Posts Tagged stray dogs
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.
Today, I have a guest blogger – much more photogenic than me and less verbose.
This is me, my name is Flo. I was found wandering the streets, in the rain, in November.
Somebody took me to the dog pound and when nobody claimed me after ten days I was transferred to the refuge. Luckily, I ended up in a pound with a refuge attached otherwise I might have been put to sleep. I think I might have lived with a family before – the Missus says I’m house trained – but they didn’t think to identify me in any way so the Refuge couldn’t contact them.
The refuge was noisy and a bit scary and I had to share my kennel with a great big labrador who was very friendly but he nicked all the food. The people at the refuge named me ‘Froggy’. The Missus says it must be because of my weird back legs. I don’t know what she means.
The Mister and Missus decided they had space for another dog and they wanted to help out the local Refuge who are always so crowded so they came to choose a dog on New Year’s Eve. There were so many gorgeous dogs they said they had a really difficult choice but, as you can see, I’m stunning, and I know how to get round people so here I am relaxing on the grass which is much more comfy than concrete.
Here is another dog the Mister and Missus were considering. His name is Igloo and I must admit he’s rather gorgeous. I’m surprised he hasn’t been homed yet.
This is me playing with one of my new brothers, Stan, who was also found wandering in the street – by the Missus herself – he was microchipped but when the owner was contacted they said they didn’t want him anymore -he was only 7 months old.
He is actually quite handsome
Here’s my other new brother, Taz, he’s 8 now but he was thrown out of a car at 7 weeks old along with his brother. Luckily, some youngsters saw it and took them into a local vet where, it just so happened, the Missus arrived shortly afterwards with one of her cats and ended up taking him home with her. I am pretending not to be interested in the training treats on offer…..
………….but I couldn’t keep it up!
At the end of the day, I can snuggle up on the sofa and my seven weeks in the Refuge seems like a distant dream.
Our local refuge, in Carcassonne, does a marvellous job but they get very little funding and rely on donations and, of course, on people adopting the dogs (and cats of course!)
I don’t want to be preachy, especially on what is normally a craft blog, but if you are ever looking for a dog to share your life, please don’t forget to consider a rescue dog, it can be so rewarding and you may have saved a life.
You will be pleased to know I have not found any stray dogs in the last couple of weeks – although my neighbour found a lost (and very thin!) hunting dog this morning which, of course, everybody denies all knowledge of. I hate the hunting season – and yes, it has already started again – because, as well as not being particularly enamoured of hunting with dogs for sport, I can’t bear to see the dogs who are often treated abysmally and sometimes get left roaming about for days in danger of being in an accident (or causing one) or loitering around with the bell round their collars ringing through the night and keeping us all awake whilst driving our own dogs mad. Rant over – no more shaggy dog stories – this was supposed to be a ‘girly’ post.
My latest vintage passion is these gorgeous old French fashion magazines, Le Petit Echo de la Mode, which were produced from 1879 until 1983. I have started amassing some as and when I come across them but my favourites are the ones from the 1920s and 30s. Having said that, I love the 1940s ones too which came in a smaller format because of the paper shortage during the war years.
Look at those gorgeous coats – and those waists! – and I love the Eiffel Tower in the background. I do put these in my shop from time to time but I am going to frame up a couple of the smaller ones and some of the Art Deco period ones for my own home. They fit so conveniently into the Ikea Ribba frames and the black version complements the header really well. I might go with some sort of theme when choosing which issues to frame such as those featuring dogs – why aren’t you surprised?
I have now finished the little fabric tote bag from the French craft magazine I showed you a few weeks ago and I am quite pleased with it. I made the matching coin purse too which is a fat and squidgy shape and looks as if it is full of money but isn’t, unfortunately. I will be making some more of these – I have had requests – but I think I will add an interior pocket next time otherwise there could be lots of fruitless rummaging going on when looking for mobile phones or car keys.My sewing buddy has put me to shame and finished her ‘handbag quilt’ before me. I love all those cottage chic florals and muted colours and I have put it in my shop. I am still quilting mine, which has a completely different feel as it is mostly in black, grey and cream, and will hopefully get it finished once Mlle T. the elder has gone back to Uni and stopped hogging my workroom and no longer needs my (surreptitious) overseeing on her sewing projects.
Speaking of which – how proud am I that, as only her 3rd ever project, she made this lovely dress from the Simplicity 1803 pattern. I even forgive her for the fact that I bought the pattern for myself (although was going to do View C with short sleeves and this is View B) and had even bought this same fabric. I will still make it but I have some dusty pink linen mix fabric with cream polka dots and will use the white patterned fabric for something else. She did all the shaping, facings, gathering and zip insertion by herself so I am definitely going to get a sewing machine delivered to the U.K. as soon as she goes back as her belated birthday present because I really think she will continue sewing now she has a few successful projects under her belt. This is a lovely pattern – it has a beautiful scooped back – but I do recommend you make a muslin first as the bodice is very fitted and, to be honest, the sizes on the pattern envelope don’t make too much sense. We just made a muslin for the bodice, without facings or anything and it was time well spent as it came up much smaller than we wanted it. I have seen versions where other people have pleated the skirt a little rather than gathering it, especially if the fabric is a little thick but this one was gathered, as per the pattern, and I think it works well even with this slightly heavy cotton.
Another two weeks of the summer holidays left so I am making the most of her being here and not moaning about my projects going very slowly or my vintage shop being neglected because, once she returns to Uni, I’ll probably have my workroom to myself until December and I’ll be able to do what I want but it won’t be as much fun!
p.s. I do have another Mlle Tialys – and I’m not deliberately leaving her out in my blog posts – but she has as much interest in sewing as I have in Manga or Screamo bands so, until her tastes change or, in a more unlikely scenario, mine do, she will not be found in my workroom unless it is to bring me a cup of tea.