Home / Author Archives: Darcey Dyson (page 4)

Author Archives: Darcey Dyson

Adoption of Podenco Sacha

Yesterday we mentioned that more good news was due, and we also mentioned that Queenie’s podenco friend, Sacha, would be leaving the SPA soon. By putting two and two together, you can guess that today was the day that Sacha left the SPA for her new home. She is a very lucky girl, she caught the eye of Sylvie straight away. She and her husband had adopted podenco Bill from the SPA last year, and when Sylvie saw Sacha she said “She is MINE!”

At first Sacha was too thin and weak to be able to make new friends, but as soon as she had gained a bit of strength, she was introduced to Bill to make sure it was a good match. Today she went to the vet to be sterilised and then went straight home to start the rest of what we are sure will be a long and happy life.

tiny podenco in arms of woman

A rather sleepy-looking Sasha – ADOPTED

In other good news one of Saturday’s arrivals was reclaimed. This mini labrador, whom we called Huxley, is really called Floyd, and by all accounts is a bit of an escape artist, despite having a huge garden to amuse himself in. At least now he is identified, so will be able to find his owners quicker should he wonder off again.

pale lab



Two Adoptions and Fynn’s Family are Foster Failures

In the first of three wonderful news items today, we have the adoption of Texas, hopefully bringing to an end the rather disrupted life this dog has had recently.

Texas was rehomed directly from his former family last year, then brought to the SPA (together with recently rehomed English bull terrier Gino) when his new owners no longer wished to keep him. This was a total shock for Texas, who was not at all suited to life behind bars. When not sharing his kennel with another dog, this boy would perform Houdini-type feats of escape, all to search out company, be it canine or human. Worst of all, if confined to his cage, he used to press himself against the bars looking miserable.

He is a beautiful dog, so inevitably there were several people interested in offering Texas a new home. But there is no point letting a dog leave for an unsuitable home. Yesterday’s visitors looked far more promising, however. They have two huskies, and a well-enclosed garden. But would the dogs get on? Cue Vincent, our dog-whisperer, who supervised the meet and greet today.

Texas left with a huge smile on his face, and his joy was shared by all the staff and volunteers. Long and happy life to you, Texas.



Next we said goodbye to Queenie. She arrived a couple of weeks ago, together with a tiny podenco cross. Both dogs were thin and timid, but the lovely SPA staff found a place in the warm for them both. As neither dog was identified we had no way of contacting their owner(s), and of course the best thing was for them to find new homes. Lovely Queenie was sterilised today, and has gone to live with a volunteer! We are not sure if she knows yet, her husband is planning on surprising her this evening, so no names. But we will have lots of news of this little lass. And don’t feel sorry for Queenie’s podenco pal; she will be leaving very soon as well.

small spaniel

Queenie – ADOPTED

Finally today we can tell you that bruno de Jura Finn (now Fynn;the Y is a very important letter for personal reasons) has been officially adopted. Most of you will have read about him; wandering in a nearby village and evading capture for several months before making it to the safety of the SPA in mid-December. His arrival coincided almost exactly with the tragic death of adored ex- SPA dog, Lily-Blue, and her owners took this as some kind of sign.

Other signs were of course Fynn’s unfeasibly long ears (Lily-Blue won three of the prizes in last year’s DRC dog show, including “dog with the longest ears”), and the fact that he was timid but trusting and loyal. And good with cats. Yvonne and Henny followed Fynn’s progress at the SPA, and by attrition he worked his way into their hearts. A couple of weeks ago they offered to foster Fynn to get to know him, but by then I think we all knew that the writing was on the wall. Regular updates showed just how much they had fallen under his spell, especially after he and their cat started sharing a basket (on day four). And then the announcement on their Facebook page, LangueDog, told us what we had already guessed; Fynn is staying right where he is.

bruno de jura

A nervous looking Fynn on the day he arrived at the SPA

This is the best possible news for this lovely dog, and shows once again how quickly and dramatically a dog’s life can change once he gets to the SPA. Yes, Fynn still has a long way to go, but he is in the best possible place to develop. He is already attending dog school, where, to quote Yvonne, “he continues to impress in a handsome, quiet kind of way”. And he will not be short of love and affection, that is for sure. Many thanks to Yvonne and Henny for opening up their huge hearts to this boy. They have promised us a story for “Life after the Refuge” in due course and that will be a fascinating read.

DRC sponsored Fynn while he was at the SPA. Moira was one of the team who fed Fynn and tried to catch him for several months. And I walked him at the SPA while he was there, seeing him evolve from a terrorised newbie to an affectionate and relatively happy boy. So we both feel very close to this lad. We couldn’t be happier for him. It is almost as if he is staying part of the family.

bruno de Jura

And a much happier looking Fynn – ADOPTED by his foster family

And more good news is on the way tomorrow, too.

Lucky Laslo

As we had hoped, the last pup didn’t have too long to wait! Little Laslo left for his new home today, and we are delighted for him.

black and tan puppy


If you are after a puppy, however, dont be upset. There is a litter of six pups who will be ready for adoption soon, and of course we will show you photos of them as soon as we can. But please do not forget the “not-quite-pups”, either. One of them, Marcus, was adopted as a tiny puppy and brought back when he was a bigger puppy, and gorgeous Lafille is the kind of dog that turns heads at any age.

black spaniel cross

Five month old Marcus is looking for a new home

Okay, they may have lost their initial puppy cuteness, but that happens to all pups! And these two are well on the way to being housetrained, even if they do have the occasional lapse. Let’s not let them get left behind, just because there are younger pups at the SPA.

sharpei cross

Six month old Lafille is looking for a home too

We have at least one adoption in the pipeline tomorrow, by the way, so remember to read the blog!

Adoption of Puppy Lisette

Two dogs of very different sizes left the SPA today.

Lisette was one of the pups from the litter of five, her brother Samy was adopted on Saturday. In fact Lisette’s new family met her that day, but decided to think about the implications of adopting a puppy. Yes, it is not to be taken lightly; this puppy will become an adult dog who will rely on its owners for upwards of ten years. That is quite a commitment, so best to think about it first. Besides which, this thinking time meant that Laslo was not alone all day yesterday. He is alone now, however, so it is fingers crossed that he finds a home this week.

black and tan pup

Lisette – ADOPTED

And on the big dog front, Saturday’s arrival, a beautiful Pyrenean mountain dog whom we named Jaqin, but who is really called Diesel, was reclaimed today. Of course he is now identified, so should he ever go walkabout again, his owners will be easier to contact.

pyrenean mountain dog

“Jaqin” aka Diesel – RECLAIMED

So that is all the news for now, but there is more good news on the horizon this week for sure.

Life of Brian

Today the refuge is shut, so we are happy to share yet another tale from our section devoted to Life after the Refuge. Tonight’s guest blogger is Kim, who, with husband Arthur, adopted Gino a week or so ago. All is going well, as you can see below.

Brian (fomerly Gino)

Well, where do I begin. My name is Brian. I was adopted from the SPA in Carcassonne on Friday 9th February 2018, so only a week or so ago and I already have my paws well and truly settled under the table.

My original name was Gino, but my new feeding lady had to change it because every time she called me she would start singing the Geno song from the 1980s, it was driving her madder than she already is, though that isn’t difficult, it doesn’t take much for her to be a bit batty.

I have a new sister called Roxy, she’s lovely most of the time, we have had a few spats but it soon calmed down, especially when the feeding lady said she wouldn’t give us a treat, blimey, that was a shock to hear, no treats! but I love my bits of apple and stuff she sneaks to me.

Ain’t I cute? And look at my sexy bum!

She whispers in my ears that I am a lovely boy and she will love me forever, not just me Roxy as well, she thinks we’re the bees knees (I didn’t know bees had knees)

I get fed twice a day, which is brilliant, feeding lady mixes grated carrot and chopped apple in with my biscuits, AND, I get sardines or yogurt in it as well, Roxy only gets fed once a day but that’s because she’s smaller than I am and fatter but don’t tell her that. Oh oh oh, we get to go for 2 or 3 walks every day, unless it’s raining, then the mad lady only get to take us once if she’s really lucky, I don’t like the rain much and my new bezza mate hates it, so we get to stay warm and very farty in the house, it’s brilliant.

Here I am, all warm and farty

The weather up here is wayyyy colder than it is in Carcassonne, I get to wear a new coat every day but sometimes the sun shines and it’s lovely and warm so I go on more walks in the forest and by a canal somewhere oooh I nearly forgot, Roxy likes rolling in poo nearly as much as me, the thing I don’t understand is why the feeding lady goes a bit weirdly batty, all I can hear is ‘NONONONONONONO’ this is when I decide I can only understand French, it’s great being a bilingual dog, I can get away with selective hearing.

In the snow with my friend Roxy. She’s okay….

There’s only a few things I don’t like very much, mad feeding lady cleans my ears out twice every day and puts squidgy stuff in them, not only that she cleans one of my eyes and puts stuff in that as well, she tells me it’s going to stop my ears itching and my eye will feel better, oh the price we dogs have to pay just to keep you humans happy!

So, a week of living with feeding lady, Roxy and beardy bloke, I think I’ll stay, I’ll let you all know how things go but I reckon I’m gonna be happy here. Sorry, I have to go, I was sure I heard something that sounds like food, I need to rest my head on anyone’s knee to help them feel sorry for me, maybe if I breathe in I’ll look like a little waif! that might work, Bye for now.

Life is GOOD!

Lots of love Brian

Super Saturday

Just like at the Winter Games, today was Super Saturday at the SPA!

First off, the adoption of Izzie. She was brought in for rehoming last week as her owner no longer had time to look after her. Inevitably this seven year old labrador looked quite bewildered by her change in fortune. It must be strange for a dog to arrive in a busy (and COLD) refuge after being in a home for that long.

Luckily Izzie got quite a lot of attention on Facebook, and several people mentioned how much she looked like a dog from their past. One such person was Jackie, who drove for 5 hours to be able to introduce Izzie to her 12 year old doberman today. The SPA is closed in the mornings, but when someone has made this amount of effort to meet a dog, popping in during the morning is the least we can do!

Izzie was introduced to Tess on a walk, and then they were let off together in a park. All went well, needless to say, and Izzie was more than happy to jump into the car for the long journey home. A wonderful life awaits, and of course we will post photos of Izzie in her new home.

lab cross



We had more wonderful news this afternoon…the adoption of Brenda! Her new family had been talking about getting a dog for some time, and decided on the spur of the moment to come along today. Sometimes timing is everything.

It was love at first sight when they spotted Brenda. A walk made them even more confident in their choice, and they were further reassured by the notes left at the SPA by Debbie and Andrew, who had looked after Brenda while she was recovering from her sterilisation. It is logical that the more we know about a dog, the easier it is to find him or her a new home. Brenda has a great CV, and now she will have the life she deserves.

white and brown griffon

Brenda – ADOPTED

We also said goodbye to three puppies. Earlier this week we were worried that Samy would be alone this weekend, as he was the only pup from his litter (of five) not to have been reserved. As it turned out, however, the people who had reserved two of his siblings were no-shows. So there are now two pups left, one male and one female. But at least they are not alone, and we hope they will find new homes next week.

brown and tan puppy

Samy – ADOPTED (as were two of his siblings)

So a good end to the week after all.

Adoptions of Coco and Jango

At last, some more adoptions! Yes, it has been another slow week at the SPA, but the departure of two dogs today has put a smile on our faces.

First to leave was Coco, a tiny pinsher who was found straying in a nearby village at the start of February. Initially someone from the Paris region thought they recognised him, but sadly the dates did not match. The SPA loves reuniting dogs with their owners, and sometimes dogs can travel remarkable distances. However they cannot travel backwards through time! Microchipping your dog makes it harder for cases of mistaken identity to happen, of course.

Coco’s new family had missed out on adopting another pinsher from the SPA, and they were very quick to react when they saw Coco. Many thanks to them for holding out for a rescue dog. We look forward to news and photos of Coco in his new home.

black and tan pinsher


Today’s second leaver is a real DRC favourite. Jango has been at the SPA since May last year, and we have no idea why he was not adopted sooner. Probably a labrador/spaniel cross, Jango is a lovely boy, and although he is a bit strong on the lead when he walks with his kennelmate, alone he is as good as gold. His new family took several dogs out before deciding that Jango was the one for them; the combination of affection and good looks was a winner!

lab/spaniel cross


Tomorrow is Saturday and we are hoping for more good news ; something is on the cards, so fingers crossed everyone!

And don’t forget that today is the official start of the Year of the Dog. Let’s make this year a wonderful one for dogs the world over, but especially those at the SPA Carcassonne.

Capone and Senna are adopted

Today we had two adoptions, both of dogs who arrived identified on the same day!

First to leave was Capone, a bull terrier cross. He was microchipped, but there was no reply to the SPA’s phone call to his owners, nor did they respond to the letter that was sent to inform them that their dog was at the SPA. He was reserved by a family who just had to wait for the 10 days pound time to finish, and today was the day. Capone is a lovely lad, affectionate and handsome, and we are sure he will be very happy.

black and white bulldog cross

Capone – ADOPTED

Second to leave was Senna, a French bulldog. Like Capone he arrived identified, but this time the phone number of his owner was no  longer in service. There was no reply to the letter, either, and as this was not Senna’s first time at the refuge, his owner knew all about how the SPA works. So for his new family it was the same thing, waiting for the ten days’ pound time to be up. To be honest, though, Senna arrived extremely thin, so no one was very upset when he left for a new home today.

French bulldog

We look forward to hearing news of both dogs in their new homes.

Adoption of Puppy Napoleon

Today saw the departure of lovely pup Napoleon. If you remember the recently adopted French bulldog, Laika, and her shih-tzu friend, Happy? Well this is the third of the trio. Their owner was no longer able to look after her dogs and they were brought in for rehoming. Napoloen is the last to leave, but there is no need to feel sorry for him. He has not been at the SPA all this time, and in a way he is extra lucky, as he was taken into foster by malinois-loving volunteer Stephanie. She recently fostered malinois puppy Nikita, and hopes one day to welcome adult malinois Isidor into her home permanently. Today her second tour of duty as a foster mum is complete.

Stephanie chose the family carefully; Napoleon will be a very active and intelligent adult, and it is important to find a family who is right for the adult dog, not just the cute playful puppy that he is right now. Napoloeon’s new family are sporty, going for regular runs, as well as having a young child. So this young chap will have plenty of activities to keep him busy. Many thanks to Stephanie for looking after this little lad.

malinois pup

Napoleon – ADOPTED Many thanks to foster mum Stephanie

We had a couple of reservations, including several of the new pups. Needless to say we are hoping for a better week than the last couple have been.

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