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Adoptions of Dylan and Bryn

Today we said goodbye to two more dogs.

First to leave was Dylan. Incredibly he first arrived at the SPA in June 2016, although he was adopted briefly inbetween than and now. He is a fabulous dog, young and lively but with all the “dog codes”, meaning that he knows exactly how to behave with other dogs, and has often been used to teach by example the dogs with whom he has shared his kennel.

He left today with Anna and her husband who arrived in the area recently and contacted us about finding a dog. Dylan had caught their eye on the website and once they met him in the flesh, it was love at first sight. They spent all afternoon getting to know him and reserved him while preparing their lives for him.

Dylan will be missed by the staff, especially Vincent, who has relied on him to educate less sociable dogs. And he was also be missed by others, including volunteer Karen, who has walked him regularly throughout his time at the SPA. She would dearly liked to have adopted him but this was not practical (no room at the inn). However Karen plans to keep in touch with his new family and hopefully will be able to visit once Dylan has settled in. And as for Vincent, his first “training” visit is already scheduled for next week!

family hugging black dog

Dylan leaving with his new family


Just as Dylan was leaving another family was at the SPA looking for a dog with whom to share their life. As soon as their eyes fell on Bryn, they knew he was the one. This little lad is a favourite of many of us, small in size, always happy and easy on the lead. There is just nothing to dislike about him. A walk confirmed their good taste, and Bryn was off, leaving a trail of broken hearts (we will miss him!)

smiley dog

Bryn – ADOPTED Yes, we know the photo is small, but isn’t it adorable?


We had a great reservation, too, as well as lots of walks. Another happy day, with yet more adoptions due this week!

Two dogs leave the SPA and we all say “Cheese”

Today puppy Hendrix left for his new home. He has not been adopted, but hopefully his long term foster will become a permanent one. The reason for this arrangement is that at present no one can be sure of Hendrix’s breed. This cannot be diagnosed formally until he is eight months old, and that is some way away for this little lad. So for the time being  Hendrix is in foster, and once he has been assessed this arrangement will either become a full time one, or the adoption will be finalised.

Many thanks to Marion and her husband for fostering this lovely lad. From being found under a car to finding a new home in ten days, not bad eh? As we so often say, the SPA is a stepping stone to a better life.

brown and white cross

Hendrix – long term foster

Such was the case for little griffon cross Mac. He arrived just over a month ago and is a very lively little lad who loves everyone. He had a chance to prove this today, as his new family arrived with baby and also ex SPA dog Willy (adopted some 4 years ago). Mac is now the newest member of the family, and everyone is delighted for him.

small griffon cross


Apart from that it was picture time at the SPA. Dog Rescue Carcassonne has a project underway to create some greetings cards featuring refuge dogs. So today dogs were walked to the garden of the Berriac Foyer, where photographer Marketa was waiting, along with dog behaviourist Vanessa and other team members.

The weather was superb and the dogs were able to sit on lovely grass or blankets and we hope that the results will be worthy of the dogs who were photographed today.

woman taking photos

Isa’s puppy, Newton, is photographed with help from the DRC team

Adoption of Texas

We had the week’s second adoption today. After a surprisingly long wait, Texas left for his new home today. This lovely lad was found and brought into the SPA at the end of June, so he has been with us all summer. But summer at the SPA means good weather, which means lots of walks and playtime in the parks, and Texas has made the most of every opportunity to have fun. He is a very happy dog, who adores people and other dogs. Perhaps it was his stocky appearance that meant he waited so long. But today that was all over and he went, smiling as usual.

In fact a couple of other people had shown interest in Texas recently, so as is so often the case it looks like it was just his turn, somehow!

Pale brown ad white dog


We had the arrival of a new puppy, which might interest those of you looking for a dog who will remain small. This lucky lad has gone home to be fostered with Isa, so she will be able to tell you all about him in due course.

brown fluffy puppy

New arrival – in foster with Isa

We had a couple of great reservations, as well, and plenty of walking was done, so the week is going well so far!

Adoption of Anais

We always like it when we have an adoption on Monday; it gives us hope for the rest of the week!

Today the SPA said goodbye to lovely Anais. She was one of five border collies who arrived at the SPA at more or less the same time at the end of August. These dogs were not living in great conditions and were brought to the SPA as rescues, so we are particularly happy that so far three of them have found new homes. This leaves the two boys, Juan and Bran, but they are both mixing well and certainly having more exercise and better lives than where they were before, so it is all good.

tricoloured border collie


There was a reservation today and an identified dog who arrived was reclaimed immediately, so the news was largely good. However we have to report the sad death of one of our longterm foster dogs, which has cast a shadow over the day.

Many thanks to Marie- Ange (who truly IS an angel), for caring for old man Roucky. This elderly Brittany spaniel was brought to the SPA following the death of his owner in January. Marie- Ange stepped in and took Roucky into her heart and home, where he has lived the life of a king until his sad death last week. She is very sad at losing him, and she has our deepest sympathies as well as all our thanks for letting this lovely gentle dog end his days in a loving home.

brittany spaniel

RIP Roucky

Four Adoptions to (almost) end the week!

We have plenty to catch up on today, four adoptions in fact! The first of them took place yesterday. Little Chappie found his home after almost 2 months. Yes, it is unusual for a dog of this size and style to stay as long at the SPA, but Chappie had lost the sight in one eye due to an untreated infection and although he sees very well with his other eye, this seems to have delayed his finding a new home. His new family didn’t seem to mind that at all and off he went, smiling as usual.

small scruffy yorkie

Chappie – ADOPTED

Someone who did mind was little Pila. She and Chappie arrived on the same day and have been together the entire time. How would she cope with being alone? Well luckily she didn’t really have time to find out. Pila found her new home just 24 hours later! Wonderful news for this little girl. She arrived in a horrendous state, almost totally without fur, but again her new family accept her as she is, so things are looking up for this tiny girl too.

small scruffy dog 2


Today we also said goodbye to tiny pinscher cross Django. He only arrived two weeks ago, and no one is surprised that he left so soon. He is a great little lad and it is wonderful that he didn’t spend too long behind bars. His new family have children for him to play with and a lovely life awaits.

tiny pinscher cross

Django – ADOPTED

Last but not least, we said goodbye to beautiful bleu de Gascogne Darby. Well, actually we said goodbye to him some three weeks ago when his sponsor mum, Petra, took him home to live with her family. Darby was not doing well at the SPA, he was not eating and although the staff and volunteers were doing their best, progress was slow. At Petra’s home, Darby was able to meet lots more people, and he shared his house with children, cats and other dogs. And he went on long walks, which he loved.

Petra would have loved to have kept him, but agreed with her family that four dogs was too many. However she said she would keeo him until the right family was found. And today Ollie and Karina came from Germany to take Darby home with them! They had recently lost their beloved weimeraner and were looking for a dog who would enjoy a similar lifestyle; lots of love, lots of long walks, and plenty of interaction with other dogs on “man-trailing” expeditions.

Many thanks to them for making the long trip to meet and collect Darby. And special thanks to Petra and her family for all they did for Darby. I am sure they will be very sad tonight, fostering is not easy. But they helped Darby (their “Boy”) onto a wonderful new life.

Huge hound


So it was a great end to the week. Or actually not quite the end! Tomorrow is the first Sunday of the month, so the SPA will be open from 14H00-18H00. Why don’t you come along and say hello, or walk a dog or two!

Through no fault of their own…

Of course we feel sorrow for all dogs who arrive at the refuge but the ones that I feel sorrow for the most are the dogs who have known a loving home all of their lives and their owners have either died or have become very ill.

These dogs must really be in shock!

One such girl who arrived recently is Pica. I was really shocked when I discovered Pica was 8…she is in great shape and looks more like a two year old! She is a Labrador x ( maybe pointer) and is slightly smaller than the average lab. She is an affectionate girl who has obviously been well looked after and she gets on well with other dogs. So anyone looking for a sweet natured female..pop along and see her. You wont be disappointed!

Billy is a 4 year setter x, who also found himself without a home when his owner died. Afterwards, this poor lad was left for six months in the garden with neighbors taking it in turn to feed him! Six months! Now he is at the SPA he is being well cared for, has company and gets lots of walks. Billy is fine with both dogs and cats and is a really lovely lad!

Pica and Billy are just two examples of dogs who arrive at the SPA through no fault of their own whatsoever. Some people just don’t have family or friends who can care for their pets after they die and when these pets arrive at the SPA we do our very best to ensure that their stay is as short as possible.

As responsible dog owners we should all think about what would happen to our animals should we die. Of course we all hope that family would take care of them but lots of families live far away, are young with busy lives and may not be able to care for your pet.

If family or friends cant care for your pets make sure that they know all about their individual needs, their likes and dislikes so that they can rehome them responsibly and ensure that they have  as great a future as possible!

Pica needs a family..

And Billy too…




Foster to forever families….

Tonight we have the stories of how two foster dogs became forever dogs! One a pup and one an oldie!

As you have heard us say many times we much prefer our pups to go into foster than spend any time at the refuge. This is because they don’t have a strong immune system and could catch a variety of nasties and it’s so much better for their socialisation to be in a home environment.

Our fosterer Shirley has had many pups. Some, like puppy Elsa she knew were just waiting until they could go to their forever home, some like Polly really needed lots of tlc as they are terrified and have clearly had a bad start in life.  As a fosterer you take each pup as it comes and do your best to prepare it for its forever home.

Here is Shirley and Poppy’s story:

“As a foster ‘Mum’ puppies come and go. Some capture your heart more than others.  There is always a tear or two when they move on to their forever homes, but they are tears of joy and pride in a job well done.

I have often been heard to say “you don’t choose your dog they choose you” so it was with my others dogs and is now with Poppy. From the day I was asked to take her, when I sat on the floor of the SPA office and this frightened pup climbed onto my lap it was game over!

I tried the sensible approach! “I’m not looking for another dog” “3 dogs is too much” “She is going to be too big”. However slowly but surely Poppy, aided and abetted by my 4 year old X Labrador Jake who plainly adores her, wormed her way into my home and my heart.

So here we are today, the papers are signed, I have formally adopted her, she is part of my pack, my family. It’s not sensible at all but it will be great fun!! ”

The second lucky dog to be adopted by his forever family was Alfie ( ex Tis). When Alfie arrived at the refuge he was nearly 12 years old, abandoned because his owner was ill. Despite his age he loved his walks but like most oldies he hated refuge life. Luckily for him Jane agreed to try him out with her ‘pack’ and luckily all went well.   Alfie will be retiring to Guernsey so we are sure to have lots of great photos of him on the lovely  beaches! What a lucky boy!

Alfie is not the first SPA dog that Jane has adopted. She adopted Rooky, another oldie about 7 years ago and she had cheeky Charlie , another oldie in foster for a long time. It takes a lot of time and patience to care for an oldie so many thanks to Jane for all of the love and care she has given to our doggies past and present.

Many thanks to both Shirley and Jane for taking Poppy and Alfie into their hearts and homes. We will have regular updates of how puppy Poppy is doing and watch out for snippets from ‘Poppy’s training diaries’.

Poppy and family!




Alfie..adopted by his foster mum!




Planes, Trains and Automobiles….

Tonight, we will look at a scenario that we have dealt with quite a few times. Someone sees a dog and after numerous communications decides that it is the dog for them but they are in the UK (Scotland this time), they want the dog asap and they don’t want hours and hours of driving through at least one country, in this case 2.

So we all know that you can have a dog transported and that we can do TRACES to allow it to enter the UK legally but that takes time and is very dependent on transporters schedules.

This weekend I spent a lot of time speaking to transporters as we had a reservation for a dog for Scotland but the adopter, being a teacher, has set holidays and really wanted to get to know the dog whilst off. But, if you are from Scotland you have almost two full days driving here and then back again and for a single person to do that with a doggy that they really don’t know is risky for all sorts of reasons. Whats more the dog had just had his rabies so could only travel mid school holidays which in reality meant a one week window!

So, we explored all the possibilities that we could think of:

Fly here and hire a car…nope you cant take a car hire out of the country. One way car hire through France and then the UK…nope you need a car to go through Eurotunnel / ferry.

Could we fly the dog to Scotland…not unless it went via Gatwick…hmmm….not sure I would trust the airlines with that transfer and thats before you think of the stress for the dog as it would have to go as cargo.

Could the new adopter fly here and go back with the dog by train….not advisable with a dog that you don’t really know then how do you get through the tunnel/cross the channel?

We did come up with a work around solution that the adopter will fly here, spend several days getting to know the dog here, fly back on the same day that the dog leaves with the transporter ( thank you once again to Linda from For The Love Of Dogs and Cats) and will be ready to greet the dog who she will have gotten to know the previous week in France!! She will be back to class the next day but mum and dad have not long retired, live 5 mins away and are on hand for doggy settling in duties!

This seemed a good solution as it ensured both owner and doggy would travel safely and also have time to get to know each other!

Phew…..now you will just have to wait to hear who the lucky boy to leave is!!!

Three adoptions to start the week.

Three adoptions today, making it a postive start to the week.

When border collie Lyndee arrived some two weeks ago, everyone knew that this stunning girl would not have long to wait. Yes, we have other border collies at the SPA, and they are all stunning, but this young girl’s colouring does make her stand out. Sure enough she was reserved very quickly and today she left for her new home.

blue merle collie

Lyndee – ADOPTED

We also said goodbye to two gorgeous puppies. The first, Ouma, arrived exactly ten days ago, found lost and alone but wearing a collar and lead. Had she been identified, we could have contacted her owners. As she was not idientified (despite its being the law), we had to rely on her owners to come and look for her. Or at least look on line, where her photo has been for ten days now. No one came, so it was time for Ouma to find a new home!

pale cream puppy


She left today together with another puppy, Chuli, a tiny pinscher cross who arrived on the same day and was also unidentified. Needless to say both dogs are now microchipped, and when old enough they will be sterilised and we are sure that their lives will be much better for it!

small dark brown and black puppy


And Saturday’s arrival, Jack Russell Capsule, was reclaimed. He was already identified, but strangley there was no phone number on the database, so we were unable to track down his owners. It is well worth making sure there is a way to be contacted just in case your dog goes missing, and in these days of mobile phones, it should be easier than ever. Still, all is well for ten year old Capsule, lovely boy that he is.

white JRT


Adoption of Lady and Charlot

Today we said goodbye to two more lucky dogs who went to their new homes. It has not been the best week in terms of adoptions, but today certainly left us with a smile on our faces.

First to leave was Lady. She arrived towards the end of August in pretty bad condition. In fact for several weeks she was too ill and thin to live outside and it is only fairly recently that she has been on view to the public. She has made quite an impression, with everyone remarking on her beauty. Yesterday a family came to meet her and went away to have a think. It didn’t take them too long to decide to offer Lady a home.

golden retriver cross


Second to leave was little Charlot. This adorable yorkie cross was found (unidentified, of course) in a local village about two weeks ago. To our amazement no one came looking for him, although he simply must have had a home before arriving at the SPA. This week alone three families have been to visit him and have promised to think about it and let us know. Well as with many of our popular dogs, thinking too long can result in disappointment (although of course a decision as momentous as adopting a dog whould not be made in haste).

Today two new volunteers arrived to join our fabulous team of walkers, and the first dog they walked was Charlot. The next thing we knew, they were testing Charlot with a border collie, who belongs to their brother (and our wonderful handyman volunteer) Philippe, and leaving the SPA with a new addition to the family.

They have promised to carry on walking dogs, though, don’t worry!

yorkie cross

Charlot – ADOPTED

Three (identified) dogs left with their owners, and so it was a great way to end the week.