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Latest News

Dogs in War. Lest we Forget.

The SPA was closed today as it was a Bank Holiday; however a few volunteers sneaked in to spend some time with the dogs. Seems a shame to waste such glorious weather.

I approve totally of the fact that November 11th is commemorated by a national holiday in France (and many other countries, although sadly not in Britain). However taking time to visit the dogs at the SPA seems very appropriate, when you consider the important role played by dogs in warfare.

Britain alone trained some 20,000 dogs for military service. The dog’s innate qualities of intelligence and devotion have been valued and used by the forces in conflicts throughout the world. Among their many duties in WW1, these faithful animals ran messages, laid telegraph wires, detected mines, dug out bomb victims and acted as guard or patrol dogs.

Strong dogs such as mastiffs and rottweilers were used to pull guns and heavy machinery and small feisty terriers helped to keep the trenches clear of rats and other vermin. For men trapped in the horrors of trench warfare, a dog was a psychological comfort that took away, if only for a short time, the horrors they lived through. For many soldiers, a dog must have reminded them of home comforts.

It is not by accident that dogs are called man’s best friend. They follow their owners through thick and thin and are still used by the military today. Of course many other animals went to war too, and Britain has a memorial in Hyde Park so people can pay tribute. I hope there were lots of wreaths placed there today.

Business as usual tomorrow; now you have even more reason to adopt a dog (they are HEROES!) Why not come along to the SPA and say hello. Whether you are after a ratter or a rottie, we will have what you are after!

A faithful scout

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First Aid dogs.

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And a messenger dog

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Puppies are reclaimed and some happy pictures arrive!

Was it good news or bad? I don’t know. But in any case the four border collie pups who were brought in on Saturday were reunited with their owner. Someone saw a for sale advert on Leboncoin and  phoned her to tell her where the pups were. If you have fallen in love with one of them, they are still for sale. At least now they are micro-chipped, I suppose.  I will try not to comment too much, except that if you adopt a puppy from the SPA, he will be vaccinated, wormed and micro-chipped. Moreover, he will be a dog who needs a home, not a dog who is being used to make money for his owner and often at the expense of a bitch who is being exploited.

Okay, so you saw the ferocity of the bull terrier in (ah-hem) action last night, so how about one of a category 1, or so called “attack” dog. We all remember Zina. Brought into the refuge almost three years ago wearing a muzzle and described as being completely uncontrollable, a danger to her family and to everyone she met, including dogs. What we saw, when her muzzle was removed, was a slightly bewildered but in no way aggressive dog who just wanted to play.

Her adoption two weeks ago, thanks to the association El Rancho les Canailles, has to be one of the highlights of recent months. And when we receive photos like this, it just reinforces our strongly held belief that no dog is dangerous just by dint of its breed. Zina’s new owners say that she is a bit over-protective of the mother, and they need to keep an eye on her for that reason. Otherwise Zina and their dog Hector lick inside each other’s mouths all day, like baby birds. Truly vicious!

I recall only too well getting an email from a well-meaning woman who told me that keeping any dog at a refuge for over a year amounted to cruelty in itself, and that a breed such as a staff would automatically become dangerous, even if it wasn’t to begin with. No, no, no!

We also received a first picture of Shadow and also Fox, both happily curled up and making themselves at home in their new surroundings. It is incredible how quickly most dogs adapt when it is the right home.

We had one arrival who left immediately because he was micro-chipped. And there was one reservation, so it was not a bad day all in all.

Please don’t forget that tomorrow is a Bank Holiday, so the SPA will be shut to the public.

Zina busy being ferocious with Hector
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Shadow relaxing

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And Fox curls up for a sleep

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Adoption of Shadow!

Some of you may have seen the photos of Quiz which were posted on Facebook last night when he arrived back at the SPA from Mag Dog. What a transformation! I have to state outright (in good BBC fashion) that other groomers are available, but huge congratulations and thanks to this salon. They contacted one of our volunteers, Isa, to tell us that they would be happy to do some free grooming, and they have really stepped up to the crease. First it was Swiffer, yesterday it was Quiz and in between, there was the real subject of today’s blog, Shadow.

This boy was adopted from the SPA some two years ago when he was already seriously obese. His new owner promised that her goal in life was to walk Shadow and help him lose weight. She then moved to Thailand and Shadow was left with her sedentary parents. He just got bigger and bigger and eventually he was abandoned at the SPA Montpelier when they moved to a retirement home. Two SPA volunteers went to collect him (because we ALWAYS repatriate our dogs, unlike many other refuges), and Shadow’s long wait began.

He has been with us since March and as he was seven when he arrived, we really wanted him to find a home. Luckily so did Doglinks and it is thanks to them that a new home has been found for Shadow.

I collected him from the SPA this morning and he spent the day with my pack before I delivered him to Moira’s husband Roy, who is taking Shadow halfway to his new home in Pau. We are sure this is the perfect home for this boy, and we hope he has a long and happy life.

Many thanks to Doglinks, to Roy and also to Mag Dog, for making Shadow so beautiful for his new owners!

And to make you all even happier, look at this photo of China (now renamed Clara). Bull terriers are just ferocious beasts, aren’t they?

Quiz – Before

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And After being Mag Dogged!

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Shadow when he was at the SPA

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And after being Mag Dogged (on my sofa today before leaving for his new home)

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And look at this scary beast! Clara (ex China)

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Four adoptions but five arrivals.

No sooner had we found foster homes for yesterday’s two puppies (thanks very much to Marie-Pierre and Isabelle and their respective and tolerant families), but four new pups arrived. These are slightly older than the last “batch”, but are also border collies. All males. Like yesterday’s two arrivals, they are undoubtedly the result of an unwanted pregnancy. Perhaps the owner thought they could make a fast buck by selling the dogs and have dumped them having failed to do so. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

Another dog was found at the gate this morning and he was in such a state of fear that he was unapproachable. Carole spent many hours coaxing him and eventually he was able to stand up and walk on his own. A visit to the vet confirmed that there is nothing physically wrong with him, but something has scared this boy out of his wits. He will be fine; love and patience are what he needs and what he will get.

All this bad news did not dampen the spirits of the volunteers who were out in force yet again. Plus we had no fewer than four adoptions!

First to leave was little Tara, who had been spotted on the internet and whose new owners came from Montpelier to collect her. We are delighted for this little girl who until yesterday was the “puppy that was left behind”, despite her stunning looks.

Another lucky bot was Gaspard, who was also adopted today; wonderful for this little Yorkie cross who appears to have been left behind following the death of his owner. Funny how relatives are quite often happy to take the rest of the legacy, but not the animals, isn’t it? Okay, not everyone may want a dog or a cat, but out of respect for the dead, you’d think the least they would do is to bring the animal to a safe place (such as the SPA) and explain the circumstances, not leave the animal to the mercies of the street.

Gaspard was doubly lucky, someone (not his new “owners”) brought him to the SPA, and better still, he has not waited long for his new home. We look forward to photos and news of him. And I am sure both will come as he has been adopted by friends of volunteer Isa (Isa the Athlete, that is).

Adoption number three was that of Fox. I have long been extolling his virtues on Facebook and on the DRC website. In my opinion he is the perfect dog. Good with cats, other dogs and children, with the only negative being his age. He had been left alone to wander by his previous owners who got fed up collecting him from the SPA. In that case, why didn’t they take better care of him and stop leaving him outside all day long? In any case, today he left for a new life with a lovely new family and a doggie pal to play with.

Last but not least, we said goodbye to Rox. He was one of our “invisible dogs”, black and fairly non-descript. His adoption follows on from last Sunday’s open day, when a woman arrived looking for a female black labrador. Well, one out of three ain’t bad! The heart goes where the heart goes! This is why sometimes it pays to visit the refuge, call it Fate if you like!

I left before I was able to see the results of yet another grooming session by Mag Dog. We hope to have photos later on and pictures of the new look “Quizz” will be there for all to see. Thanks to Benedicte for taking him for his pampering.

A good Saturday!

Tara- ADOPTED
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Gaspard – ADOPTED

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Fox – ADOPTED

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And Rox – ADOPTED

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One of the new arrivals at “Border Collies R Us” (aka the SPA)

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And new arrival Miedo

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Kiko leaves, puppies arrive.

I mentioned yesterday that when some dogs arrive, we just know they won’t have long to wait. Others fall into a kind of mass of “invisible dogs”, which is led by dogs such as Blacky and Disco, who for reasons unknown, just pass unnoticed.

A dog adopted today was a dog who could so easily have become one such dog. Kiko arrived in July, and although as you can see from this photo, he is a beautiful dog, we have lots of dogs who are similar in looks and (crucially) much smaller. Kiko was lucky however, and caught the eye of a lovely family who adopted him today after he had spent “just” four months at the SPA.

I also said yesterday that we love getting photos of ex SPA dogs, regardless of when they were adopted. Well, here is Frida, adopted on Tuesday and already looking like a completely different dog. We want more dogs looking this happy. We want ALL our dogs to look this happy!

It was not all good today, however, as two new puppies have just arrived. Both are boys and look absolutely adorable. But winter is coming, and these little ones should be in warm loving homes, not at the SPA. I just wish people would neuter their dogs, it would save so much heartbreak.

At least one dog will see a change in his fortunes soon, having been reserved today. So we already know that tomorrow’s blog will have one piece of good news.  But it is Saturday, and the weather forecast is looking good again, so perhaps we will have more adoptions too!

Another dog went for a “do” at Mag Dog, but I will save news of that, as he is going to leave on Sunday. Many thanks to Mag Dog once again. Maybe their generosity to the SPA could be summed up in the slogan “making the unadoptable adoptable” in BBC IPlayer fashion. Although to be fair this boy was reserved when he was still scruffy.  His new owners will  have a lovely (non-smelly) surprise!

Kiko – ADOPTED
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Frida looks pretty happy, wouldn’t you say?

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Two new puppies have arrived. Meet Twitter and Google!

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Nouka is adopted and Swiffer gets a makeover!

Some dogs at arrive at the SPA and you just know they won’t have long to wait. In general this tends to apply to small dogs, especially those who are young and good with other dogs. Nouka was no exception; she arrived less than two weeks ago, abandoned due to a change in family circumstances. Today she left for her new home, where we hope she will be very happy.

For once the SPA has many small dogs to choose from, so if you haven’t got room in your life for one of our gentle giants, now is a great time to come along. Nouka is young and still extremely lively, but we have more mature dogs, too, such as lovely Fox, who is house-trained, good with other dogs, cats and children and easy on the lead. Or if you prefer something more lively, we have Iona and Eloi, a couple of wire haired terriers with stacks of personality!

All their albums can be seen on the DRC website (www.dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk),or on the SPA or DRC Facebook  pages. I must admit I didn’t bother adding Nouka to the DRC website, I knew she would leave before there was time to put her on! Fox is another matter, though, and has been waiting far too long for a new home, especially considering he is perfect. If only I could squeeze one more in without my husband noticing!

The weather was bright and sunny and the volunteers were out in force. Swiffer has a new look thanks to the lovely people at Mac Dog, who have given him a “full service”. He must feel tons lighter, and he certainly looks a lot less scruffy. Let’s hope this brings him luck in the form of a new family! He is this week’s urgent appeal on the site, and don’t forget that as an older dog, his adoption fee is just 80 euros, and that includes castration, microchip and vaccinations!

We had a couple of reservations, too, and as promised we managed to get photos of the new arrivals. Now we have to find them new homes, assuming their owners are not looking for them, that is.

Nouka – ADOPTED
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New arrival – Tracey

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New arrival – Metro

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New arrival – Hallie

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And Swiffer –  all clean and fluffy thanks to Mac Dog

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Two arrivals and a missing pooch!

The refuge was much less busy today, and we can’t blame the weather, as for most of the day it was absolutely fabulous. And then all of a sudden it wasn’t! The heavens opened and the temperature dropped.

Two dogs arrived, and both of them are probably happy to be under cover tonight. First to arrive was an elderly German Shepherd who was found on the railway line. Poor boy must have been terrified. Then a young female labrador was brought in after having been found in a nearby village. We will try and get pictures of them tomorrow and try to track down their owners.

On the subject of tracking people down, if you find a dog you are legally (as well as morally) obliged to take all reasonable steps to reunite him with his owners. You cannot decide that you like him and are simply going to keep him or give him away. You may want to adopt him, but you must let the local pound know that the dog is in your care, and only after ten days can the dog be identified in your name.

My number four dog, Nero, was abandoned in my garden just before Christmas 2010. He was not identified but I put up posters everywhere as well as informing the SPA that he was at my house pending rehoming. Okay, he never left, but that was never the intention, I am just a softie. Had I found his owners I would have let him go back to them. It is never up to an individual to decide the fate of a dog without at least giving the owners a chance to find their dog.

Try to put yourself in the owners place and imagine how you would feel if it were your dog that was missing.

Another reason why identifying your dog is a must!

On a brighter note, look at who we have here? Atlas (now Sam) was adopted in June after a very long time at the SPA. Now look at him all happy! Thanks for the news, Jennie and Linda. We love hearing how our dogs are getting on in their new homes, be it days months or even years after they were adopted!

Sam (ex Atlas) – Freedom

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Have you seen this dog? His owner is very worried about him.

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Two out, one in, and Bambi gets a visit

Well, we all knew that the amazing weather would have to end eventually, and today we had the first signs of winter. Not enough to put all of us off, but we were only able to walk a couple of dogs between showers. If you are coming a long way to walk dogs, it is worth contacting us first to see how things are over here; the problem is that when it is both cold and wet the dogs cannot get dry in their kennels, so they are better off staying in the warm. Colder weather is on its way, for sure.

We want to get as many dogs into the warm as possible, especially the older or more fragile dogs. I want to draw particular attention to Hercule, who was adopted from us several years ago and has now been abandoned at the age of eleven. Without going into the morality of doing this (there is no point in wasting our breath), we would love Hercule to find a home.

One lucky girl who has not had an easy life but whose life has taken a turn for the better as of today is China. She arrived in early September in a very sorry state and there were suspicions that she may have been used for dog fighting. This is a very misunderstood breed, sadly. In any case she left today under the care of the Association Alerte a Malibull, but to a family with another bull terrier who live very close to Carcassonne and who contacted us independently. Great result all round. It was fabulous to see China and Ektor play in the park together; it was as if they had known each other all their lives.

There was another adoption today, that of Frida. She arrived exactly one month ago with Fanny who left us a couple of weeks ago, and I was worried that Frida would just be overlooked. However as it  turned out she didn’t have long to wait at all.

A beautiful female Cani Corso arrived thanks to some new volunteers. She was identified so left straight away. However a lovely young male border collie was not as lucky, so we have a new arrival today. We have named him Pumpkin, and he is a fabulous dog, already sharing his box with a male and winning everyone’s hearts.

Bambi had a lovely visit from his godmother too and I am sure she found it hard to put him back in his kennel this evening. He is proudly wearing his new collar and looks very smart. Thank you for brightening up this little dog’s life!

So all in all not a bad day, despite the abrupt change in the weather.

Hercule would like a home before it gets even colder, please

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China leaves with new pal Ektor. Love at first sight!

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Frida – ADOPTED

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Isis – Reclaimed  (micro-chipped)

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New arrival Pumpkin

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And Bambi gets some love from his godmother

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Quiet day at the SPA, but DRC busy online!

Today was a very quiet day at the SPA, with just one dog, a little bichon, arriving and being reclaimed. And a beauceron,  whose worried owners came to see us yesterday to look for their dog was found safe and sound. So that is two happy families (and dogs), today. Another happy dog is Toffee (ex-Farage), a photo of whom we received this morning. He has fitted in well with his pack and Shirley is delighted with her new pal.

Not much going on at the SPA, so I will take this opportunity to announce that today Dog Rescue Carcassonne launched its new “For Sales” page on Facebook. It is easy enough to find; just tap “Dog Rescue Carcassonne For Sales Page” in the search bar. As you can see, there are quite a few items on there already, and all money raised will be used to help the dogs at the SPA. There are great ideas for customised Christmas gifts, as well as all-year-round treasures, such as the amazing tiles painted by Jan from a photo you send her. I have three and I think Moira has lost count of how many she has ordered! They make great gifts.

Another big seller is sure to be the lovely Christmas glasses made by Anna. It makes me realise what an incredibly talented bunch of people we have…I hasten to add that I am responsible for none of the creativity at all; however I am a pretty reliable customer!

All items can be ordered by sending a private message to the page or to our email address (website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk). Please bear in mind that if items are custom made, you may have to wait for delivery, but usually not for long.

We will also have these and other items for sale at our upcoming Christmas market stall in Carcassonne, details to be announced. We are all very excited and hope that we make lots of money for the SPA!

Toffee- Ex Farage and now pin-up pooch!

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Harris Tweed cushions – can be made to order

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Customised hand painted canal tiles

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Christmas glasses

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Open Day Sunday and some good news from Belgium!

Today was another beautiful day in Carcassonne and the SPA was open! Plenty of volunteers came to walk the dogs and we even had cupcakes thanks to Lucie and her clan! We had lots of visitors, and many of them were interested in certain dogs, although no reservations we made. Hopefully some adoptions will follow, however!

Thanks also to everyone who brought along donations in the form of food and other treats.

With all the building work going on at the SPA, the parking area resembles a cross country course, and I salute everyone who managed to squeeze their cars in between bollards and other obstacles to find a place to park. I am happy that my car is so small!

In other news, we heard from Animal Trust this morning. It is one week ago exactly since the latest group of SPA Carcassonne arrived there, and already two of them have been adopted!

Sparo, who had been at the SPA since April 2013, now has a family with three children, a large enclosed garden and a “mum” who is at home all day. Meanwhile rottweiler Hurley (at the SPA for 14 months) has gone to a family with two children and three cats. At first he barked at the cats, because he thought that was his job, but now he just ignores them. Once again I am amazed at how quickly our “long-termers” are adopted when they can be seen by a different audience.

Many thanks again to Eline and Kevin at Animal Trust. We await news of “our” other dogs. Let’s hope their turn comes quickly too!

Sparo – ADOPTED from Animal Trust

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Hurley – ADOPTED from Animal Trust

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