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Author Archives: Moira

Speedy leaves and a special play date!

Tonight, I am sure that Dominique, the sponsor of Speedy will shed a few tears as she learns that today after 13 months Speedy was at last adopted! That’s 13 months and it was his second stint at the SPA!

Sometimes dogs are overlooked through no fault of their own and this was certainly the case with Speedy. He was a smallish, tan dog who was easy to handle and got on well with others so in theory he should have moved fairly quickly. It’s true that he was a dog who would need an active minded family but most young dogs do. As we say ‘every dog has its day’ and today he left. Be happy Speedy and enjoy your new life!

Those of you who follow the facebook page will have seen the photo of our two lovely Griffon Bleu de Gasgcognes together. What a stunning pair they make and both families are great ambassadors for our hunting breeds that arrive at the SPA.

Lilly Blue was adopted by Yvonne and Henny and lives in near Roujan. Maddie was adopted 18 months ago by Elinor and Dave and lives in Scotland, so how on earth did they get together? Well you have all heard me say many many times that we offer post adoption advice and as Elinor is very experienced with hound type dogs and their ways we often ask her to chat to adopters of these breeds who have problems. Lilly Blue, like lots of hunting type breeds was having a little problems with recall, which is not uncommon in scent hounds so we put her ’mum’ in touch with Elinor. A friendship developed and as Elinor spends a few months here each summer they arranged a play date for the girls. By all accounts they had a great day as did the families as they have watched the dogs playing and racing around the garden.

It was heart-warming to see how far these dogs had come. Both arrived at the SPA skinny, scared and only used to kennel life. Now both are family dogs, are loved and are very settled confident dogs.

Well done to each of these families for giving our dogs a chance, for having the time,the patience and the love which really can conquer all!

It just goes to show you what super family dogs the hunting breeds can make!

Speedy adopted!!!!


Lilly Blue and Maddie,the stunning griffon blues


Grey and Funky adopted!

Today one of my favourite boys was adopted. Grey or Mr Grey as I called him was adopted after 6 months at the refuge. When he arrived we all remarked how handsome he was and that he certainly had a bit of ‘bully’ in him but not enough to cause any concern at all. I am amazed that he wasn’t snapped up a lot quicker than he was as he had the most wonderful wiggly waggley body language. He was always delighted to get out of his kennel for a walk or a cuddle and he was a favourite with lots of the volunteers!

Next to leave was the very handsome Funky. Funky was a very large and impressive Beauceron who took his guarding duties seriously. Luckliy this young boy was definitely all bark and no bite and he proved to be a happy friendly boy who was fine with other dogs too.

Two more of our puppies were reserved so two more little girls will be leaving soon. A few weeks ago we blogged about the adoption of tiny Louizou, now Bambi. Her very clever young owner Maisie has decided to write a blog which will chart her puppyhood and keep us all updated on her progress. This is a great idea and we would love some more of our puppy parents to do the same. (http://bambigrowingup.blogspot.co.uk/)

Often people have no idea what to expect who they take home their new puppies. We all have had our ‘first’ pup and I know that when I look back on mine I cringe at some of the things that I allowed him to do and I thought was quite acceptable. We all learn as we go and I am sure that new puppy parents would love to read other puppy blogs.

So what are the first issues that most people encounter? Well the first one is of course housetraining. On the DRC facebook page we have help sheet and one of them is all about how to housetrain your pup. It is available on both English and French.  Just like toddlers some pups learn quicker than others and the main thing is to be consistent, supervise the pup, take it out often and be prepared for accidents!

Maisie is very lucky that Bambi sleeps during the night. Lots of young pups bladders are just not big enough so you need to make the choice of taking them out during the night or cleaning up in the morning. I usually put a young ups cage beside my bed and take then out when I hear them wake during the night. I don’t make a game of it, just out of the cage, onto the grass, back in the cage and lights out. This only lasts a few weeks until their bladder is big enough to hold on until morning.

We do of course offer advice to our puppy parents and all receive information on crate training, housetraining and preparing for puppies arrival.

We did have one arrival… Salambo. More information on him tomorrow!



Funky was adopted too..



Salambo arrived..



Lincoln and Soho leave…

I mentioned in last nights blog that we had had quite a few arrivals since Saturday and only one of them has been reclaimed.  What is really frustrating is that bar one, none of them were identified.

So why are these lovely dogs arriving at the refuge and why are nobody looking for them?

All of these dogs were found straying and were brought by either a member of the public or the police municipal.

Anyone can lose a dog, it can happen in the blink of an eye and as dogs are living beings, just like humans they make mistakes and can run off after a scent, a rabbit, a cat, no matter how well trained they are.  This is why we advise people to have their dog identified and to have a collar with a disk on their dog.  If your dog does goes missing and turns up somewhere, whoever finds it can simply call you up. Even if you don’t like collars, if the dog is identified it can be reunited with you really quickly. If however it isn’t identified several things may happen, the finder may just decide to keep the dog (its wrong but it happens) , the dog will end up in a refuge and if not claimed could adopted or even worse put to sleep after 10 days! Of course we don’t euthanize but lots of refuges do!

It is however unlikely that all of the dogs that have arrived have run off and got themselves lost. Lots of dogs have been allowed to stray. When a dog is allows to stray he is a nuisance to the general public. He poops where he likes, follows other dogs or people and can cause accidents.  That is why people bring stray dogs to us, because they are scared for both the dog and the public’s safety.

If your dog is picked up whilst straying and brought into us then you can easily get it back. If it is identified and the database details are up to date we will call you up and you can collect the dog without charge. If its not identified you can still have your dog back but it will cost you the price of a microchip. This is paid direct to the vet, not us and will ensure if the dog strays again and is brought in we can contact you quickly.

I should mention that it’s the law that states that all dogs must be identified.

Two dogs did leave today. Lincoln our 5 year old Griffon cross was adopted and Soho the Labrador who arrived a couple of days ago was reclaimed. Lets hope that the tide has turned and that there will be many more departures and than arrivals!

Lincoln adopted



Bulle..a new arrival



Tippex..another arrival




Tag…another arrival





Lexy, Rain and Ido leave…

When Lexy arrived in August little did she know how her luck was going to change. Quite a few pups arrived at the same time and we only had one foster home available! Isa had not long returned from holiday and was available to foster….et voila..what a lucky girl!

Isa and family have fostered many pups so have lots of experience and it was no surprise to hear that Lexi settled well.  The following Sunday Isa was helping at the vide grenier in Caunes so took Lexy along to show her off. Lesely, one of our supporters had come along to visit and was thinking about another dog after losing Rocky her handsome beauceron. Lesely had visited the refuge a few weeks beforehand but was too emotional after her recent loss to make any decision, for her it was just too soon. Added to that it was going to have to be a very special dog that replaced Rocky and one who could live with 18 cats!

When you have other household animals it can be tricky choosing a dog who will fit in. As a general rule of thumb pups will adapt quickly to living with cats so long as introductions are done slowly and carefully. As Lesely had lots of cats her hubby very sensibly suggested a pup and when they say Lexy, that was it…they were in love. They reserved Lexy that day and after being sterilised on Saturday, off she went this evening with a very excited Lesely.

I am so pleased for Lesely, Lexy will help her move on and from tonight a new chapter of their lives begin. We will have lots of updates and news of how Lexy is coping with all of these cats!

Thanks of course to Isa and family. They have 3 dogs themselves so I am sure will be enjoying some quiet time with them which is just as well as our foster places are never empty long!

Next to leave was four year old Rain, a really lovely Shepherd cross. Rain was a lovely natured girl who certainly needed to lose a few pounds. This is extremely difficult in kennels but now she is in a family where she will have lots of exercise and portion control too I hope!

We did have one of our recent arrivals find his owner. Lucky Ido has gone home so 3 out but even more in. We will catch up with the arrivals tomorrow!

Lexy..look at these ears!



Rain is adopted



Ido goes home..




Popular pups and an upcoming event!

As predicted we have had a great response to our facebook postings about the black Labrador pups. Two are already reserved and we have people coming to see the third.

I thought that I would take this opportunity to explain how the process works from seeing a pup or dog that you like online to adopting it.

Once you have seen a photo of a pup that you like you should email the website or send us a message with as much information about your personal circumstances as you can.

Where do you live, how old are you, who are your family members and do you have other animals is a good start and if you include a number that we can call you on we will get right back to you. We like to have a chat with you about your expectations, whether this is your first dog, whether you have a garden…..there is a lot to chat about.

You are then welcome to pop along and meet the pup and should you want to reserve it you can do so.  Some people can’t visit the refuge and if we are sure that the pup is the right dog for you, you can reserve the pup online. To reserve we ask for half of the adoption fee as a deposit, take your name, address and number…then all that is to be done is to pick up the pup when its ready to go home.

Before picking up the pup you will receive our help sheets on cage training, housetraining and preparing for a puupy!

As well as the reservation of the two pups we also another lovely boy reserved. This was great news as the older dogs do tend to get overlooked when cute pups appear!

We also have news of an upcoming event and as far as fundraisers go this one will be a good one! Why not spend a Sunday evening ( 13th September) tasting wine in the gardens of the Petite Pepiniere in Caunes Minervois.  The evening starts off at 5pm with a tour of the gardens followed by a wine talk and tastings at 6pm. The tickets are only 10 euros per person and places can be booked by emailing website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk

So cute and very popular..


Tickets are available..

Wine Tasting in the Garden


Puppies partout…

Anybody who follows either the Dog Rescue Carcassonne page or the SPA Carcassonne Chiens page can’t not have noticed how many puppies have arrived over the last few days! This is devastating as all of our foster homes are full so we have no option but to keep these pups on the refuge.

We hate having pups on the refuge for many reasons. Physically they are at risk as they are not vaccinated and mentally they are at risk as pups need to be socialised. All animals, including dogs, have a special sensitive period at the start of their lives. During this time, they learn to accept things around them so that they are not afraid of them later in life. In puppies, this window of opportunity closes at about 12-16 weeks of age. Anything that is encountered during this time will be tolerated, even enjoyed. After the window closes, unfamiliar people, objects and experiences are approached with caution.

Puppy socialisation involves meeting and having pleasant encounters with many adults, children, dogs (puppies and adults) and other animals, particularly during this sensitive period of their lives and then continuing until adulthood. During this process, they will also need to get used to a wide range of events, environments and situations so that they are not scared of them as they grow older.

Luckily cute puppies are always popular so in general the pups don’t spend lots of time with us but to ensure that they move to their forever families quickly we need your help!

You can help by clicking like and sharing their profiles and of course word of mouth!

Social media is a god send for refuges as its quick and easy to get information about a specific pup  to a lot of people quickly. This was demonstrated on Friday when Lilou the tiny pup in foster with Shirley was put online and within two hours was reserved.  This may have shocked some people but we know the family who reserved her well and they have been patiently waiting for a female pup to join their family. The already have one of our ‘home to home’ dogs and wanted a playmate for him.

No sooner had Lilou been reserved when another pup was brought in. Badiane is also a female small breed pup and also very cute. Looks like a bit of beagle / basset in there but only time will tell! I wonder how long before she is scooped up? If you are interested in Badiane then email us at website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk.

On Saturday 4 more pups arrived. The three beautiful little Labrador crosses were found at a motorway station in a box! They are so lucky to have come to no harm and to have been brought into us.

All in all we have 13 pups looking for homes…please think about a rescue pup when when you are considering a pup, you will be saving a life and making room for another pup at the refuge!

Badiane…tiny, female and ever so cute!


Black lab puppies..they will go quick!


How about our magnificent Lilly..a 4 month old border cross?



Double Gold Saturday!

Today saw the adoption of two of our golden Labrador crosses. Both of these boys are just over a year old and both have not had too long a stay with us.

Gewell was the first to leave. He is a big boy, more like a Labrador and a half! We can only guess at what he is crossed with but whatever it is, its big!  Although he was big he was a super natured boy with really lovely body language. He loved attention and gave a paw for a biscuit. I know that he was Jane, our volunteers favourite and that she will be delighted to read that tonight he will be with his forever family instead of in a kennel.

Next to leave was Caramel. He had been with us from February and had happily shared his kennel from day one. A lovely young boy who will be a super family dog!

Not wanting to spoil yesterday’s good news about Chico I didn’t mention that Basile our large Pyrenean Shepherd cross was returned only a week after adoption. This was not the families fault and we now know that we need to work a little more with him and be very careful who he is rehomed to. We will find the perfect family for him and will take our time so that we can ensure that the next adoption is his last. Its very sad when something like this happens and all we can do is learn from it.

Adopting a dog is not something to do without really thinking it through. This is a lifetime commitment to the dog so its well worth taking your time over the decision. Adopting a dog which is not compatible with your family can cause a lot of heartache.  Please think through what kind of dog will fit into your lifestyle. Think carefully what your expectations for the dog are and speak to us about it.

We really don’t mind how long we spend talking over an adoption and we do know the dogs individually so can advise you and help you select the perfect pooch. Ask us about the breed characterises of the dog you are looking at and consider carefully if these are acceptable to you.

We also had four more pups arrive..more information about these soon!

Goodbye Gewell



and goodbye Caramel!




Basile is back with us..



Farewell Friday….

Todays blog is a happy one and today there were tears of joy today instead of tears of frustration and bewilderment!

Today after 1429 days at the SPA Chico was adopted!!!!!!

Chicos long stay started in September 2011 when his owners decided not to come and collect him. He had already been at the SPA numerous times and was a renowned escape artist. Not that that was his fault. At the time he was a young uncastrated male who was full of hormones, had had no training and had been allowed to stray, so took himself off for adventures and made his own fun!

This all came to an end when his owners decided enough was enough and that it was just too much effort to keep coming to collect him thus condeming him to life in a concrete kennel. 1429 days…a harsh punishment for doing what bored, hormone fuelled boys do!

Life at the SPA is harsh. Freezing cold winters and boiling hot summers with only one walk per week. Like humans some dogs cope better than others and luckily enough Chico was a coper. He was resilient and matured into a really lovely dog. I really couldn’t understand why he was never chosen by the hundreds of potential adopters who passed by his kennel. He sat nicely, didn’t bark and shared nicely with many a female kennel mate! One after another of them were adopted and still poor Chico waited patiently….only the look in his eyes showed his despair!

But yesterday a family came along to meet him, fell in love and today off he went.

We really wish Chico well, he so deserves his happy ever after and we all hope that he has found his forever family. Adopting a dog who has been nearly 4 years in kennels will take a lot of love and patience, there will be ups and downs but like all of our adoptions we are there for support when needed.

Many, many thanks to this wonderful family who have given Chico the chance of a lifetime.  It takes very special people to do this!

So for anyone out there who lets their dog stray, this could be your dog’s future!  Young, bored dogs will stray especially if not sterilised! If they are brought in and they are not identified we have no way of knowing where the dog has come from. They may have yeas to wait before being adopted!

Please identify and sterilise your dogs and keep them safe and close….their life depends on it!

And off he goes!!!



Good luck Chico!


Lots of puppy love..

Louizou was so cute that she was never going to have a long wait and as soon as her photo went online we had lots of enquiries about her.  At only 8 weeks, female and just less than 4kg we knew that she was going to be very popular!

When a puppy is offered for adoption we are very careful who adopts it. Its an enormous responsibility ensuring our pups go to the very best of homes and Louizou’s new owners certainly ticked all of the boxes.

Maisie and her family recently moved to France straight after her graduation from a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management. She has volunteered for the RSPCA for two and a half years, fostering kittens, home checking and helping out where she could.  And theres more!

The family have had two guide dog puppies that went on to be graduate guide dogs and have boarded others too! Giving a pup a home and beginning its basic training is a wonderful experience and there are many mixed emotions when the time comes to hand the pup over. This family certainly know how much hard work a pup is and have decided that Maisie now deserves her forever pup!  There will be no handing over Louizou!

It seemed almost an insult to send them our ‘housetraining’ and ‘preparing for puppy’ help sheets but nonetheless we sent them anyway.

As expected they turned up with a lead and collar and a cage for the pup…..I just know that this pup is going to have a great life!

I cant wait to follow Louizou’s progress and Maisie has promised to keep us all updated!

Meanwhile another two of our pups, Lasko and Logan  had a visit from a prospective adopter. Very sensibly the adopters are thinking it over and talking to their family this weekend. That is what we like to hear….responsible adoptions where the adopters think long and hard about the responsibilities of taking a pup into their life!

Louizou…what a cutie!





Birthday girl and arrivals too…

Last night Darcey mentioned that a Fox terrier and her pup arrived late yesterday afternoon. This story began earlier this week when we received an email from one of our supporters telling us that there was a mum and pup alone and struggling in one of the local villages. One of her friends caught the dogs and contacted the local Mairie who brought them into us. The pup needed overnight vet care but is now back with her mum.

This was without a doubt the best thing to do.  If you do find a dog please follow our guidelines in the notes on the Dog Rescue Carcassonne facebook page which are in both French and English

Todays birthday girl is Greta who lives with Jane, Steve and Verity. It was more than five years ago that she was adopted from the SPA Carcassonne and today she is 10 years old!  Greta is a young 10 years old and still very active, loving nothing better than running and playing with Rebecca’s dog Benson.

We have also had news of Camini who is now called Elvis and is already settling is well. The household cats are a bit worried about his arrival but this is only to be expected. Just like dogs, some cats are ok with resident dogs but take time to accept newcomers and the transition period needs to be handled carefully to keep all animals safe.

Many thanks to  Audrey for collecting Gypsy, an ex SPA dog who was abandoned at the refuge in Pexiora near Castelnaudry. SPA dogs are under our care for life so if they ever arrive at other refuges, for whatever reason we collect them and bring them home.

We did have one new arrival, a small female who I am sure will be very popular if she isnt claimed by her owners.

Yesterdays fox terrier..

Fox-no name



Happy 10th Birthday Greta..



and our new arrival..