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SUPER Sunday ScPA Sum Up.

It has been a bumper week for adoptions, with seventeen (yes, 17) dogs finding new homes. Admittedly 7 of them were puppies, which skews the numbers a bit. And yes, I know what many of you will say about puppies at Christmas etc, but the pups need to be homed; their existence is neither their fault nor that of the ScPA. And they are far better off in the warm than waiting at the refuge till after Christmas just in case the owners change their mind later. Besides which the ScPA is as careful as they can be about such adoptions, and none of the pups would have left the refuge had the families not been suitable. Six pups from the same litter homed in the same week is good news, however you look at it.

This is Dora and is representative of the 6 puppies from the same litter who were adopted this week.

Other leavers this week were Wess (third time lucky for this lovely but somewhat anxious setter), Nook, a fabulous Cane Corso who was abandoned at less than a year old, and another dog who was brought in by his owners, the gentle Bandit. He was the pal of last week’s adoptee Simba, both dogs being brought in for rehoming following a change of family circumstances. Nice that he did not have too long to wait before finding happiness once again.

Wess – Third time lucky

Nook – ADOPTED

Bandit – ADOPTED

In fact four more of the week’s adoptees are relatively recent arrivals, who were all brought in for rehoming. As we have stated over and over again this means that the ScPA knows a lot more about a dog’s likes and dislikes than is the case for dogs who arrive as strays. Doberman Oscar, poodle Whisky and border collie cross Simba as well as spaniel cross Volga all left for new homes. Volga leaving behind her mum, Gypsy, which is the only negative aspect of the story.

Sadly there are no better photos of Oscar who is a magnificent pedigree doberman and who is now – ADOPTED

Whisky proved to be very popular, not surprising as his former owners told the ScPA he is fine with other dogs, cats and children

Simba – ADOPTED

Volga – ADOPTED but sadly leaving behind her mum, Gypsy.

Sweet and timid beauceron cross Hudson found a new home, too, as did the DRC hidden gem, Tom. Then today there were two more adoptions, with puppy Patmol and gorgeous brindle crossbreed Laika both finding new homes.
That makes a HUGE total of 17 adoptions.

Hudson – ADOPTED

black dog with white bib

DRC “Hidden Gem” Tom – ADOPTED

Puppy Patmol – ADOPTED

 

Laika – ADOPTED

Lest we forget, the DRC urgent appeal, Gribouille, has left for a long term foster home, as has old lady Rosa.This is wonderful news for these elderly dogs, as the cold weather is starting to bite.

Gribouillie

Gribouille has gone to long term foster

As has Rosa

So if you include them, it makes a total of 19 leavers, a good mix of males and females and from all parts of the age spectrum. It was a wonderful week, and it might have been a record-breaking one, certainly as far as recent years are concerned. Let’s hope for more of the same in the week leading up to Christmas itself.

The Tale of Isis and Capsule – Continued (and Concluded)

Yesterday there was a surprising but very happy conclusion to the tale of Isis and Capsule. They, of course were the dogs who were found by my friend tied up along the Aude here in Carcassonne while she was visiting last month and taken to the ScPA. In the first part of their story, I stated that the chances of them being reclaimed was very small, but I was wrong.

Yesterday their owner came to collect his dogs and all became clear.

Capsule out on a walk during her ScPA mini-break 

What had happened was that the owner had felt unwell and had tied his dogs up to keep them safe while he went to the nearby café for help. At this point he collapsed and was unable to tell the Pompiers that his two dogs were waiting for him.

Usually in such cases the Pompiers will inform the Police Municipal, who will bring the dogs to the nearest refuge. But this did not happen in the case of Isis and Capsule. And so when the owner was sufficiently recovered, he had to find out where his dogs are. I should have mentioned that he is not from the area, hence much of the confusion.

Yesterday he came to the refuge, and watching the reunion between him and his dogs made it clear that they are very much loved. In fact when he arrived Capsule, the rottweiler, was at the vet having some tests (she is fine, just old lady stuff, as it turns out), and her owner was really pleased to see how well his dogs had been looked after while they were at the ScPA. They, for their part, jumped all over the place with joy.

Isis – a family was visiting her on Saturday with a view to an adoption

He has had both dogs since they were puppies and they are inseparable, although being separated would have doubtless been the case had they not been reclaimed The younger dog, Isis, would probably have been the first to leave first, and the elderly rottweiler spending potentially many months waiting, not only due to her age, but also due to that pesky permitting process.

So how could this situation have been avoided? Well, it is a tricky one. If you are single, who will know that something has happened to you? Of course you could carry a “My dog is home alone card”, which would be fine for the majority of situations. Medical emergency staff would look in a wallet for identification and would find it. However there is no such thing as a ” I have left my dogs tied to the railings” card. However at least medical staff would be aware that you have animals and could contact the police if required.

man with two dogs

Reunited (and it feels so good)

It is something worth thinking about, if you risk ever being in such a situation.

So that was yesterday, and on the same day Tom, one of DRC’s hidden gems found a new family, so I was a very happy girl indeed last night.

Cards like this can be ordered online and could be very useful in some situations.

Hidden Gem Prune has now been adopted

Today we give you the second in our series of hidden gems. As we said last week, the goal of these blogs is to draw some attention to dogs who risk not being noticed by visitors. This might be due to their colouring or their behaviour in their kennel. And sometimes it is just because we at DRC love this particular dog and want him or her to find a home in double quick time.

Prune has been at the refuge since the end of October. I was there the day she arrived; brought in by someone who had found her tied up in his village and who had kept her for a couple of weeks before bringing her to the refuge. During those two weeks he had not taken her to the vet to see if she was identified, and when it emerged that she was microchipped, there was hope that her owner would come to collect her, but alas not.

Prune looking a bit nervous on the day of her arrival

 

So although we do not know anything of Prune’s background, thanks to her microchip we know her real date of birth (15th July 2017), and her breed, or at least the breed her owner registered her as being (a labrador/braque cross). Prune is magnificent to look at. Mostly jet black but with a speckled grey bib, she is fairly tall and has a very regal look to her.

Prune already has good basic education; she will sit, she will lie, she gives her paw. She plays fetch and will bring you her favourite toy to initiate a game. She is very playful and hugely affectionate. Prune is fine with other dogs and is often mixed with several others for playtime in the parks. When I was passing by earlier this week I stopped to say hello to her and she pushed herself up against the bars so I could pat her properly.

Prune is very affectionate

This is the sort of dog, the sort of behaviour, that keeps a dog in your mind and gives you sleepless nights when the weather is bad. Prune has no business at all being in a refuge. She is an eminently adoptable dog.

Prune loves her walks and although she is often at the far end of her lead, she does not pull. A quick call of her name (and it is her real name)) and she is back at your feet.

Prune loves her walks

Prune would make a great companion for just about anyone looking for a dog of medium to large size. I would say that Prune weighs about 30 kg or so, the perfect weight for her build. Yes, being a braque she will have a bit of the hunting instinct, but that is tempered by the labrador part of her, which keeps her close to whomever she is walking with.

Please share for our hidden gem, the lovely Prune. You can contact us here at DRC or the SCPA direct. Or if you are unable to adopt her yourself, please share.

black dog

Sunday ScPA Sum-Up

It has been another great week for adoptions, with ten dogs leaving the refuge.

Amongst them we had the adoption of two long termers, Kaline and Baida.  Between them they had a total of over seven years behind bars, and and we hope that both these girls settle in well in their new homes.

Kaline – ADOPTED

Baida – ADOPTED

Other girls who left the refuge this week were lovely but timid Cherry, and the fabulous Gisele, spaniel Nessy, and beagle Nefertiti (I do love a beagle!), all of whose time at the refuge was mercifully short. Cherry had spent longest there, at just over 2 months, but in that time her confidence came on enormously and this of course helped her to find a new family.

Cherry – ADOPTED

Giselle – ADOPTED

spaniel cross

Nessy – ADOPTED

Beagle

Nefertiti – ADOPTED

Another leaver was Elvira, and this was particularly good news, because she had been adopted once before and it was a very bad adoption. The owner finally allowed Elvira to come back to the refuge and she was thin and in very poor overall condition. It is horrible to think that a dog who was once in the ScPA’s care was let down in this way, but this adoption is a change in Elvira’s fortunes and it should be all good from now on.

Thursday was a day of national strike action, and it was great to see that workers used their time well, by going to a refuge en famille and offering a new life to an animal in need. I usually find strikes very frustrating, but this one brought joy to two dogs, in any case! Recent arrivals Simba and Pax were both adopted that day!

Simba – ADOPTED

Pax – ADOPTED

The other leaver was little Sherlock, who attracted lots of attention during his brief time at the refuge. We wish him and the week’s other leavers lots of love and happiness.

teckel cross

Sherlock – ADOPTED

There have been several new arrivals, of course, including 7 puppies.  Three of them are already reserved, but if you are unable to adopt, perhaps you would like to make life for the dogs at the refuge more comfortable. If so please have a look at last night’s fundraising appeal to pay for heat lamps and associated charges. The response so far has been fabulous so many thank to everyone who has already donated,  and thanks in advance to everyone who is planning on doing so.

It will be cold, so cold….our Hot Dog Campaign!

It doesn’t seem that long ago we were worried about keeping the dogs cool and now we have to think about how to keep them warm over winter.

The South West of France is all about weather extremes and it seems crazy that not long after installing misting systems,  we need to consider more heat lamps and of course the running costs of all the lamps.

These lamps are very clever and are programmed to come on automatically as the temperatures plummet.  If we say the worst of the winter is 10 weeks long, it only costs about 30 euros per kennel to keep a dog warm!

Here are some of last years in action,

 

If you would like to contribute and help us keep our dogs warm, then you can do so by :-

  1. Donate via paypal. The address is website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk
  2. Donate using a CB  by clicking the DNATE button http://dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk/
  3. Donate in cash
  4. Donate via cheque ( ScPA Carcassonne)

It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see dogs shivering in their kennels and every euro donated makes their life just a little bit easier!

Help us keep our dogs warm….

 

 

 

Hidden Gem Tom has now been adopted

This is the first of what will be many longer pieces about dogs in whom DRC has a particular interest. For which read “A particular love”. On many occasions we have described a dog as a “hidden gem”, and our goal is to tell you more about these dogs and hopefully find them new homes quicker than would be the case otherwise.

This is Tom

Today we would like to introduce you to Tom. Unusually for a refuge dog, we know exactly what breed he is. This is because some great supporters of DRC adopted his sister, Théa (now renamed Betsy) a month or so ago, and they did a DNA test. Tom is 75% labrador and 25% mastiff. And this is a fabulous mix!

From the back he looks pure labrador, although one from working line, ie lower to the ground a stockier than their cousins from the beauty line. His head is squarer than a lab’s would be, and this is where the mastiff shows. He is all black apart from a bright white bib area and the tips of his toes, plus one bright white “sock”. He is simply stunning.

He is a stunning lad who was born in February 2019

Tom was born in February 2019, and so he was just out of puppy-hood when he arrived at the refuge at the start of October. But wherever he was before that, there was no mistreatment involved. Tom is a very sociable lad, with great body language. He likes children and although he can be a bit brusque when meeting other dogs, if introductions are done properly he mixes fine. He shares his kennel at the refuge. He seems intrigued by cats, as opposed to being aggressive, but further tests will be needed if he is to be awarded “cat-friendly status”.

He is wonderful on the lead, I took him out today on a long line but he chose to stay close to me. When I stopped and called his name he came to my side, leaning against my legs. Now who doesn’t like a dog that leans? Tom loves a cuddle, loves to have his belly rubbed and his back scratched. He is still quite puppy-like and has lots to learn, but he sits down when you ask him too and although he does jump up a bit, it is never aggressively.

Not the best photo in the world, but look at that beautiful smile!

We at DRC are in close touch with Tom’s sister’s new family, and we know that Betsy has been perfect from day one. She was house-trained and has fitted into their lives as if she has always been there. They are delighted with her and, like us, they adore Tom and want him to find a new home soon.

If you are looking for a young dog who already has some basic training, please consider offering a home to Tom. DRC would be happy to meet you at the refuge and help with any introductions, or if you would like any more information first, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Like all the dogs at the refuge, Tom is fully vaccinated, identified by microchip and castrated. He weighs about 20 kg (yes, he is not as big as you might expect) His adoption fee is €170. He really is a hidden gem; let’s get him adopted soon!

Look at his long sock!

The tale of Capsule and Isis.

In Sunday’s blog I mentioned that a friend who was staying with me found a couple of dogs tied up and apparently abandoned. I know that many of you have had this experience, so I thought it would be a good idea to tell you a bit about it.

Whilst walking into town, Debs saw two frantic dogs tied to a railing along a well-frequented cycle path outside a café. She phoned me to ask what to do. On the basis that the dogs might have been left while the owner had a coffee (unlikely but possible), I told her to leave them for a while and see if they were still there on her return. So she untangled their leads and went on her way.

When the dogs were still there 2 hours later, it was clear that something was wrong. The usual thing to do here is either to inform the police municipal, or to take the dogs to a vet to see if they are identified. At this point a vet will either contact the dogs’ owner or failing that, will inform the local pound (fourrière) to come and collect the dogs.

The vet was shut and I did not want the dogs to be left any longer than necessary for the police municipal to arrive, so I contacted the refuge directly and brought the dogs in.

rottweiler

Capsule 

It turns out that both dogs are identified by microchip, and Debs and I went home, hoping that the dogs’s owner would be contactable and would collect his dogs. Of course at this point the refuge staff would have mentioned the inadvisability of leaving dogs tied up etc.

However attempts to contact the owners failed. The dogs have the same owner, but are registered to two different addresses, both in departments far from Carcassonne. There are four mobile phone numbers on the central database; Two numbers are no longer in use, and the other two are hung up as soon as the ScPA says who is calling. The only conclusion to be drawn is that the dogs have been deliberately abandoned, and so both are looking for new homes.

Of the two, Capsule will find it harder to find a new family. Not only is she 10 years old, but she is a rottweiler, a breed that requires special permits and insurance in France. Isis is black, which is not good in terms of adoptions,, but she is younger, at three years old. However now they are at the refuge both will be well  looked after, get regular walks and vet treatment, and sooner or later both will find new homes. Unfortunately t is very unlikely that they will be rehomed together, and as they are inseparable at the moment, this is perhaps the saddest aspect of the story.

black lab

Isis

We hope that this blog has given you some insight as to the process that follows finding a dog. There is a very good article here, and we know that circumstances vary enormously, so we at DRC are always available to give advice.

In the meantime, let’s all wish Isis and Capsule the very best of luck and we will keep you informed as to their progress.

 

Sunday ScPA Sum-Up!

Despite the recent changes at DRC, Moira and I are both still active at the ScPA. So we thought it would be nice to bring you up to date with what has been going on at the refuge, and most specifically the adoptions!

This week eight dogs have left for new homes, and we are delighted for each and every one of them.

 

Five of them were boys, Ben, Irish, Fudge, Tintin and Bobo and the girls were Jessy, Sofi and DRC urgent appeal, Mabrouka.

Ben – third time lucky

 

Irish – ADOPTED

Fudge – ADOPTED

 

Ben was a former DRC urgent appeal; a wonderful lad who has been adopted and brought back twice for rather odd reasons. Sometimes a dog just has bad luck. Tintin, for example, was brought in for rehoming having been bought at a local pet shop by a gentleman who quickly realised that 92 was too old for a puppy. It seems almost unbelievable that a pet shop would even consider letting a dog leave in such circumstances. However when the sole motivator is profit, anything can happen.

Tintin – ADOPTED

Bobo – ADOPTED (after arriving badly injured)

Jessy was a hunt dog who refused to hunt and this sensible decision on her part means she now has a proper family home, rather than living in a kennel for the rest of her life. And as for Sofi, well, I was the one who brought her to the refuge after finding her on my morning walk. The ScPA had already rehomed her once, but she has serious separation anxiety, so was brought back to the refuge.

Jessy – refused to hunt and now ADOPTED

Sofi – ADOPTED (again)

I am very pleased she has a home. If you are the one who brought a dog in, you have a stake in their welfare, somehow. So imagine my chagrin when a friend who was visiting last week found two dogs tied up alongside the Aude in Carcassonne. She left them alone for a while (perhaps their owner had just popped into a shop), but when the dogs were still there 2 hours later, alarm bells rang.

 

What to do in such instances is something DRC is contacted about on a regular basis and will be the subject of a future blog.

Mabrouka ADOPTED at nine years old

But tonight we are full of smiles for the week’s lucky leavers.

 

 

Daisy and pups , 4 months on…

I am sure that most of you will remember Daisy the very cute terrier cross who arrived at the refuge and gave birth within hours. The mum and pups then went into foster with Cyndy where they were loved and cared for but just as importantly socialised.

Early socialisation is so important and can really shape its future reactions in the big scary world.

Needless to say, these pups are all very happy, well-balanced pups and the owners are delighted!

Daisy went to live with DRC’s friend Muriel and her parents. She is living with ex ScPA Woofy , a large mastin called Tina, cats, chickens and tortoises.

Here she is on the bed with a very shocked looking cat…

Who’s that sleeping on my bed!

Puppy Max who lives near Fanjeaux has 3 furry doggy siblings and is proving to be a remarkably bright pup. He’s great on walks and is regularly sees ex ScPA dog Zelda.

Look at his lovely leg markings!

Ren was the only tricoloured pup. He also is doing extremely well and his owner is carefully socialising him with children and especially bicycles as he does seem a bit worried by them.

Next is Betony….she is the pup who went to live in a vineyard with mum Sara. She too is extremely clever and is enjoying herself in the garden and vines, so all seems good there…she’s loved by everyone and is virtually inseparable from Sarah.

Betony!

Here is Mimi ( ex Pansy) who is definitely in the leggy phase. Mimi is back staying with Cyndy whilst her owner is on holiday. She is a lovely, happy, dynamic pup…just as it should be!

Mimi ex Pansy!

We haven’t has new  Hanna from a sure but I am sure that she is just as happy as all of the others!

These pups owners are lucky as they had the opportunity to have a well sociallised rescue pup who had been with their mum in a household situation.

Wouldnt it be great if all pups had this chance!

When I’am Old and Grey..

If we are lucky enough to still have our dogs when they become old and grey then helping them stay comfortable, as pain-free as possible is something that we may have to deal with.

My Boxer x Labrador, Phoebe is a large dog who has had arthritis for a couple of years. This was confounded by a partially torn ligament in her back leg when she chased a hare over a recently plowed field.

 

She, of course, has prescribed pain medication and I have tried some supplements like turmeric, CBD oil etc but there has been no miracle cure.

So, how do you keep an old dog happy and active? Well, weight management is important and that’s very difficult when feeding time is one of the things they really look forward to. Luckily mine like veg so I try and bulk meals up as much as possible.

Careful logistical management is very important too. I have found that although she manages the stairs, she bunny hops down so I limit how many times a day she goes up and down to a minimum.  She now chooses not to jump on the sofa or bed as its very painful for her to get off them.

Laminate flooring is a nightmare! If we are anywhere with it, I have to create a track; for her with blankets or whatever is available. If booking hotels or holiday lets, I find myself looking at the room floor coverings and whether there is a lift or not!

There are some advantages. Her walks are slower, and she doesn’t go far from your side which I really like. Walking 2 older dogs certainly takes less concentration than 2 mad youngsters!

Its approaching holiday time and we will have 2 youngsters as well as my two oldies. I am seriously considering a dog ‘buggy for Phoebe so she can be with us all without limiting the younger active dogs walks too much.

As yet she doesn’t need a car ramp but I have removed one of the back passenger seats so she just has a little step to get in the passager door through to he back doggy area, Opening the boot means a much bigger leap in and out!

I have heard a few nightmare stories of dogs going off their legs whilst on walks. So I am going to buy a ‘Help ‘Em Up harness and shoulder strap’ just in case. I certainly couldn’t pull her on a blanket, coat or anything else in an emergency without really distressing her and me!

Phoebe has no problem with her neck or shoulders, but I do use a raised bowl. This does take some strain off her joints.

Have you a dog with limited mobility?  Are there other methods you used that were successful?  Do you have any hints or tips? Do let us know!!!