Well, it has been a bit of an epic, but this morning in the wee small hours and 24 hours later than expected, the SPA’s two dalmatians left for the UK. What a roller coaster it has been. I expect Moira has been lying in a darkened room with cool flannels and lots of gin today!
All was going well until Friday night, when we heard that the transport vehicle had broken down. Okay, our dogs were not on board, but others were. And the repair was not an easy one, either, requiring the replacement of several different parts. It really was a race against the clock, not just because as with all TRACES transports, the animals’ comfort and well-being is paramount, but also because there are serious and non-flexible time constraints. The treatment given to dogs entering the UK against echinococcus is valid for 120 hours. If this time is exceded then it all has to start again. And that means redoing all the TRACES paperwork. GULP! Luckily it all worked out and Joyce and Dart joined the transport at 3am today and are now well on their way. PHEW.
Three year old Joyce was abandoned with her sister, Jazzy, in April. Jazzy (now renamed Lily) also left for the UK last month and is now doing wonderfully, and we hope the same will soon be true for Joyce. Her new family has another dog, and although everyone is confident that everything will be fine, there is a foster family on standby just in case. So whatever happens, no more refuges for her, and many thanks to the association Save a Spanish Spot, who saw our urgent appeals and got in touch about both Joyce and Dart. No, DRC does not set out to home our dogs to the UK, but incredibly the SPA was unable to find a family for either dog in France.
Dart was abandoned just after the start of the new year. Most people know that dalmatians do not cope well in kennels, and Dart has found the SPA particularly tough. Over 8 when he arrived, this boy was already starting to show signs of age. The volunteers and staff, most notably Estelle, have done their best to give this boy the love and companionship he craves, but he has become less and less active, developing lumps and bumps from lying on hot concrete and from stress generally. In fact just earlier this week he had a benign lump removed as an emergency. Luckily his new mum, Mary, is a nurse, and is not at all phased at the prospect of Dart’s recent surgery. A fabulous life with a huge enclosed garden awaits this lad, and he deserves it 100%.
Many thanks to Moira for the time spent organising the TRACES and liaising with both families, especially yesterday, when keeping everyone informed was crucial. At the time of publishing both dogs are on the M20 having made it safely through the Chunnel. Whoopee!
That really IS a good way to end the week!
Joyce – ADOPTED