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Author Archives: Darcey Dyson

Happy Huskies (or A dream comes true for Nilo and Oaka)

Today something wonderful happened. The ScPA’s two huskies, Nilo and Oaka, left for a new life together!

I can’t count the number of times that dogs have arrived together and been separated upon adoption. Okay, dogs usually bounce back fine, even when they seem very attached to one another. But it is always a bit sad to see them go their separate ways. However adopting two dogs at the same time (and often from the same family) is not for everyone, and hardly ever happens. Especially when the dogs are not small and are of a breed known for being a bit difficult.

Today however the dream came true for Nilo and Oaka. They arrived together towards the end of September and today a young couple who are experienced with the breed offered a home to both dogs! There had been other people interested in one or other of the dogs, (unsurprisingly more people wanted Oaka, although she is the more complicated of the couple), but keeping them together is far better.

So tonight we say thank you to their new family and wish Nilo and Oaka many happy years ahead. Still together but in a much more suitable home.

Oaka – ADOPTED…..


….together with her mate, Nilo

There was more good news, with a very elderly dog who arrived about a week ago being reclaimed. Harry was estimated as being 15 years old, so finding him a new home would have been no easy task, especially as he is a quite a big dog. Far better that he should be back in his own home.

Fifteen year old Harry – RECLAIMED

We could do with lots more news like this, and there is still a weekend ahead for more miracles!

Adoption of Méline and Tina

Today was rainy and horrible and generally one of those days that is best avoided if possible. However life at the refuge continues regardless of the weather, and as long as adoptions happen, the mood remains positive.

Today two lucky dogs left for new lives. One of them, nine year old Tina, had only been there for a week, since being brought in for rehoming some 14 months after being adopted. Not all adoptions work out, but when it is not the dog’s fault, there is no reason why there shouldn’t be a quick turn round. Especially when a dog is small, female and absolutely adorable. Yes, everyone loved Tina when she arrived last year, and she has lost none of her charm in the intervening period.

Tina’s new mum is well known to the ScPA; as well as being a regular dog walker, she adopted Hera (also known as the Bullet Dog, for those of you with good memories) who is sadly no longer with us. Yes, Tina we knew that Tina would be readopted with no problem, but it is lovely that she has found such a wonderful home so quickly with such a devoted new mum.

small grey headed terrier


The second adoption was that of Méline. Now this girl has been at the refuge for almost a year, and funnily enough she was sharing with Fly who had also been waiting for a long time before being adopted recently. Sometimes this is the way it works; one dog in a kennel leaves and this enables the other dog to be seen more, or perhaps be seen in a different light. In any case, Méline is a lovely girl, who has come a long way since her arrival last December.

At the time she was a bag of bones and had obviously just had a litter of pups (not her first, I am betting). She was very nervous and refused to go too far from the refuge on walks, she just seemed to want the safety of her kennel, where there was regular food and cuddles. Staff and volunteers have done a great job with her, she is now a confident and (mostly) sociable girl, and everyone is delighted that she has a new home.

Many thanks to her new family and also to that of Tina.

shepherd cross

Méline – ADOPTED

If we have two adoptions on such a miserable day, imagine how many we will have when the weather improves. If it ever does, that is! Stay warm and dry everyone, and spare a thought for the dogs at the ScPA who are hoping that they too will soon be in front of a log fire.

More Fundraising in Action

It has been some time since Moira and I blogged every day come hail or shine. Now we only blog if there is an adoption or other news to pass on. Sometimes this involves a fundraising event or initiative, and such is the case today.

Many of you will know Karen Hendry, who is a great supporter of DRC and the ScPA. Sadly she lives too far away to dog walk on a regular basis, but she pops in from time to time and does plenty of sharing of posts, which is very important, especially as Karen is a busy woman with a huge number of contacts.

She has a lot of good ideas too, and the most recent one of which is designed to bring funds to the refuge over a long period. And as everyone can join in even from a distance, we thought we would share her idea here. Basically Karen produces a numbered grid on her Facebook page, and people “buy” squares, at 2€ each.  Each month a number is pulled out of a hat, and 50% of the money pledged, goes to the winner to spend on a range of Norwex products, (you can contact Karen direct for more information) the ScPA receiving the other 50% in cash. Or rather as a cheque. Isn’t that genius?

The first cheque (for October) was delivered to the refuge last Thursday, and Karen and her husband took the opportunity to walk Melba, a hunt type dog whom Karen rescued and brought to the ScPA last month. The plan is to continue with this fundraising and make the cheques a regular thing. November’s grid is already filling up. Who knows where this could end?

Here is a photo of Karen with some of the employees and the first cheque. Shame we could not get one of those huge cheques that lottery winners are given, but maybe later on. Think BIG!

If you would like to join in, visit Karen’s Facebook page (the fundraising is set to public, obviously, there is no need to request her as a friend). Pledge away and remember that even if it is not your number that comes up, you will be helping out the animals at the refuge. Let me tell you, the odds are far better here than with the National Lottery!

Hopefully adoption news tomorrow, and hopefully better weather too.

Adoption of Puppy Pepsy

As we have said on many occasions we hate it when pups grow up at the refuge. Today’s adoptee, Pepsy, has been at the ScPA for almost 2 months, but it could have been a lot longer. This is because she, along with her brother Paco, were brought to the refuge as a result of mistreatment (or rather neglect). The wheels of justice can turn very slowly in France, as elsewhere, causing many of us to fear that the pups would be well into adulthood by the time they were “released” for adoption.

Pepsy when she arrived

As it turned out, however, it was relatively quick. However at the time there was a litter of five even younger pups also waiting for homes, and it was only now that the “Shoes puppies” have all left that Pepsy’s turn has come. And her brother Paco is still waiting (as incidentally are two further dogs from the same owner, Kitana and Gino, both adults).

The two photos below are both of Pepsy; when she arrived and when she left. Yes, this is how quickly pups grow, and why it is important to rehome them before they lose too much of the cute factor. We are all hoping that Paco’s turn comes really soon.

Pepsy today – ADOPTED

In other news a boxer and a terrier who arrived yesterday were both reclaimed and are now both identified. Somebody at the refuge must have been eating lunch when they named the dogs Mayo and Naise. In fact they are called Fini and Mango, and as Fini, the terrier is 14 years old, it is great that she was reclaimed.

So it was a good start to the week, and let’s hope that before the week comes to an end, that many more dogs have new homes, and that amongst them is lovely Paco.

Three Adoptions on a Tempestuous Sunday

Despite the passage of Tempest Amelie in the area, bringing high winds and heavy showers, the refuge was buzzing today. And it wasn’t just hardy dog-walkers who were about, there were also three adoptions to end the week!

First off was Luna a small and very lively Jack Russell who arrived at the refuge in July. As Luna is one of the refuge’s smallest dogs, you might be surprised that it has taken her so long to find a new home. But it is not such a surprise when you know that she is a real escape artist. Luna has been seen climbing fences like a monkey, and has managed to evade the legs of many of the staff and volunteers as they entered her kennel. Today she left with Chris and Derrick, who have been to visit on a couple of prior occasions and today introduced Luna to their jack russell in the hope that all would be well between them. And it was! So today we say farewell to lucky Luna (now renamed Doris!) and we wish her and her new family loads of happiness and doubtless plenty of jack russell related shenanigans.



Next to leave was Buster, who is a fabulous boxer cross who was adopted and brought back for rehoming shortly afterwards. That was towards the end of August, and lovely Buster just went back to sharing his kennel and going on his walks like the well-behaved dog that he is.

It is great that he didn’t have too long to wait this time. Mind you, with his stunning looks and friendly nature, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.

boxer cross


Next to leave was Vaema. In actual fact she left a week or so ago for a trial period, which is not something the ScPA does often, but Vaema is a special case. That is because, despite her young age (just over a year old) she has severe mobility issues probably as a result of being hit by a vehicle when she was a puppy. Both DRC and the ScPA have been looking for a long term foster for Vaema ever since she arrived at the end of May, but until recently no one was able to offer her the life she needs.

Then all of a sudden her luck changed! Vaema’s new family have another dog, and this is the main reason that there was a trial period. It is always important that a family’s dogs get on well, but even more so when one of them has mobility issues and is unable to defend him or herself if necessary.

As recent photos of the two dogs sharing a sofa prove, Vaema has found a wonderful home. And better still, her new family have decided to adopt her. Okay in the overall scheme of things it makes no difference to the dog, it is just like a marriage contract in that respect, as opposed to cohabiting. But it wonderful nonetheless, and we say huge thanks to Vaema’s family and wish them and their new pack member a long and healthy life.

black long haired dog

Vaema – from fostered to ADOPTED

There were some fabulous reservations too, so the week ended very well indeed!

Adoption of Kyka

Only one adoption today, but as it is a case of second time lucky for the dog in question, it is a good one.

Kyka arrived at the refuge in May but it took until mid September for her to attract the eye of a family. Why is that, you ask, as Kyka is an adorable young girl, playful, sociable, and full of joy. What is that we were saying about hidden gems? Yes, Kyka definitely fell into that category. However sadly her first adoption did not work out. Left alone for too long with nothing to do, Kyka set about amusing herself in the only way she could find, and the owners were not happy with her ideas of interior decorating!

So about a month after her adoption Kyka was brought back, and many of us feared that she would have another long wait. Being medium sized and medium brown does not help, it must be said. But today Kyka was given another chance and she has left for a new home. Her new family know that Kyka cannot be left alone for long periods, initially at least, and everything seems to be on track for success. She is truly a wonderful young girl, and we hope she will be very happy, and bring her family nothing but happiness.

medium brown dog


Tomorrow’s weather doesn’t look as if it will be much better than today’s, but if we can have an adoption on a wet and windy Saturday, we can surely have at least one on a wet and windy Sunday!

Four Friday adoptions.

This is another week that started off calmly in terms of adoptions but which is ending well. Four dogs left the refuge today for new lives. Three had been reserved earlier so were no surprise, but that doesn’t make the adoptions any less wonderful. And the fourth one came out of the blue.

First up was Panda. This pretty shepherd cross arrived in mid August at an estimated age of six years, although since Panda has been with us and gained in confidence and weight, she seems to be rejuvenated. Although always friendly, Panda was very scared of people, particularly on first meeting. She loved the people she knew well and has been a favourite with staff and volunteers alike. Ten weeks have made a huge difference to Panda, who has now left for a wonderful new life with a loving family including what we hope will be a loving cat!

white dog with black eye patches


Next off was Max. No one was surprised that this fabulous young golden retriever should be adopted so soon after his arrival. Max was brought in for rehoming by his family due to health reasons (no, not Max’s health) and thanks to them the ScPA knew that Max was good with other dogs, cats and children. Yes this is what I think of as the holy trinity! A stunning lad, Max has had less than a week to wait, and at under 4 years old, has a long and we hope stable life ahead of him.

golden retriever


Third to leave was Idylle, another dog who was brought in for rehoming by her family. We love responsible owners who bring their dogs in, especially when the reasons for rehoming are genuine, as was the case for both Idylle and Max. A decision to remodel your garden does not count as a good reason, by the way, but that is a whole different story!

Idylle is a fabulous American bulldog, a breed that is not on the list of dangerous dogs in France, despite having similar morphology. This meant that she could be adopted without all the paperwork required by owners of categorised dogs. Just over 2 months after her arrival Idylle’s new life has begun.

chunky pale brown and white dog

Idylle – ADOPTED

Three departures meant we were already quite upbeat when later in the afternoon we heard that there had been a fourth adoption, that of Perla. This white shepherd cross was found near a local supermarket, and was not reclaimed. Moira and I both adored her when we met her, she has amazing body language, a very wiggly girl. No one has any idea why she was not reclaimed, but the good news is that she only spent some 3 weeks at the refuge before finding a new home.

white shepherd cross


We wish her and today’s other leavers much love and happiness and hope that this week’s total number of adoptions is going to exceed the number of arrivals. If that is to be the case, it needs to be a bumper weekend!

Adoption of Fly and Banksie

It seems like forever since we have had an adoption. And admittedly it has been a while. Luckily today brought two, and both of them are of dogs who have been waiting a long time, and who both fell into the category of “hidden gem”

First off was Fly, a spaniel cross who has been waiting for a new home since December 2018. He has been the DRC urgent appeal more than once, and neither Moira nor I have been able to understand why he has had to wait so long for a new home. When he arrived Fly was very wary of people but during his eleven months at the refuge he has turned into a fabulous lad.

As one of the refuge’s “steady dogs”, he has shared his kennel with many different pals, but until now it has been a case of “always the bridesmaid, never the bride”. However today Fly’s turn finally came, and at the age of nearly eight, Fly has a new home.

spaniel cross


Second to leave was a dog who is really close to my heart. In fact I have been his official sponsor at the refuge since his arrival just a couple of days after Fly. Banskie was six years old at the time (both ages are vet’s estimates, as neither dog was identified on arrival), and Facebook sources tell us that he had been wandering lost and lonely for several weeks before making it to the safety of the refuge.

But coming to the ScPA is not the end of the journey. Finding a new home is what it is all about, and Banksie was just one of those dogs who seemed to be invisible. Luckily the ScPA has a website, and it was here that Banskie caught the eye of his new family. They have visited three times and as they have another dog, it was crucial to test the two dogs together. Today Banksie left for his new life and I for one can’t wait for news. Be good, little lad!

small black and white dog

Banksie – ADOPTED

Of course there have been new arrivals, as well as several dogs who have been brought back, some for reasons that are hard to believe. Five dogs arrived today alone and there have been over 20 in the last two weeks. It is very difficult to keep motivated. But we have to keep on, and we have to keep believing.

So we say be happy Fly, be happy Banksie. We hope today really is the start of the rest of your lives and that you will know nothing but love and happiness from now on. You both deserve it!

Adoption of Sabot and Titou

Adoptions have not been coming exactly thick and fast this week, but we end the week on a high with news of two more leavers.

Sabot, the last of the “shoes” litter, left for his new life. There is always one puppy who is the last to leave, and this is as sad as it is inevitable. However we quite often remark that often the last pup gets a fabulous home, and this helps cheer everyone up as they agonise over the lonely youngster. Although in this case, Sabot has had puppies Paco and Pepsy to play with, so he hasn’t been alone all the time.

However a new home is what Sabot really wanted, and true to form, it looks like his new home has been worth waiting for. He will share his new life with two cocker spaniels, and we wish him much happiness in his home.

black and white puppy


The second adoption is equally wonderful, and in many respects even more so. Titou has a new home! This dog was adopted on a previous occasion and brought back earlier this year due to the long term illness of his owner.  Titou hated his first sojourn at the ScPA and his second even more so. We had been told by both his previous owners that he was very calm and well behaved inside, but you would never guess this from his behaviour at the ScPA. He might not have got the award for the “dog most difficult to take out of his kennel”, but he was certainly close. Once out on a walk, however, you saw the true Titou, fun, friendly, no pulling. Definitely a dog you had to take out in order to appreciate.

And that is what today’s family did! Titou behaved impeccably and got on wonderfully with their Spitz. So after two extended stays at the refuge, Titou has finally found his forever home.

brown dog


That is a real high on which to end the week, and we hope that the new week brings more adoptions.

Adoption of puppy Crocs and socialising in the sun

Today saw the adoption of puppy Crocs, who as you will doubtless have guessed, is one of the shoes litter. He is an adorable little chap, and his new family fell under his charm as soon as they set eyes on him. They are good friends of one of the employees, so not only will we have lots of news, but there would be no shortage of advice should they need it. Many thanks to them and we are sure they will have lots of fun with their gorgeous new puppy.

That leaves a further four pups waiting for homes, and we hope they too will soon be leaving with their new families.

chocolate brown puppy


Today was even more fun than normal at the ScPA because the afternoon started with a bit of a gathering for the volunteers. Yes, sometimes it is nice to meet up all together, rather than to just chat in pairs or small groups whilst dog walking. Everyone contributed to a veritable smorgasbord of delicacies and time flew by as people mingled and chatted about all sorts of things. We don’t only have our love for animals in common, although that is what unites us.

Before we know what time it was, the refuge was opening its doors to the first visitors. Many of the volunteers stayed on for the afternoon, meaning that even more dogs than usual were walked on what turned out to be a sunny afternoon.

group of people chatting in the sun

Just some of the ScPA’s many volunteers. Why not come and join us?

There were a couple of reservations too, so there is good news on the way. Maybe as early as tomorrow!