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Author Archives: Darcey Dyson

Taffy becomes Teki

We know someone who is breathing a big sigh of relief and happiness tonight. After a very nervous wait while the ten days’ pound time was ticking by, Gee finally collected Taffy (now Teki) today. In fact Teki would no doubt be breathing a sigh of relief too, if he only knew.

This little lad arrived ten days ago having been found in a nearby village. It was clear that he was a hunt dog; the luminous collar and huge bell are a bit of a giveaway. But as he was not identified there was no way to contact his owner. A phone number on a collar is a good back up, but it is not adequate; half the digits were illegible in this case. Had he been identified by either chip or tattoo, by now he could be back with his owner. Except we are all glad he isn’t. Okay, he was not in a terrible state compared to some of the dogs who arrive, but he was literally crawling with fleas, and fleas if left untreated (like these) can lead to infection and disease.

As it is, Teki is going to live a life of luxury with Gee, Chris and their two other dogs. We look forward to news and photos of this lucky lucky boy in his new home.

We had a couple of new arrivals today. A lovely border collie whose owner has died, and a tiny fauve de Bretagne who has been fending for herself in a nearby village for five months. Plus we have five gorgeous pups who are ready for adoption!

small fluffy dog









New arrival – YOTA

border collie with one blue and one brown eye









New arrival – MORGANE

pale brown dog with long ears









The puppies – four boys and a girl

five puppies



It’s Monday and we are in the Pink!

Today three dogs were adopted, which is a good start to what we hope will prove to be a good week.

Two are recent arrivals, and one of them has been lucky enough to avoid the SPA completely. Mustang was found tied to a petrol pump in a local village. When he arrived at the refuge he was completely exhausted and lay prone on the counter being gently stroked by employee Marion. It was she who decided to take Mustang home to foster, she who gave him his name and she who found him his new home. Thanks so much to her and her family. We hope she is not missing him too much tonight, saying goodbye to a pup you have looked after is never easy.

Second to leave was Arnold. He too has been with us for ten days, and although he has not had the benefit of a foster family, he did have the benefit of Angelique. She transformed him from his slightly scruffy self, to a lovely sleeky boy. But his new owner had already fallen in love with him before his true beauty was revealed.

On the subject of true beauty, it was only on Saturday that Pink went on her first walk. Photos of her up till then had shown her huddled up in her cage looking not very special, and still wearing the pink harness in which she arrived. On Saturday we saw how stunning she was, and despite a slight timidity, we knew she was indeed very special. We are delighted that she found her new home today.

Everyone would like more days like this!

Mustang – ADOPTED
puppy lying on someone's knee










Arnold (in post Angelique mode) – ADOPTED

small brown dog









tricoloured dog


Two adoptions to end the week

We had two adoptions today and with plenty of volunteers, including several new ones, it was a great way to end the week.

First to leave was Monbo. He is a fabulous looking braque who has been with us for one month precisely. That is a suprisingly long time for a dog this pretty, but as we have said on numerous occasions, sometimes the choice of dogs is just so overwhelming that dogs are overlooked. Monbo left wearing a new harness and a big smile on his face.

The second dog to leave was one of those miracle adoptions that take place from time to time. Globo has been the DRC urgent appeal for a couple of weeks, and although a lovely couple saw this and came to see him on Thursday, by that time he was already reserved! Yes, despite the fact that this old boy has arthritis and gets short of breath, we had not one but two families wanting to adopt him! If only all our oldies were this lucky!

In fact the couple who adopted Globo came to the refuge looking for a medium sized middle aged dog. But the heart goes where the heart goes, and when they saw Globo they just couldn’t resist. This is why it is always worthwhile doing a tour if you are able.

We had a new arrival, three year old Flash. He is a foxy cross and is sure to appeal to many of you. Come and take a tour in person or online. You just might find your own Manbo or Globo!











big cane corso










New arrival Flash

tircoluoured dog with beard


Adoption of Pirate and Layna

Last night while many of us were ensconsed in a room dealing with the formal side of things at the SPA’s Annual General Meeting, an adoption was taking place!

Pirate had been in foster care with volunteer Isa since his arrival 10 days ago, and his new family was very keen to collect him. Isa missed his departure, as she was at the AGM, but her husband was able to give the obligatory goodbye cuddles as this lovely beauceron cross left for his new life.

There was an adoption today, too, that of lovely Layna. She was brought in towards the end of August and rather strangely was already identified as being a staffie cross, and hence a “dangerous dog”. The laws are very specific about such things, and it was clear to all of us that Layna had been misidentified. The SPA vet was happy to “downgrade” her, and she left happily today, just as any other dog. No need for special courses, no need for insurance, no need to be muzzled. Lucky Layna!

In other good news, many of you who have visited the SPA will have seen the so-called Mascot, Scotch, who is diabetic. He is young, but blind and very ill with ever more frequent fits. His life at the SPA is fine, but of course his evenings and Sundays are lonely. No more! As of now he spends the hours when the SPA is closed in the loving care of secretary Carole and family. Many thanks to them. Everyone adores Scotch and finally he will really know it!

Pirate – ADOPTED. Many thanks to Isa and her family
puppy holding tennis ball in mouth










Layna – ADOPTED 
black and white specked dog









Scotch – still the SPA mascot, but now with a life of luxury in the evenings

very hairy collie type dog

Adoption of Valmi

Today was a busy one at the SPA, with lots of walks, an adoption and several reservations. Three to my certain knowledge, and it looks like a couple more are in the pipeline.

Today’s lucky dog was Valmi. This young lad arrived in mid August already identified. However all attempts to find his owners failed, and so the SPA has no choice but to find him a new home. Valmi has gone to a home with another dog and young children, so he will have plenty of ways to expend some of his incredible energy. Oh, and he will have an enclosed garden too. That will feel like paradise to this lively young boy who has spent two months behind bars.

An early blog tonight as both Moira and I are about to leave for the SPA’s Annual General Meeting. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

black and white scruffy dog

Leila leaves and Pocket is picked

Well, day one of the open weekend was quite quiet, however we did have two adoptions. First to leave was Leila. This gorgeous girl had been with us for a surprisingly long time bearing in mind she is good with cats, dogs and children. But today was definitely her day. No fewer than three sets of visitors were interested in her! She left with a family who had seen her on their visit a couple of weeks ago but were unable to come back to test her with their dog until today. Eclair seemed to like her A LOT, as did the family, so off she went.

Next to leave was Pocket. This tiny bichon cross arrived ten days ago and her new dad had a nervous wait, visiting her every day and spending as much time as he could with her, despite knowing that if her owner came to recalim her he would be heartbroken. He, like we, has benn counting down the days, and today the wait was over! Angelique worked her magic and little pocket went home in her dad’s arms, looking a lot better than she did when she arrived.

There were a couple of new arrivals, and sadly Baila is back. It is the age old problem of cats and dogs. Yes, we did test her in the cat house before she left, but in her own home she is chasing the family felines, and for everyone’s sake the situation could not carry on. Such a shame for Baila, as we thought she had found the perfect home after 9 long months at the SPA. But as it turns out the perfect home is a cat-free one. At least we have this additional information now, so this failed adoption will help in the long run.

Day two of the open weekend tomorrow and we already know of one lucky dog who will be leaving, so you are guaranteed good news in the blog!

Leila  (on left) with new pal Eclair – ADOPTED
White dog with new brown pal









Pocket before and after – ADOPTED

small white dog











Baila is back – no cats next time!

pale dog with speckled ears

Nothing to report, but an open weekend beckons.

A disappointing day at the SPA, with no adoptions and two new arrivals, one of whom, a female labrador, was found tied up to the SPA gates. This is a very dangerous way to abandon a dog, by the way. The gate slides open via remote control, and although employees arriving from outside may see the dog before pressing the remote control, the family who access their house via the refuge would have no way of knowing if a dog is tied up before they open the gate.

If you love your dog enough to bring it to the SPA gates, surely you don’t want it to get injured (or worse) at the final step. Far far better to man up and bring the dog in during opening hours.

Perhaps this person saw that the SPA is open on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend and thought their dog would be quickly rehomed. Wrong. As with all dogs who arive without being officially abandoned, any new arrival has to wait 10 days before being put up for adoption. This is to allow their owners enough chance to reclaim their pet. The only way we can know that no one is looking for the dog is for the owner to tell us that the dog is no longer wanted.

We now have two days to improve the week’s statistics. We have only had two adoptions so far this week, which is very disappointing. Why not come and visit us on either Saturday or Sunday afternoon and see if we have the dog of your dreams just waiting for you!

Open day sign

Bye bye Bongo

As we mentioned, yesterday we had two reservations, and the first of these dogs did not have long to wait at all.

Bongo arrived at the SPA at the end of June aged just 18 months. A lovely boy, he shared his kennel from day one. However he looks like many other dogs at the refuge (yes, we really DO have lots of dogs who are this handsome) and we feared that he could have a long wait. However lucky Bongo was spotted yesterday and today off he went to his new home.

Sadly his place in terms of numbers, if not size, was soon taken. A tiny pup arrived having been found tied up at a petrol station in a nearby village. Sigh. This little beauceron cross has had the good fortune to go to foster with employee Marion, and we know he is in great hands. Assuming his owner does not come looking for him in the next ten days, he will be available for adoption.

The weather was much cooler and dog walks were more pleasant for the dogs and the volunteers. Long may it continue. (Remind me I said that when I am complaining about the cold in a few months!)

German shepherd cross












And a new puppy arrival

Male beauceron pup

Adoption of Baila

It seems like ages ago since we were able to tell you about an adoption. In fact Saturday was the last day when a dog left the SPA other than having been reclaimed. So it is just as well that today’s adoption is such a good one!

On the same Saturday that brought us those five adoptions, the SPA was visited by a woman who had fallen in love with a dog she had seen online. Baila was the lucky dog, and meeting her in the flesh only confirmed what the woman had thought; that this was the dog for her.

Baila arrived in December last year, meaning that she had been with us for nine months. Believe me that is a long time in the life of a dog as lively as this one! She was just eight months old when she arrived, and BOY was she active! Bouncing up and down in her cage, running up and down in the park, Baila’s energy seemed never ending. We are delighted that she has finally found a home and we look forward to hearing news of her adventures! We hope her new family is fit, but if they are not now, I suspect they soon will be!

There were two other reservations today. Both are of dogs who have not been with us very long, but they are both excellent reservations nonetheless. News of all that to follow!

Baila – ADOPTED (after 9 months)
pale dog with speckled ears

Another hot day, and arrival of Toby.

Despite the presence of several volunteers at the SPA today, it was a quiet day. In fact apart from a couple of people visiting dogs whom they are waiting to adopt (always a nervous time, the 10 days pound time when the dog you have your heart set on could still be reclaimed), I don’t think we had a single visitor.

However that gave the volunteers time to walk the dogs, bathe the dogs or in some cases, both! And despite our pessimism, the two of yesterday’s arrivals were reclaimed.

That left this lad, Toby, who is going to be a big hit with some of you, we just know. A griffon nivernais of about three years old, good with other dogs, good with cats and good with children! What more can you want of a dog?

There were no arrivals today. Let’s hope for more news, or at least cooler weather tomorrow! Thanks to all who come along to brave the heat, as ever.

Jura cools off under the hose!

big long eared dog enjoying a bath









And meet new boy, Toby

griffon nivernais