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A day of high emotion!

It was a great and very emotional end to the SPA week.

First off, today in the wee small hours Moira was at the SPA to send Jolie on her way to a new life in the UK. Jolie arrived at the SPA in November last year along with her pal Junior, who has long since been adopted. Jolie would have been too, had she not had a serious injury to her leg, which needed to be re-operated on. This required a long period of enforced reduced mobility, and if she is to make a full recovery probably a period of physiotherapy.

So when Jackie visited the SPA earlier this year and fell for Jolie, it was important that she was prepared for what lay ahead. The email we received was 100% reassuring. Everything, but everything  was planned for. Jolie is going to have physiotherapy and in due course will attend a hydrotherapy centre and eventually, when she is back to full strength, will accompany her new mum, who is a landscape gardener, to work.

Jolie is an incredibly lucky dog. Although she is only using three legs properly right now, pretty soon we will be able to say that she has truly fallen on all four paws.

pyrenean shepherd

Jolie- ADOPTED and on her way to the UK

Then this afternoon we had two dog adoptions. First up was Moon, one of  five dogs who arrived at the end of February and who was already a favourite with many staff and volunteers. A lovely young shepherd cross, Moon was exactly what today’s visitors were looking for. Their young German Shepherd wanted a friend to play with, and after a few minutes of sniffing and cautious intereaction, the two dogs began chasing each other round the park and all in all just showing just how compatible they were. So Moon left for her new home. Wonderful news for a really wonderful dog.

brindle shepherd


A third very lucky dog left today, but unlike Jolie, being on three paws will be a permanent state of affairs.

Touffu arrived in mid-January and although his owner came to see if he was with us, she never returned to reclaim him. Nor did she know how he lost his front left leg! Hmm. He is a great little lad, about the size of a yorkie and very very feisty. He insists on launching himself at full speed at any dog he passes…all except for Alfie (ex SPA dog, Marbrouk) who was adopted over 2 years ago by Chris and Monica.

Chris has been coming along to dog walk for several weeks now, and Touffu and Alfie have become firm friends. But what would Monica think when she came over to visit? Up until today she had only seen Touffu in photos, but we have to remember that is how Alfie stole her heart, too.

The four of them went for a walk, on which Touffu was suitably fesity (no being on his best behaviour for this lad!) and a chat. Yes, there is work to be done, but as we hoped, it was go go go for Touffu too, and he has started a new life full of love and cuddles, which will suit him just fine.

scruffy dog with couple

Touffu – ADOPTED

We can’t leave you without news of the day’s other big adoption. Cacahouette has finally found a home! Yes, we know this is DOG Rescue Carcassonne, but sometimes we bend the rules. Especially when it is for a dog who has accidentally ended up in a cat’s body!

Anyone visiting the SPA in recent months will have met Cacahouette, who likes dogs, but not cats, and so has been camping in reception. And today’s his turn finally came. A couple came looking for a cat who could live with their dog. As usual staff presented Cacahouette, but as usual the family went to the cat house to see who else was available for adoption. But they returned saying that Cacahouette was the one for them! High emotion indeed! And I was not the only one to shed a tear of joy; tinged with a little bit of regret that I couldn’t adopt him myself. He is quite a character!

For completeness’s sake I should mention that cat Fakir was adopted too, but one cat picture on the blog is enough. So here is Cacahouette with his new mistress. We will miss you!

balck and white cat with owner

Cacahouette – ADOPTED

So that was the end of an emotional day at the end of what has proved to be an emotional week.

Adoption of Orwell.

As you know, we love it when volunteers adopt dogs whom they have come to love during their walks.

Today’s leaver, Orwell, has left with volunteer Sandra. She has been walking him ever since he arrived at the end of November. Like most of us, we find it hard to understand why no one else wants to adopt our favourite dogs. In fact under many of Orwell’s pictures on Facebook, Sandra has commented on what a great dog he is, encouraging people to take a second look at this young mini-braque cross. Then these comments stop.  Sandra told us yesterday that this was the moment when she started worrying that someone else might in fact adopt him!

Today Sandra took Orwell, now renamed Ollie, to share her home and that of her other dog, Maggie, and their cat. Sandra and her husband used to have three dogs, and we know they are excellent dog owners. Ollie is in for a fabulous life with them. Many thanks to Sandra, and we are delighted to say that she will still be coming to the SPA to walk the dogs. Better not fall in love with any more, eh, Sandra!

small balck and white speckly dog

Orwell (now Ollie) – ADOPTED

We will  have at least one good news item tomorrow, too, so see you then!

Muffin the crooner?

We were delighted by today’s adoption, that of Muffin. This lovely lad was adopted as a tiny puppy and the SPA received photo after photo of him with his new family. Clearly life was good.  Then all of a sudden life wasn’t so good….Muffin’s family divorced and the dog, now a year old, was brought back to the SPA.

Muffin is quite strong on the lead, but has good basic training and was very popular on walks, especially once he had calmed down a bit. And when Colette and Alan came to the SPA looking for a new dog, it was lucky Muffin who caught their eye. They did not reserve him immediately, preferring to think things through, but it was pretty clear that they were smitten. So today the newly renamed Dean Martin left for his new life.

He like a huge floppy puppy still and very adorable. Dog school beckons and perhaps another canine pal in the future, too.

We look forward to news and photos. And if he learns to sing like his namesake, we want to hear him too!

big cross breed

Muffin – ADOPTED (and now renamed Dean Martin)

The REAL Dean Martin. There is a striking resemblance.

Aimée’s fabulous donation, adoption of Agatha and a miracle for Pit.

Today we had two adoptions, which was a great end to the week.

First to leave was Agatha, who went for a walk with a young couple who want to share their life with a dog. After long discussion with the staff and a trip to the cat-house Agatha who has a lovely new home. We are really happy for this affectionate and attentive young dog who has been with us since the end of January. Particularly pleased that she didn’t have too long to wait, as although small females are quick to leave, some of the larger girls find it harder to find homes.

shepherd cross

Agatha – ADOPTED

The next adoption is something of a miracle. The current DRC urgent appeal is for Pit, an elderly beauceron who was brought back to the SPA in mid-February following the death of his owner.  Susan, a recent convert to the beauceron breed (she adopted Louison, since renamed Trotwood last year), saw this appeal and got in touch.

As soon as she had read Pit’s story she knew that she wanted to help him. and after visiting him at the SPA today she was even more certain of her decision. So despite his advancing years, (he will be 14 in September), and his questionable attitiude to cats, lucky Pit has a new home. Massive thanks to Susan for offering him a place to spend his retirement. We will  have news in due course, for sure. Be a good boy Pit, very very few dogs are given such a chance this late in life.



We also want to say a huge thank you to Jemma, or rather to her amazing daughter, Aimée. A couple of years ago the family adopted a lab puppy, Sage (renamed Cookie), and the SPA is a cause close to their hearts. So when Aimées ninth birthday was approaching, instead of asking for presents, she asked all her friends to donate towards the SPA. And this group of youngsters did us proud, by setting up an online page for donations as well as collecting toys and food for the dogs and cats at the refuge.

This is an incredibly generous thing to do, and it is wonderful that the baton is being passed to the younger generation. Today Jemma and Aimée, together with brother Patrick, came to the SPA to deliver all the goodies, and it was quite an impressive sight.

Aimée and her schoolfriends with their pile of donations

Many thanks to this wonderful group of young people and especially to Aimée. Clearly there is hope for the future if Aimée and her friends are anything to go by.

What an amazing end to a week of ups and downs.

Adoption of puppy Neymar.

We mentioned that some reservations had taken place yesterday, and one of the lucky dogs left today. And very happily, it was of puppy Neymar.

Since the departure of the Simpsons litter he has been the only pup available for adoption, but there had been no interest in him at all. We have no idea why, but if it is due to his name, then that is my fault. He arrived at the same time that the PSG striker was ruled out of the game for several weeks following a leg injury, and as Neymar had an operation on his leg, it seemed appropriate. However a name can easily be changed, and the woman who adopted this little lad today will surely do so. Many of our dogs change their names after adoption, so please don’t let our sometimes warped sense of  humour put you off a lovely dog.

malinois pup

Neymar – ADOPTED (and renamed)

To answer a question that was put to us yesterday, yes, the SPA does allow reservations. Many people come to the refuge wishing to adopt a dog, but are not ready to take one immediately. Sometimes this is a question of buying the requisite accessories; food, a bed, a collar and lead etc. Sometimes people have a trip or house move planned. That is fine, providing the delay is no more than a couple of weeks.

If a dog needs a passport before travel then we can stretch this to three weeks, and if DRC is organising TRACES transport then sometimes even longer. However this is never at the request of the adopter, rather is due to the availability of space on a transporter’s vehicle.

Ultimately we have to do what is in the dog’s best interest. And this usually means leaving the SPA as soon as possible for a good and permanent home.

If you know you cannot take a dog for several months, it is perhaps best to wait until nearer the time to visit. Of course it is a good idea to come along and see the kinds of dogs we have. But if you are likely to fall in love with a dog and be disappointed to lose out on him, then maybe putting your visit off till nearer the time is the sensible course of action.

And please bear in mind that there are always wonderful dogs at the SPA, so we hope that whenever you visit, you will find the dog of your dreams.


Bumper day for leavers

Today was just what we needed. Or just what the doctor ordered, as we Brits say.

First of all we said goodbye officially to a little york who arrived two weeks ago in bad condition and who waited in vain for his owners to come looking for him. Volunteer Eileen, despite not being a particular fan of small dogs, took one look in his eyes and offered to foster him. And we all know how that often works out, don’t we! Sure enough today the adoption was made official, and the newly named Globule has a wonderful new home. With someone who is now a convert to the joys of tiny dogs.

yorkie in girl's arms

Globule – ADOPTED

Next to leave was Barbar. Now this is not an adoption, that is taking place in a few weeks’ time when this lovely young cross will be moving to the UK. But as we had a short-term foster family keen to help out, we decided Barbar might be able to benefit from some socialisation in a family home with another dog, as this is how he will be living when he crosses the Channel. Kathleen will keep us abreast of his progress.

Babar male beagle cross

Beautiful but timid Barbar – short term foster prior to adoption

That of course left Panda alone in his kennel. Except it didn’t! Tom and Hamish have been following DRC for some time, waiting for the right time and the right dog. They had their eye on Panda, and today they came to meet him in person. They went on a long walk with him and his sponsor mum, Ingrid, and by the time they returned, the very nervous Panda was already responding to them. So he is off too, to a lovely new life with lots of travel ahead. Ingrid had a little cry; it was an emotional day for her as she was sponsor of both Panda and Barbar!

three humans and one dog

Panda with his new family and sponsor mum Ingrid – ADOPTED

Finally we said goodbye (again) to Mila. That is the third time she has been rehomed, the fourth if you count a short-lived foster. So this time it had to be right. This time there are no other animals involved, just and a patient but active couple. They have been chatting with Carole regularly and we are as confident as we can be that Mila has finally found the home she has been waiting for.

Mila and her new family – ADOPTED

And when we tell you that there were three other reservations today, you will know that it is the best Thursday we have had for some time.

Last of the Simpsons litter leave

Anyone who read yesterday’s blog will know that Omer and Maggie were due to leave the SPA today, and sure enough they did. This means that all the pups from the Simpsons litter are now happily homed, and best of all, none of them had to spend any time alone at the SPA.

black and tan pup


Of course pups are all lovely, but each time a new litter arrives, our hearts sink. Not because we don’t adore puppies, who doesn’t?! But we know it means that our older pups and adult dogs risk having even longer to wait for a new home. We cannot impress on people enough the importance of sterilising your dogs. If the dog population continues to grow, so will the number of dogs in refuges. Plus the SPA is no place for pups, who need lots of love and socialisation, especially in the early months.

black and tan puppy


Of course sometimes puppies and other, older dogs are lucky enough to go into foster, and we will have news of one such dog very soon. Plus, of course, if you are still after a puppy but missed out on this litter, please don’t forget about little Neymar, who is waiting for a home at the SPA.

Neymar young male malinois cross

Neymar is still waiting for a home

Tomorrow looks like being a busy day, and we hope that at least one of the planned visits results in an adoption!

Adoption of Marge, but two sad returns

Yesterday as well as two recently arrived dogs being reclaimed, we also had the adoption of Marge. She, you will probably have guessed, is one of the Simpsons litter, and this lucky little girl has been adopted by a SPA volunteer. This means we know that she will be very well looked after and that we will have plenty of news.

black and tan pup


The remaining pups from the litter are reserved too, so we are guaranteed some good news tomorrow. And we are much in need of some, after the terrible day we had today.

They say that nothing lasts forever. Well some adoptions fall well short of that! Today as well as Tornade, who was adopted in early January, we also had the return of Cliona.

small borwn and black dog

Tornade – back for rehoming. 

Cliona, you will all surely recall, was brought in last summer in a terrible state. Lots of love and lots of donations later she was looking fabulous and was off to her new home. Four and a half months later and the dream is over. We all know that she can be a bit picky about whom she bestows her affection on, and she will probably always be a bit wary of men, but we thought that her family were away of her foibles and accepted her nonetheless. Sadly not.

black lab cross

Cliona – back for rehoming

But as ever it is a question of onwards and upwards. New homes will be sought; new homes will be found. And tomorrow there are two adoptions on the cards.

Four adoptions and Janka makes five!

Well lots to tell you tonight. First of all there was a third adoption yesterday, which somehow got missed in the excitement of the day. Staffie cross Janka was homed. Technically she is in long term foster, as she is officially a dangerous dog, meaning that her ownership details cannot be altered. However providing her new family has carried out all the formalities, dogs of this breed can leave the SPA for long term foster.  Many thanks to Janka’s new family.

staffie cross

Janka –  Long term foster but effectively ADOPTED

And today was a bumper day, with four adoptions. We said goodbye to two more of the Simpsons puppies, with both Lisa and Mo finding fabulous homes where we are sure they will be very happy.

black and brown pup


black and tan pup


Today we also said goodbye to Gucci, a lovely beauceron cross who was the second dog to arrive this year. He was identified, but to an address in the north of France, and we have had no word from his owners. Esther and Manu came to visit from Montpelier, and soon fell under Gucci’s charm. They are delighted with their new pal, whom they have renamed Winston. And he is delighted to be leaving the SPA, especially with such a great couple; Manu works from home, and if necessary Esther can take Gucci to work with her; she is a researcher at Royal Canin, so we won’t have to worry about Gucci’s eating habits!

black and white dog with couple

Gucci (now Winston) – ADOPTED

Finally we said goodbye to Winnie. This lovely golden retriever (probably) Pyrenean mountain dog cross arrived in early December, having been unceremoniously thrown out of a car near the SPA gates. He was extremely nervous and spent a lot of time in the office. Hence he became the favourite of many employees, including Carole. Winnie came on in leaps and bounds, though, and soon it was he who was giving confidence to newly arrived scaredy boy Griff.

Today Winnie’s turn came; although his new owners had visited the SPA before, it was during last Sunday’s open day walk that the deal was struck, and today Winnie started his new life.

Golden retriver cross

Winnie – ADOPTED

So it was an excellent end to the week.


First of the Simpsons pups leaves, and a new home for Lana.

Today we said goodbye to the first of the Simpsons litter, in fact to Bart himself! This litter of six pups (three males and three females) arrived about four weeks ago, but were really too young to leave before today. They have been well looked after at the SPA, however, and since making their Facebook debut earlier this week, have attracted a lot of attention.

One thing we insist on with our pups is that their new families are willing to castrate or sterilise the pups when they reach the age of six months. We could go into the reasons why, but it comes down to two things; the dog’s health, and our desire to prevent any more unwanted puppies from coming into the world. Bart’s new dad was not happy about this requirement, so they initially they left without a puppy, returning later on once they had had a think! Funnily enough it is usually the men who have a problem with the concept of castration, but it really is one of the best things you can do for your dog. You can read more here.

If you like the look of Bart, there are more from this litter left, but bear in mind they will be biggish dogs.

Black and tan pup


We also said goodbye to Lana. She was adopted in early December but brought back in mid February as her owner had no time at all to devote to her. In fact one has to wonder why he thought adopting a dog was a good idea at all. But things may just have worked out perfectly for this young girl. Her new family have another dog, which we hope will help Lana work off some of her boundless energy.

black lab cross


So two great adoptions and hopefully more to come tomorrow.