Introducing Toffee – our new dog.

After a couple of false starts with enquiring about two dogs as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, where they wanted 250€ for each one, we went to the SPA yesterday at Chamarande next to the RN20 (French equivalent of the RSPCA).

We had seen 2 or 3 dogs on their site, and in the end I fell for one of them when I saw it. Thumpah and her colleagues Karine & Delphine had found it and others online.
When we turned the corner looking in the cages (very difficult experience – always a case if “Why this one and not that one?”) I saw her straight away sitting there wagging her tail in the distance – it was like it was all planned, although it probably wasn’t. As we neared the cage and got closer to her we could see she was good natured – we put our fingers through the cage and she licked them bouncing around. She didn’t really bark that much.


They had given her the name Diva, which we didn’t like one bit. There in the cage with her was a massive Newfoundland which barked like mad and a cute little labrador puppy that looked so lost. Only after a good few minutes of the Newfoundland going nuts, did she growl and snap at her companion – which showed us she was at least fairly patient.

As we didn’t have Rémy with us, we came back home to pick him up from Isa’s parents. It was suggested by staff that we’d better see how they get on. Especially with the difficulties we had with Rémy and Chipie we needed to make sure they’d get on.

When Diva was taken out of the cage, she was adorable. Really good natured and Rémy was gentle with her as well. We just felt like she was the dog for us. So after going through some paperwork and of course paying (we paid the standard price plus added a donation), we took Diva home with us. She sat on my lap in the back of the car for the whole journey, trembling – but always good natured, not at all agressive and looking out the window.
So what breed is she? We don’t know – a total mix – 57 varieties. But what we do know is that she comes from Guadaloupe so is described as a “Créole” dog – this isn’t the breed but the name given to dogs coming from over there.

Apparently local residents in Guadaloupe either rescue or steal dogs, due to the extreme cruelty they are subjected to. Much of the time the dogs are stoned to death or, unfortunately, used as shark bait. Those rescued find themselves sent to France and put up for adoption.

The staff at the SPA suspect that she was with a foster family before being sent to France as she wasn’t undernourished. Amazingly she only arrived on Monday! We haven’t got her pet passport yet, but it is suspected that she is 2 to 3 years old. A photo of her appears on the SPA centre website:

She is calm, but this morning seems to be finding her feet slowly and running around outside in the garden – although she does seem a little lost, which is normal considering what she has been through. We were worried that she’d get through the rails of our front gate but it seems she is big enough not to fit. For the moment we don’t know if she would run away. This evening she came with me down to Thumpah”s parents place where I helped her Mum put up the external neon Christmas light wotsit along the eaves of their house.

Last night, we came up with a new name for her. From now on we call her Toffee. The exit on the RN20 road to get to the animal shelter is at Torfou. So we came up with her name from that. Plus she has the lower part of her legs that are toffee coloured.

We think she is toilet trained already, although we’ll assume she isn’t for now.  She is also showing early signs of being obedient, sometimes comes when called.

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