February 28, 2015

Curro - an adorable oldie

Dear Curro

We love all our dogs and we worry about every one of them. Nothing makes us happier than to see them go off to new lives with loving forever families. While we care about them equally we do worry about our oldies - our golden oldies. It's no fun for any dog to be in a shelter, even though we do our best to make it as pleasant as we can. However, when you are getting old and a little tired, being in a shelter can be especially difficult.

When we can we put our oldies with foster parents, where there are not so many dogs, where it is quieter and easier for them. Our adored Curro is one of these dogs. She's ten years old now and is in foster in Belgium. This kind, quiet soul is grateful and accepting but would really love a home of her very own. We wish it for her too, so she can spend her last years in her golden basket with her very own family.

Curro at the Refugio

Curro at the beach.

A happy outing with her sibling fosters in Belgium.

Walkies and Treats

The gift of a dog ...

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are."     



Rocco - a special gentleman

Sweet Rocco

Rocco is another of our dogs who has known a home and a family, yet has ended up in the Refugio without his beloved bosses. In this case however, Rocco wasn't cruelly dumped but he did come to us through cruel circumstances. His family were victims of the terrible economic recession here in Spain. They were forced to return to Argentina, but couldn't find the large amount of money needed to fly Rocco back with them. Great sadness for them and for Rocco.

He's a handsome, calm gentleman but he's missing his people and his old life enormously. He's coping very well in the Refugio. With so many dogs and people around it's bound to be confusing, especially since Rocco is deaf. But he lives his life without problem and is also great with the other dogs. He still holds back a little with strangers, but not for long.

Rocco has the most amazing eyes - one is brown and one is blue. This makes him very special, but indeed he is very special as his sweet personality and intelligence make him unique. Fabienne says that in some ways he's like 'a man in dog's clothing'.

Now all this dear and special dog needs is his own family. To have his own basket, his special place in his family's heart, just as he had before. It wasn't his fault that he lost his loved ones, and it wasn't their fault either. But they would be so happy to know that Rocco was once more a beloved family pet surrounded by love and cuddles. And so would we.

A dear and special dog


All he asks is a family of his very own again.

Who will help make Rocco happy again?

February 22, 2015

Two beautiful Collies - so nearly destroyed

Yakovlev on the left and Lisashenka on the right.

They are brother and sister and they are beautiful. Beautiful Border Collies. Their owner wanted rid of them. They wouldn't hunt. They were useless and one of them was deaf. We don't know about that, we'll do some test to find out.

The boy, Yakovlev, is very timid and very attached to his sister, Lisashenka. She's the boss and is very clever and smart and is able to reassure her brother and keep him calm. The dogs were very skinny but are getting better and are beginning to feel at home. They are good with the other dogs and seem to realise that they are safe. Being Border Collies they are very intelligent.

We saved them in the nick of time as their owner would have killed them. They are pretty dogs, as you can see, and have good, sweet characters. Yakovlev is still scared but that will easily change when he has an owner who loves and undersands the breed.

We'd love them to be rehomed together, but will be happy to have them find forever homes whether together or separately. You can read more about them on the website and on Fabienne's Diary.

Guicci, our brave little warrior

In July last year, we discovered that our adopted dog Guicci had anal gland cancer. He was terminally ill, which is so sad as he was still only eleven years old.

The prognosis was that he had only 3 or 4 months and then the cancer would have spread all the way!! We were devastated because we felt so powerless.

After several days of sadness, we decided that we would give him the best months that a dog could wish. And so we went to the sea, a walk every day, every day delicious sweets, he came with us everywhere on visits and was with us when we went to the restaurant.

And Guicci thinks that all this is great, and we likewise !!

Time ticked on and suddenly the 4 months 5 months, etc. had gone by and today was the day. 
Guicci's birthday - he made it to his twelfth birthday. What a party we had, quite emotional because little by little he goes backwards, but we just continue to make every day the best.

If he starts to be in real pain, then we'll let him go gently. We love him so much we want to do what's best for him. 

But today we do not think of this. Today brave Guicci is just our birthday boy.

Wim and Nancy

A heartwarming poem - so true.

Thank you Perrock

Fabienne writes ...

"Every year we receive a donation from Perrock, the group of concert singers. It's really appreciated and so kind of the singer, and we really want to thank them for the food. Thanks a lot."

One of the group helping to unload

Stephen lends a hand too.

There's a lot to unload.

Lovely food for our doggies

Yay! Thank you so much.

Our Luna

Luna - very bright and exceptionally sweet.

Firstly, ...... we take our hats off to the ACE Foundation and all their employees for the great job they do and to the committed volunteers. What devotion, all that heart and soul.

Exactly 12 weeks ago we collected Luna (then Marit) from her foster home in Belgium .......... Nicole had the whole litter of 5 in her care ... and indeed we also want to give her a great big thank you for the great warmth she offers these foster dogs, the way she makes them feel 'at home'. 

We fell completely when we met Luna. That sweet face with those beautiful eyes ... the click between us was immediate and after ony 5 minutes her head was already on my knee. In the beginning here, out on the street, she was quite skittish, but how could it be otherwise?  God knows what these dogs have been through in Spain ........... but we took it day by day and now it's better, there's now almost no problem.

At the moment she's a real adolescent and during her "naughty half an hour", she picks up everything that's not nailed down hahaha. She knows exactly what she's doing and nothing defeats her. ... She also does quite hilarious things and it's sometimes difficult to be consistent and not burst out laughing as she stands there as if to say 'I've got it, now how are you going to get it back again". The latest thing is  the TV remote, which she takes from my husband. And the he has to clean it - lol!

And as though it was meant to be, her sister Evi has also been adopted in Eindhoven. They now see each other regularly and the first reunion was sooooooo cute (I do not know if they recognized each other as sisters but was very sweet.)

We are very pleased with our Luna-girl, she is kind to everyone and everything. She is partly Podenco so she has hound genes. It's important to remember and be on your guard, otherwise you'll find yourself being dragged along the ground on your face if she suddenly discover a rabbit! But on the other hand her sweet and gentle nature makes her very affectionate and she can squirm into the  most impossible positions to get a cuddle ........... totally awesome !!!

Next month we're going to go on a course together though mainly to keep her busy.......... she is super smart (too smart occasionally) and learns very fast, ...... but only if she wants to !!!

Thanks again to ACE and the staff ........ without you our Luna would not here now. And we couldn't even imagine being without her.  


French, Inge and lebber Luna,

Lindo - "Why doesn't anyone see me?"

Am I really invisible?

Our beautiful Lindo. So sweet, gentle and asking over and over - 'Why?' 'Why am I still here?' Is it because I'm invisible?' 'Is it because my brothers and sisters were better?' 'Why am I still here when they have all gone to forever homes?"

Dear little Lindo. Of course they weren't better than you. And we wish we knew why no one has adopted you. You came to us as a little one with your brothers and sisters - Perlita, Mimo, Dulce and Peque, abandoned somewhere in Algeciras. Now they have all gone, they all have their golden baskets but you, little sweetheart, stayed behind in the refugio,

What we do know is that sometimes, for no good reason that we can see, when there is a large family of dogs, one remains behind. This is not what we want at all, but there's not a lot we can do. Just like your brothers and sisters you are a soft, sweet dog. An unassuming dog. You don't draw attention to yourself so you get overlooked. You don't ask for much and you accept your fate.

So now we would like to put you in the spotlight. Once people know you they will see that you will make someone - one person or a family - so very happy. So we want to tell everyone about you. To make sure you get lots of attention and, who knows, maybe now your luck will change and you will get the golden basket you deserve so very much.


Such a handsome, gentle boy.

Adapted from Fabienne's Diary

February 16, 2015

Mother and puppies rescued from a cave

An alarming phone call informed us that someone had discovered a mother with puppies in an abandoned cave. They were able to give them food and drink but couldn't find a shelter that would take them in. Mummy is a very nice character: She's doesn't mind at all when we look at her with her seven puppies, none of whom looks at all like her. Who the fathers are we'll never know.

The icy wind and the long cold nights must have been terrible when you are so skinny and malnourished, but she kept going and visited all the garbage containers she could find so her little ones might survive. She is a good, soft soul who melts your heart, such a lovely and sweet dog. She is totally not afraid and is used to people. She licks your hand gratefully when she sees you caring for her seven little squeakers, who require a lot of attention and love.

In the photo you can see the cave where they were living. They are all with us now. Safe. Mom is quiet and happy with the little that she now has and so very grateful to have a warm basket and food which she didn't have to go and search for. Her children are satified. Fat little bellies and loud snores now fill their small cage at the shelter. We are just so glad they are saved !!!

Extra hugs today ...

Mama Cala and Blimpy both getting lovely hugs from Miguel  

February 15, 2015

Happy News - Icaros has been reserved at last

Icaros has been reserved !!!


Faithful Icaros, before he came to us.

The original story from Fabienne's Diary.

This is how our Icaros came to the Refugio. He'd been a family pet, living in a house with kids. A normal enough situation. He was the son's great playmate and was always a cheerful presence around the house. Then one day the removal vans drove up. He didn't understand, nor did he understand the tears of his masters. 

A few days later off moved the vans, with his owners and the children. He remained all alone. Home alone. Left behind. From that day on Icaros waited by his front door. He waited there for two long years. In the meantime two more families came to live in the house, one after the other. English people, like his own family. But the door remained shut for Icarus. Nevertheless he did not give up. He thought that they'd come for him. They'd come soon, wouldn't they?

The people in the neighborhood did not love Icaros: he was often kicked or almost hit by cars. He was nearly killed by one of the people in the street, who beat him badly. None of this stopped Icaros waiting faithfully for his owners. Then, a year ago, he disappeared for several days. Nobody had seen him. 'Good!' thought the people. He's gone.' However he hadn't gone. He was found in a nearby gutter, starving, shrunk into himself. He had a broken paw but didn't want to come close to people. From then on he would limp away from them. He'd growl at the few kind people who brought him food. They tried to catch him but couldn't.

Still every morning he'd sit by his old front door, nervously looking around; he became more and more afraid  of people, but courageously waited, never giving up the belief that his owners would soon return. Until last week. One of the neighbours who heartily disliked Icarus set his own dangerous dog to scare him. He attacked Icarus but Icaros managed to escape. This infuriated the neighbur who called the killing station. They came with their equipment but he managed to evade them too. 

When we heard that, we went to look for him. He was nowhere to be found. It was raining heavily and the wind howled through the small street. We searched and searched until after a while we saw a small white dog lying curled up in the corner of a deserted area. He lay there shivering in the pouring rain, he wouldn't even look at us and all the while the rain drenched him, adding to his misery, his pain and his despair. 

We were able to catch him - he was almost defenseless. He screamed at the first touch and wanted to bite us,. He didn't want to come with us but he gave up. He gave himself up and we took him straight to the veterinary clinic. We can't touch him, his confidence is gone, his heart is broken, his body hurts from the insect bites that have become inflamed. His paw hurts because it was broken over a year ago.

Trust and courage is gone. We try to win him back, we try to heal his wounds and his broken soul.
For two years he waited loyally at the door of his home, waiting for his owners who were now living another life. Icaros has never been unfaithful to them, has never forgotten them. The neighbors are content that the dirty dog is finally gone. The sadist who lives in the street is also satisfied.
The intolerance and inhumanity of people surprise me every day. Sympathy is an alien concept for too many people. 

Little man, we want to look after you in this cruel world and want to see you become happy again one day. We will work on this. You didn't deserve this, little Icaros, small, faithful Bodeguero.
And now .......... reserved !!!

So much better now - and a well deserved happy ending for this faithful, devoted dog.

Fabienne now writes this:

This is what makes the work we do so beautiful, this is what makes our goals so rewarding when they work out so wonderfully.

Just look, our Icaros is reserved! I'll never forget his rescue: he was lying in the pouring rain, rolled into a ball in the icy wind and rain. He did not want to come with us but he gave in. We put  him in the car and we drove like crazy to the emergency clinic. He had a high fever and was given immediate care. And then, today, someone wants to make him happy and give him a warm basket ...

We remain determined, we carry on even though not every day is a bed of roses here. It always gives you a warm feeling when you can save a dog, and find him or her a forever home, knowing the circumstances they came from, knowing that behind each of our poor wretches is a story, a memory, a stamp printed or engraved on our memory.

If you have seen them come to the site, seen them at the vets, watch them leave for their warm basket, you are seeing not only the dog, but also his or her story, their history. The people around us, the adopters, the new owners, see their dog arrive completely restored and are so happy that he or she is saved. They take them home and we are immensely grateful for that, but if people really knew what often precedes that day, it would make a lot of people think differently about us ...

It is so easy to criticize, to condemn us for one mistake, or to be upset if a dog sometimes does not come up to expectations, or maybe has some problems. It's so easy for people who do not know what a rescue involves to question what we do here. Instead of blaming them, we try to respond. Only there are unfortunately always people, regardless of the fact that they profess to be big animal lovers, who can inflict a lot of damage on us and on other organisations - from stupidity, jealousy, abuse of power, lust for destruction, just for fun ... 

There are sick spirits everywhere, but people, people you need to rise above it. Look into the mirror of your heart and know who you are and what you do. Think of all the other dogs who cross your path, who fill your life as you fight hard for them, fight to heal their spirits, save them so that you can make them happy. Hang on to that positive force, because then you can get through all the unpleasantness. Let them drag you through the mud. Let them use their sick mind and abuse you. Let them write and insinuate. Leave it all happen ... let it pass. Let it wash over you, for as long as you know who you are, as long as you know what you are doing and keep trying to get the best out of yourself, then it's good. 

Miracles you can never live up to, but you know there are so many dogs for whom, together, we have made a difference. Think of those dogs that are cuddled in their warm basket, racing across green meadows, sleeping in a home where love and respect prevail over everything they have endured. The day they leave Spain behind, is the beginning of the rest of their life, and that must be the most beautiful thing. That is our goal. We often regret that it does not always go as we want, but no man nor beast could look into a crystal ball and see what the future will bring, you can only try to do your best.

Together we stand and look at the thousands of people and animals around us who got a chance thanks to volunteers and real animal lovers: #Let us give thanks for this #

Please help our beautiful Modest ..

Modest is a very sweet dog, a gentle soul who I met when I was out in September. She loved cuddles and was quiet and gentle. Now Fabienne is sending out an appeal - Modest so badly needs a home ...

Modest: a perfect name for a gentle, unassuming dog.

Fabienne writes ...

This is an urgent message about our lovely Modest.

Hello All,

Our Modest is depressed ... we've seen it coming for a few days, indeed for even longer. 

He is a very people oriented dog and the time he's having to spend in this mandatory detention, being one among many dogs, is taking it's toll.

These days his heart is very heavy .. he is very down and hangs his head .. we see the glint
go out of his eyes and his hopes fading ... so I want to draw attention to this poor fellow. He so deserves not just attention, but a forever home really soon. 

We don't want him to give up.  


Such a good boy.

Waiting patiently.

Just look at that sweet handsome face.

Modest loves people and is eager to please.

Family Photos - taken with lots of patience!

Daddy Bear, Mummy Bear and Baby Bear



There's always ONE! (fourth puppy from the left!)


Annoying my Mum!

Proud parents.

Colour co-ordination.

Don't look at me, I didn't put them in the basket!

My little one.

Fuzzy wuzzy cuties.

Quite a mouthful!


Pink noses, pink ears.

"Look what I did!"


Pure gold.

Carbon copy (tiny version).

A heap of happiness.

Many thanks to Fabienne for sending these delightful photos.