Welcoming Two Dogs from the S.P.A.

By | 5 Jul 2015

Just here to help if you drop some food on the floor

Due to Jakez’s sad demise we adopted not one but two doggies to replace him, from a nearby Société Protectrice des Animaux.

Why two dogs?  I’d been thinking about getting a friend for Jakez for a while but it never seemed the right time.  I had thought of getting only one first followed a few months later the other, but the refuge made a valid point that  the first one may become protective of his/her home by the time another arrives.

Jakez also came from a refuge but it was an L.P.A. where the adoption process was different.  I find the S.P.A a little more rigorous as we have another check-up in several months’ time, after which the dogs’ electronic IDs will be put in our name, whereas at the L.P.A. remained the ‘owner’ of Jakez but there was no check-up.

Two dogs at the same time is double delight… and double trouble.

It now takes me 3 times as long to cross a room with either weaving in front of me or treading on the back of my shoes.  I’ll just have to change my ways and not leave things to the last-minute, and try to always keep the phone in easy reach.

The lady from the refuge dealing with us was sooooo happy that we were taking them both that we started wondering if there was an ulterior reason.

On the way home the male dog, Hector, sicked-up huge amounts, enough to make the puppy, Jenny, be queasy and throw up a little too.

He’s sick on every journey, as soon as we hit the first bend.  We obviously try to limit car travel but there are several bends and roundabouts just to get to the nearest vet.

Our vet wants to see any refuge dogs for a meeting and check-up without doing anything like nasty injections.  It is free of charge and a very wise move by the vet.

But at least Hector will get in the car.  The puppy simply spreads her legs out to block on any surface.  If she had fingers she’d be gripping the car door.

I’d prep’d the house to be puppy friendly, but luckily for my shoes, so far she’s been far more interested in chewing her companion.  He, in turn, is very patient with her and playful too.

The puppy - mid air- jumping onto her playmate,

The puppy jumping onto her playmate, mouth open ready to ‘play’ bite on something.

Inside the house, Hector wanted to ensure there was no confusion that he now lives here, so there was a fair bit of marking.   He still does occasionally, if there is a change to life, such as H coming down, but I’m sure he’ll settle down in due course.

He was found on the street with no identification, so his history isn’t known, but we think he was beaten.  At times he has an excessive submissive reaction – such as when I raised my arm to launch a ball with a plastic device, and the first few times I shouted ‘No’ to him or when I got a fly swat out.  He is, thankfully, getting more used to the idea that I’m not going to hurt him.

Of course, that could just be me projecting a story on to him, when it is just him being extra wary.  But as the puppy is constantly demanding (and getting) attention and forcing her way on to my lap (I have no choice but to let her up), I make a point of devoting some time and affection to the 3-year-old.

The puppy’s supposed to be mostly spaniel like the other one, but her cross-breed we think is strongly terrier as she not only looks it but is keen to exercise her lungs whenever possible… usually for no reason.  Occasionally it’s just to get Hector away from a stick she wants – she runs off barking, as if she’d heard something, Hector rapidly follows and is then left looking around while she runs back and takes the stick.

We shall also have to rename her ‘Dogdini’ as she is the Houdini of the dog world.

She has escaped through:

–    a drainage hole in the wall,

–   the bars on our main gates (that start a metre up),

–    an existing gate by crawling under then getting through its bars,

–    the same gate by pulling off the newly added chicken wire with her teeth,

–    a new, specially made enclosure by tunneling under it,

–    the same specially made enclosure by climbing over it.

After some chicken wire was added to the top of this special enclosure, she was finally held in.  But by then she had shown a way and instilled a desire for Hector to escape – who had previously been quite happy to stay.

He now jumps, launching himself on to and crushing the chicken wire, and he’s over.

I suspect she may eventually do the same but there no longer seems much point in trying to enclose them in that area and we’re worried they might do themselves some harm.  The main iron gates have been reinforced with chicken wire and I find if I throw them a stick as I reach the gate, they chase after it allowing me to slip out alone.

As time goes on their characters come out – she’s an affectionate attention seeker, he’s quite happy going off to do his own thing, loving to sniff out lizards and sit for hours staring at a wall, waiting for their reappearance.

His nickname will be Happy Hector as he looks as though he’s smiling when he’s asleep.

They can both be very bouncy but are excellent at keeping quiet when it is bedtime and waiting until I’m up to make a noise again – it’s as if a button gets switched on or off.  All is quiet until I start opening the bedroom door when they let all the overnight stored energy rip with lots of jumping, barking and play fighting.

Perhaps they just need an audience.

It’s lovely to see them together, even if life is much noisier.

We’re in a good position to take in animals from refuges, but they receive such a variety of  breeds of dogs and with diverse and not necessarily sad back stories, I do recommend trying adoption from a reputable refuge.  You’ll not only help a dog/cat but will have a lovely warm (smug?) feeling inside that you did a good thing.

The main organisation across France is the S.P.A. but there may well be other local refuges to you and if you can’t adopt a dog, they always have much need of volunteers.




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