A Doggy Diversion

Last Saturday I was supposed to be helping out at a fund raiser for  Twilight the retirement home for old and disabled dogs here in France which I think I’ve told you about before.  It’s run by a British couple who take in dogs who would otherwise be spending the rest of their lives on a concrete floor at the back of a refuge somewhere being ignored by prospective owners – and that would be the lucky ones!  You can read about their work here.

Anyway, I wasn’t able to help set up on the Friday afternoon so arrived early on Saturday morning but our esteemed team leader and champion cake maker Deb was in a state because she had just found a dog on the side of the road which she thought might have been hit by a car as his eye looked swollen and red and he was holding his head on one side.  She wanted him taken to a vet to be scanned for a microchip and his state of health assessed but she couldn’t leave the venue and her husband doesn’t speak French so I went with him and the dog to find a vet open on a Saturday morning which happened to be the one right near my house that I’d left just half an hour before.

Here’s the little chap – a French bulldog who has definitely seen better days.

The waiting room was packed so I told Deb’s husband to leave me there and I’d call him when we’d been seen.

All the other patients seemed to be tiny little yorkshire terrier puppies and pristine white kittens waiting for their first vaccinations and there I was with this little fleabag straight from a horror film.

I sat up one end of the waiting room hoping that his gaseous offerings would not offend too many people.  They did.  A window was opened.  Many fleas were visible on his body where his constant scratching had caused him to suffer from eczema and lose his hair in patches.  I could sense people moving away from us and clutching their pets closer torn between sympathy and disgust.

I took him out to see if he wanted to do his ‘business’ in the vet’s garden and, when we went back inside and sat in the same seat, I noticed the floor was wet and could smell something that reminded me of flea spray.  The nurse had taken the opportunity in our absence to spray all around where we’d been sitting in case we infected all the others.  The shame! I felt like a pariah and he wasn’t even mine.  I did make it clear to the assembled pet owners when we first arrived that we had found him that morning but as he kept putting his little paws up on my knees and gazing at me adoringly, I’m not sure they believed me.

The good news is he was microchipped and, even more miraculously, we managed to get hold of his owner who met us back at the venue and I was prepared to give her what for but it turned out she seemed to be guilty of casual neglect – mostly due to lack of funds – rather than cruelty.  We would have preferred her to have signed the little chap over to us so we could then get him properly treated – that eye will probably need to be removed – but she promised me she’d go and at least discuss treatment with the vet.  I don’t think there’s any equivalent of the  P.D.S.A. or Blue Cross organisations where people with financial problems can take their animals for cheaper veterinary treatment although I might be wrong.

Anyway, I finally got back to the venue at midday and they obviously managed without me because we raised a nice amount for Twilight which was brilliant considering we were only really selling cakes, bric-a-brac, second hand books and clothes and holding a raffle.

I had pre-ordered one of Deb’s gorgeous ginger cakes which are always just the right sort of stickiness but I wasn’t keen on the label.

I’m more of a strawberry blonde.

So, a day of high and lows and I hope the little dog gets the treatment he needs for his eye and his skin and flea infestation.

Still, it could be worse, he could be a magpie.


75 euros if anybody wants me to go back to the junk shop and get it for them.



The little dog has now been taken to the vet by his owner, his eye has been treated and he is no longer constantly scratching.  Perhaps we made the owner sit up and take notice and, in that case, I consider my two hours in the waiting room with a flea ridden, red eyed, farty dog time well spent.  Let’s hope she doesn’t allow him to get in that state again.



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  1. #1 by nanacathy2 on October 7, 2017 - 10:05

    Oh that poor dog, hoping he receives care, and hoorah for the PDSA.

    • #2 by tialys on October 9, 2017 - 14:09

      Yes, I think there might be a similar organisation in Paris but I’m pretty sure there’s not much else. It must be a very common problem.

  2. #3 by craftycreeky on October 7, 2017 - 11:56

    Poor little mite, I do hope she starts to care for him properly, or at least has the guts to hand him over if she can’t!

    • #4 by tialys on October 9, 2017 - 14:09

      She did seem to be genuinely fond of him and upset that we had thought him to be abandoned or injured.

  3. #5 by claire93 on October 7, 2017 - 12:03

    trust you to be the one in the waiting room with the flea-ridden, smelly mutt ^^ I do hope the owner will follow through with health care – it’s so sad to see animals that aren’t looked after properly due to lack of finances.
    And a big YUCK to that magpie taximdermy thing. Who on earth would want something like that hanging on the wall? Very depressing.

    • #6 by tialys on October 9, 2017 - 14:12

      I know! I have been in with tiny kittens before – I much prefer the adoring glances they got to the slightly horrified ones I was intercepting last week.

      • #7 by claire93 on October 9, 2017 - 19:42

        yes we usually get a few looks when we go along with a very energetic Gibbs . . . lesson learned is we now take him for a long walk & exercise beforehand.

  4. #8 by katechiconi on October 7, 2017 - 12:40

    I LOVE French bulldogs…. even ones with gammy eyes. If I’d been there I’d have tried making her an offer she couldn’t refuse. I’d probably have regretted it a bit later, when the vet bills came due, but the chance to give him a new start would have been a severe temptation.

    • #9 by tialys on October 9, 2017 - 14:13

      He was a lovely friendly little chap but getting on a bit at ten years old. Apparently, the eye has now been treated and it wasn’t necessary to remove it as the nurse had feared.

  5. #10 by KerryCan on October 7, 2017 - 12:47

    Oh, poor pup. You did such a good thing for him and I sure hope his owner follows through.

    • #11 by tialys on October 9, 2017 - 14:14

      We must have made her feel bad because he has indeed been to the vet and had some treatment.

  6. #12 by poshbirdy on October 9, 2017 - 11:34

    Thank goodness you helped him, poor little fella. And those magpies are hideous. I do wonder what goes through some peoples’ heads x

    • #13 by tialys on October 9, 2017 - 14:16

      It’s hideous isn’t it? I wonder what the rest of the décor was like – although it doesn’t really bear thinking about.

  7. #14 by sewchet on October 9, 2017 - 11:35

    Sounds like he was begging you to take him with you by putting his paws on your lap, poor thing. At least your intervention means that he stands a better chance of being looked after now, either that or given up for adoption. Laughed my head off when I got to the magpies!!

    • #15 by tialys on October 9, 2017 - 14:20

      We seem to have got through to his owner and he has now been to the vet, the eye has been treated and he is no longer scratching so let’s hope she keeps up the good work.
      What about that ‘picture’? The addition of the real branches made me laugh and one of the magpies looked as if he wasn’t in tip top condition even before being stuffed. Well, actually, let’s hope not otherwise that would be really cruel. There are any number of wild boars’ heads and deer and foxes in the junk shops here but this one really is beyond the pale. I’m not going to be able to resist popping in there every now and again just to see whether anybody actually buys it.

  8. #16 by sew2pro on October 9, 2017 - 21:06

    Poor doggie. Fingers crossed for him. I laughed when I read the horror film part.

    • #17 by tialys on October 10, 2017 - 07:58

      I’m a bit ambivalent about pop-eyed dogs with bashed in noses in any case – I prefer my dogs ‘un-messed about with’ but this one was the limit. I suppose those protruding eyes make them more vulnerable to injury. Apparently he’s on the mend now but keep those fingers crossed his owner keeps up the good work.

  9. #18 by jendavismiller on October 11, 2017 - 01:54

    Oh my goodness, you make me chuckle with your descriptions. Poor little fellow, but lucky you were able to sit with him. Here’s hoping his owner can keep up with his doctoring. Those magpies! Good grief, I just wondered if newlyweds had received that for a wedding gift and felt obligated to hang it! Can you imagine?

    • #19 by tialys on October 11, 2017 - 07:53

      It would definitely be one to only hang up when the gift giver came to visit although, even so, I think I’d have to pretend one of the cats had mistaken them for live ones and shredded the whole thing to bits which then had to be put in the bin. That would be my story.

  10. #20 by magpiesue on October 11, 2017 - 21:18

    I’m so glad you were on hand to “rescue” the poor Frenchie – and that he seems to be getting better attention now. I can understand admiring magpies to the point of wanting to have them on hand to see regularly but not like this!

  11. #21 by Kim on October 14, 2017 - 11:03

    Glad the doggy tale had a (hopefully) happy ending. It’s never good to see an animal being less than well cared for. Maybe the owner will buck up now. Well done you 😃

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