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Latest News

Unforeseen dangers (1) …

There has been a spate of unforeseen doggy deaths so we thought that over the coming weeks we would deal with some of them on days when we don’t have any adoption news.

Recently we had news that one of our ex SPA dogs had died and as he had previously been healthy this came as a huge shock to his family and to us.

He went downhill very rapidly and despite vet intervention nothing could be done. What did he die of?

Piro!

Lots of  people coming to France as well as new doggy owners are often not aware that many of the French ticks carry a parasite known as Piroplasmosa Canis, which causes a potentially fatal canine disease called piroplasmosis or ‘piro’. These ticks are more active in warmer, wetter weather, so spring and autumn tend to be the danger periods.

So, what are the symptoms of Piro?

Different dogs react to the infection in different ways, and symptoms will differ according to the individual dog and the stage of the disease, but the most common signs are:

  • lethargy and loss of appetite
  • fever, shivering and elevated temperature
  • dark urine
  • anaemia (to test for this, press a finger against your dog’s gum. When you release the pressure, the blood should return immediately. If the spot stays pale for a few seconds, it can indicate a problem).

Dogs bitten by an infected tick typically start to show symptoms within 24 – 48 hours, and the disease can be rapidly fatal. The dog’s kidneys try to filter out the infected blood cells, and are themselves damaged in the process. It’s important to catch the disease as quickly as possible to limit the possibility of kidney damage, so play it safe and take your dog to the vet.

How can you prevent Piro?

  • If your dog is long-haired, keep him trimmed and well-groomed. The best prevention is to find and remove the ticks before they can bite. All French vets and pharmacies sell a tick removal tool.
  • Wait several days after bathing your dog before applying the anti-tick treatment, and don’t bath him for a couple of days after application.
  • Make sure the treatment is applied directly to the skin, not the hair.
  • Keep a close eye on your pet.

In addition to applying the anti-tick treatment, we also advise a Scalibor collar. This is impregnated with an active ingredient that gives many months of protection, and can be used with the Advantix without fear of overdosing to give maximum protection. ( do check this with your vet though)

If you catch the infection very early, there should be no long-term consequences but time is of the essence and there are no guarantees!

So prevention with Advantix, a Scalbor  collar and quick action should you notice the symptoms, keeps your dog safe and sound.

Protect against this…

Adoption of Ficelle

Today was yet another bank holiday here in France, so the SPA was closed. However as is becoming more and more common, several volunteers came to keep  the dogs and cats company, which is wonderful. The animals love spending time with humans, even if they have to share the love a bit more than if they had a home of their own.

And as promised in yesterday’s blog, we had an adoption. Lovely Ficelle arrived some three weeks ago, supposedly having been found with her sister, Flûte. Both dogs are delightful; sociable with dogs and cats, and extremely affectionate, as well as being great on the lead. Apart from being a bit thin on arrival they were in great health; but they were not identified, so the SPA could not track down their owner.

Dogs like this tend not to have too long to wait, and sure enough Ficelle caught the eye of a couple last week. They are none other than Imogen and Kate, the owners of Le Jardin Châmpetre They were looking for a dog to spend long lazy days with in their nursery, and take long active walks with in the surrounding countryside. The dog had to be good with other dogs and people of all ages, as she will be with her owners when they visit clients. A fabulous life awaited the lucky dog.

Last week several dogs were put through their paces, but it was Ficelle who ticked all the right boxes. A busy weekend was forecast at the nursery, however, so it was decided that Ficelle would leave today to allow her to settle in calmly.

brown poiner cross

Ficelle (now renamed Jenka) – ADOPTED

We look forward to news and photos. And if anyone likes the sound of Ficelle, then why not come and see her sister, Flûte, who is every bit as wonderful!

dark brown lab cross

Lovely Flûte is still looking for a home

The SPA will be back to business as usual tomorrow, of course.

Save the Date for Summer Fun!

As many of you have remarked, it has been a quiet week at the SPA and that of course means a quiet week on the blog. But don’t worry, we have not been idle! We are already busy planning the next fundraising event, which is due to take place next month; on June 17th to be exact.

This will be third annual Yard Sale and Barbecue to have been hosted at Chateau Miaou, and this year it will be even bigger and better. As well as books, DVDs and a tombola we will once again have a barbecue courtesy of our hosts Willie and Sharon, who together with Mr Saussice, will be serving up wonderful British-style bangers. There are also rumours of some bacon butties! This year vegetarians will not be left out, either, thanks to Kim’s astounding home-made marmalade.

There will also be an opportunity for those who couldn’t make it to Fanjeaux to buy any of the amazing clothes and accessories. This year we will have a bric-a-brac stall, and  plenty of fun to be had for all.

Everyone is welcome; parking is available and there are just no excuses for not joining us. Come and say hi, grab yourselves a bargain and help Dog Rescue Carcassonne support the animals at the SPA Carcassonne.

Come and join us and bring your friends!

The refuge will be closed tomorrow for Pentecost, but we know that one lucky dog will be leaving. We do try to be flexible, especially when it means a dog being in his new home as soon as possible. So see you tomorrow night when you can read about the week’s first adoption!

Adios Elios!

I think everyone felt very sorry for Elios when he was brought into the SPA for rehoming just over three weeks ago. A purebred braque francais, he arrived due to his owner’s illness. And whereas we see plenty of people leave the refuge dry-eyed, that was not the case here. Elios’s owner really loved him, but was going into long-term care and had no one to look after his dog.

This should serve as a cautionary tale to anyone who just assumes that their family will take over should old age take its toll, by the way. And is one of the reasons that the SPA is rightly cautious when elderly people wish to home puppies.

Elios did not have long to wait, however, despite being over eight years old. Yesterday a family came to test him with their dog, and all went well. The cat test went fine as well, and today Elios was off to his new home.

Many thanks to his new family for offering Elios a home. He is a very affectionate boy, and we are sure he will reward your kindness a hundred-fold

braque francais

Elios – ADOPTED

Fingers crossed for more adoptions this week.

Adoption of Zelda

On our blog of May 4th we told you about the adoption, amongst others, of Sultan. Today was the turn of his sister, Zelda. In fact Moira and I had just returned from a walk with this fabulous beauceron cross and her kennel mate and were remarking on what a calm dog she was, when she caught the eye of a a family who were looking to adopt.

Sometimes you meet a dog and just know that she will be easy to home, as long as you can get people to look at him or her. Zelda walked beautifully on the lead and is fine with other dogs; she has made enormous progress since arriving thin and nervous last month. Little did we know that she is also fine with cats, and this is what clinched the deal for her today.

We hope that Zelda has a wonderful new life and we look forward to news and photos of her in her new home.

Let’s hope that this is the first adoption of many this week. A couple of other people were at the SPA looking for a new companion, so fingers crossed!

beauceron cross

Zelda – ADOPTED

Didn’t we have a lovely time!

Many thanks to everyone who came along to the fashion show in Fanjeaux yesterday. It was a fabulous afternoon in every way apart from the weather. But of course that didn’t matter, as we were in the warmth of the foyer, watching our team of supermodels strut their way down the catwalk.

The clothes they wore, as well as many others, were on sale afterwards, and there were plenty of people there to snap up a bargain. Where else can you find Boden, Russell and Bromley and even Whistles (beloved of Princess Kate Middleton) at such prices? There were other stalls, too: A tombola, colour therapy, Neil’s Yard, and other local crafts including cupcakes, marmalade and many other goodies. Plus of course the DRC stall, with photos of the SPA dogs and selling accessories, just to remind us of why we are doing all this fundraising.

Many thanks to Sabine and her team for all their work making the day such a success.

Of course as well as having huge amounts of fun, the goal of the day was to raise money for the dogs at the SPA. No doubt you want to know how much was raised. Wait for it…

We raised a whopping €2190.

Thanks to everyone who came along to support us. And if you missed out, don’t panic, we will be having more opportunities to join in the fun later on in this Year of the Dog.

Here are just a few photos of the afternoon’s festivities. We will add more to the DRC Facebook page tomorrow, I am sure.

Jane and Gill strutting their stuff

Shelfie made some wonderful cupcakes to raise cash

And here is (most of) the Team! Thanks lovelies!

Adoption of Max

We had just one adoption today, but sometimes one is all you need to raise morale.

Ten days or so ago a dog was brought to the refuge having been found unidentified. As is always the case, his photo was put on Facebook in an attempt to find his owners. Bingo! The dog was recognised by the owner’s ex girlfriend, and she immediately got in touch to offer the dog, Max, a home. Apparently she had effectively lost custody when the couple split, so although she had to wait for ten days (until Max’s pound time was over; after all, he may well have been reclaimed), she was delighted that Max is now officially hers.

And Max is no doubt delighted to leave the SPA with someone whom he knows and who knows him well. As for us, we are very happy for them both.

long haired dog

Max – ADOPTED

Tomorrow is the DRC Fun(d) raising Fashion Show in Fanjeaux, so why not come along and support us there? It is always a great afternoon, a catwalk show is followed by the chance to buy from a large collection of carefully selected high quality clothes, plus there will be a tombola and a variety of other stands all aiming to raise money for the dogs at the SPA Carcassonne.

Come and see us tomorrow and help us raise money for the SPA

See you there or see you here as soon as we have the next adoption. So soon…hopefully!

Ella is adopted and Bullit finds a foster

Oh, who could fail to fall in love with little Ella? A small and timid rough haired podenco, this little girl arrived at the SPA just ten days ago and immediately started winning hearts. It is impossible to guess what happened to make this little girl so nervous, but of one thing we are sure, coming to the SPA is the best thing that happened in her life. Until Saturday, that is, when she spent the afternoon in the arms of a family who then decided to offer her a new home.

Today was the end of her pound time, and life is set to get even better. It is going to take a long time for Ella to get over her fears, but as everyone who has rehomed a timid dog knows, it is an incredibly rewarding experience.  Many thanks to Ella’s new family and we look forward of seeing photos of her in her new home.

 

white podenco

Ella – ADOPTED

That is not the day’s only piece of good news, but for the next one we are going to need everyone to keep their fingers well and truly crossed. Today Bullit has gone to what everyone is hoping will be a long term foster home. This elderly German Shepherd was brought to the SPA over a year ago following his owner’s death. A previous attempt to find him a home failed due to an incompatibility with the owner’s other (female) dog. However Bullit is another year older, and with any luck he will have mellowed since then. This is his big chance at finding a loving home, so we hope he does not blow it and that the family’s other dog accepts him. Fingers crossed everyone!

German shepherd

Bullit – LONG TERM FOSTER

If you are interested in fostering an older dog, please get in touch. It is always so sad to see elderly dogs behind bars and we would love them all to be in loving homes.

Third time lucky for Looky

Today we are happy to tell you that Looky is with a new family. Yes, we know we have said that before a couple of times, but bear with us. Saved from a life enclosed on a tiny balcony, this stunning border collie is a very complicated dog. Part of that is no doubt due to being totally deaf, and part of it is due to his breed; border collies are hyper intelligent and do not cope well with confined spaces. The SPA has not been easy for him. And the problem has snowballed. The more difficult Looky became, the less often he was exercised and thus his behaviour worsened.

The cycle needed to be broken, but previous adoptions failed. The Association Borderline Collie has been looking for a home for a long time, and it is thanks to them that Looky has had another chance. Carole, one of very few SPA employees who were able to handle him, put Looky into a cage in which he travelled to his new home in Alsace. It appears that he knew something was up, because he behaved impeccably on the journey, and so far all is going well with in his new home. His new family are extremely experienced with difficult dogs, and they know everything there is to know about Looky. So let’s all keep our fingers crossed and hope that this time Looky won’t mess up!

border collie

Looky – Be a good boy this time, PLEASE!

Tomorrow is a Bank Holiday in France, so the refuge will be shut, but you never know, there might be a few of us there walking dogs!

Three wonderful adoptions

We have three lovely adoptions to tell you about, this evening.

The first lucky dog, José, has gone to live with SPA “angel” Marieange. Her name will be known to followers of the blog; she invariably takes elderly dogs and loves them more than they have ever been loved before. And José really loves to be loved! This little shih-tzu of some ten years was brought in by a woman claiming to have found him. No owners came forward, however, so the SPA was left with no option other than to find him a new home. And with Mariange, José has hit the jackpot big time.

small grey shih-tzu

José – ADOPTED

Our second leaver was Fifty. He is an eight year old labrador who was abandoned by his owner last month and whereas many owners tell us a lot about their dogs when they bring them in for rehoming, Fifty’s owner new almost nothing about his dog. He did not know what Fifty was like with other dogs, even, as believe it or not he had never been in contact with them.

Fifty turned out to be just fine with other dogs, so has probably quite enjoyed his time at the SPA, sharing his box and playing in the parks. But he will enjoy his new life even more. He found a wonderful new home today!

pale lab

Fifty – ADOPTED

Third to leave was basset fauve de Bretagne, Chanel. She was brought in for rehoming by her owner, who, following a change in family circumstances and a move to an appartment, no longer had time to look after his dog. Chanel is only a year old, and extremely lively and was used to daily runs with her master. Being at the SPA has not been easy for her, but luckily she has only been there for a week or so.

Many of you know that we have close personal friendships with many fauve lovers, and have rehomed many of them thanks to the group Fauve Rescue. The group’s founder, Georgie, has become a friend of mine, and I knew that she would do her best to find a great home for Chanel. I was right. Having lost two beloved fauves to old age in recent months, Georgie and her family had just about decided to not adopt any more dogs of that breed; sometimes it is just too painful. But after long family discussions they had a change of heart! Yes, Chanel has gone to live with little teckel John Wayne and the rest of Georgie’s menagerie, canine, feline and avian. Oh, and human, too.

basset fauve de Bretagne

Chanel – ADOPTED

They are spending the night here before making the eleven hour journey home, so I am off now to enjoy a gin and tonic!

The SPA is open tomorow for the first Sunday of the month and we hope to see some of you then. Cheers!