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July 2015
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Frankly Franglaise

Homeless in the heat

July 17, 2015

Summer is upon us and this year has been hotter than most. At times like this we struggle to keep ourselves cool – let alone the dogs. We have fans in every room, test-drove a portable air-con unit (which was returned for a refund – not a successful purchase!), consume vast amounts of water, take cold showers and move as little as possible in the daytime.

From time to time I do some graphics for the SPA in Carcassonne, and do a bit of fundraising for them when I can. Their volunteers are very active on Facebook – regularly posting photos of the new dogs arriving there every day. Sadly (if not appallingly), the number of ‘inmates’ at the SPA is known to increase over the summer months with many people abandoning their dogs when they go on holiday. Quite how any decent person can do this is beyond me, but it happens. Annually.

One afternoon and from the cool of my darkened room indoors I was scrolling through their Facebook posts and saw a lovely looking dog called Trudie. I have a soft spot for hounds and it tugged at my heartstrings to think of her stuck in one of those stinking concrete kennels in such scorching heat. We already have 2 dogs and having a 3rd is beyond us, but after much discussion it was agreed that we would short-term foster Trudie, giving her some respite from the heat and help her enjoy a taste of normal life beyond bars. The volunteers do an amazing job at the SPA, but during a heatwave like this, many dogs are not walked more than once a week, and some not more than once a month. It is of no surprise that when you visit the SPA all the dogs go berserk, the prospect of being released is Utopia.  IMO it is not the ideal way to meet a dog, it is a very unnatural environment.

Me photobombing a Trudie #selfie!

Anyway, getting back to this blog post ….

If you are thinking about getting a dog, or know anyone that might be – read on …

Trudie’s history is unknown (not unusual for an SPA resident), and she is about 9 – but we can’t be sure. When I read the guidelines on the packaging of dog food, 9 classifies her as a “senior” dog.  I certainly wouldn’t describe her as “old” – she’s got plenty of spring in her step and could walk for hours. My guess is that she’s also lived a hard life – somewhere – and has clocked up more hardship points than the average family dog. Trudie is house-trained, and not bothered by household appliances, noises and general ‘fuss’, so we imagine that she has had a home, or at least access to one.

When I first visited Trudie at the SPA I could tell she was one of the ‘popular’ dogs with the volunteers. She might not be a young “awww cute” pup but she has a winning personality. You can instantly tell by her ever-wagging tail she is eager to please and enjoy your company. She likes other dogs too, which as any dog walker knows, is a true blessing. (On the walking front we cannot let her off the lead, as ‘foster parents’ we cannot take that risk in open spaces, but she walks calmly and to heel when directed, which is such a relief!).

We are great believers in dog crates. I prefer to call them Indoor Kennels because Crates sounds almost cruel. Most dogs love them too – they provide a den for them to retreat to, sleep in, eat in, and keep them out of harms way. So our two dogs have crates, and Trudie has one too. She sleeps soundly through the night, no woofing howling or barking. In our household this scores her 10/10 !!

“Trudie” (also known as P223) needs a home


My grandmother would call Trudie a Heinz57 – a cross-breed. We think Trudie is a mix of ‘something or other’ and a Bruno de Jura type hound.  She’s knee high and the size of a labrador, certainly not a lapdog!

Trudie would suit someone wanting a companion “go anywhere take it all in your stride type dog. She is extremely easy going and affectionate, and would be by your side all day if she could. She is good with children too, young enough to enjoy play and exercise and old enough to keep 4 feet on the floor and respect smaller people.


We don’t have cats, but they have 200 of them at the SPA and Trudie didn’t bat an eye, which I think completes the standard doggie check list -

  • good with people
  • good with dogs
  • good with children
  • good with cats
  • good on the lead  :-D

Putting it simply, Trudie is a very easy dog to like!

If you would like to know more about her, or even meet her, then you can contact the SPA or better still email me. She really deserves a lovely forever home and I hope somebody reading this post will offer that to her soon.


The first taste of freedom after 2 months in a concrete kennel


Venturing out

Exploring with “that” nose

I live on the border of Hérault (34) and the Aude (11), but the SPA offer a transport service to anyone adopting from a distance. They help with Pet Passports and all manner of other things like vaccinations and registration. If you have any “adoption” questions – they will certainly have the answers!

by Annette. Find out more about Annette here.

Categories: Climate, Dogs