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Through no fault of their own…

Of course we feel sorrow for all dogs who arrive at the refuge but the ones that I feel sorrow for the most are the dogs who have known a loving home all of their lives and their owners have either died or have become very ill.

These dogs must really be in shock!

One such girl who arrived recently is Pica. I was really shocked when I discovered Pica was 8…she is in great shape and looks more like a two year old! She is a Labrador x ( maybe pointer) and is slightly smaller than the average lab. She is an affectionate girl who has obviously been well looked after and she gets on well with other dogs. So anyone looking for a sweet natured female..pop along and see her. You wont be disappointed!

Billy is a 4 year setter x, who also found himself without a home when his owner died. Afterwards, this poor lad was left for six months in the garden with neighbors taking it in turn to feed him! Six months! Now he is at the SPA he is being well cared for, has company and gets lots of walks. Billy is fine with both dogs and cats and is a really lovely lad!

Pica and Billy are just two examples of dogs who arrive at the SPA through no fault of their own whatsoever. Some people just don’t have family or friends who can care for their pets after they die and when these pets arrive at the SPA we do our very best to ensure that their stay is as short as possible.

As responsible dog owners we should all think about what would happen to our animals should we die. Of course we all hope that family would take care of them but lots of families live far away, are young with busy lives and may not be able to care for your pet.

If family or friends cant care for your pets make sure that they know all about their individual needs, their likes and dislikes so that they can rehome them responsibly and ensure that they have  as great a future as possible!

Pica needs a family..

And Billy too…




Foster to forever families….

Tonight we have the stories of how two foster dogs became forever dogs! One a pup and one an oldie!

As you have heard us say many times we much prefer our pups to go into foster than spend any time at the refuge. This is because they don’t have a strong immune system and could catch a variety of nasties and it’s so much better for their socialisation to be in a home environment.

Our fosterer Shirley has had many pups. Some, like puppy Elsa she knew were just waiting until they could go to their forever home, some like Polly really needed lots of tlc as they are terrified and have clearly had a bad start in life.  As a fosterer you take each pup as it comes and do your best to prepare it for its forever home.

Here is Shirley and Poppy’s story:

“As a foster ‘Mum’ puppies come and go. Some capture your heart more than others.  There is always a tear or two when they move on to their forever homes, but they are tears of joy and pride in a job well done.

I have often been heard to say “you don’t choose your dog they choose you” so it was with my others dogs and is now with Poppy. From the day I was asked to take her, when I sat on the floor of the SPA office and this frightened pup climbed onto my lap it was game over!

I tried the sensible approach! “I’m not looking for another dog” “3 dogs is too much” “She is going to be too big”. However slowly but surely Poppy, aided and abetted by my 4 year old X Labrador Jake who plainly adores her, wormed her way into my home and my heart.

So here we are today, the papers are signed, I have formally adopted her, she is part of my pack, my family. It’s not sensible at all but it will be great fun!! ”

The second lucky dog to be adopted by his forever family was Alfie ( ex Tis). When Alfie arrived at the refuge he was nearly 12 years old, abandoned because his owner was ill. Despite his age he loved his walks but like most oldies he hated refuge life. Luckily for him Jane agreed to try him out with her ‘pack’ and luckily all went well.   Alfie will be retiring to Guernsey so we are sure to have lots of great photos of him on the lovely  beaches! What a lucky boy!

Alfie is not the first SPA dog that Jane has adopted. She adopted Rooky, another oldie about 7 years ago and she had cheeky Charlie , another oldie in foster for a long time. It takes a lot of time and patience to care for an oldie so many thanks to Jane for all of the love and care she has given to our doggies past and present.

Many thanks to both Shirley and Jane for taking Poppy and Alfie into their hearts and homes. We will have regular updates of how puppy Poppy is doing and watch out for snippets from ‘Poppy’s training diaries’.

Poppy and family!




Alfie..adopted by his foster mum!




Planes, Trains and Automobiles….

Tonight, we will look at a scenario that we have dealt with quite a few times. Someone sees a dog and after numerous communications decides that it is the dog for them but they are in the UK (Scotland this time), they want the dog asap and they don’t want hours and hours of driving through at least one country, in this case 2.

So we all know that you can have a dog transported and that we can do TRACES to allow it to enter the UK legally but that takes time and is very dependent on transporters schedules.

This weekend I spent a lot of time speaking to transporters as we had a reservation for a dog for Scotland but the adopter, being a teacher, has set holidays and really wanted to get to know the dog whilst off. But, if you are from Scotland you have almost two full days driving here and then back again and for a single person to do that with a doggy that they really don’t know is risky for all sorts of reasons. Whats more the dog had just had his rabies so could only travel mid school holidays which in reality meant a one week window!

So, we explored all the possibilities that we could think of:

Fly here and hire a car…nope you cant take a car hire out of the country. One way car hire through France and then the UK…nope you need a car to go through Eurotunnel / ferry.

Could we fly the dog to Scotland…not unless it went via Gatwick…hmmm….not sure I would trust the airlines with that transfer and thats before you think of the stress for the dog as it would have to go as cargo.

Could the new adopter fly here and go back with the dog by train….not advisable with a dog that you don’t really know then how do you get through the tunnel/cross the channel?

We did come up with a work around solution that the adopter will fly here, spend several days getting to know the dog here, fly back on the same day that the dog leaves with the transporter ( thank you once again to Linda from For The Love Of Dogs and Cats) and will be ready to greet the dog who she will have gotten to know the previous week in France!! She will be back to class the next day but mum and dad have not long retired, live 5 mins away and are on hand for doggy settling in duties!

This seemed a good solution as it ensured both owner and doggy would travel safely and also have time to get to know each other!

Phew…..now you will just have to wait to hear who the lucky boy to leave is!!!

Three adoptions to start the week.

Three adoptions today, making it a postive start to the week.

When border collie Lyndee arrived some two weeks ago, everyone knew that this stunning girl would not have long to wait. Yes, we have other border collies at the SPA, and they are all stunning, but this young girl’s colouring does make her stand out. Sure enough she was reserved very quickly and today she left for her new home.

blue merle collie

Lyndee – ADOPTED

We also said goodbye to two gorgeous puppies. The first, Ouma, arrived exactly ten days ago, found lost and alone but wearing a collar and lead. Had she been identified, we could have contacted her owners. As she was not idientified (despite its being the law), we had to rely on her owners to come and look for her. Or at least look on line, where her photo has been for ten days now. No one came, so it was time for Ouma to find a new home!

pale cream puppy


She left today together with another puppy, Chuli, a tiny pinscher cross who arrived on the same day and was also unidentified. Needless to say both dogs are now microchipped, and when old enough they will be sterilised and we are sure that their lives will be much better for it!

small dark brown and black puppy


And Saturday’s arrival, Jack Russell Capsule, was reclaimed. He was already identified, but strangley there was no phone number on the database, so we were unable to track down his owners. It is well worth making sure there is a way to be contacted just in case your dog goes missing, and in these days of mobile phones, it should be easier than ever. Still, all is well for ten year old Capsule, lovely boy that he is.

white JRT


Adoption of Lady and Charlot

Today we said goodbye to two more lucky dogs who went to their new homes. It has not been the best week in terms of adoptions, but today certainly left us with a smile on our faces.

First to leave was Lady. She arrived towards the end of August in pretty bad condition. In fact for several weeks she was too ill and thin to live outside and it is only fairly recently that she has been on view to the public. She has made quite an impression, with everyone remarking on her beauty. Yesterday a family came to meet her and went away to have a think. It didn’t take them too long to decide to offer Lady a home.

golden retriver cross


Second to leave was little Charlot. This adorable yorkie cross was found (unidentified, of course) in a local village about two weeks ago. To our amazement no one came looking for him, although he simply must have had a home before arriving at the SPA. This week alone three families have been to visit him and have promised to think about it and let us know. Well as with many of our popular dogs, thinking too long can result in disappointment (although of course a decision as momentous as adopting a dog whould not be made in haste).

Today two new volunteers arrived to join our fabulous team of walkers, and the first dog they walked was Charlot. The next thing we knew, they were testing Charlot with a border collie, who belongs to their brother (and our wonderful handyman volunteer) Philippe, and leaving the SPA with a new addition to the family.

They have promised to carry on walking dogs, though, don’t worry!

yorkie cross

Charlot – ADOPTED

Three (identified) dogs left with their owners, and so it was a great way to end the week.

A new home for Bouli

When a dog arrives at the SPA and is small, friendly and affectionate, we can usually bet on one thing: he or she will be adopted quickly. Such was the case with Bouli, who arrived on Monday, was reserved yesterday and left today!

What a change in fortune for this little pinsher cross. He was brought to the SPA thanks to our cruelty inspectors, who had been told of his plight. Although in this instance it was more neglect than cruelty per se. Just two years old, Bouli was locked up virtually all day; his owners just did not have time for a dog. When the cruelty inspector suggested that Bouli would be better off finding a new home, they sensibly agreed, and thus Bouli was able to avoid the ten days in the pound.

He is a lovely little lad, and although his brief tenure at the SPA means that we did not know him well, it does not stop us being delighted for him. Delighted too that he has two new canine friends and a far better life in store than he had before coming to the SPA.

small brown dog



So only one adoption, but two dogs who arrived today (both idientified) were reclaimed the same day, and a third will leave us soon too. Plus we have a new arrival, whom many of you will adore. Meet Debbie, who is a gorgeous young fauve de Bretagne cross. Isn’t she fabulous?

New arrival – DEBBIE

Three Monday Adoptions

We knew that at least one adoption was going to take place this week, but in fact we have already had three. And it is only Monday!

First to leave was Carmen now renamed Griotte, who left before the SPA even opened its doors to the public this afternoon. Volunteers Ingrid and Marjorie had already adopted Gypsy from us and although they were not looking for another dog, soon after Carmen’s arrival they decided to test their two other dogs with Griotte and made plans to welcome her into their home. Had they not already had holday plans, Ingrid and Marjorie would have adopted Carmen some ten days ago, and the wait has not been easy. But it is all over now, and we look forward to news and photos of Griotte as she starts her new life.

Incidentally Griotte arrived (unidentified) at the SPA in mid August with what was a very nasty allergy to fleas. The flea collar she was wearing did not appear to be helping.  If something is obviously not working, go to see your vet or try another solution, please don’t let your dog suffer unnecessarily!


small black and white dog

Carmen (now Griotte) – ADOPTED

Next we had the adoption of little Boo. She arrived about two weeks ago and everyone was sure that she would be reclaimed. However no one came forward to collect her (need we bother saying that she was not identified when she arrived?). Being young and small and pretty and affectionate, it was clear that she would not have long to wait, and sure enough off she went today.

small yorkie type dog


We then said goodbye to Poker, who had been with us a bit longer, arriving as he did towards the end of July. At the time he was extremely thin, but as soon as he started putting on some weight he was able to run and jump and play, and he hasn’t stopped since! This lad is a bundle of fun and energy, and has socialised well with everyone he came into contact with. We are so pleased that he has found a home and wish him and today’s others lucky leavers lots of happiness.


grey spaniel


So let’s see what else the week brings.

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