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Author Archives: Moira

Adoption of puppy Toto…

It was late last night when i heard of Puppy Toto’s adoption so I thought that i would just mention it in tonight’s blog. Toto hadn’t even got a photo album so he was a very lucky lad to be snapped up so quickly.

Toto adopted!

I was really hoping that I would be adding this news to some more adoption news today but no, today all eyes and interest were on Elliot, our newly arrived Dalmatian.

Within minutes of him appearing on the SPA facebook pages our message box was pinging with lots of interested adopters.  One lucky family came along and met him today so he is reserved and will be leaving very shortly.

It always amazes me how quickly ‘pedigree’ dogs are adopted and why!  I totally understand that lovers of certain breeds hate to see that breed in rescue. Pure Labs, Flatcoats, Dalmations, French Bulldogs always have lots of interest but not as much as Cairn, Westies or Scotties. We could re home these terriers over and over again!

We are always careful with these adoptions and try and ensure that the prospective owners are breed lovers rather than someone wanting a status dog.

Elliot is a lucky boy. He will soon be of to his new home, lets hope that some of our other 100+ dogs catch prospective adopters eyes.




Four fantastic adoptions!

It always great when we have multiple adoptions to report and today we have 4! Bouba, Funk, Milou and Marcelou have all  been adopted!

I am so delighted that little Bouba has found a home. He arrived with his mum in January and was sad when his mum was adopted. We of course found him some new friends, but I am glad that today he found his forever family!

Bouba adopted!

Milou 2 as we called him as we already had a fox terrier called Milou left next. He arrived  at the beginning of August in a sorry looking state, He had an allergy to flea bites but once this was treated soon regained his handsome looks, A lab/dalmation is a lovely cross and we wish him all the best with his new family.

The next to leave was Breton spaniel cross Marcelou. He was a very loving , happy boy who really needed an active family. Yesterday his perfect family came along and off he went.

Puppy Funk was also adopted, We have had lots of pups leave recently and we hope that each family is prepared for the chaos pups bring, They also bring lots of fun and nonsense but we do hope all of our puppy families realise how much an impact a lively pup has on their life

Puppy Funk adopted!

Dont forget that this Sunday afternoon we are open so do feel free to pop along, say hello , walk some dogs or cuddle some kittens!


I never thought I’d be writing another ‘life after the refuge’ post, about a different dog, but you never know what’s round the corner, so here I am.


We lost our lovely SPA adoptee, Mattie, in March ’17.   Mattie loved to chase cars, and one fateful day she chased one for too long, and lost. Our other dog, Skype, was with her when it happened.  Afterwards he became very calm and just like us, he grieved. It was obvious that he missed his canine companion, so we started talking about heading off to Carcassonne to find him a new friend.


Scanning the SPA Carcassonne site, we saw a puppy that looked quite cute, but when we got there, the puppy had been adopted 35 mins before.  It just wasn’t meant to be.


Then Darcy bounded up to Annette (a known fan of long eared hounds), and pretty much said “Have I got the dog for you!!!”. The dog in question still had her stitches in from sterilisation, and the wound was a bit of a mess, but “Paige” was bouncing around a park like she was made of springs. Our first impression was that she was a gorgeous, so we took a walk. Paige was interested in everything except us, so we went home in a bit of an unsure frame of mind. It took 10 days to decide that we wouldn’t want her to go to someone else, and home she came.



The first thing we found out about the newly renamed “Duffy”, is that she is scared of everything. Not as badly as some dogs, but gunshots two villages away would make her cower, tremble, or even try to escape out of a window; blades of grass in the wind blowing the wrong way would make her jump, and any noise from the TV would necessitate leaving the room in haste. Conversely, she moves around in almost complete silence. We have both tripped over her a number of times, purely through not hearing her walk up and sit behind us. She also has in inbuilt ‘off’ switch, and sleeps as soundly as anything if she feels safe – off in to the Land of Duff.



The name Duffy suits her very well, but has so many diminutives, rhymes, and other plays on words that it’s a wonder she responds to shouts of “Duffy!” at all. A non-exhaustive list: Duffy, Duffs, Duff the Fluff, Fluffy, Doofus, Doofus Faloufus, Doofaloo, Ninja, Ninj, Evil one, Duffaflump, Flump, Duffalo, Fluffalo and Thing, to mention the main ones….



Duffy clearly had none at all.  She has quickly learned to sit for food and a few other rules are slowly starting to sink in.  She can be quite headstrong, but sometimes she just sits and stares at us (or the fire) with a far-away expression, so ‘slowly’ is definitely the word …


Crate training

The first night in her crate, Duffy was as good as gold. The next nights, she was panicked and yelled the place down. She’s bent the door of her crate and even managed to bend Skype’s Rosewood crate (apparently one of the strongest on the market). We tried leaving the crate open and the office door shut, but she tried to batter down the door.   She hates to be trapped and we were losing a lot of sleep so we came to an unspoken compromise. Duffy now goes to bed quite happily, but we barely engage the bolt, so she can break out easily and fairly quietly. We sometimes come downstairs in the morning to an open crate but Duffy still in it, fast asleep. The scariest moment (for her as well I suspect) was when she got out of her crate and tried to come upstairs by jumping over the stair gate. She got stuck between the slats with paws hanging in the air, suspended by her tummy. Lots of screaming and a quick rescue, but she’s never tried it again. She can still get through it if panicked (like in a thunderstorm) but we have no idea how!



Over the Summer we walked both dogs together, but as soon as the hunting season started, Duffy started refusing to go out in the morning; she would hide and tremble, even in the car. Evening walks were better, but there were still traumas. We made the decision early on to not let her off the lead, as a single gunshot or car backfire could have her taking flight and hiding in a different Department in a few minutes.  I am fortunate in that I have clients with big enclosed gardens that are happy to let the dogs have a run off the lead, so we do let her off and see her in full flight occasionally.


Dog jealousy

Skype’s initial reaction to welcoming a new dog into his home was not as calm we expected.  Thankfully, within 48 hours that changed and they have been friends and playmates ever since.  Duffy is so affectionate and such a cutie that she gets away with an awful lot of things she shouldn’t!   Simply with a flick of the ears and a wink of an eye people instantly love her. However, the 2 dogs are now happy to use each other as pillows, and even sleep sharing a crate (usually his).  She’s incredibly playful and we think she has a lot of puppyhood to catch up on – and usually Skype obliges to be the punchbag.


The right decision

Welcoming Duffy into the family has been great for us and for Skype (and hopefully another doggy has benefitted from the space left in the SPA).  Duffy, 16 months later (her Gotcha day was the 24th april), isn’t scared of TV noise unless it’s a really noisy war film, she’s as affectionate and cuddly as you could wish for, and we count ourselves very lucky that there has been no sign whatsoever so far in either dog of aggression to other dogs or humans. She’s also gained quite a few kilos so her ribs are no longer sticking out like sticks.  She does jump up for cuddles with strangers, and can be quite insistent, but once the ears have been scratched, she’ll settle on a dog bed (or usually a sofa), and go off to sleep and snore in the special Land of Duff.

Duffy and Skype are great friends!


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!