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Latest News

Car Boot Triumph!

The Vide Grenier took place in Quillan today, and what a success it was. The SPA had two stalls, one run by the Brit volunteers who raised a whopping 300 euros, thus ensuring the departure of the dogs we are sending to Belgium (not that we would have let a lack of funds stop them going, but it is good to keep the treasurer happy!). The second stall was run by one of fabulous foster families. They are looking after our 14 year old yorkie, Alfie, who would never be homed from the SPA and needs lots of love and cuddles. A month or so ago Alfie went to have his teeth scraped, and as is the agreement, the bill for this was paid by the SPA. Alfie’s foster parents wanted to reimburse the refuge for this and they raised easily enough money to do so. Fabulous work all of you.
Best of all, I did absolutely nothing except pass on the leftovers from the last vide grenier. Oh, the joys of having people you trust to delegate things like this to!


Several adoptions, despite the weather, and cupcakes!

There was a good turn out of volunteers today, so lots of dogs were walked. A young marine has joined the team, and he is keen to walk the bigger dogs who pull on the lead, so it is great to see them out and about. We have a list in the office so we can keep track of who needs a walk, and this seems to work well! 
A new puppy arrived and he was taken home by a volunteer to keep him safe. He is a sweet little guy who is yet to be named. Here he is. And here are the cupcakes which were given to us by a great supporter of the refuge who adopted an elderly dog from us just over a year ago. If these don’t encourage you to join our team of volunteers, I don’t know what will!

Don’t forget the Vide Grenier in Quillan tomorrow, by the way. 09H00 onwards in the Carrefour carpark!


Sausages Leave!

Toffee and Liquorice, our two sausage dogs left the refuge within 24 hours of each other. These 2 wire-haired teckels had arrived at the refuge with mange, and were not allowed out of their kennels until their treatment had been completed. Usually dogs this tiny are adopted straight away but their illness and the risk of contamination meant they were here for three whole months. We had a home on offer providing they were okay with cats, but it was not to be. Feisty little creatures! So instead they left separately but both to wonderful families who will give these little souls the love they need. 
Other refuge news; The SPA is having a stall at the Vide Grenier in Quillan this Sunday, so if you want to support us, go along and buy something or just make a donation. The girls will have the SPA display board where you can see photos of our dogs, and feel free to ask questions about them too (the dogs, not the girls). Let’s hope the weather is kind! Image

Rex finds his owner! WHAT TEAMWORK!

On March 15th Rex was brought to the SPA. He was chipped but his owner is a homeless person and the only phone number we had was that of a local shelter which acts as a post restante for many of Carcassonne’s homeless. We left a message there, but poor Rex was crying in his box, and we didn’t want him to stay for too long.
So one of our multi-talented volunteers went into “poster mode” and made this poster, which my husband then took to the soup kitchen, where he volunteers. Straight away someone recognised Rex and promised to get in touch with his owner. He in turn called the refuge today and Melissa, our secretary, delivered Rex back to his owner tonight. The reunion was very emotional; it nearly had Melissa in tears.
Homeless people can make excellent dog owners, by the way, and Rex is in excellent health, so we are glad he is back where he belongs. 
A happy ending for everyone!

Busy day, some good news.

I couldn’t believe how quickly the time flew by at the refuge today. It was all go for me and the other dog walkers! We had a visit from a new handy-man type volunteer who looks like he could be a godsend to the SPA. And out of the blue, Hector, our lovely German Shepherd, was adopted to be the companion of a golden retriever. Hector had arrived having been hit by a car, and initially had trouble walking, so there were no nice photos of him in the sunshine until Saturday, when a volunteer took him out, and the resulting photo is what attracted his new owners to the refuge! Hurrah!
Lovely Belle’s adoption was confirmed by her foster family, and we are all working like mad to find a new home for Harley. Oh, and Pippa (see below) has been reserved! 
Quite a day, all in all!

Bye bye Hector !

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.
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.

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!

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!

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