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Dog Show – more details

We promised you more information about the DRC Dog Show with a Difference, and true to our word, here you are.

First off, many thanks to Marcus who designed such a wonderful poster, which we hope you will share with all your friends. It gives a good idea of what we will be up to on the day, and conveys the spirit of fun which we are sure will be present on the day.

We are planning on starting the event at 11H00, when display and “taster sessions” of agility, truffle hunting etc will start. People will have the chance to visit our friends at Cancer Support France, eat some lunch (there is a kitchen on site and we plan to sell snacks and cold drinks), buy some bric-a-brac and perhaps have your pet portrait taken in Marketa’s pop up photo studio. Plus of course register for the competitions that will take place throughout the afternoon.

Regarding the bric-a-brac stall, we already have a couple of offers of things to sell. So yes, we are once again collecting your unwanted items. The longer you can keep them the better, as storage can be an issue, but we would be grateful for any donations.

We are very excited about the event. Having it in a tailor made location should aid with many aspects of the day. For instance the club has permanent kennels where dogs can wait while their owners are doing activities that require two hands! This means that anyone with a reactive dog can have a bit of a relax, not always easy when your dog is stressed.

Kennels to keep your pooch safe while you peruse the bric-a-brac!

If you would like to help with any aspect of the day, volunteers are always welcome. Nearer the time we will put out an appeal for cakes and other lunchtime edibles in the hope that this will help to raise some additional funds.

All money raised will go to improve the lives of the dogs at the ScPA Carcassonne, which is about 15 minutes drive from the Club Canin at Trèbes. The refuge will be open and who knows we might even have a visit or two!

As you will probably have guessed, this will not be the last blog on the subject. But we hope it is enough to encourage you to save the date!

A Hidden Gem – Popeye

Popeye has not been at the refuge for very long, but he is a DRC favourite and we would like to help him find a wonderful new home as soon as possible.

Popeye was brought in at the end of December with his sister, Olive, who was rehomed almost immediately. As is often the case, the boy has been left behind. In fact Olive and Popeye are almost certainly the siblings of recently homed Tom and Théa, and probably of Tom and Tommy too. Someone had an unwanted litter and rehomed the pups very badly; something that makes dog lovers and those in animal protection very frustrated.

Popeye is lively and attentive

The couple who brought Olive and Popeye in were very unclear about where the dogs came from and what their behaviour was like. They just said that the woman had developed a sudden allergy and that the dogs were a nuisance. It is hardly surprising that two untrained adolescent dogs in a house would soon become unwelcome.

Despite being somewhat wild on his arrival, Popeye has become just about everyone’s favourite dog to walk. It is amazing how much a dog’s behaviour improves when he is getting regular exercise! Popeye is now wonderful on the lead. He trots along at your side, and is extremely attentive, especially if he thinks a treat may be on the cards. This could be thanks to his breed.

We know from DNA tests carried out on one of the siblings that Popeye is 75% labrador, and he has many of the breed’s traits. He is very affectionate, and highly motivated by food. This makes him easy to train and he is quickly learning all the basic commands.

Popeye is excellent on the lead.

After Olive was adopted, Popeye had to make new friends, and this proved to be no problem at all. He is currently sharing with one of the refuge’s timid (mistreated) border collies and helping to give her confidence. And he is happy to walk alongside any other dogs, no barking or lunging towards them, just a well-mannered slightly curious sniff.

Popeye is quick to learn and loves showing off his new skills

Popeye is fine with children and non- reactive towards cats. He would be an ideal family dog and would make a great companion for walks. His sister Olive (who was adopted two weeks ago) is already walking off lead, and we suspect that Popeye will be equally biddable.

Adoption fees at the ScPA have recently increased to €190, but as he is a DRC hidden gem, we are happy to pay towards Popeye’s adoption. Just get in touch. And of course Popeye is fully vaccinated, identified and castrated.

Popeye is light on his feet and dances along side his walker

Let’s find this hidden gem a home!

Sunday ScPA Summary

We thought it might be a good week for leavers as the first adoption took place on Monday. But then things calmed down and the only other adoption did not take place until Saturday. And there was not even the excuse of flooding to explain this.

Still, in addition to the adoptions a couple of dogs were reclaimed and there was good news from Belgium with the adoption of brothers Levy and Mickey, so it has not all been bad.

Linette was the first dog to leave the refuge, and everyone was delighted for this elderly German shepherd. Her new family have already sent photos of her lying happily in the comfort of her new home, which she shares with two other dogs of about the same age. Lucky Linette.

Linette – ADOPTED

Saturday’s leaver was stunning blue merle border collie Iggy. Inevitably such an attractive dog received a lot of interest, with numerous potential adopters. As ever some people will have been disappointed, but hopefully they will adopt another dog in due course.

blue merle border collie

Iggy – ADOPTED

Let’s hope for better news during the coming week. There are lots of amazing dogs at the ScPA, and we at DRC will tell you about a couple more soon and hope that our spotlight on some of the many hidden gems helps to find then homes. And if you are looking for a dog, let us know and we will try to help you find your perfect pal!

A Hidden Gem and Urgent Appeal- Graf

It has been a little while since we brought your attention to one of our hidden gems, so without further ado, please meet Graf.

This English setter is one of the most gentlemanly like dogs at the refuge and although he is not particularly elderly, he has just passed the ScPA’s criterion to be a senior dog. So Graf is both a Hidden Gem and an Urgent Appeal. This means that should you wish to offer him a home, you can receive a helping hand with the fee from DRC, but of course that is no reason to adopt a dog. Once you read about Graf you will see that there are many other good reasons to do so.

english setter

Graf is attentive

Graf is a setter who was born in May 2011. He was brought in for rehoming by his family who were unable to cope with this dog’s tendency to escape from their garden. But this is his only fault, and it is one that can be solved by having a well enclosed (really well enclosed) garden. Once this problem is solved, you will not find a better dog than Graf.

Graf is fine boned and light on his feet and he does not pull at all on the lead. If we hadn’t been informed about his Houdini tendencies, we would never have guessed. Even on a 10 metre lead he remains close to his walker’s side. And if he does walk ahead and you call his name he comes back immediately for a pat. Walking him is a real pleasure.

Graf never pulls to the end of his lead and always keeps an eye on his owner

Graf is fine with other dogs and is currently living with one of the refuge’s very nervous dogs to help her to gain confidence. And of course he is doing a great job. We don’t know how he is with cats, but we can check this out easily enough.

He is wonderful with children and just the sort of dog who would help little ones overcome any fear of dogs. Although he spent over 8 years with his family, he spent most of the last two years chained up to prevent him annoying the neighbours. So although being at the refuge is hard on him, it is definitely the first step to a happier life. And whoever adopts Graf will be extremely lucky indeed.

Graf is a very handsome lad

I cannot stress enough the need for an enclosed garden. Graf has already worked out how to slide the bolt to open his kennel door. He loves being with people, and cannot be left outside on his own unless the drawbridge is definitely up! However that is not the hardest problem to deal with, and as Graf is such a wonderful dog to walk, he would be fine with a small garden plus regular outings.

Come and meet lovely Graf and fall in love just as we have all done!

Home to Home success – From Djabu to Zaba

On Sunday we blogged about the adoption of Roquette, now renamed Nogi, mentioning that she had gone to live with recent DRC home to home success, Djabu. We mentioned that we would tell you more about this later in the week, and here we are!

A bit of background to refresh your memories: In October DRC was contacted about a magnificent blue merle Great Dane by supporter Jane. She had heard of his plight and told us that he was threatened with a one-way trip to the vet were a new home not found within two weeks. This may or may not have been a genuine threat, but it did bring a sense of urgency to the situation.

As it happened, it took just 24 hours for Djabu to find his new home.

Zaba making his grand entrance!

His new mum, Renia, wrote this piece for us.

“There I was, innocently cooking dinner one evening, late autumn last year when ‘I think we’ve found our dog!’ came my husband’s voice from the sofa…

He had seen a FB post from Dog Rescue Carcassonne about a five year old Great Dane urgently needing a new home. As soon as I saw the photos, I agreed: We had found our first dog together.

Zaba with his new mum

Laurie replied to the post and said that we were very interested. Two days later, we met Djabu, a beautiful, blue Merle, and went for a walk with him and his temporary carer, who was unable to keep him any longer. Our minds were quickly made up and we agreed that we would come to collect him after our planned trip away.

We couldn’t wait! 4th November couldn’t come quickly enough.

Zaba enjoying café culture with his dad

As soon as we were back we drove over to collect our new family member. As soon as he was called from the house, Djabu positively galloped out to meet us and gave us the best welcome. Then, as soon as Laurie opened the boot of the car, he leapt up. This dog wanted to come home with us, no doubt there! An hour later, we were home and Zaba, as he is now known, settled into his bed, as if he’d always been with us.”

Enjoying the freedom of the beach

Isn’t that a lovely story? And you can see how well Zabu has settled in by the fact that Renia and Laurie have just adopted lovely Roquette (now renamed Nogi)

If you would like to share the story of you and your DRC home to home or ex-ScPA dog, please get in touch. You can write to us via our Facebook page or send an email to us at website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk

Zaba and Nogi on their first walk together

Sunday ScPA Summary

Hardly surprisingly this has not been the best week for adoptions. As many of you will know, the river Aude, which runs through Carcassonne, burst its banks on Wednesday following heavy rain upstream, and for safety reasons the ScPA shut early on Wednesday and did not open at all on Thursday.

The land on which the refuge is located is on a steep hill, and so was not at risk from the river. And luckily the heavy rain that fell on Thursday flowed past without doing any damage. However staff had difficulty getting to work, as many of the surrounding villages were cut off. But don’t worry, those who could make it in were there to reassure the animals and make sure that they were not in danger.

Seven adoptions did take place, however, and all seven dogs must be delighted to be somewhere dry!

First off was Mini J, a small crossbreed who is absolutely adorable and despite her feistiness, is very good with cats! She actually left on Thursday, despite the fact that the refuge was closed. It seemed a shame to disappoint her new owners who had reserved her earlier in the week and had been looking forward to collecting her.

Mini J – ADOPTED

And then on Friday there were two adoptions, that of fabulous Petrus, and a dog that looks a bit like him but who is not related, the lovely Olive. She does have a brother, Popeye, who is still waiting for a home. They are the siblings of recently adopted Tom and Théa (now Betsy) and of earlier leaver Tommy. All of them have proved to be excellent companions, so if you are looking for a new dog, why not take a look at Popeye?

Petrus – ADOPTED

Olive – ADOPTED

The weekend saw two dogs leave on each day. Puppy Susan was first off, after having arrived in a very emaciated state and probably following some mistreatment. Puppies should definitely not cringe when they are stroked. Border collie cross Maxou also left on Saturday, with some great supporters of the ScPA. He could not have found a better home.

Puppy Susan – ADOPTED

Maxou – ADOPTED

On Sunday it was the turn of big overgrown puppy Malou, who was badly homed by another local association who were not able or willing to take Malou back when his new (very elderly) owner was not able to manage this huge boy. Not exactly responsible homing; but all has ended well for Malou as he has a new home already.

Malou – ADOPTED

Today also saw the adoption of Roquette by friends and supporters of DRC. Who remembers the Home to Home success of Great Dane Djabu in November? Well this big lad, renamed Zabu, now has a new friend, the fabulous Roquette. She too has fallen on all four paws, and later on this week you can read more about how Zaba is getting on, as we will have a Life After the Refuge tale to pass on.

Roquette – ADOPTED

On the subject of the coming week; now is a very good time to adopt, if you are thinking of doing so. This is because the adoption fees at the ScPA are going up on February 1st. For dogs, that is. For some reason cats are inflation-proof! Puppies will now be €220 (plus the fee for neutering) and adults will be €190.

These fees include the cost of sterilisation (for the adults) and the first vaccination (the second, too, if the dog has been at the refuge for more than 3 weeks) plus of course identification.

We at DRC find the new fees on the high side, but we have no input to this. We would happily help you find a dog from elsewhere if you like, but we would strongly discourage people from taking dogs from Leboncoin and other internet sites. Firstly these dogs are often not identified or even health-checked before being given away. If you subsequently get this done (which any responsible owner should do), this, along with neutering, will inevitably be more than the adoption fees at the ScPA.

DRC Hidden Gem – Banksie is looking for a home

Secondly dogs are often being given away for a reason, and you may not always be told this. At the ScPA the employees know the dogs and can advise as to a dog’s suitability.

Finally if an adoption from Leboncoin does not work out, it is almost unheard of for the person giving the dog away to take it back. You could well be faced with the unpleasant task of rehoming the dog yourself, or bringing him to the ScPA for rehoming. We see a great deal of this already, and it is very frustrating.

As is DRC Urgent Appeal – Mirabelle

There are certain dogs at the ScPA whom we at DRC adore. These are our Hidden Gems and Urgent Appeals. We are happy to pay a small subsidy towards the adoption fees of these dogs so that they can find their homes. Please get in touch with us first, of course, and we will sort it out at the ScPA end. Likewise if your dog leaves with the first vaccination only, and you will have difficulties paying for the crucial second vaccination, please feel free to contact us.

We hope those of you who live locally are warm and dry and that if you did have any flood damage, that everything recovers quickly.

Save the Date for the second DRC Dog Show with a Difference!

Today we have a date for your diaries. The second almost annual DRC Dog Show is now in preparation.

We hope to see as many of you as possible at the event, which is taking place on Sunday April 26th at the Club Canin Trèbes. Gill and Kai’s beautiful garden in Caunes Minervois has changed hands, but we are very lucky to have been offered use of the fabulous facilities in Trèbes, which are tailor-made for dogs and for event such as this!

Click the link above to take you to the Club’s website and see what they have on offer!

And this year we have even more fun things planned for you and your dogs.

There will be food and drink, bric-a-brac, taster sessions for various dog activities, including truffle-hunting and flyball, as well as all the fun of our dog competitions. Whose dog will win the coveted “looks most like a celebrity” prize this year, I wonder!

We are very excited to be offering a pop-up photo studio with the amazing Marketa. She is known to many of us, and is both an award winning photographer and dog-lover; a perfect combination for our event.

Many of you will have seen her work (National Geographic no less!), and some of you may know that I have recently taken my pack to her studio to have their photos taken. The results are incredible. This same studio will be set up at Trèbes, regardless of weather (there are plenty of indoor spaces) and you too can have a picture of your dog looking his or her best.

Most of you know Caillou, which is why I have put his photo here, but believe me, Marketa’s photos of Bella and Nero are just as stunning.

beautiful dog with pointy ears.

Marketa’s stunning picture of Caillou

Our friends from Cancer Support France will be joining us too, we are very happy to say.

We will give more details as the date approaches, but the most important thing for now is to keep the date free. This is one event you really won’t want to miss and we hope to see you all there!

One of the agility parks at the Club Canin in Trèbes

Sunday ScPA Summary

Another good week at the ScPA, with nine dogs leaving for new homes, plus of course the four who left for Belgium. In fact one of them, beautiful Melba, has already found a new home. This is what we mean when we talk about giving a second chance dogs who have waited a long time in Carcassonne. Melba was in Carcassonne for a relatively short 3 and a half months, but the fact that she was adopted 2 days after arriving at Animal Trust speaks volumes. And there is more good news on the way from Belgium but that can wait till next week.

On to the ScPA adoptions.

First up was husky Texas. This is his fourth adoption, so we hope this time he really has found his forever home. His lasted owner kept him for 18 months, and we thought that was it, so fingers really crossed this time. Luckily handsome as he is, he was snapped up. Spare a thought for the less attractive dogs who are brought back, they are seldom as lucky. Last week’s adoptee, Flavio, was brought back 24 hours later, and he is still waiting, as of course is lovely Banksie along with many, many others.

Texas – ADOPTED

The ScPA also said goodbye to Moby (now renamed Monty and being proudly shown off on the Languedog Facebook page) and Luna, a lively little parsons terrier who proved in her last home that with the best will in the world, she is NOT able to live with other animals.

Moby – ADOPTED

Luna – ADOPTED

Nala, a young malinois cross  found a new home. She was brought in for rehoming last week as her family no longer had time to care for her. As did tiny pups George and Charlotte, both of whom had been found in a local village.

Nala – ADOPTED

Charlotte (now renamed Solsi) – ADOPTED

George – ADOPTED

One of DRC’s favourite new arrivals, Bree, was also homed, as was yellow labrador Gloria; two fabulous and gentle girls, neither of whom had to wait very long to find happiness again.

Gloria – ADOPTED

Bree- ADOPTED

Perhaps the adoption of the week is that of Buffy, aka Mamie Zin-Zin, a yellow lab who was brought to the refuge due to her owner’s going to long term care. Buffy is atypical of her breed; she is good with neither dogs nor cats! Moreover she appears to have had some kind of cerebral incident, meaning she has difficulty walking.

That has not stopped her finding a new home, and today she left as an adopted dog, not a long term foster! There are some wonderful people out there. We wish Buffy every happiness and long long life in her new home.

yellow lab

Buffy (aka Mamie Zin-Zin) – ADOPTED

So we end the weekend on a high and look forward to more good news next week, along with the return of Moira who is back from her Scottish sojourn and is eager to meet all the new dogs.

Four more dogs leave for Belgium

It is now four weeks since the last lucky four dogs left for pastures new at Animal Trust in Belgium, and since then two of them have been adopted. The rest are clearly loving their new surroundings, with a fresh start, loads of walks and group playtime in the huge parks. They are about to be joined by four more lucky dogs, who have set off on their journey to Belgium thanks to YOUR donations, you wonderful supporters of DRC.

In fact €300, almost half the transport fee, was donated by supporter Sharon’s book group, who meet throughout the year, each member donating €1 for each book they take from the shelf. It is amazing how this mounts up during the year, and the timing was perfect. So many thanks to all the avid readers in the Aude.

Several of you have asked how we select the dogs to go to Animal Trust. No, it is not just a question of choosing our favourites! Yes, we love them all, and that is why it is important to have selection criteria. Sometimes we pick a dog who risks falling back into the wrong hands (as was the case for last month’s leaver, Finou, and now for lucky Melba). Melba was found in a poor state and brought to the ScPA by supporter Karen, who has been to visit and walk her many times since. Melba’s owner has not come to collect her; but this could have happened and getting her to safety was important.

Melba – her hunt days are over

The second (and main) category of dog that we send is dogs who have been at the refuge for a long time and are constantly overlooked by potential adopters. Three of today’s four leavers fall into that category.

Vegas has been adopted on two occasions, but the last time was well over two years ago. This lad is now 7 years ago, and it is high time he had a change of scene.

big griffon cross

Vegas – time for a change

Likewise Jax, who was brought in for rehoming when he was under two years old. That was a whole 18 months ago.  A beautiful and well-behaved dog like this should have been adopted quickly. Perhaps it is his size that has put people off, as his only fault is that he doesn’t like cats, and not everyone in France has a cat!

big black and dark brown dog

Jax – perfect apart from his size!

And last up we have Noisette. She has been at the ScPA since September 2018, when she was brought in with her puppy Pirouette (Impala). Impala has been adopted twice since (once badly, once well), but no one has shown any interest in Noisette, who is now six years old. Time for a change of scene for her, too.

Noisette –

Of course we discuss the potential leavers with Eline, at Animal Trust, as she too has her own pressures. There are plenty of dogs who need rehoming in Belgium, and the goal is not to flood the country with foreign dogs. But by taking breeds who are unusual in Belgium (the long-ears!) and dogs whose chances of adoption in France have been shown to be poor, Eline is able to justify taking a few dogs every so often. And we are massively grateful that she does!

Of course we will give news of “our” dogs as they are adopted. We know that people here are very attached to certain dogs (Karen would have loved to have adopted Melba, for instance, but could not due to that common problem of already having too many dogs). But we are all adults and we are all here for the good of the dogs, so we have to feel happy for them to have been offered this great opportunity at Animal Trust.

Become a member of Dog Rescue Carcassonne

We have now been an established association for 5 and a half years.  Over the last few months, we have been looking at how to restructure how we work with the ScPA, on social media and how we could help more dogs in the area.

We have various projects in mind and have decided to offer annual memberships at 10 euros per year. This will boost our funds so we can help more dogs and is a great way for you to show your support for DRC. And you will, of course, be kept up to date with all our news.

If you already donate monthly via paypal then you will automatically get a membership but if you don’t and would like to become a member then you can do so by paypal website@dogrescue carcassonne.co.uk or via the donate button on our website http://dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk/

Your support is very much appreciated!