Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Update on Timmy, Blondie and David

Timmy was neutered on Friday.  The operation went well but when I got him home I noticed that the scrotal sac was very swollen.  I haven't experienced this with any of the other boys I've had neutered and as the day went on I was concerned so took a photo and sent to my vet (don't you just love this facility?  Technology is so useful sometimes).

Whilst awaiting my vet's reply I searched the internet and discovered that this is a normal reaction with some dogs and it can take some time for the swelling to go down.  When Mehmet phoned me he confirmed that this was the case but if I was concerned to take Timmy back to see him.

On Saturday Timmy was running about and eating.  He had also been to the toilet so I wasn't unduly worried.  He even managed to bark at the sheep.  He is now back to his normal self.  The swelling has reduced slightly.  It still looks horrible but is causing him no problems so I'm sure he will be fine.  He is still cocking his leg in the house unfortunately but as it takes about two weeks for the testosterone to leave the body after neutering, it's early days and I won't know yet whether he will get out of this habit.

I talked to Mehmet about Blondie's ankle.  He says to continue to do what I am doing, ie bathing with salt water, applying antibacterial powder, and giving the course of pencillin injections daily.  I gave the last one this morning.  I am still uncertain about whether this is healing satisfactorily so of course will continue to treat it and return to the vet if it's no better soon.

You'll notice in the title of this blog that it's also an update on my friend David, but it's more about a dog he rescued from the streets a few weeks ago.  David has always been concerned about street dogs and usually carries a bag of dogfood with him to stop and feed any strays that look hungry.  He has also been very helpful to me when Mr A is working, taking me to the vets, and helping me transport sacks of dogfood.

He noticed Molly at the side of a road and stopped to feed her each day, but was so concerned for her, decided to take her home.  It isn't easy for him to integrate a new dog with his two existing dogs.  He has tried before and it hasn't worked, but thankfully this time, with persistence and patience, Molly has settled, and Dillon and Mavi pretty much ignore her.

David took Timmy and I to the vets on Friday, along with Molly to have her spayed and all her vaccinations.  Again the operation went well, but it wasn't straightforward.  Molly was already pregnant.  As David has only had her for a couple of weeks, it would seem likely that she fell pregnant just before he rescued her.   The feotuses were aborted and she was spayed.  Both David and I have mixed feelings about this.  It is sad that we live in a country where knowing this was carried out was actually a relief.  There are just so many pups out there, born on the streets, dying slowly from disease and starvation, that I am thankful that my vet believed there was no other choice.

Anyway this is Molly.  Now a happy, healthy, safe and much loved  little girl.

Friday, 22 May 2015

This week

This week has been quite busy.   Mr A continues to work ridiculously long hours.  His schedule is almost impossible to achieve.  He has welcome meetings at hotels from Gulluk to Yalikavak and everywhere else in between, every day.  Sometimes as many as 20 hotels.  His office give him between an hour and hour and half in between each meeting, and this has to include travelling time. He is then expected to meet customers at the airport, put them on the buses and inform them of their welcome meetings the following day.  Sometimes these airport visits are around 2am or 3am.  There's very little time for sleep.

Sometimes, if he is at the airport which is just 10 minutes away from the village,  he comes home between midnight and 3am and goes straight to bed, then is up again at 7.30am.  Yesterday afternoon he actually managed to convince his boss he was almost dead on his feet and was able to grab 4 hours sleep in his personnel accommodation.

He is not the only one.  All personnel are doing the same.  It's cruel to expect people to survive this kind of life.  None of them will complain for fear of losing their jobs.  There are always plenty of others waiting to step in...and the bosses know this.   Roll on the end of the season, then maybe I can stop worrying that his lack of sleep will cause him to crash the car while he is clocking up around 400km every day.

I had two trips out this week.  An early breakfast with Mr A at one of his hotels in Gulluk on Tuesday and waited while he did his welcome meeting.  I enjoyed this brief time with him, but it was somewhat spoilt by the fact that he was running late for his next meeting, and drove like a lunatic to drop me back at the village.  If I have another opportunity to have breakfast with him I will opt for catching the bus back to avoid raising my blood pressure!

On Wednesday I met up with a friend Wendy in Milas.   We are both members of admin on a Facebook group and I first met her in Gulluk last year.  We had lunch together followed by cake and coffee, and lots of chat.  The time went very quickly but was very enjoyable.

And the dogs.   Timmy is off to the vet today to be neutered.  I am sincerely hoping that this will deter him from cocking his leg and marking his territory INSIDE the house....up chairs, the rubbish bin, the laundry fact anywhere that takes his fancy.  He even blatently does it while I'm standing next to him!   Cheeky little bugger.

I mentioned weeks ago that Blondie injured her leg (just above the ankle).  She constantly jumps and rushes about and I suspect she caught it on the wall whilst barking at the sheep.  I treated it with antibacterial powder, then antibiotic cream, and she also had an antibiotic injection.   It heals ...she licks it...and it opens up again.

My vet saw it at one point where it was healing and said it was OK.  I spoke to him about it again this week and he suggests I continue with what I am doing.   I wash it each day with a saline solution and apply antibacterial powder.  I tried a bandage one day and put a plastic bucket collar on her but she still managed to remove the dressing.  Although it is better if it's left open.   I am struggling on with the twice a day, and I also have a course of penicillin injections.  Fingers crossed this does the trick.

All my other dogs are fine.  I have checked on our feeders...Annie's mum, the old man and the sanayi man and they are all continuing to do what we have asked of them.  I will be arranging delivery of more food at the end of next week.   Thankyou once again to those of you who donated last week which enabled me to buy more food.  I will need more next week, and thereafter, so any further donations would be most welcome.

And that's my weekly update.   Have a good weekend everyone xx

Monday, 18 May 2015


This gentle little girl first appeared in Gokova about two months ago.

Beria, who feeds and cares for countless dogs in Gokova and the surrounding areas, saw that she had mange and treated her for this, thanks to a donation from one of my supporters, Christine.   It also appears that she was run over and was seen with a bleeding nose but she then disappeared again.

Beria has continued to search for her, and other Gokova volunteers, Sonia and Janice, have also been on the lookout for her.

She was found again by Beria outside the kennels in Gokova, and promptly disappeared again.  Until last week, when she was finally caught, having been run over yet again. 

She is now in the vet clinic, she has a broken hip and ringworm, and is being treated for these.

This lovely girl clearly cannot manage life on the streets and desperately needs a home.  A permanant home would be ideal of course, but urgent foster placement would help in the meantime.

All her costs will be covered.

If you are able to give Rosie a home, please contact me on here or on Facebook, or join Gokova Animal Rescue page (the link can be found on my sidebar), or contact Beria Atamturk.

This is urgent, so even if you can't give Rosie a home,  sharing this blog on your Facebook page will be helpful.


Saturday, 16 May 2015

Mr A's job and delivering food for the dogs

Mr A had a rare opportunity to get home for a few hours late yesterday afternoon.   He is working so hard and as usual his Turkish boss is getting more than his pound of flesh.   As a holiday rep he has the responsibility for around 20 hotels.  He has been provided with a car and is clocking up approximately 400 km per day.  He has to meet customers at the airport and put them on the transfer buses.  He spends each day going from one hotel to another doing welcome meetings and dealing with customer problems.  He is working far too many hours and not getting enough sleep.

I worry about him.  I am concerned that he will have an accident in the car.  In fact he told me yesterday that he had skidded on the road earlier this week after it had rained and bumped the front of the car.   The cost of repairing the damage was 150 lira.  One would have thought that as this is a company car it would be covered by company insurance.  It probably is, but Mr A had to pay for the repair.   Not fair  is it?  But nothing is fair when it comes to seasonal work in Turkey.  I wish he would take one day off each week...just to sleep...but he won't because the season is short and he is trying to earn as much money as possible to get us through the long winter months.

It would have been good for him to have stayed last night, to get some sleep.  However, he arrived home at about 6pm and needed to be at the airport (10 minutes from here) at 9.15pm to meet customers.  

Our three "feeders", Annie's mum (who now feeds 4 more dogs as well as Annie), the old man on the outskirts of the village who feeds 9 or 10 dogs, and the sanayi man who feeds more than 20 dogs, all have Mr A's phone number.  They let him know when stocks are running low.  Mr A's last delivery was just before I returned from England.  As he was coming home every day to feed our dogs, it was possible for him to deliver to them.

As the season gets under way there will be less opportunity for him to deliver food, so we decided to go to Milas yesterday to buy more food and make another delivery.

First we went to the sanayi and saw, amongst others, Kahve, Nancy, and the dog we managed to save after he was poisoned.  Kahve has had mange on two occasions and we have treated this.  He is now doing well, his coat is lovely and no sign of mange.   Nancy is looking good, as is the dog who was poisoned...both well fed and healthy.  I had left my phone at home and Mr A's battery was flat which is a shame because I would love to have taken photos of these happy dogs.

Next we went to Annie's house.   The family was out so we left the sacks of food in a safe place.  We couldn't see Annie anywhere but after Mr A whistled for 5 minutes she appeared, wagging her tail.  In spite of her deformity she is doing so well, running and jumping, and was very pleased to see us.

Finally to the outskirts of the village in the opposite direction to the house of the old man.  He was also out but we already have a safe place to leave the food, and we chatted to his neighbours who are very nice people and have no objections to the 9 or 10 dogs that arrive each day to be fed.  In spite of the animosity towards street dogs from a lot of the villagers, it is reassuring to know that not everyone hates them or wishes them harm.

We returned home and Mr A had just enough time for a sandwich before setting off to the airport.

Thankyou to those of you who have donated this week, which enabled us to stock up with food again.  I am so grateful.  As you know this is ongoing, so anyone who wishes to give a little something to help, you will find the paypal button at the top of this page.  Thankyou xx

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Timmy is ready for the chop

I wasn't going to blog about an incident I experienced yesterday.  I shared it with a friend and we did laugh at the ridiculousness of it.   However, on reflection I felt that my solution to the "problem" worked and might be useful for others who have male dogs.

I am in the process of sorting out an appointment for Timmy to be neutered.  He is humping everything in sight at the moment.  It's difficult to get hold of my vet just now.  His wife's baby is due anytime so I'm sure he has other things on his mind.

We know that young male dogs get very excited and produce an erection.  It's normal and eventually subsides.  This happened with Timmy yesterday.  But I found him in his bed shaking and when I picked him up I discovered that the testicles as well as the penis were outside the foreskin.  I have never experienced this before with my other male dogs.  He seemed quite distressed and I had no idea what I could do to help him.

Thinking quickly I wondered if I should ring my vet and ask if this was normal.   Mr A is not around.  I had visions of Timmy being stuck with this predicament and my having to take him on the dolmus to the vet in Milas...and the looks I might get from the villagers....they already think I'm mad so this would confirm it.

Of course we all know the advice given to excitable human males about taking a cold shower so I wondered if this might do the trick.   I held Timmy's bits  under the running cold tap and after about 5 minutes everything was back in place where it should be.   I dried him off and he went to doubt traumatised by the experience.

...and no....there is no photo to accompany this post.

Sunday, 10 May 2015


....sadly I will need to make them.  Unless I can find a way of raising money.

I really hate having to do blog posts asking for donations, but sometimes it reaches a point where I just have to.   I have now reached that point.

I have committed myself to feeding and caring for a fair number of dogs.  We are fortunate to have found people locally that we have persuaded to feed dogs for us.  We are delighted that Mr A's constant efforts at changing this village mentality has started to pay off.   It would be even better if we didn't have to provide the food for them, but these are not wealthy people.  They are poor farming folk, who have very little.  However, I can't put a price on their generosity of spirit.  And I don't want to ever reach a point where I have to say to them "I'm sorry, I just don't have the money to provide any more food".

Do you remember that blog post I did a while ago entitled "False Accusations"?  If you don't, have a look at it again  CLİCK HERE.    Since then, many people have contacted me, correctly guessing the name of the person who posted this libellous comment.  She has also made a similar comment since then.  I have also been reliably informed that she thinks that if she makes such comments, it will stop people donating to me, and will give to her instead.   This is so futile.  I don't really understand this mentality.  Surely we are all just trying to do the best we can for the street dogs here.

We should all be working together.  Thankfully, the majority of people who have involved themselves in animal welfare here in Turkey, do just that.  We all help each other out whenever we can.

At this point I want to thank the few people who donate a regular monthly amount.  I would like to mention their names, but I won't.  Why?  Because I have been told that "this person" actually targets those who donate to other causes....she contacts them, and with more libellous comments attempts to persuade them to donate to her instead.

Of course I have no proof of this, but it frankly wouldn't surprise me.  So I won't mention your names, but thank you sincerely for your continued support.  You know who you are.

And thankyou also to those of you who have donated individual amounts, some on more than one occasion, which have been so gratefully received.

Many of the animal groups here live in areas where there are other expats, and tourists.  Because of this they are able to hold fundraising events to support their work.

I am not in a position to do this.  I am the only foreigner in this remote village, so I have to rely on my blog to get my message out.

Your donations really help, but they don't cover the continuing cost of dogfood and vet bills.  I carry on, as I always have, using my own limited resources as well.   I don't want to reach a point where I am unable to do this.  If you feel you would like to help me to continue to do what I can for these dogs, then a donation would be very welcome, no matter how small.   Thankyou.

(You will find the Paypal button at the top of this blog)

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Taking my eye off the ball

A two week visit to England not only takes lots of preparation beforehand, but lots of sorting out to be done when I return.

Mr A started work on 1st April for a tour company in Bodrum.  He is working as a holiday rep, doing aırport runs, welcome meetings, selling trips and generally sorting our tourist problems for more than 10 hotels.  It was a bit of a struggle for him to have to come home every evening to feed our 10 dogs, catch some sleep, feed them again in the morning, and set off back to work.

He managed it all OK and the dogs were all fine.

Before I left we had delivered supplies of dog food to Annie's "mum", for Annie and the other 4 dogs now being fed by her.  To the old man who now feeds 10 dogs each day, and who is also feeding the stragglers that appear near the teahouse each evening.  And of course to the man at the sanayi who feeds in excess of 20 dogs each day.

Last week he also collected more food from our vet to deliver again to our feeders.

He collected me from the airport just after 7.30am yesterday and literally dropped me outside our gate with my luggage and dashed off to work again.  Goodness knows when I'll see him again.
The house was chaotic to say the least.  I don't understand how one man can make so much mess but I'll forgive him as he clearly didn't have time to clean up.  So yesterday, instead of sleeping, I set to and cleaned.  Not as well as I should have done, partly due to Mr A having blocked the vacuum cleaner on the one occasion he used it, which blew dust out every time I switched it on.  I've cleaned it as best I can but it's not working as well as it should.

The washing machine was going non-stop, but I still found time to clean out the big dogs area, and to spend some time playing with them.....and also lots of cuddles with the small dogs.  I am amazed at how Tımmy has grown.  He is now as big as Tommy.  Those of you who remember the day I collected him...Sonia, Pat, and Chris....and of course Rachel who fostered him, would be so surprised to see him now!  (Photos to follow when I have time).

This morning my friend David collected me and we went to Milas to do shopping.  Two more sacks of dogfood, plus all the essentials like washing powder, bleach etc that seem to have run out at the same time.  And of course, food...the fridge was bare on my return.

This afternoon I did a pile of ironing and also watered the garden.  Unfortunately I was distracted and forgot to switch off the hosepipe.  The garden is now well and truly watered.  No bad thing as the temperatures are rising now.

I caught a cold while I was in England and it wouldn't clear up.  It has now affected my sinuses which made flying very uncomfortable.  I am left with pain above my eyes, my cheeks and particularly my ears.  I have medication so hopefully it will clear up soon.

And talking of taking my eye off the ball, I finally sat down and worked out the dog feeding and vet finances, and although we have paid the vet for some of the food, we still owe him money.  I have been spending my money on the food for the street dogs too and am going to need to catch up as soon as I can, as more stocks need to be bought again if we are to continue to care for the dogs in our area.

If you would like to donate to help with the feeding and vet treatment, no matter how small an amount, it will be very gratefully received.  (You will find the Paypal button at the top of the page).

Finally, I'll leave you with 3 photos of Billy and Jimi.  I got prints of these and have them on my wall in the kitchen, where I can see them every day, to remind me how much I adore these two little boys.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Mixed feelings

I have two more days here in England before I return home.  Every time I visit, at this stage of the trip, I have conflicting emotions.   It's a horrible feeling.  It's like I want to split myself in two and leave half of me here and send the other half home to Turkey.

I didn't see my daughter and the boys yesterday.  I always feel at this point that I need to detach myself a get used to the idea of not being here every day.    As each day passes the boys are getting used to me being around.  I have taken Jimi to nursery school and he chats to me on the way there.  I love his little voice.  I'm in tears now thinking about how I will miss this.

Billy is such a clever boy.  He is already having French lessons and is showing an interest in languages.  He wants to learn Turkish and I have promised to send him some books when I return home.  In the meantime I bought him the only book I could find in W.H Smıths...a Lonely Planet guide and phrase book, which means he will no doubt know more Turkish than me by the time I visit again.

The other half of me misses my husband and my dogs.  I know Mr A is struggling trying to juggle work with getting home to look after the dogs, and will be relieved when I return early Tuesday morning.

I will be back in  England again in September for my niece's wedding, so it's not so long to wait.  I will of course experience these mixed feelings every time I visit.  

If only I could have all those I love in the same place.  Wouldn't that be wonderful?