July 20, 2014


There's so much I love about El Refugio. One of the most striking things, and that certainly sets it apart from so many other shelters, it the attitude towards the dogs I call 'the halt and the lame'. The dogs with broken backs, injured paws, mangled bodies. The oldies, the deaf ones and the blind. The attitude of a shelter starts with its founder and in Fabienne, ever single dog gets a chance. There's no question of only taking those that are pretty and healthy.  I salute her, all the teams and volunteers and those amazing people who open their hearts and their homes to these deserving dogs. Below is a message from Roelf and Astrid who adopted Luz, whom they now call Triple. You can see why :)

"She's been with us more than five weeks now. She's a real sweetheart. She's getting on very well with our other two ACE dogs and our old cat. She doesn't appear to suffer from the absence of her left front leg. She seems completely unaffected by it. We have a trolley for her if we go for long walks on the beach or sometimes we use a baby carrier.

She came to France with us for two weeks. She enjoyed the beach where they could all run around. Potty training is going well. She eats very well too. Outside she finds many things still very exciting. 
We are very pleased with our Triple!"
                                                                                        Sincerely, Roelf and Astrid

What's this?

Bliss. A forever home and a forever lap to cuddle on.

And my very own, golden basket. (It's lovely and soft and, actually, it's purple.)

Chilling with my new siblings. 

I love grass. We didn't have grass at El Refugio. Except if we went to the field.

In my forever basket in my forever garden. Love from Triple.

Big Ears ...

... great personalities. Our Podencos. Some of the most loyal and noble dogs you could ever wish to meet. Sadly they are the most horribly abused by hunters and we have very many of them in El Refugio. The breed is not well known outside Spain, so they are often overlooked by adopters because they are not familiar. With their big ears and engaging personalities, they are darling, sensitive and loving and deserving of wonderful forever homes.

More joyful arrivals at Schiphol

   This afternoon, 19th July, four super cute and sweet dogs arrived at the airport at Schiphol.  

The carriers have finally arrived!! 
You can just see Madeleine and Frida in the carrier; they were quite eager to get out.

 Sidney, is the white fellow with a black head, Lona the little white one on the right. In the background you can see Frida, just taken out of the carrier. Also with the adopters is my lovely friend, and volunteer, Odette, who works devotedly to make sure everything goes smoothly.  

Here again Sidney, on the left, then Frida as well Lona. 

Sidney is exploring, Frida getting cuddles and Lona has a welcome drink of water.

Finally it's time to take Madeleine from her carrier.  

She seems quite happy with her new mum! 

Frida still found it all a bit scary and is carried by the owner and reassured. 

El Refugio - in the heat of summer

One of our lovely students hiding the medicine in a lovely treat!

Kisses and cuddles matter so much to everyone.

Our wonderful vet. Healing wounds, preventing unwanted pregnancies.

Eager faces at the gate.

Curly coats are hot - my turn next for a nice wash and trim.

"Sitting in the noonday sun ....

... watching the world go by!"

July 12, 2014

Update: Our Precious Peonita - going home at last

A special day at the beach

I've written before about our precious Peonita. You can read her story on the English Blog. Our darling girl was found by some workmen on a building site, she was  just a little puppy. They fed her and looked out for her but inevitably the work finished and they had to leave. None of them could offer her a home; they begged us to take her and find her a lovely home.

That was four years ago, in 2010. She's waited so long the angel. She won our hearts and all we wanted was for her to have a loving forever home. She didn't give up and nor did we. And now the day has come. She has flown out to Belgium to our brilliant foster mum Nancy. We so hope the golden basket will follow swiftly.

Everyone will miss her but we are so very happy for her. It's been a long, long wait. It's always memorable and moving when one of our dear 'long stayers' goes home. At last.

We'll miss you darling girl, but we're so happy for you.

Tony is still waiting.


Tony is one of Mama Mija's pups and it's unbelievable but he's already three years old. It's time he had a forever home. He's such a good and kind boy.  Mama and her pups were living in the long grass and they were very frightened; Mama Mija had taught them to hide and to be fearful in order to protect them.

Tony is more confident than the other pups in the litter. However, he'll still need an understanding boss who will help him get over his last small fears. He'll be fine in a home with other dogs as he loves them and gets on with them. Indeed, it could be an advantage.

Please can it be my turn next?

Mammy - safe in Denmark

Fabienne writes:

She was so afraid, our Mammy from Belen. But look at her now - safe, home and loved.

My new family

I'm not afraid now.

So happy.

Me in the car with Suzanne and Marion.

Lovely smells to hunt in the garden.

My family in the garden.