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Adoptions of Litchi and after two years, Flavien!

There were two adoptions today.

First to leave was Litchi. who had been with us since the end of August. Her former owner had a very unstable life, and despite still being officially homeless, Litchi seemed quite happy at the ScPA, sharing her box and playing regularly in the park, as well as enjoying walks with volunteers. She is very young and lively, though, and needed more exercise than is possible at a refuge where there are over a hundred other dogs clamouring for attention.

Litchi will love having a home of her own again, but this time a good one. Her new owner has adopted from the ScPA before and wanted to offer a home to another lucky dog, and we are sure that Litchi will be very happy.

mid brown dog with black muzzle

Litchi – ADOPTED

The day’s second adoption was that of a dog who had been at the ScPA a bit longer…in fact quite a lot longer. In three days time Flavien would have been with us for two years exactly.

This fabulous looking dog was brought to the refuge having been found wandering. His former owner got in touch via Facebook to tell us about her dog but never came to collect him. Yes, some people do that, believe it or not. So Flavien, who was five at the time, settled down for what has turned out to be a long wait. Of course he has had plenty of walks, thanks to his sponsor mum, Florence, as well as other volunteers and employees. And although he is a bit picky about the company he keeps, Flavien has learned to share his kennel, which has helped keep his spirits up.

Today his turn has finally come and Flavien has a new home. And it really was his turn as there were not one, but two families offering him a home on the same day. As we say, every dog has his day!

Black and tan shepherd cross

Flavien – ADOPTED

Don’t forget that the SPA Carcassonne is open on both Saturday and Sunday, and it is officially the national “Weekend of Adoptions”, so if you are thinking of adopting a dog or cat, why not pay us a visit. We have several dogs (and many) cats who have spent even longer than Flavien’s two years at the refuge; it would be wonderful if more of them could find homes.

Catch up after a busy weekend

It has been a very busy few days at the refuge, and so it is high time we caught up.

There are two adoptions to tell you about; one of a young dog who we feared had been left behind, and one of an older dog who was brought in due to the illness of his owner.

First up, Caps. This young spaniel cross arrived in early August when he was five months old. As you probably know at the time we were inundated with puppies, many of whom were younger than Caps and getting a lot of attention, the way gorgeous young pups tend to. Meanwhile, of course, Caps was growing up and becoming an adolescent, and we worried that his window of opportunity for adoption was starting to close. Not that people don’t adopt adult dogs, but there is an awkward inbetween age when dogs are harder to home; they have lost their puppy cuteness, but are not exactly adults either.

In any case, all worked out fine for Caps, as a family who had already visited the refuge prior to this weekend decided to offer him a home, and so after some six weeks at the refuge, Caps’s new life has got underway.


Second to leave was Gadjo, a seven year old Lhasa Apso, who arrived with beautiful German shepherd Lasko when their owner became too ill to look after them. At first these two dogs just lay comatose in their kennel, which was not easy to see. However after a week or so they were out on walks and showing their true personalities.

At 7 years old Gadjo is not a youngster but small dogs can live to be quite an age, and so it is no surprise that Gadjo should find a home so soon. His new dad is an elderly gentleman who has adopted from us before. We are very careful in such cases and have assurances that his daughter is ready to step in to help should the need arise.

Gadjo is a great little chap and we wish him lots of love in his new home.

llahsa apso


There were also plenty of dog walks and visitors, and for a couple of dogs the future is looking very bright, so watch this space, as they say!

Monday adoptions and catch up!

For any non-Facebookers out there, a final couple of words on the dog show. With the addition of €3.02 this morning just to round things up (yes, I am a bit OCD), the grand total was a massive €1000. This excludes the money made on the refreshments to benefit Languedoc Solidarity with Refugees, which was considerable, too. So many thanks to everyone for their generosity.

Photos of the day can be seen here.
You can see the list of winners here.

Now, back to news of the ScPA.

The refuge was very busy on both Saturday and Sunday, as there was a photo competition, which is hoped will bear fruit in the form of future adoptions. And as well as lots of dog walkers and phtographers, there was also an adoption.

Yoshi arrived in early July looking thin and generally unwell. He was identified but, probably lucky for him, his owner never came to collect his dog. This meant that Yoshi was able to trade up, finding a wonderful family. By now, of course, he was looking much much better, as these “before and after” photos show. Many thanks to his new family, we hope he rewards your love a thousand fold, as most rescue dogs do.

Yoshi (before and after) – ADOPTED

Today got the week off to a good start, too, with the adoption of puppy Buddy. He arrived in early August with his mum, Raina, both dogs were in a terrible state, as they were suffering from mange. So this poor little lad had to be isolated until he was no longer infectious. Isolation from the other pups means more time with people, though, so this lad has had plenty of cuddles, even before joining the other pups for the last week or so.

Helen and Malcolm came along last week looking for a pal for their Westie, Archie, who always seems a bit glum when he doesn’t have a canine friend to play with. So what would he think of a puppy? Well, wisely they intend to use a varykennel to be able to give the dogs some downtime, but none of them could resist Buddy, now renamed Louis. He is moving to England in mid-October, where we have no doubt that he will cut quite a dash. There are not many griffon vendee in that neck of the woods!

Buddy (now Louis) – ADOPTED

Another griffon left the ScPA today, too, lovely Gaya. She arrived in mid July and seems quite calm, until you see her racing round the park with her playmates. She is not yet one year old, so we are pleased that she has found a home where she can happily spend the rest of her life. No, in case you are wondering, this is not Buddy’s mum. That is Raina, whose ears are a good few inches longer.

pale and white griffon


We had a very exciting reservation, too, so you might want to watch this space !

Tina finds a home. And a friend.

Today we said goodbye to lovely Tina. This tiny little dog arrived at the end of August, and our first thought was that someone would be along to collect her. Not only is she small and affectionate, she arrived with a brand new collar. Someone must have loved this dog until very recently. She hated being alone in her kennel (unavoidable for the first ten days while dogs are in the Pound, for hygiene reasons) and would fling herself at anyone who came to visit, desperate for a cuddle.

Sadly for her, she was not identified, so the ScPA had no way of contacting her owner. When will people learn that this is one of the best ways to find a lost dog, as well as being the law.

Once out of the Pound, Tina went to share her kennel with poodle Pompom, and has been on walks with many different people. Always in the hope that maybe this time  she would not be going back to her kennel. Putting her back has not been easy, and the look in her eyes each time has caused more than a few sleepless nights.

Puppy Isaac (now Charlie) was adopted in mid June, and for a month or so his mum, Jane, has been looking for a new companion for him. Today she asked to meet Tina, and like everyone else who has met her, she was smitten. The two dogs seemed to like each other too, which of course is key.

Tina with Charlie

We know that Tina will have a lovely time, and she definitely knew that her luck had changed as soon as she snuggled up in the back of Jane’s car. We look forward to news and pictures of this lovely little girl who will be so delighted to have a new home where she has two new laps to sit on, and a friend to play with.

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!

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.


Adoptions of Nino and Otto

We had a fabulous day today with lots of sunshine and lots of walks; it was another day when almost all the dogs went out, and so thanks to the ever-growing number of volunteers, and of course Sebastien who is the official volunteer-wrangler!

And we had some adoptions, too. First to leave was little Nino. This tiny ten year old yorkie arrived identified but to an address in a department far far away. All attempts to find his owner have failed, and believe me, there was lots of effort made. The time came to find this little lad a home. And today a family came to meet him and took him home.

yorkie cross


We then said goodbye to Otto. He is one of two dogs who was left to starve in an appartment when his owner moved house. Yes, this actually happened! Luckily the landlord went to collect the rent arrears and saw the dogs. They were brought to the SPA and that of course will not be the end of the matter. However as far as Otto is concerned, it IS the end as he has a new life. We hope that his father, Gustav, doesn’t have long to wait.

pale lab cross


Dana, an elderly dog who arrived fairly recently, was reclaimed as well, so it was all good. Although after yesterday’s blog was posted we did have some sad news; one of the family’s huskies refused to accept poor Texas, so this lovely lad is back at the SPA. Let’s hope he finds true happiness soon.


The SPA is shut tomorrow, but it will be open next Sunday, of course, and there is talk of a mass walk taking place, too.

Adoption of Brenda and Méli is back home.

Today Brenda left for her new home together with Peter and Hilary and their ex SPA griffon Benji. In fact this lovely girl was reserved in December, but for various reasons her new family was unable to take her until today. Many of you will have realised that she has not been at the SPA for several weeks and for that we (and she) have to thank foster family Debbie and Andrew who took Brenda home so she could recover from her sterilisation in the warmth of their home. And, (judging from the photos) the comfort of their sofa!

dog lying down on sofa

Brenda on sofa

We weren’t able to perfectly match up dates, which meant a weekend at the SPA for Brenda. However the lovely staff managed to find her a spot indoors, so clever Brenda probably knew something was up. Today she left for her new life, and we are sure she will be very happy. She is a lovely girl and Debbie and Andrew became very fond of her, despite her Houdini tendencies! Many thanks to them for looking after Brenda so well and to her new family for offering her a permanent home.

pale brown and white griffon

Brenda – ADOPTED

In other news beautiful Méli  was reclaimed. She had been with us for almost ten days, and there was a wonderful family waiting to adopt her, despite the fact that she had been diagnosed with a heart condition. On Saturday a woman phoned from the Var; her dogs (both identified) had been stolen in August, and Méli bears a strong resemblance to the younger of the two. Today she drove all the way to see if she recognised Méli close up, not just on photos. So the good news is that Méli is now re-chipped (perhaps this happens more frequently than we thought?) and has gone back home. This is of course what we wish for all our “found” dogs, although it is hard for the family who had offered her a new home.

very white golden retriver


Another dog, Saturday’s arrival Magnac, was reclaimed yesterday, thanks to Estelle who prefered to give up some of her Sunday  than leave a dog wait another day for the SPA to open.

little teckel


More good news like this please. Let’s make this week a better one than the last one!

Popsye leaves and Shaun is adopted

It is inevitable that some dogs should find it easier to find a home than others. Yesterday’s arrival, N’joy has been a real hit, with dozens of people expressing interest in her immediately her picture was put on Facebook. Other dogs are not as lucky. Take Popsye, for instance.

This young griffon cross arrived in August of 2017, and had she been a normal dog, we could have rehomed her ten times over. But Popsye has a problem that makes finding her a home almost impossible. As a result of (presumably) being hit by a car, Popsye is incontinent. And in the worst way. So despite the fact that she is absolutely adorable, as well as being good with dogs and cats, the SPA was at a loss as to what to do with her.

Of course Popsye could spend her life at the SPA. She shares her box well, and everybody loves her. She gets regular walks and regular baths. But she is only two years old, and this is really no life for her, not in the long term. So what to do, what to do?

Answer: Try and find one of the many many incredible associations out there, one that is specifically set up to deal with dogs like Popsye. This afternoon Volunteer Petra and I took Popsye to meet her new foster mum. Popsye will spend a few weeks in Toulon with Dominique. There she will spend some time being assessed before moving onto the next step. Either she will move further to Italy, to live in a family environment in a specially adapted home with other dogs like her. Or if her condition improves, perhaps she will be adopted directly.

Dog with woman in pine forest

Popsye with Petra in a pine forest. 

This might be possible because in recent weeks Popsye has started copying her kennel mate when he (ah-hem) assumes the position, and tries to do the same as him. And sometimes she is successful, indicating that her muscles are perhaps getting stronger!

So we are all rooting for Popsye to make a full recovery. But at least we know that she is going to be loved and looked after for the rest of her life, even if she always has questionable hygeine! And we are sure to have news, so of course we will keep you informed of Popsye’s progress!

fluffy black dog

Popsye starts her new life!

In other refuge news, one of the year’s first arrivals, Shaun, a lovely young border collie was adopted. We wish him a wonderful life and hope the other ever growing number of border collies at the SPA find homes equally quickly.

black and white border collie


Once upon a time..

Once upon a time, there were two little Border Terriers, Gimli and Hector , who moved from their home in London to their new home in SW France. They were so happy when they arrived to find that their humans had bought them a lovely little farm, with lots of lands to run around, explore and have adventures! They settled in very quickly and soon Hector was regularly bringing mice in from the barns, happy days .

Tragically, after only 3 years in their new found paradise, poor Gimli had to be put to sleep, a chronic spinal problem, leaving an utterly devastated Hector. For over a month he pined and only left the house to do his business, leaving his humans even sadder. They could take it no more, so started to research adopting a puppy. A litter of Griffons needed homing from the SPA near Bergerac and so it came to pass that Porthos came to cheer Hector up and bring the sparkle back into his life! As soon as they met, they became real buddies and they played and they played!

About 18 months after Porthos arrived, there was a terrible problem in the garden with foxes coming in and out in broad daylight, trying to steal the chickens. Both dogs were very good at guarding the chickens and after about 3 weeks of constant raids by the fox, both dogs took chase one afternoon and disappeared! After a week of searching and agonising, Porthos just trotted up the garden one afternoon! He was definitely worse for wear, but home in one piece. Hector had gone on the chasse of his life ……

There is a happy ending to this tale, but you’ll have to wait a bit, and you may need a box of tissues! Porthos continued to live happily enough with his humans, except to say that he had started fitting occasionally. The vets did tests but said that as he was so young he would probably grow out of them. He did n’t. One night he passed away in my husband’s arms, unable to control or stop the massive and fatal fit that just kept going on and on. Absolutely heartbreaking. And then there were none, no dogs at all, and the house was still. But we still hear them, don’t we?

The humans were too heartbroken and needed time to grieve. But as the months passed, the void needed filling, so enter SPA Carcassonne ! It was time to give an older dog a new start and the story of Shadow, with his little face looking at us out of the website, had us sold! His papers say he is a Pyrenean Berger X , so he’s a medium-sized dog, and the vet said he should weight about 20kg . When we adopted him, he was just over 30kg !!! Lots of short walks and a controlled feeding plan slowly got his weight down, improved his fitness and therefore his joie de vivre! He wasn’t always the easiest at the beginning, as he was the best thief I have ever known, and once he had something in his mouth he would make a terrible noise until left to eat it at leisure – whatever disgusting object it was! He must have the most amazing constitution! Anyway, we love him dearly now and so much so, it was decided to get him a pal.


SPA Carcassonne came good again with a super young Griffon who we have named Dreyfus ! He was only just over 2yrs when we adopted him. I was always sure he was a lovely boy, but when he first came to live with us , he was incredibly timid. More of men than women. The saving grace was that he really wanted to stay close to home, to us. So when people came to the house, we would make sure that he was free to hide or come and say hello as he wished, and over time this did the trick! A good ignoring by guests was always the best way for him to find the confidence to say hello. He is an absolutely adorable chap and loving constant attention from us now, we are never alone !!!!


Ah, that happy ending, I hear you say! Not just yet! Wait for it ………

One rainy day in May 2017 , we went up to the village for a coffee. But en route was noticed a scruffy, fat little dog in the rain, by the side of the road. I told my husband to stop the car, which he did, I opened my door and called “Hector” !!!! Within 5 seconds he was on my lap going crazy! It was our Hector! Still wearing our collar, although a bit tight as he was so fat! So, 2 years and 7 months later, we found him !!!


A Chien Perdu notice appeared the next day, so I managed to find the lady who had kindly taken him in. It transpires that an elderly man had found him and taken him in, and kept him for 2 years as a lap dog and companion until he passed away. The family didn’t want the dog, so Videane offered to look after him for a couple of weeks until a more permanent owner could be found. That’ll be 7 months then! She is a really lovely lady and was delighted to get “Dog” as she called him, back to his rightful owners. She pops in regularly to say hello, and he is always very pleased to see her.

So, there you have your happy ending ! We now have 3 dogs !! They all get on very well, although Hector is top dog! The really lovely thing about our two adoptees is that they haven’t got a bad bone in them, they are never aggressive and get on with every dog they meet out and about. It’s so nice never having to worry.

So, there ends the tale of the three dogs who at this moment are laying in front of the fire, blissfully unaware of what I am writing about them. Occasionally a twitching paw and a little squeak gives away a dream, and I’m happy that they are safe and warm. It’s a dog’s life and I’m glad that their Once upon a time has ended with a Happy ever after 😍

Shadow, Hector and Dreyfus!