October 2, 2019

Back safe and sound from our hiking trip in Japan and, as last year, had a wonderful time.  Friends Jackie and Simon managed a drone free exit from Heathrow, but on the flight to Vienna to pick up the Tokyo flight, an air hostess tripped and splashed Jackie with boiling hot tea !  Unbelievably there was no first aid equipment on the ‘plane and Jackie had a nasty burn on her side just where trousers sit.  This was a major poo as it meant that she could not enjoy the onsen baths which are so much a part of holidays in Japan.  Added to that, the vegetarian meals that had ordered were not on board.  Not a good start.  Ernst and I had  trouble free flights from Toulouse to Munich, then on to Tokyo.  We met up in an hotel in Sendai, where the hiking started and the holiday commenced.  It was fabulous !  What I love about the company, Walk Japan, is that it is not just a tourist site seeing holiday, the hikes take you through little Japanese villages and you stay in little local inns.  We managed to avoid black bears, aggressive wild monkeys  and even a typhoon !  The hiking took up the first week then the second we returned to Sendai and did the tourist bit.  If you ever go there I can recommend the Mozart Café at the art museum !  We visited all day then in the evenings ate and went to an English pub – where we were the only westerners – to watch rugby !  Sadly my unenthusiasm for ‘proper’ Japanese food had not changed in the year between visits but we managed.  Luckily Ernst loved it and ate for all four of us !  I could not get in to cold noodles and fish in jelly for breakfast !  One day Jackie and I ordered what we thought was breaded shrimps, only to take a bite and …… OMG what IS this ?!  With the help of Simon’s amazing ‘phone which did instant translations, we were eating, or trying to eat, fish cartilage !!!!  All too quickly the two weeks sped by and before we knew it we were back at Haneda airport and bound for home.  It is taking time to get my body clock back to normal, Japan is seven hours ahead, but getting there slowly.  Although I would love to go back, I fear budget and our ageing limbs will not permit !

Whilst we were away, Pepsi, the little black and white dog we took in just before the holiday, was adopted from Danielle’s as were two others who never made it to the website.  There has been an influx of pups and I will get them on the adoption page just as soon as I can. 

As well as the influx of pups, I have received hundreds if not thousands of books for our sale on October 19th and will be spending all day every day for the next week sorting through them.  Any more cookery books and coffee table books will be held over for the next sale as we have just so many.  There seems to be quite a few people moving, either back to England, or just downsizing and are donating their books to us – thank you.  So, 19th October, 10 am, St. Pantaleon Salle de Fetes, be there for the best choice of great condition second hand books.  Plus tea, coffee, soups and, of course ………CAKES !

Great day today, France will smash America off the rugby field and my dearest friend Gaynor becomes officially French at her citizenship presentation this afternoon.  So honoured to be invited.

Sue x


September 3, 2019

Today is a Very  Good  Day !!  Dear old Ben our ancient Labrador who has been missing since Friday, turned up at the kitchen door at 7.30 this morning (Tuesday) – there were tears after bedtime !  I really had begun to fear the worst, he came out on a walk on Friday, as ever not far from his little pal Nervous Nick, and, as usual, they decided to continue the walk after I had turned for home.  Usually they turn up in a couple of hours and no worries, but on Friday Nick came back but no Ben.  After a couple of days without news I thought he had either had a heart attack or worse, or had got disorientated.  Posters were put up everywhere, with the help of good pals he went out on Facebook and I put him on  Nothing.  Nick was a bit lonely and just sat in the garden looking at me as if to say “well, where is he ?”  I turned the question back, “you were the last one to see him, you tell me !”  Ben lived most of his life in Portugal with an elderly woman who kept him tied up 24/7 because she was worried he would knock her over. (Durrh what is an old woman doing with a pup ?!).  Then the lady died and her daughter in law brought Ben over to France.  Subsequently that lady’s Mother got cancer and she had to move long term to Paris and asked me to take in Ben.  He is a delight, so gentle and loving and just loves lying around in the garden in the sunshine.  He took Nervous Nick under his wing when Nick came to us as a very frightened puppy and Nick was his shadow.  Gradually, over the years the balance has swung the other way and Nick looks out for Ben – though obviously not very well !!  Anyway Nick’s happy, I’m overjoyed, but poor Ben doesn’t yet realise that his day long walks are over, he stays in the safety of the garden from now on !

We have had two dogs brought to us over the last week, one black and white young dog found in Le Boulve and a little Border Collie pup found on the Cahors road.  Both are out there on social media and last night I had a call from the Border’s owner so she will be going home tonight, phew, a very lively little Madame !!

Our clothes sale at the Montcuq Vide Grenier went brilliantly !  It was a  l o n g  day starting at 4am for me but even earlier for Ernst.  We had so much stuff, thanks to you lovely people, that we had to borrow a bigger van.  Finding out after we had loaded everything that it didn’t lock, we (I !) decided that one of us would have to sleep in the van at Montcuq to make sure nothing was stolen.  Luckily Ernst offered and when I turned up at our pitch at 5am he had unloaded everything ready for me to set up.  The best of best pals turned up at 6am, thank you Sophie and Lesley, followed shortly by Danielle and Patna.  We worked like stink, the clothes were flying off the table and rails – we keep prices ridiculously low so everyone gets a bargain and we don’t end up taking much back – and before we realised it, it was time to pack up and go for a well deserved drink.  Result ?  940.20 euros, an amazing, blow it out of the water record !  This sum is split 50/50 with Danielle, of La Mere aux Betes, who is a tremendous help to every and any one with an animal problem, I couldn’t go on without her.  So, to all those who donated and bought  THANK  YOU !!

We are getting prepared for our second hiking trip in Japan and are very excited.  I’m a bit nervous about meeting bears but it didn’t happen last year and Walk Japan assure use there have only been five sightings in 25 years and no worrying moments whatsoever.  Hmm.  However what is worrying us more than furry friends is getting there for our friends Simon and Jackie who are coming with us.  Ernst and I fly out on Friday 13th (!), Toulouse, Munich, Tokyo.  Jackie and Simon fly, same day, Heathrow, Vienna, Tokyo.  However, a splinter group of the eco warriors are intending to close Heathrow on the 13th with drones !  No chance of changing flights as they are discounted and you have to be on each flight of the package.  So, we are keeping everything crossed.

Lots of adoptions this month, all the little dogs have gone, just have to keep hoping for the ‘non accessory’ types.

Remember the show those Were the Days ?  Well there are to be repeat performances, with longer dancing time at the end, on Friday 27th September and Sunday 29th, at the Salle de Fetes in Montaigu.  I’ll get the booking details and add them.  Don’t miss it, a great evening !  Ok, here are the booking details, book on

Sue x


August 3, 2019

My cup runneth over !  I was mistaken for an assistant at Lidl the other day !!  Whenever I go there (often !) I always take a couple of fruit or veg boxes which are very sturdy and great for our book sales.  There was one there which just had a small packet of tomatoes in so I put the tomatoes into the full box under, took the empty one and was just walking away from the stand when a lady tapped me on the arm and asked if ‘we’ still had any of the mini chicory leaves that had been there the last week.  I explained that I wasn’t an assistant and we had a chuckle about it.  After I thought, I missed my chance, I could have apologised ‘Madame’ and said that the chicory had been so popular ‘we’ had sold out immediately.


A very sad RIP to dear Rex.  Rex was a darling dog who was leading a very sad existence in a strange household in a nearby village.  ‘Luckily’ the family went on holiday and left their three dogs just to roam the street whilst they were away.  The mayor contacted me to ask if I could have them until they got back and so we took them in.  When the family got back they wanted to take the little white fluffy thing home but not the other two.  Sadly one of the two ran off and was never seen again so I hope he fell into kind hands.  Rex meantime was put on the Poorpaws website and was adopted by a really lovely family.  That happened ten years ago and I have  just been informed that following a very happy life, where he gave and received an extraordinary amount of love, he has gone to be looked after by Saint Cadbury ….. or more likely St. Pedigree.  You were a fabulous dog Rex and deserved every gram of happiness that came your way.

We have had Ernst’s nephew, wife and baby here for a while and I am delighted – and not a little amazed – to say that in ten days, I only heard the baby (11 months) cry twice !  It was a delight to have them here, along with another nephew who turned up in his camper van.  Sadly it was much too hot for them to help Ernst put up my new greenhouse so that is still a work in progress !  Early on in the year I bought some Busy Lizzies for my pots and put them out ……. the night of the last surprise frost.  I then insisted on getting a greenhouse.  I think Ernst is a bit confused with the logics of losing ten euros worth of Busy Lizzies and spending 300 on a greenhouse, but there you go, what do men understand about the difference between ‘need’ and ‘want’ ?!?!

Went to a fabulous evening last night in Beauville, a student production of Mama Mia, absolutely mind blowing.  The students learn the dances and songs and dialogue in just a week and put on a fantastic show.

The Marche Gourmande at Tournon d’Agenais next week promises to be a good evening especially as The Stanley Sisters will be performing as they will at the Saint Laurent Lolmie village fete tomorrow.

As for dogs, I’m delighted to say that Kelli has found a home, but we are still looking for Fleur and Daisy.

Still time to get your unwanted clothes to me in time for the Poorpaws clothes stall at the Montcuq Vide Grenier (or I can collect).  Then I’ll be on your backs for books again !!

Have a great August and get out and support the great events put on by the various villages – support them or lose them and how sad would that be ?  

Sue xx

1ST JULY 2019

July 3, 2019

Last month I had one of the worst days of my life.This is Olivia.  My love for Olivia is total, absolute and unconditional (rather like my love for Alan Alda !).  She was one of a litter of nine we were given to home.  Dad is a Newfoundland and Mum a shepherd dog of sorts.  Olivia was the one left after the others had gone – possibly because I would hide her when people came to view and choose.  There was just something about her, her gentleness, her way of looking at me, she is just up there with my first Brittany, Jack.  A couple of weeks back I took a load of the dogs out for their morning walk and, of course, Olivia came too.  We were walking back towards home down the hill and Olivia was beside me …….. then she was gone !  I didn’t worry the dogs often continue the walk alone coming home shortly after.  However after an hour, two hours, three hours there was no sign of Olivia, all the others were back and I started to get anxious.  At lunchtime there was still no sign and I was worried.  Four o’clock I was in tears and by seven I was almost hysterical.  I had driven round the roads, combed the ditches, checked a large wild pond up the road, rewalked our routes, nothing.  I sat up to 1.30am checking the gate every half hour and Ernst sat up until 3.  I hardly slept a wink and when I did I dreamt that someone had taken her and wouldn’t give her back because her collar was too tight !  I was back down at the gate at 6, no sign.  I then composed and printed posters to flood the area with, stating on the poster that she needed medical attention – this to persuade the person who may have found her, to give her up and not keep her.  At 7am I decided to take the other dogs for a walk in the hope that one of them would find her.  We all went to the gate and, there was Olivia sitting there wagging her tail quite happily !  I was so happy I cried even more.  Of course I couldn’t tell her off, I had to congratulate her and make a fuss of her to ensure that, heaven forbid, if she did it again, she would not be wary of coming home.  The joyful email went out to friends who had offered to give up their day to help the search if she wasn’t back.  Many people asked me where she was, well, durrh, she hasn’t told me yet !!!  Oh, I checked her collar straight away and it was not too tight !!  Phew !

Dogs do that sometimes, just go off, probably after an animal, sometimes just a bit of wonderlust – we once found one of our dogs happily lodging with our neighbour who is 500 metres down the road ! – and when they come back it is so tempting to tell them off but we cannot because they won’t understand why we are angry and will certainly think twice about coming back another time if a good scolding is what awaits them.  A huge hug and a biscuit is the best thing for them …… and a slug of something alcoholic is best for you !

Talking of going off – see what I did there ?! – our dogs seeking homes have been ‘going off’ like hot cakes !  Pixel has gone to a great home (with a rather dishy owner !) living in a mobile home near the sea.  He has made friends with everyone and goes round with his owner whilst he -owner not Pixel ! – effects repairs on his and other camps.

Orphee had just the time to unpack his bags before he had to pack them again and he has gone off to a wonderful life in the mountains.

Oukle, who, quite honestly we thought would be difficult to home, was snapped up within days and has gone to a home where space and love have no boundaries.

A  Poorpaws event to bring to your attention:-Come to a lovely afternoon tea in equally lovely surroundings !  Sandwiches, cake and FIZZ all for 7.50 with the added bonus of the opportunity to SHOP !!   Great second hand clothes, some designer, all in fab condition at great prices.   You have friends / family staying ?  Great bring the ladies and leave the gents to look after the kids and prepare the evening barbeque !  Please email to reserve, either to me or to one of the emails on the poster as, sadly, places are limited.

Whilst we are on the clothes theme (boy am I good at this ‘linking’ thing !), I will be running the usual second hand clothes stall at the Montcuq vide grenier on 25th August and would be grateful for any ladies clothes you want to dispose of.  Bags, shoes and accessories also welcomed.  Just get in touch with me to arrange collection.

More dates for your diaries !  If, like me, you are a fan of The Stanley Sisters – and if you don’t know them yet you will be once you have heard them sing – then you need to know that they will be appearing at Le Boulve Garden Party on Friday 12th July, Chateau d’Aix Marche Gourmand at Saux on Wednesday 17th July, Fete de St. Laurent Lolmie on Sunday 4th August and the Tournon d’Agenais Marche Gourmand Friday 9 August. Catch at least one or more of the dates, you won’t be disappointed.

That’s it, must dash Wimbledon awaits !  Some great new players coming through !

Sue x



1ST JUNE 2019

June 4, 2019

Sorry, sorry sorry, very late this month but only got back from Ile de Re on Saturday and then I ‘lost’ wifi for a day.  Well to be honest, I hadn’t actually ‘lost’ it, I had woken in the night, heard thunder so got up and disconnected everything ……. then in the morning forgot I had done so.  It was only when in frustration I put my tablet actually  ON the wifi box thingy to try to get it to work, I noticed plugs out everywhere !

Had a fabulous week on Ile de Re as usual, cycled my little legs off – very flat there ! – read three books and drank a respectable amount of island rosé.  A couple of  girl friends were staying in the same village at the same time as us which was nice as it meant I had someone to cycle with, Ernst always disappearing in to the distance and leaving me behind ! 

Ok, it is now time for me to seek out a ‘Lidl Anonymous’  group !  My name is Susan and I am a Lidl addict !  I just cannot drive past one without going in to see what plants they have and to stock up on my Lidl favourites, plus, of course, to see what bargains there are in the ‘middle Lidl’. The other day I happened to drive past the Caussade store on the way back from picking up a car load of great books;  I swear to you, the car took over and drove in to the car park !  It knew something I didn’t, at the reductions counter was one white chocolate /blackberry chip Easter egg reduced to ONE EURO !!  Wow, what were the chances ?(Regulars to this monthly waffle will have heard me bleating on about these before and since Easter !)   It is now sitting in my fridge where I keep looking at it but cannot bear to eat it as there will be no more until next year !  My partner, Ernst, is German, so I am sure that when I am sleeping, he whispers to me “buy Lidl, shop at Lidl” !

Happy to report that Lady’s prospective new home is now a definite new home !  Dear Brian reports that he has another ‘runner’ on his hands but has not even thought of returning her to me.  He has  got a dog GPS for her collar and says that, in any case, she keeps him fit as he keeps having to leap on to his bike and go pedalling after her !  I couldn’t understand this at first as she walked with me off the lead and never did a runner but then I had a lightbulb moment, durrh, she wasn’t staying with me, she was staying with all the other dogs with me !

Sad to report that the gorgeous Orphee has been returned.  Nothing to do with this lovely  whose only fault was to play happily with the lady’s  Yorkshire Terriers and the lady was frightened she would hurt them !!  The husband was heartbroken to bring Orphee back.  Hmm, I know who I would have kept.

More dogs very soon on the adoption page, just have to get photos sorted which I will do very soon – in between watching Roland Garros !

If you didn’t go to the ‘Those Were the Days’ show, you missed an absolute treat !  It was just FABULOUS !  So much work had gone into making them fun evenings and they were a huge success.  There was lots of singing and dancing – not only by the performers ! – and I was amazed to see one of our vets strutting his stuff on the dance floor.  Thank you to all concerned, do hope there will be another one !

Have a lovely sunny month and remember, dogs HATE being dragged round markets, vide greniers and the like in this heat.  Leave them somewhere in the cool.

Sue x


1ST MAY 2019

May 2, 2019

Lets start with the happy news !  Here is the lovely Puppy Pieter with his equally lovely new owner sitting in the back of the van ready for the next stage of his new adventure.  A lot of  ‘new’ there and here’s another one, Pieter is now Vega !  I had to look that one up and apparently Vega is the brightest star in the northern constellation of Lyra.  Brightest star,  I go along with that.  Have a great life Vega looks like that is definitely on the cards …… or in the stars.

Next bit of good news is that little Orka has been adopted and is now best pal to Ollie a Shitzu homed by us a few years ago.  Orka is now Poppy (much more appropriate) and her new owner did not even want to wait for the two week trial period to pass before asking for Poppy to be transferred immediately to her ownership !

The good stuff just keeps on coming, Orphee has gone to a cracking new home where she will have a great outdoors life involving horses and plenty of countryside to run around in.

Fingers crossed for Lady who will hopefully be going on trial to a new home in about ten days’ time.

Now for the sad stuff, our darling Patch, a big teddy bear of a dog who came to us quite a few years ago when his owner could not keep him due to a change in circumstances, has ‘moved on’.  He was never up for adoption, the agreement being he would stay with us and we were so happy and lucky to have him.  An absolute treasure of a dog, Patch was never ever any trouble, he got on with everyone, every dog and provided a comfy cushion for cats.  For many months now moving about has not been easy but, bless his heart he got himself outside to do what was necessary.  He seemed contented and was eating well.  Then we had to carry him in and out and mop up the inevitable ‘accidents’.  Finally came the day when I just knew he had had enough and even though I couldn’t bear it, I had to make the decision.  Dear Patch has left such a big space in our hearts – and our kitchen – but I just know that wherever he is, he is being a comfort to all around.  Had he made it to August he would have been 19 years old !

Then a couple of days ago little Tanya, a blind poodle who made her life mainly in my bedroom or getting lost in the garden, had to be pts.  She was 17 and had a cerebral trauma.  It was probably the most awful thing I have witnessed and is still too raw for me to talk about .  Bless her, she had been to the toilettage the day before so wherever she is she will be turning heads she is so pretty !

Back to the good stuff !  Our Book Sale was another great 3,000 euro success thanks to you !  Thank you soo much.  We never forget there are many other book sales, much bigger and, yes, we could move premises and get bigger too, but we like our ‘cosy’ feel, our great cakes (nothing to do with me !), lovely Ray providing atmospheric music and the friendly atmosphere.  The next sale is 19th October and we are happy to take books from now.  As usual, PLEASE only books in good condition.  Following a couple of emails from people after the last sale, we are offering a new service to you booklovers;  if there is a book you particularly want, email me the title and if it comes in I will put it to one side for you.  We are also going to include a new category, ‘Classics’.  This, I realise is a bit of a minefield as one person’s classic might be another person’s ‘pig of a read’ !  The obvious authors are easy but then you get to modern classics !  I will be taking opinions and advice from more learned readers.  If you have any ideas as to how we can make the sales even more enjoyable, please do get in touch, BUT please don’t ask for the books to be in alphabetical order, I do have a life !!

Talking of fun events, the Summer is being kicked off with a fun musical ‘Those Were the Days’ a ‘Comedie Musicale’ set in the 60s.  Music and singing by professional, ex professional and local residents.  Running for four dates so there is bound to be one, or two, or three or four (!) convenient for you.  24th May in Beauville, 25th in Lauzerte, 31st in St. Laurent Lolmie and 1st June at Prayssac.  Entrance 10 euros and there will be a bar.  60s type costume encouraged but not obgligatory.  Now, where on earth did I put my velvet flares ?!  More info and reservations –

Regular visitors to the website will notice, perhaps, that I have taken down the ‘Previous Poorpaws’ page.  This is because recently I have been getting many emails from people looking to adopt dogs who have already been homed !  Although it was clearly stated at the top of the page that the dogs listed were dogs who had been successfully homed, the requests still came in, one from someone wanting to adopt a puppy who had been homed in 2012 !

In the last newsletter I mentioned Lidl’s wonderful white chocolate Easter eggs.  Well a couple of days ago they were in the store at HALF  PRICE !!  Seemed rude not to buy ……. a few !  Important fact, Easter eggs consumed from the week after Easter are NOT  FATTENING !

Sue xx

1ST APRIL 2019

April 1, 2019

First the brilliant news that Pieter Puppy has been adopted !  He is just a delightful little lad, I’ll miss him, but he could not be going to a better home.  A lovely young couple who are touring round Europe in a van for a while before going back to England in the Autumn.  Nathan is a walking and climbing guide so Pieter will be able to go to work with him often and have a really fabulous life.

Just wish Daisy could be as lucky !  We have had a bit of interest for Filou so hopefully have saved her from being pts when her owners return to Holland.  

All your Book Sale team are in full activity mode, I’m sorting through literally thousands of books to make sure you get the very best choice and our cake team are up to their elbows in flour, butter, chocolate, coffee and carrots to provide you with, as usual, the very best of best home made cakes.  We are over subscribed with books but always happy to take more, so please bring any donations along on the day and they will kick start our Autumn sale.  Now then, I don’t want to upset anyone but I really don’t know how to say in any other way, books should be in a good condition to be sold.  We do not need books which are falling apart, are yellow from age and smell musty, guide books from when god was a boy, Readers Digest compilations and last year’s calendars (believe me !).  Books with badly cracked spines, books which are missing outside covers (again, believe me !) and books which contain insect collections from attics, can all be left out of your donation box, they can be taken to the dustbin which is where I would have to take them.  However, as I said, I do not wish to upset anyone so if you are not sure, ask yourself if you would buy a book in that condition.  I do all the sorting of the books and putting them in to categories and I honestly love it, being a book freak I am never happier than with a book in one hand and white chocolate in the other !  So, any complaints about any of the books at the sale, seek me out.  I did want to add a category ‘Who the xxxx knows’ and may still do so.

Talking of white chocolate (next best thing to eating it) I emailed my special pal Gaynor to tell her that I had bought her a wonderful white chocolate and blackcurrant chip Easter egg from Lidl …….. and had just finished it !  Delicious !  She replied thanking me for being such a good friend and protecting her from all those calories – and she hoped they all went to my hips !  Thing is, how do I tell her I have just done the self same thing again ?!!  They are just too too gorgeous.  However, friend Gabi tells me that chocolate bought for someone else then consumed by the purchaser is not fattening.  Same with Haribo sweets eaten on a car journey !

Had my pal Susie over from England for a week, always fun and the first night she was here we went to eat moules frites.  We were eight ‘à table’ and guess who got the rogue mussel !  I have never felt so ill in my life and was sure that I was going to die !  I was up all night being ill and the next day was no use to man nor beast.  We always have a Silly Ladies Supper when Susie is here and came very close to cancelling but decided to go ahead as I felt much better two days later.  Then, on the actual day  I was not good again and poor Susie had to host whilst I tried not to look at any food.  We always have a competition at the suppers and this time I had told everyone to bring along a photo of themselves taken before they were a year old and we would have to guess who was who.  You have never heard such hilarity and squeals of 13 females “No, I don’t believe it, that can’t be  you”.  I didn’t guess anyone – hardly even myself as I am sure the fat little girl on the beach in a gingham dress and hat, was another kid eating sand and the photo was identified as being me by mistake ! !

Just had to share these photos with you.  Gaynor’s new little babe Brie (the white one !) and my own darling Olivia.  Believe it or not there is only five months difference between them !

Sue xx


3RD MARCH 2019

March 3, 2019

I’ve got a new computer, can you tell ?!  The wonderful Colin came and set it up for me and then went away on holiday.  Hmm, the only thing I forgot to ask him was how to get in to my website on the new machine !  Hence a couple of days delay in the newsletter.

The reading retreat was  A M A Z I N G !  Held in  beautiful clapboard seaside house in a small Suffolk village, everything was done to make the stay comfortable and cosy.  There were just four of us on the retreat and the reading room was a very large lounge with log fire and four comfy sofas, so we had one eachThe bedroom was large and comfortable with a goody bag awaiting on the bed containing a soft cosy fleece throw and a very fragrant candle, which, on my return home was found to overcome even the smell of wet dog !!  I just loved every minute, reading for hours on end with no interruptions, no guilty feelings about what I should be doing and delicious food, I wished it could have gone on for another week !

On my way home I had to change trains and got half way up the stairs to change platforms when I realised I had my suitcase but not my handbag !  I just felt sick and realised I must have left it on the previous train.  I bumped myself and my case back down the stairs and rushed on to the platform where I was relieved to see that the train was still there.  Rushing towards it I passed a bench and there on the seat was my handbag !!  I must have put it down to say goodbye to the other girls and not picked it up.  So, an enormous THANK YOU to the honest people of Ipswich for not pinching it !

We are coming up to Book Sale time again, just over a month to go to 13th April (as usual St. Pantaleon Salle de Fete, 10am)and we are busy collecting and sorting books ready for your delight.  I think I can safely say that this one will be better than ever, we have some fabulous books in, not only the usual same ‘ol, same ‘ol.  You will not find Da Vinci Code, anything by Peter Mayle (I have my reasons) and we have weeded out the many editions of Captain Correlli, Kite Runner, etc., and John Grisham – although, panic not there are plenty of his books, just not the old ones.  We do try to bring new(ish) books to the fore especially  interesting novels.  I discovered Richard Russo from picking up a book at the sale and can’t get enough of him. If you have books to donate, do get in touch, we can usually arrange collection or you can bring them on the day. Of course there is my usual rant … cookery books !!!  What the devil is the use of having a cookery book that is so thick and heavy that you need  15 kilo weights to keep the page open and when the recipe doesn’t work you can use it as a corner stone on the house you are building ?!  I would like to make each celebrity chef carry ten of his/her own books up and down stairs ten times then they might think about reducing the useless content of the book and their own self importance !  However, they do sell !

Whilst we are on the subject of rants – we were weren’t we ? – it has happened again.  I got an email asking for help in a desperate situation, a old dog going to be pts in four days unless a home can be found.  I was on the case.  A series of emails back and forth and I  had a home for the dog and a very happy lady who was looking for a suitable elderly dog.  All this within a couple of hours of having received the ‘desperate’ email.  I got straight back to say that the dog had a prospective home and we could make arrangements to move her.  In the evening I had a  reply saying the dog had been homed !  To say I was mad would be an understatement.  However, it did make me decide never again to try to help home a dog who was not actually with me. 

Having said that, I cannot understand why Daisy on the adoptions page has still to find a home, such a cutie and just the sort of ‘scruffy’ look that Brits go for.  Also, the Jack Russels, where are all you JR lovers ?!

I moaned about the rain last month, so I must say how wonderful the sunshine has been this month.  Sadly it won’t last, how do I know this ?  Because I have planted up a few pots outside !

Colin is back from his hols now and as Poorpaws is changing, look out for a new look website – well, not new look, but new content.

Sue x


February 2, 2019

Well that’s January over !  Where it went I’m not too sure but it has gone !  Looking through my diary I see that my resolution for 2019 to spend more time doing what I want to do has gone to hell in a handcart, as has my intention not to take in any more dogs !  However, the two coming in soon are tiddly widdly elderly little Coton de Tulears.  Two females who have been used for breeding purposes, have never lived ‘en famille’, being kept in cages in a room adjoining the family house.  The ‘charming’ couple who had them are now going back to the U.K., and told the girl who came to groom the dogs (at least they did that), that the dogs would be put to sleep.  Luckily for the couple another of my resolutions is not to, knowingly, insult anyone, because I swear that their telephone line would be in flames with what I would like to say to them.  The lovely groomer got straight in to action and, surprise, surprise, the littleboys are coming here.  Not at all socialised they will take up residence in my bedroom until they are used to other dogs.

All this will be happening when I come back from England mid February because in about ten days’ time I’m off on my Reading Retreat !  Not sure if I have mentioned this before, the retreats are held in small, lovely location, bijoux guest houses, about ten or so people per retreat and basically, you just take your favourite cosy clothes and a supply of books – or if you like books can be provided – and you spend three days………reading !  All meals, snacks and drinks are included and you can either eat with the others in the dining room or privately in your room. At each retreat there is a different author who comes for one evening so I thought I had better read one of ‘our author’s’ books – Humphrey Hawkesley -, hmm, I couldn’t get past the first chapter, a spy adventure with lots of deaths and shootings ! There is a optional walk every day if you feel the need to blow cobwebs away.  The one I am going to is in Thorpeness, Suffolk, which is not far from my old stomping ground so I can take the opportunity to catch up with my Essex mates.  So many people have questioned the sanity of paying to go away to read saying “but you can do that at home !”  Uh uh, oh no you can’t if you live my life.  Busy, busy and if I do sit down to read, I am always thinking “should be doing this” or “should be doing that” so it is not really a restful read.  Bedtime reading ?  Yes, of course, but like many others, I manage a couple of pages before the book has fallen and I’m asleep.  So I am going to enjoy this and ya boo sucks to anyone who thinks I am crazy !

Talking of books, if you are between 50 and 70 and haven’t read ‘ No I don’t want to join a Book Club’ by Virginia Ironside, please do.  Brilliant and very amusing.  She has also written three other books about the same character, ‘No I don’t need reading Glasses’ plus two others.  Very enjoyable.

Dogs !  I’m having trouble downloading photographs at the moment, my laptop is in a ‘don’t like you’ mood !  This probably because  one of our cats has decided that the keyboard is a great place to sleep and consequently ‘typing’ in the most amazing combinations which have finally sent the computer completely round the bend.  But, help is at hand, I have a new laptop which a friend is coming round to help me install during the week, so hopefully I’ll have photos of new dogs very shortly.  I will try to get them on before though.  We have two adorable puppies, one very sweet and cuddly and one ……. a little devil !  There is also a male youngster of seven months who looks just like my Josie, a very sleek lovely lad, smooth haired in a sort of cafe latte and cream colour.  Leo, the seven year old JR is a great little lad.

Rain !  Will it ever stop ?  The dogs are happily splashing around in mud whilst we cannot get down to the gate without getting splattered.  I cannot count the times I have cleaned my boots to no avail so have no come up with the idea of wearing wellies to the gate and changing in the car !

Have a great February, hmm just realised I will be away for Valentine’s Day, wonder why Ernst has not pointed that out to me ………….. !

Sue x


January 4, 2019

Well phew, that’s all over for another year !   I absolutely love the Festive Season and there is no-one keener than me to get the decs up and get the Christmas jumper out and on, so usually I feel rather deflated after all the fun, but this year I am quite happy to say yes, it was great, now let’s get on with the New Year;  could it be that I am getting old ?    It was great though, my pal Sue came over for ten days – should have been 14 but she was a victim of ‘dronegate’ so we had to cram everything in to a shorter space of time.  We did !

New Year new beginnings ……….. and new endings !  There are changes afoot.  Poorpaws has been going since 2003 and has given me great joy …… and great sadness too.  Now it is time to rethink things, I will be 70 this year – eek ! – and no-one knows what is round the corner;  we have at times had up to 25 dogs and now we are ‘down’ to 15.  These dogs are not ‘adoptable’ due to age or behaviour problems so will stay with us until they die.  The last thing I want is for, heaven forbid, me to die and leave anyone with 15 dogs to sort out.   Regulars will know that I work very closely with Danielle of La Mere aux Betes in Castelnau Montratier, and this will intensify, gradually Poorpaws transferring over to La Mere aux Betes.  Poorpaws will no longer take in any dogs but I will always be on hand to help out with problems and to give ideas.  Dogs on the Poorpaws adoption page will be dogs who are at Danielle’s refuge, I will arrange visits and, if necessary accompany prospective adopters if there are language problems.  Our fund raisers, the twice yearly Book Sales and yearly clothes sale will continue under my direction – with help from my lovely team – and Poorpaws will donate a larger sum to Danielle, keeping only what is needed  for the welfare of the dogs still in my care.

Now for my first rant of the year !  Danielle does kenneling as well as running her refuge and dishing out help and advice to any and every one for every and any animal.  The kenneling helps to fund the ever continuing and growing expenses of the refuge.  Therefore it is not only rude, inconsiderate and downright unkind to book an animal in to be cared for whilst the owners are on holiday then a couple of days before say that ‘someone’ has been found to feed said animals during the holiday period, it is despicable.  Danielle has a limited amount of kennels and space and this Christmas all were booked up for the holiday season.  A week before there were cancellations.  I was spitting mad on her behalf and am encouraging her to take deposits for peek time reservations.  If you are one of those people, shame on you.

My New Year’s resolution is to be more considerate, hmm.

A happy – and considerate – New Year to everyone and for those of you with dogs, the motto is sterilisation, sterilisation, sterilisation !!

Anyone watching Luther ?  I am but only peeking through closed fingers !

Sue xx



December 5, 2018

Oh heck, friend Gaynor has just emailed me to ask where is the December Poorpaws update !  Good grief, what day is it ?  What time is it ? Where am I ?  Who am I ?!

Well I can tell you that, following on from last month’s drivvle letter, I have finished my Christmas shopping, all overseas packages have been sent off and I just have to get down to the cards now.  I can’t believe how quickly the time is going, Gaynor is having her Strictly party on Saturday and we will be hosting the Finals Night party the week after.  Then my mate Susie arrives and it will all be downhill from there !

Did I mention in the last newsletter the problems I had been applying for a Carte de Sejour ?  I had already got one from years ago but never renewed it because we were told we didn’t need them.  Anyway I won’t bore you with all that, just to say that Gaynor (see above) has gone one better, well actually one hundred better, and got her French citizenship !   It took a lot of hard studying – which is why I am not capable of going for it,  my studying days are long over – and 14 months after her interview, she is now French !  This is good news for me as I have thought of an easy, cheeky way to become a citizen, Gaynor can adopt me !!  Both my parents are dead so I suppose that officially makes me an orphan and I can be adopted.  Wonder if it matters that I would be much older than my ‘mother’ !

I’ve been putting off the next bit, it’s another RIP I’m afraid.  Dear, dear old Fargo who was such a nervous old boy he even barked at Ernst if he went near his park, went downhill faster than a luge on ice, due to a kidney ailment.  I couldn’t believe it, what is going on here, so many dogs in such a short space of time. Fargo came to us when he was in danger of being pts because he was just so scared of everyone it was assumed he would never have ‘quality of life’.  He lived his life in freedom here and I challenge anyone to say that he didn’t have quality.  He was loved, I was allowed to cuddle him – on a good day ! – and he shared his park with two females who loved him.

Rant time !  We are often – very often – asked to help out with dogs who just turn up at people’s houses and we will do all we can to find a solution.  This happened recently and we agreed and arranged to take said dog, making an appointment at the vet to get her chipped, vaccinated and sterilised and lining up possible adopters to meet her.  A couple of days before the appointment at the vets, the people who had the dog emailed to say they had homed her.  Great for the dog, but a pain in the backside for us.  Vet appointment, which had been begged for and was slotted in as a favour to me, cancelled and disappointed possible adopters.  Not only that, it is not permitted just to give an unchipped dog away, it is the reponsibility of the person with the dog to get the dog chipped first if the dog is not going to a refuge where all the paperwork will be done.  The correct thing to do would have been to tell the family that the dog was coming to a refuge and to address them to us.  I know people think that dogs may be put down at a refuge but not at ours, never, unless the dog is dangerous or very sick.  This applies to Cahors refuge as well and was certainly the case of the aforementioned dog who was a young female.  So there !

Have a great Festive Season and before you go buying  cute puppies for young grandchildren, remember they pee and poo and need to be entertained……….so do the puppies !

Sue xx

2nd November 2018

November 2, 2018

November 2nd and guess what I did today…… bought my first Christmas presents !  I know, I know, don’t groan, but I am determined not to be the person I was last year, frantically shopping at the last minute just praying that La Poste and the GPO would have pity and not let me down.  They didn’t and did !  Living abroad from family and friends means that Christmas is expensive and it is not easy to find nice gifts that don’t cost three times as much as the gift itself in postage !   I’m also determined to support the high street and not take the easier Amazon /on line route.  Hmm, watch this space !

Sad to say I have yet another loss to report – do hope you took my advice and bought shares in Kleenex – our dear old Mr. Beagle died on 29th October, I found him dead in his park when I took out clean bedding and food Monday evening.  He was a lovely little old boy who I adopted from the Cahors SPA a few years ago.  He was old then and the SPA didn’t hold out much hope of rehoming him so he came here.  Within a week he had gone walkabout – I realised then how he had ended up at the SPA.  I remember the day well, he got out the morning of the day we had to leave for a family occasion in England.  I wanted to stay home but feared the wrath of the family if we ducked out.  Anyway, when we were waiting to board the flight I got a message saying he had been found trotting along the road obviously on his way home.  It wasn’t the last time he caused me anxious moments, his love of roaming was just too strong, but for the last year I think he realised that he wasn’t up to solitary walks anymore and was happy to hang out in the garden.  Bless you Mr. Beagle, you were a goodie and I’m happy you spent your last years with us.

Happier news now.  Our Book Sale !  It was great, our best ever (over 3,000 euros) and I thank all of you who contributed in so many ways, from donating books, to collecting books, to making beautiful book bags, to making fabulous cakes, to spreading the word and for coming and buying an amazing number of books, having lunch and eating all the cakes !  Our cake team are, in my opinion, the best ever, Walter is our supremo soup maker and Patna and I have the best job ever, sorting through all the books and picking out only the best for you to browse through.  We still get surprises, “good condition and saleable” still seems to confuse some people, old torn used road maps still turn up but we don’t mind.  “Bamboo Spanking” raised a few eyebrows but as we weren’t sure which category to include it in, we thought it best to leave it out !!   I should mention also my partner Ernst without whom the sale would not be possible, he does all the heavy work.  We all really love the day and what makes it very special is the number of people who told me how much they look forward to it and actually thanked us for oganising the event.  If you have your 2019 diary already, make a note of the Spring sale which will be on the 13th April.

I mentioned Ernst earlier saying how helpful he is, well sometimes he is just a bit too helpful.  If I am cooking (which I hate) he will hover and clear away vegetable peelings before I have finished, wash up bowls I haven’t finished with and, this morning took over the defrosting and cleaning of the fridge when I was in the middle of doing so.  This drives me mad, whatever I am doing, if he can do it better he will just push me aside and take over.  You will probably think “what is she complaining about ?!”, BUT there are 101  ‘blue’ jobs that need doing around our place, I wish he would  get on with those and leave the ‘pink’ jobs to me.  The shed needs painting, I think I’ll start that then he is sure to come and take over, then I could start to put in the light switch surrounds, then lay the patio, then ………………………..!

Wonder if I will have finished my Christmas shopping by the next News !

Sue x



October 2, 2018

Wow, what happened to the weather ?  Sunday I was in shorts and tshirt, then Monday it was on with tracksuit trousers and fleece !  Ok it is still sunny, but oh so brrrrrrr !

Those of you with shares in Kleenex (or whoever owns Kleenex) will have probably seen an increase in their value as I have been having a really horrid month !  After our, as usual, brilliant week at Cap d’Ail with fantastic weather, we came home and the bad times began.  On the Monday my lovely Nestle left to go to England to start his new life with my friends in Guildford.  They fell in love with him when they were over in August and can give him much more time, fun and training than I could.  When I handed him over to David, our dog transporter, at Bergerac, I thought my heart would break.  I kept a smile on my face for Nestle’s sake but his little face when he realised what was going on was dreadful.  After I had waved goodbye I just sat and cried, and cried and didn’t really stop until Wednesday when I received hundreds of photos and emails showing his safe arrival and his fabulous new life, where he is clearly one happy, loved, dog.

Then on the Friday of that week darling Scoopy (the diabetic one) gave up his fight, his kidneys had failed and he had to be put to sleep.  This is a tough one to get over and I think it’s going to hurt for a very long time.  I know I gave him a good life, I know he was very old, I know I didn’t want him to suffer, I know he was very ill, but ……………….I  WANT  HIM  BACK.

The following Friday, another real oldie, 18 year old Motus, also gave up and I found her on our terrace.  She was a real cutie, looked like a meerkat after being trimmed and like a little black bear before.

Just to add to my black days I had two horrid dentist appointments in the midst of all that !

I felt I deserved a treat after all that, so, remember the Newfie pup I was hoping wouldn’t be adopted ?  Well she wasn’t and I am going to keep her.  This may be a crazy idea as she is going to be very large, but she is such a laid back, calm precious, I can’t see any problems.  Hmm, wonder if I’ll be saying that in six months time.  She put on four kilos between her first and second vaccinations, weighing in at 14 kilos !  If you would like to join me in this craziness I have another of her sisters here, also looking for a home.  See her on the adoptions page – Obaby – weighing in at 16 kilos at exactly four months.  Another calm, very well balanced pup.

There are more pups needing homes, Border Colley / Lab mixes and a couple of Fox Terriers.

Preparations for our Book Sale on 20th October are in full swing and we already have over 100 boxes of great books to choose from.  Come along and bring your friends.  All profits go to dog rescue and Cancer Support France.  10am Salle des Fetes, 46800 St. Pantaleon – five minutes from Montcuq in the Lot.  Come with full purses and empty stomachs, enjoy our fab cakes, soup and savouries and go home with ………………..empty purses and full tummies !


Sue x


September 2, 2018

September already !  I just love the Summer and hate to think that it is nearly over, but, only nearly, we are off to Cap d’Ail on the 8th for a week, then it will be heads down and preparing for the Autumn Book Sale  on 20th October.  If you have books to donate, just get in touch with me so we can collect in good time.

This August has had ups and downs.  Let’s get the downs over with first.  I had to decide to have my darling Ziggy pts.  I collected her from Carcassonne refuge many, many years ago and for some reason or another she was never adopted so stayed with us.  A few years ago she developed chronic arthritis and mobility became a problem.  For about six months now she has been unable to use her legs at all and spent her time sleeping and eating, oh how she loved eating, in her bed in the kitchen.  When she needed to go out she would start to cry and either Ernst or I would carry her outside.  She was so clean that if neither Ernst or I were around, she would drag herself outside.  I would take her to the vet regularly to get her claws clipped and when I took her a couple of weeks ago he looked at me and I knew it was time.  I have gone through this many, many times but it never gets easier.

Then Scoopy my Bichon Frisée went downhill suddenly rapidly.  Scoopy is 15 years old and the only dog I have gone and chosen for myself from a notice on a board.  A trip to the vet and he was diagnosed as diabetic with renal problems.  He stayed in for a few days then I went to pick him up and was shown how to carry out insulin injections.  I was so nervous but am now a dab hand !  He has never squealed  and I have only jabbed myself once – I did squeal !  I’m not kidding myself, he is still very poorly and very old, but I have been given a bit more time and I will make the most of it, he will come down to the South of France with us next week.

Now for the ‘ups’ !  All the Newfie pups have been homed with adopters coming from as far away as Lille and the Charente Maritime.  There is just one left with me and I have to admit that I am sort of hoping that the people who have expressed interest change their minds.  Olivia, as I have named her, is just a lump of cuddle, but she will be a HUGE lump of cuddle in a few months !

The Border/Australian pups have all been adopted also, but watch this space for the arrival of more ‘accident’ litters.

There have been quite a few sheep attacks recently by stray dogs, so much so that the paper printed the rules about stray dogs.  All dogs (and cats), MUST by law be chipped or tattooed.  Any unidentified dog,  ANY UNIDENTIFIED  DOG, who is found more than 100 metres from home can be classed as abandoned or a stray and can be taken to a refuge then put up for adoption if the owner does not come forward within eight days.  If the owner comes forward after the dog has been adopted the owner has no recourse and no rights to get the dog back.  An owner walking a dog or dogs off the lead, must have enough control over the dogs to call the dog back immediately (have to say I am guilty of not being in this situation).  If the dog is not obedient and there is a problem with damage to animals or property, the owner is liable.

I had a case recently where someone contacted me for advice.  He had gone on holiday leaving the care of his cat to a friend or neighbour.  The cat strayed, was picked up and taken to a refuge.  The cat was not identified, the owner did not come back from holiday for ten days by which time the cat had been adopted.  The owner did not have a leg to stand on and lost his cat.

I was in England last weekend for a family reunion and stayed in an airbnb on a houseboat in a boatyard.  It was great and only £57 per night whereas other family members who poo pooed the idea, paid nearly £200 per night in an hotel !  The only slight problem I had was that one night, alone on the houseboat (the owners were working) I watched an old episode of Taggart which was about a murder ……..on a houseboat !!

Whilst I was away, very good friends ran the second hand clothes stall for me at the Montcuq Vide Grenier.  I have told them I’ll go away next year too, they raised more than we ever had before, 860 euros !!!!  So, so welcome as a grant we used to receive every year from a charity has been withdrawn because Poorpaws is not an official organisation. Thank you, thank you so much to all of you who donated all the fab clothes, it is only thanks to you that we did so well.


Sue x




August 5, 2018

A bit late this month, it has been so hectic here with friends visiting, fetes to go to, Vide Greniers to sell at and, of course, this incredible heat makes you just want to lie in a darkened room !

Anyway, to start off with I give you a tissue alert –  I hasten to add a happy tissue alert !Remember Oscar, the dog who was living off his wits in a village where the locals were feeding him ?  Oscar was adopted by a lovely family who were in the area on holiday and taken back to England.  Well, Oscar the ex village hobo won BEST  DOG  IN  THE  VILLAGE at his new village fete !!  Well done Oscar we all knew you were special and thank you also to his brilliant new family.

More good news, Oggy has gone to a great home where there is an older dog to play with and learn from.

I’ve just got back from the market and was so sad to see so many poor dogs being dragged around in this dreadful heat.  People may like to stroll in the sunshine and sit and have a drink with the sun on their backs, but believe me, dogs hate it.  Please, please, leave your dogs at home in the shade.

It was our village fete last weekend and I did the Vide Grenier all day then, with a crowd of friends, went straight on to the meal.  I thought I  would be exhausted but the adrenalin kicked in and we had a great evening.  The following day was a different story !

My friend Sue has been staying for a week, the first time since she had cancer, had the treatment and has been ‘cleared’, so there was a lot of celebrating to do.  Whenever Sue is here we always have a Silly Ladies Supper with a different theme each time.  This time it was Fabulous Nails so we all had highly decorated nails with a couple of Very Silly Ladies, one with builders nails attached to her fingers and another presenting a beautifully painted little bouquet of nails !

Puppies !  We have six female Newfoundland mix puppies to find homes for.  The mother is medium sized so we are homing they won’t all be huge, but put the word around a bit if you can.

At the end of August Poorpaws will be holding the usual second hand clothing stall and I am collecting as much as possible.  So if you have clothes you don’t wear any more (ladies’), bags, shoes and jewelry please do get in touch.  I can collect from any reasonable distance.

Enjoy the rest of the heatwave, stay hydrated and make sure your pets are too !

Sue x

3RD JULY 2018

July 3, 2018

Well apart from the first week of June when we were in/on the fabulous Il de Re, the month was fairly rotten for me.  I had to have my darling Piglet, not really a piglet but a Bichon Havanais, put to sleep.  Her name was Piglet because when I picked her up from a breeder who had gone bust (such a shame……..!) he had shaved her right to the skin, probably because the fur was in such a dreadful condition, and she looked just like Piglet from Winnie the Pooh.  She never knew it was a strange name !  She was adopted but brought back after a week because she “didn’t interact with other dogs” !  Poor little mite, she didn’t know how to, all she had known was a filthy cage.  Anyway, I kept her and for 16 years she was the sweetest, gentlest of dogs.  She wasn’t any bother at all, not demanding of affection, she was just ‘there’,  the tiniest little dog who has left a chasm of a space in our lives.  It was the dreaded cancer, a tumour appeared on her gum and before long had taken over most of her mouth and was closing her throat.  There was no discussion.

That was Monday;  on Tuesday I had the mother of all ghastly dental appointments which involved, bone, stitches, blood and tears, so many tears !!  To be fair, the poor chap didn’t actually hurt me, it was the noise and the vibration of metal on teeth. 

Wednesday I realised to my horror (in fact my friend Sue pointed it out) that a family reunion I had agreed to go to, booked flights and accommodation, was the same weekend as the Vide Grenier in Montcuq where we always have a hum dinger of a second hand clothes stall and which makes a lot of money for Poorpaws.  Panic !  How could I tell my family I couldn’t join them because of, well, a jumble sale ?!  To the rescue came the best pals a girl could have, a rota has been set up for the day – which starts at 6am and finishes at 6pm !  I will never be able to thank them enough.

Thursday, the guy who has been house/dog sitting for us for the last few years, decided he didn’t want to do it any more.  I can’t blame him, the pay is crap, but dear Jacky didn’t do it for the money, he did it for the love of the dogs.  Also we are a long way from his work.  I’m just so rateful he will do the dates he agreed to this year and that will give us time to, hopefully, find someone else.

Friday I was contacted and begged to take a beautiful Brittany Spaniel of eight years old, who has just given up at bergerac SPA.  It broke my heart to say no, well, no not yet, but as people keep pointing out to me, we cannot save them all.  I know, I know, but a Brittany !!

So that was my mess then perfect week !!

Better news, all the Springer puppies have been adopted, two going to work on an estate where their new owners are gamekeepers.  They are going to have a great life …… are th puppies, boom boom !

I’m surprised that Naomi hasn’t gone yet.  She has the scruffy look a lot of you love and she is a real love.  Danielle has had a lot more dogs in and hopefully photos will be on the adoptions page very soon.  She takes all our ‘adoptables’ as I am just overflowing with oldies who don’t take so much time …….. but a lot more money,  if I had a euro for every time I’ve been to the vet, I could afford to rent the Royal Box at Wimbledon !

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed my beloved old Citroen Picasso was making a ‘clonking’ noise when I turned sharp bends.  Ernst had a look and a listen then declared there was no noise and nothing wrong.  Fine.  Then it got worse and I remembered that Ernst’s hearing is failing !  I went to the garage to be told that one stabiliser was bent and the end had sheared off.  Hmm, just how good is Ernst’s hearing and why did he ask where our insurance policies are…………………?

Have a great month, it seems like Summer has arrived at last !

Sue xx



31ST MAY 2018

May 31, 2018

Well, can anyone tell me where May went ?!  I cannot believe that we have been home for five weeks already and I also cannot believe that we can now ‘cast a clout’  because ‘May is out’ !  Whatever has happened to our weather ?  Nothing really decent since last October, perhaps we are going to follow English weather and go straight from Spring to Autumn.  There are rumours of a heatwave July  August, but I’ll believe it when I see it.  I have just finished doing all my Summer pots but already the flowers are getting rusty and very sad looking.

I’m delighted to tell you that dear Barney has gone for a try out at a new home, fingers crossed it all works out for him.  He is such a lovely dog he deserves to be happy.  He just gets on with anybody, two legged or four legged …….well, actually he’s a bit of a devil with cats and needs to be well away from feathered friends but luckily his new home has none of the above.

Nestle was returned !  He tried to claw down a door and destroyed the boot of his prospective owner’s car !  Clearly he needs to be with other dogs for company and confidence.  he will get plenty of that in his new home which is …………….. right here !  Shhhh, don’t tell Ernst !  I just can’t bear to let him go now !

A precautionary tale.  If you think a dog is being mistreated, make sure you get your story right.  To cut a very long story short, I was recently approached by someone asking me to remove a dog from a guy who was treating him badly.  The owner had gone in to hospital leaving the dog in the care of a friend who, I was informed, was not very nice.  I started to make enquiries only to be told that yes, the guy was strict, but cruel not.  It then transpired that the lady who begged me to intervene on behalf of her neighbour had got the wrong dog and the wrong man !  Meantime the original guy ( are you with me so far ?!) had heard what was being said and declared that in that case he would no longer look after the dog !  I tried to find someone to take the dog in temporarily, neither Danielle nor I having any spare room, but to no avail.  I called the guy and threw myself on his mercy and he was perfectly civil – not the monster I had been led to believe.  He explained that the dog had had no education whatsoever, was very difficult, and would bite when excited, which was most of the time.  They guy tried to socialise him by taking him to work with him but Spook (the dog) ripped out the inside of his van.  Amazingly he has kindly agreed to keep Spook until another place can be found and I got on his good side by giving him a 20 kilo bag of dog food to help out.  The lady who stirred up the trouble has been stangely silent !

I hardly dare to say this as we have not long had a fantastic holiday, but we are off to the Ile de Ré for our usual week of cycling / reading / sleeping on Saturday.  Weather forecast is rotten but “am I bovered ?”


Sue x



APRIL 30TH 2018

April 30, 2018


First of all, Happy Birthday today to my ‘little’ brother Dennis !

Since we last ‘chatted’, Ernst and I have spent 12 days in Japan !  It all started a couple of years ago at a New Year’s Eve dinner when everyone around the table was asked if they could go anywhere in the world on holiday, where would they go ?  Ernst said Japan !  I was amazed, he had never mentioned Japan to me before, but said it was such a different culture, it would be very interesting.  So I thought “why not ?”, we are not getting any younger and no-one knows what is round the corner, let’s go for it.  However, we did not want to visit huge westernised cities, we wanted to see the ‘real’ Japan.  After doing quite a bit of research I came across a company called ‘Walk Japan’ which runs guided walks through non touristy areas, sleeping in local Japanese auberges and eating very country cooking.  Sounded great, so I booked us in for a five day walk followed by four days at an Airbnb on a nature reserve in Kyoto.  It was FABULOUS !  The ‘walk’ turned out to be more of a hike, but within our capabilities and the rest of our group were of a similar age.  Everything was arranged for us from A to Z, we just had to get to the meeting point and off we all went.  We walked for about 10/12 kms., per day, a lot of which was up hill, then ate and slept in family inns.  Our rooms were typically Japanese, futon beds, and we had ‘onsen’ hot baths in the evenings.  I was rather anxious about these communal baths at first (though men and ladies were separate) but soon got used to them and looked forward to the relaxing chat  with the other ladies.  So, so much I could bore you with, suffice to say the only downside for me was the very remote possibility of seeing a bear, though our guide had bee doing the tours for over 20 years and had never seen one, and the food, which, sadly, I could not get on with.  However that was personal and my loss.  The others in the group were not at all worried about bears and you can see from this photo why not, guess who is the idiot in the bright “dinner’s ready, come and get it” pink jacket !!

For the last four days our Airbnb was amazing.  A truly Japanese house set by a river, with delicate paper walls, sliding doors and a ‘squat’ loo.  Our host was so kind and organised trips for us each days with explicit directions so we couldn’t get lost ……..we did, but not often and in Japan you only have to stand looking puzzled for a second before someone comes and offers to help.  Japan is so, so clean, no litter anywhere and no graffiti.  However menial your job, you have a uniform to be proud of and white gloves.  As for the loos, well I will miss them !  Apart from the ‘squatters’ most are western in shape, but have heated seats (!) and a row of buttons.  You can press one to create the sound of a waterfall to hide any ‘noises’ you may inadvertently make, after you have flushed you can press other buttons to spray wash your nether regions, another to blow dry them and finally a deodorising button !!

I’ve not come down from my Japanese cloud yet !

Adoptions went crazy whilst I was away !  Dear Toby finally went to a great home, as did Nestor and Nelson.  Don’t worry, the adoptions page looks a bit bare at the moment but more have come in and I am waiting for them to be assessed before putting them on the website.

Regular readers will recognise the lovely Nick in this photo, he went to the best of homes and owner on the Cote d’Azur last year.  Here he is on his first day of work – where he helps out his owner, he’ll be running the joint soon !

I have started collecting second hand clothes in preparation for our usual stall at the Montcuq Vide Grenier in August, so as you sort through your wardrobes getting ready for Summer (that’s the period which is supposed to be between Spring and Autumn), please let me have anything you don’t want/need anymore.  Handbags and shoes taken also.  As for men’s things, casual wear is ok, no suits please.  Thank you so much !

Sue x




31ST MARCH 2018

March 31, 2018


I am more than happy to bring Animal Rescue 46 to your attention.  A group of fabulous people who spend their time raising money and making donations to various animal rescue groups in the area.  They regularly  help out Danielle and myself with the most amazing donations of dog and cat food which they collect by standing outside supermarkets in all weathers.  They are in need of volunteers to help them insthe great work they do, plus donations of suitable articles to sell at Vide Greniers.  If you have any spare time, don’t worry you won’t be asked to give up your life, do get in touch with them. 


The above photos show one of the worst case of dog neglect I have ever seen, in fact when I picked up the poor little chap I had difficulty keeping tears at bay.  The poor dog was in such a matted, filthy condition he could see barely out of one eye, the felting of his fur was so bad he had to walk with his legs outstretched and there was months of pee in his fur at the back.  Believe it or not the dog belonged to a lady who never went out because she “loved her dog so much”.  Luckily for the dog she was taken in to hospital and I was asked if I could take him.  Take him I did, non stop to the vet where he had to be put to sleep so that he could get a haircut.  In the picture underneath you can see what a handsome lad he is.  Sadly when he came to us he was very aggressive, not surprisingly he must have been so sore and uncomfortable for years, and I couldn’t get near him.  So I started stroking him with a fleecy cobweb remover I have.  At first he was gobsmacked and didn’t move, the second time he killed it !!!  However, now he is much calmer and I can stroke his back but keep my hands well away from his mouth !  He is fine with all our other dogs except for an ancient Pinscher we have – a bit of testerone competition there.  What I cannot understand is that his owner (who is clearly a sandwich short of a picnic) has a carer going in and general council social help.  So, why oh why, have none of these people done anything about the care of the poor dog and brought his plight to the attention of someone ….. anyone ?  We just know that the person who went in to feed the dog at the beginning just kicked it to one side, put the food down and left.  If I get my way the dog will never go back.

A happier story now.  Here we have Oscar who is just one lucky bunny.  The Stoner family came to the area on holiday last year and Oscar kept turning up to visit.  They couldn’t forget him and got in touch to ask me if I could find out anything about him.  Turned out he was a stray being cared for by various people in the village.  We tried to catch him but to no avail, however the SPA were cleverer and after months and months Oscar was taken to the refuge.  When I heard I immediately got in touch with the Stoners and, to cut a long story short, Oscar is now living – in luxury it looks like – over in England.  I wonder if he thinks he has died and gone to heaven !  Hunting dogs are notoriously difficult to home which is sad as they are usually fabulous dogs, so Oscar really had a lucky star over him.

Just time to thank everyone who came to our Book Sale.  We made 2,500 wonderful euros every cent of which will go towards helping dogs and people who have difficulties arising from cancer.  The next sale is 20th October so put the date in your diary and start putting books you have read to one side for us.  I will collect as from now.

Happy Easter to you all and don’t hit the chocolate too much – yeah right !

Sue xx


March 1, 2018

R.I.P. Rita.  Last month I told you about my sweet little Rita our ‘special needs’ Brittany.   Well, she has left us to go and join the ever growing doggie family of dear Tricia who died last year.  Rita had some sort of brain ‘attack’ then after sleeping for 24 hours was unable to stand up without falling over and had a heartbreaking panic look in her eyes.  I raced to the vet with her and he said we could either help her on her way there and then in warm peaceful atmosphere or I could take her home where she would certainly die within the next day or so when I might not be with her.  Of course there was no contest so I held her, talked cheerfully to her and sent her on her way to Auntie Tricia.  Then got the tissues out.

Spookily the next day someone sent me a poem about rescue dogs entitled “I adopted your dog today”, I sent it on to several people  and quickly realised I was about the only person in the world who hadn’t seen it before !  I added my own verse:-

I adopted your dog last week./  You had thrown her out in to the cold/ You didn’t care that she was ill, and oh so very old. / She had a lovely time with me/ was so loved she could tell./ Last night she went to doggy heaven/ and may you rot in hell.

Clearly I am struggling with 2018 being my year of tolerance !!

Moving on to happier news – Dino has gone to a fantastic new home.  Dino was very loved by his previous owner but due to his love of self service chicken dinners, complete with feathers, he had to be chained up and this caused his owner too much distress.  As soon as the Archer family ( not the dum dee dum dee dum dee dum BBC kind) turned up I just knew they were the ones and photos received of Dash (new home new name) with his new little buddies confirmed my faith.  Have a great life now Dino you couldn’t have gone to a better family !

Quite often I receive calls from people on holiday here who see dogs who they think are in unsuitable conditions and ask for help in  changing said conditions.  Such was the case with a really lovely lady here on a skiing trip worried about a dog over the road.  The dog was in a small dirty enclosure with a kennel that appeared too small for the dog, with water iced over morning and evening.  The lady sent me photos and I had to tell her that although the conditions were not ideal, the dog had shelter (she could in fact get in to the kennel and was probably warmer in a very small one than she would have been in a larger one), she was fed, she had water and, most importantly in my view, was not chained up.  These were better conditions than many dogs have to suffer.  However I agreed to call the owner and chat to him.  He was totally bemused, we were talking about a dog !  A dog did not need affection, his dog was not suffering and English tourists could just mind their own business !  I did ask if he could at least clean the enclosure up “to avoid an official visit” but he just said “bring it on” (in French – je les attends) !!   Dog lovers like us, would love to see all dogs have the great happy life that we give our dogs but sadly for working dogs this does not happen a lot of the time.  Don’t get me started on a programme I saw about working Border Collies in Scotland !  The lady I mentioned earlier did throw a blanket and toy in to the dog before she left, but we’ll never know if the dog was allowed to keep these little luxuries.

Adoptions have been going well this month, the Shar Pei cross pups have all gone to homes but we are desperate to home the three black and white brothers.  New on to the site are Nancy and Nestlé, two four month pups who are fantastic !  They are here with me here at Poorpaws, they sleep in my bedroom and are as good as gold. As soon as the light goes out they curl up and go to sleep.  When the light goes on, four little paws come up and two gorgeous little noses appear over the bed with their tails wagging for France.  No better way to start a day, boy will I miss them but they have to go soon !!!!!  Anyone wanting an adult dog should consider Toby, poor boy has been waiting sooooooo long.

Just time to remind you about the St. Patrick’s Day Book Sale, 17th March, St. Pantaleon (Lot) Salle de Fetes, 10 am.  Ample parking at one minute’s walk.  Books/dvds at one euro each plus the usual fab home made cakes and lunches.  A really good cosy atmosphere – Doreen are you coming this time ? I haven’t met your new babe yet !

Sue x 





February 2, 2018

Well, wouldn’t you know it,  I had lots of photos to add to this newsletter and the computer has very suddenly refused to download – or is it upload ?! – photographs !!  I particularly wanted you to see the photo taken at our Book Sale committee meeting last week;  it was held at Colin’s house (Colin being the husband of our dear friend Amanda who died last year).  Colin always does us proud as you would have seen from the plates of white chocolate millionaire’s shortbread and billionaire’s shortbread chocolate tarts – all home made by himself.  Come along to the next Book Sale to see for yourself how delicious they are !  You would also have seen a bottle (or two) of fizz on the table as it was Colin’s birthday.  We may not have had virginal white notepads or freshly sharpened pencils but the important stuff was there !!

Book Sale (March 17th), can I say now how much I hate (oops, 2018 my ‘Tolerance Year’), how much I dislike celebrity chefs and their huge tomes ?  I think they design their books to be as big and cumbersome as their egos, they don’t think about the poor sods who have to lug them about and anyway they are so big as to be totally useless on a kitchen worktop unless you have a three ton weight handy to keep the pages open.  St. Delia, of course I do not include you in this criticism, your books are a sensible size and the only ones who contain recipes you can actually rely on.  I may have said this before but in my opinion any recipe that contains more than six ingredients, includes gelatine and/or a bain-marie should be illegal !

That said, we are now actively collecting books ready for the St. Patrick’s Day sale so please do contact me if you have books/dvds to donate.  Again, please keep in mind that books should be clean and in good condition.  Thank you in advance.

Last week it actually stopped raining for one day and Ernst suddenly went crazy in the garden, cleaning drains and gutters and cutting back ‘stuff’.  We have a very tall dead tree in front of our kitchen which he has been saying he will cut down for quite a few years now.  Well we got closer to that day, he actually cut out all the dead Box surrounding the tree (with me helpfully shouting “not that bit that’s lilac” as he went round.  I did suggest that he gets mates round to help take the tree down but he assures me he can do it himself.  Hmm, I replied that I had no desire to move back in to the mobile home because the tree had fallen through the kitchen roof but if he did kill himself in the process (I know of too many people ending their days by falling out of trees) at least I’d have enough wood to build the coffin !  Watch this space !!

Dog News:  So sorry to say we were unable to help Archibald in time and he is now barking with the angels.  Our ‘special needs’ dog Rita – have I told you about her before ? – continues to keep us on our toes.  She is a very elderly Brittany Spaniel adopted from Cahors, who is like a mentally and physically backward child.  I have yet to find out what she actually likes to eat as she tips over her dish then tries to eat that !  If I open the oven she will try to jump in and trying to get at the plates in the dishwasher is another pleasure.  She is totally deaf and will cross her paws whilst outside preferring to come and pee/poo in the kitchen.  But I love her.

Last week a couple turned up asking me if I would take their parent’s seven year old Pinscher as the old folk had gone in to a retirement home and no-one in the family wanted the poor little dog.  Seven years I thought, ok should be able to rehome him to a lovely elderly lady.  They brought Kiki round on Sunday and when I looked at the paperwork I discovered he is in fact 13 years old !  As it was the daughter-in-law who had bought the dog for the parents I fail to see how she could have thought it was just seven years ago !  Anyway, now poor little Kiki – a feisty little beggar – has taken poor Lulu’s place in my bedroom.

Finally a tale to warm the heart.  There has been a skinny hunting dog roaming in a local village for over a year now, being sort of cared for by the villagers.  An English family made friends with him whilst they were here on holiday and asked me if it was possible for them to adopt him.  Oscar used to come and go to the village and an friend of mine who lives there made friends with him and invited him in for ‘playdates’ with her dog, but would Oscar be caught ?  Not likely !  However, to cut a long story short, the refuge at Cahors managed to catch him and in just a few weeks he will be on his way to a very excited Stoner family !

As for us, we have PUPPIES !  Just as soon as my computer sorts itself out I’ll get photos on for you, but do ask if you would like one.  The most friendly is a little brown and white chap with ears the colour of Dairy Milk, hmm wonder if that is why I am drawn to him …….!

Sue  xxx



December 31, 2017

It was Joe ! (Strictly winner)  How did I know that ?  Hmm, I’ve been working so long with Danielle now that I think some of her ‘witchiness’ has rubbed off on to me !  We had a great Strictly Finals night, I had stuck with the Glitterball contest and there were some fabulous ones.  If I can get the computer to behave I’ll attach a photo of the winners. (The one in the middle with the dog attached is my pathetic effort and only included in the photo because I wanted my friend’s grandchildren who made the dog for me to see his starring role !)Hey, it worked !!

Nick is coming on leaps and bounds (literally).  I have to trick him to get hold of him but the collar was changed without any loss of limb and I took pity on him spending all day every day in his park so I took off the lead that was attached at all times and let him run round the garden.  Well at first I left the lead on but all the time he was running the chain lead was smacking at his back legs which made it difficult, plus, with all the best will in the world, accidents can happen and if (St. Cadbury forbid) he should somehow get out of the garden, it would have been very dangerous with the lead attached.  He could get trapped somewhere and never be found or the lead could get entangled in the wheels of a car.  He is totally devoted to our old Lab, Ben, and follows him everywhere, even to the point of leaving his own kennel and park to move in with Ben.  Ben is a dear and very tolerant, the only time I need to separate them is at mealtimes as Nick will dive in to any bowl and Ben will just not stand bad manners of that kind !  Nick is gradually losing his fear of people and, if trapped, will accept a cuddle but he still has the scared stiff look in his eye.  We will get there.

It was a ‘parson’s egg’ sort of Christmas.  We went to a lovely concert on the 23rd which would have been even better if I would cease to underestimate how bally cold churches are !  We froze and from the way the musicians romped through the programme, I guess they were pretty chilly too !  Christmas Eve was nice and lazy, then on Christmas Day we had our usual Fizz from 12 to 2 for friends which was great …….. in the main !  Friends Rachel and Pascal came and went off with Nanette !  They had been wanting to adopt her for a couple of years now but were in rented accommodation where only one dog was allowed, or, indeed, only room for.  Now they are living in their own property with a large garden and Rachel asked if they could take Nanette there and then.  Wow, what a shock, I had never thought it would happen.  Nanette is a darling (if a tad dominant) and the most obedient.  She is the only one who will always stay with me on a walk even when the other monsters run off and come home hours later !  Naturally I  was happy she would be going to such a good home but she has been with us for three years and, of course it was like giving up your child (not ever having had children I cannot state that from experience but I can imagine that is what it would be like…. or worse !).  As she was taken down the drive Nanette kept pulling at the lead trying to get back to me and looking at me with eyes saying “you traitor”.  I was in pieces and had to go in and shut the door, where I found my lovely pal Gaynor also in floods.  What a pair we were !  However it was better that way I had no time to think about things.  Nanette ?  Huh, within an hour of arriving at her new home, her paws were well and truly under the table and she had ousted poor Rouky from his own basket !

On Boxing Day I had to finally make the decision to take my Lulu to be pts.  He had suddenly gone very downhill two days before and could no longer even stand up.  Having been blind, deaf  and incontinent for a long while his quality of life was limited but he loved his food and the vet had said that whilst he was eating happily he wasn’t suffering.  However, then not being able to stand was distressing him hugely and he was crying.  He wasn’t the only one.  Since starting Poorpaws I have had to make pts decisions many times and it NEVER EVER gets easier, I am a total mess.  I know, know, know, it was the right thing to do but it doesn’t help much.Having said goodbye to Lulu, in the afternoon, I took myself off to see Paddington 2, a lovely film, but I managed to cry at that too !

Let’s have some happier news !  Minty has been adopted,  It was lovely to see the Stewards again who took Minty to be a pal to Filly an ex Poorpaws and one of my absolute favourites.  Jazz the ShihTzu and both her pups have gone, or will soon be going, to great homes.  The Khortal has gone to a couple who run a restaurant near St. Antonin,  hmm I see fabulous food for him there !

We’ll be saying farewell to 2017, which hasn’t been a great year, with friends.  We all have to provide some sort of entertainment so Ernst and I will be singing our own version of the Twelve Days of Christmas – you won’t be surprised that, according to our version, on the 12th day of Christmas my true love brought to me ………….. 12 abandoned puppies !!

Have a great New Year,

Sue x


December 1, 2017

I cannot believe that it is December already and, therefore, nearly a year since Ernst and I hosted the Strictly Finals Night for our sweepstake group.  Even less can I believe that the glitterball has rolled right to our gate again and we’ll be welcoming everyone for the finals again this year.  Luckily our mates are great and don’t seem to mind being squashed into our kitchen, round the table and watching on a borrowed television as our own is only slightly larger than a postage stamp.  It will be chaotic but fun squeezing about 20 people in and no doubt sides will be taken as to who should win.  It will be Joe but don’t tell anyone !!  We always have a Finals competition, last year was ‘shoes to sparkle on the dance floor ‘ and this year I thought of asking everyone to make their own glitterball, but it has been pointed out that probably it will be difficult to make different glitterballs, so it’s back to the drawing board.

In November I went to England for a week to be with my pal Susie when she had her postponed mastectomy.  That girl is  amazing, full of Geordie grit.  She went in to hospital at 7am and came home at 4.30pm the same day.  I expected her to just crawl up to bed to rest, but none of that, it was straight in to the lounge for tea, sandwiches, chocolates and supper !!!  I look more tired than she did after  her op when I’ve been shopping at Lidl !!  The next day I took her in a cup of tea as soon as I heard her about then went in to the shower.  By the time I came out she was already up and about and pottering around downstairs !  We are all waiting for the relapse but it doesn’t seem to have happened yet.

As for dog news, well Jip and Janneke went off to a new home in Holland, organised by their owner, then came home 24 hours later as the home was found to be unsuitable.  Luckily everything worked out as the ex wife of the owner heard about the problems and took them to live with her.  Phew !  Little Norbury is now with me here at Poorpaws and renamed Nick after the really fabulous pup we had at the beginning of the year.  That Nick has turned out to be the most fabulous dog ever and I am desperately hoping that Norbury Nick can rid himself of his demons and realise that I am there only to love him to pieces and not to do him any harm.  At the moment he is still running around the park totally scared out of his life and I can only catch him by grabbing hold of the lead that is always attached to him.  I would give him more time but his collar is now getting too tight and I need to get it off him and a larger one put on.  This is where my great pal and dog lover Gaynor comes in.  She is going to come over next week and we will go in with gloves on to protect us whilst we change the collar.  If there is no News Page next month it may be because I have no fingers left !

Danielle is away for a week and a friend is looking after all the dogs except for a gorgeous ShihTzu Mum and her pups who I am delighted to say are snuggly, cuddly buggly in my bedroom.  So lovely to have pups around again, makes a change from all my oldies.

19 year old Lulu is still going…… well, if not strong, he is still going and dear blind little Poodle Tanya is coping well with living with us in a completely new environment.

Have any of you discovered the television programme Animal Cops on the Quest channel ?  I’m addicted to it and watch it because the poor ill-treated animals have happy endings whereas the bastard owners get their come-uppance.  However this morning was just too hard to watch.  A guy spotted pulling a shetland pony along behind a car, poor, poor beast so injured down one side; and the discovery of a dog fighting farm with many dogs on chains, fighting pits, motorised exercise running machines to make the dogs more muscly and even a deep sort of small swimming pond where the dogs were forced to swim for ages.  I was a complete mess and just had to stop watching in the end.  The dogs had to be PTS because they were bred for fighting and could not have made pets but luckily the puppies were taken into care.  All the people involved in these two cases were taken to court and ended up in prison.  Sadly none of them were strung up by their balls and covered in honey to ensure them being attacked by ants and wasps or covered in mince then having their own dogs set on them.  They really need me as an animal cruelty judge over there.

Countdown to Christmas has begun and I have to admit to being one of those who love it !  Not the presents, so difficult to choose now that we are all so old (!) that we don’t really want anything, but just the atmosphere and the lovely smelly Christmas candles.  Don’t bother going to buy any at Ikea as Gaynor and I were there last week and bought them all !!!

Next News will be in 2018 !  Last year my resolution was not to speak badly of anyone.  Failed, but if you got some of the emails I get from people giving ridiculous reasons for wanting to rehome their dogs, you would fail too.  So,  this year I am vowing to be more tolerant !  Such a wonderful quality to have, if only everyone was tolerant of every other person this world would be such a happier place.  My Dad’s favourite saying was  “I don’t agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”.  Got that Mr. Trump ???!!!

Have a great Festive Season !

Sue xx



November 2, 2017

From the top ‘Men with Marigolds’, Sale in Flow, Scary Witches and lastly, Before the Off !  Yes, of course the photos should have been in reverse order but who knows how to do that ??!!  Again, we have to thank all of you who supported us and it was lovely to hear lots of people say how much they like to make a day of it, coffee, cake and browsing in the morning then lunch and back to make sure they haven’t missed any great books in the afternoon.  We all enjoy the day immensely and the fantastic result of 3,100 euros at the end of it, made it so worthwhile.  We donated 100 euros to ‘Donkey Jan’ for her amazing donkey refuge, plus Jan comes along at the end of the day to take books to sell at her refuge.  The rest of the money was split between Dog Rescue and Cancer Support France.  You can be sure that every euro goes to help dogs and people with difficulties related to cancer.

We are now planning the next sale for March 17th 2018 which I am reliably informed is St. Patrick’s Day, so be prepared for an Irish influence to the sale.  We are already collecting books as our storage facility will not be needed until after the sale, so please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to donate.  What I suggest to people is to have  a ‘Poorpaws Book Box’ where you can put books as you finish them (unless of course you want to keep them) then they are ready to go when the box is full.  Same for dvds.

Again, and again I say THANK  YOU !!!

You will see on the website three little dogs, Coco and her children are  going t Germany to be rehomed.   Little Norbury has had no luck so far so will be leaving Danielle to come here to me.  He is such a frightened little chap, heaven knows what happened to him before he was rescued, but if he is not adopted he will stay here at Poorpaws with the others who either have problems who have just never been chosen.  I put in a plea here for Dino and Toby, both great energetic dogs who just need a chance.

November already !  Mind you we had such a great October I feel I’m ready for Winter now.  I’ve been preparing my Autumn/Winter pots for our terrace but it is taking time as the Summer flowers just aren’t dying due to the lovely weather.  Before I came to France I loved Chrysanthemums but because French people use them as flowers for the deceased it has rather put me off.  However, I am determined to plant some this year, at least they won’t have the fate of just dying on a tombstone as most of the others here will !

I had planned to go to England on the 16th November to be with my pal Sue following her mastectomy and I have booked my ticket, however apparently there is a general strike planed for France that day so I fear my flight may be cancelled.  Also Sue has had bronchitis so hasn’t yet had her op, so all in the balance.

Have a great November,

Sue xx



October 2, 2017

Starting off this month with photos of Wellesley.  I was delighted to receive an up to date photo of this handsome guy and looked back to how he was when he left us at four months.  He is now seven years old and looks just as handsome, perhaps a tad more pensive !

Since the last newsletter we have been down to Cap d’Ail for our usual week and this time spent most of the time playing Bridge which our friends taught us.  We love it and I’m only sorry that my Mum and Dad are no longer here as they were great Bridge players and were disappointed that none of us four kids got in to the game.  My Dad was priceless, he tried so hard to be a good loser but never quite managed it, blaming bad cards on the god he didn’t believe in !

After a week of glorious sunshine down south, we came back to full pelting rain here and it had clearly been raining all week.  However after a couple of days the sun came back and luckily held in time for our End of Summer apero evening.  I prefer to do apero evenings, you just have to keep the nibbles and drink coming and there is much less chance of a culinary disaster !

Since we have been back I have been full steam ahead preparing for our Autumn Book Sale.  The books are coming in from all directions and I haven’t yet got to the “never want to see another book in my life” time yet.  We’ll have another great selection of books, dvds and, yes, don’t panic, cakes, for you so do come along and make a day of it if you can.  21st October at the Salle de Fetes, St. Pantaleon her in the Lot just five minutes from Montcuq.  There will be lunches on offer including a veggie option.

We’re a bit sad here at Poorpaws at the moment.  As you know I can no longer take in dogs, having 18 older dogs who are a selection of dogs who were never chosen for adoption or oldies who have come in having nowhere else to go.  ‘Adoptables’ go to Danielle of la Mere aux Betes.  Inevitably therefore we go through a period where we have to say goodbye to a dog who is either in too much pain or just cannot cope with life any more.  At the moment we have dear Robbie who will be leaving us shortly.  Robbie came to us about 12 years ago having been found with just a bit of string round his neck.  He was a stocky little fellow rather in the shape of a corgi with, what I call a Maddie eye, one eye being white.  I’ll never know why he was never adopted, a great little chap whose only problem was barking at the birds in the trees.  Nothing wrong with that, I feel like doing it myself sometimes.  I would love to make contact with the lady who brought him to us but paperwork has been lost, so if by any chance anyone knows who it was please do ask her to get in touch.  Robbie is loved by everyone, especially our Brittany Isabelle who looks at him anxiously now.

We had a birthday party for Lulu, a Bichon mix who came to us when he was 13 and who I never expected to last another year.  Well he was 19 in September and friends Gaynor and Louise came to celebrate.  Gaynor made a lovely cake, which unfortunately the dogs stole off the kitchen worktop when our backs were turned !  Still, I suppose it was right that the dogs should celebrate too !!!

Do hope you make it to the Book Sale, all money goes to dogs in distress and Cancer support groups.

With love,

Sue xx


1st SEPTEMBER 2017

September 1, 2017

Ist September already !   This summer just seems to be flying by and it has been a hot one.  Too hot for some people but I just love it.  I’m not a sunbather and we don’t have a swimming pool, but I love it when you go outside at 7 am and it is already warm and I just love the long evenings when you can sit outside until late still feeling the heat of the sun on the walls of the house.  All the watering of plants is a bit of a pain though !!  I find it is better to water first thing in the morning rather than the evening, the flowers suffer less snail damage that way.

We had a long weekend in Germany to celebrate Ernst’s brother’s birthday in August.  We drove up to Annecy to stay the night with his sister and brother-in-law then the four of us set off for Germany the following day.  The drive to Annecy was ghastly !  All went well until we got to Lyon where the ring road was closed.  We got hopelessly lost, driving round for an hour looking for a road to Geneva but they all seemed to lead to Paris or Marseille.  Hmm, I thought, time for a crash course in getting the satnav working.  Big mistake !  I got it working but it just kept wanting us to go back to St. Pantaleon.  Then we couldn’t turned the flipping thing off, so we were driving around looking for road signs with the satnav yacking on in the back ground “turn around, turn around” !!  Finally we got on to the right motorway and off we set ……… in the wrong direction !!!  In all I led Ernst up and down three wrong motorways before  throwing the map in the air and bursting in to tears !  Ernst was amazing, lots of friends have said that their husbands would have gone mad but Ernst just calmly said not to worry we would get there.  Later, I heard him say to a friend that at that stage there was only room for one crazy person in the car !!!  The journey from Annecy to Germany was no better, torrential rain and traffic jams after traffic jams, it took us ten hours to do a seven hour journey.  Then to cap it all, it was freezing in Germany !  The party, which was held in the garden, was great but there was no way I was going to wear the intended outfit, instead it was jeans, long sleeved shirt and a fleece borrowed from my sister-in-law.  Some people were in ski jackets !!  Naturally the next day was hot and sunny and the good weather continued.  The drives home were peaceful and trouble free !

Last Sunday Danielle and I held our now almost infamous second hand clothes stall at the Montcuq Vide Grenier .  I was very anxious as one weather forecast was saying thunder storms all day.  However, we were blessed with overcast in the morning and flaming hot in the afternoon.  As usual, thanks to the incredible generosity of friends and folk we had a great selection of clothes and took two pitches this year to accommodate all the boxes, bags and rails of clothes.  We had to be on site at 6 am (!) and when we arrived dear Sophie Bacou was there to help with the unloading.  Lesley was there at 7 and kept the crowds entertained by trying on most of the clothes available.  We were very busy all day, not surprisingly as we were selling everything at just one euro.  Very many return customers who were very happy to see us and said so.  Some young couples – and indeed, not so young –  are finding it very difficult to make ends meet and spend any spare cash on the children so it was lovely to see them getting some great clothes and being so happy to be able to do so.  We made a fantastic 785 euros ………. plus a Carrefour shopping trolley token !  The money will be split  50/50 between Poorpaws and La Mere aux Betes (Danielle’s refuge in Castelnau Montratier) and I can assure you that every single cent goes to making abandoned and unwanted dogs’  lives happier.  At the end of a very exhausting day we went down to the Cafe du Centre for an early supper and my thoughts of the previous day when we spent all day loading up, ” I am NEVER EVER going to do this again” were banished and we were already planning for next time.  So please, don’t throw any clothes away, save them for us for next time !!

Lucky dogs this month were the griffon pup, the Spitz, Falco and …………………….Egan !!!  Remember he was let down at the very last minute ?  Well happily the gentleman who was going to take him has made a great recovery, is feeling very well and I took Egan to meet him and his dog Babouschka (adopted from us some ten years ago) at Limoges.  He had driven down from the Vienne and I up from the Lot and we arrived within seconds of each other !  The dogs seemed very happy to meet each other, so fingers crossed for a great new life for Egan.

We’re off for our usual week at Cap d’Ail with friends in ten days for our usual week of cards, reading and general relaxation.  Can’t wait !!






August 1, 2017

Here we go, what can I tell you about Brittany Spaniels that I haven’t already told you.  they are FABULOUS !  Quick to learn, great companions and just 100% love.  Mousse here is just one year old and I’m praying someone adopts her quickly before she is added to my ‘collection’ !!

1st AUGUST 2017

August 1, 2017

We had to leave in ten minutes to go and eat with friends.  I was just putting on a quick layer of nail varnish (transparent, I’m not quite stupid enough to try to put a coloured varnish on in a hurry !) and, as it was Wimbledon fortnight, the televisions was connected.  I was watching my guilty pleasure, Location, Location, Location,  (Love That Programme !) when the advertisments came on.  RSPCA, uh oh.  I should have looked away, I should have changed channels, I should have turned the damn thing off.  But no, I thought, I can do this, I’m a big girl now.  I sat stoically through the poor dog who had been used in dog fights, I gritted my teeth through the pictures of the disgusting, filthy puppy farm – whilst wishing a long, slow, painful death on the breeder –  and then they played their trump card;  an RSPCA inspector crying over a pitiful bundle held in his arms.  I was toast. I cried, I howled, I cursed every living being who was cruel to animals, then I went to ‘redo’ my face and peel off bits of sodden tissue from my not dry nails.  We were half an hour late for lunch !

I had a surprisingly good week with my mate Susie when I went over to be with her for her chemo.  We were expecting a bad time as the cocktail was being changed and Susie had been warned that side effects might not be good.  Huh, they hadn’t reckoned on my feisty Geordie pal, no side effects to speak of, no sickness, no aches and pains and in fact the next day she was like a Duracel bunny on speed !  Sadly a throat infection stopped her in her tracks but nothing worse than that.  Go Susie !

Poor Egan has had a disappointment.  He’s the one-eyed boy on the website.  Such a lovely lad who has been waiting for so long for that forever home.  He was all set to go up to the Vienne to a lovely elderly gentleman when at the last minute the kind man was taken ill and regretfully came to the conclusion that he could not take Egan.  I’m just hoping that there is someone else just as kind out there ….. but in better health !!

I want you all to keep your fingers crossed for little Lulu.  Lulu and his brother, Charlie, Westie/Bichons, came to Poorpaws when they were 13.  I agreed to take them, not thinking they would live for long, and was so glad I did as their poor owner had died after being in the clutches of alcohol for years which ended, literally, when he was still quite young.  He clearly had not been able to look after Lulu and Charlie as they were in a heartbreaking  state.  I was told that they loved each other and got on well.  Hmm, well, if standing over your brother and biting him if he dared move is love, I’ve got a lot to learn.  They had to be put in to separate parks where  they then barked and cried the place down !! Things improved and as they got older they happily shared the same park, but not the same kennel !  Charlie died a couple of years ago but Lulu is still with us …… just.  He is blind, deaf and incontinent but put a bowl of food in front of him and he will eat for France !  Lulu has a birthday coming up and will be 19 (113 in dog years !!!) on 5th September so we are just hoping he hangs on until then when we’ll have a celebration.

Some real cuties going on the website very soon so keep checking in.

Poorpaws will be running the usual second hand clothes stall at the Montcuq Vide Grenier on the 27th August.  This is usually a great fund raiser for us and I’m now looking out for good second hand casual clothes donations.  Shoes, handbags and jewelry all gratefully accepted.  If you have anything to donate I can arrange to meet and/or collect.  Please get in touch either by email – – or call 0565245303 and make sure you leave a message.

With thanks, as ever.



2ND JULY 2017

July 2, 2017

Those of you who have been following Poorpaws since God was a boy will recognise Bracken.  A fabulous Brittany Spaniel adopted by Brian and Elizabeth many years ago.  Brian has a lot of experience in dog training/agility and started to train Bracken who absolutely loved it.  They would travel together all over the place and even though Bracken was not  a superstar he and Brian had great fun and proudly brought home trophies from time to time.  The thing with agility is that the human part of the two ‘man’ team has to do a lot of running too and has to remember the course, not always easy as some fabulous video clips of the two of them have shown me.  Bracken, a great favourite of the Cahors agility team retired a couple of years ago when the competing became a bit too much for him …….. and perhaps for Brian too !!  Well I am sure you can guess what is coming next, dear Bracken’s last bit of agility was to jump over the rainbow.  Desperately sadly missed by Brian and Elizabeth, and Fern his adopted sister who didn’t take to agility so well, Bracken so readily gave back the love and happiness he received and deserved.  A wonderful dog.

Another Poorpaws loss in June was dear Douschka who left us whilst I was in England with my pal Susie.  Douschka came to us as a puppy just two months old, but strangely she wasn’t your usual loving, tumbling affectionate pup.  She was very reserved and was returned from her first home as she would not connect at all with her new family and would have nothing to do with the children.  She was then adopted by the lovely Leeanne and Mike of Twilight as part of their clan but sadly had to come back from them also when she turned out to be rather a bully towards the other dogs.  I soon realised that all these theatrics were just ploys to get back here as she was as good as gold with us.  Okay, she would climb over our two metre fencing to go and play if she saw a dog outside and the first time we had someone to come and live in whilst we went away, she ruined his New Year’s Eve – and in fact the NYE of very close friends – when she escaped and had people looking all over for her instead of enjoying the parties they were supposed to be at !!  Yes, she was indeed a very reserved dog with people and would always stand away up the hill in the garden when anyone came visiting.  I was in England when Ernst called to say he had found her not at all well and she then died at the vet’s during the night.  I was heartbroken not to have been there to say goodbye but luckily my very close friend Gaynor happened to call by when Ernst was leaving for the vet and she gave Douschka a big hug and kiss from me just in case.  Lucky she did.

Gosh this is turning in to an obituary column !!  Let’s think of some good news.  WIMBLEDON !!!!  The television has been reconnected and after watching hours of Roland Garros whilst in England, I came back to watch hours of Queens, Eastbourne and intend to do exactly much the same over the next two weeks !!

On the dog front, Marvik has gone down to Monaco, Helton has gone with another Setter from the Cahors refuge up to near Luxembourg,  Fifi has finally found a forever home and from the way she leapt in to the car when she left it is clear that her days of actually living in a car had not had an adverse effect !

I’m off to make up a fortnight’s dinners/sandwiches now to put in the freezer and to make sure we’ve got enough Schweppes Zero (my new tipple) in the fridge before I batten down the hatches !!

Have a great month,

Sue xxxx

NEWS 31st MAY 2017

June 2, 2017

This photo really made me laugh.  It was headed “We’re really doing well with our ‘don’t sit on the furniture’ training” !!  Regulars will recognise the dog on top but possibly not the name as she has been Izzy, Fleur and is now Tyga Lily !!  As her owner points out,well she is not actually on the chair !!!

Now, following a little giggle to start with, we go to the complete opposite of emotions, heartbreaking sadness.  Those of you who read this page regularly and those who come to our Book Sales will know of Amanda.  Amanda was one of the founder members of the book sale team and was the maker of the most fantastic cakes.  She has been very poorly over the last 18 months with the return of cancer.  Having successfully recovered from breast cancer, it came back in the form of a rare type of blood cancer.  Amanda had to undergo horrid treatments and at Christmas gave us the fright of our lives when we were told she had just two days to live.  She didn’t listen and made amazing progress so we naively thought she would pull off a miracle again.  Anyone who saw her at the Easter Book Sale saw her tired but cheerful and positive and she pulled out all the stops to make her hot cross buns and many of the cakes on sale.  She seemed all set to be well enough to attend her daughter’s wedding in England on 1st June.  Tragically it wasn’t to be and Amanda took a sudden down turn, was rushed into hospital, insisted on coming home after a week and passed away peacefully in her sleep on Monday 22nd May.  I cannot tell you how shocked and desperately sad we all are.  All we could do was to give her the funeral she wanted.  Church service at Albas and laid to rest at the lovely cemetery there next to the river. Plus, and this was very important to Amanda, truckloads of pink flowers.

I’m now trying like mad to think of some good news but as I am off to England next week to stay with my pal Susie when she has her third chemo treatment, it is proving difficult.

However, during what proved to be a very sad month, there was good news for the following dogs who all found great homes – Malik, Mocha, Jocky, Logan and Lolita.  May you all be very happy with your new families.

Sue xx

26th April 2017

April 26, 2017

I know, look at the date, I’m four days early !!  this is because we’re off on Saturday to the Ile de Ré for our annual week of reading, cycling and sleeping !  So much to do before we leave and so little time.

This newsletter is going to be rather sweet and sour so let’s get the sour out first !  People who divorce and chuck the dog out with the unwanted chattels.  Two of these poor dogs on the Adoptions page at the moment.  How DARE people do that ?  Ok, shite happens but at least one of you should have the decency to make sure that wherever you are going to, you can take the poor dog.  It’s not his/her fault you are divorcing.  Wonder if the children go up for adoption too.

Moving on to sweet, three pups adopted and oh how I miss little Nick, just the most wonderful little lad.  He is proving to be, as I knew he would, very laid back and easy going, slotting in to his new life at Juan les Pins with Ana and proving to be the delight of everyone who meets him.  Mimba went off down to Aix en Provence and we are hoping the little teething problems will soon be sorted out.  Misty went off last week and Binky, now Izzy is set to go out into the big wide world tomorrow.

Our Easter Book Sale was a great success raising 2,500 euros and it was lovely to see so many familiar faces.  Not as many as last time which we think was due to the fact that Easter was later this year and the weather has been great so many people had gone away.  We are starting to collect names of people who have books to donate for October so if you have any please get in touch with me – good condition and saleable is the order of the day !

Back to sour, my very dear friend Sue who comes to visit often and who is always here to give a hand at the Book Sale, has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Luckily she has a great team of mates all queuing up to help her cope with everything and I will be popping over to the UK regularly to give her moral support and to be ready with buckets and bowls !!!

Take care, with love,

Sue x

1ST APRIL 2017

April 2, 2017

I’ve always thought what a great easy job a weather forecaster would be.  You just have to forecast rain every day.  It rains, no-one is surprised, it doesn’t rain, people are happy !  Except farmers of course but it takes a lot to make them happy weather wise !  As you may have guessed I’m sitting typing this whilst “sunny spells” tips it down outside and, having finished the house, I’m thinking of asking Ernst to start on the ark !  Weather is such a tease, a couple of days of up to 22° last week and I get out all the garden pots, optimistically buy Lobelia and Impatience from Lidl where they are dying of thirst and plan my weekend.  Huh, aforementioned plants are probably now dying from too much water !  Lidl, now I love the shop but why do they never water the plants they have on sale ?!

Overwatering reminds me of an episode of Bronco the cowboy – boy that ages me ! – when strong handsome Bronco was taken into the desert by a baddie and left to die of thirst.  Of course he didn’t and got back to town where he got his own back by forcing the baddie to drink gallons after gallons of water.  Good justice I always thought ! I can’t stand violence !

Well it’s all systems go getting everything ready for the Easter Book sale (15th April at St. Pantaleon salle de fetes).  I have sorted literally thousands of book, have about 100 boxes for you to browse through plus boxes of dvd’s and cd’s.  A plea, please don’t come with hundreds more books, we won’t have time to sort them and they will end up being got rid of.  However, if you have been saving for us, can I be cheeky and ask you to cherry pick and ONLY BRING books in good condition and saleable, they will be put aside for the next sale.  Nothing technical, no A to Z’s, Michelin Guides, or travel guides generally from the year dot.   As usual loads of home made cakes, coffee, tea and light lunches will be on offer.  It makes a great trip out especially if you have visitors and need ideas of what to do.

Colleague Danielle of La Mere aux Betes has been away for a couple of weeks so adoptions have been on hold.  The six pups I had all have good homes, the last one going down to St. Jean Cap Ferrat if you please !  Boy am I going to miss him.  Nick is a poppet and a great shoe collector. He steals all my shoes and takes them back to his bed !  Mimba will be on her way to Aix en Provence next weekend and Bella and Babarella have gone to some lovely people who were quite prepared to take on two eleven year old dogs, now that is what I call dog rescue !

Remember I said last month I was going to have a ‘dry’ March ?  Well I did it !  We went out to supper with friends last night (I started this newsletter on the 1st April and it is now the 2nd) and I was presented with some bubbly in the biggest wine glass I have ever seen !  I didn’t overdo it but still woke up this morning with that familiar fuzzy head and queasy stomach so I think I’m going back to tonic water and feeling good in the morning.  Mind you my wit and conversation last night was top notch …….. it seemed to me …. !

See you at the Book Sale !

Sue x

2ND MARCH 2017

March 2, 2017

This is a lovely story, well the start is not but fear not it has a happy ending.  Hugh was out walking the lovely Jules during one of the recent very windy days when Jules went off on a mission and dragged Hugh towards the river.  There Hugh saw a gorgeous Brittany Spaniel trapped on a ledge with the river water raging beneath her and impossible to climb back up the bank.  Her older companion had not abandoned her but had made herself a bed on the edge of the bank where she could watch and hope.  Hugh to the rescue, both dogs were taken back to the house where they were warmed up and fed before settling down for a much needed sleep.  Enquiries were made and the dogs’ anxious owners made contact the following day.  If only the dogs had had telephone numbers on their collars the owners would not have spent a sleepless night !

My friend Annie telephoned the other evening so I took the ‘phone in to another room so we could chat without the radio in the background.  Unfortunately I had just started to prepare supper and had put oil in to the frying pan.  Annie and I were yapping away when I suddenly smelt smoke and looked into the kitchen where I could see the sort of thin cloud layer of smoke that hovers just below the ceiling when saucepans are left cooking but unattended.  We see such clouds often in our house !  What made that day different was that Ernst was just sitting there engrossed in his suduko and hadn’t even noticed until I shouted out !  Luckily no damage done and lucky too that it was raining so I hadn’t taken the telephone outside and walked round the garden whilst chatting which is what I usually do !

A couple of events coming up which you may be interested in ……. may be ?? of course you are !  Firstly our regular clothes sale to be held at La Sirene in Montaigu de Quercy on Friday 24th March starting at 11 am.  Lots of really good quality clothes at very reasonable prices.  La Sirene will be opening especially for us so we are hoping that many of you will stop for coffee and perhaps lunch too.

Then we have the return of a very favourite event ……..drum roll please …….. The Easter Book Sale !!!!  Easter Saturday at St. Pantaleon Salle de Fetes starting at 10am.  Thousands of brilliant second hand books all at just one euro each be they large or small, dvd’s too plus, as always coffee, tea and delicious home made cakes.  For the last couple of sales we have proposed light lunches and these have been very popular so these too will be on offer – menu to be agreed.  I am delighted, in fact double delighted, to tell you that our own Quercy Culinary Goddess Amanda, who was so very, very ill over Christmas (at one time we were told that she only had 48 hours left) has confounded doctors and specialists by fighting her way back and is hoping to provide some of the cakes for the sale.  Phew, what a relief !!  If you have books to donate, can I ask that you contact me as soon as you like to arrange delivery/collection ?  We really want to try to avoid hundreds of books arriving on the actual day, unless of course you live a long way away when we will be very happy to see both you and your books !  Many thanks ! 

Dog adoptions and reservations have been brilliant in February.  Five of the six Spaniel mix pups are reserved – I’m warning all their future owners as their favourite pastime is nipping ankles and swinging on trouser bottoms at the moment.  those little teeth are like needles !! The magnificent Great Dane has gone to a great home as has Maguy.  Mila has a waiting list and we’ve had lots of enquiries for the French Bulldog so she will be away soon.  Fifi, after a VERY long wait has happily packed her bags and left too.  With all the adoptions you would think there was lots of space but no, as fast as they go, in come more so if you don’t see the dog of your dreams on the adoptions page, hang on in there he/she will be soon !

I’m having an alcohol free March, no particular reason, just thought my body could do without for a while, going great so far …..sorry ? pardon ? only the 2nd, are you sure ??!

Sue xx




February 2, 2017

First of all the excellent news that Amanda has defied modern medical science and is home making excellent progress !  After scaring the bejezus out of us before Christmas she has dismissed the home hospitalisation team, is walking again – slowly – and we are sure she’ll be out and about soon so long as this continues !

The ancient Brittany Spaniel who I thought had been dumped on us is back with his carers, the misunderstanding over dates being the cause for concern.

Talking of Brittanys our own Isabelle nearly broke my heart last week.  Isabelle is now three years old and came to us completely traumatised.  She was in such a state that even now after almost three years has passed I still cannot stroke her.  She will come towards me bottom wagging (she doesn’t have a tail) and will take treats from me, but if I stretch out to stroke her she runs off.  She now comes out on walks with us – after accidentally getting out by sneaking out in the middle of the crowd -and never runs off.  However, last Sunday as I came in through the gate Balto our English Setter who should be called Bolto, took me out at the knees and ran off with Josie and Isabelle in hot pursuit.  I didn’t worry too much as they all know the area well.  However, when Josie and Balto came back but Isabelle didn’t I started to fret.  I won’t bore you with the details of the whole angst filled four days, suffice to say that after being outside for four of the coldest nights of the year she came home on Thursday not a gram lighter and full of beans.  I on the other hand hadn’t slept for four nights, had eyes so swollen from crying that I could hardly see and was exhausted from walking miles over the hills and valleys behind our house !

Our little Lulu is still with us and is clearly made of very strong stuff.  Every morning I expect to find him lifeless in his bed, but no, that little (big) heart is still beating away.  Today I took him to be clipped and stayed to help Virginie, who runs Os’car toilettage in Prayssac, as I knew it wouldn’t be easy.  It wasn’t.  Poor Virginie was frightened he would have a heart attack on the table, but no, he just thanked her by doing a poo.  He has now had a bath and is snug in a very unmasculine pink jumper !

I’m off to the UK just for three days on the 16th, going to visit my new Great Niece, Maggie Ann.  I’ll stay with Susie and on the Friday we are going to have a day in London followed by a show (Wicked), then on Saturday off to Streatham to see Maggie Ann, Sunday lunch with a group of friends and home on Monday.  Soo looking forward to it.

Adoptions going well, delighted to say that Lucien went off to what looks like a fabulous home today, he really deserves it, such a great dog.  Scruffboy also went to a lovely couple, Mengo is reserved and will be away next week – you won’t believe how many calls we had for him – and Max who has been so patient got his reward a couple of weeks back finally being chosen.

My ‘Grrrr’ of the month goes to the unspeakably horrid people who owned a lovely young female Lab mix. The dog was given to us by some travellers who had found her and decided they didn’t want her.  Danielle found that the dog was in fact chipped so she was able to trace the owners who are Doctors.  Now usually when this happens the owners are over the moon and very grateful.  However, ‘phone messages went unanswered and after a week, a friend of Danielle’s went to the address on the identity records only to be told that the people had been very upset when the dog got lost but had got used to it now so didn’t want her back !!!  I have very rarely seen Danielle angry, she has seen so much nothing surprises her, but on this occasion she was seething.  We think we have someone on our waiting list for the dog but if it doesn’t work out she’ll be on the adoptions page very soon. 

Right, that’s about it for this month, just to say that for those of you in the area of where The Quercy Local is distributed, look out for my article in praise of adopting adult dogs.

Also, Danielle and I are still in need of any old blankets you may have.  Oh, nearly forgot, we are collecting books and dvd’s for the Easter sale already so get in touch if you need us to collect.


Sue x


January 5, 2017

So late, so late, so sorry, so sorry !  Our Christmas / New Year celebrations have gone on and on this time and I just haven’t had a minute to sit down and bring you up to date.  Susie arrived to spend the Festive Season with me and Ernst escaped up to his sister to have a much calmer time.  In fact he seems to have spent a lot of his time there ferrying people to and fro Geneva airport.  Some American friends came over and had so much luggage, one car was not enough !  Therefore Ernst was roped in to help out with a taxi service, my brother in law flatly refusing to do it “if they are so stupid etc., etc. !).  Susie and I had a great time, lunching, shopping, seeing friends and falling asleep in front of the programmes we had ticked to watch on the television.  We kept the television plugged in exceptionally as we were not alone but I have to say there was not much on I couldn’t have lived without.  It is now unplugged again, Susie has gone home and the decorations are down – it’s all very bleak !  Susie was due to leave on the 30th but the flight was cancelled due to the fog and the next available seat was on the 3rd so we had bonus time together and she was able to join us for the Gatsby party we were invited to for the 31st, drinks with neighbours on the 1st and aperos with friends on the 2nd.

Last year very nearly ended too sadly to bear.  Our own dear Domestic Quercy Goddess, Amanda, she of the amazing Book Sale cakes, very nearly left us the week before Christmas.  The horrid blood disease that she is suffering from, lulled us all into a false sense of security then came back with a vicious vengeance and the family were told to say their farewells and prepare themselves. However, no-one gave Amanda the script and she is happily still with us, despite being very poorly and is swatting back the nasty blood munchers with as much strength as she can muster.

 I am now back to my normal life of work, (cleaning), library duty, charity cat shop duty and, of course, dog care.  One of my 2017 resolutions was not, absolutely not, to take in any more dogs.  However it looks likely that an ancient Brittany Spaniel we agreed to look after for the holidays may have lost his foster home so I expect he’ll be staying.  The other resolution was the one I make every other year, not to buy any clothes for a year.  Last year it was not to buy any box sets, I managed it and now am excitedly catching up !  Oh, I nearly forgot, there is another resolution, to think before I speak and to count to ten before hitting the ‘send’ key !  I don’t hold out much hope for that one !! 

Adoptions have not been bad over the last month, Maddie has gone again, this time let’s hope it’s permanent, Mila has been adopted, as has Maika.  I should point out that the dogs who appear on the adoptions page are all, unless otherwise stated, at Danielle’s.  I have 20 old dogs here who no-one wants – and, if I am honest, I would not let go now they have been here so long – so Danielle of La Mere aux Betes takes all the ‘adoptables’ and I just put them on the Poorpaws website as we get quite a good following.  Little Lulu who I took to be PTS last month is still alive but hardly kicking.  Bless his heart I just hope that he will soon be at rest from his confusing life.

So, 2017, bring it on and I hope it’s a great one for all of you.

Sue x


December 2, 2016

November was certainly not a good month this year and I was glad to see it go.  A lovely friend died from pancreatic cancer after giving it a really good run for its’ money for two years, which is amazing for pancreatic.  Then we had the tragic death of one of our own Poorpaws, Honey, a lovely Border Colley who, in her old age, was living with demons she was finding it difficult to cope with.  I am a wussy person who does not cope well with bad news – in fact a Chinese doctor I went to see once, told me that, just be looking at prints of the soles of my feet !!  I cry for a “oui ou un non” as the French say, which wouldn’t be so bad if I could cry daintily or prettily, but no, not me, screwed up face, great gulping sobs and eyes that disappear into red blobs.  If anyone has shares in Kleenex, you can thank me if you get a dividend this year.

Dog adoptions (why has the print suddenly changed colour ??!!) were well down, in fact, non existant.  Dear Maddie went off happily to her new home only to be returned a week later because she ran after the cats.  Maddie has lived here for a month or so amongst ten or so cats so is quite used to them and in fact has been on the receiving end of many a swipe !  She is only a pup so would not hurt a moggie, she was just missing her playmates here and wanted to have fun with someone.  However, the resident cats packed their bags and gave an ultimatum, so poor Maddie lost out.  To add insult to injury, as soon as she came back there was a bit of over excited playfighting and she ended up at the vet with a nip to her leg !  Nothing serious and she is back on all four paws again, only limping when she feels in need of a bit of extra tlc.

There was a little bit of exciting news in that our ‘middle room’ ( the room between the kitchen and the bedrooms) was finished, so we have a proper house at last !!  It has only taken 14 years !!  Of course there is the terrace to complete and lots of ‘little fiddly’ bits to finish off but I think I can honestly say we made it !!  Ernst was rather pushed into crossing the finishing line as we are hosting our Strictly Sweepstake finals this year and I offered to do this because I knew we would HAVE to be finished.

December didn’t start too well when I decided that time was up for our 18 year old Bichon after I had found him fallen in his pee and he couldn’t get up.  So it was tears before bedtime again as I took him off to the vet.  BUT when the vet gave him a thorough examination he checked Lulu’s ‘private parts’ and Lulu started to wag his tail !!!  So the vet decided that perhaps he (Lulu) had a few more weeks and gave me some medication for him to help clear his head and reduce the pain in his joints.  I’m still not sure, as Lulu is blind and deaf and when not in his large cage, walks around banging into everything or just walks round and round in circles, this when he is not peeing and pooing everywhere. Anyway, I wasn’t going to argue with the vet over something like that and dear Lulu came home again. So it’s back to sleepless nights, getting up two or three times a night to let him out to do his business – I imagine it must be like having a baby who doesn’t sleep through, though I am not suggesting that anyone puts their baby outside to pee !!

Well, it’s that time of year again when the world goes into a consumer frenzy.  I’m happy to say that our circle of friends don’t give gifts, saving them for birthdays, but there still seems to be masses to do.  We had a ‘Prosecco Tasting’ the other night for a friend’s birthday, think we’ll have a change from Champagne, all very enjoyable.  The one that won came from the Italian Deli in Montcuq (yes, we have an Italian deli in the village  !  In fact it is on the premises where I had a gift shop back in the 80’s !).  Ernst will be going to visit his sister in La Clusaz in the mountains and my pal Sue will be coming over to spend the Festive Season with me.  I’d love to go with Ernst but it is impossible to get someone to house/dog sit at this time of year.  I went to London last year so this time it is Ernst’s turn.

So that’s it for November, I’m hoping that the next Newsletter will be a bit more cheerful !!!  Oh, nearly forgot, it’s getting very brrrrr and we are in need of old blankets / quilts to help keep the dogs warm, so if you have any you are thinking of getting rid of, give me a call.  Thanks.

Clearing out a load of boxes at the weekend, I came across my old school report from Hargrave House School in Derby for 1955 when I was six.  The headmistress had written  “Susan is a very bright and interesting pupil”, hmm, what happened ?!

Sue x

ps Happy Christmas !!!


November 4, 2016

witches-of-st-pI know, I know, soooooo late this month but in my defence I have been rather busy !  As you can see from the photo I have been to Witchy College, passed with flying colours (hence the purple hat) then had to come back and train up all my Apprentice Witches !  Luckily they all scraped through, took to their cauldrons and managed to magic up some fantastic goodies ready for the Book Sale before flying off on their broomsticks.  The Halloween Book Sale, well, wow, what can I say apart from jumping toads and cartwheeling cats ! It was great.  Our very best with a profit of 3,500 euros which was split fifty fifty between Poorpaws and Cancer Support France.  The Poorpaws half will be shared with my colleague Danielle who runs La Mere aux Betes and who is always there when Poorpaws needs a helping hand and also a donation will be made to Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs, another wonderful rescue organisation run by Leeanne and Mike.  So a huge thank you to all who attended and we look forward to seeing you again next Easter Saturday.

Since the last News Ernst and I have had a great weekend in Southwold with some friends of very long standing who have a tiny one up two down house there.  It was my friend’s birthday and we had a lovely lunch at a restaurant not far from the harbour.  In the evening Phena realised she had lost an earring so the next day we walked back to the restaurant to see if, by chance, she had dropped it there and hopefully not during the walk back along the beach.  However, when we got to the restaurant it was closed ( Monday) so we just walked around the outside and on to the back terrace where Phena had had a cigarette.  I noticed that the door into the actual dining room was open so we went in expecting to find a cleaner or someone.  Imagine our shock nd surprise when the alarm suddenly went off, screaming in our ears.  We immediately ran out again then realised that that wouldn’t look good on the CCTV so went back in, looked all over the floor for the earring and waited for the security firm to arrive.  No-one did turn up so we left a note on the table with telephone numbers and left.  We walked back up to the village and could still hear the alarm ringing when we got home.  Probably the restaurant wasn’t shut up properly on Sunday evening so I’ve a feeling someone got a flea in their ear on Tuesday.  We never did find the earring !

I’ve had news of the lovely Gavaroche plus a photo of him on his return from the ‘hairdresser’, he looks fantastic and brilliantly happy.

I’m very happy to report that all the pups have been homed, but if you missed out don’t fret there are more due to arrive in a couple of weeks.  Meantime, is there not anybody out there interested in Lucien ?  Such a gorgeous creature and so loving.

Had a nasty thing happen this afternoon, I was leaving for work when one of our oldies, Doushka, who is about ten years old, clambered over our two metre high fencing.  I heard a car coming, shouted at Douschka and threw my bag at her hoping to deter her, but no she ran straight out on to the road and straight into the car.  It was awful, a ghastly thump and I saw her spin round and round on the road.  I was screaming hysterically (I’m great in a crisis !) and ran over to find her lying with blood coming out of her mouth and nasty cuts on her legs.  She just lay there and didn’t move and I was sure she was dying so I just sat in the road with her stroking her.  Then she opened one eye and looked at me as if to say “well just how long are we both going to stay in the middle of the road because you are going to get run over too very soon and I need to get to a vet”!  I did a Lewis Hamilton to the vet where they rushed her in and ‘tubed’ her up.  Three xrays showed no internal damage so goodness knows where the blood was coming from, possibly a few broken teeth.  She is still at the vet’s under observation but is expected to pull through.  I’m hoping that will put a stop to her high jump hurdling skills.  The driver of the car never even stopped even though they cannot possibly not be aware of what they had done.  Not that I would have blamed them or been angry, they had no chance of not hitting Douschka she ran straight into them and even if they had been driving at five miles an hour they would have hit her.  I was just surprised they didn’t even stop.  I bet they will come back if the car is damaged.  So, fingers crossed for my girl.

This time next week we’ll know if Trump is the next President – heaven help us all !!!

Sue x

1st OCTOBER 2016

October 1, 2016

Happy Birthday brother Phil !brothers-and-moiHe’s the one on the right as you look, with the white shirt.  This photo of my three brothers and moi was taken at the family get together I told you about last month.  Think you will agree I am the best looking !!

Ernst and I had our usual September week at Cap d’Ail with our friends and had our usual great time playing cards, reading, swimming and visits to our favourite eateries. Timing had been arranged so that we would arrive on the coast at the same time as their flight so that we could pick them up at the airport but a last minute puppy transport problem meant that we had a dog cage in the car so they got a taxi from Nice.  Would you believe it we arrived at the house, Ernst and I after an eight hour drive and the others after their flight, within ten minutes of each other !

Last week we had our annual Summer’s End apero evening with 40 people for drinks and snacks.  I always get stressed out when I have to prepare food for others and find the best policy is to get everyone tiddly before the food is brought out !  A friend brought over a large plate of meaty bits and they were gone in two minutes.  Hmm, I fear we veggies have a way to go on the road to conversion !!  I love having people round, if only one didn’t have to feed them as well, luckily Betsy (my cooker) was in a good mood and there were no disasters.  When everyone had left Ernst and I sat and Ernst – a man of very few words – said  “I think that was good” which in Ernst speak means “Wow !  What a blast” ! The great thing about inviting a crowd is that you suddenly get many invitations yourself shortly after and this time was no exception !!

Dogs, well not so many adoptions last month, probably everyone adjusting to school starting again and the end of the holidays.  News from Gavaroche is that he is doing just great.  Take a look at the adoptions page, there are many lovely dogs in need and if it is a puppy you are after then hold on just a couple of weeks, we have taken in a litter found in the forest and they are just adorable.  We just need them to have their vaccinations with no after effects before they go up for adoption.  At the other end of the scale there is Aska, the gorgeous German Shepherd who is eleven going on six !

Indie the beautiful Beagle came down from Paris and is keeping everyone amused.  She is so happy to be out in the countryside away from the city and spends her time charging around, ears flapping playing with puppies, cats, geese anything that comes her way.  She’s so precious and I am sure that by the next news page she will be adopted.

A lovely Australian couple have been in constant touch over the last couple of months.  They have been ‘doing’ Europe and picked up a stray dog in Italy who they have taken travelling with them.  However, taking a dog back to ‘Oz’ is rather complicated so they asked us if we could find her a good home.  It was arranged that they would bring Banshee to Danielle’s today to hand her over and they turned up in their van ready to say goodbye.  Yeah, right, the poor girl was in floods of tears, the guy didn’t look good either and soft as butter me soon had tears running down my cheeks too.  Result ? Well the necessary will be done to get Banshee back to Australia unless someone really, really fabulous comes along to adopt her . Banshee is a beautiful large German Shepherd with perhaps a hint of Husky.

Just time to remind you about our Halloween Book Sale on Saturday 29th October (watch out for the witches !) at the Salle des Fetes, St. Pantaleon (five minutes from Montcuq in the Lot).  10 am start for fabulous book bargains, plus dvd’s, plus home made cakes, plus, tea, plus coffee, plus snack lunches (with veggie option) plus …. well what more do you want ??!  Please get in touch with me by email if you have books to donate /deliver/collect.  We aim to make this one our biggest and best !

Sue x


September 2, 2016

Sunday 28th August and Danielle, Lesley and I did the Montcuq Vide Grenier selling, as usual, second hand clothes.  Once again it was a huge success and worth all the very hard work entailed.  I had spent many days beforehand sorting through all the donated clothes and am happy to say that I only had to chuck very, very few items.  The clothes were put into labelled boxes and dresses, skirts and tunics hung ready on the rails.  Ernst did his usual sterling job of turning his trailer into a mobile wardrobe and boxes were stacked high into the little van.  We had to be on site at 6am (!!) so set off at 5.45 on Sunday morning.  Luckily we were one of the first so able to get to our usual pitch quickly.  We then had to unload at the speed of light so as not to block others behind us.  Ernst went off to park up then came back and set about putting the table together even drilling into the table special supports for the parasols.  Dresses, skirts and tunics already being on rails were quickly in place and I started to hang up coats on another rail.  It was just 6.15 when I heard someone behind me ask “how much is this coat ?” !!  There were some Australian ladies already going through everything (perhaps they were still on Aussie time and hadn’t been to bed).  One lady just picked up everything ‘furry’ ! It was still dark at this time !!  It gradually got lighter and disaster, it started to rain !  I couldn’t believe it, weeks of not a drop and it had to rain then.  But, thank you St. Cadbury, it only lasted five minutes and from there on in it was perfect ‘Vide weather’,  not too hot and very pleasant for strolling around.  It was a long, happy, tiring day and when we had packed up at 6 pm we staggered down to the Cafe du Centre for an early supper.  Set off for home but Lesley, Ernst and I decided a final drink at La Gariotte was well deserved !  Total raised ?  595 euros !  A bit less than last year but we started off selling even cheaper than last year to make sure we didn’t have loads to take back.   We didn’t and what was left Ernst took to Emmaus on Monday.  One thing we have decided that next year we are going to do what shops do and that is make a tiny charge for bags;  they are quite difficult to come by now and we only just about had enough.  So, a HUGE thank you to all of you who donated and an even HUGER thank you to Lesley and Danielle.

Had a good long weekend in the UK despite a stonking cold.  Believe it or not, it started on the way to Bergerac so to all those on the afternoon flight to Stansted Friday 19th August, I’m sorry if I infected you.  Friend Jan said we should get the bus to the long term car park, get off at the last stop and she would meet us there.  Well, at least that’s what I thought she said, but having waited in the blustery, rainy cold for 20 minutes I began to doubt myself.  No ‘phone, the dogs having eaten mine a few days earlier, we decided to get the bus back to the airport ( we spent more time on airport buses than we had in the aeroplane) where I rang the only friend whose telephone number I know by heart, so that she could give me Jan’s mobile number.  Jan was waiting in the mid term car park !  Went out for a nice supper where I felt so much for the poor waitress (having done that b-awful job for ten years) who slipped and sent a tray full of prepared dishes through the open staircase to the restaurant room below !  On the Sunday we went to one of my brother’s 40th wedding anniversary lunch which was great fun.  I’m not good at keeping in touch with my brothers and their families but it is always lovely to see them all and to find that my brothers have produced such great offspring – all around the 40 year mark now – with wonderful wicked senses of humour and I have told the ‘youngsters’ that it is up to them to do the same.  Photos of the actual wedding were circulated and it was amusing to see my two nieces, now mothers themselves, at the age of around two, in their bridesmaids dresses, one looking stern and the other bawling her eyes out.  My brother said it was probably because of the colour dresses they had to wear ! 

Keeping the best to last, GAVAROCHE  IS  ADOPTED !!!  I can hardly believe it after all this time.  I always thought he was a large dog until I saw one of his new pals, a much bigger Portuguese Water hound who looks similar to Gav but much bigger.  First reports are very positive with Gav getting on well with the large Tinkerbell and smaller Ezra.  Fingers crossed and your prayers please to St. Cadbury.  Judy the lovely Lab has also been adopted and a puppy or two have gone to happy homes.  Still a couple of those left and they will be on the website this afternoon, as will a very pretty kitten. 

Oh, and just in case he or she is reading this, or you know him or her, an ENORMOUS thank you to the person who found my passport at Bergerac airport and handed it in.  I did ask if any note had been taken of the person so I could thank them very profusely but sadly not, so whoever you are, I owe you a serious drink.  (Hmm, am I now going to receive a deluge of people claiming to be the person ??!!)


Sue x 



1st AUGUST 2016

August 3, 2016

Phew, wasn’t it a great Wimbledon this year ?!  Ok, Murray winning was a plus but there were some fabulous matches, then we had the bonus of the Davis Cup the weekend after – oh happy day !  The television was due to be unplugged for another year but we haven’t done it yet because I think the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Rio should be quite amazing.

I ‘did’ the St. Pantaleon Vide Grenier on Sunday to raise funds and am happy to say that I made 150 euros – lucky vets !!  We were all rather anxious as after days of hot sunshine Mr. Meteo promised rain until midday but luckily Mr. M was, again, way off track.  It was ideal ‘vide’ weather, overcast with splashes of sun here and there, so many punters moved their sun scorched bodies from the poolside sunbeds and came out to look for bargains.  You always find those at our stalls, we believe in selling cheap and getting stuff up and away.  It takes so long to set up, emptying box after box and the last thing you want to do is load it all up again at the end of a (very) long day. Thank you so much to all the people who donated fabulous items for me to sell.

This year the St. Pantaleon Committee de Fetes decided to have our village ‘repas’ on a Sunday instead of the usual Saturday.  A good decision this year as we had torrential rain and thunder storms on the Saturday night.  Again, fearful glances headed skywards as the clouds arrived and a breeze got up but we were spared – lucky I’ve got my pal Pat who always goes to church !!  So, after the ten hour ‘vide’ with just enough time to scoot home, feed the dogs and cats before going back to make merry until 12.30, I was, understandably feeling a little jaded in the morning !

The other week I went over to Danielle’s to take photos of the brown Labs.  Now when I go over there I take my life in my hands because Danielle has three geese who hate me with a vengeance and I have to say the feeling is mutual.  the three of them come running at me with their wings out hissing like crazy, so I always sit in the car until Danielle comes to rescue me.  It was the same procedure last time with a little addition, I walked towards the house and suddenly heard an “oink, oink” and there on my heels was a boar !!!  Ok a small young one but it was a boar !  Danielle (who has been known to take on a tiger) poo pooed my anxiety and we walked up to the dog parks.  Then Danielle’s house ‘phone range so she turned back.  Of course with Danielle out of the way it was open season on Sue, I had the boar behind me and the geese in front.  I quickly jumped in to a dog park feeling foolish but my humiliation wasn’t over, Danielle has a pigeon she has raised from a baby and the pigeon thinks it is quite normal to land on any head around.  To add insult to injury the pigeon joined in too, so there I was boar to one side, geese to the other and me with a pigeon scratching around on my head, you couldn’t make it up !!!

It has been a wonderful month adoption wise in that both Lancelot and Lou, who have been waiting for so long, have found wonderful homes which goes to prove you should never give up.  Your turn next perhaps Gavaroche ?

How many dogsLast week I found a photo taken by Ernst’s cousin in our garden about eight years ago where we were sitting at a rather lovely old wooden table.  I asked Ernst where it is now and he pointed to the poor shabby table I use to do all my potting up of plants.  There and then I decided to bring it back to its’ previous glory and asked Ernst to set up his electric sander so I could get started.  I’m not stupid, I just knew he wouldn’t be able to let me do it as he (a master carpenter)  knew I wouldn’t make a very good job of it.  24 hours later we had our lovely table back sanded and waxed…… result, hee hee !

Oh, by the way, we’ll be doing our usual second hand clothes stall at the Montcuq Vide Grenier at the end of August, so if anyone living near here (close to Montcuq in the Lot) has any good, clean, saleable clothes they want to get rid of, send me an email.


Sue x

29TH JULY 2016

July 3, 2016

We walked out on to the tarmac and my jaw dropped !  The ‘plane that was there waiting to fly us from Bergerac to Exeter had propellers.  PROPELLERS !!!!!  The last time I flew in such a ‘plane was in 1990 on a flight through a snow storm from Nice to Austria to an ill fated skiing holiday.  Ill fated because I took to skiing like a cow to roller skates !  Anyway, back to Bergerac.  Because I am not a good flyer I decided to create a ‘story’ situation.  We were escaping from war torn Germany and this was the only flight out.  Slight problem with that story, my partner sitting next to me is German so why would he be on the flight ?  So the location was changed to Afghanistan.  Needless to say we ‘got out’ safely and I have to admit it was a beautiful flight.  Because we didn’t fly as high as a ‘normal’ ‘plane I could see land and sea for most of the journey and convinced myself that we were so low that if anything untoward happened I would be able to jump from there.  (Please don’t disillusion me !) Suffice to say I was very happy to see the same ‘plane waiting when we left Exeter to come home, albeit in a rather scary purple colour !

Cornwall was fabulous.  We stayed with friends who rent a house there every year and  spent the week going on lovely walks punctuated by lunches and/or cream teas.  The weather wasn’t wonderful but fine for long walks.  When the sun did come out we whipped off jumpers, put on sunglasses, took photos then put the jumpers back on again !  Such a great time we are hoping we behaved well enough to be invited back (please Gabi and John ?).

Ten days after Cornwall we had a ten hour drive to Karlsruhe in Germany for Ernst’s nephew’s wedding.  We had booked an Airbnb which was a small flat in a beautiful old building situated in a very picturesque old square.  Lovely, we thought on arrival however, when we tried the key it didn’t work !  Long story which took a long time to sort out, just what we needed after that drive.  In fact Airbnb had given us the wrong building number on their confirmation email !  Finally found the right place and headed for a much needed beer in one of the many pavement cafés around the square.  The wedding was lovely and weather fabulous.  One of the nice touches was when guests were all given a white card on which we were to write our wishes for the happy couple.  The cards were then attached to red heart shaped ballons and we all sent them soaring at the same time, what a fabulous picture that made.  Most people wrote health, happiness, babies etc., but I wished that their champagne always had bubbles !

So now we are back down to earth and once Wimbledon has finished I can concentrate on life as we know it again !

Lots of dogs were adopted last month and there are a shedload more to be added to the website which I will get round to asap.  Please, please, someone fall in love with Gavaroche as we are heading towards my chocolate cut off time !!

I could not end this without mentioning the dreaded Brexit.  Suffice to say I am totally choked, I hope Boris is banished from everywhere and everything for what he has done (lied and led people up the garden path then walked away from the responsibility of what he has done) but, unlike many people I know, I won’t be seeking French citizenship, England is my country whatever.

Now, back to the tennis !


Sue x 


JUNE 2ND 2016

June 2, 2016

How does it happen ?  You have a favourite recipe which you make time and time again, then you decide to make it for friends who are coming to supper and ……….. disaster !  Now, I may have mentioned before, I am not a good cook, I don’t like cooking and my cooker (Betsy) doesn’t like me.  She clearly thinks she should be in a kitchen with a much more accomplished chef and I agree with her, but sorry, that’s the way the cookie crumbles – or doesn’t in my case, we have four of my home made cookies holding up the four corners of our house !  I have friends who have shelves and shelves of cookery books and enjoy nothing more than delving in to them. Don’t get me wrong, I admire people who can cook, I am jealous of people who enjoy cooking and am disappointed that I am not one of them.  I have six, books that is not shelves. Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course, she rarely lets me down, A Girl Called Jack, sent to me partly as a joke  when funds were very stretched, she never lets me down, a Farmhouse Vegetarian Cook book which is well thumbed and I have just got from a book sale James Martin’s Book of Desserts.  Can’t remember what the other books are.  First of all when trying something new I look first at the list of ingredients.  More than eight ? No thank you.  Any mention of a bain marie or gelatine ?  Very much no thank you !  Cooking takes so much time and then the food is gone (often in to the bin in this house ) in a few minutes.  Think of all the thing I could have been doing instead of preparing food !  Luckily for me Ernst is a good cook.  He’s not one of those men who adore cooking different recipes he is just a good basic cook and his tomato soup should win gold medals !  Can’t think why I got started on this track now, probably because I have just burned a tray of cheese biscuits I was making for apéros this evening.  This is my trouble, I put things on to cook and then forget all about them.  Honestly, it’s in the oven and now it’s down to Betsy, let’s go and do something more interesting.  I once put some prunes on to cook and then went to take the dogs for a long walk.  the smell hit me about half a kilometre from home.  Mmm I thought, someone is cooking something nice. Then, “oh sxxt, the prunes”.  Needless to say the saucepan joined my own personal burnt saucepan mountain.

Now I’ve got to leg it to the airport to pick up a couple of girlfriends who, hopefully are on their way over from Gatwick.  However it is general strike day so nothing is certain.

What is certain (like the link ?!) is that it has been a good month for dog adoptions but still no luck for Lancelot or Lou. I’m thinking of going on chocolate strike until they are homed.  Your prayers please to your own special person for Bear a beeyootiful puppy adopted from us by the wonderful, the incredible, the unbelievably good Leeanne and Mike of Twilight.  Leeanne got a bit broody and wanted a bit of youth in amongst her oldies at Twilight so she adopted one of our ‘Bruiser Pups’.  Very sadly it seems that during a bit of rough and tumble with another pup, Bear’s eye has been damaged and he will very likely be blind in that eye now.  We are devastated and can only think that if he is to be blind, then he couldn’t have better owners than Leeanne and Mike – but a bummer for them.

Right, really have to dash now, forgot to mention that we’re off to Cornwall on the 11th for  a week, I know I know, this year is manic.  Usually we have one week in Spring and one in September but this year there is a lot going on.  Ernst’s nephew is getting married in Germany in July and one of my brothers will be celebrating 40 years of married bliss (I never thought they would get to 40 weeks but don’t tell them that – JOKE !) in August.  So I think  I’ll be boring you with my travelling tales nearly every month !!

Got a possible sniff for Gavaroche  – yey !


Sue x    

29TH APRIL 2016

April 28, 2016


Hallo again,

Realise I haven’t given you any ‘Helpful Hints’ recently, so here is one for you.  When making a date and walnut cake make sure lights are well bright in the kitchen to avoid cutting up sun dried tomatoes and adding them to your cake mixture.  I can assure you, it is not easy to pick them out once the deed is done !

April has been, I think, the saddest and most catastrophic  month of my Poorpaws life.  All down to Yuno the troubled Border Colley. People who read about her on the adoptions page will know that I was sure she was not happy with us because of all the other dogs, so I was therefore delighted when Dee called from Charente to say that she had a space in her home and heart since Jackson had died.  So, I drove up to Charente on the Sunday and all went well.  Yuno was all waggy tail and I came away mightily relieved.  7.30 am the next day the ‘phone rang, Yuno had bitten Dee quite badly. I threw on some clothes splashed some water on my face and set off back up to the Charente.  We will never know why it happened, Yuno was just lying on the lounge floor, as Dee passed she stroked Yuno’s head and quick as a flash Yuno had her.  Dee was in tears, I was in tears and totally mortified.  How could I have got it so wrong?

Yuno was delighted to see me and we set off home again.  All went well and I decided Yuno would have no more changes in her life, she would stay with us.  A couple of days later I took her for a long walk up on the hills behind us and when we got back to the car she wouldn’t let me put her lead on her to attach her back in the car.  I wasn’t that bothered and let her just jump in where she found an empty jar that had had fish rillettes in and set to licking it out.  I got in, started the car but as I let off the hand brake I happened to touch Yuno’s back.  Well, she whizzed round and turned on me, barking,  growling and snarling, obviously protecting ‘her’ jar.  I was very frightened and very slowly opened the car door and jumped out.  Then Yuno wouldn’t let me back in !!  So I had to walk home (luckily across the fields not too far) and get Ernst along with some calmivet tablets in some cheese.

We got back up there and Yuno still wouldn’t let us in so I threw her the disguised tranquilisers which she wolfed down.  Her demeanour then changed drastically, much too soon for the tablets to take effect, she jumped out and came to me wagging her tail, let me put the lead on and attach her back in the car (having got rid of the pesky jar !).  I was very shaken by the events and very sadly decided I could not keep her.  She was too unpredictable and with all the dogs we have here I cannot possibly watch every single movement and gesture I make 24/7.  So I called the lady who had brought her to me and gave her the option of collecting Yuno or I would have to do the dreaded PTS as I could not put Yuno up for adoption.  After discussions when I was told what I had done wrong and how I could have killed Yuno with the calmivets, it was agreed that Ernst would meet the lady at Bergerac the following day.  Yuno slept the sleep of the just on and off all night with me checking on her every two hours.  I know calmivets can make a situation worse not better and can be dangerous but I needed to be able to get back into the car and I wasn’t to know she would flip back into lovable mode just like that.

The latest news is that Yuno has been accepted by a refuge which specialises in troubled dogs and the lady who brought her to me has said that if, when she retires in October, Yuno still needs a home she will take her.  This is fantastic news.  I was so, so very upset feeling I had let the dog down and, as usual, the problems were not Yuno’s fault.  After I had heard her true history, beaten, locked in a flat for four years, I am sure that if she was human she would be in prison for murder.

So, not as clever and experienced as I thought I was.  brought me down a peg or two !!!

Moving on to good news, lovely Leeanne and Mike from Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs suddenly felt a need for young blood amongst their oldies and have taken a ‘Bruiser Pup’ who they have named Bear.  Don’t worry, Bear won’t be lonely, the news on the block is that there is another pup due to be joining him soon.  They’ll have much to chat about, both starting their lives by being dumped in  a dustbin.  It was super to meet up with Leeanne and Mike again after too many years and Danielle and I will be going up for a visit to Twilight very soon.

Well Ernst and I are off for our annual Il de Ré week on the 30th April.  I can’t wait, a whole week of peace, quiet, books and cycling.  I always feel very anxious about the dogs at home for the first couple of days then a week later I have to be dragged back kicking and screaming !!

See you next month and don’t forget our clothes sale at La Sirene, Montaigu de Quercy on the 12th May.


Sue xx

1ST APRIL 2016

April 2, 2016

Easter BunniesSo, dear reader, no I did not marry him – didn’t even ask !!  Ernst is determined to go to his grave as a single man and I am only too happy to help him achieve that !!

Above you will see a great photo of your Book Sale team all decked out in our Easter Bunny ears in front of some of the yumies we had on offer last Saturday for our BEST  BOOK SALE  EVER !  We made a stonking 3,000 euros !!!! (And – I know, I know, never start a sentence with ‘and’ – that is not an April Fool joke !)  Actually we made 2,889 and my mate Sue who was over here and who helped out tremendously topped us up to 3,000.  Half of the money will go to cancer research and Cancer Support France and the other half to Poorpaws, to be shared with other dog rescue charities.  Thank you so much to all who came and supported us and to helpers who are not in the photo – ie the cake makers not in the photo and men who helped us set up and take down.  We didn’t have the heartbreaking job of chucking away good books as Donkey Jan took leftovers to sell in aid of her wonderful donkey charity – thank you Jan.

We’ve had some heartworming adoptions this month. Junior who has been waiting so long has gone to a great home where he has his own armchair in front of the television and gets to go on regular little jaunts in a camping car.  So happy for you Junior, you deserve it.  Your Mum Motus sends love and says that she is happy too as she has now moved to live indoors with the rest of the Poorpaws little old folk – and I include myself in that group too !!  It’s fingers crossed for Tammy who should be moving up to Savoie this weekend and lucky Toby went to a great new home just yesterday.  A lovely couple who are used to the Boxer Bounce took him off, a success all round, Toby lived in an apartment before so is housetrained and now he gets the run of a good garden.  Little Loye left us too and JackJack (so good they named him twice) has a wonderful home where he is just Jack now.

Gavaroche has had several people interested but sadly none of the people have followed through.  He needs a large fenced in garden where he can enjoy freedom  and please, please look at Yuno, a very unhappy lady who deserves so much better.

Jackson RIPThis lovely boy is Jackson and I’m so sorry to say that he is RIP now.  Jackson was one of the very first ever Poorpaws adoptions and what a success it was.  Being an Anglo Français hunting dog not many people would have taken him on but lovely Dee looked into his eyes and said that’s the boy for me.  He turned into her best friend, her confidant and repaid in spades all the love and patience she gave to him.  Dee is so sad now but/and, having read the Dog’s Will on our adoption page is preparing to give another dog the fabulous life she gave to Jackson.  Sleep well Jackson Dee knows you will always be around.

That about wraps it up for this month, oh, by the way, I made it to Easter Day before having a drink and was so looking forward to it.  Strange to say it wasn’t that great !!

Sue x


February 28, 2016

Hee hee, fooled you, I’m early this month !!  29th February tomorrow, hmm, should I propose to Ernst or not ??!!

I decided I really was going to give up something for Lent this year, not because I am a believer but just to prove that I can.  So, what should it be ?  Biscuits ? Nope, not possible because the elderly lady I visit a couple of times a week always has a stash of my favourite chocolate biscuits ready for me and she would be upset if I refused them.  Cake ?  Yeah right, with our Book Sale on Easter Saturday I would definitely fall at the last hurdle there !!  Alcohol ? Well…………. a possibility I suppose.  So I chose alcohol and am delighted to report that not a drop has passed my lips since Shrove Tuesday.  Do I miss it ? Yes I do, especially that lovely glass of white wine that I take about 6pm when preparing supper.  A close friend of mine has given up alcohol and bread and the weight is just falling off her.  No danger of that happening to me – although luckily I don’t have weight problems – I’m just replacing the calories with more cakes and biscuits.  I totally understand my friend Sue who tries but fails to give up smoking, if I was told  I should give up sweets, well,  I couldn’t do it.

Adoptions this month have been great, not numerous but great in that some of the dogs who have been waiting for a long while have found happy homes thanks to wonderful you.  Charley the sweet little black dog rescued from a miserable life that was set to end with a needle, has gone to a super home where she is proving to be the delight we knew she would be.  Junot (Gino) the Labrador who has been waiting soooooooo long has found a great home with a lake at the bottom which he insists on cleaning, going in and dragging out branches !  The resident dog at that home is not too enamoured with Junot as Junot has obviously read too much Winnie the Pooh and has modelled himself on bouncy Tigger but we are hoping he will calm down soon !!  Fleurs pups have all found homes and now we are hoping for the same success with Rosies pups who have just been born but no photos yet.  Now I’m hoping that Junior is successful very soon.  Hand on heart this is ‘un amour de chien’, gentle, faithful and all round gorgeous.  He can be homed without Mum Motus if anyone is tempted.  He is too young to be here amongst the oldies.

Our Easter Book sale looms ever nearer, Easter Saturday at the St. Pantaleon Salle de Fetes.  We changed the location which enabled us to add snack lunches last year and it was a huge success so we are hoping for the same this Easter. If you have books /dvd’s/puzzles to donate please get in touch.  On Monday 7th I will be driving up to the Bergerac area to collect, so could meet up if anyone wants to offload.

Quite a few dogs have been going missing recently and would have found their owners much more quickly if they had had collars with their telephone numbers written on in indelible ink.  Please, please do this even if you don’t like ‘the look’, it could save your dog’s life as most people will make a telephone call but not everyone will take a dog to a vet to see if there is a chip.

I think most of us British living in France are slightly nervous about the referendum.  I was one who said it will never happen that the UK leaves Europe, look what happened when everyone thought Farage might gain power, an absolute wash out (thankfully !), but now that soppy bollocks (sorry) Boris has joined the ‘out’ lot, I’m a bit more concerned that people will follow him.  Just think Trump in power in the USA and ‘B’ Boris in the UK, St. Cadbury help us !!!

Have to dash now, must catch the last bit of the Archers omnibus as I missed Friday’s episode.  About time the Rob/Helen thing came to an end, I’m so fed up with her being such a wuss that I’m (almost) on his side !!!!!!

See you at the Book Sale hopefully, Doreen will you be able to make it ?  I’ll treat you to lunch.

Talking of books, after looking for the book I was reading for ages yesterday, I found it in the evening when I opened the fridge.  Oops, this could be the begining……..!


Sue x






February 5, 2016

Bobble hat party 002 (2)Ok, ok, OK !!!   I know I’m really late with this month’s newsletter but I’ve had my mate Susie over for a week and there just hasn’t been the time, plus my computer is in the spare bedroom so I haven’t been able just to go and use it willy nilly.  We’ve had a great week.  Susie is one of those pals who, when she is here, just slots in to what is going on, be it visiting ill friends, taking a dog up to Limoges, taking another to the vet, helping me decide on furnishings for the new bedroom ( hey, look at us, TWO bedrooms now !!), and when I am working she amuses herself or, because she has been coming for so long now, she is regarded as one of the gang so is taken off by friends.  We did have some fun times as well though, one of them being our girly Bobble Hat party.  All guests had to wear a customised bobble hat and there were some goodies – a Welsh Bobble decorated with daffodils, a Charlton (football club) Bobble, a Bling Bobble, just to name a few and mine was, of course, a Barking Bobble with pictures of dogs.

Susie and I are both great tennis fans and when Andy Murray got through to the final of the Australian Open I connected up the television so we could watch it on Sunday morning.  It was bound to be on the BBC wasn’t it ?  Was it hell, it was on Eurosport which of course I can’t get.  Frantic ‘phone calls round until someone said Mo and Walter are bound to have it.  Now friend Mo has not been too well recently so with some trepidation I rang up.  When she answered I, of course, enquired after her health (trying not to be too hasty, the match had started by then !) then asked if by any chance they were watching the tennis.  No they weren’t.  Oh shame.  But they could put it on and give us regular updates.  Hmm, thank you Mo.  Then, the magic words, ” Oh, perhaps you would like to pop up and watch it”  “Er, YEEEESS” – jeez, how long does it take ? !!!  So we were up there in ten minutes and had a fabulous morning – Mo is a great story teller.  Only downside, of course you all know, Murray didn’t just lose, he totally crashed !

Talking of dogs (were we ?!!) it has been a great month, Jackson has gone up North, Ayvera (now thankfully called Chico) has gone to a great home, there is only one of Fleur’s pups left and several dogs have gone from my colleague Danielle.  All the dogs now on the website are in desperate need. Bobby’s story really gets to me and it would be so great to find a home for Motus and Junior.  They have been here for a few weeks now and are proving to be delightful just begging to be loved and no problem with other dogs or cats.

Sad about Terry Wogan, I remember many, many years ago, back in the early 80’s I was listening to Children in Need and rang up to make a donation.  As I was doing so, the girl I was speaking to mentioned that Terry Wogan had just walked into the call centre.  I said I would give an extra donation if I could talk to him (sad or what ?!) anyway I had a little chat with him and he was very nice.  When I put the ‘phone down the doorbell rang and it was my next door neighbour, “I’ve just been speaking to Terry Wogan” I told her excitedly.  “My mother-in-law has just died” she replied. Whoops !

Ending on a sad note this time.  I got back from taking Susie to the airport and Ernst told me that little old Kiki had died.  We had some building materials delivered this afternoon and Kiki wandered in front of the van.  Obviously I am choked, Kiki was a lovely little Bichon mix who used to sit by my chair at mealtimes just patting my leg with his paw waiting for me to drop a crumb or two – mind you, you had to be quick giving him titbits as he was partially blind and often mistook the ends of your fingers for food.  I’m so sorry Kiki that I wasn’t here to look out for you.  I aked Ernst if the delivery guy was upset but apparently he didn’t even realise and Ernst didn’t tell him, what good would it have done, it was an accident.

So, I’m rather tearful but wishing you a good month and don’t forget to put our Easter Saturday Book Sale in your diaries.  Books to donate ?  Get in touch.


Sue x




January 6, 2016

Molly's AwardMollySorry to be rather late in wishing you all the very best of everything for the New Year !  This is because I only got back from England late on the 4th and have been dashing around catching up on what has been happening ever since.

The first thing I have to tell you is that in 2015, Danielle of La Mere aux Betes whom I work very closely with, rehomed over 150 dogs !!!!  This is nothing short of amazing for one person with a little help from Poorpaws.  We couldn’t believe it when we counted up.  Danielle and I are both one man bands, no committees, no band of helpers (though we do receive kind offers), it is just little us to do everything from poo cleaning up to paperwork.  As you know Poorpaws now concentrates on older dogs who are in need – we will be welcoming Motus and Junior into the fold at the end of the month since there has been no luck in finding them a home – whilst Danielle takes in the ‘adoptables’ which we home together from our websites.  We were hoping that 2016 would see a reduction in dog abandons but already Danielle has taken in about 15 new dogs and with Motus and Junior coming to Poorpaws I have to say enough is enough.  We now have 20 dogs here and are really bursting at the seams.  I’m still not certain that when we take the next two four-leggeds, one two legged won’t leave !!!    

My trip to England for Christmas and New Year  was great fun though I have not been away for two weeks for since I can’t remember when and by the time ten days had gone by I was ready to come home.  I missed the dogs so much and vowed never to shout at them again –  huh, that last one evening !!  I spent Christmas with my pal Sue in Bromley, then Ernst joined us and we went to Pangbourne for New Year and after that we went to Fleet to spend a couple of days with friend Geraldine.  Geraldine and I have been friends for 66 years, our mothers having been great mates !  The weather was not brilliant but at least some kind friend sent me photos of apéros being taken outside in the sunshine here.  Grrrr ! 

However, it was lovely to have the time to shop, lunch and have a lazy time eating chocolate in front of the television.  Not having a television here I thought I would be in for a tvfest but I was disappointed in what was on.  Of course I watched Strictly, slept through Downtown, never having seen it before, but did enjoy An Inspector Calls and the three part Agatha Christie.  In Fleet it was lovely to see Geraldine’s grandchildren and play some silly games.  From now on, anyone coming to our place for an evening will be expected to get an After Eight from their forehead into their mouth without using hands !!

Now it’s back to work but before I finish I must mention Molly.  Molly was adopted in 2015 from Poorpaws, a delightful young lady who went through many health issues including being bitten by a snake.  She has come through brilliantly and I am delighted to tell you, won a Good Citizen award at her training class.  Well done Molly !  I’ll try to get a photo on to the website. 

It just remains for me to thank all the lovely people who sent donations and gifts for the dogs.  I’m trying to keep up with the thank you letters so please don’t think I am ungrateful, far from it.  Thank you soooo much ! 

Oh one final thing, if there appeared to be a shortage of Krispy Creme doughnuts in Bromley over Christmas, I apologise, totally my fault, I just love them !! 

Sue xx






Words fail me !

December 8, 2015

Thought you might like this and I’ll probably forget it next month.  I left the house the other day saying to Ernst that I had an appointment at 4 o’clock in Montcuq for a facial.  “Good luck” was his reply !  He’s expected out of hospital before Christmas.

2nd DECEMBER 2015

December 3, 2015

KennelWell hallo there, let me introduce myself, I am Balto and I think  you will all know a bit about me as I have appeared in the monthly News page before, be it because I run off on walks or perhaps because I scaled a two metre fence to get to the female I love.  Sadly she is in love with a little old mongrol who has been at Poorpaws almost since the day it began.  So, in order to help me get over my chagrin Sue has agreed that I can kick off the newsletter this month with a great photo of moiself showing off a fabulous new kennel that has been donated by Mr. and Mrs. Eyers.  It is huge, provides plenty of space for two large dogs to sleep in and Mr. and Mrs. Eyers drove it a long way down here, such generosity !  In case you were wondering, there is a roof but it is detachable to make cleaning easier – the very latest in kennel class.  So, I am quite liking ……………….

Ok Balto  that’s enough, you’ve had your fifteen minutes now back down !!

So, as I said last month, now  I am slightly older now and although I had not intended to celebrate my 66th, events were rather taken out of my hand.  A group of us have a Strictly Sweepstake and every couple of weeks or so we all get together to watch the programme and have supper together.  Ernst said it would be a good idea for us to host on my birthday.  Hmm, the fact that we only have a kitchen diner, not really large enough to feed 28 people didn’t put him off, nor, suprisingly, did the fact that we don’t have a television !  (Well we do but it is fixed on to the wall in a bedroom and used only to watch dvd’s and Wimbledon.)  No problemo, Gaynor and Phil brought their TV round, luckily only 15 of the group could make it so we all sat round the kitchen table munching, drinking, cheering and booing together.  Those of you who know me know very well that domestic goddess I am so not, so the great thing about these evenings is that everyone brings either a savoury or sweet dish so that not everything falls to the host to prepare.

So, a very enjoyable birthday after all and now Christmas is on its’ way with ever increasing speed !  I’m off to England on the 22nd to spend Christmas with friends Sue and Shelagh, leaving Ernst to cope with the dogs and cats.  He cannot be doing with Christmas but I have to say I do like it and haven’t had an English one for about 20 years now.  So it will be a strictly girlie affair, lunching, shopping and watching smaltzy Christmas films.  Ernst will join us on the 29th when we move on to friends in Pangbourne for New Year, then to others in Fleet, coming home on the 4th.  I haven’t been away for so long for years now !  I’m hoping Ernst does make it over as his flight has been moved from 11.30 am to 7.30 !!!  He is not good at getting up early but very good at staying up late, so I have suggested he just doesn’t go to bed the night before.  We have also had to ask a friend to print Ernst boarding card as he has no idea how to even switch on the computer let alone work it and BA only let you print off 24 hours before.  A lovely friend is moving in whilst we are away and another friend is on standby as back up, so all in all it should go well.

As for adoptions this month, well it has been very successful time !  Lots of pups have been homed, Jack the white Jack Russel is in a great place, Nouky too.  The best news for me however is that Berger looks like he is on his way to happiness !  Now if the lovely Junot could find a home, that would really make my Christmas.

You all have a good one and I’ll be back next year !!


Sue x


October 31, 2015

October has been a Very Busy Month !!!  We started off with our usual week on Il de Ré where we had the bestest of best times cycling (the island doesn’t have a hill on it which is why I cycle so happily there !), reading, cinema and just sitting at the deserted beach gazing into the far sea.  Paradise !  We came down to earth with a bump on returning home to find that one of the dogs had found out how to open our back gate so poor Louise who was sort of dog sitting for me, had had a right game.  All were present and correct when we arrived apart from Balto the gorgeous old  English Setter who has been with us since he was found in a garage after his owners moved house.  I was frantic when he didn’t come home the second night and by the third was hysterical.  I rang our mayor to report Balto missing and was told that the ex mayor had found a dog on Saturday.  I didn’t think it could be Balto as said ex mayor is our neighbour, albeit 500 metres down the road, and we would be the first people he would come to if he found a dog.  However I beetled down there …………. and there was Balto playing happily in Gerard’s garden where he had apparently been for three days.  Gerard had indeed been up to us but of course we were driving home so not there.  Now I am always banging on about how important it is to have your dog’s telephone number on the collar……. well, mea culpa, the number had ineed been on Balto’s collar but had faded to illegibility.  Anyway, a huge PHEW !  Gate is mended and collar number renewed ! 

Then my ‘old’ friend Phena came over for a few days.  We hit the ground running and didn’t stop.  Apéros, searching through junk shops, lovely lunches, coffee at the Sunday market and, on the Monday, a long drive round collecting books for the forthcoming (then) book sale.  We found ourselves very near to Cordes and since neither of us had ever been there, took the time to wander up to the top.  Loved it, especially because it wasn’t too chocolate boxy.

Thereafter it was all hands on deck to prepare for the Poorpaws/Cancer Research Book Sale !  The team was rather apprehensive as we had changed the venue, we clashed with the Phoenix Great Book Sale and our own personal Quercy Cake Goddess  Amanda, is having a right royal battle with T cell lymphona.  So the cry went out to our baking friends and they did us proud with offers of cakes, scones and quiches coming from all directions.  I feel I must give a special mention to Liz who came up with a carrot cake to beat all carrot cakes (don’t read this Amanda !!).  It just melted in your mouth.  The sale opened and we immediately realised we had lost three of our usual big spenders, one sadly has died , another has closed her shop and the third we expect was beetling up to Phoenix (no hard feelings any money raised for dog rescue is fine by us).  HOWEVER, we were very quickly very, very busy with people filling up boxes, bags and tummies.  Our new snack lunches of quiche and/or soup were a success as was the accordionist musician who generously played for free giving the whole event a lovely atmosphere. My fears were unfounded, we had the best sale ever raising 2,000 euros!!  So, from 48 hours previously when I was wailing that this would be the last sale, not doing all this again, never filling my bedroom – and half my bed ! – with boxes and boxes of books……………… we have already reserved the hall for Easter Saturday next year.  26th March, get it in your diaries.

Life is a little more peaceful now so I can get on with the many jobs that have been waiting too long.

As for dogs, well, Jack the little white Jack Russell has a great permanent home, Liberty has gone as have several pups.  Another dog who never appeared on the website for security reasons has now found a happy home well away from here and will enjoy a proper life instead of a small balcony 24/7.  Another great story is that Fleur the gorgeous Labrador will be going to a new home on Friday.  She’ll have a new ‘brother’ and we are all hoping that they will get on better than their first meeting when Max leapt out of the car and went for poor Fleur.  Max has a sad history and although he is now in a great home he tends to think that attack is the best form of defence.  After the initial shock he and Fleur walked happily together, though Fleur was, understandably cautious.  Fingers crossed for them.

I think that’s all for now, see you at the end of November – by which time I will be older !!!


Sue x