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Latest News

Down to Earth with a Bump

Oh well. Gouda was brought back today, I don’t know why yet. I am consoling myself with the fact that I didn’t like the family who adopted him anyway, and he will be much happier with someone else. (PS found out today that Gouda was intended as a gift for their parents, whom they knew wanted a new dog, but 2 had already been “ordered” from a breeder. Grrr. Not Gouda’s fault at all!)
Then as well as needing a temporary foster home for Alexia before she goes to Belgium, the  adoption of Harley fell through. So tonight’s blog is dedicated to Harley. I have posted for him before, but this time I MEAN IT!!!
Harley is a small to medium dog, about 15kg. He is fine boned and is possibly a podenco cross. He was born in September 2009 and spent well over a year at the refuge before being adopted. However his adopter couldn’t keep him, as Harley has separation anxiety and barked while she was at work. Rather than him go back into the refuge, a volunteer took Harley home to foster, and he has made enormous progress. He is still quite anxious by nature and doesn’t like being alone, but the barking has become manageable, and his foster carers would happily keep him, were it not for the fact that they have house rabbits, and Harley is not at all okay with rabbits.
He is, however fine with cats. And female dogs. And non-dominant males. Harley is fabulous on the lead and is affectionate in the extreme.
We really don’t want Harley to come back to the refuge, as all the progress that has been made on his separation anxiety will have been wasted.
Harley is castrated and is the perfect dog in so many ways. Neither of his recent homes has had a garden, and he loves running round, so he would love a garden and he definitely needs another dog in the family, as he needs a canine mentor.
PLEASE HELP HARLEY!!!!
Associations are welcome.
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Call for Volunteers!

Despite the wonderful number of dogs who were adopted yesterday, one thing that struck us was how few volunteers there were at the refuge. Of course, everyone has a life and weekends are special to many people. But apparently there is the misapprehension that we have loads of volunteers on Saturdays, so people deliberately don’t come along so as to not “get in the way”.
One of our most devoted volunteers (who drives up from Narbonne two afternoons a week, despite working full time) has made this lovely poster, which is now on the Facebook page. Maybe it will inspire a few more people to join us. More volunteers means more potential foster families! If you fancy joining us, please get in touch.
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NOT a typical day at all!

Wow. I am exhausted. Today we had 6 dogs adopted, including 2 of the Perfume litter (together) and the last of the Planets. There are still puppies left, though, so don’t give up if you are after a baby! We also said goodbye to Pasha and Mao, both of whom have featured on this blog, and also Gouda, one of our “not quite pups”. And not only this, but four dogs found their owners, giving us some much needed space. 
As ever there were some arrivals, including this beautiful girl, Pippa, who was spotted hanging round the refuge gates where she had presumably been dumped. She is very thin, but absolutely adorable. She is fine with cats and children and other dogs and is only six months old. But it is those long ears that could condemn her to a long stay at the refuge. If she can get over the anti hunt dog prejudice, she will make a fabulous family pet!
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Typical Day; good and bad.

Good news in the form of a reservation for Vania, one of my favourite dogs and subject of an earlier post. Bad news in the form of the arrival of several new dogs. One thing is for sure, this is a never ending task. 
Dusty (below) was homed from us last year and has just been found and brought into us by a member of the public. As we have his owner’s phone number on file (thanks to the micro-chip) we were able to phone up and tell them that Dusty was safe and was waiting for them to come and collect him. They were pleased to hear that he was okay, but said that they won’t be coming to get him. So for Dusty it is back to square one. This just makes me sad and makes me wonder what sort of people we are dealing with. The thought of losing any of my 4 dogs fills me with fear and dread, yet for others they are just objects that can be thrown away once the novelty has worn off. Poor Dusty. He is a beautiful beauceron of 2 and a half years old; what is he doing at the SPA again? I feel we let him down last time, so only the best will do for him now!
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Cautious Optimism Returns.

Despite the freezing cold there was a hardy bunch of volunteers busy walking dogs and that is always good for morale. Some Sherlock-Holmes-ing has enabled us to track down the owners of 3 of our recent arrivals (why they weren’t looking actively is a matter of concern, but we are too full to be able to keep dogs that already have a home). 
Mao was reserved and will be leaving us soon, as will Charlotte, and one of our volunteers delivered this magnificent kennel that she had made herself, all with recycled materials! Next job is to get it into the park, as I think it is too big to fit through the gates! Oh and our dog-loving volunteer handyman is back from nearly 3 months holiday, so with any luck the refuge will soon be in the midst of a much needed makeover. 

Laura’s kennel
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Look at these 4 in the snow.

Can you recognise the two on the left? Thought not, me neither! Remember Rasta and Rocket, the two one-year old Shih-tzus who arrived in the refuge in a terrible state? Well here they are, renamed Fred and Ginger, and beautiful and happy with their new brother and sister! This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago (during the last batch of snow), but I saw their new mum and the refuge yesterday, and she showed me this picture, which I just knew I had to share with you all. 
These are the images that keep us going when times are rough, as they are at the moment.  Not much to tell today, except our that our 11 year old lab, Tracy, is sleeping somewhere warm tonight thanks to a lovely British couple who couldn’t bear to think of her in the refuge. See, it’s not all bad news!
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Bit sad tonight….

I went to the refuge for the first time in a week today, and I was shocked to see how crowded we have become in such a short space of time. We have had 153 dogs brought in so far this year. A record for us, but not one to be proud of. And so many of the dogs are hunting types, which is so predictable and makes me so so angry, especially as these dogs have presumably given loyal service for years before being cast off.
And we have had quite a few young dogs brought back, those that have been adopted as puppies, either from us or elsewhere, and dumped now they are bigger and not trained (like it is the dog’s fault). The dogs are so beautiful too. I had a  lovely cuddle with Flocon today. He is just a youngster and he was so happy just to be loved and petted. It made me so sad to put him back into his kennel.
Feeling very low tonight…..
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Trying not to panic….

I have just got back from dog training class, where I go twice a week. While I was there I had a chat to the SPA secretary, who also goes with one of her dogs. As you know, I have been away, and you only get half the story if you are relying on emails and Facebook. Tonight I found out the shocking news that we have 138 dogs at the refuge. When we had 142 dogs in summer, we went into SOS mode and we were helped out by various associations. And here we are again. It is never ending, I know, but it is very early in the year to have reached such a huge number.
I am trying not to panic. 
There are some fabulous dogs at the refuge. Look at beautiful Vania; she is just 10 months old and has been abandoned. Who could resist (especially hard for me, as she looks exactly like one of my dogs, Bella, who is lying at my feet exhausted after dog training).
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Baby Crunch, from leboncoin to a cosy corner of his own!

I am back in Carcassonne and busy catching up with all the news. I was particularly happy to see this photo of little Crunch, the subject of a post on this blog last month. He was brought to the SPA as his “owners” failed to sell him on the awful internet site, leboncoin (awful as far as their lack of control over their pets and animals adverts, that is), and brought him to us, saying that they had found him in their garden. Anyway, Crunch has found a home with a lovely family, and so instead of being sold for 150 euros with NOTHING, he has gone for the same price, but with the crucial 2 vaccinations and a micro-chip. So Crunch will have a much better life; he is identified, as required by French law (though ignored by almost everyone) and with protection against all those doggy illnesses. 
I think this is a happy ending, and I think that Crunch agrees! 
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News from a few old friends

Today we received news from several of our alumni. Firstly a lovely photo of Guismo, who was adopted at the grand old age of 10, but who seems to have a new lease of life now he is out of the refuge. Here he is, playing in the snow. 
We also received news of Why and Flip, who were adopted thanks to Association Orfee, who came to our rescue when we were overcrowded last year. Supposedly inseparable at the refuge, these sisters are now happily living apart and appear to be thriving. And finally news of everyone’s favourite, Eddy, who was so poorly in the refuge due to a grass seed lodging itself behind his eye. This required a brain scan and an emergency operation in Toulouse. He was then taken under the wing of the association Levriers and Company, and today we found out that his foster family have decided to keep him for ever. RESULT!

Guismo
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