Since we lost Dave recently I have been on tenterhooks. I watch the other 10 dogs constantly. We don't really know what caused Dave's death and even though I know that it couldn't have been an infection or virus, because surely one of the others would have shown signs, it doesn't stop me worrying.
I keep wondering if there was more that I could have done to save him. I'm not sleeping well at all, because if I hear one or more of the dogs outside barking I have to get up and check them. If one of the four dogs in the house makes a sound or jumps off the bed, I switch the light on immediately to see if they're ok. They are usually just getting up to drink water, or in Timmy's case going to the door to be let outside for the toilet.
I also feel guilty about having taken a couple of days off this week. Yes, I did feel the benefit of the luxury of a hotel with a comfortable bed and a bath. It wasn't expensive but I am so unused to spending money on myself and whenever I do, I wish later that I hadn't. I can't change the habits of a lifetime.
The timing wasn't good. We have had a lot of expense with vet bills just lately, and not enough in the way of donations to cover the costs. I could have spent the Izmir trip money on the dogs. It's what I normally would have done. We were spending our money on dogs long before I started asking for donations, so it was unwise of me to rely on the generosity of others.
People have been so kind and generous and I am more grateful than you can imagine. I want to keep doing what I'm doing for as long as possible for as many dogs as possible. I have to be realistic though. I have to accept that I can't save every dog I see wandering the streets from injury, disease or hunger.
More dogs are being dumped in our village. I knew it would happen. Again this makes me so anxious. I don't know how we can protect them from being shot or poisoned like those other dogs we cared for. I can't comprehend the ignorance and cruelty. The mentality is beyond me.
I've had 17 years of this concern for the plight of the animals here, and those of you also involved in animal rescue and welfare will know that it never gets any easier, and how it's impossible to turn your back on an animal in need. But none of us can do it without help from others.