Home / Author Archives: Moira (page 10)

Author Archives: Moira

The teenage months part 2 – A cautionary tail

Hands up! I took my eye off the ball, or more correctly off the dog.

Poppy is now 14 months old, and just when I was congratulating myself on coming through the worst of the teenage months she has decided to make a break for independence! Not only that but she has developed a hunting instinct, something I didn’t expect from my Border Collie/Retriever/Newfie, and a few times recently has gone too far failing to come back when called. If that in itself wasn’t bad enough it is the start of the hunting season in the garrigue here so it is also extremely dangerous.

I know what the problem is and It’s entirely my fault not hers, she is just busy being a young dog, one with long legs and boundless energy. She was so good, not going too far, coming back when called that I became complacent and forgot the golden rule of not letting your dog ‘get out of hand’- that is to say call them back BEFORE they go too far. Add to that the fact that my 5 year old Lab x Jake is her ‘hero’ and focus of attention rather than me and the result is a dog that is at times out of my control and that I cannot trust to respond when she is ‘on a mission’

So what’s the solution? For me and Miss Poppy it’s back to basics. We are doing a lot more lead work and lots of one to one exercises and play to teach her to focus on me. We have separate walks several times a week, not easy at the moment when even one walk means an early start! She is a high energy dog who needs to run but this is now only allowed in short bursts, calling her back frequently and rewarding lavishly.

Will it work? It has to and I certainly believe so! The dogs of various breeds and ages, adopted from the SPAs and other refuges, that pass through the club gates are testament to the fact that it is never to late to change behaviour. With love, patience and positive reward based training you can indeed teach an ‘old’ dog new tricks!

Shirley Reddell www.clubcaninaude.org

Poppy….its not easy being a teenager!

Adoption of Miki and two reservations….

It was just about a week ago that Miki and her brother Nappo were abandoned at the refuge. Considering we have so many berger type dogs Miki has been very lucky indeed. Today she left with her new family where she will have a doggy playmate too.

Miki adopted!

When dogs are abandoned it gives us the chance to ask about their history, their likes and dislikes. Both Miki and Nappo were good with other dogs, cats and children.  This sort of information is very useful indeed when trying to place a dog in the correct family.

Nappo needs a home too…

We also had two super reservations. neither dogs have been with us long so thank you to both these families who have offered such great homes.

The temperatures are rising again so keep your doggies safe in the heat. We are really hoping that the rising temperatures wont stop people adopting…it certainly hasn’t slowed down them abandoning!


Adoption of Angel, Miss and Skip…

Another busy day at the ScPA!

We have many litters of pups at the moment but the second pup from a litter of two was adopted today. Little Angel has left two weeks after his brother Angelo.

Angel, adopted!

If you are after a spaniel type dogs , fear not! We have a wonderful litter of 8 spaniel cross pups that we posted on facebook last night. This is a stunning litter! They are healthy and mischievous just like pups should be. And what a choice…6 girls and 2 boys!

Macaron, one of the 2 males!

When we get a cute small female dog like Miss we know that she will soon be snapped up, Miss arrived about a month ago when her owner couldn’t cope with her exercise needs. Its true that Parson Jack Russels are a very active breed and so we wanted  an active family for little Miss.

Today she left and we hope that she will enjoy her new life with lots of walks.

Miss adopted!

The last to leave was Skip. Skip was abandoned less than a week ago  and despite being a black, older dog has been adopted!  This is great news for Skip who will soon move on in his new life and forget he was ever at the ScPA!

Skip adopted!

We also have had two wonderful reservations, so keep an eye on the blog to see who the lucky two are!

A busy Monday…

Today was a busy day at the ScPA. Just on 2pm as we opened a lady arrived with her dog to test it with our lovely patou Diesel and another couple came along to test their two dogs with Abbie. Just as we were in the park doing introductions another couple arrived to visit Pompom!

It was obvious that Diesel and his visitor got on well and the next thing I knew he was in the car ready to leave.  Diesel shared his cage Duchess who left a week or so ago to live in the Alps. They were a striking pair and  its great that they are both now in great homes.

Diesel adopted!


Abbie the Labrador was of course reserved. All 3 dogs got on well and she too will be leaving soon.

Pompom was a star with his visitors and they will return later in the week with their two dogs.

I am sure that the weather has a big effect on adopters. It was so much cooler today and much more pleasant walking about the refuge.

If we feel uncomfortable walking about in the heat spare a thought for the poor dogs in concrete kennels. This is a great time for potential adopters, we have lots of extremely adoptable dogs so a big choice.

If you are thing about adopting, get in touch or pop in, you wont be disappointed!

Keep your pets indoors!

Every year we warn people how scary a place for animals Carcassonne will be on the 14th July. Every 15th of July we have scores of lost dog reports!

France commemorates the start of the French Revolution with a national holiday on 14 July. So there will be mass celebrations up and down the country which inevitably involve fireworks!

At the SPA we prepare ourselves as we know that we’ll get a large number of stray animals and lost dog reports on Sunday / Monday for animals that got spooked with the fireworks and happened to be outside at the time. Last year on the 15th we had 11 reports of lost dogs and then more during the week as people realised their dogs weren’t going to come home on their own!

As a responsible dog owner, please do everything in your power to protect your dog tomorrow night which will be filled with loud bangs, pops and sizzles!  Remember, your dogs hearing is 10 times more sensitive than yours!

Your best bet is to keep your dog indoors somewhere where he is likely to do the least amount of harm to himself, and your house! You should also turn on the TV or a radio, with the volume turned up loud to make it less likely that he will be able to hear the fireworks outside. Since the flashing lights can scare your dog just as much s the loud noises, be sure to close all the curtains and blinds inside your home and turn ON all the lights in the room. This will make the bright lights from fireworks less noticeable to your dog. Plus, closed curtains and blinds offer a small degree of sound-proofing in your home, lowering the high pitched sounds a tiny bit.

Here are a few precautions you can take way ahead of time to prepare your dog for this stressful night:

Make sure your dog has his collar and ID tags on. In the worst-case scenarios, dogs have been known to chew through crates, doors, and even jump out of windows due to their anxiety.

Let your dog outside to toilet well before the fireworks begin. Have him on a leash, even in the garden.

Exercise your dog earlier in the day by taking him on a longer-than-usual walk. This will tire him out and make him less likely to over-exert himself later if/when he becomes stressed from the sound of fireworks and play some music to drown out the fireworks noise!

So please don’t take any risks, no matter how steady you think your dog is. It’s only one night a year and simply not worth the risk…keep all pets inside and safe!

Fireworks scare pets..keep them indoor!


Adoption of Max, Flakes and Candy!

At last we have had some adoptions!  This week has been very slow, I think that with the extreme heat, the thought of walking around a scorching refuge is just too much!

However today, three families were not put off. Max, Flakes and Candy left for new homes!

This was Max’s second stay at the refuge. The first time he left with his previous owners ex partner but that was not to be and back he came.  This time we hope that he has left with his forever family, its time that poor Max has some stability in his life.

Max adopted again!

Next to leave was Flakes. This young berger cross has not been with us long at all.  We would like that for every dog who arrives but sadly there are not enough suitable adopters for the volume of abandoned dogs!

Flakes adopted!

Candy was the third dog to leave. This was also Candy’s second time at the refuge. Luckily for her she had less than a week to wait on a new home! Lets hope that this time it is her forever home!

Candy adopted again!

Tomorrow being the 14th July the refuge is closed.  There will be an early blog about keeping your animals safe tomorrow night but please do remember that fireworks and animals are not a good mix so keep you cats and dogs indoors tomorrow night!

Adoption of puppy Nicky…

On Saturday we told you about the adoption of puppy Pimprenelle and how her sister Nicky would be all alone. Well luckily Nicky didn’t have too long to wait and today she left with her new family.

Puppy Nicky adopted!

Anybody wanting to adopt a puppy needn’t worry as we have LOTS of other pups. Why are they not on our facebook or website yet? Well, when each litter arrives we need to ensure that they are all nice and healthy, are eating well and then take photos of each pup.

When you have numerous litters, this takes time. But don’t worry, if you want a pup then just get in touch or pop in and we will tell you who is available.

Adoptions are very slow at the moment as people are thinking about holidays or guests arriving but if you are staying at home and have time off then this could be the perfect time to adopt.

You will have the choice of well over 100 dogs, all desperate for their own family. If you need help and advice on what dog would suit your family and lifestyle then just ask, we are happy to talk you through choosing and adopting.

If the searing heat of the afternoons is worrying you then we can sometimes meet you at the refuge in the morning. Its easier for potential adopters, volunteers and the dogs when its not quite so hot!


Growing up in the refuge…

Some dogs who arrive at the SCPA are lucky. They are young, pretty, handsome, white or light coloured and no sooner have we put then on our website / facebook page and they are adopted.

They however are the minority.

Today another litter of pups arrived which means that we have a LOT of puppies. It also means that older pups like Bridou and Nemo who were small and cute when they arrived but are now in the ‘leggy’ stage, are much less likely to be adopted. And we have quite a few in the same situation.

Both of these pups are missing out on vital socialisation and that is why we HATE seeing pups growing up behind bars.

Young pups need to be in a family, being carefully introduced to other people, animals and places, not stuck in a noisy hot kennel.

Bridou arrived in April when he was 4 months old. He’s a really great pup who we have mixed with other gentle dogs.  He’s calm for a pup and loves his walks and playtime in the park.  He will need a family who will commit to training and exercising him so he has the very best of chances at being a well mannered dog who you could take anywhere.

Bridou needs a home…

Nemo arrived in May and is now 8 months old. He is a lovely deep brown colour and has very waggy body language. Like Bridou, he too will need an active training minded home, but will be a great loyal companion.

Nemo needs a home too..

If you could offer either of these doggies a home then please do get in touch and come along and meet them. You wont be disappointed!


We need volunteers!

We desperately need volunteers!

Without our volunteers the dogs would not be walked outside of the refuge. We really need to get the dogs used to being out and about, teach them leash skills and get them socialised. Through doing this we learn lots about the dog and can thus advise prospective adopters re their choice of dogs. As a volunteer you can walk small dogs, big dogs, the choice is yours. If you don’t fancy walking you can play in the park with dogs, groom them or just give them cuddles.

Prefer cats, that’s no problem. Our cats really need socialised and love when visitors come in for cuddles.

Whatever time you have to give helps our dogs and cats  cope with the stress and anxiety of kennel life.

We have a super team of both English and French speaking volunteers so if you would like to join us you would be made most welcome.



Adoption of Duchess, Barney and Pimprenelle…

Today I was up early to walk my dogs and then leave for the refuge for 8am to collect Duchess who I took on day 1 of her journey to a lovely family in Prevessin Moens, near Geneva. I handed her over to Muriel, one of our long-time supporters and tonight Duchess will stay with Muriel and family who will take her all the way to Prevessin Moens tomorrow.

We know Terri and Michael, Duchess’ new family well as they have already adopted two dogs from us.  The first was a very handsome collie cross called Dyson and the second was a lovely griffon cross called Aimee. Both these dogs are now at rainbow bridge, so it was great news that they were not only adopting from us again but trusted us to choose their dog for them!

Duchess has no idea what a great active life awaits her in the Alps. Terri who works part time has cleared her schedule for the whole of July and August to settle Duchess in. I can’t wait to see photos of her in the mountains.

Muriel and her mum and dad have transported lots of dogs for us. They also have one of our older dogs Woofie ( ex Tayson) and are very experienced handlers. Many thanks to them for giving up their time to help us out yet again!

Duchess adopted!

This afternoon Barney was adopted by a super couple who live near the coast. They have only been in France a couple of months and they too are very experienced doggy people. In the Uk they ran a home boarding facility. They came to us for a doggy after losing their older Labrador just before coming to France. Barney now has the chance of a happy settled life which is very different to what he has been used to. Once he is settled they will adopt a friend for him……what a lucky lad!

Barney adopted!

The next to leave was puppy Pimprenelle.  She arrived with her sister Nicky who will now be alone. Lets hope that she doesnt have too long a wait!

Puppy Pimprenelle adopted!

On a not so good note, little Candy is back. This little pinscher arrived at the the refuge with 2 pups Sugar and Spice. She was adopted quickly but this was not to be and so is once again available for adoption.


Candy is looking for a new home.