July 30, 2013


.....  I don't know who wrote this or sent it to Fabienne but thank you, it's so true. 

A special thank you to Fabienne and Derek and all the volunteers from ACE SHIN from all your rescue dogs!
I would've died that day if not for you.
I would've given up on life if not for your kind eyes.
I would've used my teeth in fear if not for your gentle hands.
I would've left this life believing that all humans dont care.
Believing there is no such thing as fur that isn't matted, skin that isn't flea bitten.
Good food and enough of it.
Beds to sleep on.
Someone to love me.
To show me I deserve love just because I exist.
Your kind eyes, your loving smile, your gentle hands.
Your big heart saved me..............
You saved me from the terror of the pound.
Soothing away the memories of my old life.
You have taught me what it is to be loved.
I have seen you do the same for other dogs like me.
I have heard you ask youself in times of despair,
Why you do it?
When there is no money, no more room, no more homes.
You open your heart a lttle bigger,stretch the money a little tighter,make just a little more room..........to save one more like me !
I tell you with the gratitude and love that shines in my eyes.
The best way I know how.
Reminding you why you go on trying.
I am the reason.
The dogs before me are the reason, as are all the ones who come after.
Our lives would have been wasted, our love never given, we would die, IF NOT FOR YOU !

July 29, 2013

Light and darkness, joy and pain ...


  Starting with the good news - the Refugio is safe for another 20 years!

These last few weeks, reading Fabienne's Diary and Happy Endings, as well as the Dutch and Belgian blogs I've been encouraged, infuriated, enraged, grateful, sad - sometimes almost simultaneously. The brilliant news is that Fabienne and Ton have signed a new lease and so the Refugio is safe for another 20 years. So much hard work and worry goes on behind the scenes to achieve such results - so we are all so grateful on behalf of the beloved dogs.

Other news is not so good. There have been dogs locked inside cars in suffocating heat (in Britain as well as Spain, I might add). Even more mothers have been abandoned with their tiny puppies, some often far to small to survive. Puppies continue to be dumped, at the gates, in the garbage or in the street all alone and without either parent. Several beloved adopted dogs have died, leaving their owners grief stricken but hopefully with the comfort of knowing how much love they brought into their lives.

Little Nieves Acosta Diez attracted attention outside the supermarket. Not because he was so beautiful - he was in fact invisible because he was shut in a box. There was much interest and amusement among the onlookers who nevertheless did nothing to discover why the box was moving. Lovely, innocent Campeon was shot on the way to Santiago de Compostella, and even more cruelly, his owner was forced to give up his companion. Poor old Charly, was loved and cherished by his family who had him as a puppy. When they went back to England on holidays he went to nice kennels. But this time they didn't come back for him. Charly doesn't know what hit him.

The killing stations are making money. This situation is their meat and drink. Meanwhile the rescue centres - El Refugio, Algeciras and others - are struggling. The thing that makes everyone mad and so very angry is that this is all avoidable. There will always be a few strays. There will always be some irresponsible people. But there is no need for this wholesale misery. The answer is so simple - sterilisation and castration. It's not as if it costs all that much either. And it's as nothing compared to the financial cost of having so many abandoned animals, to say nothing of the agony and suffering of these these innocents. It's all so unnecessary - that's what's so galling.

As I said in the beginning, the fury and rage is mitigated by encouragement, gratitude and admiration. Encouragement because I know how many people really care and are trying so hard. Gratitude and admiration for Fabienne, Paky, Isabelleke and so many people too numerous to mention, not forgetting the Malaga killing station that is really trying to ameliorate the suffering - working with us rather than against us. Sadness to hear of the loving families who have lost their precious companions, but happiness to know there are so many devoted people who open their homes to these abused and beautiful creatures and shower them with such love. 

Sad stories - but now they have hope

 Sweet Charly - missing his family.

 Mum Astrid and son Amadee - safe with us

Nieves Acosta Diaz - saved from a box by Isabelleke

Campeon - shot for no reason

Happy Endings - thanks to the love of their new families

Beautiful Luna - doing what Galgos do best!

Eva reclining - again in true Galgo style
Happy families - Mia has found her golden basket

Tjok and Amber - so beloved

July 25, 2013

Webber, Massa, Jenson and Kimi ...

... being a huge F1 fan myself I'm really intrigued to know who it is in A.C.E. who gave these sweet little puppies their names! Obviously another fan. It's great to see two bear the names of a couple of my favourite drivers, Jenson Button and Mark Webber. On YouTube one of the pups is a right little tyke. Guess that has to be Kimi then!!!

July 23, 2013

Out of the mouths of babes ...

I found this charming video today. I love the way he cares about the animals.

July 21, 2013

Tjok - home at last

 Tjok in May just after his rescue

Tjok with his adoring rescuers in May - already on the road to happiness

In her diary on 13th May, Fabienne told us Tjok's story. A Spanish man had found him by the side of the road, hopeless and weak unable even to stand. The man brought him to the Refugio saying "If you don't want him, show me the way to the killing station." So easy for him to say without a moment's thought. Of course there was no question of not taking Tjok but he was a sick, neglected soul. So dehydrated he had to be put on a drip then and there. He couldn't eat, his skin was affected and his eyes inflamed. He was in a terrible condition. 

There were some Belgian volunteers at the Refugio and the minute they saw this heap of misery they fell in love and took him off with them for a few days. They tried to cheer the poor old dog up, to keep him warm. Within days he was already a different creature. He wouldn't leave their side. At the time Fabienne wrote in her diary "Slowly he will succeed in getting better and hopefully he will find a boss where he will be respected and spoilt."

Her wish came true. He found his loving home, a family who had already adopted another A.C.E. dog, Amber. Amber had come from the killing station, a skinny fearful dog, and no wonder after her horrible experience. She stayed at the Refugio for a long time before being adopted. Tjok and Amber's loving adopters write ...

Dear Volunteers of Ace,

It's been a week and a half that Tjok with us now, and time for a short update.
From the outset Tjok was a fantastic and easy dog. Nice to walk with because he doesn't pull on the leash, cosy as we are all together and happy when we get home. Exactly what we actually hoped for, and it makes perfect sense that all volunteers have come to love him. We heve been with him at the vet and it looks like he will be on diet to save his kidneys, as the result of the laboratory is ready we know how strong that will be. He has gained some weight, it seems that he has become 800 grams heavier but that can also be water. We feel that the very bony is a bit disappearing, but there are still a few pounds to put on his body.

With Amber it is fine too, but she has to get used to sharing us and the house with another dog. What continues to amaze us is the trouble she has to enter an house, she has apparently been so used to living outside that she finds it scary to cross the threshold.
The two dogs together can get along with each other. Amber is trying to approach Tjok, who is not very responsive. But, together on a bed, or in the back of our car, or along with me in the citybus to work, that is all fine. We will not be able to make another photo of the two dogs on the bed, we exchange the large bed  for two little ones. When we put them together on the bed it is fine, but every dog ​​is going to prefer to lie completely in the middle and then the other is reluctant to claim his place.

Without doubt there will follow another message out of Arnhem, from two happy dog-adopters

Kind regards

Geert Borkus 

Home at last!

Amber and Tjok, two happy lucky dogs

 What's this thing called 'grass'?

 A friend, a soft bed, a happy home and a loving family.

July 13, 2013

A very hot day at El Refugio

Blue, blue sky. Hot, hot sun.

Little and large and a small bird.

Smile for the camera!

What a cutie pie.

Our sweet Bully boy ...

... likes having his photo taken.

Ready for my close up, Mr DeMilne!

 Time for a drink, I think.

 Bebe Antoine has found his place in the shade.

 Staying inside in the cool 

 Greeting my friends.

 Off you go ...
... there's a good dog!

Orlando has a new name ...

... it really suits him. Anyone who has ever read the Asterix comics will see the resemblance. The adorable little fellow is now called 'Idefix'. Absolutely perfect. And it's also absolutely wonderful to see this little dog so happy in his new, forever home.

Orlando waiting to go to the airport. Ears down - a little apprehensive!

Look at me now! Ears up - so happy. I love my new name, Idefix!

July 09, 2013

Summer Dogs - Summer Happiness

Here are the fifty five lovely and fortunate dogs who have been adopted into Holland this June.With many thanks, once again, to Ineke for her wonderful collage and patience in putting it all together. And it's so good to see that some of the sweeties I played with and cuddled at the Refugio have their golden baskets. Among them Bonita, whom I saw off at the airport, and Watson and River.

Nearly all of them have had appalling treatment until they were rescued by Fabienne and her wonderful helpers. I don't know all the stories but some I do, so I'm especially happy to see Laika, Liam and Ludo on the list. But even as I type that I know that they all suffered, they are all special and they all deserve happiness. Thank you everyone and thank you new families for such happy endings.