February 29, 2012

A day like any other ....

.... more pictures from Fabienne

 Jackets for the cold nights

 "I want one too!"

 Lila at the hairdressers....

 Good girl ....

 Nearly done.

 Cody after his hair cut ...

 What a pretty boy ...

 Knorreke ....

 Pietje ....

 The little ones ...

 ... all snuggled up.

Dino, Falup, Tyson and Pancho ...

Dino and Roberto ...

Copito ...

February 28, 2012


I promised I would give more details of how Stefan was found, once I heard them. Simone, a wonderful ACE volunteer has now posted the full story on the Dutch blog. I’ve had to rely on Google Translate, so I may well have got some of it completely wrong. Please feel free to correct me if this is the case.  I have also shortened it, as the translation is in places gobbledegook

On 4th February Simone, her husband and son picked Stefan and four other dogs up at Brussels airport. After much delay due to weather conditions they set off for Eersel, where the first dog was delivered to its delighted adopters. Then on to Herogenbosch to bring Stefan to his new home while the other car went off with the other two dogs.  Simone had done the home visit and now she could bring Stefan himself. Because he was such an anxious dog they kept him in his crate in the lift. Once in the flat they let him out but he immediately hid under the table. This was only to be expected. She had already discussed this with Annemie, who had adopted Stefan. They agreed that Annemie wouldn’t rush him, but take it slowly, giving him a few days to recover.

The following day Simone got a call from Annemie to say that Stefan had escaped. They were just going out with him, when a big dog rushed at him, Stefan was so frightened he bolted, still with his collar and lead attached. If it got caught it might make it easier to catch him. The danger is that if he got stuck, with nobody around, he could be trapped. But he’s a smart dog, so hopefully he’d be able to bite the lead off.

They searched all day, all very upset. Simone promised she’d come next day to search, as she’s about 5 km away. With her son, Annemie and other friends they searched all afternoon. Annemie lives on a very large park where there is a great deal of water, which was completely frozen - the temperature was -20. After looking there they concentrated on the residential area – shrubs, porches, fire lanes. Simone says she’d never seen so many paw prints in the snow. At one point there was the trace of paw tracks going out onto the ice. They didn’t return. They found nothing in the bushes. After 3 hours of searching in the bitter cold they had to return home.

That night it was -16. Slowly you start to fear that the poor little creature will have frozen to death.  Annemie refused to give up hope and leafleted the area, pushing them into letterboxes and hanging posters everywhere. Every morning before she went to work Simone drove through the area to see if she could spot him, and again in the evening. In the meantime Annemie too was spending hours searching, getting more and more desperate.

Then, on Saturday 11th February there was a phone call to say that people had seen the dog, walking along the road. This was 3 km away from his adopted home. Annemie went immediately but Simone was at work and couldn’t come until the next day. On Sunday 12th Annemie got another call, this time from a security guard who had seen Stefan. The man had tried to catch him but Stefan was too fast for him. Simone and her husband searched all afternoon in the car, but with no luck. Annemie put up more leaflets and posters. She went to a psychic who told her Stefan was hiding on a farm. Annemie went to the farm and watched for him. The farmer took her around the barns, but there was no trace of Stefan.

The search continued.  There was an occasional sighting. The weekend of 18th there was nothing, no sign of Stefan. Then on Tuesday 21st a lady called to say that Stefan was stuck in her garden. Her husband went to try to release him but he fled. This sighting raised their hopes – more posters and pamphlets were put around. There were other farms in this area and a farmer called to say that he suspected that Stefan was sheltering in one of his barns. Annemie set up a watch and established that he had indeed been sleeping there. He’d made himself a nest and he’d not starved as the farmer threw down scraps so he had enough food.

Annemie looked all over, but again with no result.  She called Simone on the Wednesday and they agreed to get a large group together and comb the entire area – this would be done on the Sunday, as everyone had to work before that. In the meantime Annemie continued searching on her own. On Thursday she covered the area with no result. Then in the afternoon came the all-important call. She rang Simone to say that Stefan had been found. He was stuck under a trailer with his lead caught up in something. People released him but held onto him. The animal ambulance took him home and Annemie had a neighbour with her, ready to help in case Stefan ran. But he was tired out and fell asleep next the radiator.

Simone arrived with champagne, the advantage she says of working in a liquor store. They toasted Stefan’s return. He looked at them as if to say ‘who are you?’ but wasn’t shy. He had obviously had enough to eat, as he hadn’t lost weight.  Simone advised Annemie on how to get his confidence. They allowed Stefan on the lead out on the balcony and called him inside, to see how he’d react. He behaved quite well. They left a trail of cheese to tempt him, this worked very well and he ate the last piece out of Annemie’s hand. Simone then did the same with some food and again, he grabbed the last piece out of her hand. 

Stefan is a very fearful dog, due to his bad experiences in Spain before he was rescued. But slowly he will regain confidence in people and Simone is sure that Annemie will be able to help him with this.  He will have a collar and lead when out walking and other dogs should be avoided.  They are so glad he is home, and so are we all. He will go to the vet next week to see if he needs medicine for worms as who knows what he has eaten. There’s also the possibility of courses, in time. Simone will keep in touch with Annemie – there’s a long way to go but everyone is so glad he is back.

Tired out after his big adventure - safe and cosy now

A little piece of cheese does the trick

Slowly slowly gaining confidence
Annemie wants to thank everyone who helped in the search for Stefan and who supported her in other ways.  THANK YOU.
Original post written by Simone, Volunteer at ACE

February 26, 2012

22nd February - a day in the life of El Refugio

Having a nice wash before leaving, all clean and shiny, ready for his new home

Two new dogs, Witteke, only bones, so thin and so afraid. She's suffered a lot - they gave away her puppies and took her to the killing station. The little black one, Cataline, is so small, a new lovely girl. Not very young but very sweet.

Today some Belgian volunteers came specially to give cuddles and walks, many many thanks for that

Bully, eating his dinner

Jumah - poor new boy .. what is going on?

Sweet Lennon, getting some extra care

Jelle and Poco Loco - such sweet boys - with one of our students

Suske loves to play ball

Tiamo gets some extra love .. so long with us, such a warm personality. 

Just look at that sweet face - a moment's happiness

Denise - happy woman

Quimera with Valeria from Algeciras

The new ones - Ninja, with a terrible wound on her back - she arrived like that

... and sweet Copito, saved from a hunter who brought her in. She was lucky!

Avellano, Poco Loco and so many of those lovely bodegeros - they really need a home. 

Looking so sad ...

I am so small, please take me home!

Harvey and Lynda playing in the play area.

Fabienne - 22nd February 2012

February 23, 2012


Tonight when I came home there was an email from Ineke - and in the subject line it said 'Stefan is back!' I cried. Along with everyone else I've been so worried about this sweet, scared little fellow who was only one day with his loving adopters when a big dog scared him, he slipped his collar and disappeared before they could catch him. See earlier posts on the blogs.

It was -14 degrees in Holland that night.  He's been missing so long, since 5th February, and we feared the worst. And now he's been found. It seems that the clever little darling had found a barn on a farm and had been able to shelter from the worst of the weather. I'm not sure but I think that he had been spotted by his owners but they hadn't wanted to tell everyone in case everyone suddenly rushed to try to help and maybe scared him so that he ran off again. I don't know this for sure but I will post as soon as I have more details.

For now I'm so very happy for Stefan, for his new family - you must be so overjoyed to have him back. Sleep well little Stefan in your warm, golden basket surrounded by love tonight and forever.

February 22, 2012

The solution to the misery ....

Harsh as this may seem, spare a thought for the dogs who suffer the same fate and worse as a matter of routine in Southern Spain. When a hunting dog comes to the end of it’s useful life, a year maybe two, it is easily replaced by another younger version. Dogs are not castrated here so there is always a steady stream of substitutes. The unwanted puppies are chucked out in the garbage, put into plastic bags and thrown away or simply abandoned. Or worse. 

The proud hunting dogs, the Podencos and Galgos, who are no longer needed, are strung up - they are not thought to be worth the price of a bullet,which would at least give them a clean death. As a concession, those dogs who have been particularly useful and good hunters are hung with their feet nearer the ground so their suffering will be a little less. So if you are disturbed by this picture spare a thought for the suffering of the dogs and the distress of the dedicated individuals who strive to save them.

February 19, 2012

A kiss from Bombardonneke .... and Zico ... and the rest of the happy crew

Bombardonneke having a little think

Feeling restless

Staying put

Zico finds a nice patch of sunshine

Now for a little snooze

I wonder what's for supper

As long as it's not green beans again!

C'mon ... wake up!

We got the bench!

Nodding off

A little bit of chicken would be nice

 Zzzzzz .....

..... zzzzzzzz


I wonder what kind person knitted my happy coat?