This blog was written by Rebecca, and a huge thank you goes to her and to James for the role they played in Operation Go Dog!
As you all know, Saturday was another amazing day with nine dogs leaving the refuge, five of which were taken by the fabulous ORFEE Association. It is often the case that people would love to adopt from a refuge, but are hesitant about adopting a dog with an unknown past…will they be housetrained? What are they like with other dogs, cats, and children? This is where fabulous associations such as ORFEE come in to play. They take dogs from various refuges around France and place them in loving foster families. Here they are assessed and educated before departing for their forever homes.
Having volunteered at the refuge for almost a year, you become familiar with each dog and of course, everyone has his or her favourites. Sometimes you come across a dog, or dogs, with which you form an instant bond. Griffi and Griffo were like that for me. There was just something about this brother and sister pair that touched my heart. They were so shy; very few volunteers could coax them out of their box. Their big soulful eyes watched silently and forlornly from the back of their cage. Once they were away from the refuge, they became completely different dogs, full of joy and affection. When I heard that Griffi and Griffo had been chosen by ORFEE, I offered to help deliver them to their new foster family. Joining Griffi and Griffo would be youngsters Cadbury, Flocon and Badens. By the departure date, two further dogs would be added to the voyage, a young female Andalucian Podenco named Poody, and a one-eyed Chihuahua named Jewel.
The big day was finally here. We arrived at the refuge to see the dogs happily running and playing in the dog parks. I look over to see Calvin sitting and gazing longingly into the dog parks. He was ever hopeful. Today was his big day too; he just did not know it yet. My partner James and I left the refuge mid-morning with the sun shining and six excited dogs in the back of our van. We had just one more stop to make, we would be collecting Jewel from her foster mum along the way. In Alzonne, a tearful Valerie handed over the tiny Chihuahua and we then set off on our 4-hour journey.
On our arrival in Limoges, the foster parents and adopters were already waiting; the pouring rain had not diminished their enthusiasm! We opened the door of the van to seven wagging tails. One of the foster parents took one look and simply said ‘Their new lives start here’. I almost burst into tears. The first to leave was Jewel. Jewel arrived at the refuge in a terrible state- he was covered in ticks, fleas, was thin, and missing an eye. He was lovingly fostered and went from strength to strength. Jewel was rehomed via Doglinks and here, you can see Jewel safely in the arms of his doting new mum Sue. Thank you!
Poody was next to leave. This Andulcian Podenco was brought into the refuge as the result of police action against a dog trafficker. You can imagine everyone’s despair at finding her tied up to the refuge gates a few years later. This time, however, she has gone to a wonderful foster home with another Podenco to play with. I have a sneaky suspicion she will be adopted by her foster mum Irene soon enough! Here is Poody and Irene before heading home out of the rain and into the warm!
Badens and Cadbury were next to leave. By this time, the rain was heavy so I have no photos of their departure. There fosterers have been quick with photos and news so Darcey will be able to tell you all about their progress. (They are doing fine, both enjoying being in the warm and learning all about family life-Darcey)
Flocon, an exuberant youngster, was taken away by his new foster family with his tail wagging and excitedly bounding about. He will make a lovely family pet. We have already received pictures of him in his new foster family and I managed to take this one of him in a moment of calm (calm Flocon).
Finally, it time to say goodbye to Griffi and Griffo. A bittersweet moment for me…if things were different, it would be me adopting them!.
PS from Darcey
As someone who has arranged dog deliveries in the past, and continues to do so, (as do many other employees and volunteers), I can tell you that it is one of the most stressful things ever. Even when it involves a single dog, there are always worries: will the adopter show up, will I get lost, will the car break down, will the dog be okay. Rebecca and James coped with 7 dogs at once and I am incredibly grateful and also impressed.
If anyone else can ever help us out with dog delivery, please get in touch. As you see from Rebecca’s blog, it was a really rewarding thing to do, and we promise to do all the arranging for you!
And finally, if you now regret having missed out on one of these dogs (the Orfee five, that is, not Jewel or Poody), please get in touch with Association Orfee. http://association-orfee.forumactif.com/ You can follow the progress of the former SPA dogs there, too!
Poody and Irene
Flocon being calm! He is now with Angelique and is doing really well!
Rebecca says a tearful goodbye to Griffi and Griffo
And here she is with them at the SPA earlier this year
Finally here are Cadbury and Badens, safe and in the warm, as are all the others too, of course