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Monday adoptions and catch up!

For any non-Facebookers out there, a final couple of words on the dog show. With the addition of €3.02 this morning just to round things up (yes, I am a bit OCD), the grand total was a massive €1000. This excludes the money made on the refreshments to benefit Languedoc Solidarity with Refugees, which was considerable, too. So many thanks to everyone for their generosity.

Photos of the day can be seen here.
You can see the list of winners here.

Now, back to news of the ScPA.

The refuge was very busy on both Saturday and Sunday, as there was a photo competition, which is hoped will bear fruit in the form of future adoptions. And as well as lots of dog walkers and phtographers, there was also an adoption.

Yoshi arrived in early July looking thin and generally unwell. He was identified but, probably lucky for him, his owner never came to collect his dog. This meant that Yoshi was able to trade up, finding a wonderful family. By now, of course, he was looking much much better, as these “before and after” photos show. Many thanks to his new family, we hope he rewards your love a thousand fold, as most rescue dogs do.

Yoshi (before and after) – ADOPTED

Today got the week off to a good start, too, with the adoption of puppy Buddy. He arrived in early August with his mum, Raina, both dogs were in a terrible state, as they were suffering from mange. So this poor little lad had to be isolated until he was no longer infectious. Isolation from the other pups means more time with people, though, so this lad has had plenty of cuddles, even before joining the other pups for the last week or so.

Helen and Malcolm came along last week looking for a pal for their Westie, Archie, who always seems a bit glum when he doesn’t have a canine friend to play with. So what would he think of a puppy? Well, wisely they intend to use a varykennel to be able to give the dogs some downtime, but none of them could resist Buddy, now renamed Louis. He is moving to England in mid-October, where we have no doubt that he will cut quite a dash. There are not many griffon vendee in that neck of the woods!

Buddy (now Louis) – ADOPTED

Another griffon left the ScPA today, too, lovely Gaya. She arrived in mid July and seems quite calm, until you see her racing round the park with her playmates. She is not yet one year old, so we are pleased that she has found a home where she can happily spend the rest of her life. No, in case you are wondering, this is not Buddy’s mum. That is Raina, whose ears are a good few inches longer.

pale and white griffon


We had a very exciting reservation, too, so you might want to watch this space !

Dog Show Day!

What a day it has been. Like the other organisers, I am quite exhausted, so this blog will not be a long one.

I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who made today such a success. I hope everyone who came along enjoyed themselves as much as we did.

Not mentioned in previous blogs but key to the day’s success were Tony and Marcus. They not only made all the rosettes (20 of them) and certificates for the winners, but they also acted as meet and greeters, orgainising the lists of which dogs were entered in each category. This was a task not to be sniffed at, as there were a LOT of dogs at the event. They are both former head teachers, though, so took it all in their stride, and still had the energy to compete with their ex ScPA dog, Chester.

The judges had a hard time choosing the winners in many of the categories. Admittedly some of them were down to physical factors, such as length of ears, or height, but in most of the catagories it was necessary to choose from a stunning selection of dogs, many of whom were rescues. So many thanks to Roger and Shirley, for taking on such a daunting task. They were impeccably fair, of course and all the participants accepted their decisions with good grace.
Jessica and Jane helped the judges with the running of the competition, and we could not have done without them.

There was also ace photographer Marketa, taking action shots and also portraits of the winners. And further from the ring we had the bric-a-brac stall run by Chrissie and her friend Moira R (who, incidentally is here just for a week, but kindly gave up a day to helping out), plus the tombola which was in the safe hands of Karen.

Cai and Gill gave us access to their beautiful garden, without which the event could not have taken place, so huge thanks to them.

I  know this is starting to sound like the Oscars, but a lot of work went into the day, so forgive me. But we must remember that a dog show with no dogs is not possible, so thanks to everyone who came along with their dogs. You were all wonderfully good spirited and there really was a fabulous atmosphere.

I am hoping to be able to publish a full list of winners, as well as the total amount raised, but it won’t be tonight, that’s for sure. However here a couple of photos to give you a taste and the rest will be put on Facebook tomorrow, when I hope to be a bit more alive.

Thanks again to everyone, and we hope that this becomes an annual event, so if you missed this year, don’t despair!


Tony and Marcus and their ex ScPA dog Chester- winner, shiniest coat

The junior handlers put their dogs thorough their paces


Judge Roger cuddles Ellie – Best in Show!

Who will be Top Dog

This time tomorrow, the Fun Dog Show will be over, and no doubt everyone will be happily admiring their rosettes or just reflecting on the day they have had, probably in the case of the organisers, over a stiff gin (or several).

The weather promises to be good…a bit too good, perhaps. But don’t worry, there are plenty of shady areas at La Petite Pépinière, and there will be plenty of water available. There will be bric-a-brac and books, a tombola with some great prizes, refreshments (thanks to Languedoc Solidarity with Refugees) and an information stand for the donkey sanctuary. Camemberta (who is feeling much happier since Cai sewed up her tail yesterday) has been busy testing the obstacles of the mini agility course. She is a novice at this, and agrees that it is the perfect opportunity for dogs to see if they like this kind of activity.

Camemberta tries the tunnel

Photographer Marketa is just back from an exhibition in Barcelona, where one of her pictures has won an award, and will be ready to take shots of your hounds in the secret garden area. Camemberta just had to check that out too, of course.

Camemberta posing for her photo shoot

Quite a few people have indicated that they will be attending with (or without) dogs. If you haven’t done so, don’t worry, you are still welcome. In terms of organisation, there will be a reception desk where we will add the names of dogs who wish to compete in the various categories. The entry log will close at 15H00, giving you an hour to arrive and look round at the stalls, eat cake and maybe do some agility before things get underway properly. Bear with us if there is a queue, we will try to be as efficient as possible. Even people who have let us know by email are asked to add their names too, please, just in case there are no-shows. And of course it is a fund raiser, so this is the point when you pay up!

Naturally you are more than welcome to come along if you don’t have a dog. There is plenty to do for everyone.

As we have mentioned, the plant nursery and gardens next door, Le Jardin Champêtre, will be open again tomorrow  as part of European Heritage Weekend. In fact there is a blue road sign directing vehicles towards this garden, so if you follow that, you won’t go far wrong. They were open today and it looks as if they have had a wonderful time, as you can see from these photographs.

Today at Le Jardin Champêtre

Art in the Garden

We hope to see lots of old friends and make lots of new ones tomorrow too. And promise to catch up on news from the ScPA when all the excitement of this weekend is over.

Adoptions of Macaron and Chipie

Today we said goodbye to puppy Macaron. He arrived as one of a litter way back in July, and he is the last of the siblings to leave. We have a feeling it will be worth the wait, though.

Victoria follows DRC from her home in the UK, and when she spotted him online last month, she asked about adopting him. We explained about TRACES, and how it would mean keeping him for 3 months at the refuge, which is unfair on a young pup. Unless she was willing to come and collect him, that is. Next thing we know, she has hopped onto a flight to come and meet him! It is true, you don’t often see pups like this in  the UK, and especially not in rescue, but all the same, that is showing quite some dedication. Two weeks later and Victoria is here again (in a car this time) to finalise the adoption.

It really was love at first sight, and we can’t help but admire Victoria in her determination to adopt the puppy of her dreams. Yesterday when she set off in a borrowed car was the first time she had driven on the right side of the road. Clearly nothing was going to get in her way!

Macaron is not able to leave France yet as the rabies vaccination is not yet valid, so he will spend a week or so in a B+B  getting to know his new mum. She has promised to come and visit before they head off together back to the UK.  Okay, not everyone is able or willing to go to such lengths to adopt, but it is nice to hear such stories from time to time! And what a lucky pup he is.

Macaron – ADOPTED

We had another adoption as well, that of a dog who arrived very recently and had really good luck in being adopted so soon. Chipie was brought into the Pound just ten days ago, and the people who found her said that they would love to offer her a home if her real owner did not reclaim her. Today her pound time was finished, and true to their word, back they came to adopt this lovely shepherd cross. That is a fairytale ending for her, too.

shepherd cross

Chipie – ADOPTED

Elsewhere Team Dog Show have been hard at work getting ready for Sunday, and the newly named Camemberta has been checking out the agility course. Macaron might be joining us too, so if you want to see in real life this little lad who stole Victoria’s heart, this could be your chance.


Camemberta checking out the agility course

Tina finds a home. And a friend.

Today we said goodbye to lovely Tina. This tiny little dog arrived at the end of August, and our first thought was that someone would be along to collect her. Not only is she small and affectionate, she arrived with a brand new collar. Someone must have loved this dog until very recently. She hated being alone in her kennel (unavoidable for the first ten days while dogs are in the Pound, for hygiene reasons) and would fling herself at anyone who came to visit, desperate for a cuddle.

Sadly for her, she was not identified, so the ScPA had no way of contacting her owner. When will people learn that this is one of the best ways to find a lost dog, as well as being the law.

Once out of the Pound, Tina went to share her kennel with poodle Pompom, and has been on walks with many different people. Always in the hope that maybe this time  she would not be going back to her kennel. Putting her back has not been easy, and the look in her eyes each time has caused more than a few sleepless nights.

Puppy Isaac (now Charlie) was adopted in mid June, and for a month or so his mum, Jane, has been looking for a new companion for him. Today she asked to meet Tina, and like everyone else who has met her, she was smitten. The two dogs seemed to like each other too, which of course is key.

Tina with Charlie

We know that Tina will have a lovely time, and she definitely knew that her luck had changed as soon as she snuggled up in the back of Jane’s car. We look forward to news and pictures of this lovely little girl who will be so delighted to have a new home where she has two new laps to sit on, and a friend to play with.

Adoption of Pocahontas

So is Sunday the start of a new week or the end of the old one? Depending on your point of view, today’s adoption of Pocahontas was either the first or the second of the week, but in either case, it was very welcome.

This lovely shepherd cross risked becoming one of our hidden gems. Arriving towards the end of June, pretty Pocahontas went straight from the pound to share her box with another dog, and just became part of refuge life. It was only on walks that her wonderful calm character was visible; she was a real pleasure to be with.

Luckily for her she was spotted on line, and a family came to meet her, returning the next day to make sure she got on with their other dog. Everything went fine, and today Pocahontas left for her new home.

brown and white shepherd cross

Pocahontas – ADOPTED

Don’t let this lack of adoptions make you think that the refuge is quiet. Quite the contrary. There are plenty of visitors coming along to meet the dogs, some with a view to an adoption. Others are coming to walk dogs, and others to make donations. Sadly there are always new canine arrivals, too, but such is refuge life.

For tonight we wish happy new life to Pocahontas, and thank her new family. And hope for more adoptions before the week ends, be it on Saturday or Sunday!

Sunday adoption of Tatiana

Today the refuge was open, as it is every Sunday. And we had an adoption!

Tatiana was originally called Maddie and was adopted a couple of years ago. Then at the beginnning of the year she was found straying and was taken to the SPA Toulouse, who contacted the SPA Carcassonne. All attempts to reach her family had failed, and so, thanks to Carole who went on a rescue mission to Toulouse, Maddie, now renamed Tatiana, was back.

Tatiana is the sort of dog who appeals to people who like staffies, but who don’t want all the hastle that unfortunately comes with such dogs, including the obligation to have a dog muzzled all the times. A fabulous brindle coloured crossbreed, Tatiana is quite a stunner. Moreover since her adoption she had mellowed somewhat, and was more tolerant with other dogs, so has been sharing her kennel.

A family who have visited the refuge on several occasions have had their eye on her, and today decided to offer her a home. The only cloud on the horizon is that they have a cat, and we are not quite sure how this will work out. The family were happy enough with her behaviour in the cat house to take the risk, and sometimes it is a question of nothing ventured nothing gained. With love, patience and careful introductions, maybe cohabitation is possible.

So everyone, please cross your fingers for Tatiana. And for the cat as well, of course. We hope that Tatiana takes the opportunity that has been offered to her with all four paws and that if we see her again at the ScPA it is just to say hello!

brindle coloured dog

Tatiana – ADOPTED

Tomorrow is the start of another week, and we are hoping for great things.

Two adoptions and a foster family for Barock

We have very good news today. One of our old dogs, Barock, found a foster family. This was not the first time he had been in foster, but when they moved to an appartment a couple of months ago, Barock came back to the SPA. This had always been the plan, but what we didn’t expect was how sad he was to find himself back at the refuge.

Luckily he has been given another chance. This is largely thanks to a Facebook appeal by volunteer Ingrid, which has been shared far and wide. A family came to meet Barock last week and to see how he would get on with their two small dogs. Barock is well known for being a bit difficult with other dogs, but a return visit with the dogs today went well too, and they have decided to see how things go at home.

Enormous thanks to these lovely people, and to everyone who shared the appeal. Be a good boy, Barock, please!

old shepherd cross

Barock – long term foster

Also today after a surprisingly long four and a half weeks, little bichon cross Joy left for her new home. At three years old, and being small and female, this girl had several people interested in her. But for Joy, as with all dogs, it was important that her new family was the right one. She had been brought in with her mother, Dolly by our cruelty inspectors, although in their case they had suffered more negligence than cruelty per se. Joy was not used to being handled and was quite snappy, especially with young children, so unfortunately we had to say no to a couple of families who wanted to adopt her. We don’t do this to be mean, rather we do it in the best interest of the dog, who risked being brought back to the refuge and labelled as a “biter”, but also of the children. Having a dog is meant to be a pleasure, and being bitten is no fun at all!

Joy’s time at the ScPA has not been wasted. Thanks to staff and volunteers she has progressed rapidly, and she has also learned plenty from the puppies, with whom she has been playing on a daily basis. She is still a bit nervous, but far less so than when she arrived, and now that she has a family of her own, we are sure she will be just fine.

black bichon


We also said goodbye to puppy Frank. He is the brother of Fred, who left the ScPA yesterday, and is the final one of his litter to leave us. This lad hurt himself in the puppy park, and so has spent a couple of weeks alone in the infirmary. So no puppy play for him, but masses of cuddles with the staff, who have become very attached to this little lad.

He has found a wonderful new family where the cuddles are certain to continue.

There were plenty of volunteers out walking, and we hope the same is true when the refuge opens its gates tomorrow. Whether you wish to walk or adopt or just cuddle, you will be more than welcome.

More puppy adoptions.

This week is the first week of the new school year, which perhaps explains why things have been so quiet on the adoption front. It is a brave parent indeed who takes on a new dog the same week as having to cope with all the trauma of kids being back at school.

Still, we have had a couple of adoptions. One took place a couple of days ago; that of puppy Fred. He leaves behind a brother who we hope will leave soon too.


Today saw the adoption of another two puppies, both of whom arrived alone.

For Zelie is has beena question of waiting the ten days pound time before leaving with a new family. This little Breton spaniel pup was found at the refuge gates, we have no idea if she was lost or put there deliberately, but as she was unidentified there was no way to find her owner. She was reserved quite soon afterwards, but again, with no contract of abandon, she was forced to wait, just in case. Still, all that is over now, as Zelie, renamed Cachou, embarks on a new life.

spaniel pup


Second to leave was Orlo, who is a brindle puppy who arrived towards the end of July. He is a gorgeous lad, and today he left for a new home where he will have another ex SPA dog as a friend. Does anyone remember the “sunglasses litter”? The last of these pups to leave was called Police, and she has made several visits to the refuge this week (along with her family, of course), to make sure she would get on okay with Orlo.

After being a bit nippy at first, Police has gradually calmed down wth Orlo, and today Orlo left for his new life. His new family is happy to deal with any niggles that might occur, and they are great believers in going to dog school (as they did with Police) should this be necessary, so we are confident that Orlo is in good hands.

brindle pup


We are hoping for more good news tomorrow and Sunday, but in reality perhaps things will only really pick up once the shock of the new semester has lessened a bit.

Dog Show Categories – The Big Reveal

Plans for the DRC dog show on September 16th in Caunes Minervois are coming along nicely. Many thanks to everyone who has already registered. It is not too late, and of course you can just turn up on the day. But this way we will have some idea of how many people to expect. This will of course help the caterers, (ie Gill and the rest of the team from Languedoc Solidarity with Refugees), who are also busy getting ready.

If you have registered, apologies if we haven’t responded to confirm your participation; but if you have filled in this form, you will be on the list!

Marketa, our ace photographer will have just returned from attending an exhibition in Barcelona, where she has some pictures on display. Those of you who follow her on Facebook or on the National Geographic Your Shot site will have seen some of her amazing photos. This is too good an opportunity to miss; a picture of your hound by such a talented photographer. This is a fundraising event, so she will be charging €10 for 2 jpg files, and as Marketa is kindly donating her time, all of this money will go to Dog Rescue Carcassonne, and ultimately of course to help the animals at the SPA Carcassonne.

A winner’s rosette…Could this be yours (or rather, your dog’s)?

The categories are as follows. You can enter up to five different events for €10, and it would be helpful if you could have already made up your minds beforehand that will speed things up on the day.

  • Handsomest Male
  • Prettiest Female
  • Longest Ears
  • Tallest
  • Best Looking Veteran
  • Celebrity Lookalike
  • Best Six Legs (dog and owner)
  • Longest Legs
  • Biggest Paws (relative to size of dog)
  • Waggiest Tail
  • Smallest
  • Most Unusual
  • Smiliest
  • Fluffiest
  • Best looking rescue
  • Shiniest Coat
  • Best Junior Handler
  • The dog the judges want to take home

The coveted “Judges Choice” award

There will probably be a couple of surprise categories, too. Plus of course the mini agility course, which will be lots of fun, for sure. Get your running shoes on!

Everyone is welcome to come along; anglophone, francophone or neither of the above; there will be plenty of people who speak canine! And of course you are more than welcome to come along even if you don’t have a dog. There will be plenty to keep you busy; a book stall, bric-a-brac, and a raffle, as well as watching the pooches go through their paces.  And don’t forget that Le Jardin Châmpetre will be open, as it is a garden heritage day throughout France. This is just next door to La Petite Pépinière and you can visit the beautiful gardens and buy plants and shrubs to take home.

Jessica from Le Refuge des Grandes Oreilles will be there and you can find out from her stand what wonderful work she and her association do for our equine friends in the region and beyond.

Gates open at 14H00 and registration will begin immediately, although the first event will not be until 15H00. Until then you can browse the stalls, and eat cake. What could be nicer?

Here is a map to take you to La Petite Pépinière.

If the afternoon is anything like last year’s event, it will be talked about for weeks to come, as well as raising money for some very worthy causes. We hope to see as many of you there as possible!