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Author Archives: Darcey Dyson

Bumper day for leavers

Today was just what we needed. Or just what the doctor ordered, as we Brits say.

First of all we said goodbye officially to a little york who arrived two weeks ago in bad condition and who waited in vain for his owners to come looking for him. Volunteer Eileen, despite not being a particular fan of small dogs, took one look in his eyes and offered to foster him. And we all know how that often works out, don’t we! Sure enough today the adoption was made official, and the newly named Globule has a wonderful new home. With someone who is now a convert to the joys of tiny dogs.

yorkie in girl's arms

Globule – ADOPTED

Next to leave was Barbar. Now this is not an adoption, that is taking place in a few weeks’ time when this lovely young cross will be moving to the UK. But as we had a short-term foster family keen to help out, we decided Barbar might be able to benefit from some socialisation in a family home with another dog, as this is how he will be living when he crosses the Channel. Kathleen will keep us abreast of his progress.

Babar male beagle cross

Beautiful but timid Barbar – short term foster prior to adoption

That of course left Panda alone in his kennel. Except it didn’t! Tom and Hamish have been following DRC for some time, waiting for the right time and the right dog. They had their eye on Panda, and today they came to meet him in person. They went on a long walk with him and his sponsor mum, Ingrid, and by the time they returned, the very nervous Panda was already responding to them. So he is off too, to a lovely new life with lots of travel ahead. Ingrid had a little cry; it was an emotional day for her as she was sponsor of both Panda and Barbar!

three humans and one dog

Panda with his new family and sponsor mum Ingrid – ADOPTED

Finally we said goodbye (again) to Mila. That is the third time she has been rehomed, the fourth if you count a short-lived foster. So this time it had to be right. This time there are no other animals involved, just and a patient but active couple. They have been chatting with Carole regularly and we are as confident as we can be that Mila has finally found the home she has been waiting for.

Mila and her new family – ADOPTED

And when we tell you that there were three other reservations today, you will know that it is the best Thursday we have had for some time.

Last of the Simpsons litter leave

Anyone who read yesterday’s blog will know that Omer and Maggie were due to leave the SPA today, and sure enough they did. This means that all the pups from the Simpsons litter are now happily homed, and best of all, none of them had to spend any time alone at the SPA.

black and tan pup


Of course pups are all lovely, but each time a new litter arrives, our hearts sink. Not because we don’t adore puppies, who doesn’t?! But we know it means that our older pups and adult dogs risk having even longer to wait for a new home. We cannot impress on people enough the importance of sterilising your dogs. If the dog population continues to grow, so will the number of dogs in refuges. Plus the SPA is no place for pups, who need lots of love and socialisation, especially in the early months.

black and tan puppy


Of course sometimes puppies and other, older dogs are lucky enough to go into foster, and we will have news of one such dog very soon. Plus, of course, if you are still after a puppy but missed out on this litter, please don’t forget about little Neymar, who is waiting for a home at the SPA.

Neymar young male malinois cross

Neymar is still waiting for a home

Tomorrow looks like being a busy day, and we hope that at least one of the planned visits results in an adoption!

Adoption of Marge, but two sad returns

Yesterday as well as two recently arrived dogs being reclaimed, we also had the adoption of Marge. She, you will probably have guessed, is one of the Simpsons litter, and this lucky little girl has been adopted by a SPA volunteer. This means we know that she will be very well looked after and that we will have plenty of news.

black and tan pup


The remaining pups from the litter are reserved too, so we are guaranteed some good news tomorrow. And we are much in need of some, after the terrible day we had today.

They say that nothing lasts forever. Well some adoptions fall well short of that! Today as well as Tornade, who was adopted in early January, we also had the return of Cliona.

small borwn and black dog

Tornade – back for rehoming. 

Cliona, you will all surely recall, was brought in last summer in a terrible state. Lots of love and lots of donations later she was looking fabulous and was off to her new home. Four and a half months later and the dream is over. We all know that she can be a bit picky about whom she bestows her affection on, and she will probably always be a bit wary of men, but we thought that her family were away of her foibles and accepted her nonetheless. Sadly not.

black lab cross

Cliona – back for rehoming

But as ever it is a question of onwards and upwards. New homes will be sought; new homes will be found. And tomorrow there are two adoptions on the cards.

Four adoptions and Janka makes five!

Well lots to tell you tonight. First of all there was a third adoption yesterday, which somehow got missed in the excitement of the day. Staffie cross Janka was homed. Technically she is in long term foster, as she is officially a dangerous dog, meaning that her ownership details cannot be altered. However providing her new family has carried out all the formalities, dogs of this breed can leave the SPA for long term foster.  Many thanks to Janka’s new family.

staffie cross

Janka –  Long term foster but effectively ADOPTED

And today was a bumper day, with four adoptions. We said goodbye to two more of the Simpsons puppies, with both Lisa and Mo finding fabulous homes where we are sure they will be very happy.

black and brown pup


black and tan pup


Today we also said goodbye to Gucci, a lovely beauceron cross who was the second dog to arrive this year. He was identified, but to an address in the north of France, and we have had no word from his owners. Esther and Manu came to visit from Montpelier, and soon fell under Gucci’s charm. They are delighted with their new pal, whom they have renamed Winston. And he is delighted to be leaving the SPA, especially with such a great couple; Manu works from home, and if necessary Esther can take Gucci to work with her; she is a researcher at Royal Canin, so we won’t have to worry about Gucci’s eating habits!

black and white dog with couple

Gucci (now Winston) – ADOPTED

Finally we said goodbye to Winnie. This lovely golden retriever (probably) Pyrenean mountain dog cross arrived in early December, having been unceremoniously thrown out of a car near the SPA gates. He was extremely nervous and spent a lot of time in the office. Hence he became the favourite of many employees, including Carole. Winnie came on in leaps and bounds, though, and soon it was he who was giving confidence to newly arrived scaredy boy Griff.

Today Winnie’s turn came; although his new owners had visited the SPA before, it was during last Sunday’s open day walk that the deal was struck, and today Winnie started his new life.

Golden retriver cross

Winnie – ADOPTED

So it was an excellent end to the week.


First of the Simpsons pups leaves, and a new home for Lana.

Today we said goodbye to the first of the Simpsons litter, in fact to Bart himself! This litter of six pups (three males and three females) arrived about four weeks ago, but were really too young to leave before today. They have been well looked after at the SPA, however, and since making their Facebook debut earlier this week, have attracted a lot of attention.

One thing we insist on with our pups is that their new families are willing to castrate or sterilise the pups when they reach the age of six months. We could go into the reasons why, but it comes down to two things; the dog’s health, and our desire to prevent any more unwanted puppies from coming into the world. Bart’s new dad was not happy about this requirement, so they initially they left without a puppy, returning later on once they had had a think! Funnily enough it is usually the men who have a problem with the concept of castration, but it really is one of the best things you can do for your dog. You can read more here.

If you like the look of Bart, there are more from this litter left, but bear in mind they will be biggish dogs.

Black and tan pup


We also said goodbye to Lana. She was adopted in early December but brought back in mid February as her owner had no time at all to devote to her. In fact one has to wonder why he thought adopting a dog was a good idea at all. But things may just have worked out perfectly for this young girl. Her new family have another dog, which we hope will help Lana work off some of her boundless energy.

black lab cross


So two great adoptions and hopefully more to come tomorrow.

Adoption of Citrouille

Today there was one adoption at the SPA, but it was a good one.

Lovely Citrouille arrived at the end of October, in fact she arrived at Hallowe’en, hence her name (Pumpkin). And when you read about her character, you, like us, will be amazed that it took so long for her to find a home. Young, calm, good with other dogs, fine with cats, affectionate with adults and humans. Yes, Citrouille is one of many of the SPA’s hidden gems. These are dogs who, for one reason or other, do not catch people’s eyes in a kennel environment.

Today a couple came to the SPA looking for a calm easy dog who could live with three cats. After looking round and beeing attracted to several unsuitable dogs, they took the staff’s advice and met Citrouille, who soon had them under her charm.

pale spaniel cross

Citrouille – ADOPTED

Today’s other leaver was recent arrival, malinois Flash. He arrived identified on Monday but the SPA was unable to contact his owners. This was because once again they had moved house and failed to keep the records up to date. And although they had asked their vet to change the phone number on Icad, this had not been done.

malinois cross


Perhaps many people don’t realise that you can check (and change) your dog’s Icad details yourself. On the identification card there is a code, which you can use to enter your dog’s page, and there you can make any adjustements. Flash’s owners said they will do this immediately, and if you think your dog’s details may be out of date, why don’t you do it too!

Adoption of Baby George

Who remembers the little braque who arrived ten days ago? He looked like a smaller version of SPA dog Orwell, so naturally we named him George. Today he left for his new home, straight after completing his time in the pound. He is a fabulous chap, small and affectionate, and quite bewildered to find himself behind bars. Especially after the dog with whom he arrived, Huxley (in real life Floyd) was reclaimed by his owners. However all that is over now, George (now renamed Chester) has a home.

Tony and Marcus started volunteering towards the end of last year, and although they were looking for a dog, it had to be the right dog at the right time. This time the planets were aligned. George was just what they were looking for, and they reserved him while he was still in the pound. This is always a nerve-wracking time, knowing that a dog’s owners can come and reclaim him until the end of day 10, so there was a big sigh of relief when the deadline passed.

Chester starts his new life today. Needless to say, we will have lots of news!

mini braque

George (now Chester) – ADOPTED

Yesterday’s arrival, whom we named Andro but who in real life called Chef, was reclaimed by his owners. And of course he is now identified, which means should he run off again he should be easily reunited with his family.

brown spaniel

Chef (aka Andro) – RECLAIMED

Despite the bitterly cold temperatures there was a surprising number of volunteers walking dogs and we have to thank them for their enormous dedication. It is one thing braving the cold for your own animals, but coming to walk SPA dogs when there is snow and ice around is really heroic. Many thanks for reminding the dogs that they are loved, even if for now they do not have homes.

Adoption of Puppy Marcus

Today was a wonderful day for little Marcus, who finally found a home. This little pup was the first one of his litter to be adopted in November, but he was brought in for rehoming at the start of the month as he was being a puppy. Yes, that might be a stupid thing to say, but when puppies and children mix in an unsupervised manner, problems can arise. As we soon realised, Marcus is not a problem dog, just a young one.

His new family came to look for a companion for their dog, and initially they expected to adopt Lafille, the gorgeous sharpei cross who is waiting for a home. However it was Marcus who stole their heart. He is a great little lad, full of life and mischief, like most pups. His family (and yes, they do have children, but dog-savvy ones!) returned to make sure Marcus would be fine with their dog, and he was reserved pending castration, which took place today. He left with a big smile on his face and we are sure he will be very happy. At last.

black spaniel puppy

Marcus – ADOPTED

The beautiful setter Mecano, who arrived at the SPA eight days ago was reclaimed. It was a close call, another two days and this boy’s pound time would have been up. And looking like he does, we are sure he would not have had long to wait.

English setter


It was a lovely sunny day but it is due to be very cold overnight, so we are happy that two more lovely dogs are out of the refuge. If you are somewhere warm and cosy tonight, please spare a thought for those who are not, be they human or canine.


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?