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Sunday SCPA Summary

It has been a quieter week in terms of adoptions, which is understandable bearing in mind it is Christmas and there is lots going on in the majority of people’s homes. It is generally understood that this is a bad time to introduce a new dog into the family, but of course there are some people for whom Christmas is the ideal time to adopt; they have time off work and owning a dog is a long-held dream, not just a fickle caprice.

Such was not the case for Gnoky who it turns out had been adopted to be given away as a Christmas present. And an unwanted one at that. He was brought back straight away, much to the ScPA’s disappointment and disgust. However he was rehomed very soon afterwards, and his brother, Osso, found a new home too. So his return was a short one, and we hope that the people who adopted him as a Christmas gift have learned something from this experience…..Especially as when they adopted Gnoky they wanted to adopt his brother too. Talk about poor judgement as far as gift-giving is concerned!

We never stop saying it, but (all together now)….A dog is for life, not just for Christmas!

Gnoki was given as a Christmas present and brought back on Boxing day, but was ADOPTED again two days later

His brother Ossa was ADOPTED too

Other leavers this week were lovely young border collie Pooky (who had been brought in for rehoming),  and pretty little brindle girl Dolly. Neither of these two had been at the refuge for long and it was great that they found new homes so quickly.

Pooki – ADOPTED

Dolly – ADOPTED

Two long-ish termers were homed, as well. First up was Pegase, a handsome Breton spaniel who arrived way back in July with his sister Muse. As is usually the case, the female left quicker, but Pegase’s long wait is over at last. And just as wonderfully, Sand found a home. He was just a year old when he arrived in August and this can be a difficult age to find a new home. He was, to paraphrase Brittany Spears, “Not a puppy, not yet a dog”. Yes, that in-between age can be tricky. Besides which, in superficial terms Sand looks similar to many other dogs at the refuge, and people kept passing him by. In fact he was due to be the next DRC Hidden Gem, as there was no reason that he should not find a home. And QED, cos this week he left for a wonderful new home!

Breton spaniel

Pegase – ADOPTED

pale coloured shepherd cross

Sand – ADOPTED

And then today, the last day of the week, there was what was for many the adoption of the week. Noctis had been brought in for rehoming in early August by his family who did not have the time to look after  him. He was only 8 months old at the time, so it looks like getting a puppy was the wrong decision for them, but at least they admitted it relatively quickly and gave Noctis the chance of a new life.

When this young lad arrived at the refuge it was clear that he had seen nothing in his life thus far. He was scared of his own shadow. It has taken a lot of work by staff and volunteers to get him to the stage where he can walk on a lead and enjoy playing in the parks. Okay, Noctis is still afraid of lots of things, but his fears are now manageable and he will make far quicker progress away from the refuge.

shepherd cross

Noctis – ADOPTED

We wish him and the week’s other leavers lots of love and happiness in their new homes.

A Hidden Gem – Mirabelle

Mirabelle

We thought it was about time to present you with the next DRC Hidden Gem; the lovely Mirabelle.

I know for a fact that Mirabelle is a hidden gem, because even when people come to the refuge and specifically ask for a young, medium to large female, everyone always forgets about Mirabelle. And I include myself here, too. I have no idea why this is; yes, she is in one of the lower kennels which are less visible to visitors, but that is no excuse. Mirabelle is a fabulous dog and should really have been adopted before now, so let’s hope this “spotlight on” article gives her the boost she needs to find the home she so deserves.

Mirabelle is a very smiley dog

In fact Mirabelle did have a home until the middle of September when her owners moved house and decided not to take her with them. This is something that seems inconceivable to many of us, but as we are not in the family’s shoes, we are probably not best placed to judge. I like to think that it was a tough decision for them, because it has certainly not been easy for Mirabelle.

When your DRC friends first met her, this poor girl was cowering in the back of her kennel. She was sharing with another dog, but definitely did not feel like meeting new people, or even showing her face to the world. Moira and Jane persevered and finally coaxed Mirabelle out for a walk, and once she was out of the refuge, her behaviour changed completely. The shock of being in a noisy refuge with lots of other unhappy animals (as well as lots of happy ones, of course) had had a very bad effect on her.

Mirabelle on her first walk with volunteer Jane

Since this time, Mirabelle has settled in well and is now happy to go on walks without too much coaxing. In fact she is currently helping to “bring on” a very timid dog and is often seen in the park when there is group playtime. She really is a lovely girl.

Mirabelle was born in August 2016. According to her documents she is a malinois cross, but I am not sure about that; she just looks like a lovely mix of various shepherd-types to me. She is medium to large size and very gentle, not at all pully on the lead and already with good basic training.

She will be devoted to her family

We are sure that whoever adopts Mirabelle will be delighted with her. She would be fine as an only dog or would fit in well with a new pack.

Please help us find a wonderful home for Mirabelle. Please share if you see this post on Facebook, share it to pages for dog lovers, share it far and wide. All it takes is that one family to see the post and Mirabelle’s life could begin again.

Mirabelle is alert and active, is fine with other dog and already has good basic training, including being perfect on the lead

How to choose a good refuge….

So you have decided to adopt a rescue dog, that is great news but how do you choose a good refuge and what should you ask to make sure that you make the correct choice?

ASK, OBSERVE AND RESEARCH.

Conflicting answers or reluctance to answer questions are red flags.

  1. Ask about the dogs heath and request to see all medical records if there are any problems, not just vaccine records.  Look for any discrepancies between intake paperwork and what is being advertised. Glaring age, breed or weight differences should be a red flag.
  2. What is the dog’s known history – not just where did this organization get the dog but what do they know before then?  Was it stray?  Owner surrender?  History is important because dogs with poor early socialization or bad experiences may be may require more extensive training but be sure to confirm what they KNOW versus what they’re ASSUMING.
  3. What socialization has the rescue or shelter been doing with the dog, especially if it’s a puppy?  What do they know about the dog’s formative early months of life? Do they have the puppy’s mother?  Have they been using food during socialization or just exposing the dog to things without ensuring it was a positive association?
  4. Ask about behavioral issues.  Concerns should be discussed with their certified behaviorist (who should also be the one administering behavioral assessments).  Inquire about guarding behaviors, body handling and sociability observed while the dog has been in their care.
  5. Why was the dog abandoned, if the dog was an owner surrender? Was it for behavioral reasons?  Many rescues and shelters often try to downplay behavioral concerns or owner neglect.
  6. Where has the dog has been while it’s been in this organization’s care?  In a kennel?  In a foster home?  What interactions has the dog had with children, kids, cats or other dogs
  7. What training methods do they use?  If they don’t publicly say, ASK!   It should specify they do not condone the use of aversive methods including prong, choke or shock collars or electric fences.
  8. Research and read reviews about the organization you’re considering adopting from.  If they are a charitable group, ask around for recommendations.
  9. And lastly, OBSERVE:  Before you’re ready to adopt, visit a few times. Do the animals seem happy, well cared for and the volunteers/staff happy to be doing their job?  Are the dogs being happy talked and given treats?  How are the animals being handled?  Are they being dragged around by their leash at events?  Are they cowering in their crates?

Happy looking dogs!

So, it’s buyer beware, and it’s up to us to help keep refuges accountable.  Ask lots of questions, demand answers and yes, trust your gut. Making good matches – for both the people and the dog – should be their top priority, not just trying to move out as many animals as possible.

Doing your homework beforehand could cause a lot less heartache afterward!

 

 

 

Another SUPER Sunday ScPA Summary

Despite not having a litter of adorable pups to home this week (luckily), it was another bumper one for adoptions. As well as the four dogs who are now settling in happily to life at Animal Trust, the ScPA said goodbye to a further 12 dogs. And several of them are thanks directly to DRC and our ever-growing network.

Kéops’s story was shared on Wednesday as a hidden gem, and as was the case with the two previous hidden gems, he now has a new home. Unlike hidden gem Prune, who also found a home this week, Kéops has a number of behavioural issues, most specifically acute separation anxiety. So it was important that the person adopting him was well aware of the work that adopting him would entail. But on Friday Kéops found what looks to be the perfect home with a very experienced owner and three other dogs and who will give him the love and stability he needs.

DRC “Hidden Gem” Kéops – ADOPTED

Prune was just about as perfect as a dog can be, but that doesn’t mean she should be adopted with less caution than any other dog, and we were delighted when she left with a fabulous family who have been looking for a new dog via DRC for a while.

black dog

DRC ” Hidden Gem” Prune – ADOPTED

The third dog was actually thanks to the lovely ladies who set up LangueDog, where anglophones can discuss all things canine. A gentleman asked for advice on how to adopt in the area, and so many people wrote of their positive experiences with the ScPA and DRC, that he decided to bring his family to meet Lana, one of the many dogs who has just been unlucky up to now. Her luck has well and truly changed; she has an enclosed garden and will have plenty of walks; no time to get bored and head off into the wide blue yonder. Many thanks to Henny and Yvonne for setting up LangueDog, this one is down to you!

Lana – ADOPTED thanks to LangueDog

Other lucky leavers this week were gorgeous spaniels Nugget, and Gypsy, whose daughter Volga left last week. Wonderful that she didn’t have too long to wait before finding happiness. She just has to learn to leave the family hens alone and all will be well.

Nugget – ADOPTED

Gypsy – ADOPTED

Other adopters this week were little terrier, Ouille, bichon cross Vernon (who has gone to live with ex ScPA dog Zara), elderly lady Albertine plus two dogs who had been brought in for rehoming as opposed to having been found as strays; sharpei Tiger, and huge labrador cross Gnocky

Ouille – ADOPTED

Vernon – ADOPTED

Albertine – ADOPTED

Tiger – ADOPTED

Gnocky – ADOPTED

Another puppy (a lone one this time), Mamba, was adopted, as was Fido, who has waited for this moment for a long time; 16 months, in fact!

Puppy Mamba with her new much bigger pal – ADOPTED

Fido – ADOPTED

Lazare has gone to long term foster again, and has got a new lease of life thanks to the family’s other dog, with whom he is playing non-stop.

German shepherd cross

Lazare – Long term foster found

That is two super weeks in a row; it really does seem as if Christmas has brought a little bit of magic to the refuge!

Four set off for pastures new in Belgium.

On Sunday we will tell you about the adoptions that have taken place this week. This blog however concerns four dogs who have left the refuge not with new families, but to find homes via another association. This initiative is down to Dog Rescue Carcassonne and is one of which we are very proud, hence this rather long blog.

Some dogs, as we keep saying, are hidden gems, and just seem to be invisible in a refuge situation. Others just do not seem to appeal to people in our region, for whatever reason. Some have behavioural difficulties, which, despite its enormous expertise, the ScPA is unable to resolve sufficiently for an animal to be adoptable. This is where other associations can be so useful.

For some eight years DRC has had a wonderful relationship with Animal Trust, a small, private refuge in Belgium. This link is thanks to Sarah, who has become a very good friend of mine. She came on holiday to Carcassonne many years ago and got in touch with DRC about volunteering while she was here. At the time she also volunteered at Animal Trust, and when she returned to Belgium, and spoke to Eline, who runs Animal Trust to see if she could help.

Dogs having fun at Animal Trust

At the time things at the ScPA were very different. Although euthanasia was no longer commonplace, the refuge was in pretty poor condition and was very overcrowded. Animal Trust gave a lifeline to a group of “no hope” dogs and the relationship got started in a very positive fashion.

While visiting Belgium the following year I went to visit Animal Trust and have been back several times since, as well as becoming friends with several of their volunteers and adopters. It is truly a wonderful organisation with facilities that are second to none.

DRC has overseen the transfer of dogs to Animal Trust on many occasions, and each time we are amazed at the speed at which dogs whom we are unable to home in Carcassonne find new families. Sometimes we send breeds that are seen as being “exotic” in Belgium (the hunt type dogs) and other times the care they get at Animal Trust, which has far fewer dogs than are at the ScPA, means that their behaviour improves quickly and dramatically.

Eline with one of the refuge dog

I should add that it is far calmer at Animal Trust than it is at the ScPA; the kennels are fewer, they are indoors and heated, and they have a large park in which the dogs play in groups during the day, complete with a lake for swimming. Plus Animal Trust, unlike the ScPA, does not act as a pound, meaning they have no obligation to take stray dogs. This is why they can control their numbers in a way the ScPA just cannot.

This latest tranche of departures is thanks to one dog, Finou. He arrived in a terrible state in mid July, and as thanks to a bit of detective work, the ScPA found out who his owners were. Without going into many details, getting away from them was the best thing that could have happened to Finou. The ScPA did not hide him, but neither did they actively search for his owners. This meant no album on Facebook and that of course meant it was hard to find a new family for Finou. Plus he is a hunt type dog who was already nearly nine years old when he arrived. Not a good adoption prospect for this area.

Finou

So I decided to ask Eline if she might be able to find a home for him. Her answer was typical; “Of course, but there is no point just sending me one dog. Who else have you got who needs help?” That is the kind of answer we LOVE at DRC.

So together with Eline and the ScPA we looked at dogs who needed a bit of a boost and a change of scene. One thing that Animal Trust are really expert at is helping terrified dogs (in fact they are often called upon by the Belgian authorities to take dogs from dog-hoarding situations). So after Finou, terrified Kaline was top of the list. As it turned out she was offered a home by the friend of a volunteer who could not bear to think of Kaline leaving the area, but had Eline not offered her a place, Kaline would no doubt still be waiting at the ScPA.

Next up was Edge, who has been rehomed several times but who needs more work before he can settle. I have to point out that this is no reflection on the ScPA or its staff at all. Edge has made huge progress in Carcassonne, but a busy refuge is not the best place for Edge, and the calm atmosphere at Animal Trust will make it far easier to work with him.

pale fluffy dog with amber eyes

Edge

Next were the two brothers, Mickey and Levy. They were the remaining dogs of 7 who were all left alone in a garden when their owner moved house. That was in August 2018 when they were a year old, but already very large. 18 months is a long time to be in a kennel, especially for young dogs, and despite the huge progress they have made at the refuge (thanks to staff and volunteers, particularly “sponsors” Corinne and Eva), no one was interested in either of these lads.

In fact of the seven dogs, not a single one has been homed to a French family. Mattie, the mum, went to a Brit, as did Sally and Sammy. Billy and Trudy went to Animal Trust in February this year (and both were homed in super quick time), and now the last two have left the refuge and will most likely be adopted by Belgians or maybe Dutch families. In any case, Eline finds amazing homes, and keeps in touch with her adopters for ever.

Levy

I did propose a number of other long termers to Eline, and without wishing to spoil the surprise, she has told us that any of them who has not found a home beforehand can come to Animal Trust in January. So you will just have to wait and see who the next lucky dogs are.

Choosing the dogs is phase one of the task. As the dogs are leaving from a refuge, they have to travel with a TRACES licensed transporter, and with special permits that are obtained from the French Government. Moira is the DRC expert on TRACES and has all the answers relating to these complex laws at her fingertips. I am nowhere near as knowledgable, but am able to fill in the forms, which have become easier with practice, inevitably.

We are lucky to know many wonderful transport companies; several of them do runs from Spain and Portugal to the UK and this is more Moira’s part of ship. I do the European side of things and in fact I have accompanied Christian from STIAC on a couple of his dog-delivery jaunts in the past. This means I know how well he looks after the dogs while they are travelling, but this level of care is universal in the animal transport world.

Christian confirmed that he had space for the lucky four dogs on his next transport, so next it was rabies vaccinations and paperwork all the way. Yesterday, once the dogs had been for a final visit to the vet for a health check, the “export permits” for the dogs were issued and it was all go go go. Carole at the refuge has become something of an expert in the paperwork too, and we always exchange a little cheer of joy when we see the final documents; it is not always easy to bring everything together seamlessly, but we have not missed a transport so far!

Of course the transport is not free. And this is where you guys come in. The fee paid to the drivers is thanks to YOUR donations. Not that it is a fortune, the drivers work extremely hard for relatively little remuneration, working in teams of two and not stopping other than for fuel and comfort breaks until the delivery is complete. And they take many more dogs than just ours, doing huge distances with multiple dogs on board. They do it for love as much as anything, but I have to say that it is quite addictive. It is really the final link in the chain for the dogs, many of whom have literally been saved from death in some of the overcrowded refuges in Spain and Portugal and beyond.

So it was a partly tearful and partly cheerful goodbye to the four lucky dogs who are starting their new lives in Belgium; of course they were much loved at the ScPA but dog hoarding is not the business of a refuge.

Dogs enjoying life at Animal Trust

So this is the end of what might just be the longest blog ever. I could write far more about Animal Trust and how lucky we are to have this link with them. Also how it is only thanks to your donations that we are able to send dogs to new lives. Moira and I believe passionately in cooperating with other associations; sometimes everyone needs a helping hand and when that is offered with such grace and generosity, it would be foolish to turn our backs.

We will keep you posted regarding the dogs’ progress, but I have to say that regardless of how long it takes them to find their forever homes, knowing that they are in 5 star care in the meantime makes me very happy indeed.

Hidden Gem Kéops has been adopted!

I bet you were starting to think that the only dogs we feature in our “Hidden Gems” section are young black dogs. Well not so. Today we have a beautiful tricoloured beagle to show you, and we hope that this post will bring him luck in the form of a new home.

In fact Kéops has been homed twice already, but both times he was brought back to the refuge. When you hear about his background, this perhaps makes sense. Kéops was one of six dogs dumped at the refuge gates one morning, all unidentified. It seems likely that they came from a hunter, as all were beagle or other small hunt-types. And all of them have been adopted, but two of them, Kéops and Hermés have not found forever homes …..yet.

Kéops was born in March 2014, meaning he will be shortly reaching his 6th birthday. Despite this, in many ways he is still very puppy-like. No, don’t worry, he is house trained, and in fact is very calm and well-behaved in the house, providing he has company. It is when left alone that his puppy-like behaviour comes to the fore. Kéops suffers from severe separation anxiety, and becomes very destructive. If left alone too long he will probably devour your entire house.

In fact his first family preferred to leave him in the garden, but of course all he did was dig under the fence and go looking for company. He is really not a dog who copes with solitude at all. This of course is understandable, he has probably never spent any time alone. And it is something that can be worked on, but sadly neither of his families up till now had the time or patience to do this.

Kéops has loads of things in his favour. He is fine with other dogs, fine with children, fine with cats. He is gentle on the lead and is extremely affectionate. He really is a great dog.

He is lucky in one very important aspect; he is one of two ScPA dogs who is attending dog school on a regular basis. This is because one of the volunteers takes her favourite dog to training, and the membership fee entitles you to take a second dog along. Kéops is the one she chose. So he gets plenty of interaction with other dogs, and better still, he often changes his “handler”, so is used to being manipulated by different people, which helps with confidence building.

Kéops is terrified of being abandoned again. Although his first two families meant well when they adopted him, being returned twice on top of his initial abandonment would not have helped. So this time we are looking for a real forever home. Ideally a family who are at home all of the time, or who can work up gradually to leaving Kéops alone from time to time. A couple of retirees would be ideal, or maybe a stay at home parent situation or someone who works from home. Of course an enclosed garden is essential, but if he has company, Kéops’s desire to escape will be less. He would far rather lie around at his owner’s feet than search for human company elsewhere. A second dog in the family is a must, preferably one who is happy and confident.

A person who has already overcome this kind of issue would be ideal, and of course a dog behaviourist would be able to give tips and strategies for overcoming Kéops’s anxiety.

If you are a lover of beagles, surely your heart will go out to this young lad who has had such a troubled past. Kéops is not a difficult dog, he just needs lots of love and patience to help him settle down in the home he so desperately deserves.

Please share far and wide with beagle lovers and with dog lovers in general, with people who have cats and with people who have children. He will love them all.

Let’s find a home for Kéops!

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.