Friday, 29 June 2012

Guest Post

As promised here is the guest post I've been looking forward to,  from Marina at Destinia.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


A day trip around Seville.

With the holidays looming many people are wondering what they will do this summer. Most choose spend a couple of days at the beach, relaxing and trying out a new water sport. For those planning to visit the beaches of Andalucia, in Southern Spain, Seville can be an alternative day trip for when the sun hides in the clouds.

Seville is the capital of the Southern region of Andalucia. Located a short bus ride away from the province of Huelva and less than two hours by train from Madrid, visitors can spend a short break in the city enjoy the sites of this historic city.

The Barrio de la Santa Cruz is the city's ancient Jewish Quarter. In this district visitors can find the main attractions. The Alcazar, the Archive of the Indies and the Cathedral are located there.

The main attraction are the Cathedral and the Giralda, two historical buildings. The Cathedral is built in a Gothic style, and inside visitors will find the tomb of Christopher Columbus, several art pieces and an historical Sacristy. The Cathedral and the Cathedral's plaza are lit at night, and visitors can enjoy a walk along the orange tree lined streets. The nearby Patio de los Naranjos is a patio where guests can take a walk and see the remnants of an ancient mosque while enjoying the sweet smell of oranges.

For a day out, visitors can visit Isla Mágica, a large theme park. There are many roller coaster rides and water rides.

The Royal Alcazar is an ancient Moorish Fort. This building has Baroque, Gothic, Moorish and Renaissance elements, and visitors can walk around the large halls and the patios.

The Torre del Oro, the Tower of Gold, was built during the reign of the Taifa Kings. The tower is part of the city walls that protect the city, and the Tower of Silver, an octagonal tower, is located nearby.

The Plaza de España is located in the grand María Luisa Park. This square is one of the most visited places in the city and is located on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. There is a series of 48 tiled alcoves decorating the walk near the river, each one representing a Spanish province and decorated according to that province's traditions. Visitors can enjoy a day walking around the large park and enjoying a boat ride in one of the row boats along the Guadalquivir River.

Seville is known for the Feria de Abril, a fair celebrated two weeks after Holy Week. During the fair the city fills up with casetas, marquee tents where locals and visitors enjoy tapas and wine while listening to live music. Many of the city's inhabitants are dressed in traditional clothes, the traje corto for men and traje de flamenca dresses for women. Many of the casetas are private and only those invited can enter them, and many others belong to political parties and local organizations and shops where everyone can enjoy flamenco music and even try to dance flamenco.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Discovering the truth and rebuilding trust.

It's all too easy when you are in the middle of a traumatic event in your life, to want to hit out and blame someone.
I did this recently with what was happening to Beki.  I blamed Mehmet the vet, I blamed Mr A, the Kusadasi vet, the Aydin vets.  In some respects, they were each a little to blame for what was going on.  Together these Turkish men took away any control this foreign, non-muslim woman thought she had.

But such is the way of things in this culture.

I spoke badly about Mehmet the vet.  I realise now that I should have stuck with my first instincts about him, that he is a good vet and he does care a great deal  for animals.    I decided to phone him on Tuesday and spent 45 minutes on the phone.  I actually managed to discover the truth.  After he performed Beki's hysterectomy, Mr A took over all communication with him.  Mehmet assumed that Mr A was discussing everything with me.  He wasn't.  Mehmet had told him immediately post-op that Beki's chances were not good.  I didn't know this.  Mr A had told him to keep trying anything to save her.  He did.

When Mehmet came to the house two weeks ago and took Beki into his clinic, it was because Mr A had asked him to keep her there for as long as it took to make her well.  He knew he was fighting a lost cause but he just did as he was told.  He did his best.

I told Mehmet I was angry about the Sunday that Mr A went to collect Beki, only to find her outside without water in searing heat.  Mehmet was also angry about this and very apologetic.  He had been operating all day in another clinic and had left specific instructions for Beki's care with a boy who works for him.  This was ignored.  Mehmet has sacked the boy for his negligence.

Mehmet thought Mr A was only taking Beki to the Kusadasi vet for a second opinion.  When he discovered that the vet was to operate on Beki the following day, he phoned and advised against it because of her weakened state.  The Kusadasi vet went ahead.  The following day she was taken to the Aydin vet hospital for more tests which were unnecessary and unfair on Beki.

I asked the Kusadasi vet to euthanise Beki.  He refused.  Mr A agreed with him.  Later that day Mr A finally agreed with me, and asked Mehmet to drive from Milas to do it.  Mehmet agreed, but just as he was about to leave to make the 2 hour journey, Mr A phoned to put him off, because they (he and the Kusadasi vet) had decided to try further treatment.

In my conversation with Mehmet on the phone this week I told him that Beki was euthanised on Friday.  He asked who had carried it out and when I replied that it was the Kusadasi vet, who originally refused, but finally gave in because Beki was screaming, Mehmet was horrified.

OK.  I'm going over all this again because I need to get things clear in my mind. I now understand that Mehmet was very much on my side, but because Mr A took over, Mehmet assumed I was being kept informed by Mr A and that I agreed with him.

I have a problem now with Poppy.  It's something that has happened a couple of times since she was spayed last October.  She has sleep incontinence.  It's happened  more in the past couple of weeks, and being reluctant to have anything to do with vets here, I searched the internet for solutions. It's quite common in bitches who have been spayed but it can be managed.

I mentioned the problem to Mehmet, and he actually came up with the same solutions that I found on the internet, so at least he knows what he's talking about.  He has done some more research today. He phoned me to say that I could collect a prescription for Poppy which I have done and she is on medication for two weeks to see if it helps.  If not we will try something else.  I collect all medications from one particular eczane (chemist) in Milas these days.  The chemist there is excellent.  He speaks English, and he questions everything before dishing out drugs.  In fact he phoned Mehmet whilst I was there to discuss the medication being prescribed, and to make sure the dosage was correct.

I haven't discussed mine and Mehmet's conversation with Mr A, and I have no intention of doing so.  There's no point in recriminations.  Mr A did what he thought was best for all the right reasons, and I'm sure he knows now that he was wrong and I was right.  I don't see any point in rubbing his nose in it.

But from now on I will take full responsibility and make all decisions concerning Poppy's health.  I will use Mehmet, because I feel he can be trusted.  He is a good vet and the only problem he has is that he has taken on far too much work, and clearly he needs to address this.  I told him this is what I felt.  He said he appreciated my honesty and he agrees he has to do something about it.  I have also offered to pop in from time to time and help on a voluntary basis, even if only to tidy up and water and feed his patients. 

Now that the dust has settled and I've calmed down, I can't go on being bitter and angry.  It's time to move on and start to re-build trust.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Poppy and Tortoises

Every year we have a family of tortoises in our garden.  I do believe it's the same family and it's more than likely that they hibernate either in the old house in the garden, or in gaps in the dry stone wall at the back of the house.

At this time of the year we see some that are clearly a couple of years old, also the mother, and usually some new offspring.   I find them all over the garden and do pick them up from time to time and move them to the same part of the garden.  An area which is relatively flat. This is because there are different levels in the garden and it's awful for a tortoise fall and end up on it's back when there's no-one around to help him on his feet.

Poppy has always been interested in the tiny babies.  Last year she started picking them up in her mouth and bringing them to show me.  Once she actually got into the house with one without me seeing, and deposited it on my bed.

She doesn't harm them or try to play with them.  She picks them up very gently and puts them down the right way up, then just sits and watches them.  Fascinating as this clearly is for Poppy, it's probably not much fun for the tortoises.   So today I've retrieved three babies from Poppy and taken them back to their family at the top end of the garden.

Ah keeps me (and Poppy)  occupied!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sad tears...happy tears

I've cried a lot of tears of sadness and frustration this past few weeks.

But today I cried tears of joy.  My daughter has booked flights and is coming out to see me next Sunday.

She hasn't been to visit me here for 11 years.  She has a dreadful fear of flying, particularly on her own.

She has had a difficult year so far and is really in need of time away from all the stress she has, to relax and re-charge her batteries.  We talked about her coming a few weeks ago.  I wanted to be able to spoil her and give her chance to sleep, something she has been deprived of for quite some time.  But I didn't imagine for one minute that she would actually be able to pluck up the courage to do it.

My grandsons will be looked after by their father for a week, which will do them all good!  Sometimes men don't really appreciate what mothers cope with.

I can't wait to see her.  We both need each other at the moment.  There will no doubt be more tears of joy and lots of hugs!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Guest Posts and Advertising

This is a modified version of a post which I published yesterday.  I wrote it when I still had hope for Beki, so deleted it when I got the bad news.

I have had guest posts on my blog from time to time and it's been a pleasure to read a little about other
bloggers, and I think my followers have enjoyed them.

You may well have noticed that I have links on my sidebar.  One is a property company in Turkey. The other is a link about hotels in Seville.

I have been approached many times by companies wishing to advertise on my blog.  Of course it's tempting.  Most of us could do with some extra cash.  But I have turned most of them down.  They just don't fit with me.

I don't want my blog to become one that's full of "in your face" ads.  I don't like other blogs that have gone that way.  So when Destinia approached me earlier this year and offered a monthly fee for placing a small link on my sidebar about hotels in Seville, I looked at their website and I liked what I saw.   You may wonder why I would have a link about Seville on my blog about my life in Turkey, To be honest, it's somewhere I'd love to visit, so it sparked my interest, and I thought "why not?"

This past week, Marina at Destinia approached me with a view to doing a short guest post on my blog, for which I will be paid.  I gave it some consideration and felt that it would be interesting so I said yes.

Marina, like many of you, has been following Beki's story.  It isn't just about advertising with her.

The frustration I felt over the past few weeks about having no control in my life, made me realise that there is still one thing I can control.  My blog.  No-one can take that away from me.  I'm earning a small amount of money each month, by allowing a couple of discreet links to be placed on my blog.  I've had a lot of expense recently, so every little helps.

So from time to time I will publish a guest post, whether it's paid for or not, but only if I feel it will be interesting to my readers.

If any of you want to do a guest post, or maybe promote your website on my blog, let me know and I will give it careful consideration.

Marina's post will be arriving next week.  I'm looking forward to reading it.  I hope you will also enjoy it.

Friday, 22 June 2012

The End

Beki finally lost her battle with life today.

You may have noticed two of my posts on your reader list that are no longer there.  I had to delete them because they contained reference to the hope that I felt yesterday and this morning that maybe Beki was going to recover.

I'm not sure whether I was being given false hope by Mr A and the vet in Kusadasi, because I'm not there and couldn't see for myself.  All I do know is that the vet finally euthanised her because she was screaming.  You can't imagine how I feel about a faith that won't allow anyone but God to take a life, but it's followers can stand by and watch an animal suffer needlessly.

I was right.  They were wrong.  They didn't listen to me.  They walked all over me.  Here I am so far away, not even being able to say goodbye to my loyal friend.

Thankyou so much everyone for your support, kind words and good wishes throughout all this.  It has been appreciated much more than you will know.

Thursday, 21 June 2012


I always thought I was in control over most aspects of my life.  Gradually I seem to have lost it.  I think it's probably happened slowly over time, but it has hit me in the past few days.

Beki is so poorly.  She was taken to the Aydin vets by the Kusadasi vet yesterday and had scans and other procedures carried out.  She was examined by 3 vets there and they all established that her kidneys are in a bad way, she still has infection in her body, and she can't walk.  She is also in pain.

I had such a battle over the phone with Mr A yesterday...all day.  I couldn't make him understand that it was best to let her go.  His beliefs prevent him from accepting this.  Eventually, after hours of pleading, he told me to ring the Kusadasi vet and tell him to euthanise Beki.  He couldn't phone himself..he couldn't make that decision.

I phoned and asked for a complete explanation about Beki's current condition and then I said I wanted her to be put to sleep.  He refused to do it.  He said you must discuss this with your husband and if he agrees you must find someone else to do it.  I explained this to Mr A.  He said to ring the vet back.  I tried...again and again and he didn't answer.

Finally Mr A phoned him, and the vet said that no-one there would euthanise.  So Mr A phoned Mehmet the vet in Milas and he agreed to make the 2 hour journey over to Kusadasi to collect Beki and put her to sleep.  He was due to arrive there at 7.30pm.  By 8.45pm, having heard nothing, I phoned Mr A who said Mehmet was delayed but was on his way.

Half an hour later Mr A phoned me to say that he and the Kusadasi vet had decided to start Beki on some tablets and they would give it 4 days to work.  I was distraught but not completely surprised.  I just had a feeling this might happen.  So they continue to let her suffer and I have no control over any of it.

This may seem trivial in comparison to what is happening with Beki, but because Mr A is away he has instructed me to water the garden.  He has planted so much stuff, and it takes hours to water everything.  It can only be done at night or very early in the morning.  I have been doing it but I have been bitten unmercifully all over my body by mosquitoes and other insects and some of these bites are becoming infected.  When Mr A was here on Tuesday night he had a word with our neighbour Dursune.  Knowing that she never has any money, he said that he would pay her to water the garden every couple of days, because I couldn't do it.  She happily agreed.
This morning Dursune woke me up at 5.30am, shouting loudly outside my gate.  Telling me I have to water the garden as the water will be cut tonight.  I wasn't even awake properly so I grabbed a coffee and went outside to sit and get myself together. Dursune just continued to go on and on at me to water the garden.  I didn't manage to sit down, or drink my coffee.  The only way I could shut her up was to switch on the hosepipe.  Now an hour and a half later, I am in the house putting on cream to soothe my bites....loads more fresh bites to go with the infected ones.

This is when it occurred to me that everyone else seems to have taken over control of my life.  I am so frustrated, but I am too tired and upset about Beki to fight back.  I just don't have the energy to do it.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012


Thankyou everyone for your good wishes.  Unfortunately Beki has gone downhill today. She is very poorly and the Kusadasi vet is taking her to the vet hospital in Aydin tomorrow morning.  He also states clearly that Mehmet's medical procedures were mistakes on his part.   But of course leaving her outside in searing heat with no water on Sunday is NOT a medical procedure is it?   Just neglect.

I don't know who to believe or trust.  The only small reassurance I have is that my friend Karen (from T.A.G) is knowledgable when it comes to vets here, and she feels that if the Aydin vets think there is no hope then they will insist on doing the right thing.

Anyway, my feeling is that she has had enough.  I would like her to go peacefully now. She can't stand up. It's as if her legs are paralysed.  However, Mr A's beliefs are that only God/Allah can give or take life.  So he wants to continue with all this.

I know Mr A adores Beki but I don't share his beliefs.  How is it that muslims can believe this, but can continue to see the cruelty and neglect being dished out daily to dogs and cats on the streets of this country?

This is not a personal criticism of my husband, but of a religion that I think is  hypocritical in so many ways.

Apologies if this causes offence to anyone, but it's really hard for me at the moment because the control over Beki's destiny seems to have been removed from me completely.

I'm now back at home with Poppy.  I can't bear to watch what's happening to Beki and know that at this point in time, I can do nothing to ease her suffering.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Offline for a few days

I will probably not have internet connection for a couple of days.

Today Beki had to be operated on.  The vet in Kusadasi said that it was necessary or she might die if they didn't open her up and find out what is wrong.

It was a double-edged sword.  He also stated that because of her very weak state, the use of anaesthetic imposed a great risk.  We had no choice really but to give it a go.

I'm happy to say she survived the operation, has come round, is still poorly and is on a drip.

One incision was made to check thoroughly the intestines and other organs for blockages and nothing untoward was found.  They then had to re-open the incision made by Mehmet because they suspected that this was where the problem was,  and lo and behold she had a massive infection.   This should have been picked up and dealt with well over a week ago.  She also had a vaginal infection which would have been caused by Mehmet operating on her whilst she was still bleeding.

All this is now being treated.   You may recall my mentioning the problem she had with the skin on her back.  This had over the past weeks started to heal.  It didn't look very pretty...large black scabs..but it was healing.   When Mr A collected her from Mehmet yesterday, all these scabs had come off or been removed and left exposed raw flesh.  She also had a cut on her tail...goodness knows how that happened.

When Mr A arrived to collect her he actually thought she was dead.  I'm truly surprised she wasn't, after being left outside all day in 40 degree heat with no water.

This whole situation has shocked me beyond belief.  I still can't get my head around it.  It's like a nightmare that I can't wake up from.

This is going to be a long recovery.  She will have to stay in Kusadasi for at least a week.  They will not discharge her until she is eating.

I need to see her.  She needs her comfortable bed, and something of mine with my scent on it, for a bit of reassurance (I hope).   Mr A is driving over this evening and taking me to the clinic.   It's a 2 hour journey each way, and he had every intention of bringing me back home again then making the return journey again to Kusadasi and work.  It's too much.

Gwen in Selçuk has asked me to bring Poppy with me and stay at her house for a couple of nights (it's only a short bus ride from Kusadasi), so that's what I'm going to do.  Then I can also see Beki over the next couple of days.

Gwen doesn't have internet connection, so I won't be able to respond to any comments you make.  In fact, please note that because I have comments moderation on my settings, they won't actually appear for a couple of days.

I'd just like to thank all of you for your wonderful support and your good wishes for Beki.  I still have my fingers crossed for her...she's a real fighter.  Keep yours crossed too please xx

Do you believe in angels?

If you had asked me that question a while ago I suppose my answer would have been No.  I mean don't you have to be religious to believe in angels?  BUT I now believe there are people who are put on this earth for a purpose.  Karen Wren is one such person.  In my eyes, and in the eyes of many others she is indeed an angel.

For the past 10 years she has made it her life's work to rescue the street dogs in Turkey.  Her dream was to build a shelter, rescue dogs and rehome them.  This she has achieved in no small measure and many of her rescues are now in loving homes in the UK, Europe and the US.

All this takes an enormous amount of time, effort and total dedication, and Karen gives this in bucketloads.

This past week I discovered a very malnourished puppy in the village.  He has mange, probably worms and fleas and he is completely alone.  I attempted to feed him and he ran away.  Gradually I gained his confidence and managed to get him to eat yesterday and today.

Much as I would love to take him in, with Beki's fragile state at the moment, it is impossible.  So this morning I phoned Karen for help.

As usual, she takes everything in her stride.  She organised the hiring of a car (she has no transport and this is what she has to do to enable her to carry out her work), and travelled to our village...a round trip of some 200km, to rescue this puppy.  She said it had to happen straight away as mange will damage his immune system if it's left too long.   She will keep him in her own apartment until the mange has been treated and he has been vaccinated, before moving him to the shelter.  She will never risk the spread of infection or disease to the other dogs there. 

This is Tommy. Safe at last and now he has a future.
This is what Karen does...over and over again.

I did a post this week about a competition to win 5,000 dollars to purchase a vehicle for TAG and I asked if you would take time to vote.  Renting cars, paying for petrol, takes money.  This comes from donations...and more often than not from Karen's own pocket.

T.A.G relies solely on donations, and fundraising.  To win this competition would be wonderful.  We are currently in first place, but voting doesn't finish until the end of June, so we can't rest on our laurels.  We need many more votes.  I know some of my followers have already voted and I'm so grateful.  Those who haven't would you please do this huge favour for me and the dogs of Turkey?  It only takes a couple of minutes.  Click on the link wait for the confirmation email which you then have to click to confirm for your vote to be counted.  (Please check your junk mail box for this email as that's where mine ended up)

If you ever want to do more to help in the way of donating, sponsoring or adopting, then go to the TAG'll find the link on my sidebar.  Or visit the Turkish Animal Group (TAG) on Facebook.

Thankyou so much xx


Sunday, 17 June 2012


I wanted to be able to write some good news for a change.  Just to let you all know how Beki is getting on.

However, today has been a nightmare. I've just written the following on my Facebook page for the many dog loving friends I have there, so I'll copy it here because it hurts to keep writing the same words:

"So much for putting our trust in a vet. Beki is now seriously ill.  My husband has driven over from Kusadasi and collected her from this bloody useless vet in Milas and taken her to one in Kusadasi. We don't know exactly what the problem is at the moment. 

She should be operated on tonight but her blood pressure is sky high and she is on a drip whilst the vet tries to stabilise her. These bloody Turkish vets take on far too much work and then can't do the job properly.  The Milas vet, the one I put all my faith and trust in,  hadn't even been into his clinic today. She was left all day with no water in 40 degree heat. Fucking neglect..pure and simple. We are so angry and upset. I have every intention of suing him and getting him struck off. Bastard!  I really believed in him.  I put my trust in him.  I really thought he cared."

I'm sorry for the bad language, but it makes me feel better.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

We can only do our best...

....and sometimes that's enough...sometimes not.

It's been one of those weeks.  

Mr A left his job at the hotel hamam in Torba on Monday.  As usual the boss (like the majority of bosses in the tourist industry) moved the goalposts.   Mr A was working on commission only.  He was the only person selling the hamam experience to hotel customers.  However, the boss decided to bring in a friend of his to work alongside Mr A, also on the same percentage commission.   But it just means that the potential earnings for Mr A and this other man are halved.   It's just not enough to live on.  The boss doesn't care.  He's shortsighted and greedy.  He just wants money in his pocket and doesn't care about whether the staff he employs can earn enough to survive.

Mr A decided he wasn't prepared to accept this.  The other man also had second thoughts.  They both walked.  So now the boss has no-one to sell for him...serves him bloody well right!

On Monday evening Mr A spoke to the boss at the carpet shop in Kusadasi where he previously worked and got his job back.   It was easy because he left on good terms.  They understood that he wasn't particularly happy about working away from home, but they had told him that there would always be a job for him if he changed his mind.

So on Tuesday he set off for Kusadasi.  It's not ideal for us but he has to earn money, so I have to put up with it.

I've had such a struggle with Beki this past week since she spent 3 hours on a drip at the vet clinic last Friday.  She seemed to pick up for a couple of days, but wouldn't eat and I was having to force feed her.  This has continued but over the past few days she has vomited back everything I've managed to get into her.  And even when she's empty, she still vomits.   I was up with her all last night and I wept at how sad she was.  It's unbearable to watch.

Mehmet the vet came out this morning.  We had considered setting up another drip here at home, but it's not very easy for me to do on my own.  We had a long chat and he is concerned that she may have tumours in her stomach or elsewhere.  I don't want to be faced with "the awful decision" but I don't want her to be cut about anymore, and I don't want her to suffer.

Mehmet decided that the best thing to do would be to take her into the clinic for a couple of days, to try to get to the bottom of all this, so I reluctantly let her go with him.  I miss her dreadfully, but I am also relieved, because I have been doing my best to make her well, but it's just not enough.  If there is any chance of her making a full recovery, Mehmet is the person to do it.

Latest report is that she has been on a drip again, he is getting some food and milk into her, and that he will carry out further tests, and try different drugs.

To change the subject, and to try to end this post on a lighter note.  The weather here is glorious.  Everything in the garden is shooting up....including the beans which I haphazardly "planted".  They are getting so tall that I could almost re-enact "Jack and the Beanstalk".

It's a great country to live in...and I can only do my best to enjoy it.


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Saturday, 9 June 2012

Very useful presents!

Do you know...sometimes I am such an ungrateful bitch.

I am the sensible one in our marriage.  I'm the one who budgets for everything.  Mr A is the reckless and irresponsible one.  If he has money in his pocket it burns a hole.  I have to grab it from him before he has a chance to spend it on things we do not need.

If I need food shopping, and because it's quite a chore getting the bus into Milas and back and carrying heavy bags up the hill, I will give him a list and he will shop on his way home from work.

The problem with this is that he rarely sticks to the list.  He will buy items that are not on the list, because he thinks I will like them, or he will get the most expensive things when cheap ones are just as good.  Needless to say, he ends up spending twice as much as I would.  If he can't find something on the list he will substitute it for something else.  A good example of this being two days ago, I needed one large chicken.  We eat mostly chicken because it's cheaper than other meat here, and I can also make several meals from one chicken, so it can last us up to a week.   I usually pay anything between 7 and 10 lira for a chicken.  Mr A informed me that he didn't buy one because he could only find one for 15 lira and he thought this was too expensive.

Oh great!  At last (I thought) he's got the message.  Unfortunately not.  He produced an enormous T-bone steak which cost 16 lira.   Ridiculous!  However, I said I'll cut it in half (actually difficult to do with a T-bone) and it will be one meal for the two of us.  "Oh no" he replied, "I don't like T-bone steak, it's for you".   And that's where I think I'm ungrateful, because he was clearly thinking of me and knows that I like steak.  I had it today and it was delicious.

It got me thinking about how he often buys things for me which I wouldn't buy for myself, and my immediate reaction is to feel annoyed that he's wasting money that we can't afford.  But I'm never going to change him so I should be more grateful for the fact that he thinks about me shouldn't I?

This past week he has turned up with a present for me each day.  Things that he has bought secondhand, and some which I suspect have fallen off the back of a lorry (well you know he is the Turkish equivalent of Delboy).  These are things that will really improve my life:

1.  A small electric generator which takes up a small space in the sitting room.  This is for when we have powercuts (and we have a lot) and means that I can plug in my modem and laptop and not lose my internet connection for hours on end.

2.  A contraption (I'm not sure of the name) which is electric, has blue lights which repels mosquitoes.   He is hanging it and connecting it up on the balcony as I am typing this.  Mosquitoes love me and it means that as soon as dusk arrives I have to go into the house. Now I will be able to enjoy evenings out on the balcony without being bitten.

3. He has connected a light fitting with a 2-speed fan in the bedroom.  I don't like air-conditioning and I usually use a fan in the summer, but they make a noise and keep me awake.  This ceiling fan is silent.  Wonderful.

4. Finally, a fluorescent light to fit under my kitchen cupboards over the sink and work surface, because the ceiling lamp doesn't give enough light.

I have asked for none of these things.   It just proves that over time he has taken note of things that I would like or need.

Like I said...sometimes I'm an ungrateful bitch.  I don't realise how lucky I am.


Not a particularly cheerful topic I know, but it cropped up yesterday in conversation with our vet, Mehmet.

It wasn't the only subject we discussed, but we had three hours to kill (excuse the pun) so plenty of time to talk.

We had to take Beki into his clinic early yesterday morning so that she could be put on a drip for three hours.  This was because she hadn't eaten anything for 5 days and she had been vomiting due to a gastric bug that she has picked up.  She has had so many injections and other medication, I have lost track of what she has in her system.  But I trust Mehmet completely, and he is doing his very best to make Beki well again.

He showed us how to gently force-feed her.  Actually I hate the expression "force-feed" because it conjures up pictures of prisoners on hunger strike, long tubes being pushed down throats, etc. (I'm afraid I do have a vivid imagination at times).  But Beki has to have food, and we have a plastic syringe to give her milk, and wooden spatulas to feed her small amounts of soft pet food.  Actually Mehmet had some very small tins of a special cat food, mostly salmon with lots of vitamins and nutrients, and we managed to get this inside her while she was on the drip.  He gave us 6 more tins to bring home, to help over the next couple of days, and then I will start to try her on tuna and chicken.

She had a further tin last night and it stayed down.  A tin which was consumed this morning was vomited back, so it's a bit hit and miss, but we will persevere.

Now back to the topic of euthanasia.  Everyone has different views on this of course, and it's not something I would get into discussion here in terms of whether it should be a legal practise in the case of human beings, other than to say that I always firmly believe in freedom of choice.  So I'll leave it there.

However, most of us who consider ourselves to be animal lovers, never want our precious pets to suffer any more than they have to.  I have had dogs all my life, most of which have died from natural causes/old age.  But I have had to make the difficult choice on two occasions to have my dogs euthanised because they were so sick and in pain, and nothing further could be done for them.

It's very difficult, almost impossible, to find a vet  in a predominantly Muslim Turkey who will euthanise.  So many dogs and cats suffer long and painful deaths.  I was relieved to hear from Mehmet that he would never allow an animal to suffer and that he will euthanise when he feels that he has done everything humanly possible to save them and there is nothing more he can do to relieve their suffering.  In fact he told us that he reluctantly had to euthanise a dog last week who had  so many tumours all over his body that he could hardly move for the pain and discomfort.

He also said that there are some very unscrupulous vets here who are just in it for the money.  They know that an animal has no chance of surviving, but they continue to fool the pet owners into parting with their money for all sorts of unnecessary and ineffective treatment.  The animal will die anyway, and the owner will be faced with a hefty bill.  Of course we know that Mehmet is not one of these vets.  He has charged us an incredibly small amount of money for all the treatment he has provided.  We are certain he is out of pocket, but it is very clear to us that he loves animals and he puts their welfare first.

I am feeling optimistic about Beki.  This is quite an uphill struggle, it will take some time, but she is a fighter and I'm confident she will pull through.   We hope we never have to make the awful decision to have either of our dogs put to sleep, but I am very relieved to know that if I am faced with it, then I won't have to see them suffer.

What are your views on this topic?  I'm sure there will be strong opinions for and against, but please don't hold back.  I am interested in what you have to say and always respect others' opinions even if I don't necessarily agree with them.

Friday, 8 June 2012

We're in it to win it!

Please everyone I would love you to do me a huge favour and vote in a competition.

As you may be aware I support a dog rescue group here in Turkey....T.A.G.   You can read about their work by clicking on the link on my sidebar.  You might also have noticed that I posted their chipin details because they are desperately trying to raise funds to purchase a vehicle to help with their work.

There is a competition running at the moment, and a chance for TAG to win 5,000 dollars, so please take 2 minutes to click on to this link and vote for us.  Your votes could really help.

Thankyou so much xxx

Thursday, 7 June 2012

This week...

...has been much the same as last week.  I am stuck at home, mostly because I can't bear to leave Beki on her own.

She is quite weak most of the time, mainly because I just can't get her to eat.  It has been 4 days since she touched food.  I have tried everything imaginable to tempt her.  She took a couple of teaspoons of honey a couple of days ago and that's about it.  I even cooked my precious pork sausages for her...but she turned away from them.

Last night her wound was weeping.  Thankfully it stopped bleeding on Sunday after Mehmet came out to see her, but it looked like there was now an infection.  I phoned Mehmet this morning and he came out to see her.  Before he arrived Beki started to vomit quite violently, although there's nothing to bring up but grass which she has been nibbling on to make herself sick, as dogs do when they have a digestive problem.

Mehmet said that one of the stitches had come out, probably due to Beki licking the area.  This is not a big problem as long as we can prevent her from touching it.  So we put the "bucket" on her again.  She absolutely hates it and gets very distressed, so after an hour I had to remove it, and if necessary I will sit up all night with her to prevent her from making the wound any worse.  The vomiting and loss of appetite is, Mehmet believes, due to a gastric infection which is not really connected to the operation...just  Beki's misfortune in picking up something else to make her feel poorly.

Mehmet sprayed the wound, and administered more antibiotics and medication for the gastric problem...4 injections in all, and has left me with a further 3 injections to give her tomorrow.  She is very sleepy and wobbly on her feet and I am very worried about her.  We can only do our best for her and keep our fingers crossed that she can fight all this and make a good recovery.

The weather here has been getting hotter by the day.  Summer is finally here, with temperatures today around 33 degrees, with a lovely breeze up here on the hill.  Very pleasant.

Things in the garden are growing at a rapid rate.  Tomatoes, peppers, strawberries are doing well.  The grapevines look like they are going to produce a bumper crop this year.

The beans that I half-heartedly threw into the soil (instead of planting the way I had been instructed) have absolutely shot up and overtaken the long canes Mr A put into the ground to support them.  Haha...maybe I do have slightly green fingers after all!

One positive thing I can tell you about this week is that I have heard through the family grapevine that the inlaws won't be visiting yet.  Apparently they will be here in the autumn instead when the olives are ready.  So I have a reprieve!  Something to be very grateful for, I can tell you!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

A musical interlude

...because I don't have much to write about at the moment!

Those of you who watch UK television may have heard this piece of music accompanying the Samsung Galaxy ad..which is where I first spotted it.  Now it seems to be cropping up all over the place.

I think it's beautiful.

Monday, 4 June 2012

And the start of another week

Is it me?  Or do Mondays come around very quickly?  I guess it's a sign of getting older....time rushes by far too fast.

I haven't really done a great deal this past week.  I've been pretty much preoccupied with Beki, and nursing her back to health.

We had a bit of a scare yesterday.  When I got up at 7am, Beki stood up from her bed and blood was dripping from her incision.  Quite a lot really.  Mr A phoned Mehmet, who wasn't at all annoyed at being disturbed at 7am on a Sunday.  He suggested padding with a clean towel and some crushed ice, and said that he would get out to the village as soon as he could.

He arrived around lunchtime and when he removed the padding the wound continued to bleed.  He assured me that it wasn't fresh blood so he didn't think it necessary to open her up again.  He also explained that Beki did in fact lose an awful lot of blood during the operation and at one point he was very worried that he would lose her.  It would seem that her blood doesn't clot as well as it should do.  He had given her drugs to help with this, and gave another injection yesterday, plus another antibiotic shot.  He then padded and bandaged her very firmly and advised leaving this on for 3 days.

If in the meantime there was any significant change in her, then he would come out again.   She is still drowsy but that is to be expected, and she isn't eating an awful lot.  I'm actually hand feeding her bits of chicken which seems the best way to get her to eat.   But she is still barking at cats, chickens and sheep so I see this as encouraging.

Mr A will take her to Mehmet's surgery on Wednesday morning to have the dressing removed and we will see how it goes from there.  Not much more we can do at the moment.

I am going a bit stir crazy being stuck at home.  I don't feel happy about going out at the moment, even just to pop into Milas..not until I feel confident about leaving Beki.

I have however just booked my flight tickets online for a 10 day trip to see my daughter and grandsons in September, so that has given me something to look forward to.

Billy has just come down with chickenpox and no doubt Jimi will follow suit in due course.  Better to get these things out of the way at their age.  No doubt my daughter will also be going stir crazy for the next couple of weeks!

I hope those of you in the UK are not letting the gloomy weather spoil your bank holiday and are managing to have a good time.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Fun in the sunshine

Those of you living in the UK have been enjoying a heatwave.  In fact for most of the past week your temperatures have been higher than ours.  Here's hoping it lasts so that those of you enjoying the Jubilee celebrations won't be subjected to the usual bank holiday washout.

My two lovely grandsons have been enjoying the sunshine so I thought I would share some of the photos taken by my daughter.

Check out Place Overseas

Friday, 1 June 2012 op

I wondered if some (or all) of you might be a bit fed up with my progress reports on Beki.  But then I looked at all your lovely comments and good wishes and realised what good friends you have all become, and how you are always there to encourage and support me through the bad times as well as the good.

Mehmet did an excellent job.  Not only that he took the trouble to phone Mr A hourly with progress reports.  What a dedicated man he is.

The operation was a difficult one.  She had a much larger incision than was expected.  There was also a little worry about bleeding after the op, which Mehmet monitored closely, saying that if necessary he would open her up again.  It wasn't a big problem.  He knew what was causing it, and eventually the bleeding stopped and she was OK.

She had more anaesthetic than would normally be given.  Mehmet says because she is such a strong girl and so well looked after, it took more to knock her out.  But she also came round well too, with no after effects.  She continued to improve throughout the day so it wasn't necessary for her to stay in overnight.  We collected her at 7.30pm.

Mehmet is pretty confident that the cancer hasn't spread, but he will do a scan in about 10 days time to make sure, and will continue to follow her progress with regular examinations.

She had a comfortable night.  She managed to get out into the garden to have a wee..always a good sign.   Mehmet gave me two syringes, painkiller and antibiotic, which I gave her this morning.  She was very drowsy this morning, a little hungry, and ate bread and warm milk from my hand.

Poppy was absolutely delighted to see her. She had spent the entire day sitting on the top step of the balcony staring at the gate...waiting.

But best of all...5 minutes ago the sheep went past the house...and Beki started barking.  You always know they're on the mend when the barking returns.

Overall I am delighted.

(Out of interest Mehmet charged us just 130 lira...about £45...for all of this.  Unbelievable!  And proof that he puts the welfare of animals before profit....what a treasure he is)

Thankyou again all of you for showing concern.  Those of you with pets will understand what I've been through.   They become part of our families and mean so much to us.