Friday, February 20, 2009

Who wants to go for a walk?

WE DO...WE DO!!!

Happy for an hour walk (once a week)

When I was in Los Angeles I was a volunteer with "Love on 4 Paws".  When Augie(0ur pug) was alive he was my companion and we would visit sick children at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles.  They loved dogs there and would welcome them on the beds if the kids were OK with it.  We did that for 3 years and loved every minute of it.  At the end Augie would be in the wagon because he was old and it was hard for him to walk around for 3 hours.  After Augie retired, Dashell and I would visit the kids and it was so rewarding and wonderful to make a sick child smile.  They all loved the dogs.

We were also volunteers with NorthStar Foundation, we are puppy raisers for them.  Fun and rewarding and amazing to see the dog move to become the partner of an autistic child.

So when I came here I knew I wanted to volunteer and knew that it would be with animals. Through 2 lovely women, who will be our dog sitters while we are away (they also make/deliver amazing indian food) I found the Les Cheins de Figeac rescue.  I donated a large bag of dog food and we are sponsoring 2 dogs each month (for 10.00).  We decided to go up (it's only 30 minutes from our house) each week and help walk the dogs.  They have about 140 dogs at the rescue, they are all in very good condition and their living conditions are very clean and humane too.  They will never put a dog down, but some of these dogs have lived their whole lives at the refuge.  The dogs don't get much exercise unless they have volunteer walkers.  It's great to help and something we'll do every week.  

We went up and met Michelle, who runs/started the shelter and she is amazing.  She loves dogs and takes very good care of them.  Nicci, who has volunteered for almost 5 years was my contact and we met her up there to walk some of the dogs.  We spent 2 hours there and each dog got a 1 hour walk, so we made 6 dogs very happy.  Most of these dogs only get walked once a week which is very sad.

The first walk I was paired with UGO.  This is an amazing pointer, he is 4 year old, calm, doesn't pull on the leash, not a barker, very loving, very sweet.  I instantly fell in love with him. I have always wanted a pointer and this guy is wonderful not the typical crazy pointer, which is why he might have been dumped (his owner might have wanted a hunter and he's just not that into it).  But we have 2 dogs and just can't take a 3rd.  This guy just wants a loving home.

UGO - an amazing pointer

Bruce was paired with BROWNIE, who is a french breed.  He's super cute, lovable, doesn't pull on the lead and would be a great dog in any family.

Brownie - sweet and fun

The second walk I got COLL, who is cross between border collie/english setter.  He's beautiful and does pull on the lead.  I brought our "gentle walker" which is sort of like a harness but instead of clipping on the top it clips on the chest and it stops dogs from pulling.  2 of the french volunteers and Michele who runs the rescue had never seen anything like it and thought it was going to hurt him or it was upside down, but we told them it was fine.  Then they saw him walk on the leash and noticed he wasn't pulling anymore.  Yes!  He just needs a good home and someone to work with him, he'd be an amazing dog as he just loves people.

COLL - a beautiful dog

Bruce got ALIX, she's amazing.  She's only 3 but completely off leash trained.  She stays right next to you.  She a bit overweight and need some trimming down, which we'll do with many walks.  She's beautiful and sweet and would make someone a loving companion.

These dogs are available here in France, but they will get pet passports in case someone from England or another country wants them.  None of these dogs were dumped because they are hard to handle, aggressive, crazy dogs.  They are all amazing and just would love a good home and a 2nd chance.

If you could pass the link around to anyone you might know it would be greatly appreciated.


La Framéricaine said...

Chers amis in your juicy life,

What a wonderful post and activity to be engaged in! I can't think of a lovelier way to root yourselves in the community and give love to les chiens at the same time!

Le F and I are going up to your neck of the SoCal woods today to the NUART to see a Belgian film, caress used books, eat at Pink's--if I can orchestrate it all--and see what the day brings in the way of surprises of its own!

We will be thinking of you and wishing you well.


Mark said...

They are so cute, but don't tell 'Lady'our dog! I know you guys love road cycling so i think you will might enjoy my post today.

Leesa said...

OMG! I got all misty-eyed reading this post... What a great idea for volunteering... Both for you guys AND the dogs!! AWWWW... If I were there, I'd LOVE to do something like that, too.... How fun and rewarding... Sad that some only get out once per week...
I LOVE the pointer... Heck, I love all the dogs you posted!! I hope and pray they find nice homes real soon... Bless you for posting this and getting them out there for everyone to see....

Rowena said...

Wonderful post :-) And you know what else? As I was reading this I was thinking that you shouldn't just do a year in France, you deserve to stay there forever!

La Belette Rouge said...

He-weasel and I just talked yesterday for a few heated hours at the outrage we feel when people don't take their commitment to their pets seriously. Pets, like kids, are for life and not just if they are perfectly well behaved. I really wish that pet owners would really consider before they commit to a pet if they have the time, energy and money that is required to take care of them.

I so hope that a person who is able to fully commit to love these gorgeous dogs for all of their life will give these deserving dogs a home.

It is so great that you and Bruce are doing so much to help them achieve that dream and enjoy the simple pleasures of going for a walk. I am particularly smitten with Coll. But, I have my hands full with my Lily love. That said, would you give her a pat on my behalf.

corine said...

hello there. I think i found you via Belette. the someone who's been peering through all your archive for the last hour was me :-) I'm a french girl who now lives in LA. I did what you did in reverse. I loved reading about your adventure.

franke said...

i have so wanted to do this around where i live but the only contacts i have are for animal shelters. the thought of spending time with a dog who may or may not live to see my next arrival keeps me from doing it...i can only imagine how sad i would feel. any suggestions on rescue orgs or other places near me? we so want to have a dog but are away so much during the day that it simply wouldn't be fair.

Cindy said...

How great is that? I knew I liked you guys. I'm going to pass this on to some friends looking for that perfect dog right now. Makes me want more... if I only had room for more animals.

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

how cool, I'm going to see if there is something similar in my neck of the woods... you guys rock!

Michelle said...

How wonderful, you are really engaging with your community.

Oh, but as a dog person, it makes me angry the casual attitude some people have to pets.