Sunday, 26 April 2015

Wish you were here....

...well not really.  It's been a hectic week here in England.  I am enjoying the time with my daughter, Billy and Jimi immensely but I am exhausted.

I have walked an awful lot and I have blisters on my feet and my back aches.  A sign that old age is creeping up on me.

Nevertheless, two weeks is never long enough and I am sure this coming week will just fly by.

Billy celebrated his 6th birthday on Thursday, and some of the family popped in after school.  His great-grandfather bought a sandpit as a joint present for Billy and Jimi (whose birthday is on Wednesday) and they had great fun in it.



My daughter and I had an enjoyable lunch out on Friday, and we plan to do the same again on Monday.  I miss her so much and love these precious moments with her.

Yesterday I saw my neice's daughter Elsie, who was born in February.  Beautiful little girl, and last night my brother and sister-in-law took me out for a meal.

Having a cuddle with baby Elsie

Today the boys have a joint party, with a disco, and there will be 40 children there.   It will probably be the most hectic day so far, but I am looking forward to it!

Mr A is managing to get home fairly early every day from work to look after the dogs.  Timmy seems to be outgrowing his bed so I'm afraid Mr A has allowed him onto the bed with the other three little ones.   I would not have given in so soon but Mr A let's the dogs get away with so much.

Timmy getting too big for his bed

The four little ones having a rough and tumble this morning before Mr A left for work

That's all my news for now.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Preparing to go away....

It takes a lot of organising, that's for sure, and it's never straightforward.

Tommy had conjuctivitis last week.  We got drops from the vet and it seemed to have cleared up after a couple of days.  In the meantime he passed it on to Timmy, who then passed it on to Monty, who passed it back to Tommy.   Clearly Tommy didn't want Fistik to be left out, so he passed it on to her.

Luckily we have enough drops to go around, and it seems to be doing the trick, although I will be popping into the vet tomorrow to get another bottle.  Monty has also reacted to the paraband collar and his neck is a little sore.  He has sensitive skin and it was quite nasty when he first came to us, but he has had no problems since.  My remedy for this condition has been a drop of olive oil in his food every day.  In fact I put it in the food for all my dogs, and they have shiny healthy coats.

The collar has been removed and I will get spot-on flea and tick treatment from the vet.

So I'm off to England early on Tuesday morning.   Mr A has been staying in personnel accommodation to save petrol costs, but he will be coming home every day for the two weeks I'm away.  He will feed them every morning, and be home between 5 and 6pm, feed them again and be here all night.   They are all safe and quite happy to be outside during the day, particularly as the weather is now warmer.  The 6 big dogs have the run of the side and back of the house, and the 4 little ones the driveway and the balcony (which is sheltered from the sun).  The big gate that Mr A built has a double lock on it, so no chance of anyone opening it.

The bad news is that Mr A's motorbike has been stolen from outside his accommodation.  He has informed the police, who said that a number have been stolen in the area recently.  I think it's unlikely he'll see it again.  It is only insured for traffic accidents, not for theft, so that's that.

This means that he will have to use the bus to get to and from work while I'm away, but as he is not yet busy, he will be able to leave early enough.  He asked to borrow a car from his boss to come home on Monday to take me to the aırport early Tuesday morning, and the boss said he would let him know.   I hate uncertainty and leaving things till the last minute, so my friend David is kindly taking me to the aırport.

The people feeding dogs for us in the village and sanayi have been stocked up with food, and I have bought enough for our dogs for the two weeks I'm away.

I keep thinking I must have forgotten something, and didn't sleep last night because I was anxious.  Although  I wouldn't have got much sleep anyway because the dogs were barking most of the night.  One of the hazards of the warmer weather.  They sleep in the sun all day and are wide awake at night.

I'd like to think that my two weeks away would give me time to relax, but with two young grandsons keeping me's not likely!   However, I am so looking forward to seeing them...I'll catch up with sleep when I get back!

Billy today at the park

and Jimi 

PS.  I've written about Gokova Animal Rescue on here several times, and mentioned how I appreciate support from Sonia Garnett who runs it.  I have been added as an Admin to the group on Facebook to help her and existing Admin when necessary.

If you are not already on this group page, and would like to read about the good work they do in their area, this is the LİNK 

Monday, 13 April 2015

Monday Update

After Olive left on Friday I was pretty upset.  I was determined to get her to fit in but it wasn't to be.  Although shortly after she left, the other dogs seemed to visibly relax and get back to their normal selves.  Fistik stopped going to the toilet in the house, and there was much less aggitated barking from the big dogs.  I hadn't realised until that point how stressed they (and I) had become over the previous few days.  So I am satisfied that the right decision was made both for Olive and all of our dogs.

Tommy had an eye infection but because I was stuck at home and unable to leave the dogs I wasn't able to get to the vet to get treatment.  On Saturday afternoon Mr A popped home and went into Milas to collect two lots of eye drops.  We discovered that Annie also had an eye infectıon.  So he took the drops to Annie's "mum" and showed her how to administer them.  Tommy has had the drops for three days now and the infection has cleared up.

We also needed more food for the people feeding dogs in the village and sanayi.  The old man is now feeding at least 10 dogs, as well as a few more that Mr A was feeding in the village each evening. which he has agreed to do while Mr A is away working.

Annie's mum is feeding her and four more dogs, and the man at the sanayi is feeding more than 20 dogs each day, so Mr A collected more sacks from Milas and delivered to these kind and helpful people.

We are currently getting through at least five or six 15kg sacks of food each week.  We supplement this with pasta mixed with wet food, and the sanayi man, Annie's mum and the old man also give any scraps they have.  Each 15kg sack costs around £13 so as you can imagine it's becoming difficult to raise sufficient funds to cover this.  At the moment we are using our own limited resources to fund the feeding programme, so donations are always welcome.  A big thankyou to everyone who has donated to date and to those who have kindly set up monthly standing orders with Paypal.  This is very useful and enables me to budget.

Jacky, who took Lucy and her 7 pups to safety, is in the UK at the moment, but I have heard that the pups and Lucy have settled well, and there is another Mum and pups there too, so they have company.

Jet and Butch, who were Lucy's bodyguards when she was still in the village are now turning up to be fed by the old man in the village each evening.  I am pleased about this because we felt that the area where they were previously, with Lucy, isn't safe.

I went into Milas this morning with my friend David and collected a further two 15kg sacks of food and a dozen tins of wet food which were on special offer in Kipa.   I am stocking up as much as possible because I go to England next Tuesday for two weeks for my grandsons' 4th and 6th birthdays.  Mr A will still be working but will come home late afternoon every day and stay overnight to look after our dogs.

And that's my Monday update.

Friday, 10 April 2015


It is with so much regret and sadness that I have to tell you that we can't keep Olive.

When she came to us 8 days ago to be fostered for two weeks, she was understandably nervous, but within 24 hours she had settled and continued to gain confidence.  She chews everything in sight but I am used to chewers so this isn't something that bothers me at all.

We decided we would like to keep her.  She is such a lovely girl and I hoped and expected her to find her place in our family.

The 6 big dogs just won't accept her.  She stands at a distance from the fence and they bark furiously at her.  She looks quite sad and eventually walks away from them.  I have tried to integrate them.  I shut the 4 small dogs on the balcony and brought the big dogs out one by one to get to know Olive.  It seemed ok at first but gradually Olive became quite stressed.  I tried for hours to get it to work, but with no success.   And they continued to bark non-stop at her...all day.

This has caused a problem with my neighbours who are complaining bitterly at the increase in barking during the past week.  I think you all know by now that I don't trust anyone in this village, even my neighbours.  They'll smile to your face then stab you in the back.  It wouldn't surprise me at all if they were to throw poison over the fence.

Every time I hear them bark in the middle of the night, which is actually quite rare these days, I rush out with the torch to check on them.  Since we experienced firsthand the results of poisoning and shooting dogs in this village, it is my greatest fear that something will happen to my dogs.  We have made the perimeter as safe as possible but there's only so much you can do.

The problem as I see it, is that Olive is too big and strong for the little dogs, but not big enough to integrate with the big dogs.

Yesterday morning I experienced a very frightening incident that could have ended in tragedy.

Timmy winds up all the dogs.  He is a big dog in a tiny body.  He barks at all the dogs.  He bites the  small dogs  legs and ears but they tolerate it.  They are not much bigger than him so no damage is done.

Yesterday he was in the driveway doing the same to Olive.  I happened to be closeby which was just as well.  Suddenly Olive turned on Timmy, grabbed him by the neck and started to shake him.  I literally had to throw myself on them to rescue Timmy.  He was ok, if a little shaken, but it could have been so much worse.

This upset me greatly as you can imagine and I was shaking for sometime after.

Mr A is working now, staying in accommodation and not coming home very often.  I go to England in 10 days time and the dogs will be on their own every day and Mr A will come home late afternoon.  Clearly there is no way that they can now be left alone.  I am stuck here.  I have bills to pay in Milas, a visit to the bank, and Tommy has an eye infection so I need to get drops from the vet.  I need to get out to check on supplies of dog food with those people who are feeding dogs for us,  but I can't even risk walking down to the village for bread.

We took Olive as a favour to Jacky who moved the mum Lucy and her pups to safety.  Jacky is in England at the moment so I'm unable to contact her, so I phoned her husband Jim.  He could tell by my voice that I was upset and he said that he would come over today to collect Olive.  She will go to another foster placement, until a permanent home can be found for her.

It's the last thing I wanted to happen, but I have spent the last 24 hours trying to keep Timmy and Olive apart.  You'd have thought he might have learned his every opportunity he tries to bite Olive again.  It's exhausting and worrying.  The whole thing seems to have affected the other dogs as well.  Tommy won't come outside if Olive is there.   Fistik bares her teeth at Olive every time she comes near, and she (Fistik) has also started to go to toilet in the house.

I feel like I have failed, even though I've talked this through with a couple of friends and they have tried to reassure me.   I'm so sad for Olive but I have to protect all of the dogs.  She is not an aggressive dog, but obviously  she will defend  herself.  She is really quite placid and affectionate, but clearly this is not the home for her.  I hope she finds a home that will suit her because she so deserves it.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Gokova Appeal

You may recall a post I did a while ago about my friend Sonia Garnett who runs Gokova Animal Rescue.  If you missed the post, you can read it HERE

As I mentioned, Sonia has been a terrific support to me and the work I do with our village dogs.

Sonia has not only supported  me, but also other independent volunteers in surrounding areas.  She always responds to those most in need at any given time.

It's very up and down in animal rescue, and there are times when we are down to our last sack of food so have to keep finding ways to raise some extra cash.

So it's time for me to do my bit and make an appeal on behalf of Gokova Animal Rescue.  Food for the dogs and cats on the streets is always desperately needed.  £14 will buy a 15kg sack of food, but even £7 for half a sack would be very welcome. In fact any amount, no matter how small will help.  Some of my supporters regularly donate every month, which helps me to budget for food.  Maybe you feel this is something you would like to do for Gokova Animal Rescue.

If you would like to make a donation, you will find all the details you need on this link:

Thankyou xx

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Happy Easter Sunday

I didn't actually realise it was Easter until Friday.  Because it isn't celebrated here, it's easy to forget. To be honest, life is a bit of a whirlwind these days that half the time I don't even know what day it is.

Mr A started his new job over in Gumbet on Wedneday.  It is quiet at the moment, very few customers so he is kicking his heels a bit.  Personnel accommodation is provided which he will make use of.   It wasn't ready to use on still had to be cleaned, and there was nowhere to hang his clothes.    

We would both rather he came home each day but we need to save on petrol costs.  His job will be as a tour rep, with responsibility for 20 hotels, doing the welcome meetings and selling trips.  He gets a basic salary (and when I say basic...I mean just that!) and his earnings will be made up with commission on ticket sales.  He has been supplied with a uniform of three shirts and two pairs of shorts and has now discovered that he has to pay for these.  I think it's a cheek but I'm not really surprised.  This is typical of Turkish bosses.  They pay you with one hand and take back with the other.

So far he has come home each evening and I was particularly grateful for this on Friday as Olive, the girl we were fostering, arrived.  And in case you haven't read the update on my previous post, we are keeping her.  Her future would have consisted of being moved around until a permanent home was found, and she is such a lovely girl that we can't resist her.  It seems fostering isn't for me.  I admire those who can do it, but I just can't give these dogs up once they have arrived in our home.

Mr A also had Saturday off as it was so quiet in Gumbet, so he was able to help Jim and Steve find Lucy and she and her pups were taken to Tuzla, where they are far safer than in their spot in the village.   I will continue to feed Butch and Jet, her bodyguards.

The six big dogs are getting quite excited every time they see Olive and bark furiously.  Melek and Blondie can jump quite high and I was concerned that they might be able to get over the fence to the enclosure.   Mr A went into Milas and bought some more metal posts and chickenwire and spent the entire day cutting, welding and fixing the fence so that it is higher.  

He also collected three more Paraband collars from the vet, one for Olive and two spare, as these often get lost.  I also wormed Olive.  She is about a year old and has already been spayed.  I am waiting for her pet passport from Jacky so that I can keep her up to date on booster vaccinations.

I couldn't get to sleep last night so used the time to update the header photo on my blog.  I edited my profile to include Olive and add her photo on my sidebar.  I've also increased the size of the text.  I'm sure those of you, like me, who struggle with small print, will find this useful!

So, I'll leave you with my favourite photo.....and wish all of you who celebrate it A Very Happy Easter xx

Saturday, 4 April 2015


Yesterday Jacky and Jim drove over from Tuzla to bring Olive to me...the dog I agreed to foster for a couple of weeks until the day before I go to England.

They also hoped to collect Lucy and her pups to take over to Tuzla where they will be much safer than here in the village.

I set off to meet them in the village and we drove up to the barn, but there was no sign of Lucy, Jet or Butch, but the pups were all fine.  We searched for a while, called and whistled (well actually Jim whistled because I can't) but nothing.  So we abandoned the attempt and took Olive up to our house.

Understandably she was scared at first.  Monty, Tommy and Fistik were fine but as usual Timmy made his presence felt.  As soon as the dogs at the back...Sammy, Megan, Blondie, Freddie, Chas and Melek caught sight of Lucy they barked and wouldn't stop, so she retreated.

However, it didn't take her long to settle in with the four little ones.  When Timmy barks at her, she just stares at him and he stops.

She ate some dinner and visibly relaxed, tail wagging.  She even joined the other four to bark at the sheep passing the house.  Eventually she ventured inside the house and made herself at home.

I was pleased that Mr A managed to get home last night as he has a deeper voice and can quieten the big dogs when they keep barking.  I wasn't sure where to leave her for the night.  I tried the balcony and she seemed happy enough, but when I went out later to check on her, she followed me back into the house and jumped on the bed...and that's where she stayed all night.

She is a lovely dog with a very gentle nature and I expect you can guess that I have fallen in love with her already!

Mr A is off today as there are no customers at the moment, so he went to meet Jim in the village just before 8am, who was accompanied by SuperSteve.   Again no sign of Lucy, and they searched and whistled, and Mr A drove around the village on his motorbike looking for her.  Another failed attempt.

Jim drove back to Steve's house to drop him off, and Mr A kept searching for Lucy and at last she returned to the barn where he managed to put a collar and lead on her.  He phoned Steve and he returned in his car, followed by Jim.   This village is like a maze and Jim got lost at one point and ended up at my house.  I got into the car to show him how to find the barn again, and before we set off Steve rang to say Lucy and pups were all in his car and he was heading off to Tuzla, and Jim would then follow on.

So a bit of dashing around but eventually the mission was accomplished.

Here are a couple of videos that you might enjoy.

VIDEO No 1 Lucy feeding pups

VİDEO No 2 Lucy's pups

And thankyou to those of you who who donated over the past few days.   It means so much to us to get some help with the expense of feeding the village dogs.  I am still in desperate need though, so if anyone can spare just a little, it will be of enormous help.  (As usual you will find the Paypal button at the top of the page).  Thankyou xx


Lucy and her pups are now safely settled at Tuzla.  And we are keeping Olive...well you knew we would didn't you?  I just can't do this fostering thing.  I love them immediately and don't want to give them back 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Update on Mum Lucy and pups

When I went down to feed Lucy on Tuesday she was sitting at the doorway of the barn, guarding her babies.  Butch was outside.  Suddenly another dog appeared, he was black and at first I thought it was Jet, but when he got closer I realised it wasn't.   I put food in the barn for Lucy then came outside to feed Butch and this other dog.

In a split second the black dog attacked Butch.  I shouted and stamped my feet and eventually they stopped (reminder to self...always take a spray bottle with water for such usually works).
At the same time Jet appeared...took one look at what was going on and ran in the other direction.

Sadly this black dog looks very sick and is extremely aggressive.  I am worried for him but not sure what to do at the moment.  He ate food then ran away.  I eventually managed to calm Butch and he ate too.

The puppies were fine.

This incident worried me.  I am concerned for the safety of Lucy and her pups.

On Tuesday evening I had a call from Jacky who does the same as us over at Tuzla and has a small shelter area where she cares for sick dogs and puppies.  She and her husband Jim have been very supportive of me, and it is hoped that we can continue to work together to help each other in the future.

Jacky asked me a favour.  Would I be able to foster a small dog for her for a few weeks.   I said yes, but I can only have her until the 20th because I go to the UK on the 21st.  This is sufficient for Jacky at the moment.  In return Jacky will take Lucy and pups over to Tuzla.  They will have a large kennel in a separate area.  Eventually Lucy will be spayed and returned to either our village or a place of safety.

We will work together to try to find the pups homes.  Jacky thinks along the same lines as me.  We feel that these dogs are best on the streets in their familiar environment, or if we are concerned, we will find a safer place for them, while we continue to feed them and keep them as healthy as possible.

Yesterday I went down to the barn.  Lucy wasn't there but the most heartwarming sight greeted me.  Inside the barn, Jet was laying just behind the pups watching over them, whilst Butch was inside the doorway looking out...guarding them.  I almost burst into tears.  If only humans could be as sensitive and caring as dogs.  No doubt Lucy needs a wander about, a break from the babies, so left her two bodyguards in charge!

Jacky collected me yesterday afternoon and as we both needed a break, we drove over to Bodrum, browsed the shops at Midtown, had some lunch, and did some shopping in Kipa....and talked non-stop about dogs (naturally) and plans for the future.   It was so enjoyable and I think helped us both to re-charge our batteries.

Today is going to be quite busy.  Jacky and Jim will come over to the village and we will attempt to get Lucy and pups into the car to take to Tuzla.  If Lucy isn't about, we will postpone until tomorrow.  Then the dog to be fostered...Olive...will be collected and brought to me.  I'm hoping my 4 little ones will make her welcome.  I'm sure there will be lots of play fighting to start with, but fingers crossed she settles.

I will continue to feed Jet and Butch after Lucy goes, and will try to deal with the sick dog.  Hopefully with the help of my vet.  One step at a time of course...there is only so much I can do in one day.

Mr A came home last night as his accommodation that goes with the job wasn't ready.  He found out that the old man who feeds 10 dogs on the outskirts of the village has now encouraged the dogs in the centre to follow him.  He knows the village centre isn't the safest place, and is now feeding around 20 dogs each day outside his house, so we need to keep him stocked up.  Bless his heart for caring.

Stocks of food are running low, and we are spending our own money at the moment, so if anyone would like to help, you will find the Paypal button at the top of this page.  Thankyou x

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

A busy day

Yesterday was a pretty eventful day one way or another.

Our vet was due to pay us a visit on Monday to check our 10 dogs but unfortunately was so busy he couldn't make it until later, but Mr A starts work today (Wednesday) so we decided that we needed to get Melek checked (due to my paranoia mentioned in my last post...worrying that she is too thin and because her brother Dave died I guess I will always worry).   Also Blondie has had a graze on her leg which is taking a long time to heal so this needed looking at.

As we only have a motorbike, our vet kindly offered us the use of his car if we paid for petrol so Mr A collected it and we took Blondie and Melek to the clinic.

On the way we dropped off my laptop at a computer shop.  My laptop is new but only has 2GB memory which has now proved to be insufficient (I keep getting pop-ups telling me which is very irritating).  My brother-in-law who advises me on all computer related stuff said to get another RAM of 4GB.  (Please don't think I know what I'm talking about...I don't...I just follow advice).  So we dropped it off to be collected later.

Mehmet says Melek is not too thin...actually just perfect.   To be safe he gave her a stronger worm tablet than I had used and also, I think more to reassure me, two immune booster injectıons.  We have exactly the same to give to Chas, her brother, so that I can stop worrying so much.

Blondie's graze isn't serious and we have some more antibiotic cream to use on it.

We bought more sacks of dogfood, dropping one at the sanayi for the 20plus dogs being fed there, one to the old man in the village who is feeding 10 dogs, and one to the lady feeding Annie.  It seems that this lady is now also feeding 4 other street dogs, which is lovely.  We are very grateful to her for caring and will continue to supply enough food for Annie and the others.

These three people are now well stocked up with food to make sure they have enough until Mr A has time to deliver more.   If he isn't home in time to visit the teahouse and feed the dogs that gather there in the evenings he has arranged for the old man to feed them.  All this planning is falling into place.  It's what we always hoped to achieve...others taking a little responsibility for the dogs.

When we arrived home with the two dogs, Blondie (always a bit of a Houdini) leapt out of the car and straight up the hill behind the house.  I called her and she just ran.  However I managed to tempt her back with a simit.  We used to let the big dogs out for a run up the hill every day but because of the poisonings and shootings that have happened in the past few months, we can no longer take the risk.

When I went into the house, I discovered that there was no electricity.  Not unusual here...we have frequent powercuts.  I later discovered that it was an outage that affected the whole country.

I posted on Facebook yesterday morning  about this mum and pups:

These 7 pups are less than a week old. The mum gave birth in a different part of village but she was chased away. After searching she was found in this old barn where she must have carried her babies one by one to safety. We have put down a blanket for mum and are feeding her but this is not a safe part of the village so today we have to find a solution.
So we set off to look for a safer place for them, but apart from the fact that we are running out of safe places, we were reluctant to move them.  A further update on Facebook (using my phone with the battery getting lower, and being unable to charge) :

Update on mum and 7 pups. They are still in same place. We have told people in nearby houses they are our responsibility and just hope they take notice and don't touch them. Pups are just too young to be moved and we don't want to risk mum rejecting them. She is a wonderful mum and so gentle. She has two male bodyguards. Black one we called Jet and brown one Butch. We have called mum Lucy in memory of Ishbel's Lucy (World Bıke Girl). I am feeding all three. Kaya starts work tomorrow so I will be caring for them. I will check on them twice a day, feed, change water etc. As you probably know there is a power outage all over Turkey. We also have no phone or internet. This could continue for some time. We just don't know yet. I have limited internet on my phone so may not post much for a while. Fingers crossed everyone for Lucy, her babies, Jet and Butch that I can keep them safe.

We collected my laptop from Milas, returned Mehmet's car and came back home on the motorbike. The power was still off.  We heard that it could be off for some time so Mr A decided to go and look for a secondhand generator.  So he set off again to see a friend in Milas who has a hardware shop.  He had ten small new generators for sale and people queuing up to buy them.  He saw Mr A and had a word and told him to hang on and he would save one for him.   The man sold them like hotcakes at 700 lira each and Mr A told him that we just couldn't afford that sort of money, but his friend was so delighted to have made so many sales that he let Mr A have the last one for half price!  Not only that, he threw in some extension leads and a litre of petrol.  Too good a bargain to miss.

Back home, set up the generator, plugged in the modem and internet connection.  Checked the phone line...dead.  But the generator works perfectly.  The nationwide power outage had also included internet and phone lines.  However, it is going to be really useful to have for the frequent power cuts here.

Power was finally restored around 9pm and five minutes later internet connection was made.

Quite a hectic day.  And today may be another difficult one as we have woken up to no water.   Not sure how long this will last, but just another typical day in Turkey!

I'll leave you with some photos of Lucy and her pups, and her two bodyguards Jet and Butch.

If you would like to donate towards the feeding and care of these and the many other dogs we feed on the streets, you will find the Paypal button at the top of the page.  Thankyou.

Linda I. Kaya's photo.
Linda I. Kaya's photo.