Sunday, 28 June 2015

Summer Sleep Pattern

Well here we are in the second week of Ramazan.  I don't hear the drummer at all now.  In fact I think he may well have given up his patrol at the bottom of the village.

However, my dogs are barking on and off all night.  The slightest sound sets them off.

 At this time of year the heat causes them to sleep all day, then when it cools down slightly at night they are wide awake.   Their area is outside my bedroom window so I can hear them running about and playing.

We do seem to be getting foxes up on the hill behind the house. My neighbours on either side have chickens.  The construction of their chicken coops leaves much to be desired, so the chickens can get out quite easily.  The neighbours tolerate my dogs barking.  In fact Dursune is very happy about it.  It scares off the foxes and protects the chickens.

Sevke's chickens are frankly a bloody nuisance at the moment.  They are getting into our garden and eating tomato, courgette and pepper plants.  

One evening over a week ago when Mr A finished work while it was still light, he started to construct the bamboo fencing around the top of the garden which would prevent Sevke's chickens from getting in.  Unfortunately it got dark before he finished, so there is now a gap. He hasn't been home much since then so not much chance of the fence being finished any time soon.

The chickens now come and go through the gap.   Tommy barks furiously at them.  I try to shoo them away, sometimes with the hosepipe.  Nothing works. These Turkish chickens are hardy (and stubborn) creatures.

Mr A checked in again with the old man about his two missing dogs.  No news at all, so I'm afraid we have to assume they will not be returning.  He is still feeding the rest of the dogs away from his house, on the way to the teahouse.

The sanayi man continues to feed the dogs there, and he is subsidising the food we provide with leftovers from a sanayi cafe.  He phones Mr A when supplies of food are getting low and we deliver more.  The same for the woman who is feeding Annie plus four or five more dogs...her son phones when they need more supplies of food.

So...my sleep pattern.   My body clock is all over the place.  I'm awake for most of the night.  During the day it's too hot to sleep but I manage a couple of naps while the dogs are quiet.  It's not ideal of course but I seem to be surviving.   Lots of coffee does the trick...not healthy...but it helps!

Timmy, Monty and Fistik sleeping on the bedroom floor. The coolest spot during the day.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

This week's update

A week ago I started a group page on Facebook.  It's hard to believe it was only a week ago because it seems to have taken off and I am enjoying the conversations with the members who have joined.

I have to admit to finding Facebook more satisfying than blogging, simply because of the immediate interaction with people.  Something that doesn't happen so easily with a blog.

In this respect, I don't think I will be blogging quite so much as usual.  I won't be giving up on it entirely though.

There is no further news on the two dogs (belonging to the old man) who went missing recently.  He had promised to ring Mr A if he had any news.  I really don't hold out much hope that they will return.  I feel so sad for him.  Bless his heart...he still continues to feed dogs in the village with the food we provide.

Annie's eye infection has cleared up with the drops we got from the vet for  her "mum" who also continues to feed four more dogs as well as Annie.

The man at the sanayi is also continuing to feed the dogs there.

Food for all these dogs, along with worm tablets, flea treatments and any other vet care is of course thanks to your kind donations.   As you know this project of ours is ongoing, so we are always grateful for anything you can afford, no matter how small.  (You will find the Paypal donation button at the top of this page).

My 10 rescues are all fine.  They are feeling the heat, but have plenty of shade  and the 6 big dogs "bedroom" is inside the old house in our garden so is fairly cool.  The 4 little ones spend some time in the shady parts of the garden and also on my bedroom floor...which is the coolest spot in the house.



If you are on Facebook but have not yet joined my group, please send me a friend request (Linda I. Kaya) and I will then add you. Alternatively, you will find the link to the group Ayak's Animal Welfare on the sidebar of this page.   Look forward to seeing you there.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

The month of sleepless nights

It's the start of Ramazan again.  Not my favourite time of year.   I first blogged about Ramazan back in August 2009.  You can read the post HERE

The  Ramazan drummer no longer comes up as far as our house.  I'm relieved about this as it would be absolute bedlam with all 10 dogs barking.   However, it's now 4.45 am and the dogs have been restless for the past half an hour.  There are dogs barking in the distance and roosters crowing.  For some strange reason they start doing this around 2am in Turkey.

There are lights on in houses all over the village as people force themselves to eat a large breakfast before sunrise when the fasting begins.

And talking of eating and fasting, the four little dogs haven't eaten much this past week.  The heat seems to cause them to lose their appetite.  Instead of feeding them twice a day as usual, I've put down a large dish of dog biscuits so they can help themselves during the day.  The six big dogs just eat everything I give them.   I've noticed them getting fat.  This started when I was away in the UK in April.  Mr A always overfeeds them when I'm not here.  I'm trying to cut down on their food and hoping to achieve feeding them just once a day.  Megan in particular has arthritis so extra weight isn't good for her.

There is no news on the old man's two missing dogs.  Mr A would have heard from him if there had been, and the son doesn't appear to be around so no opportunity for Mr A to have a quiet word.  If I hear anything I will of course let you know.

This week Melek and Chas had their booster vaccines, and all 10 were wormed.  I also had to replace three Paraband collars as the previous ones (a different make) had broken and I managed to retrieve them before they were chewed up.

Yesterday I spent a very enjoyable afternoon with my friend Fleur who had driven over from Kusadasi to meet me in Milas.  As usual when in good company the time flew by.  We don't see each other often because of the distance but we plan to meet up half way in the next week or two at a restaurant overlooking Bafa Lake, where she tells me they serve an excellent breakfast.

Fleur brought some treats for the dogs and present for me...thankyou very much Fleur xx

There are storms due tomorrow and a drop in temperature, which I am looking forward to.  It will be a pleasant relief for a day or two.

Ramazan mübarek olsun

(You can now follow me on Facebook (click this text)

Monday, 15 June 2015

The old man who feeds dogs

I've mentioned this old man many times in my updates.  Along with Annie's mum, and the sanayi man, we deliver sacks of food to this old man on the outskirts of the village.

He has two dogs of his own, and feeds 7 or 8 more who turn up each day.  During the season whilst Mr A is working, this man also feeds any dogs who turn up at the teahouse in the evening.

Mr A came home reasonably early on Saturday and we took delivery of some bamboo fencing, which is made by a man in Koru.   We have decided to fix this around the perimeter of the garden.   It will solve several problems.   Sevke's chickens are getting into our garden, eating tomato and courgette plants and making our dogs bark.  Tommy in particular is getting very stressed by them.

When the sheep pass the house each day they jump on the wall, eat the grapevines and make the dogs bark furiously.  They pass the back of the house where the six dogs jump and bark at them.  I believe this is how Blondie injured her leg. She jumps quite high and probably scraped it on the wall.  It's taking a long time to heal, but getting better.

All these problems will be solved with the bamboo fencing.  Mr A will fix it gradually, probably late in the evening when he finishes work.  In fact he was up at 5.30am today and is busy working on it now.

So...back to the old man.   Mr A received a call from him last night and he sounded very distressed, so Mr A went down to see him, with another bag of dogfood.   The man was in tears.  His two dogs have disappeared.   Mr A wondered if this was the start of another spate of poisonings but it seems not.

It would appear that the old man's son isn't happy about the dogs turning up to be fed each day.  Although the son won't admit it, the old man suspects that he (the son) has taken the dogs somewhere.  Mr A was angry and upset for the old man but has to be careful about how he deals with this.   There is no point in him accusing or getting angry with the son, because this will no doubt make matters worse.  He thinks it best to have a quiet "friendly" word with the son to ask him if he knows what has happened to the dogs.

In the meantime, the old man is fearful for the dogs that turn up each day so has decided to encourage them to follow him to the teahouse, where he will continue to feed them along with the other stragglers that appear from time to time.

I know Mr A's way of dealing with this is best, but I would like to get my hands on this man who has removed his father's dogs and caused him so much upset.   Poor old guy.  Life is just so bloody unfair.

Edited to add that I was mistaken.  He had three dogs of his own, not two, although two are missing.  This is the dog he still has.  Photo taken last night by Mr A

Friday, 12 June 2015

Hospital, Vet, Hairdressers, Shopping and Dog beds

It's been a busy couple of days.  On Wednesday David collected me and we drove over to Bodrum for some shopping ...at Koctaş (similar to B & Q) for David and to check out pet shops to find dog beds for my big dogs.  I have been making do with makeshift beds for a while and recently I swopped one of the kennels with David for a large plastic bed.  David's recent addition to his dog family, Molly, loves the kennel, and my dogs love the plastic bed.

I had searched online for the beds and the cheapest I could find was with Hepsiburada for around 100 lira each.  I also checked out the prices of their dogfood and attempted to place an order.   I decided that I would just have to buy one or possibly two beds at a time because of the cost.  I followed the ordering procedure right through to the point of payment, only to find that they don't accept debit cards (I don't have a credit card).  So back to square one.

After checking out other pet shops we found one just off the Bitez roundabout and saw the exact same beds I'd seen on Hepsiburada and the prıce was 60 lira each.  Quite a difference.  They only had 4 of the size I wanted, and a larger one for 75 lira.  I decided to buy all five and the man let me have the larger one for 60 lira too.  He also has 15kg sacks of dog food, several different varieties that I have used before, and sells them at 45 lira.  So I stocked up.  I have his card and I can phone him whenever I need more stocks, let him know which kind, and he will make sure he gets them for me.  Mr A is in this area every day, so he will be able to collect for me.

On our way back we found a tiny white fluffy pup in the road.  We stopped and picked her up and asked around to see if she belonged to anyone or whether there was a mum or siblings.  Nothing.  We couldn't leave her there so David has taken her home.  As he already has 3 dogs he has yet to decide whether he will find a home for her.  In the meantime, I gave David worm tablets for her and a spare small bed, and we will take her to our vet to get her checked out and vaccinated.





Yesterday I had an appointment at the hospital in Milas for some tests.  Mr A took some time off, a rare occurrence, and it was nice not to have to struggle through the hospital system on my own.   We had to wait two hours for results, so we went for a coffee, and then I managed to get a much needed haircut.  I don't know if I mentioned that my current hairdresser lives in our village.  The last time I used him he kindly came to the house on a Monday (his day off) which is very convenient.   I was pleased with the trim yesterday and he also sold me some serum and hairspray at cost, which worked out cheaper than inferior products in the shops.

Next a visit to our vet to pick up some more Paraband collars.  I had been using a few of a similar product suggested by the vet called Kiltik, but these work loose and come off very easily and get lost or chewed...so I wouldn't recommend them.

Finally a quick scoot around the supermarket for shopping and then to collect the results of the tests from the hospital which at the moment are fine.

We managed all this in four hours.   After returning home, Mr A relaxed for an hour or so, then it was back to work for him.

A productive and satisfying couple of days.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Dogs and Life

Well the two go together really.  Dogs are a big part of my life and generally speaking everything else has to fit in around them.  They are a commitment for life.  Something which people don't always consider when they adopt one.  Just lately I have seen so many horrifying reports of cruelty to dogs and other animals on Facebook, I  am left wondering what is happening to the human race.

My 10 rescues have the best life I can give them.  They are all neutered to prevent any more unwanted pups.  They are all vaccinated and boosters administered when due.  They are wormed regularly and treated for fleas and ticks, and any other ailments are dealt with.

The dogs on the streets aren't so lucky though, unless people stop being self-centred and cruel.  It doesn't take much effort to feed a dog or to put out a bowl of water...so necessary now that summer is upon us.  The satisfaction and love you receive from a dog by just being kind is priceless.

My dogs are all fine.   The sanayi dogs are being fed by the kind man there, who having run out of food before we had chance to deliver more, went and bought some with his own money.  We will of course reimburse him...it's the least we can do.

We called into see Annie and her mum briefly last night.  Annie's mum tells us she is spoilt.  The family share their food with her so often she turns her nose up at the dried dog food!   She pointed out that Annie had a problem with one of her eyes.  A bit of conjunctivis it seems, so we will get more eye drops today to sort this out.

The old man on the edge of the village continues to feed 10 dogs who turn up at his house each day and also the stragglers that appear at the teahouse in the evening.

A couple of weeks ago on one of the lanes leading down to the village we spotted 6 or 7 pups in the road.   They weren't newborn and seemed quite healthy.  We couldn't see mum around but our neighbour said that she had seen the mum with them the previous day and that she thought they were being fed by people in a house close to where we saw the pups.

I've been down there several times since and didn't see any of them.  I would of course have loved to taken them home but we just have absolutely no more room for anymore dogs.   On one of Mr A's brief visits home he asked someone near where the pups were originally if they were OK.  Apparently people were leaving out scraps for them.   It's not perfect of course but slowly the mentality is changing in this village.  We are setting an example and people realise that they don't  need to be afraid of these dogs and there is no reason to harm them.  Naturally we will never convince everyone so we do have to be vigilant.

Last night on our way home after a busy day (more of that later) Mr A spotted an old man who lives near where the pups were seen and stopped to ask him if he knew of their whereabouts.  It would seem that the mum had disappeared, but the good news is that several people had adopted one pup each.  Apparently there were four or five according to this man, so I guess the others may have died.  Sadly  this happens so often.

We were delighted to learn that these pups now have homes.  Unfortunately the man doesn't know who took them or where they live but he is going to ask around.  If he can find out we have told him to tell the new pup owners to come to our house and I will provide them with food, worm and flea treatments, and give them some advice on how to care for them.  We are still hoping to find the mother of these pups and if so we will get her spayed.  I have no idea what she looks like so will have to rely on others to let me know.

Mr A continues with his busy schedule but having had discussions with his boss he is hopeful that things will change and that the schedule for each day will work better if he starts out each morning at the far end of the peninsular, ie Yalikavak, works his way through Bodrum and out as far as Gulluk, then he could actually get home to sleep each night.  It would seem that most of his customers will be in the Gulluk hotel so he could spend the last couple of hours of his busy day there, before coming home.  There will be a trial of this new schedule starting tomorrow.  Let's see if it works.

Yesterday I intended to meet up with David to go to Bodrum, to look for plastic dog beds, to replace some makeshift beds I am using which are getting chewed!

I managed to get a lift into Bodrum with Mr A and he dropped me at the Oasis shopping centre where I arranged to meet David.  After 10 minutes David rang to say his car wouldn't start, so it looked like I would have to get  three buses home.   I rang Mr A who was still in Bodrum and he collected me.  We decided that I would spend the day with him going from hotel to hotel to do the welcome meetings.

It was an interesting day, but not relaxing.  It was very hectic even though Mr A tells me it wasn't a busy day for him.  If this wasn't busy then I really don't know how he copes...or manages to keep a smile on his face when talking to customers.  Even though we are allowed to eat in any of the hotels he is responsible for, there wasn't actually time.  We only just managed a coffee and a couple of biscuits whilst doing one of the welcome meetings.   As soon as one hotel is ticked off the list, it's into the car and off to the next one.

His last hotel was in Yalikavak and having booked two customers for a Turkish Bath, the transport phoned to say they couldn't collect them, so we put them in Mr A's car to take them.  On the way Mr A dropped me at Kipa to do some shopping, then delivered the customers, on to his office to deal with bookings and paperwork, and then to fill up with petrol.  He collected me from the supermarket and we set off home.  Then, as mentioned above, stopped to see Annie, and the man about the pups.

I was so shattered when we got home, I fed the dogs and went to bed.  Mr A?  He spent an hour in the garden tying up tomato plants and clearing some weeds.  At around 9pm he received a phone call to say some customers had problems at one of the hotels, so he changed his clothes and off he went to sort them out.  Finally back home at midnight and off to bed.

This morning the Gulluk hotel was first on his list and we realised that there was just time for me to go with him and have breakfast there, do the welcome meeting, drop me back home, and then for him to set off for the rest of his appointments.

We booked well on the excusions yesterday by working together.  British people like to talk to other British people, so it helped with me being there.  Mr A likes me working with him but knows I couldn't possibly do this too often!   But I'll try to help a couple of times a week.  Frankly, it's the only time we manage to be together during the summer, so it's worth the effort.




Monday, 1 June 2015

Mental block....

 ....I seem to be suffering from this at the moment.  So I thought I would let you know just in case I don't blog much for a while.

My life is jogging along in much the same way as it always does at this time of year.  Mr A is working flat out so I rarely see him.  Those of you who follow on Facebook will have seen my post yesterday about Mr A being at the hospital.  He posted on Facebook that he was there but didn't think to tell me!

I saw it an hour after he had posted it and rang him.  His explanation was that he didn't want to upset me.  So he clearly doesn't get it that I would be more upset to read it on Facebook.  Well he seems to have got the message now and realises it wasn't the thing to do.

He is going back to the hospital later today for a check-up/tests.  His blood pressure is high.  He is exhausted.  The doctor says it's most likely due to stress.  So we will see what the doctor says today.

As far as the dogs are concerned, our "feeders" are continuing to feed the dogs in the village and the sanayi.  Mr A dropped another sack off to the old man on Saturday morning, after he had popped home for a quick sleep in the early hours.  Annie's mum has enough food for a little while, and the sanayi man actually bought a sack of food on Saturday out of his own money.  We will reimburse him for this, and drop some more off to him.

Timmy's swelling after being neutered has now gone down.  I was reassured by others who have experienced this reaction in some dogs.  So nothing to worry about.  I am still treating Blondie's leg.  It's taking a long time to heal, but it looks slightly better so I will persevere with this.  If it looks any worse I will of course get the vet to look at it again.

And of course a gentle reminder that we always need funds to continue to feed the dogs, so anything you can afford, no matter how small, will be most welcome.

That's really all I have for now.   See you soon.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Update on Timmy, Blondie and David

Timmy was neutered on Friday.  The operation went well but when I got him home I noticed that the scrotal sac was very swollen.  I haven't experienced this with any of the other boys I've had neutered and as the day went on I was concerned so took a photo and sent to my vet (don't you just love this facility?  Technology is so useful sometimes).

Whilst awaiting my vet's reply I searched the internet and discovered that this is a normal reaction with some dogs and it can take some time for the swelling to go down.  When Mehmet phoned me he confirmed that this was the case but if I was concerned to take Timmy back to see him.

On Saturday Timmy was running about and eating.  He had also been to the toilet so I wasn't unduly worried.  He even managed to bark at the sheep.  He is now back to his normal self.  The swelling has reduced slightly.  It still looks horrible but is causing him no problems so I'm sure he will be fine.  He is still cocking his leg in the house unfortunately but as it takes about two weeks for the testosterone to leave the body after neutering, it's early days and I won't know yet whether he will get out of this habit.

I talked to Mehmet about Blondie's ankle.  He says to continue to do what I am doing, ie bathing with salt water, applying antibacterial powder, and giving the course of pencillin injections daily.  I gave the last one this morning.  I am still uncertain about whether this is healing satisfactorily so of course will continue to treat it and return to the vet if it's no better soon.

You'll notice in the title of this blog that it's also an update on my friend David, but it's more about a dog he rescued from the streets a few weeks ago.  David has always been concerned about street dogs and usually carries a bag of dogfood with him to stop and feed any strays that look hungry.  He has also been very helpful to me when Mr A is working, taking me to the vets, and helping me transport sacks of dogfood.

He noticed Molly at the side of a road and stopped to feed her each day, but was so concerned for her, decided to take her home.  It isn't easy for him to integrate a new dog with his two existing dogs.  He has tried before and it hasn't worked, but thankfully this time, with persistence and patience, Molly has settled, and Dillon and Mavi pretty much ignore her.

David took Timmy and I to the vets on Friday, along with Molly to have her spayed and all her vaccinations.  Again the operation went well, but it wasn't straightforward.  Molly was already pregnant.  As David has only had her for a couple of weeks, it would seem likely that she fell pregnant just before he rescued her.   The feotuses were aborted and she was spayed.  Both David and I have mixed feelings about this.  It is sad that we live in a country where knowing this was carried out was actually a relief.  There are just so many pups out there, born on the streets, dying slowly from disease and starvation, that I am thankful that my vet believed there was no other choice.

Anyway this is Molly.  Now a happy, healthy, safe and much loved  little girl.


Friday, 22 May 2015

This week

This week has been quite busy.   Mr A continues to work ridiculously long hours.  His schedule is almost impossible to achieve.  He has welcome meetings at hotels from Gulluk to Yalikavak and everywhere else in between, every day.  Sometimes as many as 20 hotels.  His office give him between an hour and hour and half in between each meeting, and this has to include travelling time. He is then expected to meet customers at the airport, put them on the buses and inform them of their welcome meetings the following day.  Sometimes these airport visits are around 2am or 3am.  There's very little time for sleep.

Sometimes, if he is at the airport which is just 10 minutes away from the village,  he comes home between midnight and 3am and goes straight to bed, then is up again at 7.30am.  Yesterday afternoon he actually managed to convince his boss he was almost dead on his feet and was able to grab 4 hours sleep in his personnel accommodation.

He is not the only one.  All personnel are doing the same.  It's cruel to expect people to survive this kind of life.  None of them will complain for fear of losing their jobs.  There are always plenty of others waiting to step in...and the bosses know this.   Roll on the end of the season, then maybe I can stop worrying that his lack of sleep will cause him to crash the car while he is clocking up around 400km every day.

I had two trips out this week.  An early breakfast with Mr A at one of his hotels in Gulluk on Tuesday and waited while he did his welcome meeting.  I enjoyed this brief time with him, but it was somewhat spoilt by the fact that he was running late for his next meeting, and drove like a lunatic to drop me back at the village.  If I have another opportunity to have breakfast with him I will opt for catching the bus back to avoid raising my blood pressure!

On Wednesday I met up with a friend Wendy in Milas.   We are both members of admin on a Facebook group and I first met her in Gulluk last year.  We had lunch together followed by cake and coffee, and lots of chat.  The time went very quickly but was very enjoyable.

And the dogs.   Timmy is off to the vet today to be neutered.  I am sincerely hoping that this will deter him from cocking his leg and marking his territory INSIDE the house....up chairs, the rubbish bin, the laundry basket...in fact anywhere that takes his fancy.  He even blatently does it while I'm standing next to him!   Cheeky little bugger.

I mentioned weeks ago that Blondie injured her leg (just above the ankle).  She constantly jumps and rushes about and I suspect she caught it on the wall whilst barking at the sheep.  I treated it with antibacterial powder, then antibiotic cream, and she also had an antibiotic injection.   It heals ...she licks it...and it opens up again.

My vet saw it at one point where it was healing and said it was OK.  I spoke to him about it again this week and he suggests I continue with what I am doing.   I wash it each day with a saline solution and apply antibacterial powder.  I tried a bandage one day and put a plastic bucket collar on her but she still managed to remove the dressing.  Although it is better if it's left open.   I am struggling on with the treatment...now twice a day, and I also have a course of penicillin injections.  Fingers crossed this does the trick.

All my other dogs are fine.  I have checked on our feeders...Annie's mum, the old man and the sanayi man and they are all continuing to do what we have asked of them.  I will be arranging delivery of more food at the end of next week.   Thankyou once again to those of you who donated last week which enabled me to buy more food.  I will need more next week, and thereafter, so any further donations would be most welcome.

And that's my weekly update.   Have a good weekend everyone xx

Monday, 18 May 2015

ROSİE NEEDS A HOME

This gentle little girl first appeared in Gokova about two months ago.





Beria, who feeds and cares for countless dogs in Gokova and the surrounding areas, saw that she had mange and treated her for this, thanks to a donation from one of my supporters, Christine.   It also appears that she was run over and was seen with a bleeding nose but she then disappeared again.

Beria has continued to search for her, and other Gokova volunteers, Sonia and Janice, have also been on the lookout for her.

She was found again by Beria outside the kennels in Gokova, and promptly disappeared again.  Until last week, when she was finally caught, having been run over yet again. 


She is now in the vet clinic, she has a broken hip and ringworm, and is being treated for these.




This lovely girl clearly cannot manage life on the streets and desperately needs a home.  A permanant home would be ideal of course, but urgent foster placement would help in the meantime.

All her costs will be covered.

If you are able to give Rosie a home, please contact me on here or on Facebook, or join Gokova Animal Rescue page (the link can be found on my sidebar), or contact Beria Atamturk.

This is urgent, so even if you can't give Rosie a home,  sharing this blog on your Facebook page will be helpful.

Thankyou.