The ACE/Shin English Blog

September 24, 2016

Arrival of welcome donations from the Netherlands

Yvonne Pille and her sister Irene have once again worked tirelessly and done their wonderful best to collect and send a lot of goods to Spain for the dogs. Among the others things they also pick up the benches after each arrival at Rotterdam airport, and collect the donations of food and goods brought by the adopters.They also buy many flea pipettes, with the donations from the piggy banks that Yvonne has put in  Drankenhandel Wemka and in the shop of her veterinarian 'Dierenkliniek Black Sea "(where you too can get great discounts when you buy from them at

Thanks also to Margreth who works with the shipping company, where they send it all to us for free.

These are the 160 boxes of flea pipettes which Yvonne bought with the donations!

Our puppies - yes, more puppies!!!

Arrivals tonight, September 22nd, in Rotterdam

Soooo happy for Arnold that he could come into care with Ingeborg, finally leaving the Refugio. And Wieke, Penny, Fayette Spinetto were all met by their adoptive parents.

Sergio, our little man

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sergio, our little man

Over a year ago I was looking at the ACE website. One sweet face after another passed in front of me, all with heartbreaking stories, all great dogs. It was not my plan to pick one out because we were already expecting to adopt a Spanish beauty from Gran Canaria.

But, oh well, what can you do when a dog appears on your screen and you fall for it completely. Unable to get it out of your head, because of what you see in front of you. Messy, fly away hair, ears flat, a massive underbite (which means that many people will not find him 'beautiful' but we thought it was just a 'unique selling point), timid appearance (what do you expect, after being sat in a killing for 3 weeks). Really he seemed made for us! And so Sergio came into our lives.

To be honest, we were shocked when we met Sergio at Schiphol. The dog in the travel crate was a loose cannon. Completely! I have never seen a dog so stressed. He was unreachable. He needed REST and SPACE. The first night he slept close against me for eight hours!

After a few days we got a better contact with Sergio, we found he was especially sweet and that he loved to interact with us. He loved to lie in our arms like a baby; it was touching to see how he ws already familiar with us. Also it went very well with Nana, our little Podenco mix. She was immediately like a mother to him, honest and cheerful but clearly exactly what he needed. Nana has a heavy and difficult past, but she has already forgotten her misery a little bit after spending many months with a very loving foster mother, which helped her to convalesce. And this once troubled dog is actually ideal for Sergio. He was much calmer in the house, where we don't ask too much of him.

After two weeks we all went on holiday to celebrate in our campervan, with the bikes and the dog cart. Quite exciting, two new dogs, one of which responds to every stimulus ... It went very well, he saw that we were there to look after him, everywhere we went. Not that it all went smoothly. Sergio gets so over-stimulated in every new situation that no contact is possible, he is unreachable and 'jobs' are too many. We had to find a way to deal with it and also to offer Sergio as much guidance as possible. We just leave him alone for now, while making sure he does not get into trouble, for example keeping him on short leash or even taking him in our laps. He began to realise that it was safe and gradually relaxed. We find that it is particularly important for us to remain very quiet.
Both dogs are very happy in our campervan, we sleep together and are really with them 24-7. What else does a dog need? Always having a pack around you! This is also true indeed for us, we are after all part of that pack.

Now over a year later, Sergio is doing so well, what a special dog he is! There are still things that are absolutely not quite 'right' with him but these are not a problem. At home, he is the epitome of calm; he's at ease and cares about everything and everyone around him and lets them hug and cuddle him, preferably for as long as possible. He loves to eat! This is instantly useful when you want to teach him anything. Balls and chewy bars are his favourites and he always want to go for a walk.

We have discovered that Sergio needs clear signals combined with a calm approach, rather than words because if you want to make something clear to him and emphasise the words too much he freezes and he gets confused. In recent months he has learnt the commands 'sit' and 'stay' quite well and that makes him much quieter. He often responds very well to hand movements associated with that command and that we think that is very clever of him !!! (Proud parents) A quiet walk on a lead is another thing that works. He needs to remember that he needs to walk next to us. But he is still learning, of course.

Sergio is everybody's friend, he loves to be liked so much, he lets himself be petted by everyone. He steals everyone's heart with his crooked snout. We find his underbite suits him very well and it makes us smile.

Sergio runs loose in the forest where we come every day, we had never imagined this would be possible! Because he is curious about everything, (falling leaves, acorns, raindrops, birds, the wind, everything) we were afraid we'd lose him right away! We noticed that he was really good when he was on a long line; when we called him he came immediately and then we gave him a treat. It was very scary the first time we let him run loose, but it went well! It's so nice for him to feel the freedom of running free. A couple of weeks ago we were at the beach with the two dogs and that was one big party for us! Nana and Sergio ran after each other and were so happy; what a great duo!

Needless too say we are unbelievably pleased with Sergio. Adopting a dog primarily involves rescuing a dog. But I'm more than willing to admit that you also do it for yourself - what a wealth of pleasure it gives us to see how such a damaged dog can blossom with attention and patience - it's so beautiful to see his lovely soul coming out.

Greetings from Michel, Ellen, Nana and Sergio

Roxana is enjoying life

Such a happy smile from a very happy dog.

When Roxana (now called Roxy) came to us she was quite anxious and shy. Luckily from the outset there was a good match between her and our other dog, Wallie.

They are now inseparable.

She is getting better and better at adapting, and is findingmore and more things fun rather than scary. Clearly a walk and run with Wallie and playing are her favorite things! She loves to cuddle and she is happy relaxing with you in the neighborhood. We are very happy with her and also with the way the ACE Foundation is run.

You can see her now enjoying life and we are grateful that we have her with us.

Vera Pieters



These are our cute puppies, all aged from 3 to 6 months, each one with their own particular and special story to tell. The photos show you what fun they are. These little darlings are still all free for adoption.

Here's a taste of the sweet little characters currently living with us at ACE.
Click here for the video.


The negotiations for renovating the refugio go on .. and on and on .