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More Sunday snippets!

The refuge was closed today so I thought that I would share some super updates from very happy adopters.

Who remembers Sanders, the scared boy who looked very like a labradoodle? Well here is what is new mum has to say ‘ Sanders (usually called Sandy) has been with us for just over two months but it seems like he’s always been part of the family. He settled in right away making himself very much at home. He is our second rescue dog and just like our previous one we have made the right choice. Big as he is he is soft and affectionate, loves company, keeps us fit doing around 30 miles a week over our river valley and woods and is generally well behaved – although he can have selective hearing if distracted by a pesky squirrel! He certainly attracts attention and comments wherever we go with his size and colour. Everyone wants to know about him and what breed he is, I feel a DNA profile coming on!’

Then we had one from Eve’s ( ex Maggies) new mum ‘Eve has settled in so well, can’t believe we only collected her from you a week ago! Our morning walks tend to be before 7 am so we are able to have some off-lead time, she doesn’t go far ahead and returns when I call her to go on her lead. She’s a very good guard dog, by that I mean she’s noisy when anyone comes to the house, or even just walks by the house! As long as she stops barking when I tell her, which she does, that suits me. Alice and her are fed at the same time and we’ve moved on from Keith supervising Eve and me with Alice while they eat to putting their dishes a little apart and me in between them. They often drink from the one water dish at the same time so they seem very comfortable with each other now. She is so pleased to see us when we come into the house, Luca’s face lights up when he comes in from school and she makes a real fuss of him…and vice versa. She’s so affectionate and playful, it’s lovely. She’s a fantastic girl.’

And last but not least the handsome Mitch ‘I can’t thank you enough for Mitch , he has changed my life . He is so gorgeous and we love our daily walks and he and I are both getting fitter, he and my boy cat are really close and sleep together! My girl cat is still undecided ……picture to follow!

We have also had happy updates from Dingo, Shadow, Melba and Jess to name but a few!

When times are tough and numbers are alarmingly high it news like that that keeps us motivated. We never tire of news about our ex Spa doggies so please feel free to send updates anytime!

Sandy ( ex Sanders)



Eve ( Ex Maggie)


Mitch ( ex Mitchum)


Worth the wait..

Some dogs arrive at the refuge and are adopted as soon as their ‘pound time’ is done. Most don’t and for them it’s a long, long wait. Refuge life is tough on dogs, the scorching heat of summer, the freezing cold of winter and all they have to look forward to is their weekly walk!

You wonder what on earth goes through their heads and how they will cope in a home environment after years in a kennel, well today we have news of two very special boys who are clearly thriving in their forever homes.

First is Canaille, who left the SPA Carcassonne for Animal Trust in Belgium after 18 months waiting patiently for a home. He no sooner arrived in Belgium when he tore his cruciate ligament! After a complicated surgery and a little recuperation he was adopted by Sophie and family. We have had regular updates about how well he settled into home life and today he came to visit! Yes….all the way from Belgium! What’s more he now has a girlfriend called Boemer, an eight year old German shorthaired pointer!

Next we had some super photos and news about Bakkie ( ex Blackie). He had waited 3 long years at the SPA before Wendy and family adopted him. Considering all that Bakkie has known is a concrete kennel for three years he is settling in well and loves being out and about. Today’s photos showed him enjoying café life and a walk in Valras Plage. What a change in lifestyle for this lucky boy!

One lucky girl who has only had a couple of months to wait left today. The beautiful Exquise, who just turned one last week has gone to her forever home. This lovely natured girl is going to be big…we reckon that she has a bit of Leonburger in her and will be at least 40kg!




Canaille and Boemar!



Bakkie ( ex Blackie)…happy at last!


Save a life and money too!

Today there were no arrivals or departures at the refuge so I thought that we would discuss adoption fees!

When someone arrives to adopt a dog a common question is why are adoption fees so high? Shouldn’t adopting a dog be free, or at least super cheap?  To these people I say, remember, you get what you pay for.

When you purchase a pedigree pup from a dog breeder you may be paying anywhere from £500 for your new puppy, but often that’s all your getting for that cost. When you adopt a dog from us your adoption fees are going to pay towards the cost of care your adopted dog has received while at the SPA. Here is a break down of what the SPA has already put into your dog before you even adopt.

Vet check and vaccinations. On arrival all of our dogs are vet checked, treated if necessary and vaccinated.These vaccinations prevent against many horrible diseases such as distemper, parvo and kennel cough.

The SPA will not allow their animals to leave the premises without first being microchipped or tatooed.  Even although a lot of pet owners insist that their adopted dog will never get lost, we see it happen all the time so all of our dogs leave identified and it’s the law!

Monthly flea, tick and ear mite treatments for dogs are also given and de-wormer medications are often given preventatively and so your dog will be flea and worm free!

Yours dog will also be spayed or neutered. There are simply too many dogs for too few homes and this is one way that we can make a bid difference to the future dog population.

Like most refuges the SPA struggles to financially break even. Our overhead costs are always in the increase and if we didn’t charge an adoption fee we couldn’t carry on and that would mean lots of dogs would die on the streets.

Those who think its cheaper to take a dog ‘free to a good home’ are in for a shock when they visit the vet. To have a dog identified, vaccinated, treated against kennel cough, flea and worm treatment and then sterilised you wont get much change from 500 euros.

We like to think that those who adopt do so as they are saving a life and saying NO to irresponsible breeders and puppy farms but its certainly good to know that you are also getting value for money whilst enabling us to carry on and help another dog!




A day of goodbyes…

Today volunteer Dominique was busy again, This time she was driving Kalou and Daisie to Limoges airport where they were collected by their new owners.

Kalou was one of the wolf litter who were brought into the refuge with their mum after having been mistreated by their owner. Mum left quickly, adopted by someone who knew her before she was brought to the refuge. There were six pups, three white and three black. Guess who were adopted first? Kalou left today to live with Jennie who adopted Atlas from us about a year ago. We know Jennie well and know what a super life this lucky boy is going to have!

This leaves two girls, Lilou and Lou. They are lovely pups who have had lots of socialisation from the volunteers. They are now walking on leads and gaining confidence every day! We would love these girls to find a home soon. The refuge is no place for a pup to grow up so please, if you are considering an addition to your family, think about Lilou or Lou!

Daisie is a tiny podenco who arrived at the refuge in a terrible state. She was skin and bones but even worse she had a pellet wound which meant that she needed to have a leg amputated. During her recovery, we got to know this tiny, sweet natured girl well and I am delighted to say that she has gone to a lady who has lots and lots of experience in podencos.

Kalou and Daisie were our happy goodbyes but we also have a very sad one.

Elaine, the lovely lady who adopted Vixen last August had to say her final goodbyes today. Vixen arrived at the refuge when she was about 13 years old and went into foster with Martine. Here she stayed until Elaine was back in France and we could arrange travel. Vixen had 9 very happy months with Elaine who I know will breaking her heart tonight! Thank you Elaine for making the last 9 months of Vixens life so wonderful!

Kalou and Daisie are adopted!



R.I.P Vicky ( ex Vixen)


Goodbye Gordon!

When Gordon arrived at the SPA in February 2014 we suspected he would have a long wait and how right we were. Like lots of other black Labrador crosses, prospective adopters seemed to pass by his kennel without a second glance.

To people like me who love Labradors and have two lab crosses who look very similar to Gordon, this baffles us as we are very aware what superb dogs they can be. But like all young Labradors Gordon was a lively chap. He was only eighteen months when he arrived so has spent nearly  half of his life in kennels. Some of the stronger volunteers walked Gordon as he pulled at the start of a walk but he soon settled down and he did love his treats!

Today his wait was over and off he went with his new family. No more concrete kennel for him, instead a nice bed and lots of walks. Its been a long wait so he deserves the best!

Two dogs who haven’t even made it onto the page yet were claimed and we will have photos of yesterday’s other two tomorrow.

A scary facebook post today prompted me to remind you about the importance of tick prevention and checking your dogs over for ticks.

The main tick borne disease of south west France is known by several names – Babesiosis, Piroplasmosis, Tick Fever. It is a life threatening disease, which can lead to complications such as kidney failure.

Early signs are trembling and shivering. Depending on the severity of infection the dog will refuse food and is reluctant to leave his bed. This can happen very suddenly.

If you collect a urine sample, (easier in males than females!), you may find that it is not the normal yellow colour, but brown. Also, the gums are paler due to the breakdown of red blood cells.Those of you happy to wield a thermometer will find the temperature is often as high as 104°F or 40°C.

If you suspect this disease, take your dog to the vet  as soon as possible.

Prevention of the disease is easy.Firstly using anti tick treatments, such as Frontline, Advantix or whatever your vet recommends. These are easy to apply bur remember that they must be applied to the skin and not on the hair. There is also an anti tick collar available called Scalibor, however as it does not treat for fleas, frontline or advantix ought to be used every month in conjunction to prevent flea infestations.

Please remember to check your dogs over daily for ticks and don’t forget to look in their mouths too!



Remember to check in your dogs mouth for ticks…



Dingo delivered…

Today Dingo left for his forever home. Its been a long wait for this little fellow who was returned to us after adoption about this time last year. Although that adoption didn’t work out we learnt a lot about Dingo and so we were quite prepared to wait until the perfect home came along. We knew that this needed to be a dog savvy couple, a quiet relaxed household with no children or visiting grandchildren where Dingo would have space to find his place without any pressure whatsoever.

We know this couple well. This will be their third dog that they have saved. Thank goodness for people like Sue and hubby, his new mum and dad, who are prepared to give dogs like Dingo a chance and we will be sure to keep you all updated re his progress.

Dingo’s journey started this morning when Dominique collected him from the refuge to take him to Toulouse. From Toulouse he traveled with SPA supporter David, transporter extraordinaire,  to Limoges airport. He was collected there by Sue his new mum and will be enroute to his new home right now. Many, many thanks to Dominique, David and of course to Sue and hubby!

This morning we launched an appeal for little Charlie ( ex Caramel) who is 11 and in foster with Jane. Charlie was adopted from us 10 years ago but as his mum is terminally ill he arrived back at the SPA. We are more than happy to help under such sad circumstances! We now think that Charlie would be happier as an only dog so are looking for a special family who would like an older, extremely affectionate boy who has tons of character!

Even although we have 120+ dogs, when we get an old, a sick or a dog with special needs like Charlie or Dingo we all do whatever it takes to find a solution. We don’t leave dogs in need to suffer in our kennels, we just keep trying! This is because we are all there primarily because we love dogs and whatever problems arise, we deal with them for the dogs sake.

The SPA is so lucky to have such devoted staff, volunteers and supporters without whom we couldn’t always help the Dingos or the Charlies. So a massive thank you to everyone who help make life a bit more bearable for our doggies!

Even although Dingo left today we had 4 arrivals. This means that we have 3 more dogs at the SPA tonight. We will catch up with news about them tomorrow!



Charlie ( ex Caramel) needs a home..


Zya is adopted!

No sooner had I published Zya as dog of the week on Anglo Info, when I received a message from Carole to say that she had been adopted!

Its always good news when a 10 year old dog is adopted but especially one who was with us for the second time! We knew Zya well, as she spent about two years with us while her owner was sorting his life out. At the time she was sharing with her lifelong “brother” Luther, and they were both reclaimed about a year ago. However since then Zya’s owner’s health had deteriorated considerably, and he was unable to look after both of his dogs. As Zya still behaved like a youngster, back she came.

Like lots of border collies , it was clear that Zya was an active girl and she loved her walks. Now that she has her own family these walks will be daily and she can enjoy life as all dogs should!

Border Collies do not fend well in traditional rescue kennels where they can be viewed continuously by the public and have a stream of people walking up and down staring at them, and the sight of a border collie bouncing of the roof and walls of a kennel can send a prospective new home running in the opposite direction!

Of course, the Border Collie is not the ideal dog for everyone, and one of the greatest myths people have is that they are easily trained. In the right hands, yes a collie will learn quickly – but it also means that a Border Collie will pick up bad habits just as quickly. A bad habit learnt in 5 minutes can take a long time to train out again. You have to remember that the Border Collie is a working dog, and they have an instinct to herd. This is stronger in some BC’s than others. An unchannelled herding instinct can result in nipping ankles, bicycle, jogger and car chasing, for example. Exercise is nothing to a Border Collie – they were bred to be permanently ‘on the go’ and ‘alert’ at all times so we look for active training minded homes for them.

Out of our three border collies who went in April to Border Collie trust in England only Volt is still looking for a home. He is in the very best of hands where they have the time, experience and resources to work with his reactivity around other dogs. This will give him the very best of chances and ensure that his next home is his forever home!

Zya- adopted!




Birthday Girls…

Yesterday we heard about Pitchou’s 10th birthday and today we have two more birthdays to report!

Yesterday was also Harleys third birthday. Harley arrived at the refuge with her sister and went to live with Lucie and family when she was just a few months old. She has matured into a lovely family dog and shares her household with 4 young children, two kittens and a foster dog!

Tomorrow is also Maisie’s ( ex Helfies) third birthday. She was adopted from the SPA two years ago and here is what mum Pauline has to say:

‘She has become a much loved member of our family and a favourite with all the children who stay in our Gite through the summer months. We even thought we should change her name from Maisie to “Maisie sit” as she sits patiently in front of a small child offering her front paws one at a time in return for a fuss or her ball thrown.

Unfortunately she still likes to intimidate my cats but at least now she stops chasing them when l shout her name. The person who abandoned her to the SPA never gave her the chance to show her true worth and lost out on a wonderful companion.’

Its great to here how happy our dogs are with their forever families and it really gives us hope for the others.

Pocahontas, Balou, Dali and Exquise are not so lucky. They have to spend their June birthdays at the SPA. Pocahontas has just become 4 this month and this will be her 3d birthday at the SPA. Balou and Dali have also had birthdays, becoming  9 and 5 so lets hope that none of them are here for their next birthday. On Tuesday the lovely Exquise will be one. What a shame that, at less than one year old, she has already had to endure refuge life.

Please think long and hard about the responsibilities of getting a dog, especially a pup. No dog deserves to end up in rescue and for some, like Pocahontas, it’s a long stressful wait for their forever family.

We also have news from the UK. Bernie has found his forever home! He was a favorite with the staff and volunteers at Many Tears but like us they are delighted that he has found his forever family! This was made possible by his sponsors, friends of the greatly missed Darren Mann, who offered to pay Bernie’s transport costs! Thank you all so much from us and Bernie!

Harley was 3 yesterday..


Maisie is three too..


Exquise is one next week….








Happy Birthday Pitchou!

Today’s news is all good!  Pixel and Kopeck were adopted and Bounty has gone to a long term foster home. Pixel, a very cute teckel cross has only had about a month to wait for his forever home and Kopeck even less. Poor 11 year old Bounty was abandoned about a week ago but is  lucky enough to have found a super foster home.

Sometimes when people adopt from us we get an update email and then the occasional photo but Michele who adopted Pitchou nearly two years ago has become a real SPA supporter and keeps us well updated about Pitchou’s antics!

We received an email today to say that it was Pitchou’s birthday and that he was 10 years old. I still remember the day that Michele and family drove over from Pau to meet him. It was scorching but Pitchou wasn’t going to let that spoil his chances of adoption. Here is what Michele wrote:

‘It was important that the whole family were on board with the adoption so the 4 of us set off together on a roasting hot July day to meet our new chum. Pitchou, despite having had a recent wash and brush up by Moira, still looked rather bedraggled but was an instant hit with my husband who wanted to rush out and get him a dog-kerchief and rename him Banjo (..err..No!) My younger daughter waxed lyrical about hairstyles, bobbles and grooming so I tried to remain objective and calm so that I would be strong enough to say ‘no’ if necessary.

We took him out of his kennel and into one of the little parks and that is when he dropped his ‘little old man act’ and showed his true colours racing around, bounding up and down, flinging his kong ball everywhere and jumping in and out of a bowl of water, he couldn’t have done more to attract attention if he had started high kicking with a cane and top hat! It was almost like he knew it was a now or never moment and the deal was done! So he was reserved and taken for all his jabs and to be snipped and he was collected in August!

Well what can I say, from day one he has been simply wonderful and has settled in beautifully. He is friendly, funny, gentle and has clearly been well trained as he knows all the basic commands, walks well on the lead, has excellent recall and has not tried to sit on the furniture. He even snores very sweetly so, what’s not to like!! He and Ruby rub along well together though her nose was put out of joint to start with and she was very ‘ice maiden’ for the first few weeks, considering herself to be Yves St Laurent to his Primark, but his steadiness of character has won her over. A real case of Lady and The Tramp!’


Happy Birthday Pitchou…I know that you will be having a good one!

The birthday boy…



Pixel was adopted!


So was Kopeck


Bounty has a super foster home..


Maggie and Grisbi go home..

Last Saturday I told you about the young couple with the little boy called Luca and border collie Alice who were looking for a new friend for Alice to help her get over losing Sadie their 14 year old shepherd cross. Alice and Sadie were both rescue dogs who had been with the family since they were about a year old so it was very clear that this family new the committment that they were making and had thought everything through. After introductions were made and several dogs  were walked they decided to reserve Maggie.

Any household with a four year old is a busy one so it was very important to choose a dog who wasnt too high energy or hyper. At only one year old you could tell that Maggie was a calm, easy going girl who behaved impecably around Luca. Today, after a visit to the vet to be sterilised and get a passport, off she went. This lucky girl will be spending half of her time in the UK…half in France!

When we are adopting a dog to a family with children, especially young children, we are always very cautious. We much prefer the children to come along so we can meet them and see how any individual dog reacts around them. During introductions, we watch both the children and the dogs very carefully so we can advise accordingly. Keeping children safe around dogs is very important to us!

Next to leave was little Grisbi. He arrived two days ago but today he was reunited with his family.

We also had a super reservation today and I know that a certain volunteer will be crying tears of joy tonight!

Maggie ( now Eve) and her new sister Alice…

DSC_1976 (2) (1)


Grisbi went home too..