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Author Archives: Moira

Adoption of Cliona and Fynn is back home!

Lots of you will remember Cliona, the dog who arrived in a terrible state, covered in lumps and bumps and in dire need of lots of vet care. A campaign was launched to cover these fees and after several months of tlc you would not have recognised her as the same dog.

We were delighted when she was adopted by people who regularly walked her but were devastated when she came back after 5 months!

Cliona had without doubt not had an easy life before she arrived at the SPA. She was suspicious of new people, especially men but once you had gained her trust she was fine. It takes a very special person to adopt a dog who will need lots of time, patience, and careful management. But today she left and we all have our fingers crossed that all goes well!

Cliona adopted!

We are also delighted to report that Fynn, who escaped from his carers on Thursday is back home! We were all very worried as it took 7 months to catch him and get him to the SPA and although he has come on in leaps and bounds he is still a wee bit wary of people. His mum and friend went to the area where he had been seen very early this morning and on hearing her familiar call he came out of hiding and right to her!  This is fantastic news and I am betting that tonight he is being spoilt rotten!

Fynn is home!

Adoption of Flute..

After two days without any adoptions we are delighted to report that Flute has been adopted!

On Monday Darcey blogged about the adoption of Ficelle who arrived a few weeks ago with her sister Flute. These two unidentified pups certainly have lady luck looking over them as both have left with super families.

Its very lucky for two adolescents to arrive as ‘strays’ yet be really sociable with dogs and cats as well as have great lead manners. It just makes you wonder why someone would put so much effort into their dogs, yet not have them identified or reclaim them!

Without a doubt being female helped and had they had been young males their fate may have been very different, despite being great dogs.

Gender still makes such a difference even although all of our dogs, male or female always leave sterilised. The most common request from prospective adopters is ‘a nice medium sized female’.

Is it a myth or not that females are easier then males? Not in my personal experience  but I know lots of you will think otherwise.

Tell us what you think re gender. Our opinions are usually based on personal experience but what is it that makes us prefer one sex to another when choosing a dog or cat?

Flue,,adopted 3 days after her sister Ficelle!

 

 

 

Scalibor Appeal…

Once again its time for our our annual Scalibor appeal.

A Scalibor collar protects against ticks borne diseases as well as the dreaded sand fly transmitted, leischmania.

We would really love ever dog to have a collar but with so many dogs and such a turnover of dogs this is something that the SPA cannot fund. At about 20 euros each, this would be an enormous expense and we need to spend our pennies on essentials!

If you could donate a collar you can simply pop in with one, order one online and have it sent directly to us (SPA Carcassonne, Chemin de la SPA, 11000 Carcassonne) or make a donation via paypal (website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk) with SCALIBOR in the narrative and we will buy one!

Sometimes people want to donate a collar to a specific dog and that is no problem…just send us a message or tell reception if you are handing one in and we will send you a photo of the doggy of your choice proudly sporting his new collar.

So, should a dog become infected by a sand fly bite what can you expect? In most dogs who have become infected, the first sign of disease appears about 2-4 months after the initial infection. Symptoms may include sores on the skin, peeling, ulcers, loss of weight, bald patches, conjunctivitis, blindness, nasal discharge to name but a few.

The good news is that many dogs can be treated and the symptoms kept at bay by a drug administered daily.  If you suspect your dog has been infected then take them to the vet asap, early detection gives your dog the very best chance !

Scalibor collars are needed to protect our dogs!

Unforeseen dangers (1) …

There has been a spate of unforeseen doggy deaths so we thought that over the coming weeks we would deal with some of them on days when we don’t have any adoption news.

Recently we had news that one of our ex SPA dogs had died and as he had previously been healthy this came as a huge shock to his family and to us.

He went downhill very rapidly and despite vet intervention nothing could be done. What did he die of?

Piro!

Lots of  people coming to France as well as new doggy owners are often not aware that many of the French ticks carry a parasite known as Piroplasmosa Canis, which causes a potentially fatal canine disease called piroplasmosis or ‘piro’. These ticks are more active in warmer, wetter weather, so spring and autumn tend to be the danger periods.

So, what are the symptoms of Piro?

Different dogs react to the infection in different ways, and symptoms will differ according to the individual dog and the stage of the disease, but the most common signs are:

  • lethargy and loss of appetite
  • fever, shivering and elevated temperature
  • dark urine
  • anaemia (to test for this, press a finger against your dog’s gum. When you release the pressure, the blood should return immediately. If the spot stays pale for a few seconds, it can indicate a problem).

Dogs bitten by an infected tick typically start to show symptoms within 24 – 48 hours, and the disease can be rapidly fatal. The dog’s kidneys try to filter out the infected blood cells, and are themselves damaged in the process. It’s important to catch the disease as quickly as possible to limit the possibility of kidney damage, so play it safe and take your dog to the vet.

How can you prevent Piro?

  • If your dog is long-haired, keep him trimmed and well-groomed. The best prevention is to find and remove the ticks before they can bite. All French vets and pharmacies sell a tick removal tool.
  • Wait several days after bathing your dog before applying the anti-tick treatment, and don’t bath him for a couple of days after application.
  • Make sure the treatment is applied directly to the skin, not the hair.
  • Keep a close eye on your pet.

In addition to applying the anti-tick treatment, we also advise a Scalibor collar. This is impregnated with an active ingredient that gives many months of protection, and can be used with the Advantix without fear of overdosing to give maximum protection. ( do check this with your vet though)

If you catch the infection very early, there should be no long-term consequences but time is of the essence and there are no guarantees!

So prevention with Advantix, a Scalbor  collar and quick action should you notice the symptoms, keeps your dog safe and sound.

Protect against this…

3d Fun(d) raising Fashion Show

Back by popular demand, the 3d Fun(d) raising Fashion Show. This ‘ not to be missed’ afternoon is on Sunday 13th May at 3pm in Fanjeaux Village Hall (Salle Municipale Gaston Panouille – http://www.webvilles.net/sports/activites/6556/salle-polyvalente-gaston-panoville—fanjeaux-fanjeaux.php)

Lots of people have been asking us about this and we have had some wonderful clothes, shoes and accessories donated.  It will be a great, giggly, girly afternoon so bring along as many friends as you like.

Once you have seen the models strutting their stuff you can buy the outfits and browse though our ever increasing stock of lovely outfits. There will be shoes and bags, scarves and hats…..and so much more!

Other stalls will include cosmetics, soaps, food stuffs, the DRC stand and a few surprises too!

A glass of bubbly and nibbles are included in the price of your ticket and there will be lots of other refreshments available too.

Please contact Karen, Sabine, or Jane for tickets. It would be great if you would buy your tickets in advance so we know approximate numbers to cater for, but don’t worry tickets will be available at the door too.

 

For tickets please contact:

Sabine Beissert                   sabineb@live.co.uk
Karen Pead                          karen.pead@orange.fr
Jane Knight                         knight2@me.com

 

 

3d Fun(d) raising Fashion Show

Back by popular demand, the 3d Fun(d) raising Fashion Show. This ‘ not to be missed’ afternoon is on Sunday 13th May at 3pm in Fanjeaux Village Hall (Salle Municipale Gaston Panouille – http://www.webvilles.net/sports/activites/6556/salle-polyvalente-gaston-panoville—fanjeaux-fanjeaux.php)

Lots of people have been asking us about this and we have had some wonderful clothes, shoes and accessories donated.  It will be a great, giggly, girly afternoon so bring along as many friends as you like.

Once you have seen the models strutting their stuff you can buy the outfits and browse though our ever increasing stock of lovely outfits. There will be shoes and bags, scarves and hats…..and so much more!

Other stalls will include cosmetics, soaps, food stuffs, the DRC stand and a few surprises too!

A glass of bubbly and nibbles are included in the price of your ticket and there will be lots of other refreshments available too.

Please contact Karen, Sabine, or Jane for tickets. It would be great if you would buy your tickets in advance so we know approximate numbers to cater for, but don’t worry tickets will be available at the door too.

 

For tickets please contact:

Sabine Beissert                   sabineb@live.co.uk
Karen Pead                          karen.pead@orange.fr
Jane Knight                         knight2@me.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Murray and Clyde…

This week has not been the best week at the refuge but today has cheered us up as our two 15 year olds, Clyde and Murray went to their foster home.  It’s a very special person who agrees to foster 2 oldies so a big thank you to Sharon who saw our appeal on the website and offered her help. It would be sad for two 15 year olds to spend 3 months in the refuge so a foster home is a great short term solution.

This is not their first time with us. Last year their British owner spent a long time in hospital but was then able to reclaim his dogs.  Unfortunately, he had to return to hospital but hopes to be able to return for his dogs soon.

When Sharon contacted us I couldn’t help but smile when I heard the Scottish accent and as their owner is also Scottish the boys will certainly feel at home. I drove them over to Sharon’s who lives near Bezier and I am sure that they will settle well.

On a much sadder note, on Friday we said a sad goodbye to Dick our 13 year old setter. Dick really had had a sad life and finding himself at a noisy, chaotic refuge was just too much for him. His health deteriorated rapidly and although we love saving lives we never let a dog suffer.

Many thanks to Ingrid and Carole who accompanied him on his last journey and held him in their arms as he passed over to rainbow bridge.

Next week we hope for lots of adoptions to cheer us up. The weather seems to be improving so its a great  time to adopt and and get out and about with your new friend!

Murray and Clyde

Murray and Clyde…in foster now.

 

Another puppy adopted…

Sometimes a litter arrives and we know that they wont have a long stay. Yesterday the second pup Morrison was adopted which just leaves puppy Jopin still looking for a home.

Morrison – adopted.

Jack Russel lovers will really appreciate this young chap..he is definitely more terrier looking than his siblings and a very lively, happy pup!

jack russel puppy

Jopin needs a home..

So what can you expect when adopting a pup? Well, lots of fun and also lots of work.  When you get puppy home house-training, crate training and walking on a lead all have to be learnt.  Puppy training classes are a great idea and for anyone in the Azille area we can highly recommend Centre d’Education Canine Azillois. These classes are in both English and French so no need to worry about language!

Tomorrow being Saturday will be busy at the refuge. lets keep our fingers crossed for lots of adoptions.

 

 

 

 

 

Arthur..

The joy of our life, Arthur was adopted by us in October 2016 from the SPA in Carcassonne. We wanted a dog since moving to France and we trawled the internet looking at various dog sites to find the perfect match. We went through the idea of buying a puppy and decided we wanted an older dog and therefore, why not a rescue dog? It just made a lot of sense to have a rescue dog. My husband who should have been a vet, couldn’t stand the thought of all those rescues out there without homes. The sadder the situation the more his heart opened. We nearly settled on a poor 9 year old dog who had had a rotten life, but she was taken before we got our act together.

 

This time wasn’t wasted, as we were able to be acquainted with the various problems that rescues can come with, and also we started to mentally collect our shortlist together. Meanwhile we were chatting to Moira at the SPA at Carcassonne but we couldn’t settle on the ideal dog. I remember this time of going on to their website and learning off by heart the details of each dog as we were on there every day. We also sorted out what was important to us, we are able to take our dog for walks everyday, had a large garden, but didn’t want to be out there for hours. Finally, we took the plunge and drove down to Carcassonne to see the dogs upfront. We kade a pact that if there wasn’t a dog that appealed we would drve back empty handed rather than taking a second best.

 

We live in Brittany and the SPA was a good 8 hour drive away. We bought doggie things some sensible, others less so! Then we were off to see the SPA. I was first taken aback by all the barking when we arrived at their compound. Barking to me is a no-no with my dogs so a bit hard to adjust. I have since learned that compound dogs do this to attract your attention, so be warned! We met Moira and she suggested that we walked round all the cages before making up our minds. By the time we finished our rounds my husband was convinced to take them all back with us! We were toying with the idea of two dogs, and fortunately Moira talked us out of it, and she was right, the settling in period is very important for a successful adoption.

 

A scruffy looking dog in a cage on his own took my eye, and while Moira and my husband were discussing doggie things, I walked over to see this large ball of scruffiness. He didn’t bark like the others as he was a new dog, just in last week. We fell in love with him straight away and knew that he was the dog for us. Moira suggested a walk with him, and joy oh joy he never pulled on the lead, not once!

 

He came home on the freedom van, they delivered right to our doorstep. And at 7 years of age, Arthur started his new life with us. It took him about 3 months to settle in. He never barked, and never pulled on his lead. We learnt that he had an amazing habit of doing his toilet on top of things, like a rock or shrub or even tall grass. Once in a motorway services area he managed to put an artistic gathering of poo on top of one of the large kerbside stones! I scooped it up immediately, hoping to goodness, that no one saw us. But he could have got 9 out of 10 for artistic merit!!!

 

Arthur slept in his own bed in our bedroom and there was never a toilet mishap. As he grew more confident he started to pull on his lead, so much so that I couldn’t manage him. I was conned by an expert! We devised a Halti with harness system and he is unable to pull, only to stop and try to pull off the Halti. He still hasn’t accepted it, but puts up with it on our daily walks through the countryside.

 

Everywhere we go everyone wants to stop and pat him. Particularly in England. His breed is the oldest in France, especially bred for hunting, a Griffon Nivernais. Unfortunately, their hunting trait is so good that even now if Arthur picks up a scent he wants to be off. This is a downfall for recall though! Sadly, we cannot let him off the lead outside of our garden. He does eventually come back but it may be hours.

 

One unusual habit that he formed in the back of our estate car is to lick the side windows, going from side to side to lick them with a high pitch squealing sound! We haven’t resolved that one yet but giving him less room slows him down a bit. When we got our other rescue dog, he learnt that he can bark at other dogs! So he can be a quick learner if he wants to. We drive up to the UK frequently and he is a good sailor as well as learning that motorway driving is sleeping time.

 

One cat of ours likes to snuggle up to him in the evenings when we are settled on the sofa, Arthur doesn’t mind at all, but when the purring drives him mad, he leaps off and makes himself comfortable somewhere else. The same cat though plays ‘Chasey’ through the house with him, they take turns chasing each other. It is hilarious to watch a 25 kg dog being chased by a 5 kg cat!

 

Our lives have changed since we got Arthur, we have a furry animal that loves to be with us and curl up beside us when he wants some company. He is our watchdog when it comes to strangers, dogs and the occasional attack by a local cat he warns us with his loud, deep bark. He is great with children, friendly with other dogs and our family and friends. What more could a dog owner want?

 

The choice of having a second dog was confirmed quickly as he made friends and became best buddy with our other rescue dog straight away. There are times unfortunately that we can’t take him on our travels, so having a ‘sister’ is good company when they are put into boarding kennels. As you can see, she has taught him some naughty tricks but that is to be expected. We went back to the SPA Carcassonne to find our second dog, but there were none suitable at that point. However, Moira came up trumps hearing of a dog on her doggy grapevine. All has worked out well since. And when the sad time comes when he passes on to doggy heaven, we will be in contact with the SPA Carcassonne again to have another rescue dog.

Arthur…a happy boy!

 

Babars foster diaries….

We always say that we learn so much about a dog when in foster and this really helps us target the perfect home for them.

Babar has been in foster for 10 days and we have learnt so much about him. He will be leaving for his new home in Scotland in two weeks but until then I am sure that you will agree that he is in expert hands!

Here is his second foster report by his foster mum, how many dogs come with a instruction manual????!!!!

Observation of Babar: week ending 25 March

We have now cared for Babar for 10 days. He is a total sweetheart but he is very timid and easily frightened, especially of men and people in dark clothing, as well as sudden movements and unexpected noises, so will need quiet patience for some time. He will make a sweet and affectionate pet after he has built up his confidence. He is much happier and perkier dog than when he first arrived. He trots around after me and goes to Philip now for affection. He loves his walks on the beach and would run around for ages. We keep him on a long lead so he is a little limited but is full of enthusiasm.  He likes other dogs. He has started eating very well. He would like to chase cats. At first he was nervous about getting in and out of the car but now happily jumps in or out as required. Once in the car he seems fine, interested in seeing what is passing by.

He is a quiet, well behaved dog but he doesn’t know the usual commands in French or English. He pulls on the lead if he is not wearing his halti. He is anxious to please and eager not to do anything wrong, so he should not be hard to train. I thought about taking him to a class in Agde while he is here, but I think he would find it too scary, so we are trying to teach him through the consistent use of words and signs.

Babar has apparently been house trained in the past as his preference is to go in the garden. For the first few days, I noticed he ‘marked’ first thing in the morning and after a meal, so I put him into the garden at these times. I let him into the garden pretty regularly and then let him back in as soon as he wees. We have had no incidents after the first few days.

We are able to stop any unintentionally bad behaviour like chewing the door mat. He stops as soon as he is told ‘No’ (said firmly, but not crossly or loudly). We are using ‘Wait’ (for a short wait such as getting out of the car in an orderly way) and ‘Stay’ (with my first finger up) and he is getting a wee bit better on the Halti collar. As he reaches the end of his extending lead I say ‘Stead-ee!’ in the hope that he will learn to slow down and not jerk himself.

We have had friends over for dinner. They are quiet people who understand dogs. He was fearful when they arrived, but OK by the time they left. Today we went to the beach with our friend Tony and his dog. By the end of the walk, Babar was happy to go up to Tony for a sniff.

 Babar’s Routine

Morning: We get up at 8.00. When I am dressed I put Babar into the garden to do his wees. He stays there until Philip is dressed and then we go out. We fix the Halti colour on an extending lead. We keep it short for a walk to the park. We walk very quickly but allow stops to sniff trees and do more wees. In the park I extend the lead, slip off the nose part of the halti and follow him as he sniffs around. Then the ‘nose’ back on and a short lead for a brisk walk home. Breakfast is in the garden where he stays for 10 minutes or so to do No 2 (sometimes he waits till his afternoon walk). Then he is let in.

Day time: He has a ‘safe’ mat next to the sofa where he likes to sit by my feet. He occasionally likes to snooze in his crate during the day too, but Violet often steals his bed. Being with another dog, even the thief Violet, seems to give him confidence. He often copies her, e.g. going outside when she does, chewing the antler after she has finished.

We go out for short periods each day so he gets comfortable with separation. We put him in the crate when we are out.

Mid afternoon we take him for a long walk on the beach. I start him on the extending lead and the halti collar: he is not fond of it, but it helps me to manage him and it teaches him that pulling is uncomfortable. Our halti is too big for him (it is Labrador size), and the ‘nose’ part rides too high and interferes with his eyes when he pulls. This is obviously not ideal, so after a short while we put him of the very long lead and fix it to the collar in the traditional way. By then he has remembered that pulling is a bad idea, so this works well and he has a great time. He loves the beach and will run around, splash about in the shallows and sniff. He enjoys a little play with other dogs. If Philip has the lead, he will run up to me periodically and wag like mad to say he is pleased to see me, and occasionally give a welcoming ‘woof’. Other than that, he is exceptionally quiet. He is nervous of other people we pass walking on the beach and is always interested in other dogs. He does not show any signs of aggression.

Evening: Supper is about 6.00 in the garden or, at first, on his ‘safe mat’ when he was too stressed to eat unless he was close to me. Sometimes I had to hand feed him some or all of his food, but now he eats very well. He stays out for 5 minutes or so to wee.

We let him out last thing at night to wee and then he goes into his crate for the night. Some evenings he puts himself to bed in his crate.

Recommendations for a new family

Do you know if the new family are indeed going to pick him up early April? They are going to be very lucky people.

Before they set out, they may appreciate a little advice based on what we have learned up till now.

  • Having his bed in the crate works well. He needs one about 80cm long or larger, preferably one where one complete side will open, as he wasn’t keen to go through the small opening to the one we have. Nervous dogs often feel safer in a crate and are highly unlikely to have accidents during the night.
  • He needs a bed about 70 cm long. A soft one is easier to get in and out of the crate.
  • He pulls a lot on the lead so a halti collar and extending lead will make life easier. Perhaps also buy a very long lead if there is somewhere open to exercise him. If he is let off the lead before he is trained to recall, if he is frightened by something or starts ‘hunting’, or both, he may be hard to catch.
  • At first, we made sure he was secured/his lead held when we opened car doors with him inside so he didn’t escape. Until he feels safe, he will be frightened and if he escapes and may be hard to catch. Now he knows us, this is no longer necessary.
  • It might be wise to follow our routine at first. If he goes off his food like he did when he first came to us, feed him cooked chicken and rice with a warm chicken gravy to bring out the flavour, twice a day. After a few days, we substituted increasing amounts of his normal (Royal Canin, medium sized, adult dog) food.
  • Introduce him gradually to new people, ask them to let him come to them in his own time and make sure he has a safe spot to retire to until he feels ready to come out.

Could you foster for us? If so please get in touch..

 

Babar in foster….