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Three more adoptions to end the year.

The refuge was busy again today, and we had three adoptions!

First to leave was Alya. This fabulous collie arrived at the SPA gates in great condition, not at all thin, or scared, and apparently well used to being manipulated. We were informed privately that she had been tied up alone in a field, but as she was not identified we were unable to trace her owners. And they were clearly not looking for their dog, as nearly two months after her arrival she was still at the refuge.

Ayla has been very popular with staff and walkers alike. Although she preferred to live alone, she would walk alongside any other dogs, and as she doesn’t pull at all on the lead, she has had more walks than most. Her new family are going to spoil her rotten, and she deserves every bit of love that is coming her way.



Next we said goodbye to little Truffaut. This little jagd terrier arrived earlier this month, also identified. He is a shy little boy who is gradually increasing in confidence. Today a family came along with their elderly dog to see how the two would get on. Although Truffaut was still looking nervous when he left, we have since had a phone call to say that he was already much happier and was playing with his new pal. Fabulous news for this dog who, like Alya, is officially having his eighth birthday on New Year’s Day!

jagd terier cross

Truffaut – ADOPTED

The last adoption of the year was that of border collie cross Mila. She arrived for rehoming by her owner, who felt unable to keep this big and active dog in an appartment. Mila is far bigger than a normal border collie, and is also a bit shy at first. She too quickly gains in confidence, though. She was briefly in foster, which helped us learn more about her, and this definitely helped us advise her new owner as to some of her character traits. None of them were a surprise to this woman who is already well-versed in the ways of the border collie. We wish Mila all the best in her new life.

border collie


Three other dogs, all of whom arrived yesterday or today, were reclaimed, and we had several reservations. And although the day wasn’t perfect and we had some bad news too (the return of a dog who we thought was happily homed), all in all it was a very positive end to the year.

Once again, thanks to everyone who has supported us this year, either financially, or by sharing the albums and helping to find home for the animals at the SPA, or by coming along to walk them and spend time at the SPA.

A new year is just around the corner. Onwards and upwards!

Five dog Friday!

Well, we promised two adoptions but in fact it was a five dog Friday. Been quite a while since we had one of them, hasn’t it!

First to leave was Cody. This fabulous labrador griffon cross arrived exactly ten days ago, found at the SPA gates one morning. We think his owner phoned up, as the description of the dog matched. But that was the last we heard from him; perhaps the prospect of paying for a microchip was enough to dissuade him from coming to collect his dog. Cody is a great dog, really affectionate and sociable. We were hopeful that he would not have long to wait, and sure enough, he has gone straight from the pound to his new home! Lucky Cody.

pale lab cross


Next we said goodbye to Tim. He was returned to the SPA a couple of weeks ago following an unsuccesful adoption. He was very nervous and has been spending a lot of time in the office with the staff and volunteers, where he has met lots of visitors. He is still a bit jumpy, but is far better than when he arrived.

Of course all that time in the office has meant that lots of people have seen him, and earlier this week he caught the eye of some visitors looking for a small dog. They went away to have a think, then phoned up to confirm that they would be back for lucky Tim.

small dog wearing coat


We also said goodbye to Eden, a very pretty border collie puppy who has been at the SPA for a couple of weeks, but who did not make her “Facebook debut” until yesterday. This is because she arrived with the dreaded parvovirus, and has been living in isolation. Happily she is now fully recovered, and today she found her home!

border collie pup

Puppy Eden – ADOPTED

Another dog who arrived not in the best of health was Captain Trip. Yes, our gorgeous three-legged spaniel, star of the Xmas open weekend at Jardiland, has found a home. We are delighted for him, he never let his injury get in the way of being a spaniel! He hardly seems to realise that he is missing a limb, and his motto seems to be that life is for living to the full! Lovely for him that he left so soon after his beloved pal, Galopin, who was homed yesterday.

3- legged spaniel

Captain Trip – ADOPTED

Finally we said goodbye to Bella. She arrived along with her two brothers, Grif and Panda, in mid October. All three were brought in by their owner having been kept in a garage with hardly any human contact for two years. This is sad in itself, but sadder still is the fact that a neighbour tried over and over again to persuade him to bring the puppies to the SPA for rehoming He refused, instead waiting until the dogs were two years old before giving them an opportunity to find some happiness. Grif and Panda are progressing too, but how much quicker Bella’s progress will be outside the refuge!

black and white dog


So it was a fabulous day. Will these be the last adoptions of the year, or will there be any more leavers in 2017? If we don’t blog tomorrow, you will know the answer. And just in case, have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and let’s make next year a positive one for the dogs and cats at the SPA and for animals the world over.

Adoption of Galopin and Gabber

We had two adoptions today, so despite the cold temperatures and rain, we are feeling quite upbeat.

First to leave was Galopin. This lovely fauve de Bretagne arrived with a leg injury, and so until recently he was living inside in the infirmary. That didn’t stop him enjoying his walks, though, and many people have taken him out. He even had an excursion to Jardiland during the Christmas open weekend, where he proved to be very popular as well as calm and affectionate.

A family came to meet him today and to introduce him to their other dog. Of course, Galopin was happy to meet a new pal, and even happier when he realised that he had a new home! So tonight he is back in the warm. Many thanks to his new family.

griffon fauve de Bretagne

Galopin – ADOPTED

Next to leave was Gabber. This young black labrador cross arrived just a couple of days after Gallopin, in mid November. She needs a bit of education, and a lot more exercise than we have been able to give her at the refuge, but her new family were looking for a young dog with whom to share long walks. Lucky Gabber caught their eye, and a couple of days after the adoption of her kennel mate, Hope, Gabber, renamed Calice, has a new home too.

Gabber (now renamed Calice) – ADOPTED

Two dogs are reserved and should be leaving the SPA tomorrow, which still leaves Saturday when we will hopefully have the last adoption of the year! Who will it be?

A Home for Hope

We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Day and that you are looking forward to more celebrations next weekend. In the meantime, it is business as usual at the SPA, of course.

We didn’t get a chance to walk the magnificent beagle after all. His owners were looking for him, and thanks to SPA volunteers Sebastien and Patricia he was able to leave straight away, so he was at home with his family for Christmas! Had he needed to see a vet in order to be identifed, he would have had to spend two more nights at the SPA. He was a lucky dog.



Another lucky dog is Hope. She was brought back to the the SPA just over two weeks ago when the woman who adopted her earlier this year started working full time. Apparently Hope did not like being alone during the day. She was very sad to come back to the SPA, and we were very sad to see her back, naturally. So she put on her saddest face for this picture, in an attempt to attract a kind-hearted person. And it worked! The photo caught the eye of a woman who was looking for a dog to share what sounds like the perfect life. Hope now has an owner who is at home all the time, plus she has a feline friend, visiting children and the promise of many lovely long walks. Many thanks to her new owner and we wish lots of love and happiness to Hope.

Shepherd cross with grey muzzle


There were several other visitors to the SPA today, people who are looking for a canine companion but who decided to wait until all the excitement of Christmas Day was over. So there might well be some other adoptions in the offing! Watch this space, as they say.

Last leaver before Christmas

Well, we didn’t have any more adoptions today, in fact we had a couple of new arrivals, which wasn’t really what we wanted. However it was a fun day, with lots of people coming to walk dogs. And let’s face it, dogs don’t know it is Christmas.

One of today’s arrivals, a fabulous beagle called Rodes, is identified but we have not been able to contact his owners. The SPA doesn’t reopen until Tuesday at 14H00, but we hope that his owners will be reassured to know he is safe and well and waiting for them to come and collect him. And if they don’t, I will be one of many people waiting, lead in hand, to take him out. What a handsome lad!


At the SPA for Xmas- Rodes

Another of today’s arrivals, a fabulous pyrenean shepherd, arrived unidentified having been found in the countryside about 12 km from the SPA. And the good news is that this evening she is safe and well and back at home. Her owners showed up just before the SPA shut, and Estelle sped off to the vet with Dolly who is now identified and back at home. Thanks Estelle and to Patricia and Seb who also waited till Dolly had left.

Pyrenean shepherd

Dolly- reclaimed

Don’y worry, the dogs who are at the SPA will be fed and looked after by our wonderful staff, but there will be no walking until Tuesday.

See you then, hopefully with news of the first post- Christmas adoptions!

Three dogs leave for new homes!

This week has been another quiet one, and although we were hoping for more adoptions before Christmas, we were starting to wonder if our hopes were to be dashed. However today we had three adoptions, only one of which was planned.

The second of the dogs who had been reserved at the weekend left today. Little Pilou, at the SPA since has found a new home. When this little boy arrived five weeks ago he was very scared, but the staff and volunteers soon had him feeling much happier. He loved sharing his box with another dog, and proved to be great with cats, too. His confidence on the lead grew every time he went out for a walk. And being small and easy to handle, he went on lots of walks.

At the open weekend a family came to introduce him to their mature mastiff cross, and little Pilou looked delighted at the prospect of sharing his new home with a big new friend. The adoption was organised for today as the family are now off work for two weeks, which should give Pilou, now renamed Bobby, time to settle in.

Small brown dog

Pilou (now Bobby) – ADOPTED

Wec also said goodbye to Pollux,  the tiny wire haired dachshund who arrived with Wednesday’s adoption Puce.  He is a great little chap, good on the lead but equally happy to be carried. Not surprisingly he hasn’t had too long to wait for a new home, and we are sure he will be very happy. Like Pilou he will be sharing his new home with other dogs!

wire haried teckel

Pollux – ADOPTED

All adoptions are good, but today’s final adoption might be this year’s Christmas miracle.

Lili has been at the SPA since July 2017, when she was found at the gates with a note from her owner. The note said that Lili had been adopted as a puppy, but she was no longer wanted. This may seem strange to us, but for some dogs that is how life is. They have no say in their future, they are just cast aside at their owner’s whim.

Lili is a big black dog who was born in 2009. Those of you who follow the blog will know that that combination; big, old and black, usually means a long wait before adoption. When Lili woke up in her kennel this morning, she surely had no idea that she would end the day in a home all safe and warm, together with two other dogs. She never gave up hope, and watching her lie on her back having her tummy rubbed as her new mum signed the adoption papers was lovely to see.

Big black shepherd


The SPA is open tomorrow for one last day before Christmas, so maybe there will be more news, but the week has taken a turn for the better thanks to today’s news.

Adoption of Tiny Puce

Tiny girl Puce  arrived two weeks ago along with two other small dogs. All three were found at the gate, and none was identified. Where did they come from and how did they arrive at the SPA gate?

The best guess is that they have been living in a confined space and outdoors, as they had very long nails, in Puce’s case so long that they were curled under, almost peircing the skin of her paws. Needless to say we are pleased that the owner of these dogs did not come to collect them. Sometimes it is hard seeing dogs leave, knowing that we could find them a home where they are really cared for. However Puce’s pound time ended at the weekend as as of today she has a lovely new home.

She was one of two dogs who were reserved this weekend; her family came along with their other dog, also adopted from the SPA some eight years ago, to make sure they got on okay. Today Puce went to the vet to be sterilised and tomorrow she will wake up somewhere warm and dry and safe, perhaps for the first time in her life.

Tiny pale dog


One of her co-arrivees is still waiting at the SPA, he is a fabulous wire-haired teckel called Pollux. He, like Puce, searches for affection all the time. Sadly their friend Florence managed to escape whilst on her way to the vets, and has not been seen since, although of course we have not given up hope that she will be found safe and well.

wire haired teckel

Pollux would like a home too

So that is the week’s first adoption. We know it will not be the last, as another dog will be leaving on Friday. But we would really like a few more adoptions before Christmas.


Christmas round-up

At hte SPA today it was more of the same. That is more walks (although the weather was not as kind as it had been yesterday, sadly), more treats and more fabulous donations.  Two families arrived to test their dogs with SPA dogs, and so we have at least two adoptions planned for the coming week. Thanks to everyone who came along, especially people who came to show us their now happy dogs. There were not as many visitors as in previous years, perhaps, but sometimes it is better to have quality rather than quantity.

Of course there were yet more volunteers busy at Jardiland and at the Christmas Market at Villedubert for a second day. This is the first time we have been to Villedubert, and it was on the initiative of supporter Sarahyeli (who also adopted Cheyenne, ex Sweety last year) that we had a stand there. Visitors were lovely, donating both treats and cash to help make the animals at the refuge a bit happier this festive season. Recently abandoned SPA dog Hope went to represent the canine contingent of the refuge, and she behaved immaculately. As you can see from the photo, she found the experience very stressful (!).

Dog lying on her back

Hope at work

Jardliand was a huge success yet again. A small team of SPA volunteers met shopeers to explain that they were collecting donations for the animals at the refuge, and the good people of Carcassonne were generous to a fault. Bags of dog and cat food, treats and toys were piled up and will be transfered to the refuge tomorrow. Again there were some dogs present to say hello, with Alya charming everyone she met, Captain Trip showing that three legs can be just as good as four and Gallopin enjoyed curling up and being cuddled.

Alya and team greeting shoppers at Jardiland


Captain Trip

There is still a week to go before Christmas, so if you were unable to make it this weekend, there is still time to pop in to but some baubles, just say hello or best still, adopt!

Christmas Open Day Adoption of Diesel

It seems that the days when a Christmas open weekend would bring adoptions in the double figures are long gone. Nowadays a single adoption is considered good news. And for people who bring their dogs in for rehoming on a Christmas open day with the words “This way you can find him a new home today” (yes, we had one such today) should not be surprised to see their dog waiting for some time.

However as we always say, one good adoption is better than several bad ones, and today’s adoption was great! After six months waiting, Diesel finally found a home! This lovely boy has only just turned one year old and has spent half his life at the SPA. A family saw him yesterday and today returned to test compatibility with their dog, who is now advancing in years. The two dogs got on well, and we are delighted that Diesel has found such a great home. He really deserves it; it is not easy for young dogs with boundless energy to find themselves at the SPA with only occasional walks, but Diesel has behaved impeccably. Many thanks to his new family for offering him a new life.

black and brown shepherd cross

Diesel – ADOPTED

We may have been short of adoptions, but there were lots of visitors at the SPA today, either walking dogs or cudding cats, plus many people came along with donations of food, bedding and toys. It is starting to look quite festive! And thanks to this morning’s work by Team Greenfinger, we have a lovely new garden area. Many thanks to them all for their work.

The new garden area

Tomorrow will will tell you all about the Christmas market at Villedubert and the collection at Jardiland. For now we will just thank everyone for their efforts today and wish them even more success tomorow.

Finally tonight we want to tell you about a wonderful reunion that took place yesterday. Some two weeks ago a very sad looking dog arrived at the SPA. Initially we assumed that Tango (as we called him; he was not identified) was very old, but this was not so, he was just ill. Tango has Cushings Disease, which you can read about here. We were just starting to look for a long term foster for him, when, out of the blue, his family came to collect him. They had assumed that he had died, but one family member refused to give up hope and saw his picture on Facebook. Apparently it was a reunion like no other, with everyone crying buckets!


Is this our Christmas miracle, or is there more good news to come?

Adoption of Calimero and a busy weekend awaits.

Calimero arrived at the SPA almost a year ago, and despite is fabulous references, it has taken him a long time to find a home. The family who found him as a stray had quite a menagerie, and thanks to them we knew that he was good with other dogs, cats and even parrots! However he was extremely nervous and although he is now less so than when he arrived, like many scared dogs, he has not made as much progress as we would like at the SPA.

However lucky Calimero has gone to live in Germany! This morning complete with passport and TRACES documentation, Calimero set off with Christian of STIAC for a new life in a new land. He has been a favourite of many volunteers and staff at the SPA, notably Patricia, whom you can see with him in this wonderful photo.


Calimero – ADOPTED

Yes, we will miss him, but what matters is that Calimero is going to have a home of his own, complete with lots of love and affection. That is what all our dogs want, and who are we to let geography get in the way!

As I said in a previous blog, this weekend is going to be a busy one, with the SPA active on three fronts. It is an open weekend at the refuge (we will be open on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons) and we will also be at Jardliand, where we are collecting dog and cat food. Plus we will also have a stand at the Christmas market in Villedubert.

This weekend promises to be busy!

Oh, and on Saturday morning Team Greenfinger is going to be busy beautifying  the refuge with shrubs and plants that have been kindly donated. Those of you who visit the refuge over the weekend will be able to see the fruits of their labours!

Let’s hope for lots of adoptions as well. It would be great if more dogs could be as lucky as Calimero and be in a loving home for Christmas.