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Author Archives: Darcey Dyson

Go Go Liquo!

Anyone arriving at the SPA today and seeing all the cars may have thought that we would have numerous adoptions to report. Not so. But lots and lots of dogs were walked, which is always great.

And we did have one adoption! And it has been a long time coming for one dog and his new owner! Liquorice has been at the SPA for over a year. Arriving terrified in January 2017, he was adopted very quickly, but brought back almost immediately for being not cat friendly. Another unsuccessful and brief adoption followed, and it looked like this boy was having no luck at all.

But then Liquorice caught the eye of volunteer Lucile, who has been walking him regularly ever since. And whichever dog was sharing with Liquorice (latterly Aneth) has benefited enormously from this dedication, too. Sometimes Aneth would spend the night alone…this was because Liquorice was taken for “cat-familiarisation training”!

Although Lucile adored Liquorice, she was unable to adopt him. However today everything was finally ready. A house move has taken place (today!), cat is as ready as possible (speed training, maybe?), and it is go go GO for Liquorice. I wonder if when he leaves tonight he will expect to be brought back to his box, or if he knows that something is in the air? Perhaps the fact that he was given a farewell bath (many thanks to Angelique and Marion) will have given him a clue that his life was about to change. A very happy Lucile will give us news, I am sure.

black dog with Lucile

Liquorice – ADOPTED



Oh, Gino!

Today saw the adoption of Gino. The less said about his arrival the better, let’s just say that he is not good with cats, but coming back to the SPA was not his fault. Especially as his former owners did not have cats. He is a lovely boy, though, and more than deserving of a new home, despite his recent blotting of his copybook. In fact his new pal, Roxy, is even worse than him when it comes to disliking felines. Fortunately his new owners, Kim and Arthur, are well aware of this and will make sure he is not allowed to run riot.

They saw his photo on our site, and having recently lost their beloved boy Jack, had a place in their home for a new boy. Their girl was feeling lonely, and although at their first meeting she wasn’t too sure, by the second time they met Gino had won her over. He is such a relaxed boy, and we are delighted that he has found such a great home. We will get lots of news of him, that is for sure.

bull terrier

Gino – ADOPTED Here with new pal Roxy (on the left)

In other news, today DRC launched an appeal. You will probably have seen that February 16th is the start of the Chinese Year of the Dog, and in honour of this, we are asking everyone to donate just €1 to the DRC Paypal account. All money raised will, as ever, be used to help the animals at the SPA, and we want this year to be an extra special one. You can read more about the appeal here, but please give generously. And please don’t foget to note on your donation that it is for the Year of the Dog Appeal.

There is another adoption in the offing tomorrow, but perhaps there will be more than one. Let’s wait and see.

Sky is adopted

Today we said a happy goodbye to Sky. This lovely lad arrived at the end of November and we were sure he would not have long to wait. Young and handsome and okay with other dogs, he is quite a gem. He caught the eye of a woman who has recently moved to the area. Although she reserved him some time ago, she has visited regularly to walk Sky while she was busy settling down in her new apartment.

At last today was THE DAY, and so Sky is a very lucky boy. Not only does he already know his new mum, but he is safe and warm on this night, which is set to be the coldest night we have had.

pale shepherd with pointy ears


Incredible though it may seem to dog lovers, there are numerous calls every day from people who are chosing precisely this time of year to abandon their dogs. With temperatures due to plummet yet again over the next few days, this appears to be doubly cruel. The SPA is doing what it can, but thanks to yesterday’s mass arrival of puppies there is no more room inside, so please have some pity. Dogs do feel cold, and if they have spent all their lives up to now inside a heated house, the shock of a freezing kennel is even worse.

We already know that by this time tomorrow at least one more lucky dog will be in a warm home….But who will it be?

Adoption of Porto

Today has been grim. Just as the region goes onto amber alert for cold weather, eleven puppies are dumped at the SPA. The first, a litter of five, probably spent all night in the freezing exterior kennel (yes, freezing) and the others arrived in the afternoon. Let’s hope they all make it and that the people who are responsible get their comeuppance.

But moving onto more positive news (luckily there is some, or we would lose our minds), today saw the adoption of Porto. He is the oldest remaining of the Ste Eulalie dogs, and has gone to live with a supporter of the SPA. She contacted us yesterday looking for a small elderly female who could live with other animals. As Miss Marple was already spoken for, her eye fell on Rica. However, as Angelique explained, Rica is still young and extremely nervous on the lead. Whereas Porto is already 10 years old and much calmer on the lead as well as off.

So Porto’s time at the SPA is finally over, almost two years after his arrival. Make no mistake, dog hoarding brings misery both to the dogs and to the overburdened refuges who take in the largely unsocialised dogs. Porto has made progress while at the SPA, thanks to the staff and volunteers, particularly his sponsor mum Dominique. But there is still work to be done to help him regain his confidence.

Many thanks to his new mum for giving this boy a chance, and crucially as the temperature drops, a place in the warm.

small black dog with grey muzzle

Porto – ADOPTED after two years

Miss Marple finds……a home

Well, after all the excitement of Sunday the last couple of days have been relatively quiet at the SPA. Not in terms of arrivals, sadly, with six dogs arriving just yesterday. But on a more positive note, today we had our first adoption of the week.

The lucky lady is none other than Miss Marple. She arrived almost two weeks ago, and has been living in the cat house ever since. She is quite elderly, (the vet estimates her age as being 12, not all that old for a tiny dog, but not young either) and she was in need of an operation. As is quite often the case for unsterilised dogs of her age, she has breast cancer, meaning two quite big operations. As she arrived very thin, the first of these could not be carried out until today. The next will be in a couple of weeks, but as the Pound time is up, there is no reason why Miss Marple cannot go to live with her new family, who have been waiting patiently.

In fact it was they who found this little dog straying, and as they said today, they took it as a sign. So lucky Marple has gone to live with them, and in a few weeks she will have her second operation and then hopefully many more years of happiness ahead of her.

small cross with big brown ears

Miss Marple – ADOPTED

Three Adoptions

We had three adoptions today, and so although the overall mood is glum, we have to dust ourselves off and carry on.

First to leave today was Dayron. This big and impressive dog arrived in April last year, meaning he has been at the SPA for almost a year. Sadly for him he has not been able to share his kennel, and as he is very strong, not all the volunteers have been able to walk him. However he has kept his good humour, and one of his regular walkers has fallen under his charm so much that today she adopted him! We love it when this happens. Dayron is a very lucky boy!

big shepherd cross

Dayron – ADOPTED 

Next to leave was little shih-tzu Happy. He is the “brother” of recently adopted French bulldog Laika (now renamed Ella) and has gone home to live with a lovely couple and their elderly Cavalier King Charles spaniel. Happy will keep his name, and this time it will be more appropriate, after all the recent upheavals in his life. His new owners are at home all day and have cats, too. It sounds just perfect, and we will keep up to date with news.

little shih-tzu


Finally, and although he will not be leaving the SPA till tomorrow, Benji’s new family came to visit him today and officially adopt him. They have come all the way from the south of Spain to collect him, and as they will be spending tonight in a hotel, decided that it would cause less disruption to Benji to pretend that today’s walk was just that; another walk with a volunteer.

Benji has found his home thanks to Sharon and Andrew, who adopted Radley from us seven years ago. They have kept in touch and follow the news on Facebook, and when they saw Benji they knew he would be ideal for their friends. Benji was vaccinated against rabies 3 weeks ago, and today they all came to collect him. Of course in the meantime we have been sending news and videos to show his new family Benji’s evolution from the terrified dog who arrived at the SPA a few days before Christmas to the happy and friendly boy they met today.

hairy griffon


The photograh shown here was taken on the mass walk that took place last month, and by coincidence another one is taking place tomorrow. This time people have been asked to sign up in advance, and it is already oversubscribed. How lovely that instead of spending the afternoon in their kennels, many of the dogs will be having fun. The SPA is open, but please bear in mind if you are coming to look for a dog, many of them will be out and about!


Adoption of Lana, but RIP Rico

Today started with the shocking news of the death of Rico. He had been fighting for his life for 48 hours at the vets, but he could not be saved. Thus brings to a sad end one of the saddest tales of the SPA, that of a dog who had a life of misery with dog hoarders, then two years at the SPA before dying. The only love he ever knew was at the refuge, and just as he started making progress, his life was cut short.

Following on the heels of the death of the puppy and Harley the boxer last week, not to mention all the dogs being abandoned, this has been a terrible start to the year. Needless to say morale amongst staff and volunteers is very low.

small balck ratter

RIP Rico

We are kept afloat by adoptions, and we had one today, that of little beagle cross Lana. She arrived in mid-January, timid and unidentified. However being very pretty as well as small and female, we knew she would not have a long wait. Today following her sterilisation she left for her new life.

small beagle cross


The SPA is open both tomorrow and on Sunday, so there is still a chance for more good news, but I think most of us will just be glad when this week is over.

Two abandons and two adoptions

We have both good and bad news today.

Brenda was brought back after just three days in her new home, as apparently she is aggressive with the family’s other dog. We know Brenda is fine with everyone, and in fact the family did come along and make sure the two dogs got on, so all should have been well. And probably would have in a day or so. There are often niggles when two dogs meet in a new home. These usually stop quickly and the dogs end up being best friends.  And of course we are always here to give advice. But advice can only be given if people are willing to take it, and so poor Brenda is back. Sharing her box of course.

pale brown and white griffon

Brenda is back

It is particularly annoying as the family reserved Brenda weeks in advance.  So that is it, the SPA is no longer taking reservations more than 2 weeks in advance unless the dog is waiting to travel abroad.

Before the ink was dry on that contract of abandon, back came puppy Marcus (who was called Tonito when he was adopted in November). He is now four months old and was abandoned for …well, being a puppy, I guess. So that wasn’t the best home either.

small black puppy

4-month old Marcus is back too


Moving onto today’s good news; two adoptions.

First to leave was Laika. You probably won’t have seen her, but this little French bulldog has been here for a few weeks. This was not her first visit, but we were waiting for the go ahead to rehome her due to the long term illness of her owner. Of course dogs like this are much in demand, so it is lucky that Laika was spotted by a family who will be there for her through thick and thin. She has been in the wars recently, but is in great hands and we will get regular news of her in her new life.

French bulldog


Then another great adoption, that of Junior, who is also here due to the long term illness of his owner. He arrived in early November with his pal Jolie, who is still looking for a home. But lucky Junior was chosen by a family with young children today, and was last seen in the arms of his new admirers.

pale spaniel

Junior – ADOPTED

So that was Thursday then! What a strange week it has been so far!

Adoptions of Mojito and Sno

We have two adoptions to tell you about today. Both dogs are a bit timid, and it is lovely to think of both of them happily homed and able to gain confidence in their new homes.

First off Mojito. This one year old border collie arrived just before new year, and wherever he had been before coming to the SPA can’t have been much fun. He was terrified of people and spent several days inside as he hated all the noise of the refuge. Dogs like this can really tug at your heartstrings, and Mojito was no exception. As well as being sponsored by volunteer Marjorie and adored by staff and volunteers, Mojito became the favourite of volunteer Léa. She was determined to show him that he had nothing to fear, and set about walking him and helping him rediscover the world.

Of course this would be far easier if Mojito were not at the SPA. So guess what? Yes, Léa and her family adopted him! So we will have lots of new and photos of this lovely lad.

border collie

Mojito – ADOPTED

Next up we have Sno. This lovely lad (who looks like a small lurcher) was found as a stray by employee Marion, and she and her family spent some 2 months trying to coax him towards their house. During this time he proved himself to be good with cats, other dogs, chickens and goats.  It broke their hearts to bring him to the SPA, but it was the best thing that could have happened, as less than 2 weeks later Sno is off to his new home. Where there are also chickens, cats and goats!



So good news today, and hopefully more tomorrow.

Adoption of Brenda and Méli is back home.

Today Brenda left for her new home together with Peter and Hilary and their ex SPA griffon Benji. In fact this lovely girl was reserved in December, but for various reasons her new family was unable to take her until today. Many of you will have realised that she has not been at the SPA for several weeks and for that we (and she) have to thank foster family Debbie and Andrew who took Brenda home so she could recover from her sterilisation in the warmth of their home. And, (judging from the photos) the comfort of their sofa!

dog lying down on sofa

Brenda on sofa

We weren’t able to perfectly match up dates, which meant a weekend at the SPA for Brenda. However the lovely staff managed to find her a spot indoors, so clever Brenda probably knew something was up. Today she left for her new life, and we are sure she will be very happy. She is a lovely girl and Debbie and Andrew became very fond of her, despite her Houdini tendencies! Many thanks to them for looking after Brenda so well and to her new family for offering her a permanent home.

pale brown and white griffon

Brenda – ADOPTED

In other news beautiful Méli  was reclaimed. She had been with us for almost ten days, and there was a wonderful family waiting to adopt her, despite the fact that she had been diagnosed with a heart condition. On Saturday a woman phoned from the Var; her dogs (both identified) had been stolen in August, and Méli bears a strong resemblance to the younger of the two. Today she drove all the way to see if she recognised Méli close up, not just on photos. So the good news is that Méli is now re-chipped (perhaps this happens more frequently than we thought?) and has gone back home. This is of course what we wish for all our “found” dogs, although it is hard for the family who had offered her a new home.

very white golden retriver


Another dog, Saturday’s arrival Magnac, was reclaimed yesterday, thanks to Estelle who prefered to give up some of her Sunday  than leave a dog wait another day for the SPA to open.

little teckel


More good news like this please. Let’s make this week a better one than the last one!