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Saturday, 30 March 2013

...and another surprise!

I cannot quite believe what I have just experienced.

I mentioned in a comment on my previous post that Sammy had been trying to mount Megan this afternoon.  I'm not terribly knowledgable about dogs' sexual habits, so I put Sammy down in the garden, and left Megan on the balcony.

But I decided to search my favourite dog forum this evening to find out a little more.  I thought it unusual that Sammy was doing this so soon after his op.

I was having a conversation with someone about doggy sex after neutering and spaying and established that it was quite normal for them to continue to perform the act, but of course there would be no puppies as a result.  This person mentioned how she once came across a very embarrassed woman in the park with her two terriers, both neutered, who were firmly locked together, and all she could do was to stand and wait until they had finished.  Because apparently you can't "untie" them...you just have to wait until nature takes it's course.

"Oh" I asked "how long does that take then?"   While I was waiting for  a reply, I glanced out of the window, to see Sammy on the balcony (Mr A must have left the balcony gate open) and he had mounted Megan.  I rushed outside to find them absolutely firmly "tied" together.  I tried gently to move Sammy away, but all I succeeded in doing was to move him so that they ended up back to back...but still firmly fixed.

Mr A arrived home at this point and he phoned Mehmet to check that there would be no damage to either of them because of this.  Mehmet said there wouldn't but he also laughed because he has never known two dogs to "get together" 24 hours after their ops!   It just proves they are pretty much recovered I would think!    "Just wait it out, they'll be fine"  said Mehmet.

After 15 minutes, the deed was done.  They separated, and drank some water. 

I half expected them to sit down and smoke a cigarette together!

Shocks

When Mr A returned from the vet with Megan and Sammy, we settled them on blankets and towels on the balcony.  They were both very drowsy, Megan more than Sammy, but then a male being neutered isn't as big an operation as spaying a female.

We heard that Blondie's operation had gone well, and Mehmet said he would bring her home today.

After an hour or so, Sammy got up and with me holding his collar was able to wobble down the balcony steps to go to the toilet.  Obviously in discomfort, he wobbled about and finally settled on some grass.  A little later he ate a small amount of food.  Eventually he returned to the balcony to settle down next to Megan.

Megan was very drowsy.  She sipped some water, but carried on sleeping.  I noticed a few spots of blood coming from the sutures and Mr A phoned Mehmet who said it was nothing to be concerned about, and he would check on her today.

I decided to sleep on the sofa as it is near the window looking out on the balcony, so I could keep an eye on them both.  I popped out several times to check.  Sammy had moved position but Megan was in the same spot.  She seemed ok.

At around 5am, as it was just starting to get light, I went out again and there was a lot of blood all over the towels.  It looked like it was coming from the sutures.

I panicked and immediately had flashbacks to Beki's awful situation last year before she died.  I was absolutely distraught, woke Mr A up, and he phoned Mehmet.  He said he would come out immediately.

By the time he arrived, Megan had got up, walked down the balcony steps, and been to the toilet.  On checking the sutures, there was just the tiniest spot of blood.

Mehmet explained that when he operated on Megan even though there were no outward signs,  she was about to come into season, so blood had to be removed, some of which was still leaking out.  The fact that it looked so bad was because she had been lying in the same position all night.  Had she moved about it probably wouldn't have been so horrifying.  He had actually told Mr A about her being due for her season, and had I known this I probably wouldn't have panicked.  But yesterday Mr A was so focussed on getting three dogs to the vet (one of which had to be found first) that he probably forgot or didn't hear.

 Mehmet was very kind, and said he could understand my panic and upset because of Beki, but this was totally different.  In the meantime, Sammy was starting to lick his wound, so Mehmet put a "bucket" on him...he is really not a happy boy about this and keeps glaring at me.  He is fine, having eaten this morning and barked at a few passers-by.

Megan has a big bandage around her body to stop her touching the wound.  Mehmet thought this better than distressing her with a bucket.   They have both had antibiotics and pain relief.  Megan will take a bit longer to recover but Mehmet assures me she will be fine.

Blondie will be coming home tomorrow.  Mehmet is very busy today, and as he has now checked on Megan, he can do so again when he comes tomorrow.

Before he left we sat and had coffee.  He tells us that Megan and Sammy are around the same age, about 10 months to a year old.  Maybe they could be brother and sister, as they seem to get on so well.  He thinks Megan would have had her first season early at perhaps 5 months, and become pregnant immediately.

Now for another shock:

According to Mehmet, our Blondie is an Akbas Kangal.  She is about 6 or 7 months old.  Here is a picture of an Akbas Kangal fully grown:

 
What have we let ourselves in for???
 

Friday, 29 March 2013

Operation Day

Today, Mr A went on the motorbike to Mehmet's surgery, collected Mehmet's van and returned home to pick up Megan and Sammy for their operations.

The van will only take two of our three large dogs, so when Mr A brings Megan and Sammy back home, he will then return the van with Blondie.  She will stay at Mehmet's clinic for a couple of days and he will fit in her operation as soon as he is able.

There is a slight problem here though.  Blondie is nowhere to be found today.  She comes and goes, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to keep tabs on her. 

She still isn't happy being confined, and goodness knows how she manages to jump chicken wire fencing to get out, but she does.  The main problem I think is that she feels intimidated by the other two, because they had already established their territory before she arrived.  I think she would have settled fine with just one dog, male rather than female.     Megan and Sammy don't attempt to escape,  because they are quite happy in their new environment.

I'm hoping the ops will help them all settle and that Blondie may stop escaping.  We have already heard comments in the village about her being a nuisance and it worries me greatly that someone might shoot or poison her.  We may have to think long and hard about another plan for her, maybe someone to adopt her away from the village (although finding people to adopt dogs here and actually care for them is much like looking for a needle in a haystack). 

I just want her to be safe.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Problems walking.

It was a beautiful morning so we got up early and took the dogs for a walk.  Blondie had been in the dog garden for most of the night but had disappeared sometime in the early hours, so it was just Megan, Sammy and Poppy walking with Mr A and I.  She turned up at the gate shortly after we arrived home, was fed, then joined the other two in their garden.

Poppy is of course used to being on a lead.  We tried Sammy and Megan on leads for the first time.  Sammy took to it like a duck to water, walking obediently alongside Mr A.   Megan was a totally different story.  She just dug her heels in and refused to budge, until I removed the lead.   Then she trotted alongside the rest of us with no problems at all.

I tried the lead again at intervals, but she adamantly refused to walk.  Thankfully, living in a village it doesn't matter too much walking dogs off leads, and in any case Megan is of course streetwise, and keeps well out of the way of passing traffic.



This was the first proper walk I had had since injuring my toe two and half weeks ago.  When we returned home, my toe was throbbing and the top of my foot aching.  I probably overdid it.  Mr A has been nagging me to go to the hospital for the past week, and finally I gave in.  And this is the timetable of events:

...arrived at Milas Devlet Hospital at 9.45am.  Registered at reception, and took my numbered ticket.

...fought through the crowds to find the surgery of one of the orthopaedic surgeons.

...lots of other people waiting, but no numbers appearing on the board

...eventually at 10.15am a woman appeared to say that the doctor wouldn't be there until 12.00.

...Mr A back to reception, asked for another ticket to see a different orthopaedic doctor.

...10.45am saw doctor.  Sent for an x-ray.

...Informed by x-ray department no-one available to do x-rays until 1.30pm.

... Went into Milas for lunch (Very nice)
Huge salad and chips..this is just one portion! 8 lira (less than £3)

...1.20pm back to x-ray department.  In and out within 10 minutes

...back to doctor.  Informed that he wouldn't be back until 4.00pm.

...Mr A very angry.  Went off to see hospital manager.  Bit of shouting.  Manager sent us to see
   someone else, who phoned the Emergency Department, where it transpired they were not busy
   and there was an orthopaedic doctor available to see me.

...Doctor looked at x-ray.  No bones broken but nasty sprain, and the doctor said I should have gone
   to the
   hospital when it was first injured. It will apparently take a fair number of weeks to    
   heal.   I need to keep it elevated as much as possible, and no more long walks for a  
   while.Prescription for strong painkillers, ibubrofen cream and Vitamin
   B.  In and out within 5 minutes.

All of this time-wasting could have been avoided if only I had listened to Mr A.  When we arrived at the hospital he said we should go straight to the Emergency Department.  I refused, saying it wasn't an emergency as I did it weeks ago, and didn't want to take up valuable time of doctors.  As it turned out, the Emergency doctors hadn't been busy all day.  Sometimes I should just do as I am told!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

One step forward and two back

After feeling so pleased yesterday that Blondie had returned, and was happily settled in the dog area with the other two, it seems like we are back to square one this morning.

I had some good advice from some of you on my previous post.  I've also been posting on a long established dog forum, so am picking up some very useful tips.

Feeding time early last evening was a bit of a disaster.  Mr A and I had a plan.  We would let Megan into our garden and I would feed her, then Mr A would feed Blondie and Sammy in their area on the other side of the fence.  I warned Mr A to hold the bowls up high as Sammy tends to jump and knock the bowls from your hand.  I have managed to stop him doing this, so on reflection, I should have let Mr A feed Megan and I would feed the other two.

So, Megan...no problem.  Mr A had the bowls knocked from his hands by Sammy, but there was no fighting between him and Blondie, so they managed to eat ok.  We then put Megan back into the dog area.  No problems.  They settled down for the night without incident.

This morning, I had a better plan.  It's important for me to find a way of feeding all three on my own, because when Mr A starts work, he won't be around to help (or hinder as the case may be!).

Sammy had his food up on the enclosed balcony.  He is the only one of the three who will happily climb the balcony steps.

I fixed a chain to the bottom of the balcony steps and attached Megan's collar to this and she had her food there.  This enabled me to feed Blondie away from the two of them, so she could eat without interference.  It worked well.  I took up the bowls, let Sammy out of the balcony and unchained Megan.  The three of them then followed me to the gate to their area and they entered, with no problems.

However, an hour or so later I noticed that Blondie was gone.  She is continuing to find escape routes.

So it's back to the drawing board again.

Monday, 25 March 2013

I hope I'm not boring you...

...with all these posts about my dogs.  Please feel free to ignore them.  I won't be offended and I would hate for anyone to think "oh no, not another post about the dogs" as their eyes glaze over!

I do seem pretty much preoccupied with them at the moment.  It's hard work getting them settled and hoping that they will still be here on Friday so that they can have their ops and be safe.

Late last night I could hear Sammy and Megan barking down the road. Somehow they had managed to find a way out of the garden (these dogs would put Houdini to shame!).

They were playing with Blondie. When they saw me they came rushing back and I opened the gate for them to come in. Not Blondie though. She stayed put. I took down some food for her, then returned to to the house.

After a short while she gradually came up and settled outside the gate. I opened the gate to encourage her in but she was having none of it.

This morning there was no sign of her again. But at least she had food last night so I was hopeful that she would  keep returning to be fed.

It seemed like all three would play happily together in the street, but not in the garden.

A bit later this morning Mr A was up in the dogs area behind the house, fixing the fence where they escaped last night and Blondie appeared.  Megan stood staring at her through the fence and crying.  Mr A let Megan and Sammy out and they all played together.  In fact Megan greeted Blondie like a long lost sister and they were licking each other.

Mr A called them back into the garden. Megan and Sammy ran in confidently, and Blondie sat at the gate.  Gradually she plucked up the courage to come in.  There was a little territorial scuffle started by Megan, but nothing too bad.

Food is a big issue with Megan.  She appears to think that ALL food is hers, even Sammy is now wary of her, and will often back down and let her eat his food.   We are trying different ways of feeding them...seperately.   We think that we will bring Megan into the main garden to feed, leaving the other two in peace to enjoy their meals.  Maybe I'm thinking too deeply, but I wonder if Megan is like this because she has had puppies.  She would have had to fight hard for food to try to keep her babies alive.   Perhaps it's difficult for her to break the habit.

We also realise that Megan gets jealous if we make a fuss of the other two, so we are backing off.  We are going to avoid too much human physical contact, and leave them in their area to get to know each other better.  In spite of Megan's challenging behaviour, I absolutely love her.  I think in some ways life has been harder for her than it has for the others

I've never attempted to rescue three dogs at one time, so this is all trial and error for me.  But I refuse to give up on any of them. 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Two's company, three's a crowd.

..and it seems that it applies to these three dogs.

Mr A took them for a run up the hill yesterday, and after an hour or so, Sammy and Megan came running back into the garden. Blondie, however, was very reluctant and sat outside the gate. After much coaxing I managed to get her to come in, but she was clearly not happy.

Megan and Sammy have become very territorial and they are bullying her constantly. It rained last night, and the two of them went into their shelter, but Blondie stayed outside. I was up and down all night trying to reassure her but nothing was working.

The neutering ops were postponed yesterday.  We had storms on Thursday night and torrential rain. The lanes were just deep mud so it was impossible for Mehmet to get his van up here to collect the dogs.  He is going to do the ops next Friday, including Blondie if possible.

This morning I fed all three, and even when they had finished and the bowls removed, Megan still attacked Blondie.

I was busy in the house for about half an hour, then when I went outside there was no sign of Blondie anywhere. Mr A and I thoroughly examined the entire perimeter fencing and we cannot see how she managed to escape. But I guess if she was desperate to get out she would find a way.

Clearly, she doesn't want to be here. I can't force her, even though I'd be happier if they would just all get along. She's been gone all day.  No sign of her anywhere.    I think I have to just accept that she doesn't want to be here.  Sadly, some street dogs just want to stay on the streets.

She has had her vaccinations. I will continue to feed her if/when she turns up...outside the gate if she refuses to come in, and if it is possible to catch her to get her spayed, I will do my utmost to achieve this.

In the meantime, both Megan and Sammy have calmed down and are relaxing in the sunshine  No fighting...just happy to be here.

I'm so sad about Blondie but what else can I do?   I suppose sometimes you just have to accept that some things are just not meant to be.

Oh I do miss them!

Four weeks to go, and I will be heading off to England for 10 days for Billy's 4th and Jim's 2nd birthdays.  I am so looking forward to seeing them.

Perfect angels when they're asleep!

Billy loves icecream

Can't believe how fast Jimi is growing!

My gorgeous daughter and Jimi

Billy concentrating as usual.

Friday, 22 March 2013

22nd March 2009

Exactly 4 years ago today, after encouragement from two friends,  I started my blog.  This was my first post:

"TWO FOLLOWERS ALREADY!!!!

Two followers of my blog and I haven't written anything yet.

I now feel somewhat under pressure to make a start. I set up the page a few days ago and thought I could just sneak in quietly when no-one was looking and do a kind of test run just for me.

But there you are...my two followers...waiting patiently for me to produce something.

This first post is a test run though, because I need to work out how to use this blog. I am a pc numpty (as one of you already knows) so it may take me a little while to work out the techy side of things.

In the meantime, I am having a good think about the things in my life that I would like to share, so please be patient till I return."
 
.........................................................
 
Such a lot has happened in four years.  Just as well, as it gives me stuff to write about.

I was living in Selcuk when I started blogging, and about to embark on a trip to England to await the arrival of my first grandson Billy in April 2009.   The trip lasted 6 weeks, and during that time, Mr A packed up all our belongings and moved them to our new home.  This house that I had never seen in a village I didn't know.  

I arrived to find workmen completing the cesspit, enabling me to use an inside toilet and shower, rather than the brick built loo out in the garden!  Our furniture was crammed into two small rooms, and we had an outside terrace which led into the two rooms, small toilet, and kitchen.  The terrace has since been converted into our sitting room, and Mr A built a balcony at the front.  In fact Mr A has transformed the wilderness that surrounded us into a very pleasant garden, as well as rebuilding the dry stone wall.......and of course he has made LOTS of shelves!!

I was apprehensive about this move.  I had no idea what to expect.  But one look at the magnificent scenery and I knew it would be just fine.

This past four years has seen the arrival of my second grandson Jimi, 2 years after Billy, and the death of my beloved dog Beki at 10 years old.  Happy and sad times.

 The biggest surprise is the number of followers I've gathered along the way, and the friendships I've made through blogging.  Some I have been fortunate to meet in person, whilst others have become loyal friends and tremendous support, through the power of the internet.

Blogging is just great isn't it?

Thursday, 21 March 2013

And then there were three....

....almost.  Dogs that is.  Well four if you count Poppy.

We are rescuing the dog (another bitch) who has been turning up at the gate occasionally since Megan and Sammy moved in.  I have mentioned her in previous posts.  Her name is Blondie.  She is gorgeous, but very thin.   She is also extremely timid and it has been taking a while to gain her confidence.  At first it was impossible to get anywhere near her to give her food, because she would run away with her tail between her legs, so I just had to tip food over the gate and keep my distance.

Gradually, we made physical contact, and yesterday we finally coaxed her into the garden.

Megan and Sammy have played with her outside the garden, but of course they have become territorial now and there were a few fights yesterday in the garden.  Blondie was upset, and managed to find a way to get out.  She was gone for hours.

Megan and Sammy are still in our main garden, sleeping at night in the sheltered front of the old house, while Mr A is working frantically to totally secure the back of the garden behind the house, where the shelter he built is situated.  The aim is to move them there when it's finished, and after they recover from their ops on Friday.

Last night Blondie was barking up the road and I went out to investigate with a torch and some biscuits.   I spent an hour or so trying to coax her into the back area and the shelter.  There is a gap there at the moment where Mr A is going to put a gate, and he has built some steps up to it from the road for ease of access.  When Mr A returned from the teahouse, he attempted to gain her confidence, whilst I was inside the house, leaning out of the spare bedroom window, which is next to the shelter, armed with biscuits.   Eventually, she came in, and settled down for the night.  We have gale force winds at the moment, so I was happy that all three were safe and warm, albeit in separate areas.

Sammy and Megan will have their ops tomorrow.   We collected vaccinations for Blondie from Mehmet yesterday, and we will administer these today.  She will have her op next week.  Mehmet is providing all treatment for Blondie free of charge, because he is delighted that we have rescued her.

We will leave Blondie to settle in "her" area, and when the other two have recovered from their ops, they will be moved there too, by which time she should feel more confident about her space, and hopefully they will all get along.

We were awoken at around 5am this morning because Blondie was barking furiously.   When Mr A went outside to investigate, he saw her chasing away a fox which was trying to get to Dursune's chickens.  She then returned to her shelter.   Dursune will be delighted.  Although bemused by all this at first, she has seen how well we look after the dogs and there is no need to be afraid of them. She is happy that their presence also makes her feel secure.   She has said she will gladly feed them if we are away.

Please, my dear blogging friends, stop me if I even so much as mention taking in any more dogs.  I think four is quite enough!

Blondie

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

When you're feeling a bit stupid....

....just read these.  They will make you feel like a genius!

EE2F0653-42D0-49EF-B509-02F4F8CE9D3C(On September 17, 1994, Alabama's Heather Whitestone was selected as Miss America 1995.)
Question: If you could live forever, would you and why?
Answer: "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever,"
--Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss USA contest.
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712353C6-EED9-473C-ACD9-F9DD570264DD"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff."
--Mariah Carey
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8393E4D8-91EE-4269-958D-B5625C94E3E2"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life,"
-- Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for federal anti-smoking campaign
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CF926FC4-E220-4F59-8B48-03AFCE44100C"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body,"
--Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward.
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558CBB21-F52D-4998-810E-5E200684ED6F"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC . ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
4C3E2583-EE7F-472C-976F-36E5CEE8952A"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it," --A congressional candidate in Texas .
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410BD30A-6C60-4B6A-A46D-EECD6079F489"Half this game is ninety percent mental." -- Philadelphia Phillies manager, Danny Ozark
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4B4101F3-4687-4E0E-9358-C490D94A8856"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.." --Al Gore, Vice President
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3534F8A2-8DFD-4407-AD60-14F44435D963"I love California . I practically grew up in Phoenix " -- Dan Quayle
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171C3807-997D-4A9F-A99D-6379A62FA4D6"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?" -- Lee Iacocca
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ED07BA5E-7385-4489-97B4-D5410796D673"The word "genius" isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."
--Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback & sports analyst.
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A6A4892C-4F00-4071-B82B-1B3673ADEE09"We don't necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude certain types of people."
-- Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC Instructor.
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AFDF12E2-CE08-47A1-B7D5-79ECE7058616575A316D-AEAD-4006-96D0-8472A565C8E7
"Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances."
--Department of Social Services, Greenville , South Carolina
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"Traditionally, most of Australia 's imports come from overseas."
--Keppel Enderbery
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E96C0F6E-4DF9-4ACD-B639-9A51820A487B"If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack in at night as they go to bed and it will monitor their heart throughout the night. And the next morning, when they wake up dead, there'll be a record." --Mark S. Fowler

Sunday, 17 March 2013

A great new blog

Thanks to Annie at BacktoBodrum, who shared the link on her Facebook page, I have also discovered a new blogger.

Westy lives in Antalya, and writes about his experiences of Turkey in his blog MANTALYA

He started blogging in February, so it's easy to go back to the beginning and read up to date.

It's a great blog, and one I'm sure my followers would enjoy.

Bones

Dogs love bones.   Anyone who has a dog will probably already know that you shouldn't give dogs cooked bones as they tend to splinter.  They can get stuck in the throat or cause damage to internal organs.   All raw bones are fine, including chicken bones, which are actually very soft in their raw state and are rich in calcium.  Bones are very good for dogs' teeth, providing they are not larger than the mouth of the dog, in which case they can damage the teeth.

We have a butcher in Milas who occasionally gives us big bags of bones which we dish out to the street dogs.  Megan and Sammy (and the other dog who visits occasionally) are enjoying these treats.

Small dogs can't really cope with bones, in my experience, so Poppy doesn't have them.  She has a supply of chewsticks instead.  She has tried the odd small bone in the past but will throw up a couple of hours later...usually on the shagpile carpet...urghh!

When I first started feeding Megan and Sammy it was a bit of a struggle.   I tried to feed them apart, but before I could put the food down, Sammy would knock the bowl out of my hand and Megan would jump straight in to eat it...I would then give Sammy Megan's bowl, but Megan would start to fight with him for it.  Poor dogs were so used to having to scavenge and fight for food because they never knew when they would eat again.

They are getting better now.  They know they will be fed so there's less fighting.

Today I gave them a couple of bones each and they went to opposite ends of the garden to chew on them.  While this is going on I keep Poppy on the balcony with the gate closed.  I don't want to take any risks.  Although they get on very well with Poppy, there could be a problem with their possessiveness over food.

Sometime later, when Mr A and I were drinking coffee on the balcony and Poppy was out in the garden with the others,  she suddenly trotted up the balcony steps with a large bone in her mouth, looking very pleased with herself.  Clearly she had helped herself to one of the bones, and neither Sammy nor Megan had stopped her.  We hadn't noticed any of this.   I wish I had had my camera ready.  There she was proudly holding her bone, with the other two dogs sitting below the balcony calmly watching her.  It was so funny.

She is very much in charge of these two big dogs.  When she barks, they bark.  When she rushes to the gate...so do they.

I didn't have the heart to take the bone away from her so allowed her to chew on it for half an hour, then removed it when she wasn't looking.  Sure enough an hour or so later, she threw up all over the carpet.   No more bones for Poppy I'm afraid.

Friday, 15 March 2013

The ops are booked

I am growing very fond of Megan and Sammy.  They really are becoming part of the family.  I didn't want them to feel confined, so we have let them wander off as much as they want to, because they always come back to be fed.

However, they love the shelter under the olive tree, and spend most of their time there.  In fact they have stopped wandering around the village altogether now.  Over the past couple of days we have introduced them to the garden.  They run around, then stretch out in the driveway.  They sleep a lot, probably because they are happy, well fed and safe at last.

They love Poppy and she loves them.  They are very gentle with her, which is lovely to see.

Mr A has now enclosed the back of the garden completely with chicken wire, and this is where they go at night to sleep under their shelter, and there is also lots of space for them to wander about.

The winter months have taken their toll.  They both appear to have a touch of arthritis on getting up from sleep.  I still have some Rimadyl anti-inflammatory tablets which are in date, which I had for Beki, so I gave them one each today, which seems to help.

After much consideration, I decided against using the Belediye vet to have them neutered.  I don't have much faith in Belediye vets in general, and I don't want to take the risk, just because it will be done free of charge.   We had a word with Mehmet today, and although he is very busy, he has agreed to do their ops next Friday.  Because he has so little time, Mr A will collect Mehmet's van and transport the dogs to the surgery, wait until they are recovering, then bring them back home.  He also has some more vaccinations for them, which we will collect tomorrow.  He has offered to do the ops for both dogs for 160 lira (about £60) in total, including all injections and antibiotics, and the use of his van, providing we don't tell anyone else how little he is charging.  (So please keep quiet about it!).

He also said that he would do the op for the other street dog who occasionally appears at our gate, free of charge, if we can bring her over at the same time, or later.  He will also supply vaccinations for this dog FOC.

I want to take this opportunity of thanking John in Bodrum, who offered the op for Megan FOC, and also Annie at BacktoBodrum for her kind offer of transport.  I am so grateful to them, but I'm sure you will understand that we have chosen the most convenient option, with the least amount of inconvenience to others.

I am overwhelmed by Mehmet's kindness.  He knows Mr A is out of work at the moment, and even said don't worry about paying immediately, that he was happy to wait.  This is a man who truly cares about animals, something rare in this country.

And here are my lovely dogs:
Sammy and Megan relaxing in the garden

Poppy showing off her new haircut

Megan keeping guard, and Sammy posing for the camera

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Kindness

Megan and Sammy were stretched out sleeping under the shelter yesterday.  Dursune asked Mr A if they were now chained up.  "Of course not, we never chain up dogs" replied Mr A.  She couldn't understand why they would stay there without a chain.  I don't know how many times I have had to explain to Turks that there is absolutely no need to chain up their dogs.  As long as you treat them well and feed them regularly, they will happily protect you and your property.  They just don't get it.

Mehmet the vet came to see us last night.  He brought another 13kg of dog food for us which we had ordered, and also collected the kennel we bought last year for Poppy, which she hadn't used.  While he was here he gave Poppy a much needed haircut.  He charged the same as he had last year, with no extra cost for his petrol or time.

He and Mr A discussed the arrangements for Sammy and Megan's neutering with the Belediye vet.  Mr A explained that he was in the process of sorting out an appointment, and also trying to find transport to take them there.  Mehmet has a van in which he transports dogs, and he told Mr A that he was quite happy for him (Mr A) to borrow it from him on a day when he wasn't using it, to take the dogs to the Belediye vet.  He also said that he would give us antibiotics to use after the ops as he was pretty sure the Belediye vet wouldn't supply them.

Another dog turned up at the gate a couple of days ago.  She's not very old.  She doesn't stay around long enough to be fed, but she happened to put in an appearance when Mehmet was here.  He said that if Mr A was able to pick her up at the same time as Megan and Sammy, that he (Mehmet) would spay her free of charge.  He knew that we were pushing our luck to get the Belediye to agree to neuter two dogs, so a third would be out of the question.   I'm not sure we will adopt this other dog, but at least it will be one more prevented from reproducing.  Mehmet is one of the kindest people I know.  I am hoping to repay his kindness by getting a couple of things in England that he can't get here.

My toe is healing quite nicely.  The swelling has gone down, and I'm pretty sure now that it isn't actually broken.   I can manage to put on a shoe but not actually walk in it, but I feel it's heading in the right direction.  Thankyou everyone for your kind wishes.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

I'm a walking disaster

...except I can't actually walk very well at the moment.  On Sunday I was walking down the balcony steps.  My foot slipped on the bottom step and as I grabbed the handrail to stop myself falling, my middle toe folded up underneath itself and I heard a crack.

I think it's probably broken.  It's red, black and blue and this has spread over the top of my foot too.  I'm aware that you can't really mend broken toes, unless there are complications, like a bone being exposed through broken skin, or if it's completely crooked.  Mine is still in it's correct position, but very swollen.  For the past two days I couldn't put slippers on and have had to sleep with my foot hanging out of the bed.   I've taken the right action, icepacks and ibubrofen, and gradually the swelling is going down.

It's sod's law that something happens like this when I have plans.  I was hoping to go walking with Annie, Jake and Poppy at the end of this week.  I even bought new walking boots on Friday, as my old ones fell apart in the rain in England in December.  It's looking a bit doubtful but I'm trying to remain optimistic.

We also had a visit from Gwen and Suleyman yesterday.  They were heading over to Bodrum from their home in Aydin and would have collected me on the way...but I can hardly go out in bare feet.  They arrived back at our's mid afternoon and we spent a pleasant evening, eating, and generally catching up.

They stayed the night and were going back to Bodrum today.  Again I could have gone with them.  I tried to put on shoes, but it was impossible.

I get very cross when I fall over or injure myself.   It's just clumsiness and my own fault because I just don't take enough care.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Home

The two mutts have made themselves at home.   As with all these wonderfully resilient dogs, as soon as you take them off the streets and feed them, they become your protectors.  They guard the property and make me feel very safe, particularly at night.

Our neighbour, Mehmet, who is adored by Poppy and also by Beki when she was alive, met Megan and Sammy for the first time yesterday.  He's a very kind man.  He was a little wary at first because they barked at him to prevent him coming near our gate.  I gave him some biscuits to feed them, and they calmed down and made friends with him.  He is happy that they are living outside our house, because he also feels protected, as his house is just a little way up the hill from ours.

They are very clever dogs.  They don't bark at everyone.  For example, three days ago an old lady who passes our gate every day, was just coming down the hill.  Megan and Sammy were stretched out in front of the gate, doing nothing.   Before she reached them, and before I could stop her, she had picked up a large rock and threw it at Sammy, hitting him on his back and making him scream.

Mr A and I were furious.  We were on the balcony so saw what happened...too fast for us to stop her.  I'm afraid I really lost my temper and shouted at her.  In fact I was sorely tempted to pick up a stone and throw it at her (and I believe I would if I ever saw her do it again).  Mr A had very strong words with her and she climbed over Dursune's wall and took a short cut through her yard.   She hasn't been back this way since.  

Sadly, this is the treatment street dogs get regularly from people in this country.  I'll never get used to it as long as I live.  It makes me want to weep.

The dogs are not using the brick kennel.  We think it's just in the wrong place.  Right at the back, with the opening facing up the hill.  They like to see what's going on.  We discovered that they are actually sleeping under the olive tree at the side of the house, just outside the gate.  This affords them some shelter but we've had some rain in the past few days, so Mr A erected what I can only describe as a mini "car port", under the olive tree and fixed to the side of the house.  They seem perfectly happy there, and can see anyone who approaches.
Shelter...much larger than it appears in the angle of this photo

Mr A received a request from the Kusadasi carpet people to go over there again this weekend as they had several groups of customers booked.   After his last disastrous trip, and the motorbike accident, I wasn't happy about him going.  However, once he's made up his mind, there's little I can do about it but worry.

He set off early yesterday morning.  He had groups yesterday and again today. I can only hope that he does at least earn something, which will go a little way towards covering the costs of the last trip.

He will be heading home this evening.



Friday, 8 March 2013

As Victor Meldrew would say....

....I don't believe it!

I have been suffering with internet and phone problems since January.  Internet connection cutting in and out constantly, and phone line dead for days/weeks on end.

I have phoned TTNet and Turk Telekom every day, sometimes two or three times a day.  They listen.  I repeat the problem.  They say they will put in a report to the engineers, who will contact us.  We wait.  No-one contacts us.  I phone again...and so on.

I reached the end of my very short tether yesterday.  Mr A went into the Turk Telekom and TTNet offices in the morning.  I couldn't trust myself to go with him.  I am so angry I would have caused a scene and embarrassed myself.

They gave Mr A a new modem.  We only bought a new one from them two months ago.  I was pretty sure it wasn't a modem problem, but hey lets just humour them.

New modem installed.  Internet problem continued.  Phone line still dead.

I phoned TTNet in Istanbul yet again and really let rip.  I ranted and shouted like I've never done before.  I have demanded at least a reduction in my bills, if not compensation for the inconvenience.  I insisted that someone investigate the engineers in the Milas office and establish what it is they actually do...because they certainly don't seem to be fixing anything.


I threatened to complain to the chairman of the company and if necessary take it to the national newspapers.  I was informed by the poor girl on the other end of the phone that everything I had said was duly noted and would be acted upon.

Late yesterday afternoon we received a call from TTNet in Milas.  The Manager of TTNet along with a supervisor from Turk Telekom would be coming out to the house within the hour.

They arrived.   To avoid more rants from me, I let Mr A deal with them.   Within 15 minutes they established that the wires outside the house were damp.  They sorted them out and the phone is working and internet connection is restored. 

Apparently, these wires should not be outside the house, but inside.  Who put them there?  TTNet and Turk Telekom.  When are they coming to put them inside the house?  They don't know...sometime soon, they said.  They also said that if it rains in the meantime, it might be best if Mr A puts them inside.   My parting shot?  "What the bloody hell are we paying you for?"   Probably as well they didn't speak English!

Huh...damp wires...why on earth couldn't this simple 10 minute job have been done almost two months ago.   I don't believe it!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Megan and Sammy Update

If there's something I've learned about street dogs here over the years, it's that if you want to adopt one and make it a house pet, then you need to do it when they are very young.  If they have been out on the streets for any length of time, they are very unhappy being confined.

I've had personal experience of this with several dogs we adopted in the past, and which we eventually managed to rehome with farmers who had other dogs, which were allowed to run around.

When we adopted Beki, she was just 2 weeks old.  It was easy to domesticate her.  Poppy was already 3 years old when we took her in, and I think now she is a happy house dog.  Although for some time if ever she managed to escape from the confines of the garden, she would  just run and run! It's taken two years to stop her doing this, but I always have a fear of her getting out. Thankfully with all the chickenwire around the garden now, it's impossible for her to get out.

We have administered worm tablets and frontline to Megan and Sammy.  Today we will give them their vaccinations.   After the kind offer from the vet in Bodrum, Annie at BacktoBodrum kindly offered to transport Megan to have her spayed.  This would mean two round trips for her, and I so appreciate how kind she is.  However, we also wondered if there might be another solution.  We would also be keen to have Sammy neutered too....anything to prevent even more unwanted puppies.

Our vet Mehmet in Milas cannot afford to do the ops free of charge, and he simply has so little time available.  He has been more than generous in so many other ways that I wouldn't want to abuse his generosity.  He did however mention that he had to go to Bodrum in 3 weeks time and that he would take Megan for her op and bring her home.  He is a lovely man.

He also gave us the name of the Milas Belediye (council) vet.  Our village does not come within the control of the Belediye so the vet is not obliged to help us.  Mr A went to see him and used his powers of persuasion and he has agreed to neuter both dogs, providing he gets permission from the Belediye Baskan (head of the council).  So hopefully all this will happen quite soon and I'll keep you updated.

In the meantime, Mr A has made a temporary dog kennel at the back of the house.  It was an outside toilet.  It's been partly demolished, and a cement floor laid inside, and some corrugated tin fixed as a roof.  It's not perfect, but it will do until we can afford materials to build something more permanent.

Early this morning as we sat drinking coffee on the balcony, we thought we could see both dogs in the field in the distance.  Looking through the binoculars we could see Megan and Sammy running around the field, happily playing.  It made me realise that they need the freedom that they are used to. We can't shut them in.  They can come and go.  They can get into the back of the garden and stay as long as they want to.  They will be fed twice a day. They have been protected against diseases and parasites, and soon they will be neutered.   It's the best we can do to keep them safe.

And here are some photos:


Trying to encourage Megan inside

Megan and Sammy...both curious

Maybe they think it's my kennel?

Making friends with Poppy


Poppy trying to encourage them into the kennel



Poppy loves her new friends




Mr A and I...sitting inside the kennel, attempting to show the dogs how comfy it is!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Making progress

Having started out this morning feeling despondent, the day has progressed pretty well, in more ways than one.

We now have a couple of possibilities concerning the spaying of Megan.  Arrangements are yet to be finalised, but it should happen within the next few weeks.   I'll let you know more when the time comes.

Mr A went to see Mehmet the vet in Milas today.  We wanted to check to see if he had dog food (complete dried food) at a more competitive price than that of the pet shop where we bought biscuits last week at 5 lira a kilo.   He was happy to give us an excellent price on a 13kg sack for 35 lira...cost price so no profit for him.   He also gave us spot-on flea treatment for Megan and Sammy, along with vaccinations which we will administer, and worming tablets.   All this at far less than cost price.

Last year we bought a sturdy plastic kennel from Mehmet for Poppy to use on the balcony when we are out for longer than a few hours, but she has never used it.  We paid 70 lira for it, and Mehmet agreed to take it back for the same price.  He will even collect it from us when he is next passing.  We thought it would be a good idea to get a carry bag for Poppy.  They are a bit like a large padded handbag but with a zip along the top and a hole at the side for her head, together with a clasp to clip on to her collar.   The idea is that we can get away with taking her on the bus in one of these...or possibly on the motorbike, between Mr A and I (if we and Poppy are brave enough!)  All the carry bags I have seen so far have been too expensive, but again Mehmet produced one for us at cost price.

So after all this negotiation, we have ended up with all the stuff we need at the moment for Poppy, Megan and Sammy, without having to pay out too much money.

Progress on the internet front.  Well I'll continue to touch wood for now.  I don't want to tempt fate, but it seems to be OK today.  However the phone line is still dead...but you can't have it all can you?

Gazebo taking shape
And much more progress in the garden.   A few days ago Mr A collected bamboo canes from just outside the village and a friend brought them to the house in his truck.  Mehmet our neighbour helped Mr A trim them and they are now fixed to the top of the gazebo.

orange tree and tomato plants
Orange tree
The top end of the garden, where the cats live (there are now 4 by the way) has been completely dug over and Mehmet gave us some tomato plants today which are now in a row.   Mr A also built a beautiful wall around an almond tree at the top of the garden, and I planted an orange tree, kindly given to us by a friend of Mr A's.

Mr A's wall around an almond tree
 
Such a beautiful wall..I had to post another photo!


Tomorrow, Mr A is going to make a start on clearing the area at the back of our house.  The partly demolished outside toilet will be converted into a brick built kennel for Megan and Sammy.  He will also be informing the shepherdess that we are adopting Sammy because she has neglected him.  If she objects, then I will have plenty to say about it.  If we hadn't flea-treated and wormed him, and fed him last year...and also made them untie the short chain on which he was tethered...I doubt he would have survived.  So now he is our responsibility, whether she likes it or not.

Dogs, Cats, Phone and Internet

Today is Day 10 of constant problems with my internet connection.  (Last month the same problem lasted 9 days).

Today is Day 4 without a phone line (last month it was dead for 6 days).

The internet just cuts out every few minutes.  Occasionally I have connection for a few hours, but the problem persists.

I have phoned TTNet every day, sometimes several times a day.  I have been civil, even pleasant, and resorted to shouting a couple of times. Nothing seems to work.  All they do is tell me they will put a report into the engineers.  And then...nothing.  It's very frustrating.

The cats continue to use their house in the garden. We've had some rain over the past couple of days so they are pleased to have somewhere to sleep as well as food.


Megan
When I posted on Thursday about the two dogs that I am feeding, Megan and Sammy, I felt that we would have support from our neighbours.  They said they would save their scraps for me to feed them.  Nothing has been forthcoming.  Mr A asked the shepherdess to share Sammy's food with Megan and we would do the sameand share Megan's with Sammy.   She agreed.  She lied.  Sammy is clearly starving so I doubt she is feeding him anything.  Mr A mentioned it to her yesterday.  She just replied that she will eat food herself before considering the dog.  Clearly she's happy to accept him being fed by me.

Sammy

 
I had a lovely comment from a vet in Bodrum on my last post:

"Hi Ayak.
Sounds like you are doing a great job. Would it be possible to bring Megan into PetHane vet in Bodrum to have her neutered so we can break the puppy cycle? There would be no charge to you except bringing her in and home again. Let me know if this works for you off line.
Thanks,
John."
 
I don't know him and have never used PetHane, so I was delighted at his generous offer.   However, there is no way we can get Megan into Bodrum.  We only have a motorbike.  She won't be allowed on the bus, and Mr A has asked around the village to see if someone with a car would be willing to take her.  No-one is interested.   Even if they agreed they would want paying for it, but no-one will allow a street dog into their car.  We just cannot afford to pay for transport at the moment.
 
Sammy and Megan failed to appear at the gate at all on Friday, and didn't arrive until late Saturday evening.  They were starving.  I fed them almost three times the amount I usually give and they demolished it within minutes.  I wonder if their absence, or Megan's specifically, means that she does still have the pups hidden away somewhere and is feeding them.  If this is the case, I wouldn't want to take her away for neutering just yet, in case the pups still need her.  So it does give me a little time hopefully to come up with a solution.
 
We have one idea.  We may make a safe area for the dogs behind our house.  We have an old brick built outside toilet, which is half demolished.  It could be converted into a kennel.   Megan and Sammy could come and go and consider it their home. (I know Sammy belongs to the shepherdess, but if she can't look after him, we will)    I will then address the issue of neutering when it's possible to organise it.
 
I feel quite sad and disillusioned today.  Sometimes I feel optimistic about the villagers and think we have made a breakthrough with their attitude towards animals.  But it seems they just don't care.

..............................

(Note for John at Pethane, in case you read this post.  I have emailed you at info@pethane.com.tr. If this is not the correct address, please let me know and I will forward my email again)
 
 

Sunday, 3 March 2013

The Power of Social Media -Boycott Amazon for Misogyny

I am sharing this link to a post from another blogger.  It is self-explanatory.

Please read and maybe you will also feel the need to share it too


http://sisterphonetica.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/the-power-of-social-media-boycott-amazon-for-misogyny/