Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Growing old gracefully..... not really for me.  In fact "graceful" is not a word that has ever described me.  But I have realised recently that I can't do as much as I used to.  In my head I am still in my 20s but my body reminds me I'm 67 years old.  I still attempt to move furniture around (one of my nocturnal habits when I can't sleep) but it's becoming more difficult.   Those of you in my age group will understand that thing when you get down on your knees to pick something up off the floor, then can't get up again without help.

My eyes are causing me problems.  Well not so much the eyes, but the eyelids.  It's genetic. Most of those on my father's side of the family had droopy upper eyelids.  I went to the hospital last Thursday.  I saw an eye doctor who didn't even examine my eyes but sent me straight to a plastic surgeon.  He wasn't in his clinic and his secretary took a photo with her phone and sent it to him.    He called back and spoke to Kaya (formerly known as Mr A in my blog but all those who follow my Facebook page now know him as Kaya). 

I wasn't concerned about him calling Kaya because I assumed he didn't speak English.  He told him that I needed to have the muscles under the lids repaired, some fat and skin removed and stitched...all under local anaesthetic.  He could book me in for two days later and it would cost 3000 lira.  

I got carried along with it and agreed.

A couple of hours later the surgeon rang me, spoke in English, to explain the procedure.   He then immediately rang Kaya to explain the same to him.  I wasn't best pleased at this typical Turkish male attitude.  Treating women as if they are idiots, ignoring them and dealing with their husbands.

I also spoke to friends who agreed that it was expensive, and that I ought to have been examined first so I started to have doubts.   Kaya also spoke to his friend (the surgeon who operated on him earlier this year) and he knows the plastic surgeon concerned and confirmed he is expensive, and that it was possible to have this done by someone just as good, for a lower price.  Unfortunately, plastic surgery is not covered by our SGK (government) insurance here in Turkey...even if it is for a medical problem and not cosmetic.   I would never consider cosmetic surgery.   That's the only part of "growing old gracefully" that I happily accept.  But this problem is affecting my vision, straining my eyes and causing headaches so  I know I need to have it done, but I will not be rushed and I will do it on my terms.

In the meantime I have changed bedrooms...Kaya's idea....the other side of the house away from the dog's area.  I am a light sleeper and the dogs prevent me from getting a complete night's sleep.  I am used to it, but it takes it's toll.  Tiredness makes my eyes worse.

Of course I got stuck in moving furniture etc and as a result have bruises, aches and pains, swollen arthritic fingers and have done my back in again.  I'm my own worst enemy.

Kaya has been working hard since his job finished.  He has re-tiled the bathroom and installed a new washbasin and toilet.  When I say bathroom, I actually mean a small cupboard pretending to be a bathroom.  One could sit on the toilet, wash one's hands in the washbasin and have a shower, all at the same time.  I'm not kidding.  We now have a smaller toilet and washbasin and we have put up a shower curtain, having had to shorten the poles to fit.  Taking a shower is actually quite funny now.  The area is so small that once you turn on the water, the curtain sticks to you and you have to fight it off to get clean.   But it's a vast improvement and looks very nice.

He has also adjusted the car port he built last winter, which was for the motorbike, but now has enough space to reverse the car in.

We continue as always with our work with the dogs.  We are lucky to have a few people feeding in the village and the sanayi, but we need to keep checks on them because you can never totally rely on others.  We do of course supply food for all the dogs, and treat them for worms, fleas, mange, eye infections, etc.   The four Bodrum pups settled well at the sanayi.  One disappeared a few days ago and someone said they thought he had been taken.  However, Kaya went there to deliver more food yesterday and the pup had returned.  

It would not be possible for us to continue this without your donations, and I am always so grateful to those of you who help in this way.   But it's a never-ending task, and there are more dogs around in winter, so donations are always welcome, no matter how small...every little helps.

FINALLY...FOR YOU CAT LOVERS.   I don't do much for the cats in this village.  They seem to be accepted here by the locals.   They are fed scraps, and in return they keep down the rat and mice population.  They are doing a good job in this farming village, and mostly look pretty healthy.  We have found kittens in the past and you may recall that Kaya put a box down at the teahouse for two lone kittens and fed them.  The teahouse man eventually took them home to his garden.

There is a very brave cat near us.   My dogs don't like cats and so they usually steer clear.  However this particular cat sits on our wall in full view of the dogs and they bark furiously at her (maybe a him but we haven't checked yet).   She stays as long as she wishes then gradually saunters off.

Over the past two days she has been at the side of the house (where the dogs can't see her), sitting watching Kaya work on the carport.   So we have started feeding her.  All I had that was suitable was a tin of tuna and some small dog biscuits.  I am going to buy some cat food today and we have found an old cupboard that Kaya is going to try and transform into a cat house, with enough room for four or five cats.  We will place this under the carport for shelter from the winter weather.  If this cat is female we will get her spayed, finances permitting, and if any other cats join her we will look after them.  (Photos to follow when it's all sorted)

What are we like?  As if we need even more animals to look after !!!

If you would like to join my Facebook page Ayak's Animal Welfare, you will find the link on my sidebar.

If you wish to donate to help with our work, the Paypal button can be found at the top of the sidebar.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Neglecting my blog

I feel very guilty about neglecting my blog.  The longer I leave it, the more difficult it becomes to write a post.

My Facebook group has taken over.  I post daily updates there and the blog gets forgotten.  I'm aware that many of my blog followers don't use Facebook, so I will try to keep the blog going as much as possible.

It's been a very busy summer for Mr A.  He was working 16 to 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, and driving around 400km a day across the Bodrum peninsular, from one hotel to another and back again.  He rarely had chance to come home, and if he did it was just a flying visit of just an hour or two.

Turkish bosses demand their pound of flesh.   They expect far too much.  Mr A had a company car, and unsurprisingly with the long hours and lack of sleep, he had a couple of bumps in it.  It was only then that he discovered that full insurance was not provided...just the basic traffic cover, and he was expected to pay for repairs.

He did manage to earn good money this season though and it enabled us to pay off our debts and for him to save for a new motorbike, and also to pay for some much needed work on the house.  In almost 18 years here, it's the first time we have reached the end of the season without worrying about how we are going to survive the winter.

He finished work the last week in October, and has been working on house and garden since.  On our first Sunday together we drove over to visit our friends David and Abdu, went to their local market and had lunch together.  The motorbike was very comfortable but I'm afraid I'm getting too old to be riding pillion these days, and the following day I had aches and pains and vowed I wouldn't be doing this too often.

As a result, Mr A decided to trade in the motorbike for a car.   What a relief.   It's an ex-taxi...bright yellow.   I was surprised when I first saw it, and wondered if we might be flagged down while we were out and about by people thinking it was a taxi.  However, we've seen a lot of them about this past week.  The mileage is high but it's been well looked after.  We spent a day in Bodrum sorting out all the paperwork and insurance and spoke to the traffic police about my license.  It seems I can still use my British driving license as long as I get it translated and noterised, so this will be done soon.

In the meantime the dogs he had been looking after at his personnel accommodation needed to be dealt with.   There were still 5 puppies left.  Paşa (re-named Oscar) went off to his new owner's village and Narin remained at the accommodation with the 5 pups, to be looked after by the man staying there all winter.   Mr A planned to renovate an old building in the garden there to keep them safe but on the day he went to start on it, the pups had disappeared, along with a slightly older pup, called Miki, who had appeared a couple of weeks before.  After much searching of the area and a visit to the council shelter, there was no sign of them.

A phone call a few days later from the man at the accommodation informed us that Narin was dead.  Poisoned.   We suspect the neighbours but it's very difficult to prove.  By coincidence the pups turned up a couple of hours later...but sadly not Miki.  All this is very suspicious.  Thank goodness we had the car, and Mr A set off with a friend late evening to rescue the pups.  Poor Narin.  Such a good mother.  She didn't deserve this and we are so upset.  May she rest in peace.

His friend decided to adopt one of the pups, and the four remaining have been moved, along with the kennel we supplied, to the sanayi (industrial estate) on the outskirts of our village, where we already have men feeding the dogs there with food supplied by us.  The two female pups and Narin were spayed thanks to friends in Bitez who paid for their  operations.  All dogs and pups were vaccinated, flea and worm treated, so those surviving stand a good chance now.

We now have three men at the sanayi who have taken responsibility for feeding, and we will continue to support them with sacks of food.

Annie, the dog with deformed  legs continues to thrive and is being well looked after, along with 4 others dogs being fed  by her owner.  Again we will continue to supply food for them.

A couple of weeks ago I found a badly injured dog on wasteground opposite our house.  His head was injured and his eyes were covered in flies and maggots.  Mr A was still working but managed to contact the Belediye shelter and they sent two men out to collect the dog (who I named Henry).  While I waited I did as much as I could to wash the maggots from his eyes and make him comfortable.   The Belediye vet treated him at the shelter.  He did as much as possible but informed us that the injury was at least a week old.  I cannot imagine how he must have suffered all that time.  I don't know if he managed to crawl to the area outside our house, or whether he was dumped there, but I will never erase the sight from my mind.  Sadly he didn't do well.  He was blind, he couldn't stand and was distressed and in pain, so the decision was made to have him put to sleep.   Poor boy.  Rest in Peace dear Henry.

Our 10 rescues are all doing well.  We have had vet visits this week for three of them, but nothing too serious.  Sammy is receiving treatment for the growth on his gums which has appeared again.  Blondie is also being treated for a small injury to her ankle which heals then opens up again...due mainly to her licking it.  She now has it bandaged up and a "bucket" on her far so good.  Fistik is due at the vet's today because she has sore and  itchy paws. She keeps licking them which makes them worse so it needs to be dealt with.

In the meantime, we finally managed to remove an old smelly carpet from our sitting room, which we put down nearly 8 years ago to cover the concrete floor.  It was all we could afford at the time, but it was desperately in need of replacement, having been subjected to dog wee, poo and sick.  You can imagine what it was like.  It has now been burnt and replaced by laminate flooring.  Much more practical with four dogs in the house.

Over the past few days Mr A has ripped up the floor tiles in the bathroom and re-tiled and is fitting a new washbasin and toilet.  Although he is making a good job of this, he is a very messy worker and there is dust all over the house.   Not to mention that I have had to resort to wee-ing in a bucket while we've been without a toilet.  It should all be finished today...hopefully!

Mr A needs a break and as soon as the bathroom is finished he is planning to go up to Ankara to visit his family.  He hasn't been for years and is looking forward to catching up with his many relatives.  Although it's doubtful he will attempt to see his father.  They are not on speaking terms.  Those of you who have followed my blog for years will understand why.

Deliveries of food have been made this week to all our feeders, which means that while Mr A is away I can concentrate on ridding the house of all the dust.  A mammoth task...wish me luck!

I'll leave you with some photos of my 10 beautiful dogs, taken by my friend Gwen when she stayed with me in September.







Freddie and Blondie





Finally, if you don't already follow my Facebook page Ayak's Animal Welfare, you will find the link on the sidebar.

If you would like to help support our feeding and care of the dogs in our village and surrounding area, you will find the Paypal button at the top of this blog.  Every little helps us to continue with our work. Thankyou.