Sunday, 30 November 2014

UPDATE on the new members of the family

It's only been two whole days since our new guys Timmy and Fistik arrived, and it's been quite hard work!  

Friday really consisted of my keeping them apart from the 3 big pups as they were all wary of each other, and cleaning up wees and poos.  Fistik is already house trained, but was a little nervous about going outside to the toilet so we had a few accidents in the house.  Timmy is yet to be house trained and as his former fosterer, Rachel, will confirm he assumes it's OK to do wees and poos wherever he likes!

Mr A set off to work but rain stopped play so he returned a couple of hours later.  We took Timmy and Fistik to see our vet, Mehmet.  As Sonia thought, Fistik is about 4 years old, and we established that Timmy is 3 months old.  They were both vaccinated and issued with their pet passports.  I have also given them both flea treatments and Timmy is being wormed.

We bought some more metal posts and chainlink fencing and Mr A started work on separating another area of the garden.  He worked until it was too dark to see and it's not finished yet.

Timmy settles well at night in his bed, and Monty, Tommy and Fistik sleep on the bed, with Fistik jumping down at some point during the night to settle in her own bed.

Yesterday we were up as usual just after 5 am.  We put the loaned travel crate with some cushions down in the enclosed front garden under the gazebo (this part of the garden is intended to be a dog free zone...some hope!)  and put Fistik and Tommy in there.  Monty insisted on joining them and after a while Tommy came back into the house.  Monty and Fistik stayed there all day and had so much fun digging huge holes in the garden.  To be honest, this was really Monty teaching Fistik how to dig.  He did this with the 3 big pups.  Isn't he clever!!!

I put my clothes airer across the balcony steps as a temporary gate to keep Timmy safe and then proceeded to clean the house a bit...it was such a mess.  My friends David and Abdu came over and brought a cage for Timmy.  They were totally enamoured with Timmy and if I hadn't had my wits about me I think they might have popped him in a pocket and taken him home.

After they had gone I set up the cage on the balcony and made it comfortable.  Timmy wandered in and out all day.   I thought that as he is so small (smaller than a cat) I would try using a cat litter tray for toilet training.  It didn't really work, so more pees and poos elsewhere.

Feeding times take a little longer with two additions.  Dave, Chas and Melek are put on chains for feeding.  I also do this if they have chewsticks now as Dave and Melek tend to fight over them, and we have had a couple of nips on ears.   Monty and Fistik were fed under the gazebo, Tommy in the kitchen, Timmy on the balcony, then I took food out to Megan, Sammy, Blondie and Freddy in their area at the back as usual.  Both Timmy and Fistik are eating well, although Timmy nibbles on his small dog biscuits throughout the day.  None of the others attempt to eat his food.

I brought Fistik and Monty inside one at a time, first having to wash their extremely muddy feet on the balcony.

Last night they all settled well again.  We were up this morning just after 5am.  No wees or poos at all on the bedroom floor.   Mr A took Monty, Tommy and Fistik down to the front garden to go to the toilet.  I carried Timmy down there inside my dressing gown, put him on the ground and he immediately had a wee.  Good boy!   I brought him back inside and we had coffee.  He started to fidget a bit so I took him back down to the garden and he immediately had a poo.  Of course I don't expect this to be the end of house training, but it's certainly a good start.

It's now 6.45am and we have all come back to bed.  Mr A isn't working today so intends to finish the fencing.   So far so good!  Here are a few photos for those who haven't seen them on Facebook.

Timmy in his new hoody

Fistik is Daddy's girl and just loves a tummy rub

Time for bed for Monty (top), Tommy and Fistik

Fistik and Tommy...it must be love! (with Monty looking on)

Bedtime for Timmy






Friday, 28 November 2014

Two Fistiks for the price of one! And now there are 11!

As arranged we set off to Gokova last night to collect the tiny dog Fistik, mentioned in my last post.

Chris and Pat, volunteers with the Marmaris Animal Rescue group, drove up from Marmaris with Fistik to meet us and also Sonia from Gokova Animal Rescue group.  We all went back to Sonia's house and the dogs played happily together, even with all of Sonia's rescue cats around (although Tommy couldn't resist barking at them).

Those of you on Facebook may recall my sharing a post of Sonia's about a dog she has been fostering, and bringing back to good health...a little girl...also called Fistik.  Here is the Facebook post:


 
 I hate doing this but I have had to chain Fistik. I can't keep her safe here, my balcony is not enclosed and I don't have a secure garden. I can't keep her shut in the house either, because the door and window is always open for the cats and she gets out of the window!. She is far too small and it is to dangerous for her to be wandering the streets alone for over 3 hours. Fistik needs more time and attention than I can give her, she so desperately needs a home where she will be someone's companion dog. She is only small, cute and such a happy little doggie. Please share and lets see if together we can find her a forever home.

We all fell in love with Fistik and we decided that we would adopt her too.  Little Fistik's name has now been changed to avoid confusion to Tiny Tim...or Timmy as we have started calling him.

After a pleasant evening at Sonia's we set off for the journey back home.

Mr A and I. From left to right Tommy, Monty and Fistik. (I'm holding Timmy.  Isn't he tiny?)
Timmy slept on my lap in the front of the car, whilst the other three slept on the back seat, curled up in a travel crate that Sonia has loaned me in case I need to use it for Timmy if we go out.   (I must try to get a proper dog cage for Timmy, but the crate will do in the meantime).

The journey took a bit longer than expected as there was a traffic police stop on the way.  We were stuck there for half an hour and it turned out that one of Mr A's papers was two days out of date...so a 60 lira fine.  Just what we needed!

We arrived home at about 11.30pm and I waited in the car with the 4 little ones whilst Mr A put Chas, Dave and Melek on their feeding chains, to enable us to bring the newbies inside on leads to go to toilet in the garden...which they didn't because all the dogs were barking, including my 4 big ones and this was pretty intimidating.

We will introduce them all within the next couple of days when they have all calmed down.

We then brought them into the house, along with the crate, two dog beds, and various other useful items that Sonia gave me.

Two wees and one poo on the carpet...not sure who did them...but cleaned up and off to bed.   Tommy and Monty adore Fistik...it's like they've always been together.  All three slept on the bed and at some point during the night Fistik jumped down and settled in her own bed in the corner.  Timmy settled straight away into his bed.  I woke up a 5.30am as he was throwing up...I suspect due to him tucking into the cat biscuits at Sonia's house!    There was a wee and poo on the floor, actually right by the door so that's a good sign.   Also Fistik has done a wee and poo in the kitchen this morning.  She is house trained but naturally she is wary of going out into the garden so soon, so it's no problem.

I have put the travel crate on the balcony and left the balcony door open so that they can wander in and out today, but otherwise I will keep them inside.   Mr A has gone to work, and I have come back to bed with my laptop.  Tommy, Monty and Fistik are asleep on the bed next to me, and little Timmy is asleep in his bed on the floor.....peace!  I don't know how long it will last, but I'll make the most of it!

Tomorrow Mr A will start yet again on adapting our garden to suit all the dogs.  More fencing and metal posts to buy to create another separate area for Chas, Dave and Melek where their shelter and kennels are situated.  But this will also have a gate into the large area at the back so that they can join Sammy. Megan, Blondie and Freddie during the day to play, then back to their area at night to sleep.  This will leave the driveway and front of the house for Monty, Tommy, Fistik and Timmy.   When both Mr A and I are around, we will gradually get all the dogs together to allow them to socialise.  The most important thing is for them all to be happy and safe.

Can you remember all the times I've rescued a dog and I've said "that's it..no more"?   Mr A and I keep saying it to each other over and over again.  Who are we kidding?   We are completely mad but we and our furry family are happy so that's all that really matters isn't it?

And then there were 11.....


Thursday, 27 November 2014

Thursday Update and a new addition to our family!

Firstly Bob:

There isn't very much to report on Bob, other than he is hanging in there and seems to be doing OK.,  Slowly but surely.  There are no signs that the infection has spread as yet, so clearly Mehmet is keeping it under control.   We are avoiding popping into the clinic too much.  They are very busy there and we are always reluctant to interrupt their work.  We get phone updates from Mehmet, and if there was any cause for concern he would let us know.  Otherwise, we leave him to get on with the job that he does so well.

We are gradually naming the "regulars" who stand waiting for Mr A to feed them every evening.  The dog who was shot is called Pasha, the brown dog is called Kahve, and another female who I don't seem to have a photo for is called Cindy (this was decided upon by Mr A who has always had a bit of a crush on  Cindy Crawford!).  Cindy is a retriever type dog who has had several litters of pups.  She was amongst those gathered up by the Belediye some time ago and taken to the Milas shelter to be spayed.  She has the ear tag to signify this.

She was very thin when she was returned from the shelter and has been fed well by us since, and is now very healthy....and no more litters...I'm sure she's had enough of being pregnant!

There are around 9 or 10 other dogs roaming the village, but we don't always see them.  Occasionally they turn up, but they appear to be well so we assume they are finding food from somewhere.  We feed them anyway.

Two more new dogs appeared last night.  One seems to have a bad leg, but he disappeared as fast as he came, so Mr A couldn't get close enough to examine him.

The other new one is a Kangal, who, because of his size, caused the men in the teahouse to stand clear.  Mr A however has no fear, and here he is making friends with him. I'm thinking of calling him Aydin, as here he is outside the Aydin teahouse.

Isn't he a big boy?


We will of course feed him and any others that appear, and try to catch any who need vet treatment.

Mr A and I discussed the possibility of building some kind of shelter down in the village for the dogs, and to put blankets inside.  Somewhere for them to seek refuge from the rain and cold.   Sadly it's something we don't dare attempt to do, because Mr A tells me that the men in the village blame everything on the street dogs.  They say they kill and eat their chickens.  They probably did when they were starving, but we know that when dogs get regular food every day, they tend to stop doing this.  My rescues at home were the same.  Now they have no interest in the chickens.

If we were to provide a shelter, Mr A says the men would know where to find them and there would be a risk of them being shot.  We have a lot of derelict houses in the village and we are pretty sure the dogs move around from one to the other to find shelter and stay safe.

Finally, we are collecting another pup in desperate need tonight.  This little boy, Fistik, is about 10 weeks old.  He was originally in a shelter and taken by a volunteer for fostering as he had an infection.  This was cleared up with vet treatment. One of the other pups being fostered developed an infection and Fistik was removed from the fosterer to avoid cross infection,  This was the plea for help from Chris at the Marmaris Animal Welfare group on Tuesday:

URGENT PLEA FOR A FOSTER CARER FOR FISTIK - Fistik was being fostered by Rachel  along with Siyah, two pups from the Pound. Another foster home had been found for Fistik but this has unfortunately fallen through. We now have a dilemma, as Siyah is not well and to avoid cross infection Rachel can't take Fistik back. Please please is there anyone who can foster for a few weeks while a permanent home is found?
Fistik is tiny, he's going to be a very small dog. If a foster home can't be found TODAY then he will have to return to the Pound, where he will have to sleep in the rat infested portacabin as there's nowhere he can go which is safe as he's so small.
He's a lovely little pup, loves being carried around, almost a tea cup pup!
Please please can anyone help?
 Tiny Fistik


I offered to give him a permanent home, as it is well know that these tiny dogs do not do well in shelters, and often don't survive.  I had already made plans to go to Koycegiz this coming Sunday for the Christmas Fayre, and we were to collect Sonia from Gokova Animal Rescue on the way.   So pleas for a temporary foster until Sunday were put out on Facebook, and Chris managed to find someone in Marmaris to keep him until then.

This fosterer fell in love with Fistik and asked if she could keep him.  I was asked if I minded, which of course I didn't.  The aim was to find a home for this little guy, and that seemed to have been achieved...so we hoped this would be his happy ending.  The power of Facebook never ceases to amaze me.  Good teamwork by Marmaris Animal Welfare too.

I was contacted this morning and informed that the placement had not worked out, and would I still take him.  Of course I said I would, and Mr A felt that the sooner we collected him the better.  He needs to be house trained, and there has been so much disruption already in his short life.    

So this evening when Mr A finishes work, we are attempting to arrange for us to drive to Gokova.  We will meet up with Sonia (which I am looking forward to), and hopefully Chris will be able to drive from Marmaris to meet us with Fistik.
Plans are yet to be finalised, but hopefully Fistik will be with us tonight or as soon as possible.

We weren't looking for another dog.  I would have loved to have given a home to Bob once his treatment is finished, but having twice attempted to take in big dogs in recent months it has proved impossible.  My 7 big dogs just won't accept them.  Bob will be vulnerable after everything he has been through so I can't risk bringing him here where the others might attack him.

We will try our utmost to find a home for him, but if not will put him back in the village in his familiar surroundings and continue to care for him along with the others.

Fistik will be fine.  There is room on the bed for another little one with Monty and Tommy, and all the big dogs are tolerant of the little ones and accept them readily.

So ......... then there were 10!!!

 





Monday, 24 November 2014

UPDATE on Bob and other village dogs

For those of you who didn't see my status on Facebook on Saturday, I'm copying it here because it is self-explanatory:

A street dog called Bob. For those of you who read my last blog post, he was referred to as the dog with the broken leg. We have been trying desperately to catch him to get treatment but he has remained elusive for the past week.
This morning it was obvious even at a distance that his leg was badly infected, so drastic measures needed to be taken, and with the help of a borrowed tranquiliser gun Mr A was able to capture him and take him to our vet.
He will remain in the clinic for around 20 days. It will probably take about 10 days for the infection to clear before he can be operated on. Our vet Mehmet will try to save the leg, but we should be prepared for amputation if necessary. He is now in safe hands at last and I will update when I have more to report.
Then a little later:

Bob is with our vet in Milas now. The infection is quite bad and has been cleaned thoroughly and he is on antibiotics and serum. It would seem that he was shot and the bullet passed through the bone. It will be cleaned and redressed every 2 days and should take 10 days to clear up. Our vet Mehmet says that he is hopeful that he can operate and save the leg as the nerves aren't damaged.



I was unable to get to the clinic yesterday as Mr A was working and the buses are so infrequent on Sundays, that I missed one and then had no idea when another one would come along.  However, Mehmet wasn't at the clinic yesterday, just his staff, but we phoned to check and Bob is doing OK.  It's early days of course so we can't expect too much as yet, but we will be going down this evening to see him.

I have some veterinary wound powder which was given to me by Sonia at Gokova Animal Rescue, and another "friend" of the street animals in Turkey, Emma, brings supplies of this from the UK for several rescue groups.  She has kindly offered to supply more.  She has messaged Sonia, who I will see next Sunday, who will give me more, which Emma will replace.   Mehmet is using something very similar at the moment on Bob, but he will probably run out in 2 or 3 days, so we will give him our supplies tonight.   I will also give him some more when we collect on Sunday.  This will  help to bring down the total bill for Bob's treatment.  So thankyou to Emma (and Sonia), as this is considered to be a donation, for which we are very grateful.

When Bob has had his operation, he will also be neutered and vaccinated and given his pet passport.  I would dearly love to find a good home for him.  In this respect I will post photos on Facebook in the next 10 days or so, when he is well on the road to recovery.

The brown dog I referred to in my earlier post, is now eating well.  He is being given a course of immune booster, and he is on a course of treatment for his skin condition, which is already working as you can see in the photos.  I would also like to get this boy neutered and vaccinated at some point.
Before food and treatment(taken at night so photo a bit dark)

Improving every day


The dog who was shot, but whose wound had healed, is also eating well and looking much healthier.  Again, we would like to neuter and vaccinate this boy, and also to have Mehmet check him over and make sure that he is OK.

Before we started feeding

A healthier and more trusting dog now having a cuddle with Mr A.

We will of course face a bill at the end of all this, particularly for Bob's treatment,  so donations at this time would be very much appreciated.   No matter how small...every little helps.

Please help if you can.  You will find the Paypal button at the top of this page.

(And please forgive me for the constant appeals for money.  It really isn't in my nature to plead for help, but these dogs need it...Thankyou)



Friday, 21 November 2014

It never rains, but it pours ....

....literally and metaphorically.

We did get some rain this week.  Quite a lot, but the sun is shining today and it's gradually drying out.

It's been a week of problems with the car, and workwise for Mr A.  There has been no work at the boatyard since Tuesday, and we are not certain when it will start again.  Needless to say, Mr A still hasn't been paid, but he's hopeful it will be today.  I'm my usual pessimistic self when it comes to Mr A being paid...so we'll see.

He had an appointment at Mugla hospital yesterday at 9.00am.  When he returned to the car, it wouldn't start.  He managed to find a mechanic who said that it needed a new dynamo.  He settled for a secondhand replacement, because a new one was just too expensive.  It took pretty much all day to fix, during which time he called in on his cousin and her husband who live in Mugla.  Every cloud...etc.... His cousin's husband owns a tool shop and gave Mr A a tilecutter and another drill type thingy (I'm not into tools), which will be very useful once our business takes off.

Mr A thought he had a job over in Yalikavak for today, but unfortunately the customer decided to use someone local, which is fair enough.  It's only to be expected that this will happen from time to time.

When Mr A returned home from Mugla last night, he hit a fair amount of rain on his journey and as he was almost here he went through huge puddle and the car stopped.  A friend came out from the village to tow him back.  He is as I type, down in the village drying out the engine with my hairdryer (please let the hairdryer come home without any damage!).  There are always problems with our cars, but we only ever have old ones to it's inevitable.  Oh for a lottery win and a brand new car without problems!

As a result of my last post I received a few more donations.  Thankyou so much everyone for your lovely response.  As a result, we were able to get necessary treatments from our vet.

Also, Melek and Dave had quite a nasty fight this week.  It's really my fault.  I bought bones from the supermarket for my rescues and the village dogs.

The 7 big dogs were given a bone each.  (Monty and Tommy have chewsticks rather than bones as they are small).

This is the first time that Chas, Dave and Melek have had bones.  They were very excited and enjoyed chewing them for a couple of hours.   However, once Dave had finished his he attempted to take Melek's and she wasn't happy.  She attacked him and it took both Mr A and I armed with a broom and the hosepipe to seperate them.  As a result Dave had some puncture wounds on his face and ear, which I treated with antibacterial powder.

Just to make sure, we got an antibiotic injection from the vet, and the wounds are healing up nicely.  If I decide to give them bones in future, I will attach them to the chains I use for them when I feed them.   It was a stupid mistake of mine not to do this first...but I've learned my lesson.  

We also got an injection and course of tablets to treat the brown village dog with bad skin, and this has been started.  We  got Monty's booster vaccinations done, and  Mehmet cut both Monty's and Tommy's nails free of charge.  

We have decided that Mr A will use Mehmet's tranquilliser gun to sedate the dog with the broken leg, but we are awaiting the return of the gun from another customer.  This dog remains elusive.  He didn't appear for feeding last night, but probably will today.  It's still difficult to get him to come close, so the gun will hopefully be the answer.

As soon as we are able to capture him, he will be taken to Mehmet's for any treatment necessary.  At the same time he will be neutered and vaccinated.

It is our dearest wish to make sure that all village dogs are neutered or spayed and vaccinated this winter.  With your help we can make this happen, so your donations really are making a difference and of course more are always needed. (As usual you will find the Paypal button at the top of this page).

Thankyou xxx


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

VILLAGE DOGS

During the past week or so a few more dogs have arrived in the village.   They have not been made welcome by people here.   I use the word "people" loosely because I am yet again dismayed at the cruelty inflicted on innocent animals by so called human beings.

Three of the dogs were in a bad way.  Mr A has attempted to find out what happened to two of the dogs, and although people know, no-one will disclose who injured them.

This dog has had his leg deliberately broken:
The photo is not clear as this poor dog just runs when anyone approaches 


This dog has been shot:


And this poor dog is simply starving.

The dog whose leg is broken is very scared.  He doesn't always appear when Mr A goes to feed, and even if he does, food has to be placed on the ground and Mr A must retreat before the dog comes near.  He really is in need of medical treatment...if we can catch him.

Recent attempts to get the Belediye vet to take in more dogs in need of care have not worked, nor has the pressure put on the leader of the Belediye (council) produced any results.  In fact you may recall my mentioning in a previous post that the council leader recently visited the village and Mr A pointed out the problem with the dogs, and the leader suggested poisoning them.

He should know better.  He must be aware of the law in this country that is supposed to protect street animals, and that anyone being deliberately cruel or attempting to kill the dogs is likely to be prosecuted.

Mr A has written about these dogs on our village Facebook page and made it clear that according to the law, anyone discovered being cruel to the street animals will be reported, and that we will not stop until we find out who injured the two dogs above.

We have no choice but to try and get our vet to help us.  Mr A is still trying to gain the confidence of the dog with the broken leg when he appears so that he can catch him and take him to the clinic and Mehmet has agreed do whatever necessary to make sure this dog has no more pain.

The little thin dog seems to have perked up in the last couple of days.  He has  been wormed and  is eating well now.  He has a problem with his skin and we think it could be mange.  I am collecting injections and medication from the vet tomorrow.

Mr A also wormed the dog who was shot.  He has examined the wound which appears to have healed well.  He is eating and gradually appearing healthier.  We will watch him closely and if necessary get Mehmet to check him over.

Most of our donation money has now been used to stock up with food for the winter feeding programme.  We made use of special offers on food at various supermarkets recently, to buy as many sacks of food as cheaply as possible.

If we are going to attempt to get these dogs the treatment they so desperately require, we need more money.   Please help if you can.  You will find the Paypal button at the top of this page.

OTHER NEWS:

Mr A continues to work at the boatyard, although this really depends on the weather.  Because of rain, and the resultant muddy conditions, he has only managed 8 days work out of a possible 17 ...but it is better than nothing.

Of course he hasn't been paid yet.  His friend Bulent has the contract and agreed to pay Mr A 70 lira a day.   Bulent hasn't yet been paid by his customer so he is waiting and Mr A is waiting...this is par for the course.   He has also just told me that he has no work there for a few days from tomorrow.   We are more than used to all this unpredictability!

 There are other possible jobs in the pipeline, but nothing definite as yet.

Finally, yesterday I met up with my friend Elizabeth in Bodrum.  She and two friends travelled from Didim and we had a lovely few hours together.  A very good lunch and a stroll along the harbour on what turned out to be a beautiful sunny day.  Elizabeth, a natural dog magnet, (she has adopted several dogs from Turkey who now live with her in Scotland), saved scraps from lunch and fed a couple of dogs on our stroll.

I must say, the street dogs in Bodrum all seem very healthy and happy...quite a difference from our local dogs.

Elizabeth and me
Thankyou Elizabeth for the dog chews and collars for my dogs, and for the generous donation from you and Robert.

And thankyou everyone who has donated since last winter.  Without your help, none of this would be possible.

It's a beautiful morning here, just perfect for sitting on my balcony while I write this post.   We are having some lovely sunny days at the moment, but it's cold at night so the electric blanket is now in use.

That's all my news for now.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Interviews

From time to time I get emails from people who have started up websites to help expats.

They tell me that they enjoy my blog and could I answer some questions which will be of help to others thinking of moving abroad, and to tell of my experiences, including photographs if possible.

I have responded to one or two in the past.  I was rewarded with their little logos to stick on my sidebar.  I was even awarded a Bronze medal once for an article.

There were competitions on one such website to write about some aspect of living as an expat.  I entered one, and discovered that these weren't necessarily judged on merit, but one had to get others to vote on Facebook.  The number of votes cast would go a long way to determine the winner.

I'm not sure these people actually read my blog.  I believe they just search for expat blogs and send out their standard email, then gather the results which then provides content for their websites.

There's nothing wrong with all this of course.  These websites probably do help a lot of people, but they are not for me.   I have politely declined the latest request.  I don't feel that I have anything to offer expats.  I don't live as an expat.  My life is simple and mostly consists of rescuing and feeding street dogs.   So any interview given by me would probably not be of much interest to those about to emigrate who want to know about all the practicalities of health insurance, buying or renting property, etc.

I do have a few expat friends, but these friendships are really based on what we have in common, rather than because we are all expats.

These interviews also make me a little uncomfortable.  I feel they are intrusive, particularly in terms of the kinds of personal questions asked, and the request for photos.

Like most of my blogging friends, I don't use my real name for blogging.  (Although many of you do know my name through our friendships on Facebook, or by email, and some of you I have been fortuate enough to meet in person).

It's this little bit of anonymity that allows us to share aspects of our life on our blogs that perhaps we wouldn't if we were writing under our real names.

So I have removed the little expat website logos from my blog.  It may mean that I don't have such a wide circulation of my blog link, but I'm happy with that, and with those who already follow me.

Have you received these requests for interviews?  I'm sure some of you have very different opinions to mine, so I would be interested to hear them.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

This week's update

I mentioned in my last post that Mr A had been unwell recently.  He had made several trips to the hospital while I was in England and was due an ultrasound yesterday.

I'm afraid we are both dreadful at getting things checked out when we should, and just put it off until it becomes painful or a nuisance.  I have also been suffering from pains in my chest and heartburn on and off for months, but in recent weeks the condition has been constant.

We decided that yesterday would be a good time to check me out at the hospital too.

We spent almost all day there.  Mr A's ultrasound showed that he has two very large cysts on his liver.  These will be monitored for any change, and may mean surgery.  He has to go back in one month.  He also has an enlarged prostate, which will also be checked again.  He has to start a low cholesterol diet...which will be hard for this man who loves his food...but it's important to keep him healthy,

I saw a doctor about my problem, and he also examined my stomach.  At one point he pressed an area which was so painful that I nearly shot through the roof. I was sent for blood and urine tests and an ultrasound.  The result was a urinary tract infection and a kidney infection.  I then saw a urologist and prescribed lots of medication (as usual Turkish doctors over-medicate).  I did have back and stomach pain after I arrived back from England, but had put it down to lifting my luggage...seems this wasn't the case.

As for the heartburn, the ultrasound showed a gastric/oesphagus problem and I am booked for an endoscopy next Friday.  The results will arrive 15 days after that, at around the time Mr A has another visit to the hospital, so we will go together again.  

I love it that we are doing things together for a change...but wish it was something a little more pleasant than hospital visits!

Whilst waiting for test results, we took the opportunity to feed some cats in the hospital grounds.   We always carry food in the boot of the car.



This week Mr A started work at a boatyard in Gulluk, renovating boats.  He is working with his builder friend Bulent.  It's Bulent's contract so he is paying Mr A a daily rate.  Not a huge amount, but Bulent provides transport and food.  Obviously Mr A would like to start getting his own building work, but this job is very useful in the meantime.  




And as usual Mr A the dog magnet, made friends with a local dog.


We continue to feed the village dogs.....this is one dog who is not as scared as some of the others, and allowed Mr A to take a photo.


As we are trying to make sure that we have enough food to feed dogs through the winter, we are not feeding the industrial estate dogs every day.  They are being fed scraps by workers on the estate, and we are dropping off sacks of food to supplement this, as and when finances permit.

We also gave a small bag of dog food to one of the local shepherds this week for his dog.  This man looks after his dog as best he can, but I felt he needed fattening up a bit, so I'll keep a eye on him.  

Our neighbour, Dursune is feeding half a dozen cats with scraps.  I've also given her some food too, and will help whenever I can.

So that's all my news for now.  Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Home again

It took me 16 hours to get home, with a flight on Sunday night from Heathrow to Istanbul, then the domestic transfer to Bodrum on Monday morning.

Travelling Business class (thanks to a free ticket with my airmiles) made it a lot more bearable than usual.  Turkish Airlines use the Lufthansa lounge at Heathrow which is very pleasant and provides the usual array of food and drinks.  I had a 5 hour stopover in Istanbul, having arrived at 4.15am.   Even though the THY website states that the lounge is open at Ataturk airport at 4.00am, it doesn't actually open until 5.00am.

This time I used the lounge in Domestic departures.   As usual security in Turkish airports is more than thorough.   I asked where the lounge was and was told to go through the security x-ray machines to domestic departures, which I did.   However, it wasn't there, but back where I had come from, so after much discussion one of the security men let me back through.

I went down in a lift and through another x-ray check to get into the Lounge.  It was very comfortable and well equipped with free wifi and beverages.  However, getting out of the lounge and back to Domestic departures wasn't so easy.  There seemed to be no way to achieve this, and I asked several times, and was eventually directed outside the building.   I then had to walk several hundred yards to the entrance to the Domestic building, where I went through another xray check.   Then to departures....and yet another x-ray check.   (Note to self: if flying business class again in the future DO NOT use the Domestic business class lounge).

I finally arrived at Bodrum airport around midday, where Mr A was waiting...and home to a very enthusiastic welcome from all my dogs.  I was quite tired by this time but unable to relax so spent the day putting washing through the machine and generally tidying up.  I had the start of a cold, a parting gift from Jimi, and was finally in bed and asleep by 8.00pm.   When I got up at 6.00am on Tuesday the cold was much worse so most of the day was spent in bed.  I am feeling loads better now though.

Mr A has been unwell during my time away and has had several trips to the hospital.  He has to have an ultrasound on Friday, and then possibly further treatment, so as yet we don't know what the problem is.

He did, however, manage to complete the shelter for the pups kennels, and he has been to feed the village dogs and those at the industrial estate every day.  There are around 12 or 13 dogs in the village and approximately 25 at the industrial estate.

As you can imagine, we are getting through a considerable amount of food, and as usual I am very grateful to all of you who have donated.  This feeding programme is ongoing so if we are to continue to help these dogs survive, particularly during the winter months,  more donations are needed.  Any amount, no matter how small, is very welcome.  It all helps.  (You will find the Paypal button at the top of this page).

Thankyou to all of you who follow my blog and your words of encouragement, which are very much appreciated.