Posts Tagged S.P.A.

Hot Dogs and Cool Cats

I think I chose the hottest day of the year so far to go and walk some dogs at the dog shelter at Carcassonne yesterday.  At first, they thought it might be too hot for the dogs to go out but, a tiny breeze sprung up and it was decided that it would be O.K. as long as we didn’t go too far.

We tested out a dog’s tolerance of cats by taking in him in the cat house to see how he got on.   Filou, as the little dog in question is called,  didn’t seem bothered at all and the cats seem to sense this as several were rubbing themselves against him and purring and generally being chilled as only cats can be, even in 30 degrees or more.


I took my camera and, because I am in ‘dog botherer’ mode at the moment, as always after a visit to the kennels, you can read more about the dogs I’ve featured by clicking  on the photos.

Gus (1)

Handsome isn’t he?

Hindy (4)

I just love those ears.


Gorgeous Gordon who is at a disadvantage here in France because they tend not to like black dogs.


Hopefully these 5 month old beautiful black pups will fare better.

Too Shy

Some were just too shy to come out of their kennels

Rescue Dog Beauceron - Fanta

and some weren’t shy at all!


Normal (sewing, crafting, knitting and general musings) service will be resumed shortly but thanks for reading and for looking at my photos.

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Dog Days

Apparently, according to an internet source,  the dog days of summer are not a good time  “the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies.” Brady’s Clavis Calendaria, 1813.   Whilst dogs were involved and I did have a few hysterical and frenzied moments, I didn’t go near the sea and  never leave my wine long enough for it to become sour,  but it seemed like an appropriate title for the past few hot summer days.

Firstly, on Friday evening this little chap appeared at my front door.  I had guests over at the time and, each time one of them left, I discovered him still there, occasionally engaged in trying to mate with next door’s (male) Briard, a tricky exercise but one he seemed determined to master.

Lost Dog 1In the end, he found a way through into our garden through a side gate, made himself known (in many and various ways) to my two dogs and showed no signs of leaving.  I put him in the conservatory overnight which only served to freak out my cats, who usually sleep in there, and to make him howl and bark until Mlle Tialys the younger got up at 4.30 a.m. to keep him company.  I was fairly certain he was lost rather than abandoned – just look at his recently trimmed fringe – so, on Saturday morning we put up posters around the village and thought we’d phone round the local vets on Monday with his tattoo number.   On Saturday night, to avoid the howling, he slept in with Mlle T and was obviously used to such home comforts – although, personally,  I hesitate before  going in her room it has to be said.  Anyway, on Sunday, somebody had posted – almost directly opposite our Found Dog posters  – Lost Dog posters.  We took the number, phoned her and he was reunited with a tearful owner who has promised to think about getting him ‘done’ as the reason he escaped was to search out a certain local lady dog – hence his inappropriate behaviour with any dog he could find.  It was lucky for Kaya – as he is apparently called although he ignored us so totally we thought he was deaf  – that he took the route up to our house and not down to the busy main road. A happy ending for him but perhaps not so for the little bundle of matted, dusty dreadlocks who is lost dog number 2.

Lost Dog 2Mlle Tialys the elder had a friend over from University to stay with us for a week.  I was set to take her back to the airport yesterday but, before leaving, I wanted to give her a good lunch – no mean feat considering that she has recently discovered she might be a coeliac and therefore could eat none of the usual basics like bread, pastry, pasta, biscuits, cakes, etc. and every label had to be scrutinised to within an inch of its life to ensure no gluten lurked within but, I digress.  I thought I’d zip to the nearest SuperU and buy the ingredients for a stir fry but my plans were thwarted when I saw this little dog wandering aimlessly round, across and over the big, busy roundabout.  There was another woman trying to stop her from getting run over and I parked the car and managed to get her to safety on the pavement.  Then, of course, there was no end of people politely interested (though even more that weren’t) but not wanting to get involved so guess who ended up back at home with a dog instead of stir fry ingredients.

Anyway, to cut a long story a bit shorter, we kept her overnight as I got a glimpse of the police kennels and couldn’t bear for her to stay there.  We clipped some of the felted mass that used to be hair away from her feet, ears and eyes and, this morning, I gave her a bath.  I was tempted to keep her but she is totally blind and our house and garden are large with steps everywhere and I don’t think she would ever get used to the space.  It’s sad as I would guess she’s around 11 or 12 years old and has probably been a loved pet and I don’t like to think of her spending her last days in a rescue centre but, in the end, I took her back to the police who would be taking her straight to the centre in their van.  Her last act at our house was to pee on my Persian rug so I felt a little vindicated although I don’t believe she knew whether she was inside or outside, not being used to the space.

The policeman told me that, if you take a dog to the rescue centre  yourself,  you are considered to be the one who abandons the dog and will have to pay a fee.  The vet who checked her for a microchip said the same thing.  Can it be true?  It’s not surprising that lost and abandoned dogs are a common sight here when they make it so difficult to hand them in that people would rather leave them running about in the road rather than get involved and potentially get stuck with the dog or even incur fees.

Full marks to my boys, Stan and Taz, both once rescued themselves from the mean streets of France, who behaved impeccably whilst being hit on by a randy little ball of white fur and being kind to a matted old lady who kept bumping into them.


O.K., I'm ready....

My Heros

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Welcoming the Hunters

Yesterday I could hear the neighbour’s dog barking and, when I went to investigate, found a young fox on our side of the fence.   The dog could smell him through the fence and was going beserk but, although the fox was obviously stressed, he couldn’t seem to get up and move away.  By dragging himself along, the fox managed to move behind a sort of lean- to shed we have at that end of the garden.  I could see that he couldn’t stand up or walk and his back legs looked useless.  After years of watching Pet Rescue on T.V. when the girls were small, where the R.S.P.C.A. (Royal Society for the Protection of Animals) come to the aid of domestic, farm and wild animals, I know they would have been the first place I would have called had I been in the U.K. but I am in France.  There are some small local refuges and the S.P.A. (Société  pour le Protection des Animaux ) which do an amazing job but they are not on the scale of the R.S.P.C.A.

Seeing the fox suffering and knowing that midday was fast approaching (when my part of France closes down for two hours while everybody has lunch) I started panicking and wondering who to call for help.  The neighbours suggested I phone the pompiers (an emergency service sort of like the fire department) but I thought I’d start with my vet who has just had yet another exotic overseas holiday which I’m pretty sure was financed mainly by the amount of euros I shovel into her account because I’ve got so many animals.

She told me to phone La Fédération des Chasseurs (aka the hunting federation) in the nearest big town.

The Hunting Federation told me to phone the emergency services.

The emergency services told me to phone the animal shelter.

The animal shelter told me to try to get the fox into a basket and to a vet (fair enough but there are rabies in these here parts and I’m not a trained animal handler)

The vet (a different one this time) asked me if I knew any hunters.  If not, I should phone the Mayor (every small village should have one and, in France, they do)

The Mayor told me to phone a hunter from the village.

By this time, I was so distraught as the little fox had given up trying to drag himself about and was just lying there panting.  My dogs were desperate to go out in the garden but I didn’t want to let them out in case they got through to the fox.

I couldn’t believe it! Absolutely nobody seemed to want to help me. I was particularly furious with the Hunting Federation as, from September to February,  they will be up on the ridge at the top of our land shooting anything that moves and yet they wouldn’t come out to trap an injured animal or put it out of  its suffering.  None of the vets I spoke to were interested in coming out and I got the impression they wouldn’t have been too delighted if I turned up with an injured fox in a basket either.

I had no choice.  I phoned a hunter from the village.  Two turned up.  They took a look at the fox and said it would be better to shoot him.  I asked them to aim well and they assured me he wouldn’t suffer.  I ran inside and blocked up my ears.  Apparently, both his back legs had been broken.  I had a good cry.

I suspect one of my dogs may well have had something to do with it as he was chasing something when we were out walking the day before.  I tell myself that, at least, the poor fox had managed to drag himself somewhere I would notice him (we have a very large garden and some of it is overgrown and not really used) because, if I hadn’t, he would probably have died slowly of thirst and hunger.

Before I moved from the U.K., I tried to support the R.S.P.C.A.  in many different ways and our lovely german shepherd, Phoebe, was adopted from them as a pup.  I really needed them yesterday.  I know they  get some flak sometimes but I would like to believe they would have helped me.

 I would have preferred it if something could have been done for the fox and I am opposed to hunting, especially with dogs, but, on this occasion, I was just so grateful to the two chasseurs who came to my rescue and relieved the suffering when nobody else would.

p.s. I might think about changing to a different vet!

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