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Three adoptions and Nino moves home

Well, after a quiet week we did indeed have a bit of a bumper day today.

Both the puppies who were in foster with volunteers Alizée and Erwan were  adopted today, so that has to be some kind of record for speed. Okay, it helped that they are both fabulous looking puppies, and it helps that Alizée is an excellent photographer. But that is super quick nonetheless. How lovely for these two pups to find homes so soon and without spending any time at the SPA! Many thanks to Alizée and Erwan who got straight back onto the “fostering horse” following the death of Tiger. From the videos they posted, it seems that their other dog, Tina, enjoyed having puppies around the place too.

black fluffy pup


fluffy tricloured pup


We then had the adoption of Hoch. Some of you know that he came back from his first adoption due to no fault of his own, and was then in a foster home that everyone hoped would become a permanent one. However living with a cat was not right for him, and he returned to the SPA a couple of weeks ago. No long period of residence for him this time; he is off again to what everyone hopes will be his final home. It is credit to the staff and volunteers as well as to Hoch himself that each time he returns he seems happy to see everyone and fits straight back into the SPA routine. Notwithstanding, we really hope it is the last time we see this young lad, unless it is when he comes to visit.

pale brown dog


The strangest story of the day has to be the rehoming of Nino. He was adopted on Wednesday and at the time it looked as if he had struck lucky. When hearing of his adoption, however, many of us spared a thought for  a great SPA supporter who really loved Nino and was planning to adopt him but was pipped to the post. When his new family brought him back today, citing incompatibility with their poodle, Anne did not hesitate.  Nino did a quick turnabout and was off to his second new home in three days.

To answer your question, yes, the two dogs were tested before the adoption took place and it is possible that with a bit of time and patience things would have been fine. But all’s well that ends well and Nino is certainly going to be happy, which is the only thing that matters.

setter cross


We had a couple of reserrvations too, so let’s hope for a great week next week.

Two young’uns and two oldies leave!

Today we said goodbye to puppies Fifi and Chupito.

Fifi is a very lively spaniel who was found at the SPA gates last week. With her was a note telling  us her name, that she is not good with cats, that she is very playful and affectionate and that she does not like being alone. Oh, and “get her adopted as quickly as possible”. Well, I guess that is us told, then. Fifi was not identified, of course, so we have no idea where she was before, other than that this person should probably never have got a puppy in the first place.

Fifi is a very active little girl, but bags of fun, and we are happy that she has found a home quickly. Moreover she is now sterilised, and we are sure that this will improve her future dramatically. Her former owner is unlikely to have taken such responsible action.

black and white speckled spaniel


Next to leave was Fifi’s SPA playmate, Chupito. He was found close to Carcassonne and the eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed the resemblence to puppies Noe and Zeus, who were adopted recently. I wonder if that is all the litter safe and adopted now, or if there are more of them out there. And whether we will have more pups from their unlucky mum in the future…

black and tan puppy

Chupito – ADOPTED

But the BIG news of the day is that Clyde and Murray have been reclaimed. We are more delighted by this than we can express. These two dogs were brought in at the end of July due to the hospitalisation of their owner. At the time he did not believe that it would be possible for him to have his dogs back. However he, and we had hope. Today these two dogs (who are both nearly 15 years old, lest we forget) left the SPA with huge smiles on their faces. Almost as big as the smiles on the face of their owner and of the SPA employees!
Our chances of finding homes for these two dogs were not high, and as for homing them together; almost impossible. Yes, this is the best solution for everyone. And it brings joy to our hearts towards the end of what has not been the best week so far.

Old Boys Murray and Clyde- RECLAIMED

Nino loses six years and gains a home!

Today just before closing time we had the first adoption of the week!

When beautiful setter cross Nino arrived at the SPA in mid June he was estimated as being ten years old. He was looking quite sorry for himself, admittedly, but once safe at the refuge, he started to put on weight and began enjoying life and many of us doubted that he was a senior dog. Nino was the perfect dog in many ways; a delight on the lead, good with other dogs, good with children, and good with cats. But as ever with an older dog, finding a home would not be easy.

Today a couple came to adopt a dog, and as their first “choice” was already spoken for, they decided to meet Nino. Everything went wonderfully, so Nino had found his home. Better still he is no longer a senior dog. Following his dramatic turnaround in health, he is now estimated as being just four years old! Perhaps the truth is somewhere in the middle, but in any case, Nino has many MANY years ahead of him to enjoy his new home.

He will have a poodle for his new pal, and his owners are at home all day so lucky Nino will have lots of walks to the nearby lake. What a wonderful day it has been for him; losing six years and gaining a home!

setter cross in swimming pool


Dogs and Conkers..

This morning I couldn’t help noticing that were lots and lots of conkers everywhere!  Many dogs may be tempted to play with or eat them and conkers can often cause problems for dogs so I thought this piece would be helpful.

Conkers are the seeds of the Horse Chestnut tree (Aesculus hippocastanum).  Conkers ripen and are seen in the late summer and autumn so this is when we will occasionally see cases of poisoning.

Serious cases of poisoning of dogs are rare but do occur.  Conkers contain a poison called aesculin, which is found in all parts of the tree including the leaves. For toxicity to occur dogs normally need to ingest a number of conkers.

Clinical signs may be seen 1-6 hours after ingestion but can be seen for up to 2 days afterwards.

Signs of poisoning include vomiting (which may contain blood), diarrhoea, salivation, abdominal pain, increased thirst and a reduced appetite. Signs of restlessness, ataxia (wobbliness) and muscle tremors may also be seen.

If you are able to get your dog to a vet within 2 hours of ingestion of conkers they will be able to give them medication to make them vomit and they may perform gastric lavage (wash out the stomach).  This will ensure as much of the poison is removed from your dog’s system as possible. This is the best method of treating poisoning with conkers, as no known antidote exists.  Treatment is otherwise symptomatic and supportive and may include intravenous fluids (a drip) and anti-vomiting medication.

As well as poisoning, the conker’s case and conkers themselves present a risk by causing an intestinal blockage which can require surgical removal.


RIP Rocky

We don’t usually blog about sad news, as you know, but tonight, as well as good news, we wanted to mention Rocky.

He arrived at the SPA exactly one week ago today at the age of 11 and his owners were nowhere to be found. He also had a large lump on his side, which looked very nasty. Today when the employees came to open the refuge, Rocky was no more. He had died during the night. He is still officially in the pound so there was still a hope that his owners would be looking for him, especially as he was identified and although tired, he did not appear to be suffering unduly. None of us knew him well, but we feel his loss keenly, knowing that we would have come to love him as we do all “our” dogs.

German Shepherd cross

RIP Rocky

If you know your dog is ill, please do not leave him at the SPA gates or leave him to be found and brought to us. We cannot possibly diagnose a dog as quickly as is sometimes needed, and as Rocky was still in the pound, there is a limit to what we could have done in any case. You might think we do miracles, and it is true, sometimes we do. But you might be condeming your dog to die alone. Please treat any animal with dignity, especially at the end of their lives; Surely that is the least they deserve.

To lighten the mood, perhaps you will not have read about the other adoption that took place on Saturday. Moira did not know when she blogged that Symphonie, another of the recent mass border collie arrivals, found her new home, less than 2 weeks after arriving at the SPA. What’s more, we already have news and photos of her with her new family. And chihuahua cross, Deep, was reclaimed as well, making Saturday another good day at the SPA.

Border collie

Symphonie – ADOPTED

grey and black dog with huge ears


So despite the bad start to this week, we must remember that last week was very postive, with at least one adoption every day. There is plenty of time for this week to  improve.

Bye bye Badou..

Despite the threat of rain the refuge was very busy. Lots of volunteers were there to walk the dogs and lots of people were walking around looking for dogs and cats. The car park was really full and cars were parking on the verges down from the refuge!

It wasn’t long after opening when I saw a couple walking Badou. Once you see a dog that takes your fancy, taking them for a walk is a great way to get to know it.  All must have gone very well as the next thing I saw was Badou being lifted into the car!

Badou arrived at the refuge for the first time with a broken leg.  We are sure that he had been hit by a car and maybe that’s the reason he is so scared of them. He was soon adopted but his new mum found him to be too reactive around cars. We really hope that this home will be his forever one!

We also had a visit from Chris and Monica who adoped Alfie about two years ago and whose son adopted Pogo a couple of months ago. It was great to hear stories of how well Pogo was doing in his new home.

If you would like to come along and join the volunteer team keep an eye on the blog as we will be having induction days for new volunteers very soon. If you don’t fancy walking the dogs you can always come along and play in the parks with them, groom them or even cuddle the kittens.

Badou adopted!

Three dogs leave the SPA.

Today we have lots of good news!

We had the adoption of Vegas, a handsome lad of four and a half years old who was found at the gates one day at the end of June. Vegas has very distinctive looks, and his picture caught the eye of a family who live near Bordeaux. They had spoken with Carole several times on the subject of Vegas before coming today with their dog from close to Bordeaux  to check that the two get on. So it was goodbye Vegas, exchanging Carcassonne for a beachside home and swims in the sea! Wonderful news!

Big tricoloured dog


We also have news of another big lad. Although not officially adopted, Darby has gone to live with a foster family. This is not suitable for all our dogs, obviously, but Darby is a bit of a special case. He is extremely fearful at the SPA and is not eating. Where there are concerns for a dog’s welfare, we look for solutions, and it is clear that Darby’s visibility to people visiting the SPA is less important than his health. So Petra, his sponsor mum, has offered to look after Darby and to try to find him a home. Many thanks to her for opening up her home to this terrified lad. We have every faith that he will flourish in the quiet of the countryside and benefit enormously from spending time with the family’s three dogs and four children.

Big hound

Darby- gone to a foster home

Some of you may have noticed the recent influx of border collies at the SPA. We received 5 in just two days at the end of August. They were all together in their former life, victims of a mixture of fashion, which led, as it usually does, to mass reproduction and selling of puppies to unsuitable people. The five dogs, three females and two males, are now safe at the SPA, busy being introduced to other dogs and people and trying to catch up on all the stimulous they have missed out with thus far. They are all spending time with other dogs and with our behaviourist, Vincent and of course with other staff and volunteers.

Today the first of the five, Méline, found her new home. She is arguably the prettiest of the dogs, very petite and with one blue and one brown eye and is lucky to have caught the eye of her new family very quickly. Let’s hope her brothers and sisters (or her mum) don’t have too long to wait. But they are all far happier at the SPA than they were beforehand, in any case.

border collie

Méline – ADOPTED


Adoption of Puppy Némo

We were joking last night that after one adoption on Monday, two on Tuesday and three last night, we were due for a bumper day today. Well, we did not have four adoptions, but we did have one, although it took place after hours and remote from the SPA, it is nonetheless an adoption.

Little Némo was found at the SPA gates in mid August severely underweight and very dehydrated. Whoever put him there should really have taken him to a vet, of course. Hey ho. Luckily the SPA was there for him, and more precisely, luckily volunteer Isa was there for him. She nursed him back to health and when the vet was sure he was ready, he was put up for adoption.

On Saturday a family came to the SPA looking for a dog, and they fell in love with Despé. He, of course was already reserved, so they went back to their original plan, which was to adopt a spaniel. But of course puppies are great, so what could be better than a spaniel puppy! Isa’s husband raced to the SPA to introduce Némo to the family, and arrangments were made.

Today was the day when Némo left for his new home, and we have to say thanks once again to Isa and her family for looking after this little lad and keeping him out of the refuge. And for giving us an adoption to blog about tonight. Maybe we will have good news for the reamaining two days this week.

spaniel puppy


Three dogs are adopted and one is reclaimed.

Today Norton was reclaimed and as he is 15 years  old, this is great news. He arrived in mid August and was not identified, so we were very worried. However a close look through the record of phone calls resulted in a clever employee putting two and two together. A week earlier a couple on holiday in Carcassonne had phoned to say that they had lost a small, black scruffy dog. Norton has clearly got some grey hairs since then, but yes, Sherlock Holmes (aka Carole) worked out that it was the same dog!

Due to work committments Norton’s family were unable to come back to Carcassonne before now, but Norton has been living inside the cat house, rather than the heat of the refuge, and today he left the SPA, identified and none the worse for his adventure. See, not all old dogs left at the SPA gates have been abandoned; some of them really are just lost!

small black scruffy dog

15 year old Norton- RECLAIMED

At the other end of the age range, today we said goodbye to puppy Despé. Now this dog had an owner too. She put an announcement onto a local site to try and find her “beloved” pet. The SPA Facebook page received many messages saying how much this girl loved her puppy and how she would definitely come to collect him. Once it emerged that reclaiming the puppy would mean identfying him, we heard no more, either from the owner themselves or their many friends.

Luckily a cute puppy like this would not take long to find a home, and sure enough less than 2 weeks after his arrival, Despé has a new owner!

tricoloured puppy


We then said goodbye to Fleur. She is a heart-stoppingly beautiful spaniel cross who arrived not quite three weeks ago, and like so many of our dogs, simply must have had a home. She is well socialised, affectionate, fine on the lead…simply perfect. We have no idea at all why no one was looking for her. Had she been identified it might well have been a different story, of course. However their loss is someone else’s gain. Today Fleur has a new home, and of course she is identified as well as sterilised, so a whole new life awaits.

tricoloured spaniel


Next to leave was Doc. This is wondeful for a number of reasons, the first one being that Doc’s kennelmate, Tilly was adopted yesterday. It quite often happens this way, a dog gets adopted immediately after his pal goes. Lucky Doc. Particularly lucky as this jack russell cross is nine years old, which is not the easiest age at which to find a new home.

He had been with us for under two months, since being found tied up in a garden following the death of his owner. The people htat brought him in told us that he does not like other dogs, but as Tilly showed, perhaps it is just boys he does not like. Canine ones, that is, Doc is very fond of humans, be they male or female.

We wish him happiness in his new home and look forward to yet more good news!

jack russell cross


Two on Tuesday

Today lovely Louison left for his new home. This fabulous beauceron was brought to the SPA in early June and as with so many of the dogs at the refuge, we have no idea why. He is a big, impressive-looking dog, but is one of the gentlest dogs we have ever had. Many volunteers hesitated before walking him until they realised how perfect he was on the lead; at least once he got over his fear of leaving the safety of his kennel.

He caught the eye of DRC follower Susan, who was looking for a four legged friend. She has a long history of Newfoundland rescue, but she fancied a change, although wanting to stick with a big dog. She came along to meet him some three weeks ago, but had to go back to the UK for personal reasons. She has kept in touch with us regularly, getting news and updates on “her boy”, as he has gained in confidence on his walks.

Louison has a new life and a new name. He is now called Trotwood. And we are sure that a lovely life awaits. He will be really missed at the SPA, especially by his kennelmate, Darby, who has benefited enormously from Louison’s calm and stable nature.

Big black and brown dog with new owner

Louison (now renamed Trotwood) – ADOPTED

We had another adoption too, that of little Tilly. She had been adopted once before, but came back quickly as she does not like being alone and apparently annoyed the neighbours with her barking. Having said that her owner left her at home a lot, including on the evening of her adoption, when poor Tilly had no idea at all what was going on.

Her new family are at home much more, and they came to the SPA specifically for for Tilly. So it looks as if this little girl has fallen on her feet this time. We are very happy for her and look forward to news and photos.

balck and white dog


There should be at least one dog leaving the SPA tomorrow, if all goes according to plan!