January 28, 2013

Lots of dogs - and lots of laundry!

Sweet Sientje having a little sit down. A friendly, curly and affectionate 
Perro de Agua, she is only ten months old and would love a forever home 

Laundry, laundry - always laundry. El Refugio is spotless. This is my home from 
home when I'm volunteering. It's an open area with lots of dogs running around. Bliss. 

Even more laundry. Why so much? There are soft fleeces for the puppy baskets, 
blankets for the cages, sheets from the clinic and more towels than you could ever imagine.

Filomon and his sister Filomene were dumped at the killing station. These 
lively, bouncy puppies are three months old and just looking for that special family.

This is Filomene. Like her brother Filomon she is three months old and a
Podenco cross. She's going to grow up to be even more beautiful than she is already.

Hein is also three months old. Look at that sweet face. He was 'found' near the
garbage bins with his mother Hermina and his brother Hubert. How could people do this!

And this is Hein's brother, Hubert. They are short haired cross
breeds. They are both quiet, gentle souls and they deserve a lot of love.

Hubert looking. Having a little think.

Playing. Is that an insect that needs a pat, perhaps?

What's that I can see? Is that Lisa with dinner?

Lisa, one of the hard working staff members who help keep El Refugio going. 
Surrounded, as always, by friends. And who knows, there may be treats in there.

This is Alicia. Camping out near the office. This is where the students 
have their lunch. And they are very generous with the bit's that get 'dropped'.

There's always something going on and plenty of inquisitive faces. Here 
Boyke, Narcisa, Shira, Hester and Risas are checking it out. 'What's happening?'

Hester, having forty winks. she's a Mastin Espagnol, a big dog with a heart
 to match. She was dumped by her boss so she's now a bit timid but so loving.

January 20, 2013

Loving, intelligent, affectionate – yet abused and overlooked

The Podenco, a noble hunting breed, is one of the most abused animals in Spain. They are owned, for the most part, by hunters who like many others in Spain, see no need to neuter their animals. As a consequence there is always a steady supply of young dogs to take replace the older ones.

Those puppies that are not needed are disposed of - in the garbage, by the side of the road and worse. The faithful dogs and bitches that have served their time – a year, maybe two – are hung from the trees. If they are not hung they are taken a distance away and their legs broken so they can’t make it back, or they are stuffed down drains, burnt or kicked to death. They are not considered worth a bullet or a clean death.

As if to add to its problems, the breed is not well known outside Spain. Even in this country, people are ignorant of their superb qualities and of the fact that they make perfect family pets. And that’s such a shame for Podencos are sensitive, affectionate, bright and intelligent.

Like the Bodeguero, the Podenco can be something of a clown. They are great fun to be around. Possibly because of ignorance of the breed, Podencos are often overlooked when people are adopting.  In this respect they are similar to Bodequeros. Yet both breeds are so worth rescuing, they make a delightful addition to a family -even a family with cats, certainly a family with other dogs and children.

The sweet and affectionate dogs here are just a few of the many who are currently living at El Refugio, or in foster care in Spain, Belgium and Holland. All of them so deserving of a forever home. They will reward you with unconditional love and loyalty.

Luca                                                                          Telma

Luca is in foster care but he's more than ready for a family of his own. This affectionate, cuddly dog is the perfect companion. He loves to play, he loves his walks but is happy to stay home when you're at work. That's no problem, he'll wait for you quietly and greet you with great joy when you return. He's fine with children and other animals.

Telma dumped at the killing station with her puppies. They were given away and she was left there alone ... frightened, lonely, bemused. But we saved her. She's good and social with  other dogs and she finds them reassuring. Hugging is new to her and she's decided she really, really likes it.

Myrek                                                                        Rubiata

Myrek was brought to El Refugio by a lady from the Czech Republic. She had found him, she couldn't keep him and had made the rounds of all the other shelters. They had refused to take the dog. What could Fabienne do? Another Podenco. There are already several hundreds in our care. But it was El Refugio or the killing station. So now he's with us - very scared still but we are winning his trust.

Rubiata Like Telma, and like so many others, Rubiata was dumped at the killing station with her puppies. These too were given away or sold to Spanish Children - Christmas presents we hope will last beyond the first few months. Poor Rubiata was going to be killed. She's now with us, getting over her fear and learning to play for the first time.

Amber                                                                       Tinkel Twinkel

Amber is a sweet and quiet rough haired Podenco. She's very submissive and careful with people because of all the dreadful treatment she's experienced in her life. She's a real darling with the most beautiful eyes you can ever imagine. All she needs now is a loving family who will adore her as much as she'll adore them.

Tinkel Twinkel was found on the street by a Spanish boy. He seems to have been on the street for a long time, fending for himself, scavenging for food, risking harm on the busy roads. He's a very sweet dog who enjoys the attention he gets. He's sensitive and loving and needs a family who will love and respect him. He'll repay you a thousand fold.

Voske                                                                       Lucita

Voske was left at our gate just before the year ended. Just left there with her friend Vincenta. No explanation. Just dumped. Who could do this to such a beautiful dog. She's very frightened, but sweet and gentle. Who will make the coming year the best time she's ever had?

Lucita was saved from the motorway on Christmas day by a young girl and her family. The girl was crying her eyes out, she was afraid the poor dog wouldn't have a chance. But they all have a chance with us. Lucita is just adorable, a mini-Podenco, fine and elegant like a little deer. Lively, happy and friendly - a darling dog.
Leo                                                                           Pepino

Leo is beautiful and young and when he came to us he was very scared. He's made great progress but what he really needs is a supportive boss who will build up his self confidence. He's been with us for just a year, he's already nearly three, and we don't want him to wait too much longer for his own loving family who will help him to blossom and thrive.

Pepino  Another mini Podenco, Pepino is a lively, sweet boy with all the clownish and endearing qualities of the breed. A handsome fellow with his pure white coat and rakish 'pirate' patch on one eye, he's only just come to us and we hope it won't be long until he finds the wonderful home he deserves.


Darko is a gigantic hugger. He loves people, he adores children and is great with the other dogs. He was found tied up outside the home of one of our Spanish mothers in Alora. Handsome and intelligent he's a wonderful example of the breed. All he needs now is a home of his own.


January 15, 2013

Martell - a beautiful boy playing with his friends

From the left - Uri, his brother tiny little Llaverito, Dicky and Martell, with the bone, in front 

January 12, 2013

Another day closer to home ...

.... here are some photos taken by Fabienne on 11th January. Let's hope that some of these precious dogs will soon be on their way to golden baskets.

This is a nice red basket but please could I have a golden one soon 

 What a long tongue I have ... all the better to ear my supper with

I'll go and ask if it's dinner time yet

 Just a few of our many little puppies

 Looking forward to my haircut

A cosy hideaway, a little sun

Colour coded!

Tippy toes ...

... and now a little rest

Our young visitors, come to spoil the dogs

January 09, 2013

Napoleon is my name ...

Wolfke thinks - what a strange dog this Napoleon

 Jeeeesus ....

 hmmmm ...

What can we find here ...

 Yes ... bingo!

 No ....

Give ...