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Author Archives: Jane Hartley

Urgent Appeal: Poupette

PoupetteThe recent adoption of Kipnak, another senior dog, has given us hope that there may be someone out there willing to offer a home to Poupette. She was recently abandoned at the SPA shortly before her 12th birthday. We were all upset by this, but there is nothing we can do; if someone refuses to keep a dog then the best we can do is take it in and hope.

Poupette was adopted from us two years ago and at the time she was far thinner than she is now. She is being walked regularly in an attempt to get rid of her excess pounds, but she needs far more exercise than she can get at the SPA, despite our best efforts. Poupette is incredibly fit for her age, happy to run if given the chance. She is wonderful on the lead, although she pulls slightly when she sees other dogs. This was the reason she was abandoned, incidentally. A halti would have solved the issue, although to be honest her pulling is so minor that were Poupette mine, I would not bother. Her former owner was old and infirm, however, and clearly unwilling to make any compromise.

Poor Poupette is now just lying looking miserable in her kennel. She does not bother to get up to meet visitors as she is just too sad. However when you approach with a lead she is so happy that it just melts your heart. And despite her eagerness to get out, she remembers her manners and sits nicely for you to put her on the lead.

On Poupette’s notes it says she is not good with other dogs. However she can live with other dogs providing they leave her alone. She is an old lady and does not want to be bothered by youngsters. She has lived with cats and there were no issues.

As an elder dog (one of the very oldest at the SPA), Poupette’s adoption fee is just €80, for which she is vaccinated, sterilised and microchipped.

We really do not want her to spend a winter at the SPA. She deserves so much better, as do all our dogs, of course, but Poupette has less time to find a home than the rest.

 

Flavien| PP451

Flavian beauceron bouvier bernois crossMale, Young, Large

Flavien was brought to the SPA by the police municipal in Esperaza, who found him straying. His owners recognised him thanks to Facebook and told us that they would collect him, but not if it meant spending any money. Well, of course we had no plans to charge them anything, but they needed to pay the vet to have their dog identified, and this they simply refused to do. Sadly we have no choice than to put Flavien up for adoption. He is a beauceron crossed with a bouvier bernois, and was born in October 2011. He is fine with dogs, cats and children. What a shame that a dog who appears to be perfect should be left at the SPA because his owners do not have the money to make him “legal”. Still, as he used to spend his days tied up, perhaps it is for the best.

 

 

Contact SPA Carcassonne about this dog

  • Fine with children
  • Fine with cats and other dogs
  • Will make a fine family pet

Nesquick| PP429

Nesquick  french spaniel crossMale, Young, Medium

Nesquick is a French spaniel cross who was brought to the SPA in late September. At the time of going to press he has not seen the vet, but he looks to be young and in good health. He is quite a stunner, too, and for people who like long walks and exercise, he will make a great dog.
Contact SPA Carcassonne about this dog

  • Shepard Cross
  • Good family pet
  • Friendly

Urgent Appeal: Cooper

cooperWell, incredibly last week’s urgent appeal, Hyde, was adopted this week! And no, it was not as a result of the appeal at all. But as I discussed with Carole, this is often the case. A dog can wait for months, years even, with nothing and then all of a sudden they are the flavour of the month!

Let’s hope this new urgent appeal has as much luck.

Please meet Cooper. He was the dog who has been sharing his box with Hyde since her arrival, and the two dogs were very close. In fact Cooper is largely to thank for Hyde’s adoption, as being far more confident than her, he gave her courage to approach people despite the noise of the SPA.

Cooper is a yellow lab/shepherd cross who was born in November 2011. He has been a the SPA since December 2014 and it is a mystery as to why. He is such a great chap. A bit chunkier than when he arrived, but that is due to lack of walks. He is fine on the lead and loves to play. A bit reactive around dogs he does not know, Cooper soon settles down. He is great with people of all ages and would make a great family dog.

Please do not think that refuge dogs are by definition damaged. Often they have just been unlucky and have been let down by their previous owners. Cooper is such a dog! Please give him a second chance.

Dylan|PP287

Dylan black male shepherd crossMedium, Young, Male

Dylan is a black male shepherd cross who was born in July 2015, according to the vet’s estimate. Like so many of our dogs he arrived as an unidentified stray, and he has the added misfortune of being black, dogs of which colour take the longest time to home. Dylan is a good natured dog and is sharing his kennel with another male.


Contact SPA Carcassonne about this dog

  • Affectionate and obedient
  • Fine with other dogs
  • Will make a lovely family pet

 

 

 

 

 

Urgent Appeal: Bouriget

 

bouriquetBouriquet was found tied up to some bins in a nearby village. At the time he was in need of veterinary care for a nasty cut, which of course was done immediately and paid for by the SPA. Is this unwillingness to pay for a vet’s bill the reason why this dog was abandoned, perhaps? He seems to be perfect in every other way.

Bouriquet is a cocker spaniel cross who was born in January 2006. As such he is a senior dog, so his adoption fee (and he is vaccinated, microchipped and castrated) is just €80. He would make a perfect pet for someone who wants a calm, loving companion and not necessarily too much exercise. Not that Bouriquet is in poor health; he would happily accompany his owner anywhere. But equally he would be happy just lounging around.

He is fine with other dogs and is gentle with everyone he meets. A couple of people have come to the SPA to adopt dogs and their age meant that they would be perfect owners for Bouriquet. All of them have refused to adopt a dog of his age (even though in dog years he is younger than many of them!). Surely someone out there does not write off a dog when he turns 10!

Please can someone offer a home to this lovely lad.

Patty|PP298

Patty labrador cross femaleLarge, Young, Female

Patty was found with since adopted Sweety, and she had a bit of trouble adjusting to the loss of her long term pal. Now however she is back sharing a kennel, this time with a big boisterous male. Patty is a gorgeous deep black labrador cross. She is very affectionate and although she is quite strong on the lead, she settles down well. She is playful and fun and would love a home with lots of walks, no cats, and perhaps a handsome friend to play with. Patty was born in July 2013 and like all our dogs will  leave vaccinated, sterilised and identified, all for €170.
Contact SPA Carcassonne about this dog

  • Affectionate
  • Fine with female dogs
  • Will need some TLC

 

 

 

 

 

Urgent Appeal: Tag

 

Tag shepherd crossTag is one of our dogs who just seems to be left behind. He was nearly adopted a few months ago, when the family chose another dog in preference (although they were very torn) and again just last week, when another dog “won” instead. What usually clinches the deal is that Tag is not great with other dogs, although he is quite happy to walk alongside them, just not live with them. Although the video received by DRC recently showing Firmin playing with a male dog shows that outside the SPA a dog’s behaviour can be very different than when he is constrained.

One thing is for sure, Tag is starting to get a bit depressed, and it is for this reason that we would like to find him a home.

Tag will have been at the SPA for one year in August. This is a long time for any dog, but especially so for a dog who is this affectionate and who is living alone. Okay, he does get more walks than many of our inmates, as he is wonderful on the lead and everyone adores him, but he would like to be out full time.

Tag is a German shepherd cross who was born in September 2011. So he is just coming up to five years old, although is greying muzzle makes visitors write him off as being too old. Not at all, this lad is in the prime of life.

Tag is vaccinated, castrated and identified and would make a wonderful companion for anyone who has no other animals at home but who would like a loyal and affectionate dog.

 

Bella formerly Esquise

bella2Bella is not our first rescue dog, so we do have a bit of experience having bought Lara who was our first dog with us from England. She was from the RSPCA rescue centre in Bristol in 2001 when she was 4/5 years old. Sadly we had to have her put to sleep when she was 16 in March 2013. Her death came at a time when there were other big family bereavements, and she was another big loss to the family.

I had been periodically looking at the Carcassonne SPA website, after a recommendation from a friend, looking for another dog. In May 2015 we were about to depart on holiday to Montenegro when I saw a beautiful Labrador cross who was described as large, very playful and affectionate called Esquise. I said to my husband that if she was still available when we returned from holiday I would be paying the SPA a visit.

On returning from holiday she was still there.  I was very excited, but held off for a whole 3 days before taking a nearly 2 hour drive from our house near Grenade to the SPA. It was pouring with rain and I could barely see a yard in front of me on the drive down there. The rain had stopped in Carcassonne by the time I arrived and so I went to her kennel to see her. She jumped up and showered me with kisses through the wire fencing. She pushed and harassed the other dog she was sharing with to the back of the kennel as if to say “Hands off! This one’s mine!” I went into the office to make further enquiries and to see if I could see her out of her kennel. They brought her to the office and we were introduced. She was very affectionate and quite calm for a young dog, but the main thing that struck me was her size! She is a big girl! She is about 2 or 3 times bigger than any Labrador I’ve ever seen and at just 1 year old at the time already weighed 37kgs; it didn’t put me off at all! Her feet were nearly the same size as my hands! I took a photo on my phone and texted my husband to show him what a gorgeous girl she was. I handed over the cheque and arranged to pick her up the following Saturday. This gave me a few days to prepare for our new arrival, collecting the necessary kit, ie. Lead, bowls and bedding plus some toys together that I had put away.   I’d already decided on the name Bella, as it suited her better and was easier to pronounce than Esquise.

Bella1We collected her as arranged and my husband had to lift her into the boot of my car as she appeared unable/unwilling to jump in herself (more about that later). I have since bought a ramp for her to use as I cannot lift her. She travelled well on the way home and we got a lot of admiring glances and waves from other motorists as she was periodically looking out of the window at the passing traffic.

On arriving home, we wanted her to live in the house with us so we tried taking her inside. This was obviously unacceptable to Bella as she flatly refused by plonking her bottom on the doorstep. We resolved the matter by running up to the door three of us side by side, it was a bit of a squash but we got her in! We allowed her to investigate the whole house, but she was reluctant to come in the kitchen and took a bit of persuasion. That evening we had invited a friend and her dog for dinner. They duly arrived, when I opened the door and they saw Bella and both of them looked as if they wanted to run for the hills! The dog wet itself and hid amongst its owner’s skirt, as if to say “Help! Save me! It’s a monster!” Thankfully they are now good friends and get on very well together.

Needless to say, lots of fun has ensued with her training. At the time of her arrival, the wall we had had built to enclose the garden wasn’t quite finished, as we were having to wait for the electric gates to be delivered so we had to sort out a temporary gate until they arrived. During this time we had to keep her on a long rope (15m) because sometimes the gate couldn’t be up due to the continuing building work. She obviously enjoyed being outside and we needed to keep her safe! During one evening we were playing with her, throwing a ball for her to fetch. My husband threw the ball not realising that the rope was wrapped around my leg, of course Bella went hell for leather after the ball upending me in the process, causing a bump to the back of my head and a rather nasty deep friction burn to my calf from the rope. Looking back it must have looked very slapstick, but I was in considerable pain and was not a happy bunny. I still have a slight scar there now. She has also taken my husbands’ feet out from underneath him whilst playing causing him to face plant right in front of the neighbours, who thought it completely hilarious and pulled me over whilst walking in the forest because she was frightened when some people came up behind us.

She has escaped a couple of times, which nearly turned me grey with worry as we live on a country road where drivers speed along it in both directions. The neighbours must have had such a laugh at my expense because at one point I was out on the road in the morning in my red with white spotted dressing gown, shouting at the top of my voice and waving my arms in the air to stop the traffic. She’s also very excitable when going out for a walk, and sounds like Darth Vader which is a bit scary for passers-by. She also wants to say “hello” to everyone and they always seem to think she’s going to bite them. She also sees cyclists and Lorries, which she hates, as fair game to chase and bark at too! We are very lucky, we live in the countryside and there are lots of very good dog walking places which are traffic free.   We have also taken her with us when we’ve gone for days out to visit various tourist attractions and also when my husband plays Cricket.bella3

In January of this year she was attacked in the garden by a very large semi-feral cat. She had cornered the cat underneath the garden shed and as a consequence suffered various facial injuries as well as a deep bite on her chest. The worst injury was that she broke her front left leg. She was referred by our vet for specialist treatment in Toulouse and had to have an operation with a plate and pins to secure the break. Worst still she had to be kept on bed rest for 2 months and then was allowed only to have gentle exercise. This is no mean feat especially when this concerns a very lively, young dog who just loves to be outside in our very large garden running “hell for leather” everywhere. This was when we also discovered that she also has a dysplasia of her left hip, which accounts for her inability to jump. We will have to keep an eye on this because she is big it may be a problem for her when she gets older.

We have now trained her to come when she is called. We tried many incentives to achieve this, food, toys, treats. Anything, you name it we tried it! Eventually we very reluctantly turned to a collar that buzzes or beeps. It doesn’t hurt her, just distracts and refocuses her attention. I must say I was extremely reluctant to use it at first, but we have only had to use it a couple of times and it really does work. Now all we have to say is “No Bella!” and she behaves herself. We have also used it when we walk her to keep her under our control and out of harm’s way. I am pleased to say that our perseverance and encouragement of good behaviour has paid off and she just decided herself that it was better to do as we asked. We still don’t trust her enough to be able to let her off the lead yet. I am sure that will come in the future. Training was also helped by her having to go to a dog sitter for a couple of days whilst we attended a family funeral back in the UK. The British lady who ran the place had 5 dogs of her own and there were a number of other dogs who arrived over the course of her stay, so she learned how to behave from them. I am pleased to say that she has continued like this ever since, which is a win-win for everyone as before we had to get hold of her by her collar to bring her in.

Bella is now nearly 2 years old and has been with us for 11 months. Life with her is eventful, but full of fun. The main problems we have encountered are due to her size (now 43kg) and her lively nature. Not only does she love to be outside but she also loves to be inside, especially when it’s either hot, to take advantage of the cool stone floors, or raining as she loathes getting too wet. She’s getting used to the shower routine to have her feet washed when she’s been out in muddy the garden. She is especially cute when she listens to us because she puts her head from side to side and now she has begun to calm down a bit, she is becoming a wonderful loving and loyal companion. We are besotted!

bella4

 

Urgent Appeal: Phoebe P310

 

No sooner was Princess made the urgent appeal than she was reserved, so in double quick time we are swapping the appeal to try and find a home for Phoebe. As her SPA number indicates (a single rather than a double P at the front), Phoebe has been at the SPA since 2015. In fact rather shockingly she has been there for over a year. This is unbelievable when you consider that, like Princesse, she is absolutely perfect! Phoebe was born in March 2014 and is a shepherd cross who is predominantly tan in colour. She is fine-boned and has excellent body language, knowing just when to play, when to calm down and is great with any dog she meets. Any initial pulling on the lead soon stops and she trots along quite happily. She really is a gorgeous girl. We simply cannot understand why no one has picked her; perhaps because (as we have said before) there are so many other dogs that look similar to her. It is only when you see her in isolation and outside her kennel that you really appreciate her. Let’s find Phoebe a home and not leave her as one of the SPA’s invisible dogs.