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Fun at Chateau Miaou

A quick blog tonight as we are all exhausted from a fun day at Chateau Miaou. It was an early-ish start, as there were books to put on display as well as clothes to hang up, bric-a-brac to put out and sausages to cook. Yes, it was a real team effort, and the first customers arrived before the official opening time of 11H00.

From then till 15H00 there was a steady stream of people arriving, some with dogs, some with kids, and some just to eat a sausage baguette in the sun with a cup of tea or coffee or in some cases (whistles innocently) a small glass of wine or beer.

Shopping and browsing at Chateau Miaou

Many many thanks to our hosts Sharon and Willie, plus everyone who ran the stalls: Sabine and Karen, Chrissie and Janice, Jane and Moira. Plus of course Mister Saucisse, who did everyone proud with his magnificent bangers. We haven’t added up all the small change yet, but the event raised over €600, which is a fabulous total. There were also many donations in the form of items for the refuge; cat transport cases and a scratching post, dog crates, blankets etc. So no one forgot the reason why we were all there; to help improve the lives of the animals at the ScPA..

Thanks to everyone who came along, and if you missed out on today’s fun, don’t worry, we are already planning our next event for later this summer!

kids with a dog

We had visits from many dogs, including Frisbee, who was adopted in April

And Lascar is back

Yesterday we were delighted to tell you about the arrival and immediate departure of husky Lasco. Well believe it or not, today he is back. Usually our rule is no adoptions = no blog, and we certainly don’t enjoy passing on bad news. Unless there are lessons to be learned, that is. Which is why we are blogging tonight.

Yes, Lascar is perfect. He is as his owner told us; fine with other dogs, and fine with cats. And we know from the one night he spent out of the refuge that he is housetrained and affectionate. The one thing that was not factored in by the couple who adopted him yesterday was that their cat is not at all used to dogs.

Lascar was presented to the cat; the cat screamed and tried to attack. Lascar did nothing at all, but the cat refused to settle down. The cat is young, well less than a year, and with time and patience would have learned to accept Lascar. But for that to happen, the family have to be willing to put in some effort, and this is what was lacking. So Lascar has been abandoned twice in the space of two days.

Husky

Lascar is back.

Please don’t repond to this blog by making insulting comments about the people. That wastes energy and gets us nowhere. I can guarantee that they won’t be reading this, and we all know how we feel. The lesson here is rather to be sure that all members of a family are willing to give animals enough time to settle, and not give up at the slightest hint of trouble. Many people set a timeframe by which they expect a new animal to settle, and 6 months to a year is not uncommon. Often it doesn’t take this long, but it is better to be prepared for the long haul, rather than be disappointed if it takes longer than a week or so.

Another takeaway from this blog is that we have a wonderful husky at the refuge, who is fine with other dogs and cats and is just three years old. And perhaps better still, although Lascar looks like a real husky, we are told that his mum was a labrador, so he will be even more perfect than a purebreed.

The other reason for the blog is to remind you once again of tomorrow’s function at Chateau Miaou in Castelnaudary. Come and see us and have some fun with the fund-raisers! And yes, the weather forecast is GOOD!

Adoptions of Lascar and Candy

Well, we didn’t have as long as last week for our second adoptions but not far off. Things really are slow at the moment, but two adoptions today makes it a bit better than last week, so far, at least.

First to leave was a dog whom none of you will know. He hadn’t spent a single night at the ScPA before finding a new home. Yes, Lascar is a very lucky dog. He was brought in by his owner for rehoming today, and as luck would have it, there was someone at the refuge looking for a husky. This gentleman had actually come to meet Texas, but he has a cat, and Texas is really not at all good with cats (he blotted his copy book again big time today in the cat house). Lascar, however is fine with cats, so no sooner had he arrived than he was off again!

This shows once again that dogs who are brought in by their owners have a far higher chance of being re-adopted quickly than dogs who are just dumped. Not only did Lascar not have to wait for ten days in the pound (in case his owner was looking for him), but his owner was able to tell us all about him.

Lascar – ADOPTED

Today’s second leaver was Candy. She arrived last week along with her two pups, Sugar and Spice, who are currently the subject of a DRC “guess the breed” competition. Yesterday a family came looking for a small lively dog, and Candy was just perfect. Although quite nervous when she arrived, this little pinscher soon gained in confidence, especially when she no longer had her pups to defend. They, too, are much less nervous and will surely find homes very soon, too.

mid brown pinscher

Candy – ADOPTED

So another week is nearly over, with just one more day to make up for the dearth of adoptions so far. Of course Sunday’s Yard Sale at Chateau Miaou will raise morale whatever happens, but it would be nice to have some more happy dogs before the week is out, too.

 

Monday adoption of Puppy Chups.

Another Monday arrives, and as was the case last week, we had our first adoption.

As you know, on Saturday we said goodbye to spaniel puppy Chuppa. We really hoped that her sister, Chups would not have long to wait. And sure enough, today she too has a new home. Yippee. We really hate pups growing up at the ScPA, and these two had already been there for three weeks.

In March last year Jane came to the refuge along with her beautiful dalmation Belle to meet Suma (renamed Ruby), a gentle but terrified griffon khortal. Jane had initially wanted a puppy, but Ruby stole her heart. However some 15 months later and with Ruby settled, the urge for a puppy was still there. So when Jane saw this little cutie on the internet she decided it was time to add to her pack. Many thanks to her for taking on dog number three.

As it turns out, Chups already has some practice of being with two adult dogs. Rather than spend the weekend alone at the ScPA, she was lucky enough to be taken home by volunteer Michele, who,like Jane, has two other dogs. Many thanks to Michele. Although there have been a lot of changes for Chups, she will settle in just fine we are sure. We look forward to news and photos in due course.

Chups – ADOPTED

Let’s hope that, unlike last week, we don’t wait until Saturday for the next adoption.

Three adoptions to end a slow week

Yes, you are right; it has been a very quiet week. The last blog was on Monday, when we were hoping for lots of adoptions. There has been movement at the ScPA, though, dogs being reclaimed and (sadly) several new arrivals. However we have had to wait until today for more adoptions. But as we had three, it has cheered us up a bit.

First to leave was Chuppa. She is one of two Breton spaniel pups who arrived just over three weeks ago, and it is surprising there has not been more interest in them, to be honest. However Carol spotted her on our website and despite not living particularly close, was happy to travel for the right dog. So little Chuppa has a home, and hopefully her sister, Chups, will not have long to wait either.

spaniel in woman's arms

Chuppa – ADOPTED

And this is her sister, Chups, who is still waiting

Next to leave was Chipie. This lovely young girl was found very thin and straying in mid May. Like so many of our new arrivals, she was unidentified, and as has no particuarly distinguishing marks, we were worried that she would have a long wait. However she too caught the eye of someone who fell in love, despite also having some distance to travel. Chipie left today with her new family and new canine companion, and we are delighted for her.

shepherd cross

Chipie – ADOPTED

And last but by no means least was little Nougat. As we have said before, we love it when volunteers adopt. Firstly we know the dogs will be in wonderful homes, and secondly we know that we will have news. Because of course we all get attached to the animals in our care. Especially the lucky ones who live in the reception area, of whom today’s lucky lad was one.

Nougat arrived two weeks ago today with no identification. He is tiny, he is fine with other dogs and cats and is a real cuddle-bunny. Why on earth has no one come looking for him? It was obvious to all of us that he wouldn’t have long to wait, and sure enough, today he went home with volunteers Ingrid and Marjorie. He will have a lovely life with their other three dogs, two of whom are also from the ScPA and the third from another refuge. Talk about winning the jackpot. And his extended ScPA family have been promised visits and cuddles too, so we are all winners!

small brown dog

Nougat – ADOPTED

We also wanted to remind you about the upcoming function next Sunday, the 17th. Our Yard Sale is a great fundraising event, with books and DVDs for sale, along with some high quality clothes, bric-a-brac and a tombola. Plus of course Mister Saucisse’s fabulous British style bangers. We hope to see many of you there at Chateau Miaou.

Adoption of Louba, and four dogs are reclaimed.

Some dogs spend far longer at the ScPA than we expect. One such dog is Louba, who arrived at the end of January with (presumably) her son, Bouba. He was identified, Louba was not, but in any case no one came to collect either dog. So once the ten days pound time was over, it was time to find a new home for both dogs. We expected them to leave quite soon; Louba is young, pretty and small, and Bouba is young, cute and small. I am not sure the word handsome applies, but each to his own.

In any case, it has taken until today for Louba to find a home, and Bouba still waits. We are not sure how he will cope without his mum; so far when they have been separated even for visits to the vets he has cried non-stop. So he will be getting extra cuddles for a while, and hopefully it will not be too long before he too finds a a home. As for Louba she has a home with a family who has two children and she will go to work with the husband so will never be alone.

breton spaniel

Louba – ADOPTED

small speckly dog

Bouba, her son, is still waiting for a home

In other news, two malinois who arrived (identified but lost) yesterday were reclaimed, as was a little girl, Trésor, who arrived today. The lovely golden retriever, Geronimo, who arrived (identified) on Saturday left as well, so if you look at it one way, five dogs lef the refuge today 😀

And so begins another week.

Running for a good cause!

Before the main news of the day, we have some news to catch up on from yesterday. One adoption took place yestereday morning before the refuge was open, hence it not making the blog last night.

Many of you will be aware that there is a team of elves who come in when the refuge is (mostly) closed, and beautify the area as well as make practical improvements to the kennels and cattery. Well one of this team has had his eye on a certain dog, and yesterday was THE DAY!

Yes, lovely Praia has a new home. She arrived at the end of January, identified but with no sign of any owners looking for her. We have no idea why, as she is a fabulous girl, young, sociable and stunning to look at. Jean Michel is one of many who fell under her charm and says that she is just perfect.

black and white dog

Praia – ADOPTED 

Now to the day’s main event, as it were. This morning at 9am, the Carcassonne half marathon got underway. Amongst the many runners was Tony, who was raising funds for the ScPA. Tony and his partner Marcus adopted Chester (ex George) earlier this year, and both are now keen supporters of the refuge, so for Tony this was one more way to help.

Tony finished his run in 2 hours and 6 minutes, which is an excellent time and well on target. And of course Marcus and Chester were there to cheer him on. We all send massive congratulations. Sponsorship of this kind is not common in France for some resason. French children do not plague their families, friends and neighbours for money for sponsored swims, walks or silences. However as Tony has proved, there is definitely scope for it to take off here, too. Perhaps this could become an annual event or perhaps in future years we can have a team of runners all raising money for the refuge! Wouldn’t that be great?

There is still time to donate so if you would like to do so, here is the link to Tony’s Just Giving page.

man holding medal

Tony after his half marathon this morning. And looking surprisingly well!

In other news, as usual on the first Sunday of the month, the ScPA was open to the public, and although there were no adoptions, there were plenty of volunteers out and about walking the dogs in the sunshine. So if you are not up for a half-marathon, maybe joining our team of walkers is more up your street! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

 

 

 

Adoption of Harley

We had a small adoption today, a 5 kilo one, to be precise!

Yorkie cross Harley arrived in mid May having spent most of his life on a balcony, when he wasn’t being used to make puppies, that is. He was then given away, but his new owner did not want him, so at six years old, Harley found himself at the ScPA.

Harley has now gone to live with Chris, who came along today with one of his dogs to make sure they were compatible, as this is the dog with whom Harley will spend all his time. The last companion was a St Bernard, who has sadly passed away, so it is a bit of a change of size of paymate. Harley will have lots of other new friends too; dogs, cats, sheep, horses and even some koi carp. Yes, Harley is going to live on a farm, and will have freedom like never before. What a lucky lad!

yorkie cross

Harley – ADOPTED

Apart from that one dog was reclaimed by her owner, and there were some dogs out on walks. And hopefully there will  be more of the same tomorrow when the ScPA opens its doors for the first Sunday of the month.

There will be a blog tomorrow night, regardless of whether or not we have any adoptions, by the way. Something is afoot. Or perhaps ON foot is more appropriate. Read all about it tomorrow evening!

Adoption of Gloubi and an important name change.

Today the ScPA said a fond and happy goodbye to Gloubi. No, don’t be worried, neither by that sentence nor by the photo; Gloubi is fine. It is just that she is most often seen in this position; relaxing in the office while life goes on around her. Gloubi was reserved several weeks ago, and should have already left the ScPA, however her new family had some logistical problems. Anyone who has moved house in France will understand that these things happen, and her new family have been walking her regularly, along with a dog they rescued in Dubai. A wonderful life awaits our old lady labrador. She will be part of the welcoming committee for anyone staying at her owners’ gite; and who could fail to feel instantly at home with such a pefect dog in residence!

yellow lab

Gloubi – ADOPTED

Who will be the next lucky dog to take the “golden spot” in the office, I wonder?

So only one adoption to tell you about today. The week is far from over, though. The ScPA will be open tomorrow and again on Sunday, as it is the first Sunday of the month. This means there is time to make up for what has been a quiet week adoption-wise.

You may have noticed that we are using the term ScPA and not SPA. The additional “C” stands for “Carcassonnaise” This is because the SPA Paris took court action to prevent the Lyon based group (the Confederation Nationale of 260 independent refuges) from using the letters SPA. It would be nice to think that, as we are all in the same business, no one would mind. Ho hum. We have until June 15th to make any changes to our logos and to stop using the forbidden letters. If we at DRC make an error, we will turn ourselves in to the police and wait for you all to rescue us from prison! If not, send chocolate!

Adoption of Border Collie Bob.

Adoptions are few and far between at the moment, as you have probably noticed. We have no idea why this is; May, with its numerous bank holidays, might may seem like a good time to welcome a new family member; or perhaps people are chosing not to adopt when they have already made plans. In either case, staff and volunteers have been remarking on how quiet things are at the SPA.

Today however we have a lovely adoption to tell you about. Bob, a fabulous looking border collie arrived with Meg, presumably his mum, in early April. Both dogs were thin and were initially very nervous of people. Once the dogs had left the pound (ten days after their arrival), the SPA separated them so that each was sharing with another dog. This may seem cruel, but it is usually for the best. Very few people adopt dogs who arrive together, and separating them early enables dogs to create new relationships with other dogs and humans, and not just stay in their existing roles.

Bob has remained quite timid and aloof with people, however. He is fine with other dogs, but even on walks has tended to keep his head down and avoid eye contact. However as you can see from the photo taken as he left today, all that has changed! Bob has hit the jackpot big time, and he seems to know it! His new family lives in Germany and as soon as possible, Bob will move there. But he has family here in France too, and lucky Bob will have canine friends in both countries. Not only that, his new young mistress is very training minded. The family know that it will take a long time for Bob to come properly out of his shell, and are prepared to be patient. And judging from the smile on Bob’s face, a huge hurdle has already been overcome.

So we say goodbye and good luck to lovely Bob and look forward to hearing news of him as he starts his new life.

border collie with other dog

Bob (on the right) with one of his new friends and already looking much happier than when he arrived!