June 30, 2015

Update Adyn: here are the photos!

Adyn is doing very well with his owners in Belgium.
Here are some pictures of him along with his two other adopted pals!
Such a very happy ending.

My very own zebra striped 'golden basket'!

Chillin' in the sun with my new friend.

A garden, a pond, a friend and a family. What more could a sweet dog ask for?

Grass! So much softer than concrete!

The three of us at home.

And in the garden. So happy!

June 28, 2015

Such joyful news - Adyn is HOME!!!

Adyn: the familiar photo, always at the back of the queue

Adyn was found in a very dirty, filthy and dangerous area in Tarifa, where dogs are treated like dirt, pelted with stones, get no food or care. Adyn, together with a few friends, formed a pack to try to keep safe, but they couldn't hold out long with these harsh living conditions - he is the only survivor of this little family. Once with us, he turned out to be a very sweet, cheerful and playful dog. And he was with us way too long. We can never explain why some dogs, like this lovely chap, get overlooked.

Whenever you clicked on 'Dogs for Adoption' on the website, Adyn was always there. Always the first dog - unless sometimes they reversed it and Adyn appeared last. Whichever way it was, the truth remained. Dear, lovely Adyn had been on the website the longest of all the dogs. He was barely one year old when he came to us on 1st April 2009. Now he's seven and has been with us for just over six years. But now all that has changed.

Adyn is home!!!

First a happy foster, and how a forever home!

In 2013 Adyn left the Refugio and went to a lovely foster home in the Netherlands, where he was given the name Sammie. His foster family found him to be as sweet and loyal as we had. Great with other dogs, good with cats - and with his confidence growing all the time.

And now!  Now Adyn is home. Looking on the ACE website last night, scrolling down through the stories, what did I see among a group of dogs who had just been adopted? Adyn. I could hardly believe it, but it's true. His adopter says he's settling in well and she is sending pictures to ACE. Watch out for them, as I will post them as soon as I get them. I'm not sure what name he will have, but for me he will always be Adyn, the first dog!

Here is the latest post I wrote, highlighting Aydn and some of his other long-staying friends. It's so wonderful that Adyn has found his golden basket. His friends Sereno, Seti, Oca, Pato, Ale and Feria are still looking for theirs. Can you help?

June 27, 2015

Manolito - look at me now!!!


A beautiful boy.

A message from Eugenie, who has taken Manolito into her family. She has enveloped this sweeet boy with love. You can read the story of his journey to Eugenie and see how he looked when he first came in and how downtrodden and scared he was. There's also a story about is first Christmas in safety in foster with Fabienne and the most beautiful letter written to him by Eugenie, while she was waiting to meet him. Here is her latest update ...

Here are some of the latest pictures of Manolito.

Has he not become beautiful. He has transformed into a happy, comical and oh so sweet dog, who is now very confident. 

We are still in love!

Greetings, Eugenie

Happy and confident.

Free to be myself.

Surrounded by love.

We have a Houdini in the Refugio!!!

Bond - also known as Houdini!
Bond is a real Houdini.

Bond was born somewhere in the fields around a Spanish farm, where he was one of the family. Here he was free to come and go as he pleased, he could go to anyone and everyone. In his free life and free spirit he learnt to survive. He is a true child of nature.

He easily jumps a 1.5m fence or climbs over a hedge like a cat. He needs a home where he wouldn't be robbed of his liberty - somewhere like a riding school or on a farm would be the ideal as long as there were no dangerous roads nearby. He always comes back home, but likes to go off for walks on his own.

Bond is social with cats and dogs and loves people and children. His only bad side is that he escapes. Maybe once he has found a good home, he won't need to escape anymore. But we don't want him to have an accident, because he is very sweet and very small and a really nice and good character.

Lucky Devlin, fell on his paws

Devlin always goes everywhere with his family. So nice to see.

When we were at the airport yesterday in a mega long line, waiting to check in our dogs so they could fly to their forever homes, there was a family in front of us with a doggie.

A typical Andalusian dog I thought, what a cutie - friendly, loyal, always watching the owner, and sweet with the little kid.

The people obviously cared about their four-legged friend. Suddenly the owner came over to us and told us that DEVLIN is a dog they adopted from us as a puppy, in 2006.

They are proud and happy with such a sweet dog and they take him with them, everywhere they go.

It is so heartening to hear this and to know that Devlin had such a happy ending.

All's well that ends well and tomorrow another healthy day !!!!


Heartwarming rescues of the week - No. 4

Othilia - we didn't expect her to survive

No, we never thought she'd recover. But she's almost there now. When she came in we thought, 'God help us, we won't be able to save her.' Her wounds were seething with maggots and she herself was a living skeleton.

Still, we started to treat her with horrow and disgust at what we were finding on this poor dog. It was horrible to see. It is unbelievable what some animals have to endure, and that in this unbearable heat. It's something no human could imagine, unless they witnessed it.

Othilia was attacked by other dogs somewhere in the streets of Alhaurin, so this oldie came to us. She's the sweetest, bravest soul that you could imagine, she's used to being in the background, not being noticed. She's now staying in our clinic and getting lots of cuddles. Othilia is always happy, whether she's getting attention or not. She's a really quiet old lady. Grateful and happy with us and everyone.

She has had an operation and her wounds are starting to heal.  Slowly the huge wound on her back is closing up - she must have been in so much pain. It must have been indescribable. So now let's work together to find her good home where she will forget all this and enjoy the last years of her life loved, at peace and free of pain. Othilia deserves this ..  she's a fighter who wanted to live, she didn't want to say goodbye to this world, even though it was has been more than cruel to her.



Sweet Othilia, safe in our clinic.

Saved! Heartwarming rescues of the week - No.3

Opie - Missing since 2007

Do you know this dog? 

Opie was found tied up at the gate to the killing station one morning.

One of the volunteers phoned us to say that she had found a Pug tied to the gate of the killing station. We collected him immediately. There is a problem with his eyes and we also think he is stone-deaf. It's unbelievable what people will do to a sick animal.

To our surprise, he had a chip. After checking we discovered that he had already been "missing" since the year 2007 !!! Of course, we immediately called the owners, in the hope that they could pick up their dog. Unfortunately they can not be reached on any of the specified numbers. We are now trying to find them by a different route, but in the meantime he is safe with us.

Just imagine - the dog was stolen in 2007 and now he's been dumped. Everything is possible here!
We are treating his eyes and his ears also getting a thorough inspection.  The dog is a dream character, quiet, always content, a lovely cuddly toy, a thoroughly obedient creature, but unfortunately he is an old one and how he must have suffered, being dumped on the street - by whom we will never know. 

Opie - we need to find his owners.

Such a gentle, cuddly old boy.

Saved! Heartwarming rescues of the week - No. 2

Little Mika

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Mika, weighing only 5 kg, but dumped as if she were no more than a speck of dirt.

While some of our volunteers were visiting our foster mum Isabelleke, a car suddenly drove up.
A man got out and asked for Isabel. When she came out, he explained that he could no longer care for small Mika. His mega big car gave lie to his story! However much she tried to reason with him, he was adamant and threw Mika into her arms and sped off in his luxury car.

The dog weighs only 5 kg, so small and so compact but in a heavily neglected state. Her eyes are festering,  her skin look coarse and unkempt, her poor nose is one great crust,. It all looks very painful. Mika now getting the care she deserves, but  still has a long way to go.

Had she been abandoned on the street by her unscrupulous boss she wouldn't have stood chance, nor if he had thrown her out of the car onto the road where she ccould have been killed. Therefore, we are happy came to us, inspite of everything. She deserves so much better than the treatment her boss meted out.

Not a day goes by where we don't find a homeless dog on the street or one that is unwanted -  the phone rings and never stops ... The fantasy stories and the number of excuses they find to dump their four-legged friend, know no boundaries. One day I hope to write my book ... with the title: "1000 reasons to dump my best friend" ....

Little Mika is with us now ... hopefully she will soon get better.


A warm, loving cuddle for Mika.

Making friends.

Saved! Heartwarming rescues of the week - No.1

Sweet Pixie

Over a period of months, she'd be seen at dusk near the garbage containers. She eat with the cats who also gather there to receive food. She was always on guard, looking around her to make sure the coast was clear, because people were dangerous. If you came to close she would run off fast, as if her life was in danger.

This went on for months until one evening she just jumped in the car! We were just finishing feeding the stray cats wheen there she was, sitting in the car, still scared, her shoulders slumped but with a look in her eyes as if she was sayng "please take me, I can't go on."

Pixie is a sweet dog. Once she knows you and feels safe, she won't leave your side. She is very faithful and grateful. So grateful because she gets her food every day and no longer has to run aay from strangers who might hurt her. She is a soft, gentle and subsurvient character and medium side.

June 21, 2015

They struck again today ....

It never stops. They do it as if it's completely normal behaviour. Today, at the door of the Algeciras shelter, they found a box with four puppies who cannot even eat on their own. They are barely three weeks old. It's summer and unwanted, pregnant dogs are being dumped everywhere in the South of Spain.

 A box at the gate

Barely three weeks old

Too little to eat on their own

Chino - now known as Benny

Benny - a true Ibizan Maneto.

 More than three months ago we adopted Chino, now called Benny. Maybe some of the readers of the ACE site will still remember him. He is the dog that was taken to the killing station not once, but three times, and who each time managed to escape and run back home, where he was definately not welcome. An employee of the killing station saw this happen and rescued him. And so he came into the safe custody of Fabienne.

Because we were looking for a dog I checked the ACE website every day. We had two dogs in October 2005, both adopted from ACE. Unfortunately, after 8 years our beloved Bobby died.  (See the obituary on In Memoriam, November 2013) Molly, was left alone and so we allowed ourselves a new dog. This dog was definately going to come from ACE. So night after night I scanned the site. I wish I could have adopted them all. But because Molly who is a little afraid of large dogs, I needed to choose a smaller dog.

Eventually I had a list of 30 individuals, which was too many. After much deliberation I reduced that to three. Actually, I already knew - it had to be Chino. Every evening after looking at the site, I always finished up by going back to Chino. I read his story maybe 50 times. I looked to ACE for advice. Which of the three would best suit us? Yvonne, with her hunting instinct, Manuel, a sweet house dog and Chino, perhaps traumatized by the events in his life.

First I chose Manuel, easy house dog, but a day later, no, it had to Chino, despite my guilt towards Manuel. But it's true: you can not save all the dogs in the world, but you can save the world for one dog. The home visit was very positive and pleasant. We were given the go ahead to adopt Chino. He would be our 9th dog. The weeks dragged. His basket was ready and Molly must already have heard more than 20 times that we would soon be picking up her new boyfriend from the airport.

Finally the day arrived. Chino landed at Eindhoven. I saw it immediately. This was not a pathetic traumatized little dog, the nasty time had been long forgotten and overcome thanks to the good care of Fabienne and her staff. This was a true Ibizan Maneto. Maybe a little bit of something else, but not much.

The acquaintance with Molly went smoothly, the ride home, too. He watched everything his eyes taking in all the lights in the dark outside. At home he did not pee outside. When we went inside he ate right away and when he had done, drank a bit, tried his basket and fell asleep. And so did we. Molly pretended she had known him for years.

He had a good night's sleep. The next morning, he hadn't done anything in the house. We did a tour of the park near our house, with Molly. There was a bunny - Benny stood on his hind legs and barked loudly.  Moments later a deer appeared and, oh, that seemed like a delicious morsel. You could also see him working out a recipe for venison! The ducks in the pond were also not to be sneezed at. It was so exciting that there was no time to pee.

Later in the morning he finally got round to it and peed a big lake and a poo. That was successful.
In the afternoon, he was on the lead in the garden. Molly was as always loose. The first, best molehill had to be excavated instantly; he stuck his nose there snorting like a horse. Molly looked interested.

The next day Benny was allowed loose with Molly in the fenced garden. He began to run and to track, then a passing rabbit flew by, with Benny and Molly after it.You could see Molly think that this was quite good. In all the years I have had dogs, sometimes 3 or 4 at a time, I have never seen such a passionate hunter. as Benny. After he'd been running around for several hours, with no sign of listening, I contacted ACE.

Odette called me right back and took the time to give me advice. Benny should not be allowed loose in the garden, we needed to define an specific area where he could run and leave it for six months.
That was not a success; jumping over a meter high mesh was no problem. Because I still had work to do in the garden I put his harness on with a long line attached to it and fixed it in the area where I was working.

After less than three minutes I saw Benny from the corner of my eye running off. His empty harness lay beside me. I managed to catch him and put the harness on again, this time more firmly and tight.
Yes, even faster than the first time got free and he rushed off. He'd bitten through the line!
So then I let him walk. After a few days it improved. He began to listen, especially after we had set fixed times of food and tasty snacks.

After some weeks Odette inquired how it was going. By then there was already a clear improvement, and now, after another three months Odette again inquired after him (something I appreciate very much at ACE) and I was able to let her know the following:

With my favourite toy.

Dear Odette,

Thanks for asking yet again how it's going with Benny.

Well, it's excellent.

The itching is sorted; he appeared to be very sensitive to a greasy pate which our other dog eat - we stopped it for his good, not because he didn't want to eat it. A week after we stopped giving it to them, the itching was gone.

His hunting is excellent! His score in the garden: 1 rabbit, 1 mole and 2 mice and then most probably other things I have not seen.

Fortunately, he is not overwrought with it.

Each morning after coffee he can go in the garden, and he knows it. Before coffee he has already been to the park t do his business, together with Molly. Then I drink coffee while he and Molly watch and then they go in the yard, at least, to sniff around. Molly then comes back in for a bit of quiet time. She is afer all more than 11 years old.

But once Benny smells a trace of something he yelps and that's the signal for Molly to help him.
Among the ornamental grass or other plants you see one white tail and one brown tail wagging. 
I now have a stock pile of soil to fill the holes they make while excavating for moles etc.
The garden soil is flying for meters around in their handiwork.

Frankly, in the first weeks after Benny's arrival I had the feeling that I didn't knw where to start.
We have a fenced garden - on 1 side a 2 x meters high fence, on the other sides mesh over 1 meter high. Never was there a dog, big or small, who has got over it. Well a few got under it , but after a few times we discovered where the weaknesses were and sorted them out. 

Benny immediately started to exploit the weaknesses, he found three more, to dig himself out.
When we closed these off, he climbed / jumped over the wire, swam through the ditch and went on his own hunt through the park. Once he was gone for hours. I saw him, he heard me, but did not listen. Only then, after some hours, a man with a dog came along to where Benny was and we were able to "capture" him.

That night I couldn't get to him. The evening ritual of eating together, even just a piece of cheese, was quickly done that night then into his basket and tucked up.The previous dogs, 8 of them, also listened sometimes, but they never ignored me. But happily his behavior has now turned positive. The fence is still sometimes difficult when he doesn't listen immediately, but it will come eventually. 

He is very sweet, even with unknown visitors and he is social towards other dogs. Molly is his role model, he is happy to be under her paw. It is still regrettable that a dog will never be able to run loose outside our property. He will not be running loose behind me, my shadow at my heels the way I thought it would be. 

But we're very fond of him. He is also watchful. When people are running at night on the road in front of our house he catches on, growls and crouches listening attentively; something that I find very nice. Also, I think it is a sign that he feels he belongs here and feels "at home". He is very inquisitive. He obeys: sit, stay, foot, and come to your basket. The latter is (of course) in the very best in the room! But I find it amazing that these basic things, flawlessly sit in his little head, after a few weeks.

We have even been to the vet with him, but that was just to get the repeat injection for Weil's disease.
Benny seems healthy. His appetite is great. The vet has already said that we must be alert to Spanish ailments. We will certainly check his blood if you think this is a good idea.

I hope it all works out in Spain. Fabienne is having a very hard time. We donated some money, some time ago, but more is obviously still very much needed.

Thank you for all the interest in Benny - I'm happy to send some pictures. The green dragonfly toy he's playing with was one he got on the day he arrived, and it remains his favourite. 


Francine, owner Will, Molly and Benny

Inda and her babies

INDA and her dolls are doing well ..


Here are the latest photos of Inda and her fat little babies, presented by her loving foster family.

Denise x

Inda - proud mama!

Santiago - such a cheerful boy

Santiago loves being on the boat.

Santiago's adopter has sent some great photos and this message :-

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Here are some new pictures of Santiago, who came to us in November 2014. He still enjoys his life with us on the farm. He is confident, cheerful and enthusiastic. He loves to go on the boat and if it still is nice weather, you can not go wrong all day ........




Still chillin'

With my friend.

On the farm.

June 13, 2015

Gorgeous Chelsea ...

Chelsea enjoying a break from training - which she adores. She's growing up fast and loving her life in England. She in turn is adored by her adopters, Gemma and Jamie. What a lucky pup - she has really fallen on her paws :)

Tequila did get her happy ending!

A few weeks ago I posted this picture of Maries and little Tequila. The caption read -
"Tequila and Maries in front of the Happy Endings Board. We'll make sure you get one too, little Tequila."

Now Maries has written with the wonderful news that Tequila has got her happy ending, her forever home. Here are some photos and a message from Tina, who has adopted her and who came out to Spain to pick her up.

Tequila is now home now and doing fine. She is so sweet , so loving and bright. Love her  so.
The pack respect her very much, she is  quite a self confident  lady J 
She is still having antibiotics. Hope the infection soon will be over.

Kind regards, Tina

Tequila when she arrived at the Refugio

Tequila - now called Buster - in her golden basket - what a difference

Relaxing with the pack


A message from Buddy


Again just a message about Buddy (on the website he was No. 8249)

He loves everything and he is a very happy dog. He comes for cuddles and loves long walks, preferably the one and a half hours every day when he goes to the forest. He knows exactly how to make this clear to his boss ;-)

Last week he came with us and Pepper to the Ardennes for a weeks holiday, for the first time. He enjoyed it there - the very lovely gardens and the walks and learning over and over again that when on a terrace, for example, you can also just lie and wait instead of whining and sauntering nervously around! The trip in the car was perfect - he just jumped in and slept all the way.

Today we went to the heath, which is really a celebration! Running and flitting through the water .... he loves water and really enjoys being in it. He listens pretty well here, except that just around the corner on the dunes the bushes are very interesting and there he likes to disappear. Then he closes his ears and only comes back when his research is finished. We are still working on this.

Truly a top dog is, he is so very sweet! And this month it's been 2 years.

Greetings from Maurice and Chantal and a paw from Buddy and Pepper

Buddy and Pepper

Water Baby!

With my stick!

With my boss and Pepper.

With my other boss. What a lucky dog I am!