News

SEPTEMBER 2ND 2018

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.

Love,

Sue x

 

 

4TH AUGUST 2018

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 ……..so 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 ?”

Love,

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. 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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

NEWS 1ST MARCH 2018

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 2ND 2018

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

 

31ST DECEMBER 2017

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

1 ST DECEMBER 2017

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 and who went down to live at St. Juan les Pins.  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

 

31ST OCTOBER 2017

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

 

2ND OCTOBER 2017

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 !!

Love,

Sue

 

 

MOUSSE

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 – susan.glibbery@orange.fr – or call 0565245303 and make sure you leave a message.

With thanks, as ever.

Love,

Sue

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 to invest in ankle protectors 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

 

 

Help Figeac Refuge too

February 16, 2017

I have been asked to put out a plea for help for the refuge at Figeac.  They are in great need of dog walkers.  There are over 100 dogs there and not enough walkers / adopters.  Poorpaws adopted a poor dog from there many years ago who went in as a pup and had still not been adopted TWELVE YEARS later.  I just wanted her to know freedom and sleeping on grass in the shade of a tree for her final years and this she did.  For details please go to

https://www.facebook.com/Helping-Homeless-Hounds – 563586680502236/

or contact San Barto at clogsandtulips@sfr.fr

Thank you

2ND FEBRUARY 2017

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.

Love,

Sue x

5TH JANUARY 2017

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

2ND DECEMBER 2016

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 4TH 2016

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

1 ST SEPTEMBER 2016

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 ??!!)

Love,

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.

Love,

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 !

Love,

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 !

Love,

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.

Love,

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

28TH FEBRUARY 2016

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……..!

Love,

Sue x

 

 

 

 

5TH FEBRUARY 2016

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.

Love,

Sue x

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016 !!

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 !!

Love,

Sue x

OCTOBER 31ST 2015

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 !!!

Love,

Sue x

 

 

 

1ST OCTOBER 2015

October 1, 2015

First of all I have to say Happy Birthday today to one of my big brothers !!!  Phil is two years older than me and would love to come to live in France but cannot tear himself away from his grandchildren.  Or perhaps it is my lovely sister-in-law Carol who cannot  leave the grandchildren !!  Still, they live in a most beautiful part of Yorkshire so they are not too badly situated !  Hope you have had a great day Phil.

As for Ernst and me, well we are getting ready for our annual much awaited and loved week on the Il de Ré.  But, if anyone else says to me “you’re always on holiday” I will have to get really ugly and deck’ em.    Yes, we had our usual week at Cap d’Ail in September but we have just two one week holidays a year, usually one in May and one in September but because of my nephew’s wedding in May, the week on Ré had to be postponed.  Glad really because now we have it to look forward to !  Next year we are hoping to add a week in Cornwall to our calendar.

I am starting to believe that we should make the most of every single day – Carpe Diem and all that.  Don’t put things off do them now.  We have a lot of friends at the moment who are having a really shite time healthwise which makes you realise that we are not immortal.

Enough with the doom and gloom, look at all the puppies on the adoptions page, 24 of the little beggars all desperately hoping for a lovely caring home.  Believe me these are cuties of the serious degree and if someone doesn’t hurry and adopt the Brittanys I could well find myself adding them to our pack and Ernst would surely move out !  On the adoption front Ivan the lovely white Jack Russel has gone to a great home as have Jake and Louis – who turned out to be Louise !!  Please, please, please, can someone adopt Junot a most wonderful chap and Fleur who has come soooooo close  twice this week but has been passed over at the last minute.  Hey, they would make a great pair for someone looking for two dogs !

The most important news of the month is to tell you of our Autumn Book Sale !  To be held on the Saturday 24th October at the NEW  VENUE of the St. Pantaleon Salle de Fetes.  St. P is a tiny village (where I live actually) five minutes from Montcuq in the Lot.  10am start with the usual great selection of books and dvd’s at 1 euro, plus our famous yummy home made cakes which you can enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.  Extra this time will be soup and rolls and quiche and salad for a snack lunch.  The new venue means that all the goodies can be enjoyed whatever the weather, outside if warm and inside if cold/wet.  Ample parking in front or in the village car park down the road.  We want this to be our biggest and best sale, all proceeds going to dog rescue and cancer research.  Our own  Quercy Cake Goddess whose cakes, scones and hot cross buns you have enjoyed over the last few years is very seriously ill so this sale is very important to us for her sake and for ‘Tricia and Tony who are both fighting their own battles.  If you need any additional info please email me – susan.glibbery@orange.fr – bearing in mind I’ll be away from 3rd to 10th October.

A little funny for you.  Overheard at a business lunch, a lady who had two supergolfbores either side of her was patronisingly asked if she played golf. “Oh no” she said “I have an active sex life” !!!  Silence was the reply !!

Have a good month, can’t believe it is STILL sunny !

Sue x

 

.

 

31ST AUGUST 2015

August 31, 2015

Mikaela and HoneyThis is a photo of the lovely Mikaela with Honey, a Very Lucky Dog !  Mikaela and her husband adopted Honey a few years ago and provided her with a great home.  Very sadly Mikaela lost her battle with cancer on the 1st August and I am sure that Honey misses her dreadfully.  Mikaela was always very kind to me and often sent me cheery encouraging emails after reading the Poorpaws News at a time when I was having a tough time at work.  It didn’t stop there, after Mikaela had died  Graham suggested charities to donate to in her memory and Poorpaws is lucky to be one of those charities. I would like to thank both Mikalea and John for their kindness in thinking of others at such a difficult time.

From a great act of kindness we go to the other end of the scale and I would just like to thank the miserable thieving bastard who stole our large dog transport cage from in front of our gates.  I had used the cage to collect a dog, then needed space in the car for something else so took the cage out and put it in front of the gate to take up to the house later.  It’s not even as if our gate is on the road, you have to drive in to the parking area.  A couple of days later we found an injured deer in the field opposite and needed the cage to transport the poor animal to the vet (more about that later), when we suddenly realised that the cage wasn’t there.  So, you despicable little piece of shite, beware, my telephone number is on the cage so don’t even try to sell it on EBay or at a Vide, my spies are out.

I’m thinking of having a ‘Good News Competition’ as in our circle of friends there seems to be nothing but bad at the moment.  Death and illness all round.  Our own dear Domestic Godess, queen of cake baking, Amanda, has just been diagnosed with cancer for the second time.  I would say that life is crap sometimes but it is in fact just the opposite, life is wonderful and I for one intend to try to remember that every moment from now on and stop moaning about unimportant things ……….like the theft of a dog cage !

As for our doggies report this month, well that IS good !  Both Brittany Spaniel pups have been homed as have Lucy and Luke (now Baily), we are down to two Labradors and little Lili has a new life.  More pups on the way from a rotten home and this time we may have to kidnap the poor mother to get her sterilised.

Oh yes, the deer.  Well Ernst set off for the vet with the deer in the back and I telephoned ahead to let them know he was on his way.  “Oh” said the receptionist, “he can’t bring it here, we are not allowed to treat wild animals you have to contact the local chasse”.   Whaaaat ?!  No possibility of contacting Ernst to stop him so I expected him to come back  rather disgruntled with the poor deer still in the back.  But no !  Our wonderful vets turned up trumps.  Ernst spoke to one of the ‘back room’ girls who told one of the vets who came out, climbed into the van, gave the deer a shot of antibiotics, checked him over and stapled up the wound.  Ernst then took him way beyond the back of our place and the deer beetled off.  I did tell him to come back in ten days (the deer not Ernst) to have the staples  removed but I don’t think he heard …….!

Vide Grenier day in Montcuq yesterday where we held our usual second hand clothes stall.  I am not kidding you when I say that our first customer was at a quarter past six in the morning !!  We made a very healthy 530 euros so a huge thank you to all who helped and bought.

A ‘save the date’ message, Autumn Book Sale will be on the 24th October at a NEW VENUE.  The Salle de Fetes at St. Pantaleon which is five minutes from Montcuq in the Cahors direction.

I’m away on holiday in September, just for a week – can’t wait !

Love,

Sue

 

WEDNESDAY 5TH AUGUST 2015

August 5, 2015

 

It has been pointed out to me quite sternly that it is already the 5th August and I have not delighted you all (both !) with the delights of the past month.  Sorry, sorry, sorry but it has been quite busy here , soooooo hot and my computer heats up to such a degree that it is almost too hot to handle, giving out wafts of heat.  Thinking of moving it into the freezer …… if we had one !!

I went into a steep decline after the 12th July, what to do for fifty weeks until Wimbledon comes back ?!  There was a little sweetener when Great Britain beat the French in the Davis cup the following weekend but living here in France one has to be careful about making comments that perhaps the French could use their tennis racquets as spaghetti strainers ……. !  (Kidding, HONESTLY !).  So, the TV has been unplugged again and a good thing too,  the rubbish I watched whilst it was connected.  I mean, how small minded do you have to be to watch a programme showing poor people not being able to pay their debts so, hey, let’s watch them being evicted .  Actually, as small minded as me THAT’S why we don’t have television the rest of the year, I’d be a mushy brained addict instead of just mushy brained !  I did love watching The Dog Whisperer though, that man is a genius, only wish I had the same talent then perhaps my Jip would not have chewed up the watch, glasses and sandals of my sister-in-law !! 

Then we had the mini German invasion (do they ever give up ?! – again, kidding !) to celebrate Ernst’s 70th (a second eek to go with last month’s) birthday.  Two cousins arrived a day early and found the hotel didn’t have a free room so there was much dashing about, a brother and nephew arrived in camping cars much to the delight of the dogs and cats – so many wheels to pee against and unprotected food to steal – another nephew arrived, Ernst’s sister arrived and another cousin.  All this was a surprise for Ernst who’s reaction was …… “oh, hallo” !  Master of the understatement is Ernst !  A great time was had and they loved the fete at Trebaix, it really is the best village fete ever.

As for doggy news, well, all the Shih Tzu’s have been adopted, as has Jimmy (yey !) and the amazing black Basset Hound mix.  Luke went off to a great home and is now Bailey (hmm, something of the same name was responsible for my fuzzy head on Saturday, haven’t drunk it for ages, now I remember why !!).  The little two-coloured Spaniel mix is still on the hoping list and Lucy is so (not) missing her brother !!  There are still a couple of Chocolate Labs waiting and there was an unexpected arrival of pups to a little terrier so they will be on the website soon.

Loving this hot weather, hope it lasts for friends’ arrival at the end of the month and into September for our holiday on the Cote d’Azur.

A couple of dates for your diaries, Luxury Afternoon Tea in aid of Cancer Support France on Thursday 27th August in Montcuq, 12.50 per head, contact me for booking/directions and we will be manning our cheapy cheap clothes stall at the Montcuq Vide Grenier on 30th August.

Have a great August and remember PLEASE don’t drag your dogs around all the festivities, leave them at home in the cool.

Sue x

ps. Ok Colin ?

 

 

 

 

 

3RD JULY 2015

July 3, 2015

Meerkat Patch ! Meerkat Patch !

So the email read something like this.  “My wife and I are moving away to enjoy our retirement so need to rehome our four year old dog.  Can you take him for us.”  Hmmm.  O.k.  Now, what do you think my reply was ?  (a) “Oh I quite understand that to enjoy your retirement you have to get rid of your dog and how intelligent of you to take a dog just four years before said retirement.  Yes of course we can take him there are only millions of other needy dogs in desperate search of a kind home so it will be no trouble at all to take a dog  who already has a home and put him to the top of the list and please do enjoy your retirement.”  Or, was it  (b) “You heartless expletive deletive etc., etc., etc.”  Answers on a postcard !!!!  I just couldn’t believe it.  How could anyone be so cold and callous ?  I did, after I had sent the insulting email say that for the dog’s sake I would try to help, but strangely I never had a reply.

So that was my rant for the month.  Apart from that the news has been mainly good, lots of adoptions, although strangely the chocolate Labs are not exactly leaping off the page and they are soooo gorgeous !

Here at Poorpaws we have taken in Honey who was on the adoptions page for quite a while.  She came with her friend Patch and what a lovely pair they are too.  They have settled in beautifully and are great characters.  the favourite game is for someone to throw a ball or toy, Honey will go fetch but take the object to Patch to bring back as if to say “I’m tired, you do a bit !”  Patch is a Bearded Collie and arrived looking a bit like a sheep.  Her owner had done a great job of trying to keep him groomed but he was in need of a good haircut.  So, off to Virginie in Prayssac and one and a half hours later I collected what looked like a Meerkat !!!  This is no reflection on Virginie who I recommend to any of you, but Patch’s fur was so matted close to the skin that a complete shave was necessary !!  We now have to be careful he doesn’t get sunburnt !!

We’ll be celebrating Ernst’s 70th (eek) birthday this month and unbeknown to him there is to be a small German invasion of relatives plus friends from England stayig at various venues.  I’m trying desperately to get him to finish the second shower as there will be eight of us, some in camping cars over the weekend.  What will I buy him ?  Well twelve years ago we saw a clock that we liked in the Horlogerie in Montcuq.  We couldn’t afford it and had nowhere to put it, but made monthly payments and finished paying after six months.  Since then the clock has stayed at the shop because the house wasn’t finished.  it still isn’t but I think that now is the time to collect the clock !!

Not much getting done here partly because of the heat and, obviously, because of Wimbledon – enjoy both !

Sue x

 

 

I had intended to start off this month’s update with a mega rant but have decided, in order to stop things getting out of hand, to just get past it, move on and not waste the energy !  Suffice to say that Spider and Molly have a new home and we have kittens who need homes.

Thank you to all who supported the Boncoeur book sale at Beauville last month,  I was selling clothes and was very happy to come away with enough money to pay the dogs’ feed bill this month !  This is just as well as there has been another addition to the Poorpaws oldies’ home, Mr. Beagle !  This little old boy has been kept on a short chain under a sort of shack type kennel with a bowl of green water to drink and food thrown in now and then.  He was removed by the cruelty inspection ladies from the SPA at Cahors and an email went round looking for someone to take him.  As a dog who was supposed to be coming to us  now wasn’t, I agreed to have him here.  What a love, just skin and bone when he arrived but now looking very fine.  We have discovered he is stone deaf which makes finding him in the garden at bedtime quite a challenge ! 

He did however give me a day of grief and insane panic when he got out last week the day before Ernst and I were leaving for England for my godson’s wedding.  I had left home at 8.30 on the Wednesday and didn’t get home until 5.30pm to find the answerphone machine flashing the red light.  It was a message left at 10am that day to say that people down the road had two of our dogs !!!  I had a quick count up and found that FOUR were in fact missing.  Now what is it with men that they cannot pick up the ‘phone when they see there is a message ?!  Of course when I got to the house the dogs were long gone.  I wasn’t too worried about three of them, they have been with us since god was a boy and know their way around, but Mr. Beagle ?  I was frantic.  Two of the dogs turned up during the evening but no sign of the others.  I left messages with friends and neighbours and everyone was looking out for them.  I left the next morning with a very heavy heart and a severe lack of sleep.  However, whilst we were waiting to get on the ‘plane, my friend Louise who was looking after the dogs, rang to say that she had found Mr. Beagle obviously making his way home.  What a relief !!! The other dog also turned up during the day.  How did they get out ?  Well someone had obviously done a three point turn in our driveway (just hope it wasn’t me !) and hit the gate, pulling out the wire netting which the dogs had clearly pulled at to make a hole big enough for the escape !

The wedding was great, held in Peckham and Dulwich, very unconventional, bride and groom walked down the aisle together, a poem was read, my brother made a speech, Bob Dylan and Van Morrison played and the formalities kept to a minimum.  My beautiful new niece-in-law (?) is the youngest of a family of ten, yes TEN children, a real fun family as witnessed by the Irish country dancing in the evening where we all did our best to show off our fancy footwork !

Another very happy event last month was the departure of Cannelle to live in England !  My ‘old’ friend Jackie had seen her on the website and it was love at first sight.  At last this weekend all the necessary paperwork was done and Jackie and son Dominic drove all the way down to collect her.  All went well until they got back to the U.K., when they were told that the rabies page of the passport should have been laminated !!!!  However, they were allowed in and the photos I have received show a very happy Cannelle with her new pal Dudley.  Thanks to Julie for taking care of Cannelle during the weeks before she could leave France.

Apart from Cannelle, Ruby, Inja, Adele and Hugo all went to new homes and the lady who found Dream dog has decided to keep him.  There are just a couple of labradors left, these really are handsome pure Lab boys.

We still have lots of dogs to home  including  Brittany Spaniel pups and a gorgeous Standard poodle.

Tennis time again, oh happy, happy day !!

Sue xx

 

May 4th 2015

May 4, 2015

Sorry, sorry sorry, late again but honestly it really isn’t my fault.  My computer has decided that, like my cooker Betsy, it would like to cause me as much grief as possible. Had to call in the big guns and now thanks to Keith and Colin I can update you with what has been ‘occurring’.

Balto the gorgeous old English Setter arrived safe and sound …………………. and within ten seconds had scaled the two metre high fencing around his new park !  Thinking he had jumped on to the roof of the kennel and then got over, Ernst took the roof off the kennel to test.  Nope, Balto boy was  back at the house before we were.  So, we had a problem because our perimeter fencing is the same height as the fencing round the parks.  The lovely lady who had driven all the way with him made a discreet escape whilst I walked Balto elsewhere but as soon as he realised she had left, he was down climbing the gates !  Luckily he is very obediant so came when called but just to be on the safe side I kept him with me on a lead for the first evening.  He slept in the kitchen with the little oldies and seemed quite happy with that and now we can leave him loose in the garden and he doesn’t try to escape.

Remember I mentioned Lina in the last newsletter ?  Well she didn’t get adopted after all so she is now here at Poorpaws and (now Nina) is an absolute delight……..even if walking on the kitchen table seems to be a skill she has learned somewhere !  We are now awaiting the arrival of a very elderly Beagle who has had a miserable life up to now, hoping that we can make his last years comfortable and happy.

Regular readers of this newsletter will have noticed that Poorpaws has changed direction slightly over the last year.  When I started back in 2003 I would take in strays and find them new homes.  Well, obviously some of the dogs never did get new homes and are still with us which left little space for new arrivals.  We now have about 17 dogs who will never move on because of age or behaviour problems.  So what about all the other poor dogs out there ?  Well you have heard me talk about Danielle many times.  Danielle runs La Mere aux Betes another private refuge in Castelnau.  Like Poorpaws she is a one man band but we work together in homing dogs.  The dogs go to Danielle and I put them on the Poorpaws website so that she can deal with both French and English adopters very easily.  If you are wondering why I still have fund raisers if I am not taking in many dogs, well, 17 old dogs need a lot of care, grooming and, oh, they like to eat every day as well!  I am now retired and I’m sorry to say that my pension alone does not provide enough to keep Ernst and me and all the dogs.  Adoption fees go to Danielle which is quite normal as she has the care of them and so far, my selling greetings cards together with our Book Sales and Clothes sales, keeps our heads above water -with a little underwater swimming now and again !

Last week ‘my own’ dog Jip, a Brittany Spaniel mix (of course !) ran off whilst on a walk.  Now he has never done this before, he charges around but always stays close.  But, a deer came out from the trees and was so close to me I could have touched him/her had I not been so shocked.  Jip couldn’t believe it and he was off as fast as his little legs could go.  He hadn’t rejoined us at the end of the walk, nor had he come home by 11.30 pm which his aged chase companion had.  I was distraught and went out to our back gate every hour up to 3am.  Now the very strange thing is that when you lose a dog, you should leave your jacket near to where you parted company.  I have done this on several occasions and it works, the dog comes back recognises your smell (sorry !)  and curls up on the jacket.  Well I put  mine down close to our gate at 1am, went back an hour later and it had gone !  Disappeared !  Now there is no path leading up to behind our place and surely no-one would be walking there at that time in the morning and even if they had the other dogs would have set up a racket fit to deafen the village. Jip came back at 9am the following morning looking bedraggled and soaked, my swollen eyes got back to their normal size by the end of the day, but as to the jacket, well it’s a mystery !!  So if when you are walking you see a deer or sanglier wearing a torn Primark walking jacket, can you ask if I can have it back please ?!

The brown ‘Dude’ puppy has been reserved as has the gorgeous Cannelle.  in fact it is a friend of mine, Jackie, in England who is adopting Cannelle and her wonderful son, Dominic, is driving her all the way down here from Guildford to take lucky Cannelle back.  I do hope someone takes the little Beagle soon and the beautiful creamy Griffon mix, now there’s an absolute poppet

Now I’m back on line I better get the adoptions page up to date.  I’ll definitely be late with the news next month as I will be in England for my godson’s wedding.  Poor Nick, I have an audio cassette of him when he was six thanking me for sending him a SuperTed annual for Christmas, he (Nick, not SuperTed) is now 35 and probably won’t appreciate the cassette being played at his wedding !

Oh, by the way, don’t go and see Still Alice, get the book it’s much, much more interesting.  Can’t think how they made such a bland film out of a ‘can’t put down’ book !

Love,

Sue xx

 

Happy Easter everyone.  Sorry this month’s spouting is rather late, I was waiting so that I could give you the results of our Easter Barn Book Sale which we held yesterday.  Wow !  Again I say “Wow” !  It was fantastic, those of you who supported us were great, streaming in with empty bags, boxes and tummies to fill.  It was our Personal Best and we raised over 1,550 euros for dog rescue which is always dear to our hearts and cancer research which is especially dear to our hearts at the moment. 

The money is split 50/50  the Poorpaws share  paying off our vets bill (look out for vets in Prayssac dancing in the street !) and paying for a super duper Ritz/Savoy double kennel being made for us at cost price ready for a couple of large oldies who have to leave their home and who cannot be separated.  This will be ready for them when their poor elderly, confused owner finally decides she will go into a home.  She has changed her mind several times because she cannot bear to leave her dogs but, hey, sweetheart, you take all the time you need, the place for your ‘babes’ is here waiting for when you are all ready.  There will be pennies left over for the next two months’ dogfood and, as usual, a donation to Twilight.  Typical of her generosity Leeanne has been in touch to say that, for personal reasons, she wants the Twilight share to go to cancer research

Twilight is another cause which holds a special place here at Poorpaws.  Many years ago Leeanne and Mike, two of the kindest people ever to exist, adopted a couple of dogs from Poorpaws to keep their gorgeous Golden Retriever company.  They loved having dogs so much and were interested in what Poorpaws was doing, so put forward the idea of setting up’ Poorpaws Dordogne’.  Now I love Leeanne and Mike enormously but Poorpaws has always been  basically a one man band and I have seen too often what happens when more people come in to help run a charity.  Even though everyone is working for the same aim, differences of opinion creep in, tempers get frayed and before you know where you are, the aim you are working for takes second place to soothing ruffled feathers.  So I thanked Leeanne and Mike very much but explained my fears.  They then came back with the wizard idea of Twilight and the rest is history.  So, Poorpaws was started thanks to inspiration from Pheonix and Twilight followed on.  The funny thing is that Poorpaws is now more like Twilight as we can only take in old dogs when we have a space and my friend Danielle at La Mere aux Betes takes in the ‘adoptables’ which we home together.

Must tell you about my great new way of getting dogs homed.  A couple of weeks ago my attention was drawn to a beautiful Griffon, Vickie, who is the spitting image of my lovely Bella who died two years ago.  Vickie is a lovely old girl of about 12 years old.  She had been taken away from her owner who was cruel to her and had been languishing at a refuge for three years without anyone taking any notice of her.  I couldn’t let her languish any longer so called, left a message that I would like to adopt her and followed up with an email.  Well, I got a reply to say that astonishingly, after three years of being ignored, I was the second person that weekend to want to adopt her !  So, being the second, obviously I didn’t get her but I want to say thanks a million to the people who were kind enough to take Vickie into their hearts and homes.

Then I saw Lina, another elderly lady in another refuge who was so like my Dany who forgot her green cross code with tragic results.  Again, I set the wheels in motion to bring Lina here.  Unfortunately I couldn’t collect her until later in the month and have been told that, yes, you guessed it, after a long time in the refuge, Lina has amazingly got someone else looking to adopt.

So, I’m thinking if I call all the refuges and tell them I want to adopt all their dogs, they should all be homed between now and Easter Monday !!

We will be welcoming Balto into Poorpaws next week.  Poor Balto an aged Setter was left behind locked in a garage when his owners moved house !!!  It is when I hear stories like this that I realise I am not a nice person, revenge on Balto’s behalf would be cold, long and painful.

Honey, the twelve year old Border Colley will also be moving in if she has not found a home very soon.  Do think about adopting an oldie, long walks not essential, just a warm bed and a gentle touch to make their last months, years happy knowing they are loved.

Adoptions of the younger ones have been good for March, Caramel a gorgeous Labrador found a great home with Brian and the German Shepherd young lady is now called China and travels around in a Mazda sports car !  I’ll be taking Jaly, to be renamed Rosie, as far as Limoges next week to meet her new owners who will be coming down from Tours to collect her.  This leaves her park pal, the lovely Setter/Spaniel Hugo rather lonely, not fair for such a wonderful dog.  So it goes on !

Just had to share these two photos of rare breed dogs with you, Colleyflower and Brocollie (thank you Gerry) – tee hee !

brocollie-colleyflower

Love,

Sue x

1ST MARCH 2015

March 1, 2015

Goodbye France Goodbye France

 

Well hallo Holland Well hallo Holland Hmm, lounging on leather, didn't get this at home ! Hmm, lounging on leather, didn’t get this at home ! What a handsome boy, Jasper looks good too ! What a handsome boy, Jasper looks good too !

 

 

To all of you those under the impression that we here in the Lot live in the ‘Sunny South West’, I have news for you,  we could rename our area the Soaking South West – WHEN is it going to stop raining ?!!

Right, close to Lauzerte there is a village called Montagudet and I was contacted a couple of weeks ago  by a couple who had happened on a house where the shutters were locked and bolted all except for one (thank goodness) which was broken.  On hearing a lot of barking from inside the couple approached and to their horror saw three dogs inside standing in water and poo whilst, from the noise it was obvious that there were many other dogs in other rooms.  Rebecca and Oliver contacted the gendarmes who more or less shrugged their shoulders and the Mairie, “it is only dogs” !!!!  I am already boiling at this stage.  They also contacted the wonderful Brigitte from Montaigu de Quercy, who is an inspector for the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, and Lynne Stone who runs chat du Quercy.  Now Lynne  has guts and determination in spades and she contacted the gendarmes to insist that they investigate the property.  To cut a long story short Rebecca and Oliver received visits from both Brigitte and the gendarmes who admitted that this was indeed a serious case.  The Mayor of the village, an uncaring, slobby, low-life git – “I did not become Mayor to take care of dogs” was dragged kicking and screaming into the case.  It turned out that the owner of the property was a simple guy who lived in his car and who was delighted that help was on hand.  Within 48 hours the 17  dogs were out of that hell hole and on their way to the SPA at Golfech where   they await adoption.  To my horror it was discovered that the Mayor knew of the situation but sat on his fat lazy backside and did nothing.

So, huge thanks to Rebecca and Oliver, Lynne Stone (Chats du Quercy, if you are looking to adopt a cat or kitten get in touch, Lynne does a great job), Brigitte and, finally, the gendarmes.

Now to a happier tale, I am going to tell you the story of Jasper and Jenkins’ Very Big Adventure !!  Regulars to the site will already know of Jasper and Jenkins, two adorable puppies who were on the Poorpaws website back in October/November.  A private refuge in Holland, run by wonderful Lisa, offered to take and home them as they are hunting dogs and could be difficult to home here.  Many collection dates had to be cancelled/postponed for various very valid reasons and in the meantime Jasper and Jenkins were getting Bigger and Bigger !  Then a couple of weeks ago I received a telephone call from  lovely Sunny, a Dutch lady who volunteers at the refuge in Cahors.  She told me she was going to Holland the following week and would take J and J.  I was thrilled – if not a little sad I had grown so fond of these boys.  Sunny said she had never done it before and I reassured her that the worst that could happen would be that they pee or throw up in the cage.  “Oh no” said Sunny “I am flying”.  FLYING ??!!  So Monday 16th February found me at Bergerac Airport with the dogs in a large air transport cage.  I said I would wait at the coffee shop until the flight had actually taken off just in case there were any hitches.  There were none.  I sat by the window and saw Sunny walk by to get on the ‘plane, casting an eye over her shoulder all the while at the baggage transporter behind.  Then I saw the trailer go by with all the cases and, at the end, the cage with my babies in.  I cried !  What were they thinking ?  Did they think I had betrayed them ?  Six months with me having a great time playing and being loved then being crated onto a ‘plane .  Well, when the flight took off, I fell apart.  I am not a good ‘cryer’, I know some people can do it and still look good but I can’t.  I sob, my eyes swell up and I go bright red looking ghastly, ugly and pathetic.  Even knowing that didn’t stop me, I cried my heart out so much so that the couple on the next table were looking and probably thought I had just said goodbye to, or been dumped by, a lover !!   Nah,  wouldn’t cry so much over a bloke !

Anyway, before I had even got home I had received texts from Holland saying they had arrived safely and Sunny emailed me to say that the Captain of the flight even showed her where the dogs were in the hold, in a cosy section seperate from where the cases were.  Latest news is that Jasper has already been adopted.  THANK  YOU  Lisa !  Now I’m going to try to get some photos onto this newsletter but just bear with me !

Hmm, well the photos have all gone to the top of the page !

Other news ?  Adoptions have been great, all the pups have gone, wonderful news is that Jumper has also finally been homed and I’m still hoping that the wonderful Black Jasper gets his forever home soon too, he really is a lovely gentle giant.

Just time to remind you that our Easter Barn Book Sale is on 4th April ( Easter Saturday) at the Hamlet of Beliben next to sauzet in t he Lot, just follow the signs when you get to Beliben.  If you have books or dvd’s (sorry not videos) to donate, get in touch with me.

Love,

Sue x

 

 

3RD FEBRUARY 2015

February 3, 2015

Well, the no-chocolate resolution went out of the window two weeks in to the New Year when we received a late Christmas present of a tin of Celebrations !  The sell by date was 2016 but I just couldn’t leave them sitting in their pretty tin death row cell until then and thought the kindest way would be to put them out of their misery.  My friend Gabi said just limit yourself to one or two a day then STEP AWAY FROM THE TIN !  Easy to say but I go more with the theory of eat them all as quickly as possible then they are out of temptation’s way.  So that’s what I did and was slightly (slightly ?) peeved when Ernst who is not bothered about sweets ate the last one, THE  LAST  ONE, when we were playing cards one night.  I’m sure it was because he was losing (again !) and wanted to annoy me.  Actually he loses nearly every time we play recently and what does annoy me is that he just shrugs and says “oh well, it is only a game”.  If that were me I would be jumping up and down shouting “IT’S  NOT  FAIR !!!!”  Must be someting in his German genes  – used to losing now.  Oops, got a feeling that may be slightly politically incorrect !

So here we are, already into February and I am totally fed up with the miserable damp weather we are having.  How I envy mates Mo and Walter in sunny Spain and Liz and Billy in Australia and New Zealand for several weeks.  This is the problem having so many dogs to look after, you cannot just up sticks and decamp for weeks on end, so we are stuck with muddy pawprints all over the floor – and up the back of clothing.  I feel so sorry for the dogs, although they have warm straw filled kennels, it can’t be much fun running round an increasingly muddy garden, though, mind you, they don’t seem to mind !

On the canine front we have quite a few adoptions.  The Shih Tzu’s went like hot cakes and the pups too, but there are more pups who are just as sweet, so if you missed out on the last lot, we have more.  Please consider Jasper and Jenkins,  both totally lovely and both of whom would surely be in great new homes by now if they had not been left hanging/hoping on.  I would love to keep them but we already have 15 dogs who will be with us until……… and I really didn’t want to start with puppies again.  Please also think of the older dogs we have.  Older dogs are great for, dare I say it, older people who don’t want to go through the whole training period and, let’s be brutally honest, is it fair to adopt a dog who may well outlive you and find him/herself in the almost impossible situation of looking for a new home at an advanced age.  One refuge I heard of, gave an 18 month old dog to a lady of 90 !!!  How stupid is that ?!  The lady may well live to 105 but what are the chances and anyway a young dog deserves to be with people who can give an active life, not just be taken in a car to a park, let out to run on his own, then back in the car and home again.  The lady, bless her, is doing her best, but it is not fair on either of them.

Of course I couldn’t let a newsletter go out without a rant, so how about this.  “My wife and I are splitting up and neither of us can take our 1o and 9 year old dogs.  How do we go about it.”    How do you go about it ?  Well you think about your dogs who have probably loved you both unconditionally all those years and have no responsibility for the situation you are in, and provide for them BEFORE you make the decision to move and you ensure that the dogs will stay with one of you.  I am so absolutely fed up with people who come over here, embrace the life get dogs, then find out that everything is not as idyllic as it looks on television programmes, so tough shit for the dogs, back to the refuge or, if they are lucky, on to a new home.  Whichever, through no fault of their own they are adding to an already enormous problem in France.  My friend Rowan who is at Carcassonne refuge has the right reply to people like that.  “Ok, we’ll take your dog but you come with me and pick out which other dog we should  put to sleep in order to make room for yours” !

Hope it will be a bit warmer for the next newsletter !!

Sue x

ps Haven’t bought any clothes and have strictly ignored all “Sales” signs !

 

5TH JANUARY 2015

January 5, 2015

First of all a Very Happy New Year to you all !   I’m hoping for world tolerance – yeah, good luck with that – and fewer poor dogs in need of help.  Well, a girl can dream can’t she ?!

Looking back at last year’s January News I see that I was disappointed not yet to be in the house for Christmas but delighted that Ernst had not smoked for two weeks.  One year on I am thrilled to say that we spent our first Christmas in my dream country kitchen, woodburner blazing, Christmas tree twinkling, corks a- popping, friends clinking glasses and Betsy my cooker, with whom I have an on/off friendship, behaving beautifully.   As for Ernst ?  Well he still hasn’t had a cigarette since last December.  Brilliant !

Off course I’m still waiting for things that had been promised for Christmas, i.e., guest bedroom, front terrace, and porch, but I did get the kitchen lights (which had been purchased in March) and a door leading from the kitchen to the middle room to avoid us still having to go outside to get to bed.  Well, actually, I got the door but we can’t use it yet because of the Christmas cards.  Not having faith that the door would be in situ I hung Christmas cards across the space, which fell down if the door was opened so in the end I gave up and I and guests braved the cold to get to the bathroom !

As for the porch, this is so that we have somewhere to leave boots and wood before coming into the kitchen.  Well, everywhere we hear that people are looking desperately for work so I was naively thinking that it would be easy to get someone to build a smallish porch to our spécifications.  I KNOW this goes against Ernst’s grain because he likes to do everything himself , but I am running out of patience now.  We contacted three people.  One was a company specialising in porches who came when they said but proposed more of a very posh conservatory at a very posh price.  Thanks but no thanks.  The second guy works alone, couldn’t really understand what we had in mind so I think has shelved us.  The third, the partner of a friend came round about six weeks before Christmas, said he could do it in time then went on to tell us what we should have, which was nothing like what we wanted.  We are still waiting for his “within a week” estimate !!!  Now there is no urgency so it is on Ernst’s ‘to do’ list.  I know he will do it better than anyone, I just wanted it sooner rather than very much later !

So, a new year, new beginnings and a few changes for Poorpaws.  Nothing very much and nothing that will change the ongoing work that Danielle and I do.  By the way, we homed 104 dogs last year !!  104 is an enormous number for just two people so we are really pleased.  What changes ?  Well, I have been doing dog rescue now for thirteen years and get tremendous satisfaction from it.  But over those years there have inevitably been dogs who, for some reason or another have never been adopted so have stayed with us and will do so until the end of their lives.  We have 15 such dogs who live in parks with the tiny oldies sleeping in our bedroom and in the now defunct mobile home.  This means that we are full to bursting and cannot take in any more.  Regulars to the website will know that I mention Danielle a lot.  Danielle is in Castlnau Montratier and many of you know her well already.  She has worked as a cruelty inspector for the Brigitte Bardot Foundation and for the S.P.A.  She does kennelling to help with expenses and, obviously rehoming.  She currently has 25 dogs looking for homes.  Having much larger and more parks than me, Danielle will now take in abandoned dogs when she can and give the best advice.  The Poorpaws website will continue (if only to enable me to let off steam now and again – or again and again !) and the Adoptions page will show the dogs seeking homes, the difference being that the dogs will be chez Danielle.  For those not speaking French (people I mean, not dogs) I will always be available to take you to Danielle’s and help with translation.

Another change is that I will no longer be selling greetings cards at the market on a Saturday at Montaigu de Quercy BUT and this is a big BUT, the cards will still be available at the English Library in Montaigu which is open on Saturday mornings and Wednesday mornings and afternoons.  The Library is situated next to the Office de Tourism at Montaigu.  I have loved my five years at the market and have enjoyed meeting so many people.  However, it really is no longer worth the time and petrol, plus it frees me up to do more rota duties at the library which I love.

Fundraising will continue with our ever popular book sales and clothes sales.  The money raised will, as usual be split between cancer research and ‘dog rescue’.  The latter meaning that Poorpaws will take what is needed to care for the fifteen dogs and to help people in a difficult situation with care for their dogs and be split between Danielle’s refuge ‘La mere aux Betes’ and other needy organisations – Twilight being one.

So, there you have it, I’m retired officially now and going through the joy of trying to get my French pension.  God love’em don’t the French just adore their paperwork ?!

Before I sign off a HUGE thank you to all of you who sent donations for pressies for the dogs, you are just so kind and the dogs had special goodies on Christmas Day ……….and worming tablets on New year’s Day !!

One little giggle,  I was on the way to the vets (for a change !) on New Year’s Eve and saw a little dog frantically running up and down the road in Anglars Juillac.  I stopped and she stopped and sat in the middle of the road.  She wasn’t a puppy as I had thought but was a small Jag Terrier.  Now I am very wary of those little dogs, courageous little blighters who take on sangliers without turning a hair.  Anyway she had a collar with name and ‘phone number and let me put her in the car.  I took her up to the vets (in Prayssac, the best in the land) who recognised the name and were able to confirm that she lived in ….Anglars Juillac !!  I left her there and Jackie the receptionist said she would tell the owners that the dog was found on the Montcuq road !!

Well I’m suffering from Festive Fatigue now and keen to get on with 2015.  Did I tell you last year that I was not going to buy any television series on dvd for a year ?  Well I made it so am now happily compiling a list I need to catch up on.  This year I’m on a no clothes buying and no chocolate eating mission – good luck with that too !!

Have a good one !

Sue x

 

 

 

 

29th November 2014

November 29, 2014

So I start this month with a rant !  Not “hmm I’m rather miffed”,  not even  “I am SO angry”, this is a full blown, rant of catastrophic, off the Richter scale, gale force 180, tornado proportions.  Get the picture ?  

I think that most people, when they adopt from a refuge, accept and are willing to pay a fee in order to help the refuge keep going and support dogs in need.  Here at Poorpaws I ask that any veterinary fees incurred – chip, vaccination for example – are reimbursed and if the adopters would like to add a bit for a donation then of course we are delighted.  I do not impose a set fee, although Danielle, who I work with, does and this is quite normal.  Should a person come along who obviously has a great life to offer a dog but would struggle with the necessary expenses, then Poorpaws is only too happy to help out for the happiness of the dog.

So what happened this month has left me spitting mad.  A lady got in touch looking for a dog and was attracted to one on our website.  Said dog was not actually at Poorpaws but was being fostered by the friend who had found him.  Friend and lady were put in touch, a visit was made and the dog was taken home for a trial period.  We received photos and updates all very pleasing, clearly dog and new owner were very happy.  So then I got in touch to say that as things were going well, I assumed the adoption was going ahead and I would get on with the paperwork.  The dog would be put in to the owner’s name and would she be kind enough to reimburse the 76 euros Poorpaws had paid out for the chip and vaccination.

To say that her reply left me speechless is an understatement.  The person said that she had not been told there would be any payment to be made and as she would have to pay 150 for the neutering and second vaccination herself, she would not be sending us any money.  This apparently “after considerable thought” and from someone who has two homes in France !!  She said she felt “bad” about saying no to a charity  !!  Well I can tell you I felt “bad” too, did the stupid woman think that we are rolling in money, that we just pick more off the trees when we need it ?!  She wanted the dog but Poorpaws has to pick up the tab for a dog that she now owns.  What is more, this moron said that she “didn’t need the dog to be chipped as he would not be travelling”.  Durrrh, numbskull it is obligatory in France for all dogs to be chipped in the name of the owner.   Had I not been sure that the dog would have a good home I would have taken him back, after all he wasn’t chipped in her name, therefore she did not legally own him.  However, I could tell from earlier correspondence that he will have a fab time.

I’m still spitting mad but trying to convince myself that she is not worth the bother and clearly has a pea sized brain.

Contrast the above to the adorable people who happily made a six hour round trip to collect Jude and were falling over themselves to make donations left right and center even though Jude was on the website as a favour to the person who was looking after her and Poorpaws had not paid for anything.  Thank goodness there are people like you Mr. and Mrs. N, around to restore our faith in human nature.

You will see from the adoptions page that there have been quite a few adoptions but also many additions !!  I’d love to see big black Jasper go to a good home, what a gentle giant he is.

I was hoping to be able to put Isabella, a gorgeous Brittany Spaniel on the site this month.  I collected her from a breeder who is selling up and the new people don’t want her.  Well, sad to say, she is still petrified of everybody and panics when I go in to see her – unless I have a treat in my hand !  We’ll get there.

Sad news, our huge old German Shepherd, Rik, had to be put to sleep a couple of days ago.  That broke my heart.  He came to us about five years ago when one owner died and the other was not fit to care for herself, let alone Rik.  The family, all with large houses and gardens wouldn’t take him so he came to us and was a loving old boy for all his time here (except for the day he nearly killed a little bichon we had but we got past that).

Well I’m off to the UK for a couple of days of girlie lunches and to the Royal Albert Hall to see the Senior Tennis Tournemant.

Have a great Christmas and I hope to be in a better mood at the end of December !!!

Sue x

NOVEMBER 3RD, 2014

November 3, 2014

BARNEY HAS BEEN FOUND !!     BARNEY HAS BEEN FOUND !!!  BARNEY HAS BEEN FOUND !!!  BARNEY HAS BEEN FOUND !!!

Barney LostPLEASE  HELP  FIND  ME !

PLEASE,  PLEASE,  PLEASE  can everyone reading this keep an eye out for Barney (above) ?  One of the most awful things that has ever happened to Poorpaws happened two weeks ago.  Dear, very timid Barney, who was adopted from us a couple of years ago, was looking for a new home because his adoring owners have had to go to UK due to serious health problems and are not sure when/if they will come back.  Barney then went to another lovely couple who, although they fell in love with him, felt he would never fit in to their busy lifestyle.  They were very happy to take Barney everywhere with them but Barney would bolt at the slam of a door or any strange noise.  So it was decided that he should go to Danielle at Castelnau Montratier in the Lot, where he spent two months at the beginning of the year and where he was happy.  He certainly seemed very happy to see Danielle and was put into a large park with a lady friend as company.  The moment Danielle’s back was turned, he jumped on to the roof of his kennel and was away over the fence.  And that was it.  Barney cannot simply have vanished into thin air but that is what he seems to have done.  No-one has seen him (apart from one possible sighting at Vazerac) and all hopes of him trying to find his way back to the Dordogne are fast fading.  So, please, please, if you live in the Lot, Tarn et Garonne, or anywhere around there, keep your eyes open.  Barney is so timid you may not be able to catch him but one good thing about him is that he adores riding in a car and will quickly jump in if a door is open.  Barney is quite a big dog, very frightened but absolutely non aggressive.

Oh, hallo by the way, hope you had a good October, at least I think it was October, could have been August !  It was a very busy month here, what with our Barn Book Sale which raised 1,000 euros – a little down on last year (I blame kindles !) but a very healthy total nonetheless.  It was lovely to see so many usual suspects and funny to see people coming early to get to the cake stall before going in to the books !  Especially nice to see Doreen, a lady I am very fond of who tried to adopt Tiny the Terrible poodle a couple of years ago, then he was just called Tiny before we discovered the ‘terrible ‘ bit (“bit” being the operative word !) !!  Then Doreen, her daughter and I went on a long journey to Angoulême to pick up another little oldie for her.  The refuge would only hand Manou to us personally because of the special care given to their dogs.  Hmm,  Manou was in a lovely foster home with very kind Kate, but as for the special care given by the refuge, well, I won’t go in to that.  Suffice to say that several visits to the vet were necessary for Manou before she blossomed into the lovely happy girl she is now.

Then we had the new and nearly new clothes sale, held as usual at La Sirene restaurant in Montaigu de Quercy (thank you Joyce for the usual yummy lunch) and huge thanks to the two Pats for organising it.  500 euros has gone in to the Poorpaws vet/food tin and the dogs are sure their tums will be full until well in to the New Year.

Danielle 20.10.14 001

HOW  MUCH  ?!

The month of October saw the final closing of the donations website opened when Poorpaws No. 1 supporter Gaynor made the amazing Tour de France cycle ride.  Here is the official handing over of the 3,000 euro cheque which will enable Danielle to improve kennels and parks for all her Poorpaws.  Again I say, Gaynor you are a star !

Adoptions in October saw all the Brittany Spaniel pups being homed (one seems to have found his way to me, hmm, wonder how that happened !  Ernst still can’t understand why he (Jip the pup) hasn’t been adopted yet ….!).  It also saw Gaby legging it the day before her new family came up from Toulouse to adopt her !  They found another needy soul at the refuge in Toulouse and Gaby was brought home a few days later by a family who asked if they could adopt her, so alls well that ends well.  Lucky has gone back to his previous owners who found out that the hospital had mislead them and the gentleman wasn’t allergic to Lucky at all, but to dairy products !  That was a close thing as Lucky was to be going to a new home a few days later and this is where  my faith in human nature was restored.  His original owners said that if he had found a new home, although they were very sad, they would not stand in the way of the adoption.  The future owners returned serve saying that there was no way they could take a dog from people who obviously felt deeply for him and who had given him such a good start in life.  I was hoping that Joy would sidle into the vacant place left, but perhaps after Christmas.  Christmas ? Yikes !

Right, this is not a rant but a gentle prod.  Your dog’s identification paper.  Do you know where it is ?  If not, find it and put it with the health record booklet.  A couple of times recently there have been difficulties rehoming dogs because the owners cannot find the identification paper from I-CAD.  This is a real problem as copy papers have to be applied (and paid !) for, in the original owner’s name before the dog can be transferred legally to his/her new owners.  It wastes a lot of time and should, god forbid, you wish to rehome your dog, you are responsible for all his/her actions whilst in your name.  So if you give your dog away without changing the id paper, if he causes an accident or goes chasing chickens/sheep, whatever, you are responsible even if he no longer lives with you.

Ok, enough rambling !

Have a good month.  It’s my birthday this month and friends keep asking what I am going to do to celebrate.  Well it’s this.  For a change I am going to stay at home all day and have a complete ‘me’ day.  I won’t get up at seven to walk the dogs , they are going to have to have a lie in too, I won’t do any housework (not much change there then) but I will sit down and read for hours if I want to, have Cadbury’s chocolate for lunch and watch dvd’s all afternoon.  Ernst will cook supper (he’s better at it than me anyway !) and in the evening we will go to the cinema (being a vegetarian, a visit to a posh restaurant is not much of a treat ).

Sue x

Waterloo
 P.S.Had to share this with you, it made me laugh so much, sorry if it offends !