52 Mondays #15


Where is this year going to? I have no idea. I thought life would slow down once I was out here, but no, it has not. Last week was another busy one, and little done in the garden on account of torrential rain on Thursday. It was another kind of busy. Work and deliveries and writing and trying to find some time in between all of this to raise awareness of a local news story that is having a direct impact on a part of my life.

Last week, the prosecutor in Angoulême called on Nadine, the refuge director, to go in and give an opinion on a black market puppy farm they were investigating. Nadine left with 30 dogs, as many as the refuge could take, leaving 120 dogs behind. Luckily, the 30 Million d’Amis association, among others, stepped in, but it still has put enormous pressure on the refuge. At 200 dogs already, full capacity, and dogs being brought in all the time, it becomes an impossibility to take more. If more are taken, various authorities can place pressure on the refuge to euthanise animals. Euthanising 30 otherwise healthy animals for no reason at all other than overcrowding as a direct result of humankind trying to make money off puppies is just disgusting to me. I dare not even pass comment on the condition of the mums brought in with their pups. It makes me hurt in my heart.

So I spent my in-between classes hours on Saturday promoting the story on Facebook and any other social media sites I could, hoping to draw attention to this and relieve a little pressure on the refuge by homing a few of the dogs. It’s working, a little bit. Two potential homes, two foster families and one certain adoption. That’s a small step in the right direction, though not enough. I wish it could be more. I wish I could go tomorrow and there would be no dogs. I wish there would be no need for refuges and animal programmes and Paul O’Grady getting sad-eyed about boxers and dogs homes. I wish that everyone felt the same as I do, that we are caretakers on this planet whose job is to curate the planet and look after it, not plunder it on some mission to make as much out of it as we can and sod the consequences. I wish whatever selfish button people have in them was something we could switch off. But it is a sad fact of the situation that my Facebook post about this story gained fewer comments than a thread about iced gem biscuits. The iced gem biscuits thread just ran and ran. I can understand why my fellow animal-loving ladies sometimes blow a gasket and people call them the Animal Mafia. I felt like blowing a gasket as well. Guess I am Animal Mafia too.

I firmly believe you should have a licence to have a dog, that you should pass a test. You have to do so in order to drive. I think you should have to pass a test to have a child, too, but that is another matter.

Anyway, today was more restful, thanks to a lovely lady who organised a spa morning at her house. I had my unruly eyebrows beaten into shape and got to see my gorgeous lady friends for a few hours. It is never enough time with them. They restore my faith in humanity. They share my animal outrage. They share my sense of humour. They make me laugh endlessly. And whenever I have needed them, they have been there. It certainly gave me a bit of a boost to the week’s beginning, especially as I am lurgy-fied and I sprained my wrist and hand on Friday (not badly, but it was sore and claw-like for a couple of days and has now given way to twinges) so I needed a little bit of cake and coffee, waxing and chat. Tomorrow through to Friday are busy, busy days. On Friday, I am helping at a food drive for the refuge. Lord knows, they need all the support they can get right now. Luckily, the end of term is in sight, although somebody asked me about crash courses today and I felt like saying ‘Give me a break!!’ as I am very much looking forward to five days where I do not move from my house and garden. As you can see from the photo, things are growing like crazy!


6 thoughts on “52 Mondays #15

  1. All the best in finding homes for the dogs – the same stories come up again and again, it’s so demoralising 😦
    Switzerland is not perfect by any means, but we do have dog licencing – linked to the fact that we are registered with the council anyway for tax purposes (you have to let them know if you move away and inform the new council within a couple of days). They don’t call it a licence, it’s a “dog tax” and depending where you live, it costs from CHF 40-200 (£25-130) a year for the first dog. More for the 2nd and subsequent dogs (in my case it was CHF 100 for the first and CHF 160 for the second). This money covers most of the cost of the special dogpoo bins/baggies that are everywhere (Robidog) and you have to pick up after your dog by law. Tax used to be linked to the rabies vaccination, you only got the “tag” for the dog’s collar if you could show the dog’s vaccination booklet as proof, and it was obvious if a dog didn’t wear a tag that it wasn’t taxed… now we no longer have rabies (I have to have my pets vaccinated because we go to France!) I just get sent an annual invoice and informed them when my big dog died. Someone would definitely let them know if I tried to hide a dog, tho’.
    Plus they have made it obligatory to chip and register dogs with ANIS for identification (I know you have to have them chipped or tattooed in France, right? But who can prove it?), usually from early puppyhood.
    About 5 years ago they also made it obligatory to attend puppy classes or other obedience classes for a certain length of time whenever you get a new dog, even if you’ve got decades of experience, in the hope of socialising them all and weeding out the maniacs. Not everyone likes this but it’s definitely in the dogs’ interest. My daughter holds classes like this and sees all sorts.
    Some cantons forbid certain breeds, which I think is crazy, but that’s scaremongering for you. It does prove, however, that there are baddies here, too, and any accident fires up the emotions. The poor Rottweilers and Staffies have a hard time of it because of this, though I only know totally lovable ones. I know more vicious Chihuahuas than big dogs… but none of them can really help it, they’re only dogs!
    On the whole, though, this works reasonably well. Of course, it doesn’t count the “poor” dogs that people import from Spain, which creates a market, or who get a purebred from eastern Europe or somewhere because it’s cheaper – grrrr. You’ll not get away with tail or ear docking though – it’s been forbidden here for something like 20 years and is too obvious a giveaway. Which is something.
    Sigh. It’s never easy. We still have dog refuges.

    1. That’s really interesting – thanks for sharing. It’s never easy with dogs but hopefully the recent law change in France will start to make a difference. I wish it would 😦

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