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 lesson...no chance...at 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.