November 29, 2014

Grateful thanks to the Facebook Group

The Facebook Group - 'saving and selling stuff for dogs' have worked very hard and raised the money to buy 20 dog houses to donate to Fabienne for the dogs. These houses are for the dogs who run free in various sections, and in the loft, where there is no place for them to shelter from the wind and rain. We are so grateful, as are the dogs.


Some of the flat-pack pallets and before unloading

Putting them together

Adding the finishing touches

Some of the twenty new houses

Another one is finished

The completed dog house

Our students recieve a visit from their supervisors

Quite a handful!

Enough of the cuddling, I want to play now!

The airport is our second home ...

... every week we have many flights, sometimes as many as three a day. It's hard work but it is joyful too as it is the first stage on the journey. At the end of the flight - whether to Belgium, the Netherlands or elsewhere in Europe - our sweet dogs are met by their new families, and in some cases their new foster parents. Here are some photos from a particularly busy flight - note how many trolleys there are!

Isabelleke arrives with one of her fosters.

A happy Isabelleke

Vivien, Marga and her friend and Diana with the lucky dogs. We are so grateful to our friends and volunteers who escort our dogs. Without them they couldn't fly.

A little snack!

Vivien and Isabelleke.

More arrivals ....

... this time the happy dogs landed at Eindhoven on 27th September. 

Sweet, patient albino Dorientje with her new boss

Santi gets a welcome hug

Vivien with Daryl


Vivien gives Dorientje a quick hug before handing him over to his happy adopters.

Delighted group of adopters with their new family friends 
... from left to right Santi, Dorientje, Tita and Daryl

One more photo, then off to their golden baskets!

Small creatures in small shelters

A delightful selection of photos sent by Fabienne.

Puppies, puppies, puppies - we've always got lots of puppies.

And here's Mum, wanting to get in on the act.

A scaredy boy ...

... with a poor, sore nose

But lots of TLC will help with that.

One of our tiny, wee tots being fed

We do all we can to help them survive

Puppies want to go walkies!

Golden sweetheart wants a basket to match his fur!

Some of our sweet cats

Can I have a bit, please!

They will never stop loving you

Are you worthy of their unconditional love. 
Don't get a dog for the sake of it. A dog is for life.

November 24, 2014

Please help us bring joy to the dogs of El Refugio ...

... it's inevitable that our dogs have to spent a lot of time in their cages. Roomy as they are, it's not the same as running free. So we are so thankful for everyone who helped us in any way to preseve our field. Because of the field, our dogs get the chance to run, play and just be dogs. Just take a look!

To allow them to continue to run around and stay healthy and happy, we need a new fence and are holding a benefit to raise funds.

Please will you come along and help us raise the money. It will be a fun evening!

November 22, 2014

Is there no end to man's cruelty?

It's hard to believe that is is a photo of a little dog. The skin round her poor eye is raw and bald. What's left of her fur is filthy and matted. No wonder. For this small Yorkie was found by the side of the road, completely soaked to the skin and so badly neglected, in such a terrible state. An impossible state. 

This little one was immediately taken to the emergency clinic and treated. And discovered to be a very old dog indeed. Without teeth, blind, completely deaf and very, very skinny. 

Who dumped her in the road like that? We will never know and she can't tell us. She is still alive and despite her terrible story is endlessly grateful. You can feel it. She is happy to be alive, despite everything. 

She is now in the care of our wonderful foster mother, Isabelleke. Here you see Isabelleke at the airport, when we handed over the little one. She is a little better already and, in Isabelleke's loving hands, will have every chance of recovery.

In Isabelleke's loving arms

Little Yorkie- a fresh start

Who will give Sereno the best Christmas present - ever?

Will you take me home for Christmas? Please?

Several month's ago I wrote about sweet Sereno. And not for the first time. For this lovely dog has been in the Refugio and subsequently in fostercare for five whole years. Three years in El Refugio and now two years in foster care.

His foster mum, Maureen writes ...

"This morning I took my foster dog, Sereno, to the vet for a routine visit. Another sticker and another signature. Unbelievable, but true that after all this time there is still no owner's name in his passport. 

Sereno was certainly super good and was again approved by the vet as ready for his own basket. After the vets I took Sereno for a nice run in the forest. He thought that was a lot more fun. Have a look.

We so hope that this Christmas, for the first time, he will have his very own basket under the tree. After five long years of patiently waiting, this treasure of a dog surely deserves somewhere he can come home to. My heartfelt wish is that he will find his forever in time for Christmas. Maybe you will open your heart to this wonderful dog."

A good boy at the vets.

But this is much more fun!

Could you make it the best Christmas ever for Sereno?

A loving home for a gentle dog

Petrouska - waiting at the Refugio

All the dogs are special. But there's always a warm corner for those you've actually met. When I was at El Refugio in May I met so many darlings. Among them Petrouska. Sweet, unassuming, gentle. So I was thrilled to see her on the website under 'Happy Endings'. Now called Shawna, she is living happily with her new family. Here's what her new boss tells about her. And there's a little video too.

"Shawna has really come home. She is just the way she was described to me in the first telephone conversation, a dream dog. Sweet, devoted, pretty and very friendly to each and everyone who lives here, including the cats and chickens. Like the other dogs, food is very important to her, they are all three monsters, but in a nice way.

I would not have expected her to feel at home so soon, as you can see in the film. I would have expected her to need a bit more time. I looked at the You Tube film you had made of her, many times. But I had never seen what I filmed today. It gave me a great feeling to see her so happy, because she had been living in the shelter for almost a year. 

The black dog is Iniesta (formerly called Maurits). This is the sweetheart who had been beaten so much that he was crawling when he came to me. He still has traumas, but as you can see he is very happy in our home and we accept him as he is.

I really hope that Shawna will never be bothered by her Leishmania and will become very old, just to compensate for her miserable first years. I will keep you updated."




Rest in Peace, Sweet Hera

'Rest in peace, dear child.'

It was so nearly a happy ending. She was very old, she'd been treated shockingly and thrown out at 18 years of age. But miracles happen; she had found her golden basket.

It's with great sadness, therefore, that I have to tell you that little Hera died, the day before she was to travel to the Netherlands. So she never knew that someone was waiting for her, someone who wanted to care for her and love her to the end. Her heartbroken adopter writes -

'My poor little girl ... everything was arranged and everything was ready for you, including your golden basket ....Tonight you would fly ....And just today you shut your eyes ...I so wanted to pamper you, even if only for the short time you had left. To let you see that you did matter. To show you how much I care. I wanted to give you all my love.

It was not to be, as of today ...

But for you the world is no longer blind, you have no painful mammary tumor, no more stiff old bones ...

You're free now ...
You can now float on the wind ...
Rest in peace, dear child.

Unfortunately, we will never meet but you are forever in my heart!

Love, Eugenie'

November 15, 2014

The volunteers get-together in Belgium was a great success.

The volunteers' meeting and party was a great success. Eighty of our volunteers came to spend a pleasant evening together to celebrate our work and discuss all sorts of questions and answers.

It was delightful and heartwarming to be together and get to know each other and to talk openly and be direct with each other. 

We would like to thank everyone who organized this evening, to thank everyone who was there and also those who couldn't make it. 

We want you to know that we appreciate you enormously, each and every one of you. Without our  volunteers are our dogs will get nowhere.Together we are strong. Together we can do so much for these forgotten and neglected dogs.

The volunteers' evening was a present from heaven. We now have the courage to go on, even if it is often difficult working in the refugio, on this side of our circle. Knowing that we form such a strong team gives us the strength to carry on and that knowledge works wonders.

Tomorrow is another day, in good health !!!


Lanka in her forever home.

In the shelter. Lanka (then Lancha) on the left with one of her children.

A smiling Lanka, still at the shelter.

Joachim Royards, her new mum writes :-

Lanka is doing very well, in spite of her disabled leg. She is incredibly kind to everyone, even children. She has never as much as snarled at anyone here. She is very attached to me and doesn't like to let me out of her sight. However she able to be home alone. But usually I take her, when I go shopping, for instance.  She waits in the car and I keep the door of the shop open so I can see her. We are very happy together.
Truly a treasure of a dog, a rarity !!!!!!!

Enjoying a walk.

What we want for all our dogs - a warm, golden basket.

Another 'first' - two of our dogs find homes in England!

Until very recently we were unable to rehome dogs into England. The quarantine laws were fierce. Six month's in kennels was not something we wanted for our dogs. They had known enough trauma and separation to last a lifetime.

But then the quarantine laws were changed and came into line with the rest of Europe, not before time. Even so, without dedicated volunteers and a solid structure it still wasn't feasible. However, it so happened that some English people came over this Autumn for a puppy training course, run by an another English couple. The puppies they trained for the week came from various refuges, several from El Refugio. Among them Moussa and Pouspah.

Found together on the street not long before, no one knows if these two are brother and sister. They were very young to find themselves abandoned. Then their luck changed. First when they came to us. And then when they were chosen for the course and won the hearts of the people who were training them. And now they have forever homes - in England.

The home visits were done. The dogs set off and arrived only days ago, having travelled by road and sea. They were met at Gatwick by their delighted new owners, all dog trainers. The puppies have settled in and are getting on well with their new siblings, dogs and children. Two dogs and a little girl in one family. Two dogs and two little girls in the other. I'll post photographs and more details when I have them. Watch this space.

Moussa, now called Chelsea

Pouspah, now called Turner