Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Update on Nancy, Kahve and other dogs...and some good news.

Nancy was spayed on Saturday and yesterday she was collected from our vet in Milas and taken to the sanayi.  We had hoped that someone might want to adopt her, but sadly it hasn't happened. She will be safer now than if she had returned to the village.  She will be monitored and we hope that she will settle well into her new environment.
Getting to know the newcomer Nancy


Our friend Steve kindly took Mr A  in his car to collect Nancy, and also to stock up on some more sacks of dog food from Migros, which currently has a special offer on 15kg sacks.

When they were at the sanayi they noticed that Kahve ( who we recently placed at the sanayi for safety) seemed to have a recurrence of mange, which we treated previously.   Steve uses a vet in Bodrum for the dogs that he helps, and this vet charges the same kind of prices as our Milas vet for treatment of street dogs.  The advantage with the Bodrum vet is that he has more facilities than Milas for doing blood tests etc.  As Steve thought there was a possibility that Kahve could have leishmaniasis rather than mange, he took Mr A and Kahve to the vet in Bodrum.

Good news is that it isn't leishmaniasis.  It is mange and this is being treated.  He also has a virus and he is having treatment for this which needs to be administered every day.  Mr A will do this, and Steve has offered to help.  They noticed another dog at the sanayi needing treatment and Steve will take this one to Bodrum vet tomorrow.

We are so grateful to our new friends Steve and Rita.....and Jacky and Jim.  We have only known you all for a short time but you have been so helpful to us and our dogs.   Thankyou xxx

Now for some very good news.  

As you know we rely on your donations to help us continue to do what we can for the dogs, and I am very grateful to each and every one of you who has given.   We mostly  manage quite well with careful budgeting and sourcing dog food on special offer, at the same time keeping our fingers crossed that we don't face too many problems which will involve vet bills.

We do have plans to do more to the dogs areas in our garden to make them safe and easy to keep clean.  Mr A has already erected fences and gates separating the areas at the side and back of the house, and a shelter to protect two kennels for Chas and Melek.   This area has also been cemented.

He has made the "bedroom" in the old house more comfortable and practical,  building wooden beds on metal frames and legs which we cover with blankets for Megan, Sammy, Blondie and Freddie.  Even though the two areas are connected by a gate, all six dogs come and go and share their beds.

We can separate the two areas when necessary, ie for feeding, and if we have a poorly dog that we want to isolate from the rest.

We made a start on the area at the back which needs cementing.  Stones have already been laid, but we only do bits and pieces as and when we can afford to.  There are a few jagged pieces of rock and I suspect this was how Melek managed to cut one of her foot pads last week. The cement needs to be laid as soon as possible.

Our main gate leading to the driveway is not safe.  It moves, even though Mr A has tried several times to fix it.  It did actually collapse one day but fortunately we were around to prevent the 4 small dogs from getting out.  It needs to be repaired if possible but more likely  a new more substantial gate needs to be made.  Mr A has some metal poles which he was given which will be used as a frame for the gate.

Mr A also has nowhere to shelter his motorbike, which during the recent spate of heavy rain has been difficult to start.  It's our only form of transport and essential for Mr A to use to feed the dogs in the village and deliver food to those people who are feeding dogs for us.  He had started making a shelter for the bike by building a frame and cementing the base but needs to cover it.  Again another job that has been put to one side.

This week a  very good friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, has donated the money which will enable us to get all this work done.  She is happy for us to spend it on whatever we feel is necessary to make life easier and safer for the dogs.  She did also say "treat yourselves too" but there is nothing we need for ourselves.  (I did say maybe I would buy some chocolate but as you will see further on, this wasn't necessary).   Anyway, I want to thank my friend very much for her generosity. We are so grateful...bless you xxx

  Mr A's friend Mehmet will help with the work by doing all the heavy lifting that Mr A can't manage at the moment since his operation.  Here are some "before" photos and hopefully soon we can post the "after" ones.
 Areas to be cemented

Gate to be fixed or replaced (and our bike which needs shelter)

The bike shelter frame in need of completion



Yesterday I travelled by bus over to Didim to visit friends Elizabeth and Valerie. I set off in rain but by the time I arrived the sun was shining and continued to do so for the rest of the day.  We chatted constantly...about dogs...the majority of my friends these days are also obsessed with dogs!  A stroll up to the Temple of Apollo, and a lovely dinner in the evening at a local restaurant (with quite a lot of wine!)., and Elizabeth's friend Isobel joined us..   It was a very enjoyable evening.

I stayed the night at Elizabeth's house and they dropped me back in the village this morning on their way to the airport, armed with bags of goodies, including lots of books, wine, filter coffee. chewsticks for the dogs....and chocolate!  Thankyou my dear friends for a lovely time xxx

The last 24 hours has recharged my batteries and the positive things that have happened this week make me so happy and optimistic.  Onwards and upwards.

................................................................

As I write this blog I have just received a phone call from Mr A.  He was in Milas and witnessed a dog being hit by a car.   Of course the car didn't stop.  Mr A tried to call our vet in Milas but couldn't get hold of him, so he phoned Steve.  

SuperSteve to the rescue.

They took the dog to the Milas Belediye shelter where he will be treated by the vet.   As you know we don't have much involvement with the Milas shelter.  They have been less than helpful with our village dogs, even though the village comes under the Milas council.  However, this injured dog is a Milas dog, so they had no choice but to take him in and give him the treatment that he needs.

And that's all my news for now.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Another busy week

Mr A has recovered well from his operation.  Although the stitches won't be removed until tomorrow, he is getting about as usual and doing most things as long as he's careful not to lift anything more than 5kg in weight.  I have to keep nagging him about this of course.  Like most men, he doesn't do as he is told.

On Monday he arranged and supervised the collection of Annie from the village to the vet clinic to be spayed.  The op went well and she also had all her vaccinations.   I was asked on Facebook what was wrong with Annie's front legs, and this is the explanation I gave:

They are deformed . Many dogs in Turkey are like this. It can be congenital or more lıkely in the case of street dogs it's nutrıtıonal deficiency. Nothing can be done to rectify this other than breaking and resetting bones, months of physio, special diet.etc, something impossible to consider for a street dog. 

It doesn't cause any problems for her in getting around and is not painful. She has been given some treatment by our vet which will help to strengthen her bones and prevent the condition from getting worse, and we will try to continue if this is necessary (finances permitting).
 The family in the village who are looking after her are feeding her with good dog food, provided by us, and this should of course help to keep her as healthy as possible



 The small injury which our Blondie had on her leg has been treated with antibacterial wound powder and is slowly healing.  One day this week we discovered a small cut on Melek's foot pad.  This has also been treated.  We think she did this on one of the stones in the big dog's area.  This area is to be cemented as soon as possible to make it safe (more about this in a future post).   Just to make sure, we collected antibacterial injections from the vet for both Blondie and Melek.

We decided to have another village dog spayed this week.  A little girl we named Nancy.  She is lovely.  Very affectionate and follows Mr A  around. She can usually be seen sitting at his feet outside the teahouse.  She has already had pups and is about 17 months old.  I have tried sharing her details on Facebook in the hope that we could find a home for her, but as yet this hasn't happened.  She will be placed at the sanayi after her op, where she will be safer than in the centre of the village.
Nancy on her way to the vet clinic


Annie was collected from the clinic on Friday, returned to the people looking after her, and Nancy collected from the village and taken to the clinic.  She had her op yesterday and is doing well. She has also had all vaccinations and will be collected on Monday or Tuesday and taken to the sanayi.


Finally, as Mr A was going out of our gate yesterday, he turned to see Monty, Fistik, Tommy and Timmy all standing together at the top of the balcony steps.  In a split second he snapped this photo with his camera.  One of those rare moments in life that will probably never be captured again.


Thursday, 26 February 2015

This week's update

Annie the dog was collected from her safe place in the village on Monday.  Our vet spayed her on Tuesday morning.  She recovered well but we decided to give her a few days in the clinic before getting her back to the village, particularly as the weather has been so dreadful.

She has also had all her vaccinations and we will hopefully be able to arrange to get her back to the village tomorrow.  We decided against taking her to the sanayi because it has become obvious that the family who feed her with the food we provide, are very fond of her.  When Mr A was  checking on her on Monday morning he threw a handful of dog biscuits on the ground for her.  The woman who feeds her asked him "Why did you do that, she has her own bowl for her food"....and when Annie was about to set off for the clinic, the women said "Please bring her back".  

I am very reassured by these comments and feel confident that Annie will be safe where she is.

Another of the village dogs, a bitch who we have named Nancy, also needs to be spayed.  She has already had puppies.  It's uncertain how many litters she may have had or what happened to her babies, but we want to stop this endless cycle for as many females as possible.
Nancy playing with Mr A


Nancy is an affectionate girl and very playful and she follows Mr A everywhere.  She is usually to be found sitting next to him outside the teahouse.   When she has been spayed we intend to take her to the sanayi so she is safe.  We have already spoken to the man who looks after Kahve and feeds up to 20 dogs a day and he will keep an eye on Nancy.  Mr A recalls Kahve playing wıth Nancy before he was moved to the sanayi, so a friendship will be renewed!  Because Nancy tends to hang around the centre of the village we feel she could be at risk, so need to make her safe.

We are continuing to provide food for the sanayi dogs, the old man in the village who feeds 6 or 7 dogs each day, for Annie, and of course for any remaining dogs that we feed in or around the village.
We would like to raise some money for Nancy's operatıon and vaccinations, and we would love to continue to get more dogs neutered here, both in the village and the sanayi.   But we can't do it without your help.

If you would like to donate something, no matter how small, you will find the Paypal button at the top of this page.  Anything we receive is always very gratefully received.  Thankyou.


Saturday, 21 February 2015

DAİSY THE DONKEY

Some of you wanted to see photos of Dursune's donkey.  I referred to the donkey in my last post HERE  as "he" but it's actually a girl.   When this donkey first arrived I thought she was a mule  (see my Edit at the end of the post whıch explains the confusion)



Anyway she didn't have a name so we have called her Daisy, and Dursune is happy with that (although she is pronouncing it Teyze which means aunt, but that's ok!)

We noticed this morning that Daisy has an injury on her leg which she sustained while she was away from home.   Dursune has put olive oil on it which isn't going to work, so I have sprayed it wıth veterinary antibacterial spray and I will continue to do so until the wound has healed.



...and my reward?   Fresh eggs from Dursune's chickens.
Lovely!
EDIT:  See this post HERE FROM JUNE 2013.  The first replacement for the donkey who died WAS a mule and I found out last night that at some point she exchanged him for a donkey and for some reason I didn't know or notice the difference.   Hence my confusion when posting yesterday.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DONKEYS AND MULES

Friday, 20 February 2015

MAKING PLANS BY PHONE....and a runaway donkey.

Mr A was discharged from hospital on Thursday and collected by David and Abdu (Thankyou dear friends).

He still has pain on and off, particularly getting up from a chair or out of bed, but this is to be expected.  I was rather surprised that the incision was bigger than I thought it would be.  His doctor told him there are 28 stitches.  These will be removed on 4th March, and until then he has to be very careful moving about, climbing stairs...and hills (this could prove difficult with the steep hill up to our house).   He is not allowed to lift any more than 5kg for 3 to 4 months.

I am relieved now that he has no building work as this would be impossible.  He has however secured a job near the airport (10 minutes from home) for a car rental company, booking in customers, filling in forms and delivering/collecting cars.   This is to start on 1st April and he should be feeling a lot better by then.  It's only for 7 months of the year but it's a regular salary so we are happy with this.

Before Mr A went into hospital last Monday he made sure that there was sufficient food for the dogs at the sanayi, for the mum dog (who we now call Annie) and for the old man in the village who feeds 6 or 7 dogs every day.  He also arranged for this man to feed other strays in the village whilst Mr A was  in hospital.  So everything was covered.

Since he came out yesterday,  he has phoned our vet and made plans for him to collect Annie sometime soon to be spayed.  

A thankyou here is due to Christine, who donates regularly to my fund, who also specıfıcally wanted to pay for Annie's operation.  We are very grateful Christine.

  Annie wıll be collected during the coming week.  She will stay in the clinic for two or three days and then we will try to arrange for her to be taken to the sanayi.  Although she has shelter and is being fed where she is at the moment we feel that she was quite safe while she still had her two puppies.  However, now she is on her own we are concerned that she may be shot or poisoned like others here, so we want to make sure she is safe.  We will also have her vaccinated.   She is still having treatment for a small amount of mange on her legs, and this will continue until it's cleared.

And while Mr A is recuperating he has managed to locate a runaway donkey by making phone calls.

Dursune told me on Tuesday that her donkey had disappeared the night before.  She had searched the village but couldn't find him.  I was sure she would find him quite quickly, and I'm afraid with everything else going on, I didn't think to check with her until yesterday morning after Mr A came home.  He was still missing after 3 days and she was quite distraught  

I mentioned this to Mr A and he immediately phoned the Muhtar who put out an announcement on the public address system.   Within 10 minutes Mr A received a call from someone in the village who had seen the donkey wandering around but had no idea who it belonged to.   I called out to Dursune to come to the house and Mr A explained to her where to find her donkey.

An hour later Dursune brought her donkey home with a big smile on her face.  She spent the afternoon talking to him and giving him plenty to eat.  Last night she put him in her shed to make sure he didn't run away again.

It's already proving difficult to stop Mr A doing things he shouldn't do.  He is stubborn (and he's Turkish ......... those of you married to Turks will know what I mean)  but as long as he can make plans and organise by phone he does at least feel useful.


Monday, 16 February 2015

Turkish Hospitals and Laptops

We were collected by our friends Davıd and Abdu this morning who kindly offered to take us over to Milas devlet hospital for Mr A's operation.  We were there before 8am but as the computer system was down there was a delay getting up to the ward.  However, once we arrıved, he had the usual checks and was soon off to theatre.

As this happened sooner than we expected we decided to wait in his room until he returned.   It went well but he was understandbly in a lot of pain, not helped by the fact that it took four men, includıng Abdu to lift hım onto the bed...he is very heavy!

As we were about to leave, to let him get some rest, we were informed that one of us would have to stay with him overnight.   Although I have always been aware that there isn't the same kind of nursing that one is used to in NHS hospitals, which means that Turkish familıes tend to spend all day, every day ın hospital wıth their sick relatives, I was surprised on their ınsistance that someone other than nursıng staff would be required to be with him for 24 hours.

Because I have 10 dogs who can't be left on their own for this amount of time, Abdu (bless his heart) offered to stay.  So whilst Mr A was having pain relief and put on drip, we went down to Kipa to pick up some supplies for Abdu's stay, and for when Mr A will be able to eat tomorrow.  We had time for a coffee, and also for me to reluctantly buy a new laptop.

The laptop I managed to kill yesterday wıth a cup of coffee was restored to life by a shop in Milas.  It was cleaned and two parts replaced at a cost of 130 lira.  However, when I came to use it the spacebar wouldn't work.  Shortly after the letter "g" kept repeatıng every time I pressed it.....100s of times!  Gradually as the evening progressed more keys became unusable and all sorts of wierd things were happenıng...almost like ıt had been infected wıth a virus.   Mr A phoned the repairman who said ıt would possibly rectify itself in time, otherwise the keyboard would have to be replaced...and this would be expensive.  So I thought it best to get a new one rather than spend even more money on repairs.

THIS IS THE ONE I BOUGHT (click lınk)  It cost 600 lira (£157 approx)  as opposed to the price ın the UK of £365.81 (1390 lıra)...so quıte a bargain.

We dropped Abdu back at the hospital.  He and Mr A should be quite comfortable.  It,s a bıg room wıth a lovely view from the window, wıth a sofabed, TV, frıdge, bathroom.  I spoke to Mr A later and he was stıll in pain, but saıd he was hungry (a good sıgn) but he is only allowed liquıds this evening.
David and I will drıve over again tomorrow morning.

When I returned home I spent more than two hours trying to transfer data from my old laptop to the new one and just couldn't do it when ıt suddenly occurred to me that ıf I simply downloaded Google Chrome my account contaıned everything I needed.  It took 2 minutes...what a waste of 2 hours!

Now I just have to get used to using a Turkısh keyboard agaın, and you wıll notice from this post that I keep typing "ı" ınstead of "i" and am too tıred to edıt.  But at least it's working!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Out of action

Today I spilt a cup of coffee on my laptop. It immediately switched itself off and that was it. Completely dead.

Mr A took it to a repair shop in Milas and they managed to clean it and after replacing two parts got it going again.

It is working now except for two things. The space bar doesn't work and the letter "g" keeps repeating...over and over again.  I am typing this post on my phone with great difficulty but its to let you know that until I can sort this out I won't be blogging.

Mr A has phoned the guy who repaired it who is on his way home now. It is Sunday after all so I was lucky to get anything sorted.  He says it is still drying out, to give it time and it may rectify itself.  As Mr A is going into hospital tomorrow, even if the laptop doesn't sort itself out it will just have to wait.  Mr A is likely to be out of action for about a week.

In the meantime I am grateful that I can use my laptop even if I can't type anything.  At least I can use my phone if I'm desperate and have sufficient time to type.

Hopefully normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Another eventful week

The week started with rain...and more rain, but by Wednesday it stopped and although the sun was out, it was bitterly cold.  We were invited over to our friends David and Abdu for lunch, so we wrapped up warm and set off on the motorbike.

This is the first time I have been on this latest bike...and the last! It is the most uncomfortble motorbike I have ever experienced.  The passenger seat is too low...my legs are long so it's difficult to fit them on the foot rests, which incidentally are too narrow so my feet keep slipping off.  Not only that, I had a sharp pain in the top of my right leg so to alleviate this I had to keep my foot off the foot rest.  We stopped three time on the way there so I could stretch my leg.  Finally we did the rest of the journey with my right leg forward resting on Mr A's leg...not the best way to travel.   Oh and I was partly seated on the metal bar behind the seat, so every bump was agony.

We had a delicious lunch and a pleasant time with our friends..  The return journey was just as bad and when I got off the bike I couldn't even stand up straight.  So, as I said...never again.

Sadly, the pup we started treating for mange this week, died yesterday.  Poor little mite was obviously too weak to survive.  Rest in peace dear little boy.


  So the mum has lost both of her babies.   We will continue the mange treatment with her, and aim to get her spayed within the next couple of months, so that she doesn't have to go through all this again.  She is well sheltered at the side of the house where the family are feeding her with the food we provide.

Also yesterday Mr A had an appointment at the hospital and as a result he has to go into hospital on Monday for an operation.  It is a hernia, but I am not sure which type...either umbilical or hiatus...but in any case it cannot be repaired by laparoscope, and he will have to be opened up.  He was told to expect to stay in hospital for three or four days.   Fingers crossed for him.

Today he has an interview for a job, fingers crossed for this as well.  He won't be due to start until 1st March so the timing is right.

All my 10 rescued dogs are fine, except for Blondie who has somehow managed to get a nasty graze on her leg.  Hardly surprising because she continually jumps around everywhere and has no doubt caught it on a wall.  It doesn't seem to bother her so we are treating it with wound powder which is working well.

And finally...touch wood....Timmy is housetrained!  He now actually goes to the door to be let out (except for one day this week when the rain was tipping down and we had a small puddle in the kitchen...but I think he can be forgiven for that)

Have a good weekend everyone  xx


Monday, 9 February 2015

The mange curse

Mange is horrible.  So many of the street dogs suffer from it.  We have managed to get treatment for quite a few, if we are able to catch them.

You may recall my mentioning a mum and two pups on the outskirts of the village that we discovered.  The mum has deformed front legs, something quite common in street dogs.  It can be hereditary or more often than not it is due to malnutrition.  There is little that can be done for a street dog.  If they are able to get about without discomfort, then it's best to leave well alone.  People who adopt dogs with these deformities may embark on the long process of surgery and physiotherapy to correct the problem, but this is often done for cosmetic reasons.

We have provided food for the mum and pups since we found them.  They have been fed by a lady who throws the food over her balcony, as the mum is quite aggressive.  They take shelter at the side of this woman's house.  However they do wander off and Mr A hasn't seen them for almost a week.

This morning he went again to check and it would seem that one of the pups had died. The remaining pup now has mange and unless we  do something about it,. it will get much worse



Mr A is off to see the vet for treatment.  The same treatment we had for Kahve, the dog adopted by the man at the sanayi.  Kahve's condition was pretty bad, but with treatment he recovered and is now very healthy.

We will probably need to treat the mum as well.  We will also have them vaccinated, wormed and flea treated.   Although where they are living is quite sheltered, we have decided to take our spare plastic kennel for them to use until the pup is well and the warm weather arrives, just to give them a little more protection.   Much as I would like to bring them here, I have nowhere suitable to quarantine them, and can't take the risk of any of my 10 rescue dogs getting mange.

I really need your help to pay for this.  I had a couple of donations in response to my last appeal and that has been spent on food.   Please help if you can.  Anything...no matter how small will be gratefully received.   Thankyou

(If you wish to donate you will find the Paypal button is at the top right hand side of this page)

Thursday, 5 February 2015

This week

Firstly, to all my blogging friends, please note that I am not ignoring your blogs.  I am reading but just unable to comment at the moment.  This seems to be a blip with Blogger from time to time, so hopefully it will be resolved soon.

This week has seen plenty of rain.  Today it is dry and windy, and the forecast is dry tomorrow, but then we are due more rain.  It's quite depressing here when it rains.  It's not just a shower here and there which wouldn't stop me from going out with an umbrella.  It is torrential so I'm stuck in the house, only venturing out to feed the dogs.  It doesn't seem to stop Mr A getting out on his motorbike, but he gets drenched and it's very difficult to get clothes dry in this damp house.

Also depressing is knowing that I have to make a decision pretty soon to cut back on the number of dogs we feed.  Up until now we have taken responsibility for around 20 dogs at the sanayi, the six dogs fed daily by the old man on the outskirts of the village, the mum and two pups, just outside the centre of the village, some of the new arrivals in the village who come close enough to be fed, which can sometimes be 5 or 6, as well as our own 10 rescued dogs.

During December and January we received some good donations, and these together with regular monthly donations, should really have been enough to cover food for all the dogs for several months.  Unfortunately, we also accumulated a lot of vet bills which ate up our funds, so now we are struggling.

 We are using our own money...as we always do if funds run out, but there's only so much that we can afford.  During winter there is little or no work for Mr A, so we have to survive most of the time on my pension.  

Providing there are no more unexpected vet bills to pay, the regular monthly donations will go a long way to carry on providing food, so anything we receive from now on would be very helpful.   If you are able to donate, no matter how small an amount, it would be most gratefully received.  Thankyou.