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 !


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