Home / Author Archives: Darcey Dyson (page 30)

Author Archives: Darcey Dyson

A Festive Food Reminder

The adoptions that I thought were taking place today are in fact happening tomorrow, and as there is no news from the SPA, we thought it might be good to once again remind people of Christmas foods that are toxic to dogs.

Moira posted earlier today about a dog who has just undergone kidney dialysis after having eaten a large amount of raisins which were intended for the Christmas cake. Raisins (and indeed grapes) are one of several seasonal foods which should not be given to your pets. Mince pies and Christmas pudding (both traditional British treats) all contain raisins, obviously. Others no-no’s include chocolate, and alcohol. Just because we enjoy it, it does not mean it is suitable for dogs.

We tend to eat a lot more meat at this time of year, too, so please keep a careful eye on how you dispose of bones.  Once cooked, bones become brittle and splinter easily. This can lead to larger fragments getting stuck causing obstructions. Smaller pieces can cause gut irritation and perforation.  And Christmas favourites such as turkey, chicken and goose are all hollow-boned animals, meaning these bones will splinter either raw or cooked. They must never be given to your dog.

Please keep an eye on the decorations, too. And not just the chocolate ones. Mistletoe is poisonous to dogs and can cause stomach upsets, as can poinsettia. And make sure your dogs don’t eat tinsel….

Gosh, reading this makes you just want to forget the whole Christmas thing. Seriously, though, with a little bit of extra care and attention, pets can have a wonderful festive time along with their owners.

Last week a visitor to the SPA told us how on Christmas Eve, each of her animals is given a small portion of foie gras and smoked salmon, both traditional seasonal foods in France. Neither are harmful, (unless of course you happen to be the goose or fish who has produced the food) and there is nothing at all wrong with giving your pets some extra treats so they can join in the celebrations.

Of course the best seasonal treat for a refuge dog would be to have a new home for Christmas, and there are still a few days left for this to become a reality.

Most of these foods are poisonous to dogs.
(Oh good, more for me!)

Xmas food

A dog is reclaimed and another beaglette arrives!

This is the first day for well over a week that there has been no adoption to tell you about! Hardly surprising given the weather; we had very few visitors, and only a couple of hardy volunteers out dog-walking. Looking on the bright side, tomorrow is the shortest day, after which we will be on the way to spring! 😀

Before the rain really started to come down we were able to get pictures of yesterday’s arrival. It is like deja vu all over again, as they say! And those of you who missed out on the lovely Beaglette (now happily homed and renamed Lady) may be interested. Our newest arrival is another fabulous female beagle! Well, maybe her ears a tiny bit too long, but Cerise (as we have named her) is a lovely gentle girl who has gone to share her box with timid little Perou. We will have more information on her in due course.

Apart from that there is no news. A medium sized brown dog arrived having been found in Conques sur Orbeil, and the nice policeman who brought her in waited for her chip to be read and took her straight back to her owner once the SPA had made sure he was at home. That is service for you!

More adoptions on the cards for tomorrow…who else will have a home for Christmas?

New arrival – CERISE









And this girl arrived and was delivered home again!

brown medium sized dog

“Mona” reclaimed; Fido adopted

We mentioned last week that the owner of Mona (in reality Arteris) would collect her this week, and sure enough, no sooner had the week begun than this gorgeous gentle dog was back where she belongs. Many of us were bowled over by this girl, who despite her relatively young age (she is four), has a wisdom and calmness about her that is often only seen in older dogs.

The arrival of Fido four weeks ago was a bit of a mystery. Dogs like this are usually brought in from villages or by people who have found them following a hunt. What on earth was a dog of this kind doing in the centre of Carcassonne? Fido was not identified, but appeared to be used to affection, which again is not always the case with hunt type dogs. So was Fido a missing family pet? If so why was no one looking for him?

In any case all those questions are irrelevant, as Fido left for his new home today. Great news for this dog. Please do not be put off by the whole long ears thing. Yes, dogs of these breeds might be led by their noses, but most of them are extremely loving and desperate for affection. Without naming names, a couple of volunteers accidentally let go of Dumbo’s lead while walking him on Saturday, but it didn’t even occur to him to run away!

We had a couple of new arrivals, one of whom is a puppy, and we will get news on them tomorrow.

Mona (really Arteris) – RECLAIMED
Mona - female shepherd cross










Griffon cross

Sunday adoption of Lyndee

Despite the fact that today is Sunday, we have an adoption to tell you about! Lyndee arrived just ten days ago having been brought in by the Police Municipal who found this eight week old pup alone in the road. She may well have escaped from a local garden, as a dog of this age is unlikely to travel far under her own steam. Interesting that no one came to the SPA to reclaim her; perhaps the thought of having to pay a vet to have the puppy identified (a legal requirement) put them off…..How sad!

In any case, Lyndee had the good fortune to be taken home by volunteer Isa. Yes, yet again Isa and her family offered to a short term home to a puppy, meaning that the puppy goes from one loving home to another, with no time spent at the SPA. The adoption process takes place as for any other puppy, except it is Isa gets to choose the family that she feels is most suitable for the pup. Often she has several families who want the pup, and if you were one of them and were not chosen this time, perhaps you will be right for the next pup. Like people, pups all have their own characters!

This morning at 11 o’clock, Lyndee left with a family who have wanted a dog for a long time. Their excitement at adopting Lyndee has inspired the family’s grandparents to adopt a rescue dog too, so an adult dog from the SPA in Milhau (where they live) has a new home too.

Many thanks again to Isa and her family (and their dogs) who again have the house to themselves …for now at least!

Lyndee with her new family – ADOPTED
family of 4 carrying puppy Lyndee

Two more adoptions to end the week, but bad news too.

It has been an amazing week, with at least one adoption every single day and much cause for celebration. However already one of the best bits of news has been undone, with the return of Youki today. There is no point on dwelling on this too much. Every failed adoption teaches us something, and in Youki’s case it is that he needs a different home; one where he is allowed to adapt to family life in slow time. Luckily for him, though, Sabastien was at the SPA to take him straight out, and I am pretty sure that Karen will be happy to see him again too.

Moving on (cos who needs bad news at the weekend), two dogs who arrived yesterday left with their owner. One was identified and one wasn’t but both are now.

And we had two adoptions, which have cheered us up quite a bit. First to leave was Jess, the beautiful malinois who was abandoned earlier in the week following the divorce of his owners. Jess has a new home and another dog to play with (the new family came on Thursday to check that they got on okay) and this evening his brief sojourn at the SPA came to an end.

And then we said goodbye to little Bobby. Many of us were confident that he would be adopted last weekend, when he stole everyone’s heart at Jardiland. He had another week to wait, but at least he will be in a loving home for Christmas. He has his costume ready, as you can see. This little dog is adorable, good with cats, good with other dogs and so loving. Why has he waited so long for a home? One of the mysteries of the rescue world!

We had a couple of reservations, too, so despite a setback or two the week was still very positive. And although tomorrow is Sunday and the refuge is shut, we will have another adoption to tell you about!











little white dog

Adoption of Plouf and a Surprising Reunion!

Yet another adoption today. This time it was the turn of Plouf. This little lad arrived at the refuge just ten days ago having been rescued from the canal, hence his name (Splash!)  He was not identified, otherwise perhaps his owner would have come to reclaim him. Had they done so, we would have been able to have a “chat” about the state of his dog. Before Angelique came to his aid, Plouf was a huge ball of matted fur. Inside was a lovely friendly lad who is a sheer delight. It is terrible to see dogs like this. Okay, Plouf was not thin, and he was very well socialised, but there is a point at which negligence borders on mistreatment.

In any case, he left today with someone who has been looking for a small affectionate dog with whom he could share his life, and we are confident that Plouf will never be in such an unkempt state again.

The other big news of the day was that two dogs have found their owner. Who remembers when Gino and Mona arrived from Belvezes de Razes on November 29th? Well today their owner came to look for them! Apparently it had just not occured to him to contact the SPA! Here is a lesson to him and to other people who have lost their dogs (or cats). Let people know; search online, post photos on line and contact the Mairie and the Gendarmes and the Police and anyone else who will listen!

Gino (real name Toy) has already left (our vet was right, he is in fact 15 years old) and Mona will leave next week. Gino had a foster family waiting for him, and Mona (whose real name is Arteris) was very nearly homed on Sunday. Had that adoption taken place, there would have been no going back; once an adoption takes place it is final. All the more reason to make sure your dogs are identified and that your details are up to date!

In any case, a happy ending for Toy, who will soon be joined by newly sterilised Arteris, and of course not forgetting today’s other lucky lad, Plouf!

Now, what will Saturday bring?

small fluffy dog








Toy (ex Gino) 15 years old and RECLAIMED!

tricolured old dog

Goodbye to lovely Dolly

Another adoption today. This time it was the turn of calm and affectionate shepherd cross Dolly.

She arrived relatively recently and was reserved this weekend during our Christmas open days. In fact we have had at least one adoption every day this week, so although we were slightly disappointed at the number of dogs who left at the weekend, perhaps we are still benefiting from the publicity that came as part of the event. When you consider that we had three reservations today, you will agree that maybe there is magic in the air.

A very friendly teckel arrived, but she was identified and didn’t have long to wait before her family came in to collect her. Even had they not done so, Kitty would have been adopted very soon, for sure.

So a short but happy blog tonight. And more good news tomorrow!

brindle shepherd









And very briefly we had this lovely teckel at the SPA
Kitty- reclaimed

furry teckel

Adoption of Category 2 dog Huria- HURRAH!

Today the SPA had yet another wonderful adoption. There have been quite a lot of them lately, haven’t there? In any case, today’s (very) lucky dog was Huria. Her history does not make for happy reading, and for fear of upsetting small children (and many adults, including me), we will only post happy photos of the “after” version of this four and a half year old staff.

Huria was brought to the SPA about six months ago in a skeletal state. She had been found in a vacant apartment, alongside the body of her brother who had starved to death. Both dogs were tied up and unable to either eat or drink. We took her straight to the vet and even he was not sure if she could be saved. It was extremely distressing. She was looked after by staff-lover Val for a week or so until Alizée and Erwan were able to take her to their new home There she stayed for several months, gradually getting back to full strength. Once she was recovered, however, she started to have issues with the couple’s other female dog, and for everyone’s safety she had to come back to the SPA.

By this time however she was a right little butterball, and she lived in one of the parks, from which she went out on regular walks with volunteers Alizée and Erwan. Seldom has a refuge dog been happier, although of course they were upset that she was not at home in the warm with them.

Homing category 2 dogs (rottweilers or as in this case, pedigree staffs) is not easy. Luckily an excellent association, Les Delits D’Anges Heureux published photos of Huria and today, having completed the necessary formalities regarding permits and following a home check, a woman came from Department 81 to the SPA to take Huria to her new life.

Alizée and Erwan are both delighted, naturally, as are all the employees and the rest of the volunteers.

Ten more days before Christmas…let’s see which other dogs will be lucky enough to find a new home before Santa comes to call!

Huria – ADOPTED.
Many thanks to Alizée and Erwan and Les Delits D’Anges Heureux.
staff with new owner

Adoption of Lady and of Youki after over three years at the SPA

We have had some amazing adoptions recently and today we have another one! After three years and five weeks, Youki was finally adopted. This lab cross has just turned five years old, and more than three of those years have been spent at the SPA. Youki is not able to live with other dogs, so he has had to rely on the employees and volunteers for company.

All that has changed now, as Youki has a home. His family spent some time at the SPA yesterday, and Youki was the one for them. Today it was all smiles as Youki finally left the SPA.  Sadly Karen, one of his regular walkers ever since he arrived, had just left, and his newest fan, Sebastien, had not arrived for walking “duties” when his new family whisked him off. But both of them were delighted for him , as are we all. The year is not quite over, but this surely must be a contender for adoption of the year!

Yes, the photo below does indeed look like a professional photo from a beagle- lover’s calendar. Many thanks to Alizee, although in this case no photo was needed to attract people towards La Beaglette, or Lady as she is to be called as of today. Yes, after the minimum time of ten days, this gorgeous girl left for her new home. Her new family saw her on day one and have been on numerous occasions since to visit her. I know they were a bit nervous that she would be reclaimed, but today the wait was over.

We did have one arrival sadly, that of Jess, a young malinois who is the victim of a divorce. His owner finds herself in an apartment, and Jess needs a garden or at least he needs far more exercise than he is currently getting. So it is the SPA for him. But he is a fabulous dog who is fine with other dogs, cats and children, so we hope he won’t have long to wait.

Youki – ADOPTED after over three years.
big yellow lab cross









La Beaglette (aka Lady)- ADOPTED

la beaglette








New arrival – Jess



Monday adoption of Mila

We spoke in yesterday’s blog about how some dogs could be homed ten times over, whereas others wait for years. Well Mila, who was adopted today, is one of the lucky dogs who falls very much into the first category. She was reserved on Thursday, just a few days after arriving, and since then at least four families have fallen in love with her. Almost all of them asked if they could leave their phone number in case the person who reserved her changed his mind, and almost all of them were immune to the charms of our other dogs, so taken were they by Mila!

Strange, isn’t it? Not that she isn’t beautiful, but it is remarkable that she should have this effect on everyone. In any case, her new owner was the lucky one who saw her first, and he is no stranger to the SPA. We know that Mila will be extremely happy with him, and now that she has gone, maybe some of our other dogs will get some attention. It must be like going clubbing only to find that Angelina Jolie is there too!

Of course compared to the weekend, this afternoon was quiet at the SPA, with just one arrival. We will have news and photos tomorrow and news of at least one more adoption!

Mila – the canine equivalent of Angelina Jolie – ADOPTED
borwn dog with white chest