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 !



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 3, 2014



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


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

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



October 3, 2014

3,055 euros !!  THREE  THOUSAND  AND  FIFTY  FIVE  EUROS !!!!!!!  That is the AMAZING sum that Gaynor raised on her incredible Tour de France cycle back in July !  I cannot find the words to thank her and all of you who donated.  The money will be put to improve old, and build new kennels with extra insulation to keep the dogs warm in the Winter and cool in the Summer.  THANK  YOU  THANK  YOU  THANK  YOU !!!!

So what is with this weather ?!  Sleeveless tshirts in October ?!  I feel sorry for the tourists who, having worked all year, had rotten weather for their Summer holidays and very sorry for the people who make their year’s money during the Summer months as I am sure that this year will not have encouraged people to come back to our area (Midi Pyrenees) in future.

However for those of you who like to spend your children’s inheritance and holiday when the schools are open again September was glorious.  We had an absolutely fantastic week down at Cap d’Ail and, yes, I did the Ice Bucket Challenge (see last month’s news).  It was recorded on video and I was hoping to put it in this newsletter but I cannot fathom how to do it.  I’ll get instruction and try to add it later.

Adoptions were great this month, the lovely Jag was rehomed, the Boy Brittany, puppies galore and all three Coton de Tulears have found really fabulous homes.  Of course more have come in as you will see from the adoptions page.  Barney is a beautiful boy looking for a family who will bring him on out of his shyness, there is not an ounce of aggression in him, just needs to feel secure.  There are several spaniel type pups and Jenkins and Jasper pups are with me and I can vouch for them being great fun.  People worry about taking pups with hunting dog in them but they are the gentlest of dogs and make great companions.  Obviously a fenced in garden would be preferable.

Josie had a great time with Jojo (again, see last month’s news) and I am sure Chris and Diane would have kept her if the little minx hadn’t given them a fright by jumping over their wall on to the main road. 

Oh, mustn’t forget, our Book Sale is on October 11th at Lesley’s Barn, in the Hamlet of Beliben just down the road from Sauzet (Lot).  Do, please come and support us, buy your winter fireside reading – or poolside if you are escaping the Winter – and stock up on the fabulous home made cakes.

Then on the 29th October we have our New and Nearly New Clothes Sale to be held as usual at La Sirene restaurant at Montaigu de Quercy, from 11am.  Come and have a browse and a jolly good and reasonable lunch or even just a coffee.  There is a great selection of bargains to be had.

Finally you seemed to like my Household Hints so here is another.  When doing a white wash always check that you haven’t already flung a red teatowel into the machine thinking the next wash would be coloureds !! Anyone need some pink tshirts, towels and sheets ?!

No rant this month (sorry Shelagh and Mo), could I be turning nice in my old age ?!  Bet your life next month I’ll be ranting about the French Pensions Office !

Enjoy the last of the sunshine !

Sue x


September 2, 2014

Vide 2014

As  usual our annual second hand clothes stall at the Vide Grenier in Montcuq on the last Sunday in August was a huge success.  We arrived with a loaded up van and trailer and people were waiting just itching to get at the bags.  As you can see we had piles of garments and I am kicking myself not to have taken a photo at the end  when there were just a few bits and pieces left..  The secret of our success ?  We are not greedy,  most things are sold at just one or two euros whereas other clothes stalls were asking anything up to 20.  We would rather go home empty than pack up the twenty bags again.  We took over 500 euros, slightly down on last year but a very good day’s takings nonetheless.  Again my heartfelt thanks to Danielle and Lesley for their invaluable help during the very hot and busy day.  The money will be shared between Poorpaws, Danielle’s refuge and I will be sending an envelope off to Twilight.

The dogs have been going thick and fast – but of course, are coming in at the same speed too !!   Indy has found a great new home as have Chopin, Jezebel, Chester, Joley and fingers crossed for Moustache who some people are coming to see this week.  The best news is that Jojo’s owners have decided to keep him even though he looks as though he could end up being taller than them !!  My own lovely Josie will be going to stay with Jojo whilst I am on holiday and if it all works out then she will stay with him so that he has a playmate.  Whilst Josie is extremely deferential to all the dogs here, almost asking permission to play or sleep with them, she has the complete upper hand with Jojo and puts him in his place !

Did you notice how I slid the word ‘holiday’ in there ?!  Yes, it’s the Cap d’Ail time of year again.  We’re off with our friends down to the coast for ten days from the 6th to the 16th for a lovely time playing cards, reading and generally relaxing.  However, whilst we are there, I have to submit to the Ice Bucket Challenge !!  MVBF (my very best friend) sent me a video of herself having a bucket of cold water poured over her and before the ghastly deed said that she nominated me and friends Annie and Sue to do the same.  Now, we don’t have television so I knew nothing about this craze and thought it was something MVBBF (my very best BATTY friend) had thought up as a lark.  I do remember hearing something about a politician challenging someone to do it but thought no more about it.  Apparently I am living in the dark ages because this is sweeping the nation.  I have agreed to do it, possibly because I am so mean and would rather get wet than pay out 10 euros or is it pounds (?) but mainly because the Macmillan nurses were absolute angels to my Dad in his last days.  So, watch out for the next newsletter there may be a VERY unflattering photo of moiself.  I am actually practising flinging my head back so that my hair fans out in slow motion with droplets falling like diamonds as you see in commercials, can’t be that difficult can it ?!

Being so NOT a domestic goddess, when I discover little household hints I like to share them with my friends who are all very happy to receive them, so I thought I would share some with you.

Cooking hints. 1)  When making a cake in a hurry for people who are arriving for tea within the hour, always make sure that the white crystals you put in the cake mixture are sugar and not salt. 2) When making an apple and ginger crumble, always wear your glasses to ensure that the spice you put in the crumble is in fact ‘gingembre’ and not   ‘coriandre’.  There, I bet you are glad I passed those on. Watch out next month for washing household hints.

Enough of this silliness, I haven’t had a rant yet, my friends Shelagh and Mo will be disappointed !  I could go on about Chopin the very first dog homed by me eleven years ago and who has been left behind whilst his family have moved to the UK but you all know my views on that sort of behaviour.  A complete opposite is the lovely Siobain previously of Hope Association, who is moving back to the UK with 12, yes TWELVE dogs !  Look out Dorset, here she comes !

I was hoping to be able to give you the final figures of the total raised by Gaynor with her fantastic cycling achievement but I don’t have them yet.  I’ll add them in as soon as I can.






August 1, 2014



There is only one way I could start this month’s news.  Gaynor did it !!!!   SHE  BALLYWELL  DID  IT !!!!!  She cycled 171 kms in a day in the most horrendous conditions (as you can see behind her) up the steepest of steep mountains and coming down at frightening speeds through cloud where she couldn’t see the side of the road.  Read her full account on and you will get just a small idea of what she has done for Poorpaws and La Mere aux Betes, our sister refuge.  I watched the professionals do the same stage on the television the other day (in perfect conditions)  and was horrified to think that Gaynor had put hereself through that for us.  “Thank you” does not even touch the surface of what I want to say to Gaynor.  So, if you haven’t donated yet, go to and get clicking, it couldn’t be easier.  Any donation however small helps and I promise you on the life of St. Cadbury (although I’m going off him since he sold out to Kraft !), that EVERY  SINGLE  CENT will go to making dogs’ lives happier.  Any expenses incurred in entering the stage have been met by Gaynor and Phil – who also did the stage with a damaged shoulder, mustn’t forget him ! –  their shirts were donated by the manufacturer and the printing of leaflets was also donated.  So, all your money goes to the dogs. I will let you know what it is spent on but at the moment we think it very likely that it will be spent on new solid insulated kennels and improving the parks.  THANK  YOU to everyone who has been connected with this event.

Another successful event this month was our Hog Roast which raised just over 1,700 euros !!  Due to uncertain weather we plumped for eating inside the Salle de Fetes leaving the doors open so people could drift in and out as they wished.  No room to serve the food nside but the weather turned out to be kind and we could serve outside easily.  Thank you to the band Free Drinks who were stupendous.  Great, great music of all sorts with a good mix of new and oldies.  Go see them whenever you can – they will be at the Marché Gourmande at Château Aix at Saux on the first Wednesday of September.

For my friend Shelagh here is this month’s rant !  People !!!!   Just lately, I don’t know why, we have had a few instances where people choose a dog they want to adopt , get all excited, arrangements are made, paperwork is drawn up, then we get the email “Oh, I can’t take the dog after all.  My wife/husband/grandmother/brother-in-law’s second cousin first removed, doesn’t want it !!!  For goodness sake, talk to eachother !  How could anyone even think of taking such a decision without discussing it fully with everyone involved in the well being of the dog ?!  We are talking about a living being here, not a cuddly toy !

As for the guy who is intent on abandoning two elderly dogs who he has had since they were young because he is going back to the UK with a new lady who is  ‘allergic’ so it is “impossible” to keep the dogs, well don’t even get me started.

Ok rant over !  On to Poorpaws dogs.  The long eared Brunos have had a lot of success, in fact as I write there is just one female left, the Cairn Terrier puppy has gone to a super home as have a couple of other little pups who never made it to the website.  Take a peek at Jezebel, what a charmer if ever I saw one !  Our Tega, unbelievably has fallen on her feet again !  She has been adopted by a lovely couple with a huge garden and a lake next door where Tega has her morning constitutional.  You mess this one up Tega and I’ll be after you !!

It’s Fete and Manifestation time again, so I’ll give out the usual reminder.  Please don’t drag your poor dogs round markets and fetes, it is totally miserable for them, leave them at home in the cool and NEVER, however cool it seems, shut your dog in the car with the windows up.  I cannot believe in this day and age I actually saw one such poor dog outside Carrefour.  I reported it and left a rude message on the windscreen.  Luckily it wasn’t a scorching day but a car heats up very quickly.

Have a wonderful August and keep a  peek at the News, I often forget things and add them later !!




JULY 7TH 2014

July 7, 2014

Sorry about the lateness of this months news, I have been glued to the TV for the last two weeks watching Wimbledon ! What a fantastic Mens’ final and how glorious to see a five setter where really neither player deserved to lose. I didn’t see the Ladies’ Final as my friend Lesley’s daughter, Marta was getting married and as I was a witness I sort of had to be there. I won’t tell you my reaction when I realised which weekend she had chosen for the wedding, all I can say is that some people push the friendship boundary very far !! Still, it was a wonderful wedding and so it should have been as Lesley has been working herself into a self-destructing stressball over the last month or so – or should that be year or so !!Lulu Pole Dancer

Regular readers of this monthly waffle will remember Sky the most adorable Rottweiler (scroll back a few months if you want to read about her). Many hearts were broken when Sky became so ill there was only one kindness left that Kelly and her family could do for her. A Rotty breeeder (grr, don’t like breeders but I forgive this one) heard about Sky and has given the family a beautiful female pup who has been named Lulu. Lulu is turning out to be very bright and looks as though she will also be one gorgeous dog. Here you see her in the photo where it seems that she has her eyes set on a career as a pole dancer ! Lulu you are one Lucky Girl to become a member of Kelly’s family and I’m sure you won’t let them down. We look forward to more photos as you grow up.

My friend Shelagh says she reads this rubbish to find out what I am going to go off on one about every month. Well this month is it FOOTBALL, or rather FOOTBALLERS !!!! We have had to suffer months of World Cup this and World Cup that, the players are paid a fortune, they seem to consider they are little gods and don’t even get me started on their wives / partners ! Then what happens ? THEY CAN’T WIN A SINGLE MATCH !! After they had lost the first two, they were saying that if Italy won then the English team would still be in with a chance. No, sorry, you have no right to still be in with a chance YOU ARE INCAPABLE OF WINNING ONE MATCH. Go home you miserable apologies for footballers and don’t darken our newspaper pages again. What REALLY got me mad was that there was all the hype about them and little Heather Watson played a blinder of a tennis match against the world number 12 and beat her, but did we hear anything about that ? Yeah, right !!

However, this news page is supposed to be about dogs !! Tondra is adopted, Ben is adopted, Guismo is adopted, Holly too, lots of interest in Indy and just one Cairn Terrier pup left to go. Lots of new dogs who will, I promise be on the website very soon. Oh big beautiful Tega came back. Silly, silly girl, had a wonderful home with gorgeous Geordie as a playmate and what does Miss Tega do ? Suddenly turns into Bitchzilla and makes the poor Geordie’s life a misery. Decides she is boss and wants all the attention. So she is here again where she has settled back into the gang but still looking for a home where she will be the only dog. I can’t understand it, she shares affection here with 17 other dogs, but when there are just two she gets stroppy.

It’s not too late to sponsor Gaynor in her Tour de France ride in aid of Poorpaws and our sister refuge La Mere Aux Betes. Just Google and follow the instructions how to donate. Ernst and I are going down to cheer her on so I should have some photos for the next news page.

I’m sure I had more to say but can’t think ( suffering from Wimbledon blues). Anyhow I’ll add if need be.

Sue xx

2ND JUNE 2014

June 2, 2014

Il de Ré website

Well hallo again, aren’t the months just flying by ?  Ernst and I have just got back from our annual week on the Il de Ré and it was, as usual wonderful.  We are used to going in October when it is blissfully quiet there but thought we would have a change and go in May this year.  Quite a difference, all the shops and restaurants open and many more people around.  We are used to having the cycling tracks to ourselves but this time there were bicycles all over the place.  A bonus was the long light days which we don’t get in October so we think we will go in May again next year, but avoid a Bank Holiday period – if that is possible in May over here !  We had gorgeous weather, sun, fluffy white clouds but quite a bit of breeze which made the cycling, for me anyway, more difficult despite the flat as a pancake landscape.  I could never understand why whether we were going out or coming home, the wind was always against me !  I am quite a bit (well, actually a lot) shorter than Ernst so whereas he just cycles slowly along, I am behind him with my little legs going like pistons trying to keep up.  I don’t think we ever, during the whole week, got back home at the same time as he was always so far ahead and didn’t bother to wait for me at junctions so I never knew which way he had gone ! 

A bonus also was the fact that I could watch Roland Garros in the afternoon (we don’t have TV at home).  Mind you, I spent a lot of the time screaming at the screen ” have you even HEARD of Andy Murray ?”  Honestly, I love France and love living here, but really, in England when Wimbledon is on it is on television from midday until end of play WITHOUT ADVERTS.  In France, even though play starts at 11 am, it is not on TV until three o’clock and then goes off at 8 with adverts every five minutes.  Sooooo frustrating !  Actually I’m telling porkies to say we don’t have TV, we do have a set but I use it only for dvd’s and the lovely Keith comes round once a year to connect me up for Wimbledon, after which it is unplugged again.  People sometimes ask me whatever do we do in the evenings if we don’t have television.  Well, I have to say, Radio 4 is on from the minute I get up to the minute Ernst comes to bed and we read, we play cards and Backgammon.  It is surprising how quickly you get used to not having the box.  When I go to UK I always think I’ll have a real tellyfest but there never seems to be anything interesting on.  Obviously there are some really good series but I can and do get those on dvd.

Right, having bored you to tears, lets talk about something very important – fund raising !!  July 12th in your diaries please, our second Hog Roast.  The first was a great success two years ago so we thought we would do another.  Tickets are 22.50 euros and you will be treated to live music, a great meal and all round a great evening.  I know it is difficult for vegetarians – I am one – but we will be royally catered for, just let us know when booking and keep your back to the piggy.  To be held at the St. Pantaleon Salle de Fetes.  Please book as early as possible,you can email me, or ‘phone me on 0565245303.  I will be sending out détails to those of you on my mailing list.

The second Very Important Event is my mate Gaynor’s INCREDIBLE attempt at one of the Tour de France – TOUR  DE  FRANCE  FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE – stages.  Besides being completely bananas Gaynor is an absolute dog lover and cycling fanatic and follows the Tour closely.  Last year she and husband Philip took part in the amateur stage (which is one of the most difficult parts of the Tour).  Gaynor didn’t quite make it, but this year she is determined to finish and she is doing it to raise money for Dog Rescue.  Please go to the website and see the enormous challenge that she is facing.  If, like me, you are completely in awe and want to support Gaynor and through Gaynor, Poorpaws, go to the donations page.  You can give as little or much as you like.  Every single cent will go to help make an unhappy dog happy.

  I can tell you that having just cycled round Ré which has no hills over six inches, my legs go to jelly just at the thought of the mountains Gaynor will be cycling up.

Following our holiday I went round to Danielle’s to collect a few of the dogs she had been looking after for me and to catch up on who has been adopted and who has come in.  May was a good month !  Off to new homes went Itou and Ilou, Caline (yey !), Chopin, Athéna, the two lab cross pups and my little Bobby.  Of course lots have come in and you can see them all on the adoptions page – I’m keeping special fingers crossed for Jag, what a super boy !  You may  spot some changes to the adoptions page in that I have found out how to add little cartoony figures !  The dog running means the dog has been adopted, the little cute dog means “please adopt me” and the puppies mean …….. well, puppies actually.  How arty farty is that ?!

So, that’s my waffle over for another month, see you in July.


Sue x

2ND MAY 2014

May 2, 2014


So, we’ve had a nice bit of sunshine and I’ve already seen them about.  Rare birds ?  Baby wild animals ?  No,  people who think they are keeping themselves and their dogs fit by cycling around with the poor dog tied to the bike.  ARRRGH !!   NO,  NO, NO !!!  Not only is it so dangerous that they may end up not having to worry about the dog’s health or their own any more, it is just downright cruel and will probably shorten the dog’s life due to a heart attack.  Dogs are like footballers, they run they stop, they turn they run they stop.  They are not long distance runners.  Imagine yourself being tied to a moving machine and being forced to keep up even if you are well out of breath and have to keep going and keep going until the person on the machine decides to stop.  It’s just too ghastly to think about a poor dog in that situation.   So, please, walk with your dog and cycle alone.

Another thing that has been spotted and if you were in Carrefour one hot sunny day a few weeks ago, you may have seen her too, a lady doing her shopping in her swimsuit !!  The cashier told me and said the guys on the butchery counter were having funny turns, so if your chops and mince were overweight and under priced you will know why !!  Although, even in my (much) younger days when I used to look ok in a bathing costume, I would never have gone shopping dressed like that, I do admire the guts of the woman to be so sure of herself.

‘Guts’, horrid word but I couldn’t think of another, ‘balls’ didn’t seem appropriate !  Other words I hate,  ‘belly’, ‘tummy’ is so much nicer, and ‘bitch’, horrid word, I don’t think I have ever referred to a female dog as a bitch even though that is surely what she is.

Talking of dogs, it has been a great month here !  My beloved Tega went to a great new home, as did Gamin, Kali, Emma and Sarko.  You can see pictures of them all on the Happy Endings page – although it has been pointed out to me that that page should be renamed Happy Beginnings  – like it !

Our Easter Book sale was a great success and thank you to all who supported us.  We made 1,500 euros, up on last Easter and a little down on the Autumn but we always take more just before Winter.  Happily we didn’t run out of cakes this time, in fact we had so many that some even didn’t make it to the table – as was the case for a couple of mine, but perhaps that is no bad thing.  Thanks for all the lovely books donated and sorry we had to refuse some which were offered just a couple of days before the sale.  I’ll get in touch nearer the Autumn one.  I would especially like to thank the person who put in the beautiful untouched address book.  It had a dust cover with a lovely bouquet of flowers and flowers throughout the book.  When I saw it, my heart did a triple bounce, it is EXACTLY the same as the address book my Mum and Dad had for many years until they died.  Looking through the book I could see my Mum and Dad’s writing on every page.  Naturally, it is now here with me.  Also a copy of Kai Lung Unrols His Mat.  My Dad loved Kai Lung books and even quoted him at (one of !) my weddings – “a man does not burn down his own house even to annoy his mother-in-law” !!

addressbook1 addressbook2

My Dad was a lovely gentle man, except when playing Bridge !!!  He adored it and tried so hard to be a good loser but never quite managed it, blaming all his bad hands on the God he didn’t believe in !

I’ve had a couple of weekends away since the last News Page – isn’t not working great when you have friends all over the place ?!  I went to the UK to celebrate my mate Sue’s birthday and we did it well !!  Curry on the first night with the Essex gang, then off to Bromley for celebrations with the friends the other side of the Thames.  Then last weekend we went to stay with friends Chantal and Claud down at Martigue.  Chantal and I have been friends since 1971 when I was an au pair in Toulon working for her sister-in-law.  Chantal is great but just doesn’t get the ‘vegetarian thing’.  She made an effort on the first night, peppers, aubergines and tomatoes ……………..stuffed with minced meat !!  She is convinced I am going to die because I don’t eat meat or fish but has been saying this for thirty years and doesn’t seem to notice I am fit, fine and healthy !!

At the end of this month we are off to our beloved Isle de Ré – don’t think I’ve ever been away so much – thank you to good pal Louise who looks after the dogs and cats for us.

Anyway, back to dogs !  Please, please, please look at Caline, she is a Darling and has been hoping for a home for much too long now !


Sue x

March 30th 2014

March 30, 2014

Kitchen March 14 002Kitchen 2 003

Wow,  what can I say but WOW !  Our clothes sale at La Sirene raised a fantastic 500 euros !!  I was only able to be there for an hour or two and when I left it looked as though the sale would not be that successful but there must have been a surge after I left.  Huge thanks to Pat Lockett and Pat Norden Angus for all their hard work and thank you to all of you who donated and who came along to support.  Hope you got a few bargains.  I must give a special mention to Gaynor Pugh who never fails to pull fantastic clothes, brand new and unworn, out of the hat, her generosity knows no limits.

Talking of Gaynor, she not only donates wonderful clothes she is going to be cycling the amateur stage of the Tour de France ……..yes, you read that right THE  TOUR  DE  FRANCE (!!!!) in aid of dog rescue. We will be setting up a website where you will be able to donate easily direct by a click.

Oh come on, whilst I’ve got the begging bowl out, I’ll continue !  First of all our very popular (big-headed or what ?!) book sale in support of Dog Rescue and Cancer Research.  The next one is Easter Saturday, 19th April, 10am to 3pm, as usual to be held at Lesley’s lovely barn at her home in Beliben, which is five minutes from Sauzet in the Cahors direction.  As usual there will be hundreds of great books – I know because I have read them all just to check and those I haven’t read my brother has (this phrase stolen from Sophie with apologies).  We ran out of cakes too soon last time so are making lots more to make sure this doesn’t happen again but better come early to be sure !  I’m desperately trying to get on to good terms with Bitch Betsy my new cooker, so that I can make something edible if not too presentable !   It has been pointed out that if I stopped calling her Bitch Betsy she may behave better.  The price for books and dvd’s (please no videos) remains at just one euro each.  If you have any dvd’s or books to donate, please get in touch so we can arrange to get them.

Next and last grab at your money, following the success of our hog Roast a couple of years ago, this is to be repeated on Saturday 12th July at the Salle de Fetes at St. Pantaleon.  so, put it in your diary and I’ll be giving you more news in the next newsletter.

And so to dog news !  The lovely Hamish was returned from one home and went to another on the same day !  This time it is for keeps and I knew it would work when I found out the new owners are fellow Essex people (yes, folks I am an Essex girl from ‘Sarfend’ – Southend for those who don’t speak Essex) and the chap even lived in the same tiny hamlet as I did just before I left England !  The tiny Yorkie, now Oscar went off with his new owners laughing all the way, they just couldn’t believe a dog could be so small !  As for me, after looking after Oscar for a few days, I couldn’t believe so much poo could come out of one so tiny !  I’m still waiting for a photo of Oscar with his new huge playmate !!

Excellent news in that my lovely (though not so lovely since she was party to scaring one of our cats to death) Tega will be off to a new home in a couple of weeks.  Tega is just a Darling, Darling dog and I couldn’t be happier for her, although I’ll need to get a giant box of tissues for the handover.

We are really keen to find a home(s) for Janet and John.  Two little babes who were found fending for themselves in the woods – should have called them Hansel and Gretal.  I have been looking after these two for a couple of weeks and they have come on enormously.  Both still slightly timid but walking on a lead now.

Evelyn at Doglinks has brought Dino to my attention.  Dino is a Spanish Mastiff mix who has been in a refuge since the age of five months.  He is now NINE  YEARS  OLD !!!  Please, please, please, if there is a Mastiff lover out there, step forward.  Go to Doglinks WordPress and scroll down until you get to him.  A big boy with the temperament of a kitten.  All expenses will be paid to get him out and into the right home.

Right, I have to prepare now for a week of fun and frolics.  My mate Susie is coming over from UK tomorrow then I will fly back with her on Friday just for four days to celebrate her birthday.  That’s if I can bring myself to leave …………… KITCHEN !!  There will be a couple of updated photos somewhere in this newsletter, goodness knows where, I don’t seem to be able to control photo placements !! Ernst says don’t take any notice of the drawer fronts, they are temporary !



ps Oh, and to the person who sent me an email telling me to “rot in hell”, I probably will, see you there !


February 28, 2014

Kitchen 001 (2)Kitchen 002 (2)I am in love !!  Not with another man or a special dog but with a city.  Berlin !!  Ernst and I had the opportunity to go to join his brother and sister-in-law in Berlin for three days and to be honest I wasn’t that fussed.  Yes it would be nice to see Ernst’s cousins and friends, but Berlin in February ??!!  Cold, snow, rain, surely I would freeze and be miserable.  Not a bit of it, the weather was lovely, sunny, a bit fresh and a couple of showers at night.  As for Berlin it is FANTASTIC !  Now, I am not a city girl at all, I much prefer a walk in the country to visiting museums and galleries but Berlin has so much of interest to see.  We took a bus tour where you can get off and on when you like which was brilliant.  So much history, so colourful, lots of wonderful courtyards.  Independent bookshops to die for and little coffee shops each with armchairs outside with fleeces and plaids to keep you warm whilst you drink your coffee and put the world to rights.  I had only ever seen that in New York and that was exceptional, but in Berlin it is the norm.  Don’t even mention the all night bars !!  East Berlin was fascinating, beautiful buildings next to run down concrete blocks of flats.    There was just too much to see and do and luckily we must have behaved ourselves as we came back with open invitations to visit whenever we like.  Next week too soon ??

I have some great news on the home front.  We have moved into the house !!!  Moved in last Saturday after twelve years ,TWELVE  YEARS  !, of living in a mobile home that was shabby when we bought it in 2001.  So much has happened in those years, my parents died and I have lost friends too, nieces and nephews seem to have suddenly gone from being  children to adults with their own children, I started Poorpaws and good thing I did because at times it was only the dogs that kept me here !!  Anyway, my kitchen diner is wonderful.  I don’t like fitted kitchens so we have tables and cupboards and a comfy chair for me to sit by the wood burner and read.  Ernst ALWAYS sits at the table even if there is a more comfortable chair.  I have a new range cooker in cream colour after cooking for the last decade on two electric rings and a tiny tempremental microwave/cooker combo.  I have called my cooker Betsy and was prepared to love her like my mother.  Sadly she has turned out to be Bitch Betsy, burning the soup the first time I used her !!

Back down to earth or, as it feels like at the moment, back down to marsh, will it EVER stop raining?  I have only been able to go to Montaigu market to sell my cards one week in five, luckily they are for sale in the lovely Montaigu English Library, if you have never been there, do go, you won’t be disappointed.

Something I have to mention here.  I will always help anyone as much as I can to rehome dogs but I will not help anyone sell a dog.  There has recently been a rather unpleasant situation where I was asked to  help home a lovely little dog and I was successful in finding several possible adopters.  However, although I told the people they would only pay for the chip and vaccination, when contact was made they were asked for much more.  This was partly my fault as I did not make the situation clear with the owner of the dog at the outset.  Many feathers were ruffled and I have to take some responsibility .  So, if you want help from me rehoming your dog, please note that the dog MUST be chipped and vaccinated to date and you can only ask for reimbursement of those costs.  I will not encourage breeding by helping to sell a dog.

We have had several dogs homed this month – mostly dogs who never made it on to the website, so if you are looking to adopt, a ‘phone call or email never does any harm as not all the dogs available are on the website, new ones coming in nearly every day.  I am particularly happy that Sarko is reserved and will, all things being equal, be going off to a new home in April.

Some very important dates for your diaries:-

March 27th Thursday – Great sale of good quality and some designer clothes at La Sirene restaurant in Montaigu de Quercy.  Come along, look through, buy and have lunch too. If you have clothes to donate, contact me.  I hasten to add these are not the same clothes we sell at the Vide Grenier in August, much more classy !!

Easter Saturday – Our now famous and increasingly popular Book Sale at Lesley’s barn in Beliben.  Can’t read ? Then come for the VERY delicious home made cakes. (Hope Betsy and I have made up by then !!)

July 12th – Hog Roast at the Salle de Fetes in St. Pantaleon.

Hope to see you at ALL of the above !


Sue x

PS The pictures at the top are of our kitchen – I can’t seem to make them go next to the appropriate paragraph !




February 5, 2014

Tammy perduGali off to new homePhew, thank goodness for that, January is over.  Why does January feel so  l o n g and miserable ?  Possibly because of the absolutely horrid weather we are having, probably because of the bills coming in and for us here at Poorpaws because we had two very sad RIP’s.  One was our lovely little Tammy.  I found ginger Tammy wandering around in the middle of the main Montcuq/Cahors road a couple of years ago.  Nearly blind, nearly deaf, this little mite was surely lost.  However, after a poster campaign and all the usual searches, no-one came to claim her.  Had she been chucked out after a death or was it because that her favourite place was stuck to your legs even when you were walking around, very dangerous if she belonged to an elderly person ? It may even be that the foul example of a human being who  was responsible for the ten shotgun pellets in her thought that she had died.  Who knows, anyway she became my little darling and shadow.  She survived a major stomach operation thanks to the lovely Dr. Cros at Prayssac a year ago but a couple of weeks ago cancer got the better of her and she was sent peacefully to sleep.

Then I heard that Zac a beautiful Border Colley adopted from us some seven years ago was being beaten by leishmaniose.  This is such a cruel disease which dogs get from mosquitos.  If vaccinated before they get it they are safe but once they have it there is no hope and the end is heartbreaking.  Sleep happy Zac,  Christopher and Diane thank you for the happy memories.

So, lets get on to happier news.  Hmm, have to think !  Many adoptions, mostly of dogs who never made it to the website !  One very happy one was Barney a scruffy looking love who was rescued from a travellers’ camp.  When he got to us  he had a wire so tight round his neck that the vet had to operate to remove it.  But does Barney hold any grudges ?  Nope, he is just one lovely happy fellow.  Mr. and Mrs. White drove four hours to choose a dog.  In ten seconds they came, they saw and Barney conquered !!  I am not kidding you, a very long drive, they walked in, spied Barney and said that’s the one !  We offered to show others but no, their minds were made up and you can see Barney on the Happy Endings page.  Then there was Tilly a lovely little lady, not unlike my Tammy.  Tilly came with a broken tail but that didn’t put Mr. and Mrs Oaks off, Tilly was snapped up (oops, ouch, perhaps not the best word !) let’s say that she was given the thumbs up immediately and went off happily with Ossi.  We won’t mention that Ossi obviously would have preferred one of the little boys !!  Mustn’t forget Izzie, another one who had a long journey home but worth every kilometre !  You can see Izzie on the Happy Endings page too.

Another little pup has gone down to  the Cote d’Azur.  Ernst and I went down for a party to celebrate the 25 years of the Ship and Castle pub in Monte Carlo where I used to work and where I met Ernst. (Hmmm. !)  So little Hektor came too and his new owners are over the moon with him.

I have been asked to put on the website some very needy dogs who are coming over from India.  That is one country I would never want to visit, I just wouldn’t be able to cope with the poor animals there but I am more than happy to try to help from afar.  So, being unable to put the dogs ‘en bloc’ on our website, can I direct you to Doglinks website where you can see them and hopefully help.

I’m typing this quite early (for me) in order to get our news out there, but it  is very possible that I have forgotten something I wanted to tell you, so when you have a minute, pop back to see if I have added something !!

Also, if anyone sees the sun, tell him we are missing him !


Sue x

PS Added later.  Something wonderful happened after I had written the above, Gali went off to a new home which I know is gong to be great !  He deserves if after all he has been through.  You are on your way to happiness Gali AND to three new girlfriends !!  There is a photo of Gali ready to leave up at the top.  Sorry, I’m totally incapable of getting it in the right place !!

HAPPY NEW 2014 !!

January 2, 2014

Igloo's off !! Igloo’s off !!


Feeling slightly jaded as I write this, don’t know if it is an ‘age thing’ but I don’t seem to be able to cope with lots of socialising and all that goes with it, as well as I used to.  I love it that’s for sure but it seems to take longer to recover !!

Sadly we didn’t make it into the house for Christmas but we were able to host a Christmas Day drinks apero in there after I had Christmas decorated the kitchen and got the tree etc., up.  Sod’s law, Ernst went down with a ghastly cold just inches from the finishing line and wasn’t able to work for a while.  Strange, I had the same cold the week before but was able to carry on so long as I had plenty of early nights.  Hmm, man-flu obviously.  However, the great, really great, brilliant thing that has happened as a result of the man-flu ……..Ernst hasn’t smoked for over two weeks !!  This is someone who smoked at least a packet of cigarellos a day.  He had such coughing fits that I was sure I would have to take him to A and E so bad was the choking and I think that may have frightened him – it sure did me !!  Anyway, I’m not saying he has given up, don’t want to tempt fate, I’m just keeping my fingers crossed. 

He surpassed himself with my Christmas present.  Having told me on Christmas Eve that he hadn’t bought me a present ( I quite understand, he hadn’t had much time …………. only 364 xxxxx days since last Christmas !) he obviously dashed into Cahors and on Christmas Day I found a parfumerie bag with a Chanel packet in.  As my friend Lesley is a Chanel 5 girl, I assumed someone had left it for her.  But no, Ernst said it was for me.  I expressed surprise as I have never worn Chanel but Ernst insisted I had, then admitted that the salesgirl had told him.  It turns out he had gone to the shop and asked what was the last thing I had bought.  Yes, Chanel 5 body lotion….. BUT  FOR  LESLEY’S  BIRTHDAY !!!!  He now has on a little piece of paper in his wallet the names of my two favourite scents !

There was plenty of good dog news. Ixe the malamut/German Shepherd went off to a new home and the latest news is that although he requires a lot of education, things are going well.  Now called Iffi and this because before he went off to his new family there were  apparently lots of “If he” conversations !

Then there was the story of Harry and Sally, two very elderly Westies who were not living in very good conditions.  Suffice to say that they are now living in a cosy loving home and have even had a trip to the hairdresser.

Igloo goes off this week, his new owners are driving down from Normandy !!

Then I had my own personal “phew” moment.  A couple of weeks ago, to help Danielle out, we took in a desperately sad Pointer who had been ‘removed’ from her bastard owner who used her as a punch/kick ball.  She was so timid and frightened poor thing.  She came out on walks with us, on a lead, then as she gained confidence and realised a hand coming towards her meant a stroke and love rather than a clout, I let her off the lead.  She was so happy it brought tears to my eyes.  She would run around with Tega but always kept me in her sights.  On Boxing Day I let her off and she ran like a rocket off into the distance.  I didn’t worry as she was with another dog and they always come back at some time.  However that evening she hadn’t returned and nor had she the next morning although all the others had returned long ago.  By now I was beside myself.  I rang all the local hunt Présidents and all promised to keep an eye out. (nb. Although I hate hunting, I keep in with the hunters as they have helped me find dogs on several occasions.)  That afternoon one of the hunters called to say he had seen her in the next village the night before and had just seen her in between St. Pantaleon and Sauzet, but had not been able to catch her.  We shot up and drove around for an hour up and down all the lanes but to no avail.  The hunter was even there looking too and pointed out exactly where he had seen her.  We went home disappointed, then got another call from the hunter all excited, he had just seen her again at Cambayrac.  This was worrying as she was getting further away from us.  So, off we dashed again with torches and whistles – and sore throats from calling !  No success, so we returned again.  BUT, on the way home I left my jacket together with food and water, at one of the places she had been seen. (A tip from a hunter long ago.)  At about 10pm I returned and there she was on my jacket !!!!  Spooked by the car headlights she ran off but I walked around with the torch calling gently to her and I soon saw two little frightened eyes looking up at me through a bush.  She was curled up, tail right through her legs up to her nose, trembling, clearly waiting to be beaten.  I held her and cuddled her and managed to get her into the car.  She’s back to happy and confident now and will make someone a lovely, lovely companion.  Look out for her on the website.

Finally I have to thank all of you who sent the dogs such generous donations for Christmas.  I can hardly believe how so many of you remember us at such a busy time.  I would love to name you all but would be so scared of missing someone, but I will mention Oscar who was adopted from us many years ago and always sends us some of his pocket money.  Thanks to all of you I am going to buy some ‘squashy’ beds for our little oldies in the sales and some of the inmates will get a much need ‘shampoo and set’.  Thank, you, thank you, thank you !

Have a wonderful New Year, love your dogs and if you have room for another, well, you know where to come !!

Lots and lots of love and thanks to you,

Sue – and The Poorpaws Gang who are mostly unhomeable due to age or bad temper ( a bit like me !) Scoopy, Piglet, Kiki, Tammy, Tiny the Terrible Poodle (who gave me a nasty bite just before Christmas when I was bathing him !), Doucka, Rik, Ermine (the Pointer), Tega, Robbie, Ziggy, Lizzie, Lulu, Charly, Fargo and Caline. Plus the cats !




December 1, 2013

November was an up and down month for Poorpaws.  You will probably have read our special item on Sky the fabulous Rottie and we had our own RIP here.  Remember Jilly, ‘haven’t stopped barking yet’ ?  Well after a few months of calm and comfort Jilly turned into Jilly ‘haven’t stopped coughing yet’.  Two weeks of medication showed no improvement so she had an Xray.  This showed that Jilly’s heart had enlarged, more tumours had appeared and, the worst of all, she had cancer on the tracchea and in the lungs.  So, at her age there was no hope and I had to make the PTS decision.  This obviously broke my heart but I couldn’t let her suffer.  Happy Birthday me, but in another way, because of the date she will never be forgotten and thank goodness (and Lieke and Lesley) Jilly knew love and comfort before she died.

Another sad loss was Cheddar who had been on the website for a while.  Poor Cheddar was asleep in front of his house when two strangers somehow startled him and he bit them.  Sadly the people insisted that he too be PTS.  Now I’m not sure that anyone can insist on this without various tests being done, but in the chaos obviously things happened too quickly.  So, please, please, please, if you don’t know the dog, let sleeping dogs lie !!

Then there was the story of Bambi !  Get a cup of coffee for this one !!  Bambi was on the way back to the UK from Spain with her owners.  At Calais port the car door was opened just at the same time as an articulated lorry put on, or let off, his airbrakes.  The noise spooked Bambi and she was off.  Her owners spent hours driving round looking for her and finally had to take the last ferry home whilst their lift returned to Spain.  I got a plea for help and got in touch with the port dog pound, Bambi hadn’t been taken there.  Then the next day, great excitment I had a call from the pound to say someone had taken her in !!  Brilliant, then disaster, her passport had been left in the car which had returned to Spain !!  The passport was posted back to the UK but took time.  One person at the pound told me that if the passport was sent there they would arrange for the necessary flea treatment to be done so that her owners could do a return day trip to collect Bambi.  So the passport was posted to the pound and then someone else there told me they wouldn’t get the treatment done and the owners would have to go over themselves, thereby obliging them to stay three days in Calais.  So this is what happened and Bambi is finally reunited with her family.  Did I mention that the owners were also in the process of moving house ??!!Bambie

So, be warned and be prepared ! ALWAYS,  ALWAYS,  ALWAYS attach your dogs in your car.  Even if they are the most docile and obediant, the unexpected can happen.  I attach a lead to a loop in the back of the car (I think the loop secures the warning triangle cover) and attach the lead also to the dog.  I also put another lead attached to the dog so that you can release one knowing you are hanging on to the other.

Adoptions were good this month, Oscar, Faulk (now Very Happy Frankie), Italy and Roxanne went to good homes and Gary took up the lovely home that Caline refused.  Silly her and Lucky Gary !!

My good news is that we are frighteningly close to moving into our house !!  I have even ordered a new cooker – just as well I need somewhere to put my jumpers.

Thank you to all of you who through various Christmas Fairs are helping dogs in need and HUGE thank you to Hope Association for yet again sharing.

Have a lovely Christmas and a great New Year !

Sue x


November 17, 2013


Skye BErnst and I are very lucky in that we have wonderful friends and neighbours, Pat and Tony.  Pat and Tony in turn have a lovely daughter, Kelly, who lives in the UK.  About five years ago Kelly, her partner Phil and daughter Morgan, adopted Sky a year old Rottweiler.  This caused concern amongst family and friends as Rotties don’t have a very good press in England – well anywhere for that matter.  Everyone was proved wrong.  Sky was the most beautiful, gentle, obediant dog.  A gorgeous creature the size of a small bear with the character of a lamb.

Sky was truly a magical dog who touched many hearts.  Phil works with people with disabilities and Sky was so gentle with them.  Even those fearful of dogs, especially large ones, were drawn to her and were unafraid.  She proved that it is not dogs who are bad it is owners who make them so. 

A few days ago Sky was discovered to have a cancer that had gone through the bone of one of her legs and into her lung.  She was in great pain and no-one could bear to see her suffer.  So this wonderful animal was put to sleep on the 15th November leaving broken hearts lying all around.  Sky was loved, adored and admired by anyone who came into contact with her (well apart from the squirrels !) and is missed dreadfully.  Run now without pain Sky sweetie, there must have been a huge welcoming party there in doggy heaven to welcome you, our loss is their gain and you will never be forgotten.Skye

NOVEMBER 3rd 2013

November 3, 2013



Your Barn Book Sale Team ! Your Barn Book Sale Team !

It was great, the weather was great and you were wonderful !!  Thank you sooo much to all who came along to support us and to those who couldn’t, hopefully next time ?  We have never had so many people which was really super as we had serious competition on that day !  You donated wonderful books  (albeit as with the clothes sale there are obviously those who don’t get the ‘in good condition and saleable’ concept !) which added to our good reputation so much so that we had requests to visit the day before from some who were unable to come on the day.  The cakes were just as yummy as ever, our Quercy Cake Queens pulled out all the stops and by 2pm there wasn’t a single cake crumb left (even all my ginger cake went !) so huge apologies to those who came later, we have already put the wheels in motion to ensure more goodies for next time.  Of course there are special thank yous, firstly to Lesley who yet again put her lovely barn and garden at our disposal,  to the gang who gave up their Wednesday afternoon to help sort hundreds of books (I won’t name them all for fear of forgetting someone and losing them for the next event !) to Tony who was indispensable taking and sorting the many books brought along on the day, and to our saviour Gary who, after we have cherry picked the left overs, takes the rest.  We raised a fabulous 1,500 euros half of which will be shared between Poorpaws, Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs, the Rescue Refuge at Castlenau Montratier and the other half will go to cancer research.  Thank you, thank you, thank you !!

Yummy !! Yummy !!

Lots of adoptions in October, Iriane, now Kelli, the little black lab type pup ,now called Indy, see her on the Happy Endings page, Geronimo, Igor and lastly Caline who went to a wonderful home a week ago …………………….and came back yesterday !!  Silly girl Caline, a perfect, perfect home for her and what did she do ?  Went into a depression !  All her life Caline has been with lots of other dogs, first in a hunting pack where she was asked to leave as she is gun shy, then here at Poorpaws where she proved herself a gorgeous affectionate young lady.  Her prospective owners loved her and did everything to make her happy, but no, she turned into a nervous mess and spent most of her time hiding under the bed.  So I took her back yesterday and when we got home she leapt out of the car and bounced up the driveway dashing left and right to say hallo to everyone.  Then today she had an epilectic fit.  So, we now know she needs a home with another dog, more if possible and with someone who is not going to worry about the fits.

Djerk has also been adopted apparently.  I just love it when people beg for help to find a new home for a dog, then don’t have the common decency to let you know when the dog is sorted.  I had an enquiry for Djerk so happily rang the guy only to be told he had homed the dog “way back in the Summer”.  Thanks a bunch, my description of the owner on the website was obviously spot on !

A couple of days ago I was told about a poor dog tied up out in the countryside nowhere near any houses.  Lesley and I went to have a look and indeed there is a lovely dog tied to a tree with a ramshackle kennel beside him with no company except for three horses in the field.  The chain he is on, which is way below regulation length, was so tangled round the tree that the poor thing couldn’t even get to his kennel or his bowl of rotten green water.  The owner has been traced and when I spoke to her to see if she would like to rehome the dog she replied “oh no, I really love him”.  Words fail me, well actually they don’t but I cannot print them.  So at least we now know about the poor animal we can do everything possible to make his life a bit more bearable – he already looked so happy when we stuffed his kennel full of the bale of straw we had taken along.

Can’t believe it is already nearly two months since I left work – when did I ever have the time to go there ?!  Ernst and I had a wonderful week on the Il de Ré as usual, then his cousin came to stay, which meant that we had to move back into the bedroom in the mobile home.  We had a lovely time with her here and I saw more of Cahors in five days than I have in twelve years !  Now my friend Sue is coming over to help me celebrate my “when I’m 64” birthday and we have a very busy few days lined up.  I’ll probably need to lie down until Christmas after that.  Christmas !  Yikes !  If you need to top up on cards I have some for sale, in aid of the dogs, at the English Library in Montaigu de Quercy and on rain-free Saturdays I will be selling at the market there.  It was funny yesterday as people kept coming up to me saying “got any Christmas cards ?” and I’d get out the boxful behind my stand.  I felt as if I was selling illegal substances !

Enjoy the rest of this wonderful Indian summer and get reading so you can bring the books back for the next sale.  Oh, by the way if anyone bought a book about Brigitte Bardot, can they let me buy it back when they have read it ?  I promised a friend I’d put it by for her ….. and promptly forgot !


Sue x


October 1, 2013


Hmm, 1st October – Happy Birthday brother Phil !

Well it’s over !  My horrid Summer job has finally come to an end and I am free !  Well actually I’ve been free since the 15th September and have had a great fun week on the Cote d’Azur with friends Sue, Jan and ‘Ouisa (Louise).  We had nothing but really hot sunshine which was a good excuse to do very little except laze around the pool, read, and play cards.  Isn’t it lovely that when you are on holiday it always seems to be aperitif time ?!  The week got off to a giggly start when I bought a new mobile ‘phone, plugged it in to charge up whilst we played cards, then was surprised three hours later to find it wasn’t working.  I started off on one, casting curses  at the thieving supermarket ‘without a mother’ where I had bought it.  Then one of the girls asked mildly if I had put the battery in it.  Battery ? What battery ?  Surely it wasn’t for me to put the battery in, it should already be in there !!  Apparently not but never mind, luckily they were all there to get it up and running for me.  I learned how to text but it takes me for ever just to send a very short text and anyone nearby has their ears assaulted by expletives and deletives ! 

Motillons et moiWhilst I was down there I went to visit Holly, one of the loves of my life, in her new home, along with her ‘brothers’ Hector and Houston who also came from Poorpaws.  I was happy (and a little sad) to find that Holly only had eyes for her new owners and couldn’t have cared less if I was there or not.  You will see in the photo that I have to hold her collar to keep her near me but she is staring adoringly at Olivia.  There’s faithfulness for you !!  Seriously, she, and Hector and Houston just could not have fallen into better hands. 

You will see from the adoptions page and the missing photos that September was a great month and very many dogs went off to lovely new homes.  A couple of new ones and there will be more, including a Boxer for you Boxer fans.

I think several of you know that I sell greetings cards at the market at Montaigu Market (and at the English Library there).  I buy them in bulk from the UK and am able to sell them at just 1 euro each.  Well I just wanted to mention here a lovely lady called Hayley who I ordered a number of cards from.  When Hayley learned what I wanted them for, she threw in several packs free and made a HUGE reduction on postage.  Thank you Hayley, you are obviously a lovely person and you can be sure I will order from you again.

Someone has pointed out to me that I should mention the website  If you find or have lost a dog, take a look at this site as many dogs have been reunited with their owners as a result.

VERY  IMPORTANT !!  In the last newsletter I mentioned that our Autumn Book Sale would be on the 19th October.  However, due to the fact that our Quercy Cake Godess will be in the UK then, we have changed the date to the 26th.  So we do hope you will be able to come along, usual place, Lesley’s Barn at Beliben, Sauzet, usual time 10 am to 3pm, usual price, 1 euro per book, 1 euro per dvd and usual yummy cakes, tea and coffee.  We are collecting books now, so get in touch 0565245303 if you want us to collect.  It is better for us to have them the week before so that we have a couple of days to sort but obviously you are welcome to bring them along on the day.

Ernst and I are off to our beloved Ile de Ré on the 5th for a week. I know, I know, but he deserves a holiday too .  From the look of the weather forecast  I shouldn’t have been so mean when buying my last pair of walking boots and should have forked out a bit (well, actually a LOT) more for the waterproof ones !!

See you at the Book Sale !


Sue x 


August 31st 2013

August 31, 2013


It has been a long hot month !  Hours at work have been very long and tempers very short !!  Boy was I ever wrong about the new owners at the Auberge !  He is ok but she is ………….. well, ‘she who must be obeyed’ and woe betide you if you don’t !  After shedding tears of anger on the way home on several occasions having been totally unfairly ‘got at’ I decided just to go with the flow and gave myself a strict talking to.  Only six weeks to go (now two !) and I am out of there FOR  GOOD.  Apparently I am “slow” (I am twenty years older than the others !), “lethargic” and if I didn’t want to work I shouldn’t have asked for work !!  This after I made a backhand comment after being told that I had to work on my night off, therefore couldn’t go to my friend’s 60th birthday party, because the girl who does work on that night was going to a wedding !!  However, what goes round comes around and there was a wonderful moment a week or so ago when one of the clients took the the owner for my mother !!!!  She is six years younger than me.  I didn’t dare laugh, she heard but I thought it prudent to pretend I hadn’t !!

Vide Grenier 2013 001 (3)On a much happier note our clothes stall at the Montcuq Vide Grenier, was, as ever, a huge success and a huge thank you to all of you who parted with really great clothes for us to sell.  As for those who didn’t quite understand “clean and saleable”, well, we have saved you a trip to the tip, which is perhaps what you wanted !  We made 540 euros which is about 80 down on last year explained by the fact that it rained in the afternoon so we had to close down earlier.  Ernst only had to take five bags to Emmaus on Monday compared to 13 last year.  Thanks as ever to Danielle and Lesley for giving up your Sunday to work so hard whilst I stood around and chatted !!

The next sale is on 12th September at La Sirene restaurant at Montaigu de Quercy, (close to the Post office) on Thursday 12th September.  This time we are selling new and nearly new designer and nearly designer clothes at bargain prices.  Armani and YSL are only a couple of the labels on sale so come along from 11 am to 2pm, have coffee and cake, or even better lunch and make a girls’ day of it.

Make a wish ! Make a wish !

Those of you who have been following Poorpaws news for a few years may remember Scoop.  Scoop was one of the first dogs Poorpaws took from the Carcassonne SPA.  He had been there for a long time and had just given up on being adopted.  Going from jumping happily when people walked by to just laying down and not showing any interest, seeming to understand that he wouldn’t be chosen.  (Oh no, I’m crying again !)  Well after being at Poorpaws for a while enjoying being in a much smaller refuge, Scoop was chosen by Mr. Vanucci (see them on the Happy Endings page) had a name change to Teddy  and has just celebrated his seventh birthday in style with cake and champagne !

Make mine a big bit ! Make mine a big bit !

A story to encourage you, if you need encouraging, to get your dog chipped (and I always recommend putting your telephone number on your dog’s collar).  A friend of mine recently lost her little dog who had run off with the neighbour’s dog.  This had happened before and she always came back, however my friend had recently moved.  I contacted the refuge in Cahors and a few days later received by email a photo of my friend’s dog asking if it was her’s.  Then the fun started !  The dog wasn’t actually at the refuge but was with some holiday makers who had found her.  I got the number and eventually made contact.  Yes they had found the dog but “another lady” had taken her.  It turned out the neighbour’s dog was chipped so contact was made rapidly.  When the neighbour went to collect her dog she saw my friend’s and said that as they couldn’t find the owner, she would take her too !!  So, for the last few days, my friend’s dog had been living just 300 metres down the road !  She was quickly recuperated – much to the chagrin of the neighbour’s children – and the following day I took her to get her chipped.  Even more of a coioncidence, the receptionist at ‘my’ vets recognised the little dog as the holiday makers had taken her there to check for the chip in the first place !!  So, if you don’t want your dog living down the road, get him/her chipped !!

Not a huge number of adoptions this month, August is always slow, so the Adoptions page is quite long.  something for everyone I believe though.

We’ll be having our Autumn Book Sale in October – probably the 19th – so get sorting !  Out with the Summer poolside reads and in with the Autumn fireside warmers !

I’m off on 18th September  with mates Sue, Louise and Jan, down, as usual to the Cote d’Azur for a week of cards, reading, general lazing and perhaps a glass or two.  Ernst will be holding the fort here happy to be free to Suduko all day !!


Sue x

August 3rd 2013

August 3, 2013


No, I’m NOT going to moan about the heat !!  I love it !  I love feeling the sun get warmer as I walk the dogs in the early morning – the only time possible at the moment – and I love sitting outside in the warmth of the evening enjoying a glass of cold rosé before going to bed.  The dogs sleep all day in the shade of trees, bushes or their kennels and don’t even want to go out.  Old Rik our 15 year old German Shepherd has to be dragged out of the stifling heat of the mobile home across the garden to the cool building which will one day – ha ha – be our house.

Of course there are downsides, work is ghastly !  Serving tables at 35° is not pleasant, certainly not for me and I wonder about the poor customers having someone with the face as red as a beetroot trying to take the order before the perspiration drips down the side of the face.  How can people eat cassoulet in these températures ?!

I give here my annual plea,  PLEASE don’t drag your poor dogs round fetes, vide greniers and other such manifestations.  It is pure torture for them, leave them at home in the cool and whatever you do, don’t take them and leave them in the car.  Someone tied up his dog to a tree behind me in the market the other day whilst he went shopping.  The poor animal was in direct sunshine and gratefully gulped down the water I and my market neighbour gave him.  Of course, big mouth me couldn’t not give the guy a piece of my mind when he came back and I got the expected response – “mind your own business” !!   I’d love to have tied him to the tree for half an hour.


It has been an up and down month for me.  Adoptions have gone well. Boy do I miss Ivor and have to stop myself calling every day to see how he is doing.  Very finely apparently.  On the other hand, there have been many abandons.  I got four calls in one day about various dogs .  This was towards the end of a very stressful week and I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t behave well and risked losing a friendship I hold very dear.  Luckily we have come through it due solely to my friend being an absolute brick and very understanding. 

I did agree to take in a very old Brittany Spaniel who was found in Montcuq.  This was only because there was a space left when our Sukie died.  12year old Jilly, as I have called her (in memory of a darling dog owned by the friend mentioned above -yes I know, crawler !) came to us with tumours, a hernia and a severe heart murmour, so I was expecting a feeble old thing.  Not so !  She celebrated her arrival by coming on heat immediately and, remember the song “Haven’t stopped dancing yet” ?  well, substitute barking for dancing and that is Jilly !!


Dear Aunty Betty, the 93 mother of my very best friend, died in July so I went over for the funeral.  A very sad occasion but one which gave me the opportunity to stay with my ‘old’ mate Shelagh.  Shelagh and I worked together at Lloyds Bank in the seventies and have remained friends ever since.  We had a lovely couple of days together and I revisited Leigh Broadway which has changed slightly (!) and is now a haven of lovely little shops and eating places.  I was amazed that we could go out to eat at 3pm !!  Can’t think of anywhere you could do that here – except Macdonalds I suppose !  The flight over was a bit nervewracking.  We were all on the ‘plane by 9 am and trundled off to the runway where we got faster and faster and faster and then ………a strange vibration and screech of brakes !  Back to the terminal where we were told there was an unexplained problem and another ‘plane would come over from Dublin or England for us.  Ten minutes later a delighted pilot said the problem had been identified ( wonky front wheel prop) and a local technician could fix it.  Well, I don’t want to be mean but I kind of would have preferred another aircraft !!  Then we didn’t have enough fuel – having kept the air conditioning running – then we missed our departure slot, so we finally took off at 11.30 when I decided that it was past coffee time and had a bottle of wine instead to calm my nerves.

A little bit of advice, if you go to a really splendid village fete – at Trebaix for instance – and don’t get home until 4.30 am, give your ten o’clock Pilates class a miss and definitely don’t go to an eightieth birthday lunch – you’ll feel  absolutely awful, end up parting company with your lunch and crawling into bed at 4.30 in the afternoon !! 

We are still collecting clothes for the sale at Montcuq vide grenier, so get in touch if you have any.  Please, please, please, clean saleable clothes only !!

Oh yes, cats !!!  I’ve had lots of calls about cats and kittens and am sorry to say I can’t help you, but Lynn at Chats du Quercy will be happy to so please call her for ANY advice or information.   0563947397.

Finally, a very Happy Birthday to Pat and to Gabi who will both be joining me in the sixties this month !!


Sue x




2ND JULY 2013

July 2, 2013

July 2nd and is that the sun I see up there in a blue sky ????  Welcome back, lovely to see you, it’s been far too long !!!

I should have written this yesterday but have to admit to being glued to the television for Wimbledon.  Poor Laura, she so nearly made it and well done Andy.  Also well done Sabine Lsicki (spelling ?), the German girl who put out Serena.  What I really love about Lsicki is that she actually SMILES during a match !  All the other players are so, so serious, well of course it is serious for them; but how lovely to see someone who looks as if she is actually enjoying playing.  Takes me back to the good old Chris Evert, Martina, Connors and McEnroe days.  Well perhaps McEnroe didn’t smile too much but he was entertaining and he has turned into a really great person and an excellent commentator.

Very remiss of me last month not to mention friends Pat Lockett and Pat Norton-Angus who organised a  second hand designer clothes sale for Poorpaws.  We netted 300 euros and the dogs are eating again.  Joke !  Thank you so much Pat and Pat, I look forward to the Autumn sale now.

On the subject of clothes, it is time to sort out all your clothes ready for the Poorpaws second hand clothes sale at the Montcuq vide grenier at the end of August.  We always have a great selection of clothing and hope we will do so again this year.  You may not have yet put your winter woolies away and as you have been wearing them for longer than usual this year, you are probably fed up with them, so send them our way.  You’ll only have time to wear your new Summer stuff, so we might as well take the old off your hands !  Clothes can be delivered to me at Montaigu de Quercy market on a Saturday morning (warn me first to make sure I have room in the car), or to me here in St. Pantaleon, or we will be happy to collect – so long as you are not in Paris !!  Please, no underwear or paint spattered t-shirts.  We sell clean, rewearable clothes and any not sold will go to Emmaus.

A couple of R.I.P’s this month.  Our dear old black Lab Sukie developed an inoperable tumour and went over the rainbow a couple of weeks ago.  Sukie came to us about five years ago (then called Sikie if you ever did !) from a horrid git who gave me a cock and bull sob story, which I believed, promising to come and walk her regularly, bring us vegetables from his garden and regular payments.  I should have seen the pigs flying by, we had two donations of 20 euros and from then on all we heard was stories he was spreading about me saying he had given me 200 euros to take Sukie !!!  She was happier with us and turned from an ailing old girl with hardly any fur, to a fine and dandy elderly lady who lived into her 15th year.  Sleep tight sweetie and I forgive you (almost) for the cat !!

Then there was Dylan.  I never met Dylan but his owner told me all about him when she got in touch after finding a stray.  Michelle said she couldn’t possibly keep the stray (happily his owner was found) as Dylan just DID NOT accept newcomers.  He was one lucky dog who  would have spent a very long time in a refuge and probably PTS for being unhomeable.  A category cross dog who was totally unsociable and scary I hope he appreciated how Michelle put her life on hold for him.  The story I love is the one where Michelle was advised to get a dog behaviourist to visit Dylan and give advice how to handle and socialise him.  The guy went in, put Dylan down on his back straight away and tickled his tummy.  Then he stood up and said “see we are friends”.  That’s when Dylan bit him.  I’m not sure if it was the indignity of being put on his back or just teaching the guy a lesson.  Anyway Dylan spent his life in a wonderul park and being walked very carefully by Michelle.  Old age was the only thing that got the better of him.  I hope you’re happy Dylan and be nice to Sukie, she has been known to get annoyed too !!

Regulars to the Poorpaws website will know that I have a tendance to rant and rave sometimes.  Well, here comes one.  Leeanne and Mike who run Twilight Retirement Home are just about the kindest people I know – in fact I think it’s because their hearts are so big that we haven’t seen the sun much lately !  Leeanne and Mike, not in the best of health themselves are totally selfless devoting all their time and money to looking after the canine oldies.  So when I hear of people criticising them for taking a much deserved break thanks to the generosity of Mum, it makes me want to hit someone.  Leeanne won’t tell me who the person is but if by any chance he or she is reading this,  know that I consider you a total shite.

On a brighter side, as I said in last month’s news, I’m back working at the Auberge de la Tour in Sauzet for the Summer and wow, what a difference !!  I can confirm that new owners are lovely.  Friendly and welcoming to customers – we’re not used to that at the auberge ! – and the food is great, much better than before.  So do come along without fear , I really want them to do well, they deserve it.  If you want to avoid me I work Saturday evenings, and Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday lunchtimes and evenings.

So, dogs !  Quite a few adoptions and great news that the owners of Dixie and Koko have decided they can’t bear to be parted from them, move to a smaller house in UK or not.  I couldn’t be happier.  Lots of lovely very needy dogs on the Adoptions page, I’d love Ivor to find a new home very soon, he is bored with the old ones here and needs a younger playmate, he’s a super boy.  Take a look at the Adoptions even if you don’t think you want a dog now and look at the ‘Dog’s Will’, if it doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, as I’ve said before, you probably need help !!!

Back to the tennis now, have a great July,

Sue x

31st May 2013

May 31, 2013

Rainbow (2)

Our lovely neighbours Paul and Wynn took this fantastic photo of our place under the rainbow.  We just love it and I thought I’d change my name to Dorothy !  One very close ‘friend’ thought perhaps Wicked Witch of the West !!!  This absolutely ghastly weather has produced some beautiful skies and rainbows but I think we are all agreed that a bit of sunshine wouldn’t go amiss.  I don’t even want to think about the fact that the days start getting shorter in about three weeks time !!!

As expected, it was tears before bedtime when we left Holly at her new home.  We spent a lovely evening with the Motillon family who threw a barbecue in Holly’s honour.  Houston and Hector two previous Poorpaws were rather overwhelmed at first when the whirlwind that is Holly swept in and was immediately crouching before them saying “come on let’s play NOW” and very soon the three of them were charging around having the best of time.  Every now and then Holly would come over to me, place her head on my knees to tell me what a fab time she was having and why was I crying ?!  She was taken into the house whilst we left and I cried all the way home.  We were invited back before the end of our holiday but I thought it best to let her get on with her new lovely owner Pierrick rather than confuse her – and upset me again !!  But it is better for her to be there having fun with young folk and young dogs.  She has charmed her way into everyone’s heart – even the mother-in-law who doesn’t like dogs lets her into her room for a cuddle.   An older dog who lives there (this is an extended family !) and who doesn’t take to other dogs, is completely under her spell and Hector and Houston who refused to bark when strangers arrived were astonished when Holly took command and, refusing to be outdone by a girl, are now doing a fantastic warning system job alongside her.  So be happy my baby and I’ll see you hopefully in September.

Holly ne home and Danielle's dogs 001

Of course other things have happened this month !!  The little Yorkie (dog, not bar !) was very quickly homed and hasn’t stopped dancing yet, Lola too and Hayley and Xena will very shortly be off to greener grass.

I would just like to mention that there are several dogs on the website who have been there for ages and who are still looking for homes.  these are Java, Lovely Chap and Sugar, all three still at the refuge les Oublies de Saint Beart at Castelsarrasin.  So please spare a thought for them, they have been waiting sooooooooooo long.  In fact this weekend 1/2/June there is a two day Open House at the refuge so why no go along to see if you can’t offer a home to a new pal ?  To find the refuge look for the signs to the Dechetterie and the refuge is next door.

Sometimes when people call enquiring about a dog, they almost with embarrassment, say that they already have a dog “from the opposition”.  This means they have adopted from Pheonix, or Hope or Carcassonne or any one of the, thankfully, many refuges there are around now.  I would just like to say that there is no competition between refuges, any dog homed is a success for all of us whoever signs the paperwork.  Proof of this could have been seen at at the Dolce Vita restaurant in Villeréal on the 28th May when Sheelagh of Pheonix and I had a wonderful lunch, a great laugh and a few tears (Sheelagh, like me is a huge cry-baby).  It was so lovely to see her again after a couple of years when we never seemed to be able to co-ordinate dates.  I took my little 93 year old friend too and she can’t wait for next time !

I started back at work last Sunday and the new owners of the Auberge seem very nice to work with – and the food is better too !!  I start properly on the 15th June to the 15th Septmber, by which time I’ll be ready for another week away !!

Lets hope that in the next newsletter I’ll be complaining about the hot weather !!!

Sue x

MAY 2nd 2013

May 2, 2013


Oops, a bit late this month, this week has been hectic.  Or perhaps I was putting it off because there isn’t too much good news.

Max, who I told you about last month, sadly only had a very short stay at Twilight.  But at least he ended his days surrounded by the love and warmth that only Leeanne and Mike know how to give.  I was criticised for taking Max away from the refuge where he had been for twelve years, some said he should have been left in an environment he knew.  Well I’m sorry, I’m the first to say that dogs shouldn’t be treated like humans and should stay in their ‘doggy place’ but I believe that Max deserved to feel grass under his feet and a warm cosy bed indoors.  Also, my friend Didi says that dogs have no notion of time, so hopefully Max will have left thinking he had always been in the paradise for dogs that is Twilight.

Then there is the story of poor Raspberry and Widdle.  Very many people helped in finding these two a foster home (Didi again was involved) down south.  Their poor distraught owner had to be scraped off the floor when she left them.  Sadly it has been found that little Widdle seems to have something seriously wrong with him, perhaps even a broken neck.  His owner had suspected something for a long time but TWO vets had told her there wasn’t a problem.  He will see a specialist vet and a decision will be made.  We cannot leave him to live in pain at such a young age – well, at any age of course.  Raspberry is still looking for a home.

I would here like to mention a great organisation called chienicietailleurs.  These are the people who came to our aid for Raspberry and Widdle.  They do a great job rescuing dogs from all over, including the Ile de Reunion such terrible things are done to stray dogs that I can’t even bear to type it.  Do look at their website to see the lovely dogs they have seeking homes.

I fear I may be the one being scraped off the floor when I take Holly down to the lovely Motillon family, who already adopted Houston and Hector.  This is one beautiful dog who has stolen my heart.  I would only part with her to a spcial family and, luckily, the Motillons tick all the boxes.  Mind you, Holly is missing out on a holiday in the Pyrenees !  Our friends and neighbours who were going to look after her whilst we are on holiday were going to take her and their dog, Oscar, ( also a Poorpaws) to the mountains for a couple of days.  Sorry babe !

So yes, Ernst and I are off down to Cap d’Ail for a week and I can’t wait, maybe there will be that strange thing there called “sunshine”.  We normally go in October after I have finished work for the season, but as I’m not working yet, and our friends couldn’t make October this year,  we decided to go earlier.  Instead, I’m starting work when I get back !!  The new owners of the Auberge where I worked for eight years, have asked me to go back for June, July and August.  Only part time, but it’s something .

So that’s about it for now, if I think of anything else I’ll add it on.  Oh yes, knew there was something.  Please be careful when buying squeaky toys for your dogs.  To dogs it is something in distress and risks betraying the whereabouts of ‘the pack’ and should be destroyed.  I had the experience once when walking our dogs, our little Bichon, Piglet, hurt her paw and squealed in pain.  Immediately the other dogs who knew and loved her, turned on her and I only just avoided a ghastly situation.  If you have young children they may have squeaky toys so I don’t need to point out the obvious dangers.  Please remove the ‘squeaks’ !!

Slapper Gania’s pups are on the adoption page and we think we’re pointing the parental father finger at Marius the Beagle !!

Back in June when I’ll be back at work, so the sun is bound to shine !!





April 1st 2013

April 1, 2013

Book Sale 012Book Sale 013

It didn’t just rain. It poured. It tipped it down. It chucked buckets. Plus, for good measure there were periodic gusty wind attacks. But, were we downhearted ? No ! Nor were you. You pulled on wellies, dived into mackintoshes and rammed everything from rainhats to plastic bags on your heads and made our Easter Barn Book Sale the Very Best Ever !!!!! We are still very tiny compared to the Pheonix and Hope booksales so I will leave adjectives like ‘Bonster’ and ‘Bumper’ to them, but by golly you did us proud. We raised 1,330 euros which will be split between cancer research and Poorpaws, plus various dog rescue organisations. Thank you, thank you and thank you again.
Book Sale 015 Book Sale 011

We were really happy to see two Previous Poorpaws, the simply gorgeous Harper who is living up to all my expectations and who is the delight of his owners who don’t for one minute regret taking a boy instead of a girl. Then our ‘walnut chomper’ Polly who was in ‘no photos please’ mode ! Polly has lost seven kilos – and so has her proud owner. Well done both !!


Dog rescue can be very disheartening at times but every now and then there is a story which raises your hopes. Such is the story of Max. An eagle-eyed dog rescue supporter surfing rescue websites, noticed that Max had been in the refuge at Digne for TWELVE years. Yes, TWELVE. The word was immediately out, Max was in his dotage, deaf, practically blind and several people were determined that he should not end his days in the refuge. The angels, otherwise known as Leeanne and Mike, at Twilight said that they would take him just as soon as a place became available and could someone else take him meantime. My beloved Houston and Hector were off to a forever home which meant I had a park free and meant that Max would transfer from a town refuge to a smaller one where he would have the company of other dogs and the freedom of a garden, so the transfer of lifestyle would not been too traumatic. But, how to get him from Dignes ? Ernst and I were on our way to the Cote d’Azur for a family event and taking Hector and Houston to their new home. Great Poorpaws supporters Didi and Jean François who live down there, offered to make the trop to Dignes and pick up Max so we could take him back. With great foresight they picked him up a few days earlier which was lucky as the road was closed after a landslide the day they were due to go. (See ? Max really was meant to get out of there !). We brought Max home with us but it was obvious that he was very doddery and that he would stress in a park hearing other unfamiliar dogs barking and not being able to see them. So, our old German Shepherd, Rik, was ousted from his bedroom in our mobile home and we made Max a home there. The first evening he got lost in our large garden and I was running around with a torch only to find him stuck behind the wood pile. Max doesn’t ‘do’ reverse !! He regularly got stuck underneath chairs and half way in and out of the dog flap, just standing patiently, waiting to be released.

VLUU L310W L313 M310W / Samsung L310W L313 M310WLuckily for Max, but sadly for Twilight who mourn every death, a space became available and I took Max to Montayral to meet up with Paul who was going up to Twilight. I was sad to see him go (Rik was delighted !) but just know that Twilight is the best place for him. Leeanne sends regular updates and he has settled in well, as you can see. Max will end his days knowing great love, warmth and comfort. Bless you Twilight.

So what has been happening here ? Well, I finally receive dole money (yeah !) but find that getting another job is proving much more difficult than I imagined. Possibly because I am older now !! Still, I seem to be busy all the time and look forward to the time when I don’t need to look for a job !!

On the dog front there is good, bad and unexpected news !! We’ve had a couple of ‘returns’ where dogs who behaved jolly well with Danielle have been such rascals in their new homes that they have come back. My beloved Houston and Hector are having a great life on the Cote d’Azur as is Hinza who is living in Monte Carlo – get her !! The unexpected ? Well, remember three legged Gania ? The little slapper presented her new owners with six puppies last week. We were mortified and are still trying to work out who the daddy is. Gus, the Jack Russell ? Marius the Beagle ? Time will tell. Never mind, in two months time there will be six beautiful pups looking for homes !

I need to remind you that dogs are not allowed to roam off lead in woods and forests from 15th April to 30th June.  This is because the wildlife will be having their young and therefore will be vulnerable.  If you think that is all twaddle, imagine being eight months pregnant and having to run for your life from a predator .  Hmm, not so silly after all is it ?!!!   Please, please go along with this and keep your dogs on leads.  We love living in the country and are lucky to do so, therefore we should abide by the rules.

Have a great April – you never know, the sun might shine !!


Sue x



MARCH 28th 2013

March 4, 2013

Note added 28.03.

I shouldn’t be such a smartxxse.

One Poorpaws supporter pointed out to me this morning that the March newsletter had disappeared !!!

Help ! Straight on the ‘phone to Colin who found it for me. I had inadvertantly trashed it !!

If the cap fits etc., etc; !!

MARCH 4th 2013

Well, hey look at me !! This is the first time I have updated the website all on my own ! Obvious if you look at the adoptions page – what do I mean IF you look at it ?! – of course you will. Not too clever at changing the photo sizes, the pups appear almost lifesize. Methinks I need another lesson Colin !!

Snow has gone, hopefully and we have been treated to some gorgeous sunshine. This will come to an end, for me, on the 6th as I am going down to the Cote d’Azur and the forecast down there is rain. We are going just for a couple of days for a family/friends occasion to spread the ashes of Ernst’s sister and I’m ashamed to say I’m looking forward to it. I fly down on Wednesday and Ernst left this morning in the car with four, yes FOUR dogs who are all going to new homes down there, one (Hinza, renamed Zucca) even going to live in Monte Carlo !! It’s funny sometimes how coincidences happen. We had a request from a couple who live in Monaco who give their present dog very long daily walks and weekends in the country, then a request for Demo from Roquebrune which is just next door to Monaco and then, the icing on the cake, friends of friends just above Monaco fell in love with Hector and Houston so they were bundled in at the last minute. I had grown so, so fond of those two that I had a huge lump in my throat as they were driven off.

Four away and four new babes on the adoption page, something for everyone !

Easter coming up and so is our Spring Book Sale. Saturday 30th March at the usual place, Lesley’s Barn in Beliben. Come along to drop off all your Winter reading and pick up your Summer lit. All books and dvd’s at one euro each, plus the usual delicious home made cakes and, I am sure, hot cross buns. I’ll be sending out an information email, but in case you are not on the list, do not hesitate to call or email me for full details. If you cannot come, but have books/dvd’s to donate – in fact even if you are coming but have things to donate – let us know an, if you are not too far, we can collect.

I’m not going to gabble on too much this month in case I press the ‘print’ button only to find that
all has disappeared !

Still looking for a job but hope to have good news on that score soon and still not receiving any dole money. How long can it take for the French pension people to confirm that I’m not in receipt of a French pension yet ?! I was “advised” to attend an employment forum a few weeks ago, so I went along. However, they wouldn’t have me in the French Foreign Legion or the Army or Police, so I left !!

Enjoy the sunshine and don’t forget the book sale !

Sue x

February 2013

February 4, 2013

Well wasn’t the snow fun – I don’t think !!! Yes very beautiful but then you get idiots like me “I’ve lived in Switzerland, I can drive on snow” who go out, get 200 yards down the road and whump ! Great big grinding halt !! Luckily there was a very nice young man in an ambulance taxi in front of me who had also got stuck and he managed to turn my car round and I limped home feeling very foolish. What I forgot was that in Switzerland, before you’ve got your feet out of bed, the roads have been practically cleared and it looks as though the snow has only fallen either side.

As for the rain, well “ENOUGH” I cry !! Fine if you’ve got a house and can shut yourself in by the fire, but no fun in an old leaky mobile home with a bedroom in the house across the garden with mud in between. I’ve given up cleaning the floor only for it to be covered in muddy paw prints two minutes later. Spending the time getting on the outside of a nice cold glass of white is much more productive.

Even though I’m still not working – or receiving dole money, thank you Mme X at Pole Emploie, I hope you’re out of work one day then you may be more pleasant to people like me. In fact, don’t you realise that it is thanks to people like me that you are in work !!! – I seem to be busy every day. Doubt that I’ll get a job before the Summer now, 63 is not a good age to be looking for work in a foreign country. Also I’m really worried that my memory is going. I was in Montcuq the other day when a lovely young lady came up to me to say hallo. I looked at her puzzled then realised she was Eloise, the lovely girl who used to pester people in her mother’s bookshop to put coppers in the Poorpaws collecting tin ! When did she go from being six and wearing pink to a teenager in black and grey ?! I asked her how her friend was who adopted one of Kirby’s pups and she said “you can ask her, she’s standing next to me !!” Chimera (a great shop, do go there and browse through the hundreds of cheap books when you are in Montcuq) still has the Poorpaws collecting tin and when I counted out all the bits and bobs last week there was an wonderful 35 euros in there. Thank you so much.

We had a panic this weekend when I got up, later than usual as it was Sunday, to find that Kirby has escaped in the night and her pups had followed. Crisis ! I had no idea when they had left. One of the pups was found crying on the other side of the fence trying to get back, but the other remaining unadopted two were nowhere to be seen. I got Ernst up and we spent the next hour driving and walking in different directions looking for them, without success. I was in floods of tears – those who know me know that I cry very easily, don’t ever talk to me about Bambi or Balou from the Jungle Book ( yes I know he didn’t actually die but you don’t know that at first ). Then Ernst spotted the runaways all at the top of the plateau opposite our house. He whistled and I raced over the road, down the ditch, through the stream which was much deeper than I had expected (!) and up the other side. One pup came running down to me but the other gave me a distant ‘high five ‘ and followed mum. A very anxious day followed with kind friends and neighbours all on the lookout. Then at 4 o’clock a very tired pup appeared at the gate. I hugged and squeezed him so hard that he has avoided me ever since !
Mum turned up an hour later looking very sheepish. Phew !!

So, dogs. You will see from the Adoptions Page that it has again been a good month and there are more possible adoptions in the pipeline. I’m hoping that Houston and Hector soon find homes of their own but I’m not going down the personal chocolate deprivation road again yet !!

Have a great February,
Sue x

January 2013

January 1, 2013

Phew, well that’s all over for another year ! Hope you have had a good Holiday Season. We had a couple of magical days at Ernst’s sister’s chalet in La Clusaz. A beautiful old chalet looking down over the village, it was all snow, twinkly lights and all things Christmassy. Back to reality on the 26th and then to the news of three deaths ( I did warn you in the last newsletter that people are dropping like flies round me !). A neighbour on the 25th, a friend on the 26th and a cousin on the 27th. So I’m off to another funeral next week.

Lesley’s planned New Year’s Eve / daughter Marta’s birthday party was nearly put on hold for the 31st because the friend who died had been very close to the family but it was decided that ‘the show must go on’ and despite our sadness a great time was had by all.

Poorpaws did have it’s own two Christmas miracles !! The lovely Porthos went off to a new home on the 31st, we’re all thinking of you Porthos and hope you have the happiness you deserve. I am especially (selfishly) delighted as I had sworn off chocolate until he was homed. I’m now making up for lost time although I have to own up to giving in to temptation ever so slightly over the last month !

The second miracle concerned little Betty the Beagle. I took tiny Betty from Carcassonne a couple of years ago as she was elderly and not doing well there. She came to Poorpaws and I homed her with an elderly lady in Montcuq. “Stuff that” she said (Betty, not the lady) and ran away on the first day. She was found and brought back and a couple of weeks later was rehomed with a lovely lady who had adopted a little old dog, Nounours, from us many years ago. Carol thought Nounurs would like the company of a little old female. Sadly Betty the Beagle turned into Betty the Bully and poor Nounours wasn’t allowed to eat out of his own dish or even sleep in his own bed !! Regretfully an amicable divorce was arranged and Betty came back to us. She was an escape artist and cost me a fortune in bottles of wine for people bringing her home. Then one day 19 months ago Betty ran off and never came home. I was desperately sad thinking of her hit by a car or down a rabbit / fox hole dying a horrible death. On the Saturday before Christmas I had a call saying the vet at Castelnau had had a visit from an elderly gentleman taking in his dog for treatment to an eye. The old boy said he had found the dog nearly two years ago and tried to find the owner but as there was no tatoo he had had no luck. The vet said she would just check for a chip and bingo, they realised that Betty was mine !!! The poor guy was very upset as he had grown so fond of Betty so I quickly reassured him that I would not take her back. I went to visit her last week and there she was nice and snug in her bed with two other little friends. I was just so happy except that she didn’t – or pretended not to – recognise me, little moo !!!

Other miracles arrived in the forms of Christmas donations. Thank you, all of you, who were kind enough to think of us, too many to mention all but a special thank you to dear Oscar who was one of our first adopteds and who never forgets us at Christmas and to the Wilds who still send even though their beloved Labrador has gone on to doggy heaven. You are all great.

Great news for the dogs at Castelsarrasin refuge. All the ones on the Poorpaws website except for one have been adopted and a young boxer pup will be on our adoptions page very soon.

Now then ………………………….PUPPIES !!!!! We are drowning in them, not to mention the buckets of puppy poo I have to collect up every day, the freshly planted pots which are found the next day empty of earth and flowers, my wellington boots which disappear regularly AND my Christmas gloves which lasted only to Boxing Day. HELP !!! Individually they are gorgeous, in a gang they are monsters. All chipped and vaccinated they can’t wait – and nor can I – to bring a bit of ‘lively’ into your home. Wasn’t one of your resolutions to get out more, get more exercise and get more fresh air. Answer ? Walking a dog, cheaper than gym membership and much more fun !!

A very, very, happy and healthy New Year to you all !



December 2012

December 1, 2012

“I thought that not having to go to work any more would mean that I’d have loads of spare time, a bedroom and mobile home that were forever clean and tidy and delicious home made suppers every evening. Well I’m not sure what’s gone wrong but what I am wondering is how on earth did I ever have time to go to work ??!! November has been a very busy month with something to be done every day.

I went over to the UK for two days to my last remaining Aunt’s cremation. Although a sad occasion it gave me the opportunity of seeing and staying with two of my closest oldest friends whom I haven’t seen for far too long. Also, it was lovely meeting up again with lots of family members. Cousins, their children and even their children (eek !). It also made me realise that Aunty Beryl was the last of our family’s ‘older’ generation, so the next generation is mine! Again, eek !!

The service was ‘cosy’ if I can use my favourite word, ending with a lovely recording of ‘”Daisy, Daisy” the song my Aunty sang to each family baby to get them off to sleep.

Another plus to that couple of days was being able to buy Krispi Kreme maple glazed doughnuts at Stanstead ! I’m seriously thinking of leaving dog adoption and starting a Krispi franchise over here !!

Talking of dogs, there were some good adoptions this week, sadly not from Poorpaws but from the website. The best news is that the blind Brittany – which pulled in more enquiries than any other dog this month – has gone to a great home and latest news is that he is doing just fine. You will have seen our super Kirby on the adoptions page. Poor love was very frightened when she was brought to us with all her brood but she is great now and fast getting fed up with all her babies. Should have thought of that Kirby when you were in slapper mood !! The pups are beautiful and doing very well. They’ll be ready to go to homes after Christmas.

The mother and owner of Barney and Courtney were traced and, as we thought, they will be quite big gentle dogs if Mum is anything to go by. There are other brothers and sisters and the owner was quite happy for us to keep B and C and to home them.

Following a trip to the vet our cheeky Border Colley pup Harvey was found to have one dodgy eye and only one family jewel !! The vet assures me that the eye thing will cause no problem to Harvey whatsoever and he will even be able to work very well as his parents do. As to the other little matter, well if it doesn’t ‘descend’ by the time Harvey is four months, the vet will have to go looking for it !!

Christmas is nearly upon us and anyone wanting to adopt a puppy must remember that they are not “just for Christmas”. Puppies have to go to a calm, peaceful home, not one where children are hyper at the thought of a strange man climbing down the chimney. Poorpaws is more than happy to reserve a pup for you to collect after the festivities when you have time to take proper care of your new pal.

We’re off to Switzerland for a couple of days next week to clear out the apartment of Ernst’s sister who died earlier in the month (stay away from me, people are falling like flies all around !) then we’ll be going to his other sister at Annecy for a couple of days over Christmas. Don’t worry, the dogs will be left in good care and will have their own Christmas goodies.

Talking of goodies, cards are starting to arrive and I would like to thank Diane Mason for the generous donation. Also, a huge thank you to Julie for an amazing donation after I checked up on a dog she was worried about following a holiday near here. There are some smashing people about.

Hoping you all have a wonderful Christmas / New Year and a million thanks for your support throughout the year.

With love,

Sue xx

November 2012

November 1, 2012

Well, phew what a finish to the month, Barn Book Sale, then party, party and party !!! My friend Lesley threw me a great party to celebrate my leaving the Auberge. The Auberge didn’t even mark the occasion after eight years, in fact I took in a bottle of champagne on my last day which I ended up drinking with my colleague, my bosses having “just a tiny bit to celebrate your last day of washing up” !!

I rang the employment office and had been told by everyone that after the initial ‘phone call, you get an appointment to go and see them for about ten days later. Huh, I got one for 8.30 the next day. Not wonderful considering I didn’t get to bed until 2.30 am the previous night following the party. I managed to get there on time only to be told I was at the wrong office ! When I finally went in to my interview it was with a chap who looked as if he had been partying the night before too !! He was great when he realised I was English as his daughter had come first in her English exam. He was very helpful and at the end of the interview he said we should look to see what jobs were available. There was one in the laundry room of the nearby old people’s home. My new friend looked at me quizzically and I tried to look enthusiastic. He then said “Nah, you’ve got a bad back” and struck it through !

So, I’m still looking but haven’t had much time as I went to the UK for a week to celebrate a friend’s 60th and boy did we celebrate ! Feeling a little bit jaded I am flinging myself into domesticity – when did have time to go to work !!

The Barn Book Sale was great in all aspects. We had many more books so expanded to the stable in Lesley’s lovely barn. Loads of people came along to bring and buy books and get stuck in to the gorgeous scones, cakes and soup. It was lovely to see Polly the walnut-muncher with her new owners and Polly was very excited to see her previous owner as well.

Other ex-Poorpaws came along too and looked very happy but wary to see me in case I took them back !! We took 1,044 euros which is terrific. I’m sorry to say that I still haven’t given out all the raffle prizes and can Les get in touch with me as you have won a box of biscuits – gently Les, don’t get too excited ! – and I seem to have written down the wrong telephone number ! Next book sale, Easter Saturday.

On the dog front – after all this is what this news page is supposed to be about ! – there has been good news and bad. As mentioned previously Polly the walnut dog has gone to a wonderful new home and has settled as if she had always been there – probably because there are many walnut trees there too. Oh dear !! Little Harper (see Happy Endings), was snapped up very quickly by a couple who came set on adopting a female ! Honey has gone ‘on trial’, so fingers crossed for her. The poor blind spaniel who has been called Sweety, has had several enquiries and we are hoping for good news there too.

On the bad side, Carcassonne is overflowing, we are getting very disturbing news about the SPA at Toulouse (unconfirmed) so please, please, please, if you don’t see anything you fancy on our list, take a look at theirs.

Well that’s about that, I’m waiting to take in a mum and her pups who were found in a ditch – if the mother can be caught.

Have a lovely November – Christmas is on its’ way !!

Oh, if you have English tv, make sure you watch the ghastly programme Little England on Monday ITV 9pm French time. Terrible programme but gets very good on Monday as the wonderful, fabulous, amazing Leeanne and Mike are on showing the wonderful work they do at Twilight – tissues at the ready !

Sue x

October 2012

October 1, 2012

Well here I am back from ‘me’ hols all refreshed and the first thing I have to do is send out a HUGE apology ! I was so excited on the morning we left that I completely forgot to change the answerphone message to say that I would be away. Result ? I came back to a full answerphone machine and more emails than I have ever had, from people desperately needing help and wondering why I had not got back to them. So to all of you who had me down as an uncaring impolite moo, I am so, so sorry !! I think I have replied to to everyone now (Ursula I haven’t forgotten you !) and am delighted to report that messages asking for advice on what to do with abandoned dogs, changed during the week to “we find we love the dog and have decided to keep him” !! Perhaps I won’t change the machine next time either !

Yes, thanks, the holiday was great ! As usual we met up with friends at Ernst’s sister’s house on the Cote d’Azur and spent a week playing cards, lazing in the sun, reading, swimming (well, I did swim twice !), of course eating and drinking, and lots of zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ! A great big thank you to friends Virginie and June who made sure our little darlings were well and happy whilst we were away.

One thing I decided whilst we were there is that I would like a law to be passed banning mobile ‘phones and those little computer thingys from restaurants, shops and all public places. It was done for cigarettes so why not for ‘phones ? We lived without them for millions of years, so why can’t we leave them at home when we go out for the evening. Is it really absolutely necessary to know that a friend is just leaving work or that little Tommy has just gone to the potty on his own (I kid you not !) when I am choosing what I want to eat ? Ok call me a miserable so and so, and, no, I don’t have a mobile ‘phone and don’t intend to get one, but why can’t people go to a restaurant without the electrical umbilical cord ? Where I work we often get couples in who never talk to each other but spend the evening sending texts – to lovers perhaps ! France and Italy used to be known for their lovely family lunches where the elderly and the children were included and participated in the conversations. Now the kids are given electronic games to play with and who knows where the older generation are, probably eating a lonely meal at home or sitting round a gloomy table in an old peoples’ home. Well, sorry, I just think it’s sad.

If my friend Sue is reading this, she will quickly point out that her mobile ‘phone was very useful one day during our week. To get to my sister-in-law’s house we have to take an outdoor funicular lift down a steep slope. If the last person to use the lift forgets to close it, then the next person cannot call the lift to the top. Ernst forgot to close it and it took two telephone calls to get him to send the lift up. Without the ‘phone ? Ok I would have had to wait until Ernst realised what he had done, or slid down the cliff !

OK grumps over ! Doggies !! Well I’m delighted to say that practically all the dogs on the Adoption Page last month have been rehomed or solutions have been found to problems. I have to mention the Smith family who made a 1,700 – yes 1,700 !!!! – round trip to pick up, not a fabulous rare breed with a pedigree a mile long, but a little crossbreed Lab type pup who has proved to be worth every kilometre. Well done and thank you Smiths, you are obviously a great family !

This month we are having a Blackdogfest and doing our best to home some of the very many black dogs who it is very difficult to home – please give them a second, third, fourth and fifth look !

I’m off to the UK for the weekend of the 27th to celebrate my friend Annie’s 60th birthday and before then will be celebrating my departure from the Auberge so a fun month in prospect, hope you have one too.

AND !!!!!! don’t forget our Barn Book Sale, 20th October in the hamlet of Beliben next to Sauzet in the Lot. 10 am start, lots of great books and yummy cakes. See you there.


September 2012

September 1, 2012


The Gold Medal for dog rehoming for the month of August, goes to ……………….
drum roll…………………
Yeh ! All on the podium please for the dog refuge anthem ‘You’d be so nice to come home to’ !!

Actually we possibly (very probably !) didn’t home more than other refuges, but we had a bumper of a month. Harry and Holly have both gone to good homes, the lovely Golden Lab has gone to neighbours of Captain Hastings and Hercule, Flocon is making a little girl very happy in Toulouse, one of the Tibetan pups went, along with Youpi, to a great home (making their new owners very happy as no rabbits have been eating the lettuces since they arrived !) and Fanny has gone to an ideal owner who is bringing out all of her potential talents – and Fanny’s too !! But, we have to save the best for last. TINA HAS BEEN HOMED !!!!! Tissues were out all over France this weekend I can tell you. We were many refuges very eager to get her out of Carcassonne where she had, very unfairly, been for far too long. The great news broke just before this newsletter was typed and we couldn’t be happier. She has gone to a great home not far from Carcassonne so the lovely Rowan who loves Tina so much, will be able to visit and from the photo above, you can see Tina is pretty pleased with herself !

So, what part of “reserve a table before you go to a restaurant” didn’t you understand ??!! This month, amongst others we had a group of 15, yes 15 English people just turn up for dinner and as for the 12 French who arrived just ten minutes before we were going to start clearing up well, mots fail me. Well, they didn’t fail me actually ! It’s been a pretty rotten month at work actually, 12 hour days being the norm and things got worse but more of that later. I can also give you tips on how to be a good hotel guest. Don’t make your beds thinking you are being helpful, you’re not – unless you want to strip the bed before you leave ! The most important plea is to please check the loo before you leave the room !! We chamber maids have many stomach churning moments early in the morning when braving the bathrooms. Nothing more guaranteed to make sure you have a bad day than guests who don’t know what a loo brush is for !!!

Our clothes stall at the Montcuq Vide Grenier was again a huge success. I think I can safely say our stall is becoming legendary now (can something become legendary after just three years ?!) with people going through the bags before we could even empty them ourselves. The secret to our success is that everything is sold at just one or two euros which ensures a crowd round us nearly all the day. We raised 654.24 euros which will be shared between Poorpaws, Twilight and our local refuge in Cahors. My very good friends Danielle and Lesley again devoted their whole day to helping me and we had great fun. My partner, Ernst, manufactured an amazing table for us which incorporated two sunshades and he also turned our trailer into a clothes rail transporter. Thanks also to Lesley and Virginie for spending many hours helping me sorting out the clothes beforehand. All the clothes that were not sold went to Emmaus the following day, so you can be sure that if you donated, your garments went to very good homes.

My high spirits following the Vide were dampened and crushed when I went in to work the next day. I walked into a stream of shouts and screaming abuse because I had taken the day off. This was so unfair, I had booked the day off at the beginning of the season back in April and had reminded my bosses the week before that I wouldn’t be in. It was not my fault that they hadn’t bothered to get cover in. They shouted at me that they didn’t care about the Vide, they didn’t care about my private life (at least I have one !) I had no right to take a day off in August and I could just “degager” (get out). I didn’t because I didn’t want to leave my colleague on her own to do all the work so I went to fold towels and have a good cry! My contract there ends on the 21st October and usually it is extended for the Winter but this year I’m not going to accept an extension. After eight years at The Auberge de la Tour at Sauzet, I will be outta there ! When I think that I turned down another job because I didn’t want to let them down during the season, how stupid am I ?!

Good news on our house, Ernst has taken the insulation panels off the sides of the mobile home and used them to insulate the kitchen floor, so I’m hoping this means we really will be in the house for this Winter after ten years !!!

It’s nearly Barn Book Sale time again. This year it will be on the 20th October at the usual venue, Lesley’s lovely barn at Beliben near Sauzet and there will be the usual yummy scrumptious cakes to eat there or take home. So sort out your books and give me a call or send an email if you want them to be collected. Then please come along on the day to replace them. We had a super sale in the Spring and hope you will need to store up for Winter.

I want to say a HUGE thank you to Alexander, a lovely young man who has been running the Poorpaws website for me, putting up with my confusing emails and photos and managing to get it all out every month in great order. Alex is off to University and will be too busy having a great time whilst studying to be great doctor. Dad Colin will take over for a couple of months and then he is going to (try to) teach me how to do it all myself. Well I’ll be out of work so should have time but I fear there may be a few frustrating moments, computers and I don’t get on too well !!

Well that’s about it except to say ……….I’M GOING ON HOLIDAY ON THE 29TH SEPTEMBER !!!!!!!! As usual a week at Ernst’s sister’s house on the Cote d’Azur with close friends, playing cards, reading and generally relaxing. So the next newsletter will be a little late, forgive me !

Enjoy what’s rest of the Summer !

Sue x

PS did I happen to mention that TINA HAS BEEN ADOPTED !!!!

August 2012

August 1, 2012

August and the heat is on – at last !!  After a rotten start to Summer, dare we think that we are now on the way.  Temperatures up in the 30’s and don’t let me hear anyone complaining !! As each year, let me make a plea to you all;  go to all the wonderful Summer Markets and Fetes but PLEASE leave your dogs at home in the cool.  I know a lot of you believe your dogs must be with you all the time and credit to you for that, but really being dragged round all the festivities in the heat is no fun for them at all.  I sometimes see people at Montaigu market with dogs and whilst the owners stop to have chats with friends enjoying the sunshine, the poor dogs are panting in the heat and look very miserable.

July was like the parson’s egg – good in parts.  Foxie, Helia, Guapa and Dolce, Venard, an Aussie pup, Fashion and Newak all found lovely homes or lovely homes to go to very soon.

So, the bad bit ?  My lovely Duffy.  Remember she went off to a new life in the UK ?   Very sadly, although her new owner loved her to pieces,  Duffy became very nervous when grandchildren came to stay and it obviously became a ‘them or her’ situation.  Of course there was no contest (there would have been if it had been me !) and poor Duffy lost.  It has made me so sad to think of her confused and wondering what on earth is happening but wonderful Tiffany has found her what seems like an ideal temporary home, which, hopefully, will become permanent.  If not,  Duffy will come back to Poorpaws to be welcomed with open arms/paws thinking she has just been on holiday.

Can I put in an extra word for TINA ?  It is my aim in life now to find this wonderful dog a new home.  Her sterilisation and exit costs will be covered by a wellTinawisher.

Many of you know that I work in a small hotel restaurant which is very hard in the Summer with 11 hour days being the norm.  So, a few hints on how to be a good restaurant customer ?  ALWAYS,  ALWAYS wherever possible book your table ahead, don’t just turn up expecting to find places.  If you do this, your waitress (who could be me !) will welcome you  with a smile, but inside she will HATE you!!  There is a reason for this.  After lunch, restaurant owners will look at the bookings and decide, depending on the number of reservations, how many staff are needed for the next shift.  So, if as happens nearly every day now, there are, say, 15 reservations, only two of us will be asked to work.  Then if masses more turn up the two working have a very difficult time.  New tables have to be set up, people who have reserved have to wait, the chef gets in a foul temper as orders are taking too long and dishes not getting out quickly enough.  Also, if you haven’t reserved, please don’t expect to get your order taken before others who have.  Unbelievably, I have had (unreserved) people walk out on me because their orders weren’t taken within a minute of them sitting down and don’t even get me started on the family of 15, yes 15 (!!) who turned up on a very busy evening without booking, then before their bottoms had hit the seats, started giving me drink orders and were surprised that we weren’t delighted to see them.  Obviously we always set up a few extra tables but when you get large unexpected groups coming in it is difficult to keep a smile on the face when you are thinking very impolite thoughts !  A final thing, tipping !!  Tips are NOT included in your bill and if nothing is left on the table waiters/waitresses don’t get anything.  If they are added to the credit card payment – which is not allowed at our place as it messes up accounting – again, we don’t get them.  The British are the best tippers so we love you.  To be remembered as a valued customer, leave a tip, it doesn’t have to be huge (although if you want to ……..!), it’s the thought that counts.  To those who say “keep the change” then we find out that said ‘change’ is 10 cents, I feel like telling them to keep it !!  At our place we waitresses have to do all the washing up and cleaning before we go home, so we have at least an hour’s more work after clients have left.  We have a saying before each service  “venez, mangez et degager!” ( “come, eat and bugger off”), then we get into the swing of the evening and usually have a laugh and a giggle too.

As every August, Poorpaws will have a second hand clothes stall at the Montcuq Vide Grenier on Sunday the 26th August.  We have now got a great reputation for selling excellent second hand clothes at amazingly low prices.  So, come and see us. Don’t forget, if there aren’t any dogs who tickle your fancy on our website, PLEASE go to peek at dogrescuecarcassonne (no worries about the distance, transport of dogs is no problem), refugecaninlotois  and dog-links.  If you feel a need to wash your eyes look at Twilightchien where Leeanne and Mike do a wonderful job and we love them for it.

Back in September when I will be so excited about going on holiday I will probably ramble on making no sense – even more so than normal !

Have a great August !
Sue xx

July 2012

July 2, 2012

“Those of you who read last month’s Poorpaws news will remember that I told you that our dear Bella had died (she’s the one with floppy ears in the photo with me).  I had her cremated seperately and collected her ashes a couple of days ago.  During a quiet moment yesterday I decided to sprinkle her around the garden at the back of the house (which is in fact the part that fronts on to the road) where she loved to laze and keep an eye on what was going on on the hill opposite as well as going totally loopy whenever anyone arrived to visit.  I walked around shaking her ashes out and talking to her saying how we would always remember and love her and all the other slushy stuff one comes out with at times like that.  I was getting quite tearful until I turned round.  Unbeknown to me, Tiny the Terrible poodle had been following close behind and was covered head to paw in grey ashes !!  I couldn’t help laughing, Bella was not Tiny’s best friend (to put it mildly !) and it just seemed as though she was getting the last laugh.

I still have the ashes of the lovely Carrie who was cremated many months ago and keep promising myself that I WILL take her up to the hill where she spent so many happy hours running around (and I spent so many less happy hours looking for her !) but I just can’t seem to leave her up there on her own.  At home she was always in a large park, not running in the garden as she was a danger to cats and in fact did kill a kitten, so the garden doesn’t seem right either.  Mind you I suppose it would give the cats a chance to get their own back, they could pee on her!  So Carrie languishes in her urn until I make a decision.

June was not a ‘nul points’ month thank goodness.  Special Delphine has gone to a new home and news is that she is proving herself to be every bit as lovely as I said she is.  Be happy Delphine and let’s hope that this is, finally, a permanent happy home.
Greta is also off to a new home where she will have to learn Dutch.  A lovely couple came round to look at several dogs but Greta stole the show.  I just know she will be happy, Dutch people are great dog owners, not caring what a dog looks like (although Greta is, of course, a great beauty !), they just seem to look into the eyes to see the character.  They are also very responsible owners and I have never had a Dutch person wanting to abandon a dog.  (Oops, perhaps I shouldn’t tempt fate !)

Duffy, aaah Duffy, you with the eyes to break hearts at a blink !  It’s funny how things turn out sometimes.  Good friend Tiffany who did great stuff for dogs in France, has gone back to the UK and is setting up a network to rehome French hunting dogs in  England.  Hunting dogs – especially older ones – are not easy to home here and in the six months that she has been here I have not had a single enquiry for Duffy.  So Duffy is set to cross the channel in July.   Then a couple of weeks ago a very nice English couple saw Duffy’s photo on my stand at Montaigu market and were charmed.  They said they would love to give her a home but were only on holiday and due to return to England two days later.  Hah !  No problem says I, Duffy will be going there too.  And (I’m sure I was always told you shouldn’t start sentence with “and” !) it turns out that the people live in Dorset and Duffy would be going to Cornwall.  When I explained all this to Duffy, she immediately packed her bags and enrolled in a crash course in English – ‘food’ and ‘walk’ seems to be all she has learned so far.  I just know she’s going to leave without looking back and I’ll be the one soaking tissues.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Duffy was also a star a couple of weeks ago.  Our vets rang to see if we had a largish dog we could take to Prayssac immediately to give blood to help another very sick dog.  Ernst rushed her up there and she took it all in her stride.  she can now add ’Life Saver’ to her cv.

If you didn’t come to our Piggy Roast evening, kick yourselves all round the room !  It was a great night.  Thanks to Amanda and Pat the meal was delicious – with such a fantastic veggie option that we had to stop people taking that too as portions were limited.  Blues Train were their usual great selves making it impossible to sit still, you just had to get up there and dance.  Some people wouldn’t come because of having poor piggy roasting on the spit.  As a vegetarian myself I have to admit to having reservations, but had we advertised a roast pork meal, cooked in the more conventional way, no-one would have complained.  If you can’t bear to see the animal cooking, you shouldn’t eat the meat anyway.  Just because you don’t normally see the animal cooking, doesn’t mean it just came by magic wrapped up ready to cook.  Had we advertised a vegetarian meal, I fear we wouldn’t have sold many tickets !!  The money hasn’t been counted yet but I know we’ll be making good donations to dog rescue associations and cancer research.  Thank you to everyone who contributed to making the evening a success.

Thanks also to Joyce at la Sirene in Montaigu.  They had a Jubilee Street Party and Poorpaws benefited from  raffle takings.  I know several people who were at the party and apparently it was a great event.  My 92 year old friend Lynne was quite miffed that one table won several raffle prizes.  Wouldn’t have happened  “in my day” “people were more thoughtful and if they’d already won one prize they’d put the second back” !!

Whilst I’m typing this I’m also watching Murray on court – he seems to have hit a sticky patch so I’d better give him some encouragement.  Wimbledon is great this year, the kings are having a tough time hanging on to their crowns !!

Have a great July !

Sue x

PS.  Don’t forget that if you don’t see the dog of your dreams here on our adoption page, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE go to the Cahors Refuge website – refugecaninlotois – and to the Carcassone Refuge site – dogrescuecarcassonne  – where so very many dogs are looking for homes.  In fact both refuges are faced with having to make very sad decisions if the numbers don’t go down.

June 2012

June 2, 2012

Well, the total embarrassment of it all !  ‘Nul Points’ for Poorpaws last month – not a single adoption !!  I don’t think that’s ever happened before.  Greta had two close calls but nothing came of them (so far).  Come on, let’s “could do better” for June.



But there is some happy news.  Long term Poorpaws followers will remember Bracken the gorgeous Brittany Spaniel who turned out to be a star on the agility circuit.  Well I met his owners in town a couple of years ago and – tongue in cheek – suggested that it was time Bracken had a playmate.  They nervously agreed but said they would only consider a Border Collie puppy.  Bingo !  We had one.  A couple of days later I took the pup round to meet them.  They (well actually , he) insisted that they were only ‘looking’ and it would only be a trial.  Yeah right !  Mrs. Unsworth and I exchanged raised eyebrow looks behind his back.  Anyway, a couple of years on and, guess what, Fern (Fern, Bracken – geddit ?) is proving to be a star too as you can see from these photos.  I should say



here that this does not happen just like that.  Mr. Unsworth spends an awful lot of time and patience out there training them both and they love it – all
three of them.  Mr. Unsworth is always happy to give tips and I’m always threatening to dump a couple of the less obedient dogs round there !

Most dogs love agility and it is a great way to keep them fit and happy – why not give it a go ?

Carnet Noir (As they say here in France)
Those of you who have been ‘with’ Poorpaws since the beginning will remember Bella, the very first dog we took in after I found her in an awful state at the side of the road, shortly after we moved to this area of France. So, in fact, Bella was responsible for all this madness !   If you have actually been to visit us you will certainly remember her.  A largish hunting dog with droopy black ears and the most amazing “Ooouuuaaahhh” howl.  Bella was petrified of humans when she first came here and would sit up on the hill watching us, only coming down to eat when we weren’t around.  Getting a lead on her was impossible, well I could get one on her but she would immediately throw herself to the ground yelping and she never ever grew out of that.  However, she did learn to love people and adored visitors very kindly allowing them to stroke her – but wasn’t so keen when they stopped.  Well, you know what’s coming, she died during the night of Thursday 31st May.  It’s a long story and I won’t bore you with all of it, suffice to say that there is a very empty space here where she should be and my heart has taken another knock.  Sleep well my beauty-Belle I miss you so very much, and look after the other Poorpaws wherever you are.

Ok tissues away, what else do I have to tell you ?  The Piggy Roast !!  We are hoping that as many of you as possible will attend our Piggy Roast on Friday 29th June at the St. Pantaleon Salle de Fetes.  Blues Train will provide the music and the tickets are 20 euros.  Please call/email me to book tickets.  There will be a vegetarian alternative for us ‘veggies’, just let us know when you book.  As always, profit will be split between dog rescue and cancer research.

It’s my favourite time of year again and the lovely Keith will be coming round to connect up our television for its’ annual two weeks’ use………for……..WIMBLEDON !!!!  Excuse me if the next Poorpaws News is a couple of days late, Roger (Federer) will need all of my attention !!
Sue x

May 2012

May 4, 2012

Whoa, hey !  What happened there ??!  I was so looking forward to our few days on Ile de Ré when no sooner had we set off in the car, than it turned into a time machine, kranked forward four days and there we were coming home again !!  Oh but it was lovely.  We took everything the weather could chuck at us, torrential rain, gale force winds and periods of fabulous sunshine long enough to have nice a walk every day.  As I said last month, there is a distinct difference between being in a nice dry house in bad weather, and being in a leaky mobile home.  Sitting by the window in the little house with a good book on my lap (After you’d gone by Maggie O’Farrell) watching the rain lash down was extremely pleasant.  When I first came to France I lived by the sea for many years and didn’t think I would miss it when we moved to the country, but there is something about the salty smell of sea air.

Ok, back down to earth.  The Book Sale.  You were FABULOUS !!  You came in numbers and spent and spent.  We took over 1,000 euros which was amazing !  About 50% up on the last one.  It rained…………….. and rained, but perhaps that was good for us.  What could be better on a wet  Saturday than to spend a few hours combing through hundreds of books.  A special mention for John and Kate who thought it was on the Sunday and arrived to find books already packed up in boxes ready to be moved, had a browse and left money in an envelope with a note asking where everyone was !!  Also, will the person who won the curry meal please get in touch with me ?  I’m afraid one of the dogs has eaten your ‘phone number !
Right, dog news !

Georgie in her new home

Georgie in her new home

We are DEEEEEELIGHTED to say that Georgia has found a fabulous home – as witnessed by the photo here – and one week later, her sister Gabi was adopted too.  Along with them last month, went Andie, Simba, Porcelaine pup Hercule and………………..Cales, after all this time.  Wonderful !

A few new ones on the adoption page – don’t miss out on Greta !
Before closing, I’d just like to mention our friend Denise who lost her battle against cancer last week.  Before she left us Denise asked that all her books and DVD’s be given to Poorpaws for our next sale and that the collection money at her funeral come to us too.  Thank you Denise and I’ll look out for Elton John and Freddy Mercury who you told me, the day before you died, would both be at the funeral.

Because of Denise’s death, there is a little black female cat, Lucky ( or not so) who is in need of a home in a dog free environment.  She belonged to the people who owned Denise’s house before Denise moved there and was taken by them to her new house.  Two days later she was back and stayed with Denise.  She can stay at the house until it is sold and I will take care of her but if the buyers of the house don’t want her, we’ll have a problem and it would be nice to settle her before then.

Hope you all have a lovely May – it is sunny here today, the first day without rain for a month !!
Sue x

April 2012

April 1, 2012

April and I know I should be hoping for rain but I just can’t bring myself to do it. Rain is great when you are in a nice dry house with a cup of tea looking out at your recently planted flora drinking it in but when you live on a building site in a delapidated mobile home with 17 dogs and 20 cats around, it’s a different story. However much time you spend wiping surfaces down they are immediately covered in William Morris Paw de Chat print. I have to wear waterproof trousers to get down to the car otherwise I’m covered in the later design of Paws de Dog sizes various !

Mea culpa time !!  I’m always banging on about getting your dogs sterilised.  Even if you say your dogs never go out without you, there is always the possibility of a second’s moment of inattention and there you go, more puppies who risk ending up in the Lot or a dustbin.  Well, we have Fargo, a huge Ariegois dog, who is so frightened of everything that it was considered putting him to sleep as he would have no quality of life.  I said I would give him a try here, he could just live his own life in the safety of a park and large garden and no-one would bother him.  He isn’t aggressive you understand, just terribly terribly nervous.  Well, after six months I can just about touch him but only when he knows I am going to open the park and let him run in the garden.  The other day when bringing the other dogs home from a walk, I had that “moment of inattention” and Fargo was out into the big wide world.  I hadn’t had him neutered as I didn’t want to put him through the stress of a visit to the vet.  SILLY, SILLY ME !!  I spent an anxious day at work imagining him battling with other males in order to impregnate some poor female – it’s ‘season’ time and there are hundreds around.  All the other dogs were shut up in parks, the back gate left open, Ernst was asked to keep an eye out and to close the gate as soon as Fargo came home.  I got back in the afternoon to find Fargo happily playing in the garden.  Phew !  Then a SFB moment (I can’t possibly write that in full), the back gate was still open.  I charged up to it and did an Ally McBeal flying leap to close it before Fargo realised he could get out again.  I turned round to see him looking at me a sort of bemused “duurrhh, been there, seen it, dunnnit, got the t-shirt” look on his face.  For those of you who are interested, Ernst had been so involved in putting in windows (yeah !!) he hadn’t even realised Fargo was back!

I get the last laugh, Fargo is off to the vet next week and will come home missing two little pieces of his anatomy !!

Talking about not letting dogs out, there is a law that you may not know about – I certainly didn’t.  It is forbidden, illegal even, to let your dogs run free off the lead in woods and forest between 15th April and 30th June.  This is when the wildlife are having their young.  Any of you who have stumbled across a baby deer doomed to death because the mother has been frightened away or have had the very distressing experience of your dog bringing home a baby deer, will realise what good sense this makes.  We are lucky enough to live in France, many of us in the countryside and we should respect the laws of the land.  I walk about ten dogs nearly every morning before work and amongst them are a knot of four or five hunting dogs who b****r off regularly, coming back hours later.  Well they are in for a shock, they will be on strict lead rota for those weeks.
Well it was another good month for adoptions – Shiva, the German Shepherd, Hercule, Gaston, 2 Labs, Trudie and Cherie and Dylan all went on to happier futures.  Thank you all.
Georgia and Gina had one enquiry which, sadly, didn’t come to anything.  Gina is off to Boot Camp for a week in the hope of turning her into an angel.  I swear I reckon they’ still be here when I go into a retirement home – can’t wait !!  Tiny Ben has  joined the list of ‘lifers’ here, little bxxxxr that he is.  There was one person who said she was quite taken by him, but she could afford to be, she is quite safe living in New Zealand !!!  Thank you anyway Michelle !!
For those of you who come to see me at Montaigu Market on a Saturday morning, I am still there (weather permitting) but I’ve been moved and am now next to Angela and her lovely curries. Actually I won’t be there on the 7th because of our Barn Book Sale, please don’t forget and come to support us, have a browse and a serious munchies attack on the lovely home made cakes.  At the hamlet of Beliben next to Sauzet in the Lot – follow signs and balloons.  Looking forward to seeing you there.  As I said, even if dog resuce is not your thing (in which case you won’t be reading this !), half the proceeds go to cancer research and I am sure that each and every one of us has some reason to be thankful for that.
Back in May by which time we will have spent three days on the Ile de Ré.  Bliss, nothing to do but read and sleep – can’t wait.

March 2012

March 3, 2012

March !  No, not an order, just a statement !  2012 is really getting into gear now so come on in the weather’s lovely !

Last month I left you on a bit of a cliffhanger.  Would I or would I not be a future wife after the 29th February ?  Well, dear reader, I have to tell you that the answer is a definite “no” !!!  There was a huge ‘domestic’ on the 29th and I realised that the very last thing I wanted to be was a wife again.  I suppose at least I’m not a future ex-wife either !!!

Now you all know I like to share tips and hints with you.  Well here’s one to remember.  Computer keyboards do not like cups of tea.  Honestly.  Whether it was because there was no milk or sugar I don’t know and am not likely to find out.  The keyboard went on immediate strike.  Luckily good friend Billy came to the rescue with a prosthetic keyboard and the lovely Keith took my laptop off to his workshop to give it a makeover.  So we are back on again and as Keith wouldn’t take any money, I have put some more in my ‘New Computer’ money box.

OK, dogs.  Again a good month with many dogs finding happiness.  The Montaigu dog’s owner came forward and although dog was very happy to be reunited with owner, owner never so much as gave a thank you to the lovely family who had been looking after him.  The Leonberger puppy, Fox Terrier, Fionna are either in new homes or have them to go to.   The one who really sent Kleenex shares soaring was Sam (Gold Medal Waggiest Tail: Category 3 Dogs with no tails) who, after much too long at Carcassonne refuge, went off no-tail a wagging with delight.

Lots more dogs on the adoption page.  Sunshine is here so you’ll all want to get out walking and you will look much less stupid if there is a dog on the end of the lead, so take a look and give us a call or send an email.  I’m putting Tiny the perishing poodle back on for one last try, but don’t hold out much hope !!

Oh, oh, oh, nearly forgot !  We’re holding another Barn Book Sale on the 7th April at  Lesley Judd’s barn in the hamlet of Beliben which is two minutes from Sauzet in the Lot on the Villeseque road.  So if you have books to get rid of, get in touch and PLEASE come along on the day from 10 am to 3 pm.  Gorgeous home made cakes, tea, coffee and hundreds of books to browse through and select for the Summer.  This time we’ll have books in English, French and Dutch.  Dvd’s always welcome but, sorry, no videos.

Have a great month !




February 10, 2012

WARNING !! I have heard from Ann who adopted the lovely scruffy Mojo from Cahors refuge last year.  They had a nasty scare when Mojo started violently trembling and they thought he was fitting.  A mad dash to the vet where they found out they he had eaten poison.  The vet said that farmers are putting slug pellets down when they fertilise so it is easy for a dog to get the poison on their paws or drink it if the pellet has been rained into a puddle.  So, if your dogs shows any symptoms,  get him/her to the vet directly, any delay could prove fatal.

ps What could also prove fatal to humans (if I get my hands on them) is taking a dog back to the refuge in this freezing weather after they have known the comfort and warmth of being inside.  For heaven’s sake couldn’t you wait just a week until the weather improves ?

Febuary 2012

February 1, 2012

Well thank goodness for that.  January is over for another year.  Don’t you just hate January ?  Well I suppose those of you with birthdays in that month quite like it, but for me it is just a no-money-after-Christmas, bill-laden, long stepping stone to February.  I often think that it would be much better to start the year with February, a nice little short month which would get us on our way and prepare us for January after that.  Of course this year there is the excitement of having the 29th February and I will propose to Ernst just for the hell of it.  Of course he will say no – thank goodness as he is German and I really don’t want to be a ‘Frau’ !!

Ok I’m getting out the soapbox now.  We are quite a close few doing what we can to make dogs’ lives not a ‘dog’s life’, if you see what I mean.  We work closely together, there is NO competition between associations.  We give up free time, a normal home life, put marriages at risk and I dread to think how much money comes out of our pockets to save dogs and make them happy.  Obviously, no-one forces us to do this, we choose to do it.   So, to those people who go on forums to criticise and sling mud without having all the facts,  I say “bog off”.  Personally, I think that those who have the time to spend all day ‘chatting’ on these forums, should get out more. (Except you dear Evelyn !!)

If you adopt a dog who is not right for you please do not refuse offers of help.  It is certainly true that refuge dogs can develop a slightly different personality when they are in a caring loving home.  Would you expect an adopted child who has lived for a long time in an orphanage to automatically know the rules of your household ?  For dogs it is the same (and they don’t have the ability to speak to make things easier), so, please give them time and, as I said before, accept advice and help.

Luckily it is very rare that Poorpaws gets ‘returns’ but the dogs here live as a family and I can assess their personalities  so know what sort of home they would be happy in.

Ok off the box now !

After saying we get few returned dogs, I have to report that poodle Tiny is back – the second home lasted less time than the first !!  He will now join the band of ‘lifers’ here.  He is a complex little lad who has a complete aversion to collars and harnesses so much so that he nipped me the other day when I put a collar on another dog !!
Talking about Tiny, I had a lovely day recently going up to north of Angouleme with Doreen and Andrea.  Doreen adopted a poodle from us quite a few years ago, the lovely Sean.  Sadly Sean developed a tumour last year and had to go for the big sleep.  I promised to find another poodle for Doreen and came up with Tiny who was a darling in the refuge.  However, when he was out in the big wide world his true colours came out.  Poor Doreen,  she tried so hard with him but after he bit his way through the vet, the girl at the poodle parlour and got bossy with her,  I took him back.  So we were then looking for another dog  and I came up with Mamouchka who was quite a way up North.  Doreen, daughter Andrea and I set out on, what for me, was a VERY  BIG  ADVENTURE !
We discovered we all love country music so it was Tammy Wynette and yee-hah all the way there and back.  Little Mamouchka fitted the bill very well.  Or so we thought.  A visit to the vet and Doreen emailed me to say that Moumou has a tumour and doesn’t produce tears. (She could have some of mine, I produce them by the gallon at the slightest thing – have you seen the film Hachi, oh good grief, a real giant box of tissues jobby).  Obviously this was all very upsetting but dear Doreen has not given up, Mamouchka will be operated on, has drops for her eyes and has Doreen as her guardian angel.

On a happier note……………….adoptions !  Wow, what a month !  Fleche, Tanguy, Primus, Lola and Caline all packed their bags and went off to join the circus.  Reports are that they are all sooooo happy, so we are too.

I – unforgivably – forgot last month to thank all the ex-Poorpaws who sent us Christmas cards with pocket money inside to buy biscuits for the less fortunate dogs.  Especially Oscar of Brassempouy who, even many years later, never forgets his pals.  What a handsome chap he has turned into – can’t believe his name was once ‘Petit’ !!!  You are all incredibly kind, even those who have lost dogs and don’t feel ready for another one ………………. yet, got in touch.  I’m working on you !!

And to the lovely person who suggested I write a comedy series, thank you – don’t think I’ll give up the day job yet though !!

Much love to you all and who knows, if things go wrong I could be Frau Biefang this time next month !!!

Sue x

January 2012

January 2, 2012

Well, here we go again, another New Year.  Here’s hoping you all have a good one and give in to the desire to adopt more dogs !!

My Christmas was a washout !  A rotten, eyes streaming, nose running, throat tickling, head exploding,  limb aching cold started to attack on Christmas Eve and blossomed on Christmas Day.  So whilst Ernst, his nephew Sebastian and Sebastian’s mum all went off for fun, food and festivities at our friend Lesley’s, I stayed in bed clutching a hot water bottle and menthol soaked hankies watching the lovely Hugh Grant in the dvd of Love Actually.  (Hmm.  Thinks. Not such a bad Christmas after all !!).

Luckily New Year’s Eve was lovely !

On the doggies front we had a flurry of adoptions to end the year.  Quite a few puppies have been reserved ( still many left though !),  Lassie has found happiness in a lovely new home, Poodle Ben is getting a second chance (hopefully he doesn’t blow it this time !),  Freddy has been rehomed  (that caused the tissues to be brought out  for obvious reasons)  and, joy of joy, not only did Rocky go to a new home but he took a pal from the Carcassonne refuge with him !

Now I seem to remember quite a few months ago that I explained  that I would no longer be taking in any more dogs as we have so many that will never be adopted. In future dogs needing homes would go to my SPA Inspector friend and I would keep the website going.  Yeah right.  Poor Danielle is bursting at the seams so we had to open our doors again.  Caline and Lola are here at Poorpaws as are three black LabX pups who will be old enough to go to new homes in about three weeks.

I promised another piece of advice for training your dog.  A lot of people have problems when leaving dogs at home.  The dogs bark or cry and sometimes destroy things.  This is caused by anxiety but not, as is often thought, because the dog is left behind, it is because the dog thinks he is responsible for you and is worried about you.  You have to teach your dog that it is perfectly ok for you to go out whenever you like.  You can do this, starting when you first get your new dog, by, several times a day, just walking out of the house and, if possible, walk back in through a different door.  Stay out for a very short time at first, just a minute or so, making the time out longer and longer.  The most important thing is to NEVER talk to the dog before you go, no “bye bye darling, I’ll be back soon” and VERY IMPORTANT when you come back in, completely ignore your dog for at least five minutes.  Then you can call him and fuss him.  He has to get used to you just going and coming whenever you like and he doesn’t have to worry.

If that sounds muddly buy The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell who explains it much better than I do !

Going to Limoges this week to collect two Chinese Crested Bald (yes, bald !) dogs !  Look out for them on the website !

Have a lovely January

Sue x

December 2011

December 6, 2011

Well, would you believe it, December has crept up behind me so quietly I didn’t realise we are already in THAT month, the ‘C’ month !

Personally I would love to spend Christmas day curled up with a good book in front of he fire with a bottle of champagne to keep me company, but we always spend the day with friends and, of course, have a a lovely time.  I remember once when I lived down south Ernst had the opportunity  to go skiing with his family over Christmas but I couldn’t go because of work commitments.  I waved him off quite happily and had a lovely meal with girlfriends on the 24th.  On Christmas Day I opened presents and a bottle of bubbly in the morning and thought how nice it was to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.  The second glass of fizz confirmed that I was happy on my own.  The third and I thought it would have been nicer had Ernst been there, the fourth went down and by the fifth it was “how COULD he leave me alone on Christmas Day ??!!”  Poor Ernst chose that moment to ring to wish me Happy Christmas – he didn’t ring again before he came home !!!

Anyway that’s all very boring, you want to know how dog adoptions have been going.  The answer to that is good !!  Juno will soon be off to a new home, we have our fingers crossed for Rocky, Gracie has been adopted (by the receptionist at our vets !), the black Labrador has been homed and Girly has gone off down to the Cote d’Azur.

Please look at Freddy, a lovely dog and by giving him a home you permit his owner to die in peace.

We still have puppies who would make your household much more fun.  However, we do not let pups go to new homes over the Christmas period where people tend to be either stressed or hyper or excited.  Best they come to you when all the celebrations are over and your home has been restored to calm.

Recently I homed a very dominant poodle with a very gentle lady who was anxious about the dog taking over.  Dogs are only dominant over humans when they think they are in charge and it is their responsibility to look after the human.  Our job is to show the dog that WE are there to look after them and all they have to do is to relax and have a good life.  Dogs who bark and cry when left alone don’t do it to be a pain or ‘get’ at you.  They do it because they are anxious that ‘their’ baby is out alone.  Imagine if your  young child went out and you didn’t know where they were or when they would be back.  Dogs don’t destroy things to ‘get revenge’ they do it because anxiety activates their saliva glands and chewing relieves them.

Here are a few points to show your dog that you are the alpha and he doesn’t have to worry about you.

1)  Never go to your dog to make a fuss of him (thereby showing subservience).  Always call your dog to you to be stroked. You can do this as much as you like.

2)  If your dog comes to you when you haven’t called him and paws at you to be fussed or ‘leans’ against you, this is not ‘cute’ the dog is showing dominance.  Turn round and walk away.  You can then call him to you.

3)  A good way of showing who is in charge is at feeding time.  Put a biscuit for yourself in the dog’s bowl and stand so that your dog can see you but don’t talk to, or look at him.  Then eat your biscuit out of the bowl (still not looking at him).  When you have finished, just put the bowl down (still ignoring your dog) and walk away (you can stay in the same room if you want to.)  This shows the dog that you are ‘alpha’, you eat first and the dog gets your leftovers.  When your dog has finished eating, or has walked away from his dish, pick the dish up and don’t put food down again until next meal time.  This shows your dog that he eats when you decide and not when he does.  Never, ever take a food dish away from a dog whilst he is still eating to ‘test for aggression’.  Wouldn’t you get rather peeved if someone took your plate away whilst you were still eating ??!!

More tips to help your dog to be stressfree and happy next month.  If you can’t wait I recommend The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell.

Have a wonderful Christmas, I’ll be back in 2012 !!!

Sue x

November 2011

November 10, 2011

And an angel came unto Poorpaws and the angel’s name was Sophie. And Sophie looked at all the dogs and laid eyes on Gumbo.  And Sophie saw that Gumbo was good (despite his broken leg and damaged hip).  And Sophie picked up Gumbo (and his veterinary bills) and took him home.  And Sophie was happy and Gumbo was very happy and repaid Sophie by peeing and crapping all over her home.  BUT Jean-Francois was NOT happy and said unto Sophie “either the dog goeth or I goeth”.  Silly Jean-Francois.  And Sophie helped Jean-Francois pack his bags and move into the shed.

Ahhh, I love a happy ending !!

Other lucky October dogs were Bouba, Leyla, Roux and Biscuit, thank you so very, very much.

I’ve just had a wonderful birthday (62 eek !) and my friend Sue gave me a wonderful suprise by coming over for a few girlie days so forgive me if this month’s news is a bit short – things to do and places to go !

Have a great November despite the shorter and shorter days – how horrid it is going to work in the dark.


ps  Gumbo is now clean and Jean-Francois is back in the family home !!!

October 2011

September 29, 2011

The October update is a bit early because………..on the 1st October……………….I’m going for a week……….ON  HOLIDAY !!!!!!  I can’t wait, our annual week with friends at Ernst’s sister’s house on the Cote d’Azur spent playing cards, reading, sleeping, eating, drinking and generally putting the world to rights.  Don’t worry about our dogs  they will all be tied to trees for safety with enough food and water (hopefully !) for one week. Nah, only kidding, some will be going on their hols to friend Danielle and the rest will stay here to be cared for by friend Virginie and spoilt, treated and cuddled by June.

October has been a topsy turvey month for Poorpaws.  On the plus side Leyla’s pups have all found homes as have Gus, Blacky, Muppet and the kittens.  On the down side poor Gumbo managed to sneak out and got hit by a car.   I feel terrible, it was due to a moment’s inattention on my part when I shut the gate sure that he was inside and he wasn’t.  He now has pins in one leg and a damaged hip and  expect, has blown his chances of adoption.  This is a dreadful shame as he really is the most lovable dog being one hundred per cent love and not an aggressive bone in his body.  He is great with other dogs and cats backing down immediately when he gets too annoying and gets told off by the older dogs here.  His one fault was that he jumped up all the time – doesn’t do that now !!

I cannot sign off without mentioning our friend Pam Evans who sadly died suddenly the weekend of the 17th September.  Pam was a great Poorpaws fan supporting every fundraising event and making Christmas cards for me to sell.  She also made the most fantastic theme birthday cakes which you could order, then wouldn’t take payment for.  Her funeral day was lovely (if I can say that) the church was full and husband Ken wrote a wonderful eulogy which was read out.  Tender and amusing there wasn’t a dry eye when he ended by saying “give me time to get my breath back and I’ll carry on”.  The world is a sadder place without you Pam.

Bummer, I’m crying again !

OK I’m off on ‘me’ hols.  Be good, take care and I’ll be back soon.

Sue x

September 2011

September 3, 2011

A very weird month August has been – 40° one day and boots and brolly the next !  It is much easier to keep dogs warm in the cold than it is to keep them cool in the heat.  Here we have kiddies’ plastic sandpits filled with cold water in the garden and in dog parks but have to say that they seem to drink the water rather than paddle, except for Rik the ancient huge German Shepherd who wallows like a hippo just keeping his nose above water.  Our old Brittany Spaniel, Max, suffers in the hot weather so I make sure he has a comfy bed on a cotton sheet in the shade of a tree with water close by.  But is he thankful ?  Nope !  He drags himself back into the mobile home where the temperature is unbearable and lays panting !!

Adoption wise August was a scorcher too !!  Loulou, Benno, Albert, Little Ted, the Setter pups, Fredy, Milou, Fifi and Gina all went to new homes or have homes to go to.  Thank you SO much !!!!

I was lucky enough to be able to take a day and go up to visit the lovely Leeanne and Mike at Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs.





Now I hasten to say that Leeanne and Mike run the home, they’re not inmates !!!   What a wonderful place, to see all those elderly dogs who most certainly would have had a very unpleasant future had it not been for Twilight.  Leeanne and Mike do a tremendous job on a very limited budget but there is nothing limited about the love and care they dish out in dollops.  Please visit their website www.twilightchiens and see for yourselves.

Sadly, I was having such a good time that I didn’t notice that whilst I was there, someone picked up France and turned it around, at the same time wiping the N21 completely off the planet !!  It took me forever to find my way out of Perigieux and I hope I never have to go there again.  I feel so sorry for people living there, they must leave home in the morning wondering if they will ever find their way back at hometime !!  However, worth every kilometer to get to Twilight and I fully intend to book myself in when I get old and doddery…….alright, more old and doddery !

August was also the month of the annual second hand clothes stall at the Montcuq vide grenier.
Vide Grenier

Vide Grenier

Once again it was a great success  We arrived with 35 sacks of clothes and left with 8 !!  Friends Danielle and Lesley were by my side from beginning to end – 7am to 6 pm – friendship indeed.  Thanks to all who donated and/or bought clothes, we raised a fabulous 645.45 euros.  Every cent will go to animal rescue and will be shared between Poorpaws, the SPA, Twilight and the Refuge Canin at Cahors.

The kindness of people never ceases to amaze me and I must give a huge thank you to Brian and Angela who, despite being sad and distraught having had to put their two dogs to sleep in a very short pace of time, thought of Poorpaws when packing their car to come down to their house near here and put in three HUGE bags of a very expensive dog food to give to us.  Plus a large dog bed.  The dogs loved the food and were not happy about going back to the usual brand even though they loved it before !!!  A bit like going back to fizzy white wine having tasted champagne !!   Thanks Brian and Angela, you are very special.

Well that’s about it, have a look at the updated adoption page and if you don’t see what you are looking for, give me a call, there are new dogs looking for homes all the time.

Sue x

August 2011

August 9, 2011

For those of you who may be rather confused, that was July, honestly, not March or November, but what a stinker ! August seems to be better but shhhh, don’t say it too loud !!

We are happy to tell you that Titou has now left his lonely life at the farmhouse, is living the life of Riley with Jill in Montcuq and, as I speak, is packing his case ready for a holiday in Switzerland. Fifi has been rehomed and Sissi will be on her way up North at the end of a month. So, all in all July was a good month for the oldies !

Someone (Mark Twain ?) once said “news of my death is premature”, well for those of you who have heard the rumours, news of my retirement is premature. It is partly true though. We have 15 dogs here at Poorpaws who because of age and/or behaviour problems will never be adopted and I have decided that I really cannot take any more in.
I work long busy hours at the hotel to fund the dogs (and 25 cats) and am finding it all very tiring now – can it be that I am getting old ?!!! Also the hotel is up for sale and if it is not sold by November will be closing anyway so I may well be without a job very soon. However, I will continue to be heavily involved in dog rehoming, the website will stay as an adoption board to put dogs and adopters in contact with each other and the Poorpaws news will continue. Fund raising events will continue in aid of other rescue centres as will the card stall at Montaigu market and the English library, and I hope that the name Poorpaws will still be a focal point for helping dogs in need.

One bit of great news is that the UK is coming into line with other european countries and as from the 1st January 2012 dogs will no longer require passports to go back to Great Britain. No more blood tests or 24/48 hour tick and flea treatments. Your dogs only need to have a valid rabies vaccination of at least three weeks. We are so hoping this will reduce the number of dogs abandoned by Brits leaving France.

On 28th August Poorpaws will be manning its’ usual second hand clothes store at the Montcuq Vide Grenier, so if you have any little numbers you don’t wear any more or any Manola Blahniks that are soooooo passé, send them our way ! Seriously all good condition clothes gratefully accepted.

That’s about it for now – don’t even get me going on the couple of Brits going back to UK but leaving their cat, who they have stopped feeding, behind so that she can “learn to fend for herself”.

Sue x

July 6, 2011

Oh, by the way, it’s that time of year again, fetes, festivals, vide greniers and marchés.  Go and have a great time, but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, leave your dogs at home in the cool.  Fun for humans, those festivities are pure misery for dogs being dragged around the crowds in the heat.  Much better to go alone and be free knowing that your faithful friend is happy at home dozing in the cool.  Under no circumstances leave them in the car even with windows open, the sun moves round surprisingly quickly.

July 2011

July 5, 2011

Phew, well that’s over for another year !  The TV has had its’ annual airing, has now been unplugged and I’m trying to get back to normal life after trying to fit in work and ‘playing’ every match at Wimbledon that I could.  I feel quite bereft now !



June was a sad little month for us here, two of our beautiful puppies caught a ghastly gastro virus and sadly didn’t make it.  Then two of our oldest residents had to be put to sleep.  Fabus, one of the very first dogs taken in, was a scruffy little so and so.  He came to us after his owner died and after he had run away from two new homes – to go and sit in front of the café where he used to go with his master !  He ran away from us once but couldn’t find a bar so came back and never left us after that.  Every morning he would branch off from our walk and go to our lovely neighbours Pat and Tony.  He would walk in the back door, eat the breakfast kindly given to him, then out the front door without so much as a thank you !  Pat and Tony miss him but our Max is taking over – happily he is more polite and at least permits a pat and stroke before he comes home.  Fabus came to us at 12 years and was 17 when a series of nasty fits eventually left him in a very sad state and the decision had to be taken for him to be at peace.



Then our Nicky.  We took Nicky from the refuge at Figeac after we learned she had been there for ELEVEN years !!!!  We couldn’t bear the thought of her eventually dying there not ever having felt grass beneath her paws or knowing the pleasure of lying in the shade of a tree on a sunny day.  (Gosh, sounds so good I think I’ll adopt myself !).  She got a tumour on her leg a month ago which was removed, but then it came back bigger and rampant moving up to her body so that it would have been useless to amputate the leg which we had discussed but which I wasn’t keen on.  Sleep well Nicky and remember the sunny days here.

Well, it wasn’t all sad news !  Folie will be off to a new family in the UK, the elderly German Shepherd is off the streets, is living and loved by a wonderful couple, Willow went to a new home as has Fausto.  So many, many thanks to all you lovely people.

We don’t normally take in cats any more (having about 15) but we have recently had dumped on us a cat and eight kittens.  Six ginger and white, one tortoiseshell and one tabby.  All adorable obviously and we would be very, very grateful for homes for them all – especially as the mother is VERY protective and has made a very definite no-go area near our front door for all our other cats and dogs !!!

The adoption page will be updated just as soon as  I find where puppy Gina has hidden my camera !!!

Have a wonderful July !

June 2011

June 3, 2011

A very, very dear, sadly departed, friend always said “no good deed goes unpunished”.  Sadly I often find this to be true but never more so than last Sunday !  Following the death of someone in the village we felt duty bound to take on his elderly German Shepherd dog.  Uncastrated and normally I would have got him ‘done’ but due to his age and possible heart condition I didn’t.  Then I had a call from a lady saying she had gone on holiday, left her little dog tied up in the garden and would I go and get him and look after him until she came home !  I was in fact in UK for the weekend so the poor thing was tied up for two days.  At first all went well, the GS was fine with all the other dogs and cats, then he took against the other little dog (also not castrated).  To cut a long (boring) story short the GS finally went for the little one in a nasty way.  He had him in his mouth and was shaking and shaking him.  I was screaming and trying to get the poor thing free but as old as he is the GS is very strong.  The little dog had his head thrown back, also screaming, then he saw something to bite.  And he bit.  Don’t blame him.  Only thing was, what he saw was my leg.  Luckily Ernst heard all the noise, ran over and delivered a swift hard punch to the GS’s nose.  Little Caramel was dropped and scurried away, thank goodness only bruised.  He has since spent most of his time in our bedroom coming out cautiously to pee.  The GS is in solitary until the guy’s family find a solution.  As for me, well I have the mother and father of bruises plus a nice little row of teeth marks.  It was flipping Mothers’ Day too, so no chance of staying off work – in fact I had to do a 12 hour shift !  Got to the Doctor, finally, who said that the leg won’t have to be amputated (bummer, could have given up work !).

So, think twice before doing good deeds !!

A mini soapbox moment.  All you walkers and hikers out there, if, when you are on your trails, a dog starts to follow you PLEASE chase it away.  Every year many dogs end up in the dog pound because they follow walkers then can’t find their way home and few French dogs are identified.

Now for Good News.  The best is that Buzz has been homed !!!  We are just so, so delighted.  Of course the Coton de Tulear pups went like hot cakes, one Scruffbag has been homed and the other has a home to go to just as soon as we are sure she is not pregnant.  Flora went quickly too,  Matthew has a home in view and all the Border Colley pups are happily with their new families.  Thank you to all you lovely adopters.

Go to the adoptions page for this months selection, lots of cat prevention dogs urgently needing homes !!!

May 2011

May 5, 2011

May already and only a month to go before I can leave my socks and vest off !! Mum always said “cast ne’er a clout ’til May is out”, but I can tell you with the weather we’ve been having I’m tempted to dare to disobey !!

Many of you have asked how little Gypsey is. Well, she is just great ! She recovered fully, is now Lola and is happily eating her way through her new home when not at art classes !!!

Toto went to a great new home and has slotted herself into the pecking order – near the top ! – of her new four-legged pals. Her adoption also gave me another opportunity to go up to the Vienne so I was very happy ! Geordie had lots of enquiries all of a sudden and has gone to Albi where he has six, yes SIX, children to play with.

Soapbox time again ! I have said time and time again that shit happens, we all know that and when I get people calling desperate for help rehoming dogs because they “have to go back to UK and never thought we would” or seeking kennelling facilities for a couple of months, I will do what I can to help even if I can’t understand why the problem has not been faced earlier instead of leaving things to the last minute. However, I’m soon going to stop trying to help. Time after time, Danielle (the voluntary SPA Inspector I work very closely with) puts herself out and reserves places for such dogs only to find, that despite promises made, no dog arrives and when we make enquiries we are told that “other arrangements have been made”. OK, but why are we not told, surely it is just common courtesy. Another increasingly regular problem is people leaving dogs and never coming back for them. One horrid snivelling confidence trickster swore to me several times during the course of calls to UK (at my expense !) that ” a friend was on his way from Paris with backdated kennel fees and a large donation”. Well, even if the friend was crawling backwards blindfolded from Paris he would have been here by now. Then there was Mrs. G who was desperate for us to look after Vinny – or was it Bonny, she couldn’t remember ! She even said she couldn’t understand how people messed us about when I was cautious about agreeing to help. Guess what, the time for Vinny (or Bonny, who gives a toss now ?!) to arrive and……………..silence ! Not even the good manners to get in touch.

Now it has happened again ! A lady desperate for us to take lovely Archie (see adoptions page) for the winter, promised she would be back in April. She didn’t have a French chequebook (should have been a clue Susan, should have been a clue !) so it was arranged that Poorpaws would pay the monthly kennel and feed bill and the ‘lady’ would pay the equivalent in Sterling into a Building Society account in England. All went well at first then the emails stopped. I recently checked my account and, surprise, surprise, no payment has been made since January and all emails are ignored. I work in a restaurant to fund Poorpaws and 100 euros a month is not peanuts for me ! So Mrs. P where are you ?! What is so difficult about emailing me to say there is a problem ?
It’s just pigging rude. Do you know it is illegal to abandon a dog in France ?

Now then, lets get on to happy news ! The Book Sale went well. In a way I think the rainy weather helped as you weren’t able to lounge or work in your gardens !! Don’t forget the Saturday Night Fever evening on June 11th and get in touch to reserve places – it’s getting closer !

Anyone looking to adopt a cat, take a look at Matthew – please !!

Have a wonderful Maytime, see you in June by which time I will have been to my first ever class reunion – we’re all over 60 now, how did that happen ??!!

PS.  Since the above newsletter ‘went to press’ I have heard from Mrs. G.  Apparently the email cancelling the kennel booking must have got lost and is floating around in cyberspace somewhere, together with my emails asking for news.  So that’s one puzzle solved and apologies offered. (Sometimes I think I’d like to float around in cyberspace for a while – and if I keep upsetting people like I am at the moment, the floating may start sooner than anticipated !)  Still waiting for the chap from Paris though …………………….. !

April 2011

April 3, 2011



OK get your kleenex out because I’m going to tell you a sad story !  See this little angel here, Gypsy ?  Well she and her brother, both barely two months old, were found at the bottom of a ditch.  They came to Poorpaws and were immediately taken to the vet for a pre-distemper prevention vaccination.  Galpin, the little boy (who is now Ozzie) was fine and is growing well and healthily in his new home.  Sadly little Gypsy must have already had distemper in her and has been so, so poorly.  She spent a week in the vets on a drip and  I was convinced she would die. I had to go away for a couple of days and took her with me so that she wouldn’t die alone.  She had a horrible fit one afternoon and I was convinced that was it and begged her to just ‘go to sleep’.  I even considered looking for a vet in the area to help her on her way.  However, she obviously had other ideas and hung on in there.  She started to eat again and perked up ……….a bit.  One week on she is eating normally but is still weak and instead of running around like any other puppy, she walks like an old lady.  The vet thinks the virus has caused brain damage so she will probably never be ‘normal’ but hey, she’s here, she’s a darling and one more nutter in the madhouse makes no difference !!

Other Poorpaws babes have been luckier !  Toby’s owners decided they couldn’t part with him after all (phew), Sultan went off to a great home with Libby and Craig and instantly acquired four new brothers and sisters – last news was that Sultan is the best behaved of them all !

Gerry and Foscoe (the Aussie shepherd pup) went off together to the same new home and are doing just great,  George went off happily to a French family who have declared him “trés intelligent” !  Beakie also found happiness despite practically ignoring his new owners when they came to see him, preferring to wind up the dog in the next park by running up and down and  barking at him !

AND (!) our lovely big boy Saxo suddenly got such a huge flurry of fan mail that he was almost embarrassed !  John and Judith were first in line and despite Saxo being rather larger than they had imagined, it was love at first sight on both sides and all is well there.

I must give a mention to little Fidgi who never made it on to the website before being chosen.  However, he too got distemper and caused us many many sleepless nights.  Gold stars to the Robson family, especially young Aisling who never gave up on him and were delighted after a very anxious two weeks to welcome him to join their gang.

So, a successful month here and let’s hope April will bring happiness to more of our dogs – Geordie for example just can’t imagine why no-one wants him !

Another reminder of our Barn Book Sale, Easter Saturday 10am to  4pm at Beliben just next to Sauzet here in the Lot.  Hundreds of books at 1 euro plus teas and yummy home made (not by me !) cakes.  Please help make this a success for Poorpaws and Cancer Research.

Another date for your diary – from the team who brought you the Blues Train evening in 2009 and The Pink Ball in 2010, we are happy to bring you a Saturday Night Fever evening on June 11th.  70’s style supper and music.  25 euros for a great evening at the Salle de Fete Sauzet.  Email me for more details and to book your places.

Ok, so now lets get down to doing what I am supposed to be doing – finding you your dream dog !  Flip over to adoptions to find your new pal !!