January 24, 2015

Jamie and Tammy (now Jip)

One of our sweet, hard-working students, Jamie, recently met up with Tammy, one of the dogs she looked after while she was with us. It's hard for students. They get attached to the dogs they look after so lovingly, but they are often not in a position to adopt. They are great people and we couldn't do without them. They do a lot of cleaning and manual work as well as talking to the dogs, cuddling them and giving them the affection they badly need. Tammy is now called Jip. Jamie writes: -

January 18 was the day I went to meet Jip's adopters. The nerves raged through my body, I was so anxious to know how she was after all she has been through. I came in and saw Jip; she was lying down. I knelt and gave her a big hug and kisses too. I was so happy that I shed a few tears. She look good and was with super sweet people who will give her all the love she needs. She did not recognize me really but came to me happily. I've spoken a lot about Jip when she was in Spain and many people have asked how she is doing. She looked happy and rested. She now knows that she is safe and has a good home. I will go and see her again, for a quick visit, and I am so happy that she has found a lovely home with such sweet, nice people. 


Tammy, now Jip.

Jamie with Jip - it's been a while since they met.

Happy to see her in her forever home.

Cuddles and sweet words.

The sweetest little crook ...

Fluffy: 2.6 years, 27 kg

Just a quick note about Fluffy.
Fluffy has become part of our family and is the king of the house.
He goes on holidays and days out to the dunes and the sea.
He always knows where to find the food on the counter and takes it secretly to his basket. 
When someone comes home, he has no idea how it all ended up in his basket.
He is a real crook!

He is a very sweet dog and we would not want to be without him.
We are all very grateful to you for rescuing and caring for Fluffy.


I didn't chew those bits! Really, I didn't!

I really don't know how all that stuff got into my basket.

So lovely and warm.

Me and my softie.

Update Puff: More happy photos

A quick note about Puff. He arrived on 27th December and to begin with he was very scared. He almost feared to come out of his bench. But now slowly he is beginning to throw off his fear and is becoming very relaxed.

He is doing very well and is happy in our family.

New sights. New smells. It takes a bit of getting used to.

Warm and safe on the sofa.

So much better than the cold, hard pavement.

Cuddles on the bed.

Spreading the word ...

A little while ago, through Twitter, I met Sally Cronin, who lives in Madrid. She is a writer and also loves animals. She very generously invited me to write a guest post for her blog, telling her readers about A.C.E., the dogs, and the wonderful work done by Fabienne, Dirk, Ton and every single one of our wonderful workers, volunteers, adopting and fostering families. The organisation could not exist without them all. 

Reina Sofia - she could barely walk another step.

Writing the post took some time, but not nearly as much time as sourcing the photos, as they were scattered about between blogs and the databases. Sally particularly wanted to show 'before' and 'after' photographs as these show so graphically the difference A.C.E. makes physically, and even mentally too. Though a picture won't necessarily convey the change in a broken, defeated dog who arrives at El Refugio and that same dog weeks or months later, confident, happy and loved.

Love and care transformed her into this noble, beautiful creature.

I hope you will visit Sally's blog -  and read the full story.  There is also a lot of interesting material on her blog. She updates it two or three times a day and writes about her books, about health, animals and much more. 

January 10, 2015

Old Max

"Wherever I go or stand.. he's always there beside me or waiting until I get back.

Our old Max, who will be 15 this year .. my great soul mate ....

Here he's waiting in the refuge until I get back from the clinic and the dogs ...

What is more blessed than a friend with four feet ...

Greetings and have a nice weekend.


Such a good, sweet boy.

So patient.

So faithful.

(Apologies for the faults in translation.  Clodagh.)

Update : Manolito



Manolito on arrival. A little apprehensive. And getting loving reassurance from Eugenie, his mum.

Eugenie writes ...

Manolito arrived at Schipol on December 29th. He didn't come out of the bench when it was opened, and when we did get him to come out he was quite nervous and withdrawn. Fabienne had told me that he would be fine when he knew me so I took his little head in my hands and spoke to him gently.

Because he was so nervous and uncertain we did not take the bus but took a taxi instead. And on the way home in the taxi he snuggled up to me and slept the whole way on my lap. Because of his anxiety and because my dog Bobby has recently had surgery for a torn ligament, and can barely walk, it made sense to introduce them first, before the others. It went perfectly.

Fabienne has already worked wonders with Manolito when he was fostered with her. I know that when he came to her he use at first to sit quietly in a corner before he got used to being able to run around and to the fact that he could lie on a cushion, instead of the floor.  He is still very shy and modest; he is still processing everything and discover his place in this house. However, I think he has been making all right the steps. 

He comes for cuddles, he lies down for me when I sit on the couch and then looks back to make sure it's OK. Or I will scratch him just above his tail, as he finds that quite delicious. He is also learning that he doesn't have to hang back behind the other dogs when tasty treats are being handed out. And for the last few days he comes to greet me first thing in the morning when I wake up. 

I noticed that when I got up from the couch and walked around, Manolito thought he had better get out of the way. I felt so sorry for him hugged him before I stood up and again when I was upright an if he began to run away I called him and he got more hugs. That has helped tremendously. I picked him up from the airport on Monday, but it took until Tuesday before he dared to do a pee and two days for a poo. Actually it was already Friday before he really dared to do anything outside.
Now the neighbourhood dogs can smell that Manolito is in town.  I still find the occasional 'gift' from Manolito in the bedroom or bathroom, but I can live with it. I'm just glad that he no longer keeps everything inside.

I've noticed several times that Manolito would like to play with Pimpinella, only sadly Pimpinella find this scary and growls at him, but the very fact that Manolito is already wanting to play makes me very happy. He has already had a few little moments when he felt so good that he was sweating it out ... What a comedian !! I laughed so much! It's in these little moments that I get a glimpse of how Manolito should really be, as he is naturally, in his spirit. So sad that he lost this along the way. But I am hopeful that he will gradually discover himself again and in about six months or so he'll be a different dog. I'm sure he'll get ther and I will do everything I can to help him. 

Oh yes! Walking and eating time are his favorite moments of the day. Only after eating I need to clean those cute little teeth of his because food sticks to them - it's really quite a collection! In the  two last pictures you can see Manolito if he's just been out, he is happy!

The only thing that is unfortunate is that he has diarrhea. Luckily I already had everything I need to help with that; cooked chicken, clear liquid, probiotics, and droplets that have a healing effect on the intestinal wall .. for the rest his little body will need to heal itself, but that will probably be fine. I just hope doesn't pass it on to Pimpinella because everything is going so well but I'm sure it will be fine. 

As I said he is a huge treasure and I'm really happy with him !!



Happy boy! So content. After lovely food and a good walk.

Home at last.

Samara says 'hello'

She didn't have a great start in life, little Samara. She was found with her mum, Grace, and her nine brothers and sisters on a pile of garbage some distance from El Refugio. A friendly lady tried to help, put out food and water and made a shelter from a cardboard box. She couldn't find anyone in the locality who would take this little family away from what was a dangerous situation. No one would help, even the local protectorias.

It was getting colder and the rain was pouring down; this was very worrying especially since the puppies were very young. Mummy Grace was getting more restless as more people discovered her hiding place. So one night she moved them to somewhere she felt would be safer. The lady who had cared for them was very sad and worried. She searched for days until she found them. Sadly three of the puppies had disappeared and she also discovered that one of the survivors was sick and also blind.

We heard of their plight and offered to help. Denise, one of our volunteers, drove all the way to Baza, which is a long drive, to pick up Grace and the puppies Faith, Samara, Joe, Sam and Esperanza. The little blind puppy, Oscar, had already been collected by a lady who has experience rescuing blind dogs.

Our mummy Grace is still young, but her eyes tell a lot about her past. She is such a gentle, kind dog and a good mum who did everything she could to help her babies. Oscar, of course, already has a home. Four of the siblings - Faith, little Samara, Sam and Esperanza are all reserved. That leaves Mummy Grace and little Joe who are still looking for their forever families. Have you space for them in your home?

Mummy Grace looked after her family. Will you look after her?

Little Joe still needs a home.

Podencitos in the Parking



So little, so alone.

Waiting for Fabienne!

Three clever little gentlemen

Fabienne writes

Yesterday when shopping, we saw three small podencitos appear suddenly from under our car. It was as if they had sought us out to look for help.

Such beautiful sweet little faces, small gentleman who wanted to be saved. We have put them in foster care for now - they are safe, they are saved. They themselves have managed to find us all on their own, the sweethearts. We have not yet listed them on our site because they are very thin and haven't yet been vaccinated. First we want to be sure that they will survive ..

They will be small to medium sized Podencos, my pictures are not clear, but it gives you an idea ...



January 04, 2015

Joyful stories for the New Year - No. 2 - Puff

Sweet anxious Puff.

That photo. The one that touched the heart of his boss. Puff had given up.

 On arrival at El Refugio. Scared and skinny.

Puff had a terrible start. Dumped, God knows when. Living on the streets for months, scavenging in the garbage. At risk from the killing station round up and from being hit by a car. Luckily we found him and took him away from danger. And then his luck changed. A wonderful person saw him on Facebook and fell in love. Barely a month after he came to us sweet Puff was on his way to his forever home and his golden basket. Below is the start of a wonderful account of his adoption and arrival at his new home. 

Puff couldn't go on. I read that sentence about 100 times because, sweet Puff, we didn't intend to adopt a second dog. We already had a 10 year old German Shepherd and a 13-year old cat, whom we had always promised a quiet retirement. But then - this sentence and that photo. I couldn't take my mind off you. Your faithful eyes, and your ears pressed flat against your head out of anxiety. I was completely lost. It took me a lot of effort to covice your new ower to adopt you, but after one week he also fell for you.

To read on, please click on this Lucky Dogs link. It's a wonderful story of hope and love.

Puff meets the children, his new companions. He loved them straight away.

A soft cushion and warm love. So much better than the hard, scary streets.

Joyful stories for the New Year - No. 1 Torris

Torris in front, with his new brother, Sam

Torris. That's his new name for his wonderful new life. At the Refugio this beautiful dog was known as Oris. He made an appearance on Facebook, as well as being in the database. It was there that his new boss saw him first - and fell in love.  Here's her moving story ....

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Over the months I have seen many beautiful, sweet dogs appearing on the ACE Facebook pages. However, I don't personally want a dog a I have a very loyal, eleven year old four-footted companion. So instead I support ACE by joining in and occasionally making a donation.

But then one day Torris appears over on Facebook, and my stomach churns and I cannot take my mind off him. I contacted Ace and so I began the proceedure. I talked about it with family and friends, because you cannot just take a dog. You have to be aware that this would be for his or her entire life. 

Everyone was immediately very excited. And also we were thinking that, for my 11-yr old Sam, it may be best to consider how it would be for him to have a friend who would keep him "young". (While he is still so vital and fit). Sam could even share his wisdom with Torris. 

After several emails back and forth I finally received a home visit, to see if I am a suitable person to adopt a dog. This was no problem. When that was done it was time to sign contracts and then we had to wait to see when Torris could leave Spain and join us forever. I would also like to convey my compliments to ACE. The adoption process is fantastic, it's all well co-ordinated and you are looked at lovingly but also soberly to make sure you are suitable.

The countdown has started. Then comes the phone call to tell us that Torris may fly. He will arrive on Sept. 6 at Schiphol Airport in the evening. My best friend and my sister came along with me to welcome Torris on Dutch soil. At the airport my heart was beating fast and my hands were clammy. And then the dogs arrived. We walked with the benches to a quiet area where the ACE volunteer handed over the passports. (And there were photos from the vet in Spain that will help my vet - showing his broken jaw and cracked hip).

Everything happened fast. Then the bench was opened and there is this beautiful white dog - only seven months old. I knew him only from his photos. He was even more beautiful than I'd imagined and I could not put him down. I was still totally entranced and I just sat on the floor and stroked and cuddled him. Meanwhile, my best friend and sister took pictures. 

The trip back to the East went well; he didn't make a sound. At home (in the night) my dear Sam became acquainted with him. They just smelled each other and it was immediately fine. I do not like to put my dogs in a bench. It's more natural for them to lie on the couch and Torris's  basket was all ready for him and he will find his on place.  He'd had a long journey all the previous day and all night and he soon fell asleep. It had been a long day for all of us. 

The next day we had visit from our family and friends. What a beautiful day it was too. The first week was spent getting used to each other - Torris, Sam and me - and then it was immediately fine. I love to watch him, every day. I love him. Torris is now part of our family and friends. What a wonderful 2014 ....

Sam on the left, little Torris on the right.


So happy.

A new name for our fabulous Dutch blog

Our Dutch and Belgian blog have amalgamated and there was a competition to find a new name. And now the name has been chosen. From now on the Dutch blog will continue to be written and edited by Ineke, with technical help from Helene from Belgium. It has a bright new look as well.

The new name?

(Het Spaanse Natte Neuzen Nieuws)

It will continue to tell wonderful stories about our dogs, with contributions from our volunteers and adopters. Follow the progress of our lucky dogs. Keep in touch with events and happenings. Watch out for fundraising efforts and petitions and all manner of news about ACE.

As you will see this blog, the English Blog, has a slightly different name and look. We haven't changed the name entirely but I am open to suggestions. Many of the stories on this blog reflect those on the Dutch blog, thanks to Ineke. There are not so many as I need to translate them, which takes a bit more time. My thanks also to Fabienne and Denise who send me material. 

I will also write original posts - with emphasis on our sweet 'long stayers' and our 'black beauties' and the Bodegueros and Podencos. The latter breeds are often overlooked, simply because they are unfamiliar outside Spain. Our 'long stayers' have been with us too long, beautiful souls who for some reason haven't been chosen. The same goes for the 'black beauties' - people don't see beyond the colour.

So a new year, new hope and as Fabienne always says ' Tomorrow another healthy day.'