin enjoyed curling up and being cuddled.

Alya and team greeting shoppers at Jardiland


Captain Trip

There is still a week to go before Christmas, so if you were unable to make it this weekend, there is still time to pop in to but some baubles, just say hello or best still, adopt!

Christmas Open Day Adoption of Diesel

It seems that the days when a Christmas open weekend would bring adoptions in the double figures are long gone. Nowadays a single adoption is considered good news. And for people who bring their dogs in for rehoming on a Christmas open day with the words “This way you can find him a new home today” (yes, we had one such today) should not be surprised to see their dog waiting for some time.

However as we always say, one good adoption is better than several bad ones, and today’s adoption was great! After six months waiting, Diesel finally found a home! This lovely boy has only just turned one year old and has spent half his life at the SPA. A family saw him yesterday and today returned to test compatibility with their dog, who is now advancing in years. The two dogs got on well, and we are delighted that Diesel has found such a great home. He really deserves it; it is not easy for young dogs with boundless energy to find themselves at the SPA with only occasional walks, but Diesel has behaved impeccably. Many thanks to his new family for offering him a new life.

black and brown shepherd cross

Diesel – ADOPTED

We may have been short of adoptions, but there were lots of visitors at the SPA today, either walking dogs or cudding cats, plus many people came along with donations of food, bedding and toys. It is starting to look quite festive! And thanks to this morning’s work by Team Greenfinger, we have a lovely new garden area. Many thanks to them all for their work.

The new garden area

Tomorrow will will tell you all about the Christmas market at Villedubert and the collection at Jardiland. For now we will just thank everyone for their efforts today and wish them even more success tomorow.

Finally tonight we want to tell you about a wonderful reunion that took place yesterday. Some two weeks ago a very sad looking dog arrived at the SPA. Initially we assumed that Tango (as we called him; he was not identified) was very old, but this was not so, he was just ill. Tango has Cushings Disease, which you can read about here. We were just starting to look for a long term foster for him, when, out of the blue, his family came to collect him. They had assumed that he had died, but one family member refused to give up hope and saw his picture on Facebook. Apparently it was a reunion like no other, with everyone crying buckets!


Is this our Christmas miracle, or is there more good news to come?

Adoption of Calimero and a busy weekend awaits.

Calimero arrived at the SPA almost a year ago, and despite is fabulous references, it has taken him a long time to find a home. The family who found him as a stray had quite a menagerie, and thanks to them we knew that he was good with other dogs, cats and even parrots! However he was extremely nervous and although he is now less so than when he arrived, like many scared dogs, he has not made as much progress as we would like at the SPA.

However lucky Calimero has gone to live in Germany! This morning complete with passport and TRACES documentation, Calimero set off with Christian of STIAC for a new life in a new land. He has been a favourite of many volunteers and staff at the SPA, notably Patricia, whom you can see with him in this wonderful photo.


Calimero – ADOPTED

Yes, we will miss him, but what matters is that Calimero is going to have a home of his own, complete with lots of love and affection. That is what all our dogs want, and who are we to let geography get in the way!

As I said in a previous blog, this weekend is going to be a busy one, with the SPA active on three fronts. It is an open weekend at the refuge (we will be open on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons) and we will also be at Jardliand, where we are collecting dog and cat food. Plus we will also have a stand at the Christmas market in Villedubert.

This weekend promises to be busy!

Oh, and on Saturday morning Team Greenfinger is going to be busy beautifying  the refuge with shrubs and plants that have been kindly donated. Those of you who visit the refuge over the weekend will be able to see the fruits of their labours!

Let’s hope for lots of adoptions as well. It would be great if more dogs could be as lucky as Calimero and be in a loving home for Christmas.

Yesterday’s adoption of Pluto!

No adoptions today, but there was one that we missed yesterday, so let’s blog about that!

Pluto was adopted from the SPA earlier in the year as a puppy and brought back last week as his owners are divorcing. So at less than a year old, Pluto found himself back at square one, with no idea what he had done wrong.  Perhaps it was at a result of tensions at home (because both dogs and cats are extremely sensitive to human moods), but Pluto was very nervous and scared when he arrived; not at all the gorgeous puppy who had left the SPA last spring.

Luckily he had turned into a very handsome dog. We are never sure how puppies will look when they grow up, but Plutos golden fur and fine bones make quite a stunning combination. A family saw his picture on Facebook and were touched by his story. In one of the photos Pluto was shown playing with cat Cacahouette, and that is what clinched the deal, as they have two cats, as well as two children. So Pluto has gone to a lively home, with plenty of love.

pale berger cross


We are delighted that he hasn’t had long to wait at the SPA and hope that our other canine victims of divorce are as lucky.

Adoption of Titou

I must admit to being particularly happy about today’s adoption. However much we try not to,  it is inevitable that volunteers have favourite. In fact I must confess to having lots! Today’s lucky boy, Titou was one. Was it because of his resemblence to old favourite (and now happily rehomed) All Black? Or just because he reminded me of many other black tousle-haired dogs we have had at the SPA over the years. In any case, even while he was in the pound I made sure to walk Titou, added lots of photographs and a video to social media to try and show people what a great little dog he is. Whether or not that helped him find a home who knows, but if not, it was not for want of trying, and perhaps it helped to keep him happy while he was behind bars!

We have no idea why a dog like this should be at the SPA. Just a year old, wonderfully affectionate and full of joy, Titou must have had a lovely home. But ten days’ wait for his owners is quite long enough. Had Titou been identified it might have been a different story. As it is, Titou has gone straight from the Pound to his new home (via a quick trip to the vets) and we wish him a wonderful new life. He is a lucky dog, and his new owners are lucky too!

hairy black dog


So one adoption already this week. Let’s hope we have many more. And fewer dogs brought in for rehoming would be nice!

Five adoptions raise morale

Well, we were hoping for a bumper end to the week, and we had one! Five adoptions have raised our spirits and this sad week has ended on a high note after all.

First to leave was Noelle. She was found at the entrance to the motoroway in Carcassonne at the end of November, and I guess we will never know her history. Was she lost accidentally by a family who was travelling through the area, or was she deliberately dumped in a place where she was likely to be found and taken to safety? If she wasn’t hit by a car first, of course. Noelle is a lovely girl, less than a year old and very sociable. She caught the eye of several people on line, amongst them Sue, who came to visit to confirm that Noelle was, indeed, the dog she wanted to share her life with. We look forward to news and photos.

dog with new owners

Noelle – ADOPTED

Next we said goodbye to little Elliott. He has been with us for slightly less time than Noelle, supposedly found on a road and brought straight to the SPA, but by a family who had already given the dog a name and knew all his likes and dislikes. Make of that what you will. In any case, this little jack russell cross is good with other dogs and cats, as well as children. Today he left looking very pleased with himself.

small white dog

Elliott – ADOPTED

Next a couple came to search for a dog, and took recently abandoned Jet out for a walk. He, you may rememeber, was abandoned recently due to his owners’ separating. Apparently not everyone fights tooth and nail to keep a dog when their circumstances change. Today’s couple asked lots of questions and said they would have a think. This is always wise, as taking on a dog should not be a spur of the moment decision. In this case, the period of reflection did not take long, and they returned at the end of the day to collect lucky Jet.


We also said goodbye to Ralf. He is a very lucky dog. He was abandoned last week by a family (I can’t recall the reason, one of the usual ones, divorce, moving house etc). They told us on the rehoming form that Ralf needs some socialisation. Errr, just a bit! Luckily for him some of his former neighbours came to walk him at the weekend and were able to reassure him. As Ralf had lived with children (which you would never have guessed from his behaviour in his kennel), he seemed perfect for the family who came along looking for a child-friendly malinois. So Ralf is off and rather wonderfuly his former neighbours were at the SPA today and were able to meet Ralf’s new family. We wish them and Ralf much happiness.

pale malinois cross


Finally today we said goodbye to Loopa. This young purebred malinois was the cause of much buzz on the internet. Homed by her breeder, Loopa was abandoned at the end of November. Of course lots of people want a dog who is LOF, and the phone rang non stop for several days. Carole was left with the unenviable task of finding a suitable family. This was no simple matter, and even when it had been completed, jealousy seems to have caused someone to intervene, causing the original family to cancel the reservation. This meant a further 5 days’ wait for Loopa while another (better!) home was sought. Sigh.



Today Loopa made the long trip to Normadie to her new home where she has a new staffie friend. Having seen her new family, who came all the way to collect her, we are sure that they will all be very happy.

We would like to remind people that the other dogs at the SPA, although not LOF, are just as worthy of this kind of attention.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered today, including “Team Greenfinger” who were planting trees in the parks this morning. Next week they are going to plant some shrubs, and if you would like to help, please get in touch!

Adoption of Delice

I don’t think I can remember when we had to wait until Thursday for our first adoption of the week. Yes, this has been a bad few days, with lots of new arrivals including several dogs brought back for rehoming. Let’s just hope these dogs haven’t been brought in to make room for a new puppy.

Today’s adoption was of Delice. Lots of people expressed interest in this girl and we can see why. A small sized griffon, Delice arrived ten days ago very thin and extremely nervous. She is one of a number of hunt-type dogs who have arrived recently, so if you like the long- eared breeds, now is a great time to adopt. I hasten to add that not all of them have been hunters and not all of them are nervous, but most of them will have a more developed sense of smell than your average pooch, and this is something to bear in mind when adopting.

In any case, it didn’t take little Delice long to find a home, and we are delighted for her. Helping a nervous dog regain confidence is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to seeing photos of Delice as she blossoms in her new home.

There are more adoptions planned for tomorrow, including that of the dog whose adoption was scheduled for Monday, but more about that anon. We hope to salvage something from what has been a pretty bleak week so far.

small griffon cross

Delice – ADOPTED

Cards to raise cash.

Today although there were not adoptions, we have exciting news nevertheless.

Who remembers the photography session that took place this summer, where volunteer Marketa, helped by behaviourist Vanessa, took pictures of some SPA dogs to turn into cards. Well they are now ready. The plan was to have these available for Christmas, but we decided to not make them season specific, so you can buy them now but use them for any occasion, Christmas, birthday, or just because!

There are 12 designs, each featuring one or two of your SPA favourites. Who can resist adorable Banjo,  Or how about cheeky little Milou, looking all foxy and feisty?

The goal is to raise funds, but also to raise awareness of the SPA and of the beautiful dogs who (temporarily) live there. Some of the dogs featured have since been adopted, but we think they are a good cross section of the types of dogs in rescue. They show dogs of all shapes and sizes and ages, but each and every one deserves a new home.

The cards are on sale at €2 each, with six for €10. They come complete with envelopes, and are of excellent quality. They were printed by a small printing house in Carcassonne, Atelier Gutenberg, who share our vision and realised that we wanted a product that was as wonderful as our dogs! All profits go to the SPA.

Why not collect all 12, they make great presents or are ideal for framing. Supplies are very limited, so don’t delay! The cards will be available as of this weekend at the SPA. Sorry, collection only, or by arrangement via website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk


big smiling staffie


two dogs eating biscuits off a table

Aneth and Freedom share some treats

Thanks to all the volunteers who helped by walking dogs to the photo shoot and everyone else involved in this project. We hope it is the first project of many.


Sunday adoption of Luna

We had a very busy open day today, with lots of people visiting the dogs with plans to adopt in the near future, but also many many people who just wanted to give some of their time on this glorious but chilly Sunday. We have gathered yet more volunteers for regular walking, too, which is wonderful.

We had an adoption too, that of young beagle cross Luna. She was abandoned on Wednesday this week due to a change in family circumstances. An adorable little dog of just over 2 years old, Lucky Luna did not have long to wait. She has a new playmate, too, a gorgeous little griffon who is also happy to have a new friend in his life.

So one week ends and another starts tomorrow. There is already an adoption on the cards, so watch this space!

beagle cross


A snowy Saturday

We had snow at the SPA today, but despite this, there were lots of people out walking dogs! As long as you wrap up warm it is actually quite enjoyable, and of course the dogs don’t mind at all, they are grateful for the chance to get out of their kennels even if it is only for a short time.

Of course the goal is to get out of their kennels and spend a long time in a home. And two more dogs were adopted today. First to leave was Maia. She has been with us for just over two months and although she looks a bit staffie, in actual fact she was able to be decatagorised, as she does not fall into the very strict measurements to be a controlled breed. Of course this was great news for her, as it meant that she could leave like any other dog! Her new family are delighted to be able to take her out without making her wear a muzzle, which would otherwise not have been legal.

dog with chunky face


We also said goodbye to Sioux. He has only been with us for a few weeks, so we don’t know him well. He is a handsome boy who shares his kennel happily. His new family spotted him and fell in love, and this instant attraction was enough! We wish Sioux much happiness in his new home.

Big pale dog


There is another adoption to catch up on, although it is not news per se. The last of the pups, Shino (now Gibson) was officially adopted on Thursday by his foster family. And guess what? They are the same family who recently adopted another of the pups, Youma! Lots of puppy play going on there, for sure!

Shino (now Gibson) – ADOPTED

Please don’t forget that the SPA is open tomorrow as it is the first Sunday of the month. There is no snow forecast, though! Oh, and we are having another open Sunday this month too, the 16-17th December is our Animal Xmas, so if you can’t make it tomorrow, don’t worry, there is still another Sunday on which to visit.