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Rain didn’t stop play!

Well, what can I say? What a day to choose for day one of the Christmas events! Who the heck ordered the wind and rain?

Market traders on Place Eggenfelden looked on in envy as the guys from the Mairie set up the DRC tent, complete with wind-proof side panels. We were quickly installed and drinking hot coffee and eating warm croissants from the stall next door. Tinker the raffle dog was on display and we had many other “crafty” good on sale, as well as cupcakes and other delicacies. Being a new association, we were keen to let people know who we are and what we are about (rehoming dogs!). Moira’s lab, Zac acted as doggie ambassador, wiggling at everyone he met, the way labs do!

Due to a mix up, we were herded off the square at 13H00, despite having official authorisation to be there until 18H00. We didn’t put up too much of a fight, as we were not particularly warm and the crowds had thinned out in any case.

Almost all the perishable items were sold, and what was not will go to either La Cite or the SPA tomorrow, both of which will be up and running and with (we hope) better weather.

Thanks to everyone who braved the weather and came along, and particular thanks to our artisans for their creativity. We made quite an impression, I think! I love the fact that after shutting her stall, a woman selling vegetables rushed over to buy a handmade coat that she had been coveting all morning.

All the money raised, several hundred euros, will go to help the dogs at the SPA, of course.

I have no news from our colleagues at La Cité as yet; they are presumably still thawing out.

Meanwhile at the SPA, we had an adoption, that of lovely Panach. He was found as a terrified “not quite pup” in Trebes, and the staff and volunteers have worked wonders socialising him. His brother, Diabolo, is still waiting for a home. Hopefully he won’t have long to wait.

Also Princesse, the old lady who was brought in yesterday, was reclaimed. Her owners were there to collect her on the dot of 14H00 and were delighted to have their girl back again. You see, not everyone gets rid of elderly dogs!

Tomorrow the SPA is open, as it is the first Sunday of the month, and we will be present at La Cité again, hopefully with better weather.

A few of Team DRC, complete with Zac and his Xmas coat!







Panach – ADOPTED








And the SPA Xmas tree is up ! Why not come and buy a bauble for your favourite dog or cat!




A happy photo but much bad news.

Last night the SPA Facebook page received a photo that put a smile on a lot of faces. Truk, our oldest and poorliest boy, has been taken home for long term fostering. This means that he is in the warmth of a loving home, rather than at the refuge. Truk has a bad heart, and is mostly deaf and blind; can you imagine how confusing and distressing the SPA is for dogs like him?

It is in cases like this that foster families are invaluable. I have little doubt that this will be the last home that Truk knows; it is end of life care, allowing this old dog to die in a dignified and loving environment. Whoever dumped him did not have the courage to do the decent thing, sadly.  Thank you so much to his new family. It may be my imagination, but Truk’s eyes seem brighter already!

It is ironic to be writing this on the same day that we received news of the death of a Rookie, who was lucky enough to be adopted from the SPA despite his age. Jane knew the end was coming, but it doesn’t make things any easier when it happens. Rookie was shamelessly abandoned at the age of 12 (or so we think; his owners couldn’t quite remember), and I am sure that his years with Jane were the happiest of his life. He was a great dog, one you could take anywhere. He knew he was lucky and he behaved accordingly (most of the time, at least!) Jane is not one for angels and rainbow bridges and all that; so let’s just hope that the pain of her loss passes as quickly as possible.

Thanks for everything you did for Rookie for the last two and a half years, Jane. A small dog can leave a huge hole!

I told you that the SPA and its volunteers are very busy this weekend. So just a reminder: Tomorrow and Sunday the SPA has a stand at La Cite, for the Fete of St Nicolas. There will be plenty to see and do at the Christmas market, it is a great way to spend a day, as it is full of craft stalls and fun! On both afternoons the SPA will be open, as it is the first weekend of the month. We will be joined by our friends from Dog Park 11, who will be there to walk dogs and give advice on dog training etc. And don’t forget that tomorrow DRC will be at Place Eggenfelden, in the centre of Carcassonne, with our very own mini Christmas market.

With any luck our three-pronged offensive should reach a large number of people.  The idea is to encourage people to visit the SPA and that adoptions will follow. Let’s get some doggies out before Christmas!

Today the SPA has four more dogs; the black lab who was found with a broken leg on December 1st is back from the vet and has been named Tonnerre. He was joined by a male golden lab, Cooper, and a sandy coloured girl called Princesse, who is nearly 12 years old. I have no information on dog number four, except that he is 9 years old.  It has been a bad day. Another one.

Let’s hope some room is made this weekend. None of these four will be able to leave, of course, as they must serve out their “pound time”, but we have plenty other lovely dogs who would love to have a new home. Personally I hope that some of our longer term residents may finally get their turn, but at the moment I would be happy with any adoptions at all.

The day’s only bright spot, Truk in his foster home













RIP lovely Rookie 










New arrival Tonnerre








New arrival eleven year old Princesse








New arrival Cooper



Gisele pirouettes to freedom!

Well, it may be cold in Carcassonne but at least it is sunny! This meant that we were able to get lots of dogs walked, which is always good for morale, both theirs and ours.

And we had an adoption, which has become such a rarity nowadays that spirits are lifted enormously, especially when it is a dog of seven years old! Gisele has gone home with Wendy, who, it turns out, is friends with volunteer Rob. They bumped into each other when Rob was bringing Blacky back from his walk, and Wendy was just leaving. So we will definitely have news of Gisele (who is to be renamed Gigi) in her new home.

Yesterday’s two arrivals should be collected tomorrow, all being well. Their owners were not pleased to hear that they had been brought to the SPA, as they were close to their house and it is “quite normal” for them to be left to wander. This seems to be a peculiarly French way to treat dogs; kick them out in the morning, let them in at night. Not everybody here treats their dogs like this, by any means, but it is far more common than it is in the UK. And many owners do not like the inconvenience of making a trip to the SPA to collect their dogs. Look at Fox, for instance. He was brought in so many times that his owners just decided one day that enough was enough, and left it  up to the SPA to find Fox a new home. It is so hard to know what to do; but by no means should you assume that everyone loves their dogs the way you love yours, and that they will rush to collect them and be grateful. Just ask poor Carole, who fields the angry phone calls!

Oh, we must say a huge thanks to MaxiZoo thanks to whom every single dog in the refuge has been treated to a flea and tick treatment. Incredibly generous of them, and we are looking forward to spending a day in their store on December 20th too, when they are hosting a pre-Xmas collection for the SPA.

So it is not all doom and gloom; especially as the SPA is active on three fronts this weekend….See tomorrow’s blog!

Wendy leaves with Gisele (now Gigi)



Nice Weather for Ducks!

How many of you remembered that yesterday was #givingtuesday? Well this initiative, driven by Annette (who incidentally “Christmassed up” the DRC logo for this month), proved to be quite a success. Annette herself attracted four new clients, all of whom will be donating to DRC, and Tina held a craft party at her house where money was raised both for the upcoming cake raffle and as donations. Many thanks to you both and to everyone who contributed.

We hope this will be an annual event, with more people joining in and even more money being raised for worthy causes. Especially us!

Meanwhile at the refuge today we had five new canine arrivals. Luckily three of them were reclaimed, leaving just these two lovely old boys who were brought in by volunteer Joëlle (yes, the same Joëlle who is fostering puppies Jazzy and Zumba). They were found near the Lycée Charles Cros in Carcassonne and one of them is identified, so let’s hope their owner is looking for them. I doubt they will enjoy winter at the refuge.

And we had an adoption. “Nice weather for Ducks” usually means it is raining, or at least damp underfoot. That was not the case today, it was just cold! But for little Duck, it was a great day, regardless of the temperature. After one failed adoption (the family’s other dog was attacking him), Duck has found his new home. Introductions (or should I say introDUCKtions) with the family’s other dog were made at the SPA, and all went swimmingly (I am on a roll tonight with the Duck jokes).

So two arrivals and one departure. Numbers are creeping up again…..Funny how this happens in holiday seasons, isn’t it?

December’s DRC logo, thanks to Annette.

Xmas dog










Some rum truffle Xmas puds, thanks to Anna who was at Tina’s event











Two new arrivals













A Mission of Mercy and Two Dogs Leave

This morning on Carole’s initiative, she and I went on a mission of mercy  to the ASCPA (Association Catalane de Protection Animale) in Perpignan. They were hit dreadfully by the floods and all their bedding and food was soaked. We arrived the same as several other visitors, all offering help. Our donation of blankets, dog food and baskets was extremely welcome and we spent a long time chatting with staff and volunteers about how they were coping in the current conditions, and we swapped ideas about the practicalities of running a refuge.

Of course their set up is very different to ours, they “choose” which dogs to take and so all their dogs are either sociable or small (or both). It was lovely to see the dogs living in small groups in parks, rather than in separate boxes of ones or twos. However at the SPA  Carcassonne we have to take all-comers, so antisocial dogs have to be kept separate for safety’s sake.

Both Carole and I were struck by the fact that several of the dogs looked exactly like ours. I guess they are just some breeds that you find in all French refuges.

Don’t worry, people, we still have enough blankets to keep us going for a while, although we may launch an appeal in the next couple of weeks. Especially now the temperatures have plummeted. However we could not ignore this cry for help, even though it was from a refuge in a different department. Regardless of geography, we share the same goals. And there but for the grace of God…..We have made new friends today, that is for sure.

Back at the SPA this afternoon we had an adoption; that of our beautiful German shepherd, Falco. We knew he wouldn’t be around for long when he arrived; he had come from a breeder and was identified, but the breeder had never changed the ownership details nor kept records of to whom he had sold his dogs (NB, this is NOT responsible breeding), so Falco needed a new home. And today he has one, after just over four weeks with us.

And one of the dogs who was brought in on Saturday was reclaimed, which I know will make Moira’s day. She and I were both quite upset to see this boy shivering with fear (not cold) in his kennel. She left just before his owner called to say that he was on his way. The photographs of him leaving show a joyous dog, so I wanted to show you one, even though it is a bit fuzzy.

It has been a busy day, but a good one, all in all.

If anyone is wondering how they can help, by the way, please think about posting this blog to your Facebook wall and sharing albums of the dogs. Bear in mind, without Facebook no one would have been aware of the plight of the refuge in Perpignan. Social networking WORKS!

The Facebook photos of the ASCPA in Perpignan which prompted Carole to suggest we go to help.











The team was happy with our gesture of solidarity and that of the many other donors.






















Shayen in his box. A dog cannot be much more miserable than this….













But then Daddy comes to collect him!



Old Lady is reclaimed, a dog avoids the SPA, but there are two arrivals

Today, like many days, was one of mixed news.

The little old fauve de Bretagne who was brought in on Friday was reclaimed due a chance meeting between her owner, who was out searching for her, and a volunteer. The owner had not called the SPA, because his dog is identified so he “knew” that the SPA would contact him. This is fine when the tattoo is legible, but in this case it was not. Worth checking to make sure that your dog’s tattoo is still nice and clear, especially if it is old. If not, a collar with a phone number on it can help.

In any case, dog and owner are now happily reunited.

There was another reunion, that of Von, a springer spaniel. He was found by someone who kindly posted his picture on the SPA Facebook page but also on Pet Alert. A friend of the owner saw the photo and dog and master were reunited without recourse to the SPA. Great work, people. Pet Alert and Chien Perdu are both wonderful resources for lost dogs.

A young female border collie cross arrived this morning; very thin and in need of some TLC. She has been named Karlie and hopefully, even if no one is looking for her (which is probable, unless she has been lost for some time), we hope she finds a new home soon. Another unidentified dog arrived having been hit by a car; he is at the vets recovering from an operation on a broken leg. He is a young black shepherd cross, so perhaps we will add him to our list of dogs who are on special offer during “Black Dog December”!

Tomorrow a couple of volunteers are off to Perpignan to deliver some much needed supplies after the refuge there was flooded. We are all too aware that this could so easily have been us, and at times like this we must stick together.

We hope that you are warm and dry wherever you are, but please spare a thought for all the homeless animals everywhere and help in any way you can. Adopt, share on Facebook or other social media or talk to your friends; you just never know!

New arrival – Karlie











Von – Reclaimed thanks to Pet Alert. He never set a paw in the SPA











#Black Dog Sunday!

Forget Black Friday, Cyber Monday, today is #BlackDogSunday!

This years ‘Black Friday’ hype was almost impossible to ignore as will be tomorrows Cyber Monday so we at Dog Rescue Carcassonne though that we would join in and create a #BlackDogSunday.  This will become an annual event to promote our wonderful black dogs and will be the Sunday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

Black dogs are notoriously hard to rehome but have just as much love to offer as their lighter coloured counterparts. You all know that Darcey and I are great lovers of black Labrador and have 3 between us.  They will be our ‘black dog’ ambassadors at our Christmas Fair on the 6th December so if you’d like to meet then, come along and say hello! We are so confident that  all of our black dogs could make fantastic family pets that we too will offer a discount of 15% on the adoption fee!  So for the whole month of December, any dog featured today will cost you 15% less with DRC paying the 15% to the SPA. What is more, is you fall in love with one of these lovely boys but live out with the Carcassonne area we will get the dog to you!

All of the dogs featured today have been with us far too long and really need a family of their own. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if they could be in a warm cosy house instead of a concrete kennel for Christmas?

So, why the #? #tags indicate a “label” which makes it easy to track and search topics in social media and we want as many people to join in as possible!

Blackie – is just a dog that doesn’t seem to get noticed. He’s a sweet seven year old dog who’s house trained, good with kids, fine with females, just a really easy boy!




Balthazar – Or big B as I call him is a lab and a half! He’s seven year old big boy who could live with a female and would need an enclosed garden. He’s not too fond of our feline friends and could not live with one!



Cash – is a four year old very affectionate boy. He loves his walks and would do well in an active training minded family.



Chips – is a five year old loving boy. We think that Chips would thrive in a home with a calm female for company and where the owner was initially home all day. Cats or farmyard animals would probably be too much for him to resist, he loves a chase!



Scooby Doo –an eight year old big boy who loves his walks. He’s very affectionate and confident!

#scooby doo


Falco – is a two year old boy who is full of youthful exuberance and would do really well with a training minded family. He’s fine with other dogs so could make wonderful addition to any doggy family.



Darwin – is an active young one year old boy who is not strong on the lead and loves other dogs!





Gordon – is another young black Labrador who really needs out of the refuge. He settles well on his lead and loves treats so should be a dream to train!



Xenon-is an eight year old friendly boy who is still you lively and great fun. He could share with another dog and loves to play!



Dali– is another young, big, bouncy, affectionate two year old who needs a bit of training. He’s an absolute delight and will make a great addition to any family.



Echo – is a six year old griffon cross who definitely has a bit of schnauzer about him. He’s good with other dogs and a favourite with many volunteer!





Refuge survives intact, but two arrivals lower morale even further.

I am sure I was not alone in having a terrible night’s sleep; winds howling, rain lashing down and thoughts of the poor dogs at the SPA was not the best recipe for a restful night. All the kennels have an inside covered area, of course, but with the amount of water that came down, I was so worried that they would have flooded. I have five dogs at my place at the moment, and seeing them curled up and warm made me feel so desperate for the poor dogs at the SPA. The cats have a much better time, as they have a heated building, so they are protected from the elements in a way that the dogs can only dream of. But of course cats do not need to be walked, which is probably why cats are having more luck being adopted with dogs at the moment.

Luckily there was no damage done, but the car park is looking a bit the worse for wear.

Of course when the weather is like this, taking dogs out for walks is not easy. People sometimes argue that we take our own dogs out, so what is the difference. Well, the difference is that our own dogs return to a heated house where they can dry off and sleep, as opposed to huddle shivering and trying to get warm again.  A few dogs did get out, but the walks were mostly very short so that if the rain started, we could get them back “home” quickly.

A couple of dogs were found and brought in by the police. One is identified, so photos of him will follow if his owners do not come to get him, but the second one is not identified, so we would love to find his owners. At least tonight he will be under cover, who knows where he spent last night.

Here is a photo of the little girl who arrived yesterday. She is about 10 years old and has a huge tumour on her groin. I really hope that someone loves her enough to come looking for her, but as she is not identified she will probably have to rely on the goodwill of a stranger to offer her a home in her hour of need.

On a more positive note, we had a reservation today and it was of one of our oldies, which is always good. Plus DRC was given a huge box of beautifully made lavender bags to sell, courtesy of two great friends. My car is smelling better already!

Go to our Facebook page “Dog Rescue Carcassonne For Sale” and see all the goodies we have on offer to benefit the dogs at the SPA! And tomorrow you can read about how DRC funds are to be used in an initiative to give some of our overlooked dogs a boost.

Yesterday’s arrival- ill so no longer wanted?








And this lovely old boy arrived today. Anyone recognise him?










Lavender bags to benefit the SPA. Thanks Lizzie and Jane. 



Weather warning, but snow seems to suit some!

The SPA received a message today from the Confederation Nationale des SPAs, to which we arec affiliated (as opposed to the Paris SPAs) to see if we had suffered any damage as a result of the inclement weather. This message was directed mostly at the refuges located in the South East and was offering help if required.

Several individuals have expressed their concern about us here is Carcassonne, and I have to say that it is so far, so good. But by all accounts the worst is yet to come. The refuge is located on a hillside, so with any luck, as in the past, the water has carried on downhill, but with the ongoing building work we are not sure how things will work out. It may be all hands to the pump tomorrow!

One dog who is not at all bothered by the change in the weather is Hardy, whose owner wrote to us today. Hardy now lives in the mountains, and he has taken to snow like a duck to water, by all accounts! Suzy tells us that he is much loved by everyone he meets, and the two of them are rapidly changing the views of people regarding “this type” of dog. The toughest looking dogs are often the most gentle, assuming they have the right owner, that is!

There was one reservation at the SPA today, and also sadly an arrival of an old female dog who was found in Carcassonne. I have no information as yet, but I will try and get photos tomorrow. Assuming my camera works under water, that is!

What I can show you is a photo of the two puppies who arrived on Wednesday and who are now in foster. Jazzy and Zumba are going to be about 15 kg when they are adults and are just gorgeous!

We hope you are all warm and dry. Please spare a thought for the dogs and cats in all the refuges throughout France and the world, but especially those at the SPA Carcassonne. They all want to be in the warm too. Let’s hope that by this time tomorrow some of their dream is a reality…..

Hardy loves the snow!












Puppies Zumba and Jazzy. For adoption but for Life, not just for Christmas!



No adoptions, and Sacripan is back.

Few things give us as much pleasure as seeing pictures of ex SPA dogs now happy in their new homes, or out playing. And personally few things give me as much pleasure as pictures of happy beagles! So this photo of Djazz (formerly Carpet) got my day off to a great start!

The afternoon at the SPA was very quiet, with no adoptions and no arrivals, but lots of walks, as is usually the case on Thursdays. If you fancy joining the team, then that is probably the best day to come along, providing it is not raining, of course.

You may remember that on one of last week’s blogs I mentioned that an identified dog had arrived and that we were hopeful that his owners would come and get him. He was adopted from us, so of course we had their details. However enough time has passed for us to have realised that they are not interested. So Sacripan is back again. Honestly, people, if that is your idea of dog ownership then we would rather you didn’t bother.

A message that is perhaps even more apt as Christmas approaches and thoughts of puppies must be in many people’s minds. If it isn’t for life, then don’t do it!

By the way, for those of you who sponsor dogs at the SPA and would like to send them a little gift for Christmas, why not buy them a treat-filled bauble? As last year these cost €4.50 and treats will be distributed to “your” dog to make him or her feel even more special than usual! The SPA has no Paypal account, but DRC will pass on all funds received. Our Paypal address is the same as our email address; website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk Don’t forget to tell us who you would like to send your gift to. And of course even if you are not officially a “sponsor” you can send a bauble for a dog who has no one.

Djazz (ex Carpet) enjoying freedom!










Sacripan – Looks like the novelty of dog ownership has worn off. 








Xmas baubles are available for your sponsor dogs!