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Author Archives: Darcey Dyson

A busy day off, and pause for thought.

With a very busy weekend ahead of us, you might think that the volunteers would have used today’s Bank Holiday to relax. Not a bit of it. By far the majority of us work, so a day off is something precious, however when you are dedicated to a cause, there is always something that needs doing!

Websites were updated; photographs uploaded to Facebook and other sites and, as ever, many people were busy online helping people find a prospective dog to adopt or helping people in need of guidance.

Final preparations are underway for Sunday’ open house in Villegailhenc and we hope that many of you plan to join us there. The Fondation Bardot are unable to send a representative, sadly, and have politely requested that the items for sale are left in situ until they have visited. So don’t bring a huge van with you on Sunday expecting to leave with it full of furniture! We have been assured that the delay will not be long. No need to leave empty handed though, as all the additional stalls of books, plants, cakes, dog accessories and bric-a-brac are not included in that caveat.

Also today, one of our talented volunteer photographers, Alizée found time (between nursing shifts) to upload several of her amazing pictures. Many of these are works of art in their own right, but of course the hope is that someone somewhere will see a dog in a new light. Alizée has taken photos of a couple of our “long termers”, and I must say the look in their eyes gives pause for thought. Neither Chico nor Pocahontas is at the refuge due to their own fault; it is human failing that has put these two lovely dogs, and their numerous companions behind bars.

We are happy with every single adoption, but when a dog has been at the SPA for several years the boost to morale is enormous.

Maybe Alizée’s photos will do the trick……

Business as usual tomorrow!

Chico – nearly 6 years old, 4 of them at the SPA

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Pocahontas – 4 years old, 2 of them at the SPA

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Adoption of Tessy, and two anniversaries

Today we had the adoption of Tessy. She, as you may remember, was due to leave ten days or so ago, but the people who had reserved her changed their minds and did not collect her as planned. But being small, young and adorable, it did not take long till she caught someone else’s eye and today off she went! We are all very happy for her; she is simply delightful and the photos do her no justice at all!

We also had arrival of a teckel; we don’t have any photos as yet, but his owners have 10 days to look for him, so best not get you teckel lovers all excited for nothing!

As you know, we like noting special dates, and today is one year exactly since Desi (aka Desdemona, aka Pebble) left the SPA to live with Edith and her husband Charlie, and of course their ex SPA dog ‘Tello. Edith has done lots of fostering for us in the past, and still looks after other people’s dogs from time to time, but Tello needed a permanent playmate, and that is what he got with lovely Desi.

A recent anniversary went unremarked on the blog: it was probably a busy day. But May 10th marked two years since Benson went to live with volunteers Rebecca and James. He is happiest as an only dog, but is more than happy to share with a rabbit or two!

Don’t forget to let us know when a landmark day arrives for your ex SPA dog. We like nothing more than seeing photos and talking about our ex “inmates”. We usually say things like “I can’t believe that was X years ago” which is a sure sign of getting old!

The SPA is closed tomorrow as it is Ascension Day. We hope that whatever you are doing you have a lovely day, especially if you are enjoying a sunny walk with a dog!

Tessy – ADOPTED

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Desi – One year happy!
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Benson – Two years (and a couple of days) happy

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Puppy adopted but the sad return of Chandler

Well, as expected, yesterday’s blog did result in much discussion. Most of it agreed that kindness is the way to go, but treating dogs kindly and using positive training methods does not mean that there is no hierarchy. Of course there is a pecking order in every group, be it of people or any other animal. Those who lead and those who are happy to follow. Your job as a good dog owner is to make sure you are the one the dogs want to be their leader!

In my experience in every facet of life you get much more cooperation by being nice to people than by being nasty!

We had an adoption today, that of puppy Louny. This leaves two girls and one boy left from this lovely litter.

In the not so good news category was the return of Chandler after just over a week. I am terribly disappointed by this, as he seemed to be a perfect match for his new family and appeared to get on very well with his three new doggie pals when he was at the SPA. Apparently once he finds his feet he is a different dog. A week is not much time, but sometimes you have to just accept that things are not working out.

So one out and one in, which is not bad for a Monday, I guess.

Louny – ADOPTED

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Chandler- back again

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Lucky day for three Ls.

Today at the SPA we saw the adoption of three dogs, each of whose name starts with the letter L!

Two of them were puppies, baby boy Loustic and little girl Louna. These are two of the “little wolves litter” and we still have one boy and three girls left, of various colours but all fine boned and long-ish furred. Adorable.

The third L to leave was Lily, who was brought in at the end of April. It was obvious from the state of her that she had very recently given birth. We will never find out what happened to the puppies, but one thing is sure, even if they survived, they were way too young not to be with their mum. Really sad.

However happily for Lily, she was spotted almost immediately by a couple who already had a rescue dog; a Petit Griffon Basset Vendee, no less! They have been back during this nervous “waiting period” (would Lily’s owners be looking for her?) to allow the dogs to spend some time together and also give cuddles to Lily. The wait was over today, and Lily left after having been to the vets to make sure that having puppies is a thing of the past. I am sure that by now she has taken up residence on someone’s lap!

We wish all three of our L’s the best of luck in their new homes!

Sadly one dog came back today. Taylor had been adopted just as his Pound time finished too, but unfortunately things did not work out. Keeping any dog in 25m2 of space is not easy, let alone a fairly large one. We are hoping that Taylor will find another, more suitable home before long.

But for a Saturday, three out and one in is not bad……

Puppy Louna – ADOPTED

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Puppy Loustic – ADOPTED

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Lily – ADOPTED

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But Taylor comes back

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An upcoming event

The SPA was shut today, and so although we have no news from there, we have something quite exciting to announce.

As our Facebook followers already know, the SPA has been left half of a house and its contents, with the other half going to the Foundation Brigitte Bardot.

We are planning on holding an open house on Sunday 17th May from 10H00-16H00, where you can view the items for sale and make a sealed bid or stay for the live auction at 14H30. Guide prices will be available thanks to a valuations expert who has visited and who will be present on the day to answer your questions.

Items range from sleigh beds (there are three of them) to pewter chandeliers, but there are other knick-knacks. We will also be selling books, bric-a-brac, plants and dog accessories. Refreshments will be available.

The house is for sale too….it is magnificent!  The address is 23 rue du Languedoc, Villegailhenc. It is one of the first houses as you enter the village, the one with the fabulous garden on the right just behind the luminated sign.

Below are photos of some of the items for sale. The reserve prices range from €20 to €350. There really is something for everyone!

In another development, DRC has just relaunched our blog on Anglo Info (Languedoc Roussillon). Many thanks to Marie for helping us set this up. The Anglo Info network is an excellent way to reach another audience, and the new blog, titled Carcassonne Dog Blog, will give a round-up of the week’s news and also feature a dog of the week.

It is hoped that this will help rehome some of the many beautiful dogs who are all waiting for homes at the SPA.

You can see the blog here:

http://blogs.angloinfo.com/carcassonne-dog-blog

Sleigh bed – reserve price €100

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Corner bookshelf – reserve price €200

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Chair and prayer stool – reserve price €200

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Check checks out!

Thanks to everyone who contacted us following yesterday’s blog concerning ticks. We had a tale of a dog infected with babesiosis, despite the best efforts of her owner to deal with the threat of ticks using homeopathic remedies. These may well work, and we know that many of you prefer to go the natural route, but it can be very time consuming, as extreme diligence is required. Fine if you have the time, but if you have a busy life, not always possible.

On the other end of the scale we were told of a new tablet against ticks and fleas, called Bravecto. These are effective for several months and are great for dogs who like to swim. That is always a problem for me, as drops have to be left to soak in for 48 hours without becoming wet, and Scalibor collars, although billed as being water resistant, are best if kept dry. Try explaining that to a labrador when he sees a lake!

Today at the SPA we had one arrival, that of a dog who was signalled on the SPA Facebook page as having been found on May 4th in Limoux. He is now at the SPA, and will soon be up for adoption, assuming no one is looking for him. He has been named Brownie, due to his colour but also in honour of the cakes brought in to fortify the walkers today by volunteer Jane!

We managed to get some photos of new border collie, Sueño. He is a lovely looking lad and just two years old. There was also a reservation, that of another of the puppies. Plus we had a fabulous donation from la Halle aux Grains and, wait for it….We also had an adoption!

Bernese Mountain dog Check arrived just over a week ago along with the pups. No, he is not their dad; they will remain small and slim like their recently adopted mum, Ivoire. Being a “real” breed he was likely to be adopted quickly, but let us not forget that this boy was very underweight and eight years old. So a huge thanks to his new owners, who collected him today (castrated of course) and will show him what a loving home is like.

New arrival – Brownie

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Yesterday’s arrival Sueño.

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Thanks to La Halle aux Grains

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And Check – ADOPTED

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A Timely Reminder

All we know about today’s arrival is that he is a border collie who is very thin and covered in ticks. This is a timely reminder to treat your dogs against these small blood-sucking parasites that can transmit some really nasty diseases. The two most common are Babesiosis (Lymes Disease) and Piroplasmose, and both can be fatal to your dog if not treated quickly.

In order to transmit disease, a tick must itself be a carrier of the disease. In addition it must be left to feed for more than 24 hours. This is why prevention is so important.

There are several ways to protect your dog, or indeed the dogs at the SPA. One great way is the Scalibor collar and you will often see appeals for these on the Facebook page. They last several months and are also effective against the sandfly, which transmits Leischmania. However not all dogs can cope with the strong chemicals and others dogs damage the collars (which are made of flexible rubber) when playing.

So we go onto option number two, which is to treat dogs with a small dose of repellent chemical, such as Frontline or Advantix. Both of these kill ticks within the crucial 24 hour time period. We usually have a stock of these at the SPA to protect the dogs who cannot wear a Scalibor collar, however they must be re-treated every four weeks, so this is not as convenient (remember we have over 100 dogs to look after!)

As for we humans, I am sure I am not the only one to have found a tick wandering around my skin looking for a place to sink its pincers! Bleugh! I read that ticks can spend up to five hours searching for an area to attack. Sadly they do not make a Scalibor collar for humans, so for us it is just a case of being vigilant. But your dog has no choice, he is completely reliant on you to look after him, so if you love him, please protect him against disease.

And if you have a bit of extra cash and some love to spare, why not buy a Scalibor collar for one of the dogs at the SPA? 😀

Nasty, aren’t they?
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Adoption of Ivoire and news of Fred

Today got off to a great start for me, as the first email message of the day was news and photos of Fred, who has been renamed Dougal. According to his delighted owners, he has proved to be house-trained, affectionate and good as gold with the family’s cats. He is growing in confidence and is trotting along happily on walks. What an amazing rescue this was. Everyone is happy, especially Dougal. I must remove him from being the Urgent Appeal!

At the SPA this afternoon we had the adoption of Ivoire. This delicate young girl arrived recently with her six puppies. She was adopted today by someone who knew her before things started to go wrong, and there will be no more puppies for her, as like all the females adopted from the SPA, she is now sterilised. Only one of the pups has been reserved, so if you like the look of Ivoire, there are 4 girls and two boys of her general size and shape (though not colour) at the SPA.

Another girl, a husky called Helka was brought in and reclaimed, and so thus far this week we have not had any disasters.

Volunteer Jane came along bringing cupcakes and was full of news of recently adopted Zelda (who has turned out to be a star, too), and it was great to see Sabrina back at work after her maternity leave. We also had a donation of dog and cat food from our friends at Jardiland.

Oh, and just to correct an error on yesterday’s blog. Although Dominique was all set to deliver Loopy on Sunday, in fact his owners managed to sort out transport and came to collect him. I was busy elsewhere at the time and I missed it!

Right, I think you are up to date!

Look at Dougal (ex Fred). Who would have thought it?! A sofa dog!

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Ivoire – ADOPTED

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Cupcakes thanks to Jane

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And dog and cat food thanks to Jardiland

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Logo’s a Go Go!

Today saw the adoption of puppy Logo. And guess what? He has stayed with his foster family! Logo, as you may remember, was brought in by a woman claiming to have found him in a box. Tragic, eh? What was more tragic was that when she was asked for her name and address (which is standard practice), her handwriting was the same as that on the note that had supposedly been left with the puppy, imploring the finder to look after him. People never cease to amaze me.
But then things turned around for this little chap. Isa was puppy-less, having just said goodbye to Jess. So Logo went home with Isa. It was clear when I saw Isa soon afterwards that Logo was a pretty special lad, and she was going to be sad to say goodbye to him. Logo has been with Isa for just short of four week, during with time she and her family had to say goodbye to their beloved border collie Sam, who passed away due to cancer. During this time Logo helped to lighten their mood and they realised that he had wormed his way into their hearts and had more than earned his right to stay!

At the SPA Nenette’s owners came to collect her, so she is back where she belongs, as is Loopy. He was taken to his home by volunteer Dominique after yesterday’s open day when it looked like a transport problem meant he might have to wait a couple more days. Many thanks to her for getting this boy back to his family.

Incredibly for a Monday there were no arrivals, so it was a good start to the week.

Logo ADOPTED by his foster family

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Fred Finds Freedom!

Today was open day at the SPA, and lots and of people showed up to walk dogs. A couple of people came along with a view to adoption, and with any luck will be back later in the week.

However there was one adoption, and it is of the dog who is featured as the Urgent Appeal on the DRC website, so I am doubly pleased! A British couple who had already adopted two dogs from the SPA (Granite, now renamed Whisky and Guismo, now renamed Ebba) thought they may have room for just one more, and reverted to their original plan of getting an older calmer dog who just needed a place to enjoy whatever time he or she has left.

They came along with Whisky and Ebba today to see how the three dogs got along and then they went for a walk.

It was here that they encountered the funny side of Fred. Sometimes he just sits down and won’t move. He is like a block of stone. It takes a bit of hand clapping, or the rustling of a sweet paper to remind him that he should move. He is a real character. I don’t think this is due to beagle stubbornness, I just think he hasn’t seen anything in his 10 years and so as soon as he is comfortable, he just decides to stay still in case things get worse!

His new family will just let him take his time to get used to his new surroundings and see how things go, so watch this space!

Other than that there were no arrivals, and the owners of both the dogs brought in yesterday, Nennette and Loopy, have been in touch and both dogs will be reclaimed.

So it turned out to be not such a bad weekend after all!

Fred – ADOPTED

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He will be joining his pals Whiskey and Ebba

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