From the top ‘Men with Marigolds’, Sale in Flow, Scary Witches and lastly, Before the Off! Yes, of course the photos should have been in reverse order but who knows how to do that ??!! Again, we have to thank all of you who supported us and it was lovely to hear lots of people say how much they like to make a day of it, coffee, cake and browsing in the morning then lunch and back to make sure they haven’t missed any great books in the afternoon. We all enjoy the day immensely and the fantastic result of 3,100 euros at the end of it, made it so worthwhile. We donated 100 euros to ‘Donkey Jan’ for her amazing donkey refuge, plus Jan comes along at the end of the day to take books to sell at her refuge. The rest of the money was split between Dog Rescue and Cancer Support France. You can be sure that every euro goes to help dogs and people with difficulties related to cancer.
We are now planning the next sale for March 17th 2018 which I am reliably informed is St. Patrick’s Day, so be prepared for an Irish influence to the sale. We are already collecting books as our storage facility will not be needed until after the sale, so please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to donate. What I suggest to people is to have a ‘Poorpaws Book Box’ where you can put books as you finish them (unless of course you want to keep them) then they are ready to go when the box is full. Same for dvds.
Again, and again I say THANK YOU !!!
You will see on the website three little dogs, Coco and her children are going t Germany to be rehomed. Little Norbury has had no luck so far so will be leaving Danielle to come here to me. He is such a frightened little chap, heaven knows what happened to him before he was rescued, but if he is not adopted he will stay here at Poorpaws with the others who either have problems who have just never been chosen. I put in a plea here for Dino and Toby, both great energetic dogs who just need a chance.
November already ! Mind you we had such a great October I feel I’m ready for Winter now. I’ve been preparing my Autumn/Winter pots for our terrace but it is taking time as the Summer flowers just aren’t dying due to the lovely weather. Before I came to France I loved Chrysanthemums but because French people use them as flowers for the deceased it has rather put me off. However, I am determined to plant some this year, at least they won’t have the fate of just dying on a tombstone as most of the others here will !
I had planned to go to England on the 16th November to be with my pal Sue following her mastectomy and I have booked my ticket, however apparently there is a general strike planed for France that day so I fear my flight may be cancelled. Also Sue has had bronchitis so hasn’t yet had her op, so all in the balance.
Starting off this month with photos of Wellesley. I was delighted to receive an up to date photo of this handsome guy and looked back to how he was when he left us at four months. He is now seven years old and looks just as handsome, perhaps a tad more pensive !
Since the last newsletter we have been down to Cap d’Ail for our usual week and this time spent most of the time playing Bridge which our friends taught us. We love it and I’m only sorry that my Mum and Dad are no longer here as they were great Bridge players and were disappointed that none of us four kids got in to the game. My Dad was priceless, he tried so hard to be a good loser but never quite managed it, blaming bad cards on the god he didn’t believe in !
After a week of glorious sunshine down south, we came back to full pelting rain here and it had clearly been raining all week. However after a couple of days the sun came back and luckily held in time for our End of Summer apero evening. I prefer to do apero evenings, you just have to keep the nibbles and drink coming and there is much less chance of a culinary disaster !
Since we have been back I have been full steam ahead preparing for our Autumn Book Sale. The books are coming in from all directions and I haven’t yet got to the “never want to see another book in my life” time yet. We’ll have another great selection of books, dvds and, yes, don’t panic, cakes, for you so do come along and make a day of it if you can. 21st October at the Salle de Fetes, St. Pantaleon her in the Lot just five minutes from Montcuq. There will be lunches on offer including a veggie option.
We’re a bit sad here at Poorpaws at the moment. As you know I can no longer take in dogs, having 18 older dogs who are a selection of dogs who were never chosen for adoption or oldies who have come in having nowhere else to go. ‘Adoptables’ go to Danielle of la Mere aux Betes. Inevitably therefore we go through a period where we have to say goodbye to a dog who is either in too much pain or just cannot cope with life any more. At the moment we have dear Robbie who will be leaving us shortly. Robbie came to us about 12 years ago having been found with just a bit of string round his neck. He was a stocky little fellow rather in the shape of a corgi with, what I call a Maddie eye, one eye being white. I’ll never know why he was never adopted, a great little chap whose only problem was barking at the birds in the trees. Nothing wrong with that, I feel like doing it myself sometimes. I would love to make contact with the lady who brought him to us but paperwork has been lost, so if by any chance anyone knows who it was please do ask her to get in touch. Robbie is loved by everyone, especially our Brittany Isabelle who looks at him anxiously now.
We had a birthday party for Lulu, a Bichon mix who came to us when he was 13 and who I never expected to last another year. Well he was 19 in September and friends Gaynor and Louise came to celebrate. Gaynor made a lovely cake, which unfortunately the dogs stole off the kitchen worktop when our backs were turned ! Still, I suppose it was right that the dogs should celebrate too !!!
Do hope you make it to the Book Sale, all money goes to dogs in distress and Cancer support groups.
Ist September already ! This summer just seems to be flying by and it has been a hot one. Too hot for some people but I just love it. I’m not a sunbather and we don’t have a swimming pool, but I love it when you go outside at 7 am and it is already warm and I just love the long evenings when you can sit outside until late still feeling the heat of the sun on the walls of the house. All the watering of plants is a bit of a pain though !! I find it is better to water first thing in the morning rather than the evening, the flowers suffer less snail damage that way.
We had a long weekend in Germany to celebrate Ernst’s brother’s birthday in August. We drove up to Annecy to stay the night with his sister and brother-in-law then the four of us set off for Germany the following day. The drive to Annecy was ghastly ! All went well until we got to Lyon where the ring road was closed. We got hopelessly lost, driving round for an hour looking for a road to Geneva but they all seemed to lead to Paris or Marseille. Hmm, I thought, time for a crash course in getting the satnav working. Big mistake ! I got it working but it just kept wanting us to go back to St. Pantaleon. Then we couldn’t turned the flipping thing off, so we were driving around looking for road signs with the satnav yacking on in the back ground “turn around, turn around” !! Finally we got on to the right motorway and off we set ……… in the wrong direction !!! In all I led Ernst up and down three wrong motorways before throwing the map in the air and bursting in to tears ! Ernst was amazing, lots of friends have said that their husbands would have gone mad but Ernst just calmly said not to worry we would get there. Later, I heard him say to a friend that at that stage there was only room for one crazy person in the car !!! The journey from Annecy to Germany was no better, torrential rain and traffic jams after traffic jams, it took us ten hours to do a seven hour journey. Then to cap it all, it was freezing in Germany ! The party, which was held in the garden, was great but there was no way I was going to wear the intended outfit, instead it was jeans, long sleeved shirt and a fleece borrowed from my sister-in-law. Some people were in ski jackets !! Naturally the next day was hot and sunny and the good weather continued. The drives home were peaceful and trouble free !
Last Sunday Danielle and I held our now almost infamous second hand clothes stall at the Montcuq Vide Grenier . I was very anxious as one weather forecast was saying thunder storms all day. However, we were blessed with overcast in the morning and flaming hot in the afternoon. As usual, thanks to the incredible generosity of friends and folk we had a great selection of clothes and took two pitches this year to accommodate all the boxes, bags and rails of clothes. We had to be on site at 6 am (!) and when we arrived dear Sophie Bacou was there to help with the unloading. Lesley was there at 7 and kept the crowds entertained by trying on most of the clothes available. We were very busy all day, not surprisingly as we were selling everything at just one euro. Very many return customers who were very happy to see us and said so. Some young couples – and indeed, not so young – are finding it very difficult to make ends meet and spend any spare cash on the children so it was lovely to see them getting some great clothes and being so happy to be able to do so. We made a fantastic 785 euros ………. plus a Carrefour shopping trolley token ! The money will be split 50/50 between Poorpaws and La Mere aux Betes (Danielle’s refuge in Castelnau Montratier) and I can assure you that every single cent goes to making abandoned and unwanted dogs’ lives happier. At the end of a very exhausting day we went down to the Cafe du Centre for an early supper and my thoughts of the previous day when we spent all day loading up, ” I am NEVER EVER going to do this again” were banished and we were already planning for next time. So please, don’t throw any clothes away, save them for us for next time !!
Lucky dogs this month were the griffon pup, the Spitz, Falco and …………………….Egan !!! Remember he was let down at the very last minute ? Well happily the gentleman who was going to take him has made a great recovery, is feeling very well and I took Egan to meet him and his dog Babouschka (adopted from us some ten years ago) at Limoges. He had driven down from the Vienne and I up from the Lot and we arrived within seconds of each other ! The dogs seemed very happy to meet each other, so fingers crossed for a great new life for Egan.
We’re off for our usual week at Cap d’Ail with friends in ten days for our usual week of cards, reading and general relaxation. Can’t wait !!
Here we go, what can I tell you about Brittany Spaniels that I haven’t already told you. they are FABULOUS ! Quick to learn, great companions and just 100% love. Mousse here is just one year old and I’m praying someone adopts her quickly before she is added to my ‘collection’ !!
We had to leave in ten minutes to go and eat with friends. I was just putting on a quick layer of nail varnish (transparent, I’m not quite stupid enough to try to put a coloured varnish on in a hurry !) and, as it was Wimbledon fortnight, the televisions was connected. I was watching my guilty pleasure, Location, Location, Location, (Love That Programme !) when the advertisments came on. RSPCA, uh oh. I should have looked away, I should have changed channels, I should have turned the damn thing off. But no, I thought, I can do this, I’m a big girl now. I sat stoically through the poor dog who had been used in dog fights, I gritted my teeth through the pictures of the disgusting, filthy puppy farm – whilst wishing a long, slow, painful death on the breeder – and then they played their trump card; an RSPCA inspector crying over a pitiful bundle held in his arms. I was toast. I cried, I howled, I cursed every living being who was cruel to animals, then I went to ‘redo’ my face and peel off bits of sodden tissue from my not dry nails. We were half an hour late for lunch !
I had a surprisingly good week with my mate Susie when I went over to be with her for her chemo. We were expecting a bad time as the cocktail was being changed and Susie had been warned that side effects might not be good. Huh, they hadn’t reckoned on my feisty Geordie pal, no side effects to speak of, no sickness, no aches and pains and in fact the next day she was like a Duracel bunny on speed ! Sadly a throat infection stopped her in her tracks but nothing worse than that. Go Susie !
Poor Egan has had a disappointment. He’s the one-eyed boy on the website. Such a lovely lad who has been waiting for so long for that forever home. He was all set to go up to the Vienne to a lovely elderly gentleman when at the last minute the kind man was taken ill and regretfully came to the conclusion that he could not take Egan. I’m just hoping that there is someone else just as kind out there ….. but in better health !!
I want you all to keep your fingers crossed for little Lulu. Lulu and his brother, Charlie, Westie/Bichons, came to Poorpaws when they were 13. I agreed to take them, not thinking they would live for long, and was so glad I did as their poor owner had died after being in the clutches of alcohol for years which ended, literally, when he was still quite young. He clearly had not been able to look after Lulu and Charlie as they were in a heartbreaking state. I was told that they loved each other and got on well. Hmm, well, if standing over your brother and biting him if he dared move is love, I’ve got a lot to learn. They had to be put in to separate parks where they then barked and cried the place down !! Things improved and as they got older they happily shared the same park, but not the same kennel ! Charlie died a couple of years ago but Lulu is still with us …… just. He is blind, deaf and incontinent but put a bowl of food in front of him and he will eat for France ! Lulu has a birthday coming up and will be 19 (113 in dog years !!!) on 5th September so we are just hoping he hangs on until then when we’ll have a celebration.
Some real cuties going on the website very soon so keep checking in.
Poorpaws will be running the usual second hand clothes stall at the Montcuq Vide Grenier on the 27th August. This is usually a great fund raiser for us and I’m now looking out for good second hand casual clothes donations. Shoes, handbags and jewelry all gratefully accepted. If you have anything to donate I can arrange to meet and/or collect. Please get in touch either by email – firstname.lastname@example.org – or call 0565245303 and make sure you leave a message.
Those of you who have been following Poorpaws since God was a boy will recognise Bracken. A fabulous Brittany Spaniel adopted by Brian and Elizabeth many years ago. Brian has a lot of experience in dog training/agility and started to train Bracken who absolutely loved it. They would travel together all over the place and even though Bracken was not a superstar he and Brian had great fun and proudly brought home trophies from time to time. The thing with agility is that the human part of the two ‘man’ team has to do a lot of running too and has to remember the course, not always easy as some fabulous video clips of the two of them have shown me. Bracken, a great favourite of the Cahors agility team retired a couple of years ago when the competing became a bit too much for him …….. and perhaps for Brian too !! Well I am sure you can guess what is coming next, dear Bracken’s last bit of agility was to jump over the rainbow. Desperately sadly missed by Brian and Elizabeth, and Fern his adopted sister who didn’t take to agility so well, Bracken so readily gave back the love and happiness he received and deserved. A wonderful dog.
Another Poorpaws loss in June was dear Douschka who left us whilst I was in England with my pal Susie. Douschka came to us as a puppy just two months old, but strangely she wasn’t your usual loving, tumbling affectionate pup. She was very reserved and was returned from her first home as she would not connect at all with her new family and would have nothing to do with the children. She was then adopted by the lovely Leeanne and Mike of Twilight as part of their clan but sadly had to come back from them also when she turned out to be rather a bully towards the other dogs. I soon realised that all these theatrics were just ploys to get back here as she was as good as gold with us. Okay, she would climb over our two metre fencing to go and play if she saw a dog outside and the first time we had someone to come and live in whilst we went away, she ruined his New Year’s Eve – and in fact the NYE of very close friends – when she escaped and had people looking all over for her instead of enjoying the parties they were supposed to be at !! Yes, she was indeed a very reserved dog with people and would always stand away up the hill in the garden when anyone came visiting. I was in England when Ernst called to say he had found her not at all well and she then died at the vet’s during the night. I was heartbroken not to have been there to say goodbye but luckily my very close friend Gaynor happened to call by when Ernst was leaving for the vet and she gave Douschka a big hug and kiss from me just in case. Lucky she did.
Gosh this is turning in to an obituary column !! Let’s think of some good news. WIMBLEDON !!!! The television has been reconnected and after watching hours of Roland Garros whilst in England, I came back to watch hours of Queens, Eastbourne and intend to do exactly much the same over the next two weeks !!
On the dog front, Marvik has gone down to Monaco, Helton has gone with another Setter from the Cahors refuge up to near Luxembourg, Fifi has finally found a forever home and from the way she leapt in to the car when she left it is clear that her days of actually living in a car had not had an adverse effect !
I’m off to make up a fortnight’s dinners/sandwiches now to put in the freezer and to make sure we’ve got enough Schweppes Zero (my new tipple) in the fridge before I batten down the hatches !!
This photo really made me laugh. It was headed “We’re really doing well with our ‘don’t sit on the furniture’ training” !! Regulars will recognise the dog on top but possibly not the name as she has been Izzy, Fleur and is now Tyga Lily !! As her owner points out,well she is not actually on the chair !!!
Now, following a little giggle to start with, we go to the complete opposite of emotions, heartbreaking sadness. Those of you who read this page regularly and those who come to our Book Sales will know of Amanda. Amanda was one of the founder members of the book sale team and was the maker of the most fantastic cakes. She has been very poorly over the last 18 months with the return of cancer. Having successfully recovered from breast cancer, it came back in the form of a rare type of blood cancer. Amanda had to undergo horrid treatments and at Christmas gave us the fright of our lives when we were told she had just two days to live. She didn’t listen and made amazing progress so we naively thought she would pull off a miracle again. Anyone who saw her at the Easter Book Sale saw her tired but cheerful and positive and she pulled out all the stops to make her hot cross buns and many of the cakes on sale. She seemed all set to be well enough to attend her daughter’s wedding in England on 1st June. Tragically it wasn’t to be and Amanda took a sudden down turn, was rushed into hospital, insisted on coming home after a week and passed away peacefully in her sleep on Monday 22nd May. I cannot tell you how shocked and desperately sad we all are. All we could do was to give her the funeral she wanted. Church service at Albas and laid to rest at the lovely cemetery there next to the river. Plus, and this was very important to Amanda, truckloads of pink flowers.
I’m now trying like mad to think of some good news but as I am off to England next week to stay with my pal Susie when she has her third chemo treatment, it is proving difficult.
However, during what proved to be a very sad month, there was good news for the following dogs who all found great homes – Malik, Mocha, Jocky, Logan and Lolita. May you all be very happy with your new families.
I know, look at the date, I’m four days early !! this is because we’re off on Saturday to the Ile de Ré for our annual week of reading, cycling and sleeping ! So much to do before we leave and so little time.
This newsletter is going to be rather sweet and sour so let’s get the sour out first ! People who divorce and chuck the dog out with the unwanted chattels. Two of these poor dogs on the Adoptions page at the moment. How DARE people do that ? Ok, shite happens but at least one of you should have the decency to make sure that wherever you are going to, you can take the poor dog. It’s not his/her fault you are divorcing. Wonder if the children go up for adoption too.
Moving on to sweet, three pups adopted and oh how I miss little Nick, just the most wonderful little lad. He is proving to be, as I knew he would, very laid back and easy going, slotting in to his new life at Juan les Pins with Ana and proving to be the delight of everyone who meets him. Mimba went off down to Aix en Provence and we are hoping the little teething problems will soon be sorted out. Misty went off last week and Binky, now Izzy is set to go out into the big wide world tomorrow.
Our Easter Book Sale was a great success raising 2,500 euros and it was lovely to see so many familiar faces. Not as many as last time which we think was due to the fact that Easter was later this year and the weather has been great so many people had gone away. We are starting to collect names of people who have books to donate for October so if you have any please get in touch with me – good condition and saleable is the order of the day !
Back to sour, my very dear friend Sue who comes to visit often and who is always here to give a hand at the Book Sale, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily she has a great team of mates all queuing up to help her cope with everything and I will be popping over to the UK regularly to give her moral support and to be ready with buckets and bowls !!!
I’ve always thought what a great easy job a weather forecaster would be. You just have to forecast rain every day. It rains, no-one is surprised, it doesn’t rain, people are happy ! Except farmers of course but it takes a lot to make them happy weather wise ! As you may have guessed I’m sitting typing this whilst “sunny spells” tips it down outside and, having finished the house, I’m thinking of asking Ernst to start on the ark ! Weather is such a tease, a couple of days of up to 22° last week and I get out all the garden pots, optimistically buy Lobelia and Impatience from Lidl where they are dying of thirst and plan my weekend. Huh, aforementioned plants are probably now dying from too much water ! Lidl, now I love the shop but why do they never water the plants they have on sale ?!
Overwatering reminds me of an episode of Bronco the cowboy – boy that ages me ! – when strong handsome Bronco was taken into the desert by a baddie and left to die of thirst. Of course he didn’t and got back to town where he got his own back by forcing the baddie to drink gallons after gallons of water. Good justice I always thought ! I can’t stand violence !
Well it’s all systems go getting everything ready for the Easter Book sale (15th April at St. Pantaleon salle de fetes). I have sorted literally thousands of book, have about 100 boxes for you to browse through plus boxes of dvd’s and cd’s. A plea, please don’t come with hundreds more books, we won’t have time to sort them and they will end up being got rid of. However, if you have been saving for us, can I be cheeky and ask you to cherry pick and ONLY BRING books in good condition and saleable, they will be put aside for the next sale. Nothing technical, no A to Z’s, Michelin Guides, or travel guides generally from the year dot. As usual loads of home made cakes, coffee, tea and light lunches will be on offer. It makes a great trip out especially if you have visitors and need ideas of what to do.
Colleague Danielle of La Mere aux Betes has been away for a couple of weeks so adoptions have been on hold. The six pups I had all have good homes, the last one going down to St. Jean Cap Ferrat if you please ! Boy am I going to miss him. Nick is a poppet and a great shoe collector. He steals all my shoes and takes them back to his bed ! Mimba will be on her way to Aix en Provence next weekend and Bella and Babarella have gone to some lovely people who were quite prepared to take on two eleven year old dogs, now that is what I call dog rescue !
Remember I said last month I was going to have a ‘dry’ March ? Well I did it ! We went out to supper with friends last night (I started this newsletter on the 1st April and it is now the 2nd) and I was presented with some bubbly in the biggest wine glass I have ever seen ! I didn’t overdo it but still woke up this morning with that familiar fuzzy head and queasy stomach so I think I’m going back to tonic water and feeling good in the morning. Mind you my wit and conversation last night was top notch …….. it seemed to me …. !
This is a lovely story, well the start is not but fear not it has a happy ending. Hugh was out walking the lovely Jules during one of the recent very windy days when Jules went off on a mission and dragged Hugh towards the river. There Hugh saw a gorgeous Brittany Spaniel trapped on a ledge with the river water raging beneath her and impossible to climb back up the bank. Her older companion had not abandoned her but had made herself a bed on the edge of the bank where she could watch and hope. Hugh to the rescue, both dogs were taken back to the house where they were warmed up and fed before settling down for a much needed sleep. Enquiries were made and the dogs’ anxious owners made contact the following day. If only the dogs had had telephone numbers on their collars the owners would not have spent a sleepless night !
My friend Annie telephoned the other evening so I took the ‘phone in to another room so we could chat without the radio in the background. Unfortunately I had just started to prepare supper and had put oil in to the frying pan. Annie and I were yapping away when I suddenly smelt smoke and looked into the kitchen where I could see the sort of thin cloud layer of smoke that hovers just below the ceiling when saucepans are left cooking but unattended. We see such clouds often in our house ! What made that day different was that Ernst was just sitting there engrossed in his suduko and hadn’t even noticed until I shouted out ! Luckily no damage done and lucky too that it was raining so I hadn’t taken the telephone outside and walked round the garden whilst chatting which is what I usually do !
A couple of events coming up which you may be interested in ……. may be ?? of course you are ! Firstly our regular clothes sale to be held at La Sirene in Montaigu de Quercy on Friday 24th March starting at 11 am. Lots of really good quality clothes at very reasonable prices. La Sirene will be opening especially for us so we are hoping that many of you will stop for coffee and perhaps lunch too.
Then we have the return of a very favourite event ……..drum roll please …….. The Easter Book Sale !!!! Easter Saturday at St. Pantaleon Salle de Fetes starting at 10am. Thousands of brilliant second hand books all at just one euro each be they large or small, dvd’s too plus, as always coffee, tea and delicious home made cakes. For the last couple of sales we have proposed light lunches and these have been very popular so these too will be on offer – menu to be agreed. I am delighted, in fact double delighted, to tell you that our own Quercy Culinary Goddess Amanda, who was so very, very ill over Christmas (at one time we were told that she only had 48 hours left) has confounded doctors and specialists by fighting her way back and is hoping to provide some of the cakes for the sale. Phew, what a relief !! If you have books to donate, can I ask that you contact me as soon as you like to arrange delivery/collection ? We really want to try to avoid hundreds of books arriving on the actual day, unless of course you live a long way away when we will be very happy to see both you and your books ! Many thanks !
Dog adoptions and reservations have been brilliant in February. Five of the six Spaniel mix pups are reserved – I’m warning all their future owners as their favourite pastime is nipping ankles and swinging on trouser bottoms at the moment. those little teeth are like needles !! The magnificent Great Dane has gone to a great home as has Maguy. Mila has a waiting list and we’ve had lots of enquiries for the French Bulldog so she will be away soon. Fifi, after a VERY long wait has happily packed her bags and left too. With all the adoptions you would think there was lots of space but no, as fast as they go, in come more so if you don’t see the dog of your dreams on the adoptions page, hang on in there he/she will be soon !
I’m having an alcohol free March, no particular reason, just thought my body could do without for a while, going great so far …..sorry ? pardon ? only the 2nd, are you sure ??!
First of all the excellent news that Amanda has defied modern medical science and is home making excellent progress ! After scaring the bejezus out of us before Christmas she has dismissed the home hospitalisation team, is walking again – slowly – and we are sure she’ll be out and about soon so long as this continues !
The ancient Brittany Spaniel who I thought had been dumped on us is back with his carers, the misunderstanding over dates being the cause for concern.
Talking of Brittanys our own Isabelle nearly broke my heart last week. Isabelle is now three years old and came to us completely traumatised. She was in such a state that even now after almost three years has passed I still cannot stroke her. She will come towards me bottom wagging (she doesn’t have a tail) and will take treats from me, but if I stretch out to stroke her she runs off. She now comes out on walks with us – after accidentally getting out by sneaking out in the middle of the crowd -and never runs off. However, last Sunday as I came in through the gate Balto our English Setter who should be called Bolto, took me out at the knees and ran off with Josie and Isabelle in hot pursuit. I didn’t worry too much as they all know the area well. However, when Josie and Balto came back but Isabelle didn’t I started to fret. I won’t bore you with the details of the whole angst filled four days, suffice to say that after being outside for four of the coldest nights of the year she came home on Thursday not a gram lighter and full of beans. I on the other hand hadn’t slept for four nights, had eyes so swollen from crying that I could hardly see and was exhausted from walking miles over the hills and valleys behind our house !
Our little Lulu is still with us and is clearly made of very strong stuff. Every morning I expect to find him lifeless in his bed, but no, that little (big) heart is still beating away. Today I took him to be clipped and stayed to help Virginie, who runs Os’car toilettage in Prayssac, as I knew it wouldn’t be easy. It wasn’t. Poor Virginie was frightened he would have a heart attack on the table, but no, he just thanked her by doing a poo. He has now had a bath and is snug in a very unmasculine pink jumper !
I’m off to the UK just for three days on the 16th, going to visit my new Great Niece, Maggie Ann. I’ll stay with Susie and on the Friday we are going to have a day in London followed by a show (Wicked), then on Saturday off to Streatham to see Maggie Ann, Sunday lunch with a group of friends and home on Monday. Soo looking forward to it.
Adoptions going well, delighted to say that Lucien went off to what looks like a fabulous home today, he really deserves it, such a great dog. Scruffboy also went to a lovely couple, Mengo is reserved and will be away next week – you won’t believe how many calls we had for him – and Max who has been so patient got his reward a couple of weeks back finally being chosen.
My ‘Grrrr’ of the month goes to the unspeakably horrid people who owned a lovely young female Lab mix. The dog was given to us by some travellers who had found her and decided they didn’t want her. Danielle found that the dog was in fact chipped so she was able to trace the owners who are Doctors. Now usually when this happens the owners are over the moon and very grateful. However, ‘phone messages went unanswered and after a week, a friend of Danielle’s went to the address on the identity records only to be told that the people had been very upset when the dog got lost but had got used to it now so didn’t want her back !!! I have very rarely seen Danielle angry, she has seen so much nothing surprises her, but on this occasion she was seething. We think we have someone on our waiting list for the dog but if it doesn’t work out she’ll be on the adoptions page very soon.
Right, that’s about it for this month, just to say that for those of you in the area of where The Quercy Local is distributed, look out for my article in praise of adopting adult dogs.
Also, Danielle and I are still in need of any old blankets you may have. Oh, nearly forgot, we are collecting books and dvd’s for the Easter sale already so get in touch if you need us to collect.
So late, so late, so sorry, so sorry ! Our Christmas / New Year celebrations have gone on and on this time and I just haven’t had a minute to sit down and bring you up to date. Susie arrived to spend the Festive Season with me and Ernst escaped up to his sister to have a much calmer time. In fact he seems to have spent a lot of his time there ferrying people to and fro Geneva airport. Some American friends came over and had so much luggage, one car was not enough ! Therefore Ernst was roped in to help out with a taxi service, my brother in law flatly refusing to do it “if they are so stupid etc., etc. !). Susie and I had a great time, lunching, shopping, seeing friends and falling asleep in front of the programmes we had ticked to watch on the television. We kept the television plugged in exceptionally as we were not alone but I have to say there was not much on I couldn’t have lived without. It is now unplugged again, Susie has gone home and the decorations are down – it’s all very bleak ! Susie was due to leave on the 30th but the flight was cancelled due to the fog and the next available seat was on the 3rd so we had bonus time together and she was able to join us for the Gatsby party we were invited to for the 31st, drinks with neighbours on the 1st and aperos with friends on the 2nd.
Last year very nearly ended too sadly to bear. Our own dear Domestic Quercy Goddess, Amanda, she of the amazing Book Sale cakes, very nearly left us the week before Christmas. The horrid blood disease that she is suffering from, lulled us all into a false sense of security then came back with a vicious vengeance and the family were told to say their farewells and prepare themselves. However, no-one gave Amanda the script and she is happily still with us, despite being very poorly and is swatting back the nasty blood munchers with as much strength as she can muster.
I am now back to my normal life of work, (cleaning), library duty, charity cat shop duty and, of course, dog care. One of my 2017 resolutions was not, absolutely not, to take in any more dogs. However it looks likely that an ancient Brittany Spaniel we agreed to look after for the holidays may have lost his foster home so I expect he’ll be staying. The other resolution was the one I make every other year, not to buy any clothes for a year. Last year it was not to buy any box sets, I managed it and now am excitedly catching up ! Oh, I nearly forgot, there is another resolution, to think before I speak and to count to ten before hitting the ‘send’ key ! I don’t hold out much hope for that one !!
Adoptions have not been bad over the last month, Maddie has gone again, this time let’s hope it’s permanent, Mila has been adopted, as has Maika. I should point out that the dogs who appear on the adoptions page are all, unless otherwise stated, at Danielle’s. I have 20 old dogs here who no-one wants – and, if I am honest, I would not let go now they have been here so long – so Danielle of La Mere aux Betes takes all the ‘adoptables’ and I just put them on the Poorpaws website as we get quite a good following. Little Lulu who I took to be PTS last month is still alive but hardly kicking. Bless his heart I just hope that he will soon be at rest from his confusing life.
So, 2017, bring it on and I hope it’s a great one for all of you.
November was certainly not a good month this year and I was glad to see it go. A lovely friend died from pancreatic cancer after giving it a really good run for its’ money for two years, which is amazing for pancreatic. Then we had the tragic death of one of our own Poorpaws, Honey, a lovely Border Colley who, in her old age, was living with demons she was finding it difficult to cope with. I am a wussy person who does not cope well with bad news – in fact a Chinese doctor I went to see once, told me that, just be looking at prints of the soles of my feet !! I cry for a “oui ou un non” as the French say, which wouldn’t be so bad if I could cry daintily or prettily, but no, not me, screwed up face, great gulping sobs and eyes that disappear into red blobs. If anyone has shares in Kleenex, you can thank me if you get a dividend this year.
Dog adoptions (why has the print suddenly changed colour ??!!) were well down, in fact, non existant. Dear Maddie went off happily to her new home only to be returned a week later because she ran after the cats. Maddie has lived here for a month or so amongst ten or so cats so is quite used to them and in fact has been on the receiving end of many a swipe ! She is only a pup so would not hurt a moggie, she was just missing her playmates here and wanted to have fun with someone. However, the resident cats packed their bags and gave an ultimatum, so poor Maddie lost out. To add insult to injury, as soon as she came back there was a bit of over excited playfighting and she ended up at the vet with a nip to her leg ! Nothing serious and she is back on all four paws again, only limping when she feels in need of a bit of extra tlc.
There was a little bit of exciting news in that our ‘middle room’ ( the room between the kitchen and the bedrooms) was finished, so we have a proper house at last !! It has only taken 14 years !! Of course there is the terrace to complete and lots of ‘little fiddly’ bits to finish off but I think I can honestly say we made it !! Ernst was rather pushed into crossing the finishing line as we are hosting our Strictly Sweepstake finals this year and I offered to do this because I knew we would HAVE to be finished.
December didn’t start too well when I decided that time was up for our 18 year old Bichon after I had found him fallen in his pee and he couldn’t get up. So it was tears before bedtime again as I took him off to the vet. BUT when the vet gave him a thorough examination he checked Lulu’s ‘private parts’ and Lulu started to wag his tail !!! So the vet decided that perhaps he (Lulu) had a few more weeks and gave me some medication for him to help clear his head and reduce the pain in his joints. I’m still not sure, as Lulu is blind and deaf and when not in his large cage, walks around banging into everything or just walks round and round in circles, this when he is not peeing and pooing everywhere. Anyway, I wasn’t going to argue with the vet over something like that and dear Lulu came home again. So it’s back to sleepless nights, getting up two or three times a night to let him out to do his business – I imagine it must be like having a baby who doesn’t sleep through, though I am not suggesting that anyone puts their baby outside to pee !!
Well, it’s that time of year again when the world goes into a consumer frenzy. I’m happy to say that our circle of friends don’t give gifts, saving them for birthdays, but there still seems to be masses to do. We had a ‘Prosecco Tasting’ the other night for a friend’s birthday, think we’ll have a change from Champagne, all very enjoyable. The one that won came from the Italian Deli in Montcuq (yes, we have an Italian deli in the village ! In fact it is on the premises where I had a gift shop back in the 80’s !). Ernst will be going to visit his sister in La Clusaz in the mountains and my pal Sue will be coming over to spend the Festive Season with me. I’d love to go with Ernst but it is impossible to get someone to house/dog sit at this time of year. I went to London last year so this time it is Ernst’s turn.
So that’s it for November, I’m hoping that the next Newsletter will be a bit more cheerful !!! Oh, nearly forgot, it’s getting very brrrrr and we are in need of old blankets / quilts to help keep the dogs warm, so if you have any you are thinking of getting rid of, give me a call. Thanks.
Clearing out a load of boxes at the weekend, I came across my old school report from Hargrave House School in Derby for 1955 when I was six. The headmistress had written “Susan is a very bright and interesting pupil”, hmm, what happened ?!
I know, I know, soooooo late this month but in my defence I have been rather busy ! As you can see from the photo I have been to Witchy College, passed with flying colours (hence the purple hat) then had to come back and train up all my Apprentice Witches ! Luckily they all scraped through, took to their cauldrons and managed to magic up some fantastic goodies ready for the Book Sale before flying off on their broomsticks. The Halloween Book Sale, well, wow, what can I say apart from jumping toads and cartwheeling cats ! It was great. Our very best with a profit of 3,500 euros which was split fifty fifty between Poorpaws and Cancer Support France. The Poorpaws half will be shared with my colleague Danielle who runs La Mere aux Betes and who is always there when Poorpaws needs a helping hand and also a donation will be made to Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs, another wonderful rescue organisation run by Leeanne and Mike. So a huge thank you to all who attended and we look forward to seeing you again next Easter Saturday.
Since the last News Ernst and I have had a great weekend in Southwold with some friends of very long standing who have a tiny one up two down house there. It was my friend’s birthday and we had a lovely lunch at a restaurant not far from the harbour. In the evening Phena realised she had lost an earring so the next day we walked back to the restaurant to see if, by chance, she had dropped it there and hopefully not during the walk back along the beach. However, when we got to the restaurant it was closed ( Monday) so we just walked around the outside and on to the back terrace where Phena had had a cigarette. I noticed that the door into the actual dining room was open so we went in expecting to find a cleaner or someone. Imagine our shock nd surprise when the alarm suddenly went off, screaming in our ears. We immediately ran out again then realised that that wouldn’t look good on the CCTV so went back in, looked all over the floor for the earring and waited for the security firm to arrive. No-one did turn up so we left a note on the table with telephone numbers and left. We walked back up to the village and could still hear the alarm ringing when we got home. Probably the restaurant wasn’t shut up properly on Sunday evening so I’ve a feeling someone got a flea in their ear on Tuesday. We never did find the earring !
I’ve had news of the lovely Gavaroche plus a photo of him on his return from the ‘hairdresser’, he looks fantastic and brilliantly happy.
I’m very happy to report that all the pups have been homed, but if you missed out don’t fret there are more due to arrive in a couple of weeks. Meantime, is there not anybody out there interested in Lucien ? Such a gorgeous creature and so loving.
Had a nasty thing happen this afternoon, I was leaving for work when one of our oldies, Doushka, who is about ten years old, clambered over our two metre high fencing. I heard a car coming, shouted at Douschka and threw my bag at her hoping to deter her, but no she ran straight out on to the road and straight into the car. It was awful, a ghastly thump and I saw her spin round and round on the road. I was screaming hysterically (I’m great in a crisis !) and ran over to find her lying with blood coming out of her mouth and nasty cuts on her legs. She just lay there and didn’t move and I was sure she was dying so I just sat in the road with her stroking her. Then she opened one eye and looked at me as if to say “well just how long are we both going to stay in the middle of the road because you are going to get run over too very soon and I need to get to a vet”! I did a Lewis Hamilton to the vet where they rushed her in and ‘tubed’ her up. Three xrays showed no internal damage so goodness knows where the blood was coming from, possibly a few broken teeth. She is still at the vet’s under observation but is expected to pull through. I’m hoping that will put a stop to her high jump hurdling skills. The driver of the car never even stopped even though they cannot possibly not be aware of what they had done. Not that I would have blamed them or been angry, they had no chance of not hitting Douschka she ran straight into them and even if they had been driving at five miles an hour they would have hit her. I was just surprised they didn’t even stop. I bet they will come back if the car is damaged. So, fingers crossed for my girl.
This time next week we’ll know if Trump is the next President – heaven help us all !!!
Happy Birthday brother Phil !He’s the one on the right as you look, with the white shirt. This photo of my three brothers and moi was taken at the family get together I told you about last month. Think you will agree I am the best looking !!
Ernst and I had our usual September week at Cap d’Ail with our friends and had our usual great time playing cards, reading, swimming and visits to our favourite eateries. Timing had been arranged so that we would arrive on the coast at the same time as their flight so that we could pick them up at the airport but a last minute puppy transport problem meant that we had a dog cage in the car so they got a taxi from Nice. Would you believe it we arrived at the house, Ernst and I after an eight hour drive and the others after their flight, within ten minutes of each other !
Last week we had our annual Summer’s End apero evening with 40 people for drinks and snacks. I always get stressed out when I have to prepare food for others and find the best policy is to get everyone tiddly before the food is brought out ! A friend brought over a large plate of meaty bits and they were gone in two minutes. Hmm, I fear we veggies have a way to go on the road to conversion !! I love having people round, if only one didn’t have to feed them as well, luckily Betsy (my cooker) was in a good mood and there were no disasters. When everyone had left Ernst and I sat and Ernst – a man of very few words – said “I think that was good” which in Ernst speak means “Wow ! What a blast” ! The great thing about inviting a crowd is that you suddenly get many invitations yourself shortly after and this time was no exception !!
Dogs, well not so many adoptions last month, probably everyone adjusting to school starting again and the end of the holidays. News from Gavaroche is that he is doing just great. Take a look at the adoptions page, there are many lovely dogs in need and if it is a puppy you are after then hold on just a couple of weeks, we have taken in a litter found in the forest and they are just adorable. We just need them to have their vaccinations with no after effects before they go up for adoption. At the other end of the scale there is Aska, the gorgeous German Shepherd who is eleven going on six !
Indie the beautiful Beagle came down from Paris and is keeping everyone amused. She is so happy to be out in the countryside away from the city and spends her time charging around, ears flapping playing with puppies, cats, geese anything that comes her way. She’s so precious and I am sure that by the next news page she will be adopted.
A lovely Australian couple have been in constant touch over the last couple of months. They have been ‘doing’ Europe and picked up a stray dog in Italy who they have taken travelling with them. However, taking a dog back to ‘Oz’ is rather complicated so they asked us if we could find her a good home. It was arranged that they would bring Banshee to Danielle’s today to hand her over and they turned up in their van ready to say goodbye. Yeah, right, the poor girl was in floods of tears, the guy didn’t look good either and soft as butter me soon had tears running down my cheeks too. Result ? Well the necessary will be done to get Banshee back to Australia unless someone really, really fabulous comes along to adopt her . Banshee is a beautiful large German Shepherd with perhaps a hint of Husky.
Just time to remind you about our Halloween Book Sale on Saturday 29th October (watch out for the witches !) at the Salle des Fetes, St. Pantaleon (five minutes from Montcuq in the Lot). 10 am start for fabulous book bargains, plus dvd’s, plus home made cakes, plus, tea, plus coffee, plus snack lunches (with veggie option) plus …. well what more do you want ??! Please get in touch with me by email if you have books to donate /deliver/collect. We aim to make this one our biggest and best !
Sunday 28th August and Danielle, Lesley and I did the Montcuq Vide Grenier selling, as usual, second hand clothes. Once again it was a huge success and worth all the very hard work entailed. I had spent many days beforehand sorting through all the donated clothes and am happy to say that I only had to chuck very, very few items. The clothes were put into labelled boxes and dresses, skirts and tunics hung ready on the rails. Ernst did his usual sterling job of turning his trailer into a mobile wardrobe and boxes were stacked high into the little van. We had to be on site at 6am (!!) so set off at 5.45 on Sunday morning. Luckily we were one of the first so able to get to our usual pitch quickly. We then had to unload at the speed of light so as not to block others behind us. Ernst went off to park up then came back and set about putting the table together even drilling into the table special supports for the parasols. Dresses, skirts and tunics already being on rails were quickly in place and I started to hang up coats on another rail. It was just 6.15 when I heard someone behind me ask “how much is this coat ?” !! There were some Australian ladies already going through everything (perhaps they were still on Aussie time and hadn’t been to bed). One lady just picked up everything ‘furry’ ! It was still dark at this time !! It gradually got lighter and disaster, it started to rain ! I couldn’t believe it, weeks of not a drop and it had to rain then. But, thank you St. Cadbury, it only lasted five minutes and from there on in it was perfect ‘Vide weather’, not too hot and very pleasant for strolling around. It was a long, happy, tiring day and when we had packed up at 6 pm we staggered down to the Cafe du Centre for an early supper. Set off for home but Lesley, Ernst and I decided a final drink at La Gariotte was well deserved ! Total raised ? 595 euros ! A bit less than last year but we started off selling even cheaper than last year to make sure we didn’t have loads to take back. We didn’t and what was left Ernst took to Emmaus on Monday. One thing we have decided that next year we are going to do what shops do and that is make a tiny charge for bags; they are quite difficult to come by now and we only just about had enough. So, a HUGE thank you to all of you who donated and an even HUGER thank you to Lesley and Danielle.
Had a good long weekend in the UK despite a stonking cold. Believe it or not, it started on the way to Bergerac so to all those on the afternoon flight to Stansted Friday 19th August, I’m sorry if I infected you. Friend Jan said we should get the bus to the long term car park, get off at the last stop and she would meet us there. Well, at least that’s what I thought she said, but having waited in the blustery, rainy cold for 20 minutes I began to doubt myself. No ‘phone, the dogs having eaten mine a few days earlier, we decided to get the bus back to the airport ( we spent more time on airport buses than we had in the aeroplane) where I rang the only friend whose telephone number I know by heart, so that she could give me Jan’s mobile number. Jan was waiting in the mid term car park ! Went out for a nice supper where I felt so much for the poor waitress (having done that b-awful job for ten years) who slipped and sent a tray full of prepared dishes through the open staircase to the restaurant room below ! On the Sunday we went to one of my brother’s 40th wedding anniversary lunch which was great fun. I’m not good at keeping in touch with my brothers and their families but it is always lovely to see them all and to find that my brothers have produced such great offspring – all around the 40 year mark now – with wonderful wicked senses of humour and I have told the ‘youngsters’ that it is up to them to do the same. Photos of the actual wedding were circulated and it was amusing to see my two nieces, now mothers themselves, at the age of around two, in their bridesmaids dresses, one looking stern and the other bawling her eyes out. My brother said it was probably because of the colour dresses they had to wear !
Keeping the best to last, GAVAROCHE IS ADOPTED !!! I can hardly believe it after all this time. I always thought he was a large dog until I saw one of his new pals, a much bigger Portuguese Water hound who looks similar to Gav but much bigger. First reports are very positive with Gav getting on well with the large Tinkerbell and smaller Ezra. Fingers crossed and your prayers please to St. Cadbury. Judy the lovely Lab has also been adopted and a puppy or two have gone to happy homes. Still a couple of those left and they will be on the website this afternoon, as will a very pretty kitten.
Oh, and just in case he or she is reading this, or you know him or her, an ENORMOUS thank you to the person who found my passport at Bergerac airport and handed it in. I did ask if any note had been taken of the person so I could thank them very profusely but sadly not, so whoever you are, I owe you a serious drink. (Hmm, am I now going to receive a deluge of people claiming to be the person ??!!)
Phew, wasn’t it a great Wimbledon this year ?! Ok, Murray winning was a plus but there were some fabulous matches, then we had the bonus of the Davis Cup the weekend after – oh happy day ! The television was due to be unplugged for another year but we haven’t done it yet because I think the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Rio should be quite amazing.
I ‘did’ the St. Pantaleon Vide Grenier on Sunday to raise funds and am happy to say that I made 150 euros – lucky vets !! We were all rather anxious as after days of hot sunshine Mr. Meteo promised rain until midday but luckily Mr. M was, again, way off track. It was ideal ‘vide’ weather, overcast with splashes of sun here and there, so many punters moved their sun scorched bodies from the poolside sunbeds and came out to look for bargains. You always find those at our stalls, we believe in selling cheap and getting stuff up and away. It takes so long to set up, emptying box after box and the last thing you want to do is load it all up again at the end of a (very) long day. Thank you so much to all the people who donated fabulous items for me to sell.
This year the St. Pantaleon Committee de Fetes decided to have our village ‘repas’ on a Sunday instead of the usual Saturday. A good decision this year as we had torrential rain and thunder storms on the Saturday night. Again, fearful glances headed skywards as the clouds arrived and a breeze got up but we were spared – lucky I’ve got my pal Pat who always goes to church !! So, after the ten hour ‘vide’ with just enough time to scoot home, feed the dogs and cats before going back to make merry until 12.30, I was, understandably feeling a little jaded in the morning !
The other week I went over to Danielle’s to take photos of the brown Labs. Now when I go over there I take my life in my hands because Danielle has three geese who hate me with a vengeance and I have to say the feeling is mutual. the three of them come running at me with their wings out hissing like crazy, so I always sit in the car until Danielle comes to rescue me. It was the same procedure last time with a little addition, I walked towards the house and suddenly heard an “oink, oink” and there on my heels was a boar !!! Ok a small young one but it was a boar ! Danielle (who has been known to take on a tiger) poo pooed my anxiety and we walked up to the dog parks. Then Danielle’s house ‘phone range so she turned back. Of course with Danielle out of the way it was open season on Sue, I had the boar behind me and the geese in front. I quickly jumped in to a dog park feeling foolish but my humiliation wasn’t over, Danielle has a pigeon she has raised from a baby and the pigeon thinks it is quite normal to land on any head around. To add insult to injury the pigeon joined in too, so there I was boar to one side, geese to the other and me with a pigeon scratching around on my head, you couldn’t make it up !!!
It has been a wonderful month adoption wise in that both Lancelot and Lou, who have been waiting for so long, have found wonderful homes which goes to prove you should never give up. Your turn next perhaps Gavaroche ?
Last week I found a photo taken by Ernst’s cousin in our garden about eight years ago where we were sitting at a rather lovely old wooden table. I asked Ernst where it is now and he pointed to the poor shabby table I use to do all my potting up of plants. There and then I decided to bring it back to its’ previous glory and asked Ernst to set up his electric sander so I could get started. I’m not stupid, I just knew he wouldn’t be able to let me do it as he (a master carpenter) knew I wouldn’t make a very good job of it. 24 hours later we had our lovely table back sanded and waxed…… result, hee hee !
Oh, by the way, we’ll be doing our usual second hand clothes stall at the Montcuq Vide Grenier at the end of August, so if anyone living near here (close to Montcuq in the Lot) has any good, clean, saleable clothes they want to get rid of, send me an email.
We walked out on to the tarmac and my jaw dropped ! The ‘plane that was there waiting to fly us from Bergerac to Exeter had propellers. PROPELLERS !!!!! The last time I flew in such a ‘plane was in 1990 on a flight through a snow storm from Nice to Austria to an ill fated skiing holiday. Ill fated because I took to skiing like a cow to roller skates ! Anyway, back to Bergerac. Because I am not a good flyer I decided to create a ‘story’ situation. We were escaping from war torn Germany and this was the only flight out. Slight problem with that story, my partner sitting next to me is German so why would he be on the flight ? So the location was changed to Afghanistan. Needless to say we ‘got out’ safely and I have to admit it was a beautiful flight. Because we didn’t fly as high as a ‘normal’ ‘plane I could see land and sea for most of the journey and convinced myself that we were so low that if anything untoward happened I would be able to jump from there. (Please don’t disillusion me !) Suffice to say I was very happy to see the same ‘plane waiting when we left Exeter to come home, albeit in a rather scary purple colour !
Cornwall was fabulous. We stayed with friends who rent a house there every year and spent the week going on lovely walks punctuated by lunches and/or cream teas. The weather wasn’t wonderful but fine for long walks. When the sun did come out we whipped off jumpers, put on sunglasses, took photos then put the jumpers back on again ! Such a great time we are hoping we behaved well enough to be invited back (please Gabi and John ?).
Ten days after Cornwall we had a ten hour drive to Karlsruhe in Germany for Ernst’s nephew’s wedding. We had booked an Airbnb which was a small flat in a beautiful old building situated in a very picturesque old square. Lovely, we thought on arrival however, when we tried the key it didn’t work ! Long story which took a long time to sort out, just what we needed after that drive. In fact Airbnb had given us the wrong building number on their confirmation email ! Finally found the right place and headed for a much needed beer in one of the many pavement cafés around the square. The wedding was lovely and weather fabulous. One of the nice touches was when guests were all given a white card on which we were to write our wishes for the happy couple. The cards were then attached to red heart shaped ballons and we all sent them soaring at the same time, what a fabulous picture that made. Most people wrote health, happiness, babies etc., but I wished that their champagne always had bubbles !
So now we are back down to earth and once Wimbledon has finished I can concentrate on life as we know it again !
Lots of dogs were adopted last month and there are a shedload more to be added to the website which I will get round to asap. Please, please, someone fall in love with Gavaroche as we are heading towards my chocolate cut off time !!
I could not end this without mentioning the dreaded Brexit. Suffice to say I am totally choked, I hope Boris is banished from everywhere and everything for what he has done (lied and led people up the garden path then walked away from the responsibility of what he has done) but, unlike many people I know, I won’t be seeking French citizenship, England is my country whatever.
How does it happen ? You have a favourite recipe which you make time and time again, then you decide to make it for friends who are coming to supper and ……….. disaster ! Now, I may have mentioned before, I am not a good cook, I don’t like cooking and my cooker (Betsy) doesn’t like me. She clearly thinks she should be in a kitchen with a much more accomplished chef and I agree with her, but sorry, that’s the way the cookie crumbles – or doesn’t in my case, we have four of my home made cookies holding up the four corners of our house ! I have friends who have shelves and shelves of cookery books and enjoy nothing more than delving in to them. Don’t get me wrong, I admire people who can cook, I am jealous of people who enjoy cooking and am disappointed that I am not one of them. I have six, books that is not shelves. Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course, she rarely lets me down, A Girl Called Jack, sent to me partly as a joke when funds were very stretched, she never lets me down, a Farmhouse Vegetarian Cook book which is well thumbed and I have just got from a book sale James Martin’s Book of Desserts. Can’t remember what the other books are. First of all when trying something new I look first at the list of ingredients. More than eight ? No thank you. Any mention of a bain marie or gelatine ? Very much no thank you ! Cooking takes so much time and then the food is gone (often in to the bin in this house ) in a few minutes. Think of all the thing I could have been doing instead of preparing food ! Luckily for me Ernst is a good cook. He’s not one of those men who adore cooking different recipes he is just a good basic cook and his tomato soup should win gold medals ! Can’t think why I got started on this track now, probably because I have just burned a tray of cheese biscuits I was making for apéros this evening. This is my trouble, I put things on to cook and then forget all about them. Honestly, it’s in the oven and now it’s down to Betsy, let’s go and do something more interesting. I once put some prunes on to cook and then went to take the dogs for a long walk. the smell hit me about half a kilometre from home. Mmm I thought, someone is cooking something nice. Then, “oh sxxt, the prunes”. Needless to say the saucepan joined my own personal burnt saucepan mountain.
Now I’ve got to leg it to the airport to pick up a couple of girlfriends who, hopefully are on their way over from Gatwick. However it is general strike day so nothing is certain.
What is certain (like the link ?!) is that it has been a good month for dog adoptions but still no luck for Lancelot or Lou. I’m thinking of going on chocolate strike until they are homed. Your prayers please to your own special person for Bear a beeyootiful puppy adopted from us by the wonderful, the incredible, the unbelievably good Leeanne and Mike of Twilight. Leeanne got a bit broody and wanted a bit of youth in amongst her oldies at Twilight so she adopted one of our ‘Bruiser Pups’. Very sadly it seems that during a bit of rough and tumble with another pup, Bear’s eye has been damaged and he will very likely be blind in that eye now. We are devastated and can only think that if he is to be blind, then he couldn’t have better owners than Leeanne and Mike – but a bummer for them.
Right, really have to dash now, forgot to mention that we’re off to Cornwall on the 11th for a week, I know I know, this year is manic. Usually we have one week in Spring and one in September but this year there is a lot going on. Ernst’s nephew is getting married in Germany in July and one of my brothers will be celebrating 40 years of married bliss (I never thought they would get to 40 weeks but don’t tell them that – JOKE !) in August. So I think I’ll be boring you with my travelling tales nearly every month !!
Realise I haven’t given you any ‘Helpful Hints’ recently, so here is one for you. When making a date and walnut cake make sure lights are well bright in the kitchen to avoid cutting up sun dried tomatoes and adding them to your cake mixture. I can assure you, it is not easy to pick them out once the deed is done !
April has been, I think, the saddest and most catastrophic month of my Poorpaws life. All down to Yuno the troubled Border Colley. People who read about her on the adoptions page will know that I was sure she was not happy with us because of all the other dogs, so I was therefore delighted when Dee called from Charente to say that she had a space in her home and heart since Jackson had died. So, I drove up to Charente on the Sunday and all went well. Yuno was all waggy tail and I came away mightily relieved. 7.30 am the next day the ‘phone rang, Yuno had bitten Dee quite badly. I threw on some clothes splashed some water on my face and set off back up to the Charente. We will never know why it happened, Yuno was just lying on the lounge floor, as Dee passed she stroked Yuno’s head and quick as a flash Yuno had her. Dee was in tears, I was in tears and totally mortified. How could I have got it so wrong?
Yuno was delighted to see me and we set off home again. All went well and I decided Yuno would have no more changes in her life, she would stay with us. A couple of days later I took her for a long walk up on the hills behind us and when we got back to the car she wouldn’t let me put her lead on her to attach her back in the car. I wasn’t that bothered and let her just jump in where she found an empty jar that had had fish rillettes in and set to licking it out. I got in, started the car but as I let off the hand brake I happened to touch Yuno’s back. Well, she whizzed round and turned on me, barking, growling and snarling, obviously protecting ‘her’ jar. I was very frightened and very slowly opened the car door and jumped out. Then Yuno wouldn’t let me back in !! So I had to walk home (luckily across the fields not too far) and get Ernst along with some calmivet tablets in some cheese.
We got back up there and Yuno still wouldn’t let us in so I threw her the disguised tranquilisers which she wolfed down. Her demeanour then changed drastically, much too soon for the tablets to take effect, she jumped out and came to me wagging her tail, let me put the lead on and attach her back in the car (having got rid of the pesky jar !). I was very shaken by the events and very sadly decided I could not keep her. She was too unpredictable and with all the dogs we have here I cannot possibly watch every single movement and gesture I make 24/7. So I called the lady who had brought her to me and gave her the option of collecting Yuno or I would have to do the dreaded PTS as I could not put Yuno up for adoption. After discussions when I was told what I had done wrong and how I could have killed Yuno with the calmivets, it was agreed that Ernst would meet the lady at Bergerac the following day. Yuno slept the sleep of the just on and off all night with me checking on her every two hours. I know calmivets can make a situation worse not better and can be dangerous but I needed to be able to get back into the car and I wasn’t to know she would flip back into lovable mode just like that.
The latest news is that Yuno has been accepted by a refuge which specialises in troubled dogs and the lady who brought her to me has said that if, when she retires in October, Yuno still needs a home she will take her. This is fantastic news. I was so, so very upset feeling I had let the dog down and, as usual, the problems were not Yuno’s fault. After I had heard her true history, beaten, locked in a flat for four years, I am sure that if she was human she would be in prison for murder.
So, not as clever and experienced as I thought I was. brought me down a peg or two !!!
Moving on to good news, lovely Leeanne and Mike from Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs suddenly felt a need for young blood amongst their oldies and have taken a ‘Bruiser Pup’ who they have named Bear. Don’t worry, Bear won’t be lonely, the news on the block is that there is another pup due to be joining him soon. They’ll have much to chat about, both starting their lives by being dumped in a dustbin. It was super to meet up with Leeanne and Mike again after too many years and Danielle and I will be going up for a visit to Twilight very soon.
Well Ernst and I are off for our annual Il de Ré week on the 30th April. I can’t wait, a whole week of peace, quiet, books and cycling. I always feel very anxious about the dogs at home for the first couple of days then a week later I have to be dragged back kicking and screaming !!
See you next month and don’t forget our clothes sale at La Sirene, Montaigu de Quercy on the 12th May.
So, dear reader, no I did not marry him – didn’t even ask !! Ernst is determined to go to his grave as a single man and I am only too happy to help him achieve that !!
Above you will see a great photo of your Book Sale team all decked out in our Easter Bunny ears in front of some of the yumies we had on offer last Saturday for our BEST BOOK SALE EVER ! We made a stonking 3,000 euros !!!! (And – I know, I know, never start a sentence with ‘and’ – that is not an April Fool joke !) Actually we made 2,889 and my mate Sue who was over here and who helped out tremendously topped us up to 3,000. Half of the money will go to cancer research and Cancer Support France and the other half to Poorpaws, to be shared with other dog rescue charities. Thank you so much to all who came and supported us and to helpers who are not in the photo – ie the cake makers not in the photo and men who helped us set up and take down. We didn’t have the heartbreaking job of chucking away good books as Donkey Jan took leftovers to sell in aid of her wonderful donkey charity – thank you Jan.
We’ve had some heartworming adoptions this month. Junior who has been waiting so long has gone to a great home where he has his own armchair in front of the television and gets to go on regular little jaunts in a camping car. So happy for you Junior, you deserve it. Your Mum Motus sends love and says that she is happy too as she has now moved to live indoors with the rest of the Poorpaws little old folk – and I include myself in that group too !! It’s fingers crossed for Tammy who should be moving up to Savoie this weekend and lucky Toby went to a great new home just yesterday. A lovely couple who are used to the Boxer Bounce took him off, a success all round, Toby lived in an apartment before so is housetrained and now he gets the run of a good garden. Little Loye left us too and JackJack (so good they named him twice) has a wonderful home where he is just Jack now.
Gavaroche has had several people interested but sadly none of the people have followed through. He needs a large fenced in garden where he can enjoy freedom and please, please look at Yuno, a very unhappy lady who deserves so much better.
This lovely boy is Jackson and I’m so sorry to say that he is RIP now. Jackson was one of the very first ever Poorpaws adoptions and what a success it was. Being an Anglo Français hunting dog not many people would have taken him on but lovely Dee looked into his eyes and said that’s the boy for me. He turned into her best friend, her confidant and repaid in spades all the love and patience she gave to him. Dee is so sad now but/and, having read the Dog’s Will on our adoption page is preparing to give another dog the fabulous life she gave to Jackson. Sleep well Jackson Dee knows you will always be around.
That about wraps it up for this month, oh, by the way, I made it to Easter Day before having a drink and was so looking forward to it. Strange to say it wasn’t that great !!
Hee hee, fooled you, I’m early this month !! 29th February tomorrow, hmm, should I propose to Ernst or not ??!!
I decided I really was going togive up something for Lent this year, not because I am a believer but just to prove that I can. So, what should it be ? Biscuits ? Nope, not possible because the elderly lady I visit a couple of times a week always has a stash of my favourite chocolate biscuits ready for me and she would be upset if I refused them. Cake ? Yeah right, with our Book Sale on Easter Saturday I would definitely fall at the last hurdle there !! Alcohol ? Well…………. a possibility I suppose. So I chose alcohol and am delighted to report that not a drop has passed my lips since Shrove Tuesday. Do I miss it ? Yes I do, especially that lovely glass of white wine that I take about 6pm when preparing supper. A close friend of mine has given up alcohol and bread and the weight is just falling off her. No danger of that happening to me – although luckily I don’t have weight problems – I’m just replacing the calories with more cakes and biscuits. I totally understand my friend Sue who tries but fails to give up smoking, if I was told I should give up sweets, well, I couldn’t do it.
Adoptions this month have been great, not numerous but great in that some of the dogs who have been waiting for a long while have found happy homes thanks to wonderful you. Charley the sweet little black dog rescued from a miserable life that was set to end with a needle, has gone to a super home where she is proving to be the delight we knew she would be. Junot (Gino) the Labrador who has been waiting soooooooo long has found a great home with a lake at the bottom which he insists on cleaning, going in and dragging out branches ! The resident dog at that home is not too enamoured with Junot as Junot has obviously read too much Winnie the Pooh and has modelled himself on bouncy Tigger but we are hoping he will calm down soon !! Fleurs pups have all found homes and now we are hoping for the same success with Rosies pups who have just been born but no photos yet. Now I’m hoping that Junior is successful very soon. Hand on heart this is ‘un amour de chien’, gentle, faithful and all round gorgeous. He can be homed without Mum Motus if anyone is tempted. He is too young to be here amongst the oldies.
Our Easter Book sale looms ever nearer, Easter Saturday at the St. Pantaleon Salle de Fetes. We changed the location which enabled us to add snack lunches last year and it was a huge success so we are hoping for the same this Easter. If you have books /dvd’s/puzzles to donate please get in touch. On Monday 7th I will be driving up to the Bergerac area to collect, so could meet up if anyone wants to offload.
Quite a few dogs have been going missing recently and would have found their owners much more quickly if they had had collars with their telephone numbers written on in indelible ink. Please, please do this even if you don’t like ‘the look’, it could save your dog’s life as most people will make a telephone call but not everyone will take a dog to a vet to see if there is a chip.
I think most of us British living in France are slightly nervous about the referendum. I was one who said it will never happen that the UK leaves Europe, look what happened when everyone thought Farage might gain power, an absolute wash out (thankfully !), but now that soppy bollocks (sorry) Boris has joined the ‘out’ lot, I’m a bit more concerned that people will follow him. Just think Trump in power in the USA and ‘B’ Boris in the UK, St. Cadbury help us !!!
Have to dash now, must catch the last bit of the Archers omnibus as I missed Friday’s episode. About time the Rob/Helen thing came to an end, I’m so fed up with her being such a wuss that I’m (almost) on his side !!!!!!
See you at the Book Sale hopefully, Doreen will you be able to make it ? I’ll treat you to lunch.
Talking of books, after looking for the book I was reading for ages yesterday, I found it in the evening when I opened the fridge. Oops, this could be the begining……..!
Ok, ok, OK !!! I know I’m really late with this month’s newsletter but I’ve had my mate Susie over for a week and there just hasn’t been the time, plus my computer is in the spare bedroom so I haven’t been able just to go and use it willy nilly. We’ve had a great week. Susie is one of those pals who, when she is here, just slots in to what is going on, be it visiting ill friends, taking a dog up to Limoges, taking another to the vet, helping me decide on furnishings for the new bedroom ( hey, look at us, TWO bedrooms now !!), and when I am working she amuses herself or, because she has been coming for so long now, she is regarded as one of the gang so is taken off by friends. We did have some fun times as well though, one of them being our girly Bobble Hat party. All guests had to wear a customised bobble hat and there were some goodies – a Welsh Bobble decorated with daffodils, a Charlton (football club) Bobble, a Bling Bobble, just to name a few and mine was, of course, a Barking Bobble with pictures of dogs.
Susie and I are both great tennis fans and when Andy Murray got through to the final of the Australian Open I connected up the television so we could watch it on Sunday morning. It was bound to be on the BBC wasn’t it ? Was it hell, it was on Eurosport which of course I can’t get. Frantic ‘phone calls round until someone said Mo and Walter are bound to have it. Now friend Mo has not been too well recently so with some trepidation I rang up. When she answered I, of course, enquired after her health (trying not to be too hasty, the match had started by then !) then asked if by any chance they were watching the tennis. No they weren’t. Oh shame. But they could put it on and give us regular updates. Hmm, thank you Mo. Then, the magic words, ” Oh, perhaps you would like to pop up and watch it” “Er, YEEEESS” – jeez, how long does it take ? !!! So we were up there in ten minutes and had a fabulous morning – Mo is a great story teller. Only downside, of course you all know, Murray didn’t just lose, he totally crashed !
Talking of dogs (were we ?!!) it has been a great month, Jackson has gone up North, Ayvera (now thankfully called Chico) has gone to a great home, there is only one of Fleur’s pups left and several dogs have gone from my colleague Danielle. All the dogs now on the website are in desperate need. Bobby’s story really gets to me and it would be so great to find a home for Motus and Junior. They have been here for a few weeks now and are proving to be delightful just begging to be loved and no problem with other dogs or cats.
Sad about Terry Wogan, I remember many, many years ago, back in the early 80’s I was listening to Children in Need and rang up to make a donation. As I was doing so, the girl I was speaking to mentioned that Terry Wogan had just walked into the call centre. I said I would give an extra donation if I could talk to him (sad or what ?!) anyway I had a little chat with him and he was very nice. When I put the ‘phone down the doorbell rang and it was my next door neighbour, “I’ve just been speaking to Terry Wogan” I told her excitedly. “My mother-in-law has just died” she replied. Whoops !
Ending on a sad note this time. I got back from taking Susie to the airport and Ernst told me that little old Kiki had died. We had some building materials delivered this afternoon and Kiki wandered in front of the van. Obviously I am choked, Kiki was a lovely little Bichon mix who used to sit by my chair at mealtimes just patting my leg with his paw waiting for me to drop a crumb or two – mind you, you had to be quick giving him titbits as he was partially blind and often mistook the ends of your fingers for food. I’m so sorry Kiki that I wasn’t here to look out for you. I aked Ernst if the delivery guy was upset but apparently he didn’t even realise and Ernst didn’t tell him, what good would it have done, it was an accident.
So, I’m rather tearful but wishing you a good month and don’t forget to put our Easter Saturday Book Sale in your diaries. Books to donate ? Get in touch.
Sorry to be rather late in wishing you all the very best of everything for the New Year ! This is because I only got back from England late on the 4th and have been dashing around catching up on what has been happening ever since.
The first thing I have to tell you is that in 2015, Danielle of La Mere aux Betes whom I work very closely with, rehomed over 150 dogs !!!! This is nothing short of amazing for one person with a little help from Poorpaws. We couldn’t believe it when we counted up. Danielle and I are both one man bands, no committees, no band of helpers (though we do receive kind offers), it is just little us to do everything from poo cleaning up to paperwork. As you know Poorpaws now concentrates on older dogs who are in need – we will be welcoming Motus and Junior into the fold at the end of the month since there has been no luck in finding them a home – whilst Danielle takes in the ‘adoptables’ which we home together from our websites. We were hoping that 2016 would see a reduction in dog abandons but already Danielle has taken in about 15 new dogs and with Motus and Junior coming to Poorpaws I have to say enough is enough. We now have 20 dogs here and are really bursting at the seams. I’m still not certain that when we take the next two four-leggeds, one two legged won’t leave !!!
My trip to England for Christmas and New Year was great fun though I have not been away for two weeks for since I can’t remember when and by the time ten days had gone by I was ready to come home. I missed the dogs so much and vowed never to shout at them again – huh, that last one evening !! I spent Christmas with my pal Sue in Bromley, then Ernst joined us and we went to Pangbourne for New Year and after that we went to Fleet to spend a couple of days with friend Geraldine. Geraldine and I have been friends for 66 years, our mothers having been great mates ! The weather was not brilliant but at least some kind friend sent me photos of apéros being taken outside in the sunshine here. Grrrr !
However, it was lovely to have the time to shop, lunch and have a lazy time eating chocolate in front of the television. Not having a television here I thought I would be in for a tvfest but I was disappointed in what was on. Of course I watched Strictly, slept through Downtown, never having seen it before, but did enjoy An Inspector Calls and the three part Agatha Christie. In Fleet it was lovely to see Geraldine’s grandchildren and play some silly games. From now on, anyone coming to our place for an evening will be expected to get an After Eight from their forehead into their mouth without using hands !!
Now it’s back to work but before I finish I must mention Molly. Molly was adopted in 2015 from Poorpaws, a delightful young lady who went through many health issues including being bitten by a snake. She has come through brilliantly and I am delighted to tell you, won a Good Citizen award at her training class. Well done Molly ! I’ll try to get a photo on to the website.
It just remains for me to thank all the lovely people who sent donations and gifts for the dogs. I’m trying to keep up with the thank you letters so please don’t think I am ungrateful, far from it. Thank you soooo much !
Oh one final thing, if there appeared to be a shortage of Krispy Creme doughnuts in Bromley over Christmas, I apologise, totally my fault, I just love them !!
Thought you might like this and I’ll probably forget it next month. I left the house the other day saying to Ernst that I had an appointment at 4 o’clock in Montcuq for a facial. “Good luck” was his reply ! He’s expected out of hospital before Christmas.
Well hallo there, let me introduce myself, I am Balto and I think you will all know a bit about me as I have appeared in the monthly News page before, be it because I run off on walks or perhaps because I scaled a two metre fence to get to the female I love. Sadly she is in love with a little old mongrol who has been at Poorpaws almost since the day it began. So, in order to help me get over my chagrin Sue has agreed that I can kick off the newsletter this month with a great photo of moiself showing off a fabulous new kennel that has been donated by Mr. and Mrs. Eyers. It is huge, provides plenty of space for two large dogs to sleep in and Mr. and Mrs. Eyers drove it a long way down here, such generosity ! In case you were wondering, there is a roof but it is detachable to make cleaning easier – the very latest in kennel class. So, I am quite liking ……………….
Ok Balto that’s enough, you’ve had your fifteen minutes now back down !!
So, as I said last month, now I am slightly older now and although I had not intended to celebrate my 66th, events were rather taken out of my hand. A group of us have a Strictly Sweepstake and every couple of weeks or so we all get together to watch the programme and have supper together. Ernst said it would be a good idea for us to host on my birthday. Hmm, the fact that we only have a kitchen diner, not really large enough to feed 28 people didn’t put him off, nor, suprisingly, did the fact that we don’t have a television ! (Well we do but it is fixed on to the wall in a bedroom and used only to watch dvd’s and Wimbledon.) No problemo, Gaynor and Phil brought their TV round, luckily only 15 of the group could make it so we all sat round the kitchen table munching, drinking, cheering and booing together. Those of you who know me know very well that domestic goddess I am so not, so the great thing about these evenings is that everyone brings either a savoury or sweet dish so that not everything falls to the host to prepare.
So, a very enjoyable birthday after all and now Christmas is on its’ way with ever increasing speed ! I’m off to England on the 22nd to spend Christmas with friends Sue and Shelagh, leaving Ernst to cope with the dogs and cats. He cannot be doing with Christmas but I have to say I do like it and haven’t had an English one for about 20 years now. So it will be a strictly girlie affair, lunching, shopping and watching smaltzy Christmas films. Ernst will join us on the 29th when we move on to friends in Pangbourne for New Year, then to others in Fleet, coming home on the 4th. I haven’t been away for so long for years now ! I’m hoping Ernst does make it over as his flight has been moved from 11.30 am to 7.30 !!! He is not good at getting up early but very good at staying up late, so I have suggested he just doesn’t go to bed the night before. We have also had to ask a friend to print Ernst boarding card as he has no idea how to even switch on the computer let alone work it and BA only let you print off 24 hours before. A lovely friend is moving in whilst we are away and another friend is on standby as back up, so all in all it should go well.
As for adoptions this month, well it has been very successful time ! Lots of pups have been homed, Jack the white Jack Russel is in a great place, Nouky too. The best news for me however is that Berger looks like he is on his way to happiness ! Now if the lovely Junot could find a home, that would really make my Christmas.
You all have a good one and I’ll be back next year !!
October has been a Very Busy Month !!! We started off with our usual week on Il de Ré where we had the bestest of best times cycling (the island doesn’t have a hill on it which is why I cycle sohappily there !), reading, cinema and just sitting at the deserted beach gazing into the far sea. Paradise ! We came down to earth with a bump on returning home to find that one of the dogs had found out how to open our back gate so poor Louise who was sort of dog sitting for me, had had a right game. All were present and correct when we arrived apart from Balto the gorgeous old English Setter who has been with us since he was found in a garage after his owners moved house. I was frantic when he didn’t come home the second night and by the third was hysterical. I rang our mayor to report Balto missing and was told that the ex mayor had found a dog on Saturday. I didn’t think it could be Balto as said ex mayor is our neighbour, albeit 500 metres down the road, and we would be the first people he would come to if he found a dog. However I beetled down there …………. and there was Balto playing happily in Gerard’s garden where he had apparently been for three days. Gerard had indeed been up to us but of course we were driving home so not there. Now I am always banging on about how important it is to have your dog’s telephone number on the collar……. well, mea culpa, the number had ineed been on Balto’s collar but had faded to illegibility. Anyway, a huge PHEW ! Gate is mended and collar number renewed !
Then my ‘old’ friend Phena came over for a few days. We hit the ground running and didn’t stop. Apéros, searching through junk shops, lovely lunches, coffee at the Sunday market and, on the Monday, a long drive round collecting books for the forthcoming (then) book sale. We found ourselves very near to Cordes and since neither of us had ever been there, took the time to wander up to the top. Loved it, especially because it wasn’t too chocolate boxy.
Thereafter it was all hands on deck to prepare for the Poorpaws/Cancer Research Book Sale ! The team was rather apprehensive as we had changed the venue, we clashed with the Phoenix Great Book Sale and our own personal Quercy Cake Goddess Amanda, is having a right royal battle with T cell lymphona. So the cry went out to our baking friends and they did us proud with offers of cakes, scones and quiches coming from all directions. I feel I must give a special mention to Liz who came up with a carrot cake to beat all carrot cakes (don’t read this Amanda !!). It just melted in your mouth. The sale opened and we immediately realised we had lost three of our usual big spenders, one sadly has died , another has closed her shop and the third we expect was beetling up to Phoenix (no hard feelings any money raised for dog rescue is fine by us). HOWEVER, we were very quickly very, very busy with people filling up boxes, bags and tummies. Our new snack lunches of quiche and/or soup were a success as was the accordionist musician who generously played for free giving the whole event a lovely atmosphere. My fears were unfounded, we had the best sale ever raising 2,000 euros!! So, from 48 hours previously when I was wailing that this would be the last sale, not doing all this again, never filling my bedroom – and half my bed ! – with boxes and boxes of books……………… we have already reserved the hall for Easter Saturday next year. 26th March, get it in your diaries.
Life is a little more peaceful now so I can get on with the many jobs that have been waiting too long.
As for dogs, well, Jack the little white Jack Russell has a great permanent home, Liberty has gone as have several pups. Another dog who never appeared on the website for security reasons has now found a happy home well away from here and will enjoy a proper life instead of a small balcony 24/7. Another great story is that Fleur the gorgeous Labrador will be going to a new home on Friday. She’ll have a new ‘brother’ and we are all hoping that they will get on better than their first meeting when Max leapt out of the car and went for poor Fleur. Max has a sad history and although he is now in a great home he tends to think that attack is the best form of defence. After the initial shock he and Fleur walked happily together, though Fleur was, understandably cautious. Fingers crossed for them.
I think that’s all for now, see you at the end of November – by which time I will be older !!!
First of all I have to say Happy Birthday today to one of my big brothers !!! Phil is two years older than me and would love to come to live in France but cannot tear himself away from his grandchildren. Or perhaps it is my lovely sister-in-law Carol who cannot leave the grandchildren !! Still, they live in a most beautiful part of Yorkshire so they are not too badly situated ! Hope you have had a great day Phil.
As for Ernst and me, well we are getting ready for our annual much awaited and loved week on the Il de Ré. But, if anyone else says to me “you’re always on holiday” I will have to get really ugly and deck’ em. Yes, we had our usual week at Cap d’Ail in September but we have just two one week holidays a year, usually one in May and one in September but because of my nephew’s wedding in May, the week on Ré had to be postponed. Glad really because now we have it to look forward to ! Next year we are hoping to add a week in Cornwallto ourcalendar.
I am starting to believe that we should make the most of every single day – Carpe Diem and all that. Don’t put things off do them now. We have a lot of friends at the moment who are having a really shite time healthwise which makes you realise that we are not immortal.
Enough with the doom and gloom, look at all the puppies on the adoptions page, 24 of the little beggars all desperately hoping for a lovely caring home. Believe me these are cuties of the serious degree and if someone doesn’t hurry and adopt the Brittanys I could well find myself adding them to our pack and Ernst would surely move out ! On the adoption front Ivan the lovely white Jack Russel has gone to a great home as have Jake and Louis – who turned out to be Louise !! Please, please, please, can someone adopt Junot a most wonderful chap and Fleur who has come soooooo close twice this week but has been passed over at the last minute. Hey, they would make a great pair for someone looking for two dogs !
The most important news of the month is to tell you of our Autumn Book Sale ! To be held on the Saturday 24th October at the NEW VENUE of the St. Pantaleon Salle de Fetes. St. P is a tiny village (where I live actually) five minutes from Montcuq in the Lot. 10am start with the usual great selection of books and dvd’s at 1 euro, plus our famous yummy home made cakes which you can enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee. Extra this time will be soup and rolls and quiche and salad for a snack lunch. The new venue means that all the goodies can be enjoyed whatever the weather, outside if warm and inside if cold/wet. Ample parking in front or in the village car park down the road. We want this to be our biggest and best sale, all proceeds going to dog rescue and cancer research. Our own Quercy Cake Goddess whose cakes, scones and hot cross buns you have enjoyed over the last few years is very seriously ill so this sale is very important to us for her sake and for ‘Tricia and Tony who are both fighting their own battles. If you need any additional info please email me – email@example.com – bearing in mind I’ll be away from 3rd to 10th October.
A little funny for you. Overheard at a business lunch, a lady who had two supergolfbores either side of her was patronisingly asked if she played golf. “Oh no” she said “I have an active sex life” !!! Silence was the reply !!
Have a good month, can’t believe it is STILL sunny !
This is a photo of the lovely Mikaela with Honey, a Very Lucky Dog ! Mikaela and her husband adopted Honey a few years ago and provided her with a great home. Very sadly Mikaela lost her battle with cancer on the 1st August and I am sure that Honey misses her dreadfully. Mikaela was always very kind to me and often sent me cheery encouraging emails after reading the Poorpaws News at a time when I was having a tough time at work. It didn’t stop there, after Mikaela had died Graham suggested charities to donate to in her memory and Poorpaws is lucky to be one of those charities. I would like to thank both Mikalea and John for their kindness in thinking of others at such a difficult time.
From a great act of kindness we go to the other end of the scale and I would just like to thank the miserable thieving bastard who stole our large dog transport cage from in front of our gates. I had used the cage to collect a dog, then needed space in the car for something else so took the cage out and put it in front of the gate to take up to the house later. It’s not even as if our gate is on the road, you have to drive in to the parking area. A couple of days later we found an injured deer in the field opposite and needed the cage to transport the poor animal to the vet for a pet CT (more about that later), when we suddenly realised that the cage wasn’t there. So, you despicable little piece of shite, beware, my telephone number is on the cage so don’t even try to sell it on EBay or at a Vide, my spies are out.
I’m thinking of having a ‘Good News Competition’ as in our circle of friends there seems to be nothing but bad at the moment. Death and illness all round. Our own dear Domestic Godess, queen of cake baking, Amanda, has just been diagnosed with cancer for the second time. I would say that life is crap sometimes but it is in fact just the opposite, life is wonderful and I for one intend to try to remember that every moment from now on and stop moaning about unimportant things ……….like the theft of a dog cage !
As for our doggies report this month, well that IS good ! Both Brittany Spaniel pups have been homed as have Lucy and Luke (now Baily), we are down to two Labradors and little Lili has a new life. More pups on the way from a rotten home and this time we may have to kidnap the poor mother to get her sterilised.
Oh yes, the deer. Well Ernst set off for the vet with the deer in the back and I telephoned ahead to let them know he was on his way. “Oh” said the receptionist, “he can’t bring it here, we are not allowed to treat wild animals you have to contact the local chasse”. Whaaaat ?! No possibility of contacting Ernst to stop him so I expected him to come back rather disgruntled with the poor deer still in the back. But no ! Our wonderful vets turned up trumps. Ernst spoke to one of the ‘back room’ girls who told one of the vets who came out, climbed into the van, gave the deer a shot of antibiotics, checked him over and stapled up the wound. Ernst then took him way beyond the back of our place and the deer beetled off. I did tell him to come back in ten days (the deer not Ernst) to have the staples removed but I don’t think he heard …….!
Vide Grenier day in Montcuq yesterday where we held our usual second hand clothes stall. I am not kidding you when I say that our first customer was at a quarter past six in the morning !! We made a very healthy 530 euros so a huge thank you to all who helped and bought.
A ‘save the date’ message, Autumn Book Sale will be on the 24th October at a NEW VENUE. The Salle de Fetes at St. Pantaleon which is five minutes from Montcuq in the Cahors direction.
I’m away on holiday in September, just for a week – can’t wait !
It has been pointed out to me quite sternly that it is already the 5th August and I have not delighted you all (both !) with the delights of the past month. Sorry, sorry, sorry but it has been quite busy here , soooooo hot and my computer heats up to such a degree that it is almost too hot to handle, giving out wafts of heat. Thinking of moving it into the freezer …… if we had one !!
I went into a steep decline after the 12th July, what to do for fifty weeks until Wimbledon comes back ?! There was a little sweetener when Great Britain beat the French in the Davis cup the following weekend but living here in France one has to be careful about making comments that perhaps the French could use their tennis racquets as spaghetti strainers ……. ! (Kidding, HONESTLY !). So, the TV has been unplugged again and a good thing too, the rubbish I watched whilst it was connected. I mean, how small minded do you have to be to watch a programme showing poor people not being able to pay their debts so, hey, let’s watch them being evicted . Actually, as small minded as me THAT’S why we don’t have television the rest of the year, I’d be a mushy brained addict instead of just mushy brained ! I did love watching The Dog Whisperer though, that man is a genius, only wish I had the same talent then perhaps my Jip would not have chewed up the watch, glasses and sandals of my sister-in-law !!
Then we had the mini German invasion (do they ever give up ?! – again, kidding !) to celebrate Ernst’s 70th (a second eek to go with last month’s) birthday. Two cousins arrived a day early and found the hotel didn’t have a free room so there was much dashing about, a brother and nephew arrived in camping cars much to the delight of the dogs and cats – so many wheels to pee against and unprotected food to steal – another nephew arrived, Ernst’s sister arrived and another cousin. All this was a surprise for Ernst who’s reaction was …… “oh, hallo” ! Master of the understatement is Ernst ! A great time was had and they loved the fete at Trebaix, it really is the best village fete ever.
As for doggy news, well, all the Shih Tzu’s have been adopted, as has Jimmy (yey !) and the amazing black Basset Hound mix. Luke went off to a great home and is now Bailey (hmm, something of the same name was responsible for my fuzzy head on Saturday, haven’t drunk it for ages, now I remember why !!). The little two-coloured Spaniel mix is still on the hoping list and Lucy is so (not) missing her brother !! There are still a couple of Chocolate Labs waiting and there was an unexpected arrival of pups to a little terrier so they will be on the website soon.
Loving this hot weather, hope it lasts for friends’ arrival at the end of the month and into September for our holiday on the Cote d’Azur.
A couple of dates for your diaries, Luxury Afternoon Tea in aid of Cancer Support France on Thursday 27th August in Montcuq, 12.50 per head, contact me for booking/directions and we will be manning our cheapy cheap clothes stall at the Montcuq Vide Grenier on 30th August.
Have a great August and remember PLEASE don’t drag your dogs around all the festivities, leave them at home in the cool.
So the email read something like this. “My wife and I are moving away to enjoy our retirement so need to rehome our four year old dog. Can you take him for us.” Hmmm. O.k. Now, what do you think my reply was ? (a) “Oh I quite understand that to enjoy your retirement you have to get rid of your dog and how intelligent of you to take a dog just four years before said retirement. Yes of course we can take him there are only millions of other needy dogs in desperate search of a kind home so it will be no trouble at all to take a dog who already has a home and put him to the top of the list and please do enjoy your retirement.” Or, was it (b) “You heartless expletive deletive etc., etc., etc.” Answers on a postcard !!!! I just couldn’t believe it. How could anyone be so cold and callous ? I did, after I had sent the insulting email say that for the dog’s sake I would try to help, but strangely I never had a reply.
So that was my rant for the month. Apart from that the news has been mainly good, lots of adoptions, although strangely the chocolate Labs are not exactly leaping off the page and they are soooo gorgeous !
Here at Poorpaws we have taken in Honey who was on the adoptions page for quite a while. She came with her friend Patch and what a lovely pair they are too. They have settled in beautifully and are great characters. the favourite game is for someone to throw a ball or toy, Honey will go fetch but take the object to Patch to bring back as if to say “I’m tired, you do a bit !” Patch is a Bearded Collie and arrived looking a bit like a sheep. Her owner had done a great job of trying to keep him groomed but he was in need of a good haircut. So, off to Virginie in Prayssac and one and a half hours later I collected what looked like a Meerkat !!! This is no reflection on Virginie who I recommend to any of you, but Patch’s fur was so matted close to the skin that a complete shave was necessary !! We now have to be careful he doesn’t get sunburnt !!
We’ll be celebrating Ernst’s 70th (eek) birthday this month and unbeknown to him there is to be a small German invasion of relatives plus friends from England stayig at various venues. I’m trying desperately to get him to finish the second shower as there will be eight of us, some in camping cars over the weekend. What will I buy him ? Well twelve years ago we saw a clock that we liked in the Horlogerie in Montcuq. We couldn’t afford it and had nowhere to put it, but made monthly payments and finished paying after six months. Since then the clock has stayed at the shop because the house wasn’t finished. it still isn’t but I think that now is the time to collect the clock !!
Not much getting done here partly because of the heat and, obviously, because of Wimbledon – enjoy both !
I had intended to start off this month’s update with a mega rant but have decided, in order to stop things getting out of hand, to just get past it, move on and not waste the energy ! Suffice to say that Spider and Molly have a new home and we have kittens who need homes.
Thank you to all who supported the Boncoeur book sale at Beauville last month, I was selling clothes and was very happy to come away with enough money to pay the dogs’ feed bill this month ! This is just as well as there has been another addition to the Poorpaws oldies’ home, Mr. Beagle ! This little old boy has been kept on a short chain under a sort of shack type kennel with a bowl of green water to drink and food thrown in now and then. Hhe was removed by the cruelty inspection ladies from the SPA at Cahors and an email went round looking for someone to take him. As a dog who was supposed to be coming to us now wasn’t, I agreed to have him here. What a love, just skin and bone when he arrived but now looking very fine. We have discovered he is stone deaf which makes finding him in the garden at bedtime quite a challenge !
He did however give me a day of grief and insane panic when he got out last week the day before Ernst and I were leaving for England for my godson’s wedding. I had left home at 8.30 on the Wednesday and didn’t get home until 5.30pm to find the answerphone machine flashing the red light. It was a message left at 10am that day to say that people down the road had two of our dogs !!! I had a quick count up and found that FOUR were in fact missing. Now what is it with men that they cannot pick up the ‘phone when they see there is a message ?! Of course when I got to the house the dogs were long gone. I wasn’t too worried about three of them, they have been with us since god was a boy and know their way around, but Mr. Beagle ? I was frantic. Two of the dogs turned up during the evening but no sign of the others. I left messages with friends and neighbours and everyone was looking out for them. I left the next morning with a very heavy heart and a severe lack of sleep. However, whilst we were waiting to get on the ‘plane, my friend Louise who was looking after the dogs, rang to say that she had found Mr. Beagle obviously making his way home. What a relief !!! The other dog also turned up during the day. How did they get out ? Well someone had obviously done a three point turn in our driveway (just hope it wasn’t me !) and hit the gate, pulling out the wire netting which the dogs had clearly pulled at to make a hole big enough for the escape !
The wedding was great, held in Peckham and Dulwich, very unconventional, bride and groom walked down the aisle together, a poem was read, my brother made a speech, Bob Dylan and Van Morrison played and the formalities kept to a minimum. My beautiful new niece-in-law (?) is the youngest of a family of ten, yes TEN children, a real fun family as witnessed by the Irish country dancing in the evening where we all did our best to show off our fancy footwork !
Another very happy event last month was the departure of Cannelle to live in England ! My ‘old’ friend Jackie had seen her on the website and it was love at first sight. At last this weekend all the necessary paperwork was done and Jackie and son Dominic drove all the way down to collect her. All went well until they got back to the U.K., when they were told that the rabies page of the passport should have been laminated !!!! However, they were allowed in and the photos I have received show a very happy Cannelle with her new pal Dudley. Thanks to Julie for taking care of Cannelle during the weeks before she could leave France.
Apart from Cannelle, Ruby, Inja, Adele and Hugo all went to new homes and the lady who found Dream dog has decided to keep him. There are just a couple of labradors left, these really are handsome pure Lab boys.
We still have lots of dogs to home including Brittany Spaniel pups and a gorgeous Standard poodle.
Sorry, sorry sorry, late again but honestly it really isn’t my fault. My computer has decided that, like my cooker Betsy, it would like to cause me as much grief as possible. Had to call in the big guns and now thanks to Keith and Colin I can update you with what has been ‘occurring’.
Balto the gorgeous old English Setter arrived safe and sound …………………. and within ten seconds had scaled the two metre high fencing around his new park ! Thinking he had jumped on to the roof of the kennel and then got over, Ernst took the roof off the kennel to test. Nope, Balto boy was back at the house before we were. So, we had a problem because our perimeter fencing is the same height as the fencing round the parks. The lovely lady who had driven all the way with him made a discreet escape whilst I walked Balto elsewhere but as soon as he realised she had left, he was down climbing the gates ! Luckily he is very obediant so came when called but just to be on the safe side I kept him with me on a lead for the first evening. He slept in the kitchen with the little oldies and seemed quite happy with that and now we can leave him loose in the garden and he doesn’t try to escape.
Remember I mentioned Lina in the last newsletter ? Well she didn’t get adopted after all so she is now here at Poorpaws and (now Nina) is an absolute delight……..even if walking on the kitchen table seems to be a skill she has learned somewhere ! We are now awaiting the arrival of a very elderly Beagle who has had a miserable life up to now, hoping that we can make his last years comfortable and happy.
Regular readers of this newsletter will have noticed that Poorpaws has changed direction slightly over the last year. When I started back in 2003 I would take in strays and find them new homes. Well, obviously some of the dogs never did get new homes and are still with us which left little space for new arrivals. We now have about 17 dogs who will never move on because of age or behaviour problems. So what about all the other poor dogs out there ? Well you have heard me talk about Danielle many times. Danielle runs La Mere aux Betes another private refuge in Castelnau. Like Poorpaws she is a one man band but we work together in homing dogs. The dogs go to Danielle and I put them on the Poorpaws website so that she can deal with both French and English adopters very easily. If you are wondering why I still have fund raisers if I am not taking in many dogs, well, 17 old dogs need a lot of care, grooming and, oh, they like to eat every day as well! I am now retired and I’m sorry to say that my pension alone does not provide enough to keep Ernst and me and all the dogs. Adoption fees go to Danielle which is quite normal as she has the care of them and so far, my selling greetings cards together with our Book Sales and Clothes sales, keeps our heads above water -with a little underwater swimming now and again !
Last week ‘my own’ dog Jip, a Brittany Spaniel mix (of course !) ran off whilst on a walk. Now he has never done this before, he charges around but always stays close. But, a deer came out from the trees and was so close to me I could have touched him/her had I not been so shocked. Jip couldn’t believe it and he was off as fast as his little legs could go. He hadn’t rejoined us at the end of the walk, nor had he come home by 11.30 pm which his aged chase companion had. I was distraught and went out to our back gate every hour up to 3am. Now the very strange thing is that when you lose a dog, you should leave your jacket near to where you parted company. I have done this on several occasions and it works, the dog comes back recognises your smell (sorry !) and curls up on the jacket. Well I put mine down close to our gate at 1am, went back an hour later and it had gone ! Disappeared ! Now there is no path leading up to behind our place and surely no-one would be walking there at that time in the morning and even if they had the other dogs would have set up a racket fit to deafen the village. Jip came back at 9am the following morning looking bedraggled and soaked, my swollen eyes got back to their normal size by the end of the day, but as to the jacket, well it’s a mystery !! So if when you are walking you see a deer or sanglier wearing a torn Primark walking jacket, can you ask if I can have it back please ?!
The brown ‘Dude’ puppy has been reserved as has the gorgeous Cannelle. in fact it is a friend of mine, Jackie, in England who is adopting Cannelle and her wonderful son, Dominic, is driving her all the way down here from Guildford to take lucky Cannelle back. I do hope someone takes the little Beagle soon and the beautiful creamy Griffon mix, now there’s an absolute poppet
Now I’m back on line I better get the adoptions page up to date. I’ll definitely be late with the news next month as I will be in England for my godson’s wedding. Poor Nick, I have an audio cassette of him when he was six thanking me for sending him a SuperTed annual for Christmas, he (Nick, not SuperTed) is now 35 and probably won’t appreciate the cassette being played at his wedding !
Oh, by the way, don’t go and see Still Alice, get the book it’s much, much more interesting. Can’t think how they made such a bland film out of a ‘can’t put down’ book !
Happy Easter everyone. Sorry this month’s spouting is rather late, I was waiting so that I could give you the results of our Easter Barn Book Sale which we held yesterday. Wow ! Again I say “Wow” ! It was fantastic, those of you who supported us were great, streaming in with empty bags, boxes and tummies to fill. It was our Personal Best and we raised over 1,550 euros for dog rescue which is always dear to our hearts and cancer research which is especially dear to our hearts at the moment.
The money is split 50/50 the Poorpaws share paying off our vets bill (look out for vets in Prayssac dancing in the street !) and paying for a super duper Ritz/Savoy double kennel being made for us at cost price ready for a couple of large oldies who have to leave their home and who cannot be separated. This will be ready for them when their poor elderly, confused owner finally decides she will go into a home. She has changed her mind several times because she cannot bear to leave her dogs but, hey, sweetheart, you take all the time you need, the place for your ‘babes’ is here waiting for when you are all ready. There will be pennies left over for the next two months’ dogfood and, as usual, a donation to Twilight. Typical of her generosity Leeanne has been in touch to say that, for personal reasons, she wants the Twilight share to go to cancer research
Twilight is another cause which holds a special place here at Poorpaws. Many years ago Leeanne and Mike, two of the kindest people ever to exist, adopted a couple of dogs from Poorpaws to keep their gorgeous Golden Retriever company. They loved having dogs so much and were interested in what Poorpaws was doing, so put forward the idea of setting up’ Poorpaws Dordogne’. Now I love Leeanne and Mike enormously but Poorpaws has always been basically a one man band and I have seen too often what happens when more people come in to help run a charity. Even though everyone is working for the same aim, differences of opinion creep in, tempers get frayed and before you know where you are, the aim you are working for takes second place to soothing ruffled feathers. So I thanked Leeanne and Mike very much but explained my fears. They then came back with the wizard idea of Twilight and the rest is history. So, Poorpaws was started thanks to inspiration from Pheonix and Twilight followed on. The funny thing is that Poorpaws is now more like Twilight as we can only take in old dogs when we have a space and my friend Danielle at La Mere aux Betes takes in the ‘adoptables’ which we home together.
Must tell you about my great new way of getting dogs homed. A couple of weeks ago my attention was drawn to a beautiful Griffon, Vickie, who is the spitting image of my lovely Bella who died two years ago. Vickie is a lovely old girl of about 12 years old. She had been taken away from her owner who was cruel to her and had been languishing at a refuge for three years without anyone taking any notice of her. I couldn’t let her languish any longer so called, left a message that I would like to adopt her and followed up with an email. Well, I got a reply to say that astonishingly, after three years of being ignored, I was the second person that weekend to want to adopt her ! So, being the second, obviously I didn’t get her but I want to say thanks a million to the people who were kind enough to take Vickie into their hearts and homes.
Then I saw Lina, another elderly lady in another refuge who was so like my Dany who forgot her green cross code with tragic results. Again, I set the wheels in motion to bring Lina here. Unfortunately I couldn’t collect her until later in the month and have been told that, yes, you guessed it, after a long time in the refuge, Lina has amazingly got someone else looking to adopt.
So, I’m thinking if I call all the refuges and tell them I want to adopt all their dogs, they should all be homed between now and Easter Monday !!
We will be welcoming Balto into Poorpaws next week. Poor Balto an aged Setter was left behind locked in a garage when his owners moved house!!! We only found him when the landlord was getting the locks taken off and changed to get into the house that they discovered him and called us. It is when I hear stories like this that I realise I am not a nice person, revenge on Balto’s behalf would be cold, long and painful.
Honey, the twelve year old Border Colley will also be moving in if she has not found a home very soon. Do think about adopting an oldie, long walks not essential, just a warm bed and a gentle touch to make their last months, years happy knowing they are loved.
Adoptions of the younger ones have been good for March, Caramel a gorgeous Labrador found a great home with Brian and the German Shepherd young lady is now called China and travels around in a Mazda sports car ! I’ll be taking Jaly, to be renamed Rosie, as far as Limoges next week to meet her new owners who will be coming down from Tours to collect her. This leaves her park pal, the lovely Setter/Spaniel Hugo rather lonely, not fair for such a wonderful dog. So it goes on !
Just had to share these two photos of rare breed dogs with you, Colleyflower and Brocollie (thank you Gerry) – tee hee !
To all of you those under the impression that we here in the Lot live in the ‘Sunny South West’, I have news for you, we could rename our area the Soaking South West – WHEN is it going to stop raining ?!!
Right, close to Lauzerte there is a village called Montagudet and I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by a couple who had happened on a house where the shutters were locked and bolted all except for one (thank goodness) which was broken. On hearing a lot of barking from inside the couple approached and to their horror saw three dogs inside standing in water and poo whilst, from the noise it was obvious that there were many other dogs in other rooms. Rebecca and Oliver contacted the gendarmes who more or less shrugged their shoulders and the Mairie, “it is only dogs” !!!! I am already boiling at this stage. They also contacted the wonderful Brigitte from Montaigu de Quercy, who is an inspector for the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, and Lynne Stone who runs chat du Quercy. Now Lynne has guts and determination in spades and she contacted the gendarmes to insist that they investigate the property. To cut a long story short Rebecca and Oliver received visits from both Brigitte and the gendarmes who admitted that this was indeed a serious case. The Mayor of the village, an uncaring, slobby, low-life git – “I did not become Mayor to take care of dogs” was dragged kicking and screaming into the case. It turned out that the owner of the property was a simple guy who lived in his car and who was delighted that help was on hand. Within 48 hours the 17 dogs were out of that hell hole and on their way to the SPA at Golfech where they await adoption. To my horror it was discovered that the Mayor knew of the situation but sat on his fat lazy backside and did nothing.
So, huge thanks to Rebecca and Oliver, Lynne Stone (Chats du Quercy, if you are looking to adopt a cat or kitten get in touch, Lynne does a great job), Brigitte and, finally, the gendarmes.
Now to a happier tale, I am going to tell you the story of Jasper and Jenkins’ Very Big Adventure !! Regulars to the site will already know of Jasper and Jenkins, two adorable puppies who were on the Poorpaws website back in October/November. A private refuge in Holland, run by wonderful Lisa, offered to take and home them as they are hunting dogs and could be difficult to home here. Many collection dates had to be cancelled/postponed for various very valid reasons and in the meantime Jasper and Jenkins were getting Bigger and Bigger ! Then a couple of weeks ago I received a telephone call from lovely Sunny, a Dutch lady who volunteers at the refuge in Cahors. She told me she was going to Holland the following week and would take J and J. I was thrilled – if not a little sad I had grown so fond of these boys. Sunny said she had never done it before and I reassured her that the worst that could happen would be that they pee or throw up in the cage. “Oh no” said Sunny “I am flying”. FLYING ??!! So Monday 16th February found me at Bergerac Airport with the dogs in a large air transport cage. I said I would wait at the coffee shop until the flight had actually taken off just in case there were any hitches. There were none. I sat by the window and saw Sunny walk by to get on the ‘plane, casting an eye over her shoulder all the while at the baggage transporter behind. Then I saw the trailer go by with all the cases and, at the end, the cage with my babies in. I cried ! What were they thinking ? Did they think I had betrayed them ? Six months with me having a great time playing and being loved then being crated onto a ‘plane . Well, when the flight took off, I fell apart. I am not a good ‘cryer’, I know some people can do it and still look good but I can’t. I sob, my eyes swell up and I go bright red looking ghastly, ugly and pathetic. Even knowing that didn’t stop me, I cried my heart out so much so that the couple on the next table were looking and probably thought I had just said goodbye to, or been dumped by, a lover !! Nah, wouldn’t cry so much over a bloke !
Anyway, before I had even got home I had received texts from Holland saying they had arrived safely and Sunny emailed me to say that the Captain of the flight even showed her where the dogs were in the hold, in a cosy section seperate from where the cases were. Latest news is that Jasper has already been adopted. THANK YOU Lisa ! Now I’m going to try to get some photos onto this newsletter but just bear with me !
Hmm, well the photos have all gone to the top of the page !
Other news ? Adoptions have been great, all the pups have gone, wonderful news is that Jumper has also finally been homed and I’m still hoping that the wonderful Black Jasper gets his forever home soon too, he really is a lovely gentle giant.
Just time to remind you that our Easter Barn Book Sale is on 4th April ( Easter Saturday) at the Hamlet of Beliben next to sauzet in t he Lot, just follow the signs when you get to Beliben. If you have books or dvd’s (sorry not videos) to donate, get in touch with me.
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 !!
ps Haven’t bought any clothes and have strictly ignored all “Sales” signs !
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 !!
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 !!!
BARNEY HAS BEEN FOUND !! BARNEY HAS BEEN FOUND !!! BARNEY HAS BEEN FOUND !!! BARNEY HAS BEEN FOUND !!!
PLEASE HELP FIND ME !
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE can everyone reading this keep an eye out for Barney (above) ? One of the most awful things that has ever happened to Poorpaws happened two weeks ago. Dear, very timid Barney, who was adopted from us a couple of years ago, was looking for a new home because his adoring owners have had to go to UK due to serious health problems and are not sure when/if they will come back. Barney then went to another lovely couple who, although they fell in love with him, felt he would never fit in to their busy lifestyle. They were very happy to take Barney everywhere with them but Barney would bolt at the slam of a door or any strange noise. So it was decided that he should go to Danielle at Castelnau Montratier in the Lot, where he spent two months at the beginning of the year and where he was happy. He certainly seemed very happy to see Danielle and was put into a large park with a lady friend as company. The moment Danielle’s back was turned, he jumped on to the roof of his kennel and was away over the fence. And that was it. Barney cannot simply have vanished into thin air but that is what he seems to have done. No-one has seen him (apart from one possible sighting at Vazerac) and all hopes of him trying to find his way back to the Dordogne are fast fading. So, please, please, if you live in the Lot, Tarn et Garonne, or anywhere around there, keep your eyes open. Barney is so timid you may not be able to catch him but one good thing about him is that he adores riding in a car and will quickly jump in if a door is open. Barney is quite a big dog, very frightened but absolutely non aggressive.
Oh, hallo by the way, hope you had a good October, at least I think it was October, could have been August ! It was a very busy month here, what with our Barn Book Sale which raised 1,000 euros – a little down on last year (I blame kindles !) but a very healthy total nonetheless. It was lovely to see so many usual suspects and funny to see people coming early to get to the cake stall before going in to the books ! Especially nice to see Doreen, a lady I am very fond of who tried to adopt Tiny the Terrible poodle a couple of years ago, then he was just called Tiny before we discovered the ‘terrible ‘ bit (“bit” being the operative word !) !! Then Doreen, her daughter and I went on a long journey to Angoulême to pick up another little oldie for her. The refuge would only hand Manou to us personally because of the special care given to their dogs. Hmm, Manou was in a lovely foster home with very kind Kate, but as for the special care given by the refuge, well, I won’t go in to that. Suffice to say that several visits to the vet were necessary for Manou before she blossomed into the lovely happy girl she is now.
Then we had the new and nearly new clothes sale, held as usual at La Sirene restaurant in Montaigu de Quercy (thank you Joyce for the usual yummy lunch) and huge thanks to the two Pats for organising it. 500 euros has gone in to the Poorpaws vet/food tin and the dogs are sure their tums will be full until well in to the New Year.
HOW MUCH ?!
The month of October saw the final closing of the donations website opened when Poorpaws No. 1 supporter Gaynor made the amazing Tour de France cycle ride. Here is the official handing over of the 3,000 euro cheque which will enable Danielle to improve kennels and parks for all her Poorpaws. Again I say, Gaynor you are a star !
Adoptions in October saw all the Brittany Spaniel pups being homed (one seems to have found his way to me, hmm, wonder how that happened ! Ernst still can’t understand why he (Jip the pup) hasn’t been adopted yet ….!). It also saw Gaby legging it the day before her new family came up from Toulouse to adopt her ! They found another needy soul at the refuge in Toulouse and Gaby was brought home a few days later by a family who asked if they could adopt her, so alls well that ends well. Lucky has gone back to his previous owners who found out that the hospital had mislead them and the gentleman wasn’t allergic to Lucky at all, but to dairy products ! That was a close thing as Lucky was to be going to a new home a few days later and this is where my faith in human nature was restored. His original owners said that if he had found a new home, although they were very sad, they would not stand in the way of the adoption. The future owners returned serve saying that there was no way they could take a dog from people who obviously felt deeply for him and who had given him such a good start in life. I was hoping that Joy would sidle into the vacant place left, but perhaps after Christmas. Christmas ? Yikes !
Right, this is not a rant but a gentle prod. Your dog’s identification paper. Do you know where it is ? If not, find it and put it with the health record booklet. A couple of times recently there have been difficulties rehoming dogs because the owners cannot find the identification paper from I-CAD. This is a real problem as copy papers have to be applied (and paid !) for, in the original owner’s name before the dog can be transferred legally to his/her new owners. It wastes a lot of time and should, god forbid, you wish to rehome your dog, you are responsible for all his/her actions whilst in your name. So if you give your dog away without changing the id paper, if he causes an accident or goes chasing chickens/sheep, whatever, you are responsible even if he no longer lives with you.
Ok, enough rambling !
Have a good month. It’s my birthday this month and friends keep asking what I am going to do to celebrate. Well it’s this. For a change I am going to stay at home all day and have a complete ‘me’ day. I won’t get up at seven to walk the dogs , they are going to have to have a lie in too, I won’t do any housework (not much change there then) but I will sit down and read for hours if I want to, have Cadbury’s chocolate for lunch and watch dvd’s all afternoon. Ernst will cook supper (he’s better at it than me anyway !) and in the evening we will go to the cinema (being a vegetarian, a visit to a posh restaurant is not much of a treat ).
P.S.Had to share this with you, it made me laugh so much, sorry if it offends !
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 !
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.
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 gaynorpedals4dogs.com 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 Gaynorpedals4dogs.com 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 !!
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 !!
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 Gaynorpedals4dogs.com 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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Gaynorpedals4dogs.com 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.
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” !!
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 !
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 ……………..my 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 !
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 !
PS The pictures at the top are of our kitchen – I can’t seem to make them go next to the appropriate paragraph !
Phew, 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 !
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 !!
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 !
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 ??!!
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.