Thursday, 31 July 2014

Update Thursday

I won't dwell on my previous post.  What a mess I made of things, but thankfully it's now sorted.

This week has been incredibly hot.  So much so, that even though I had planned a visit over to Gulluk to see a friend, the thought of waiting around for buses, not to mention the climb back up the hill, made me decide that this is not the time for being out and about.

Even going outside to water the garden, or feed the dogs, causes me to sweat buckets, and I'm taking 3 or 4 showers a day now, because we still haven't managed to get our aircon fixed.

I am still feeding the dogs in the village, although now every two days rather than every day.  I really have to try to make the food last as long as possible, and just cannot afford to feed them every day.  They are not in the centre of the village very much.  I suspect they are wary and scared of the men there, so I leave the food and fill up the water containers, so that they can come and eat when there's no-one around.  It's all I can do until such time as we can get them to the shelter.

I will be doing a post about Mr A within the next day or so, about contact with his long lost natural mother.  The heat is affecting my brain and I'm too exhausted to write much more at the moment.  So watch this space.

A change of name

I started this blog in March 2009.   I called it Turkish Delight.  Not very original.  I even put a photo of Turkish delight on the header.

Over the years I have discovered other blogs with Turkish Delight in the title.  Clearly there are others with as little imagination as me. So after a while I added my username Ayak to the title.    Recently, more blogs are arriving on the scene using Turkish delight in the blog name.

Time for a change, but just a small one.  My blog is now called Ayak's Turkish Life.

I assumed it would be fairly easy to change the name.  It was.  I also changed the URL and maybe I should have just left it, because my blog suddenly disappeared.  Well of course Ayak's Turkish Delight has disappeared, but  my blog with it's new title is still here.

I'm editing this post because I spent the best part of today tearing my hair out trying to put right the mistake I made.  I should not have changed the URL because it would mean I would lose a lot of my followers who aren't on Facebook.   I just couldn't solve this problem, so eventually called on the fantastic K (Perpetua of Perpetually in Transit blog) who is brilliant at these things, and she has changed the URL back for me.

So the URL remains the same as it was before and just the name of the blog has changed.  Panic over.  Thanks Perpetua

Nothing in life is ever straightforward is it?

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Yet another failed plan

Mr A came home on Sunday evening because the Muhtar had agreed to provide a vehicle for him and Mr A to round up the dogs and get them to the safety of Milas shelter.

It will come as no surprise (it didn't to me) that the Muhtar let us down.  So another wasted journey for Mr A.

The dogs are still around but they are moving about, sometimes further away from the village.  I am still leaving food down in the centre by the school, and filling the water containers, but when Mr A set off back to work early yesterday morning, he found  them some distance from the village along the back roads. 

It's too difficult for me, without transport, to search for them every day.  They could be anywhere, so I will just continue to leave food and water in the same place.   I think it's likely that they will go there to eat in the middle of the night when there are no people around.

I worry constantly about them.  Every time a hear a gun shot my heart beats so fast...even though common sense tells me it's probably the wild boars being shot to protect the crops.

It might take some time, but we won't give up trying to get these dogs away from the village.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Update on village dogs

When I went down to the village around 7 o clock this morning, there were no dogs around at all.  Very unusual for this time of the day.  I walked off some of the side roads and other places where they hide to find them, but no sign at all.

I left food in the usual places and refilled all the water containers.  I asked the man in the village shop if he had seen the dogs, but he hadn't.

I phoned Mr A a little later to let him know and he has just called me to say that he has spoken to the Muhtar, who says the dogs are still around.....thank goodness.  I was again fearing the worst, because Mr A had mentioned that people are still talking about shooting them.   The Muhtar has organised a vehicle so that he and Mr A can round them up and take them to the shelter.  Hopefully this will happen tonight.

Of course this won't be the end of the problem.  No doubt more will arrive gradually, but it will be easier to manage a couple at a time, by either taking them to the shelter, or trying to get them neutered and adopted.

I received a couple of donations as a result of my recent plea.  I still have to pay for the two new kennels, and I am almost out of dog food.  Thankyou so much to those who have donated, and especially to those friends who are committed to giving every month.  I am so grateful to you all. 

Whatever I receive seems to go straight out again, and of course I use my own money as well.  Food and vet bills mount up, and I am aware that it's only a couple of months until October, when we will want to start the winter feeding programme again at the industrial estate, and wherever else locally it is needed.   So anything you can give will be very much appreciated.  (The Paypal button is at the top of the page).   Thankyou.

Fingers crossed that tonight's rescue mission happens and I have something positive to report tomorrow.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Angry and relieved

The relatives were due to arrive today around 6.30pm.   Mr A told me he would be home around 4.30pm with the meat for the barbeque.

On Thursday I went into Milas and bought the cheese that was requested, which cost me nearly 30 lira...more than a 10kg sack of dogfood, which I'd rather have spent the money on.  I also bought, as requested, 2 kilos each of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and onions. 

Yesterday, David took me into Milas to do shopping and  I bought a wasn't expensive, but it wasn't something we need at the moment, plus some charcoal, also two pillows for our guests, as I had used the spare ones for the dogs kennels.  Along with various other odds and ends.

I was pretty hot and bothered by the time I got home.  I cut my finger quite badly trying to fix something.  I was also up all night with an upset stomach.  This morning I broke up a fight between Chas and Dave, bruising a finger on my other hand in the process.

However, using rubber gloves I managed to make a huge dish of potato salad, and baked a cake. It seemed even hotter today and I still didn't feel particularly well so was unable to eat all day.

4.30pm came and went, and no sign of Mr A, which isn't unusual...he's always late.  Finally he phoned before 5.30pm to tell me that the cousin and husband were on their way and had just phoned him.  It seems they were bringing their two children with them.  No-one mentioned children!  As I said in my previous post, I had only met this couple once before...briefly...some years ago and I didn't recall them having children.  Mr A told them that he wasn't happy about the children coming as we have 9 dogs, and was worried about their safety.   It seems that they have rented a house in Torba (just outside Bodrum) for a holiday and only intended to visit us and stay for one night.  So they decided not to visit us but go straight to Torba.

A bit later on I asked Mr A if he was aware they had children and he said he was but they normally don't take them if they are travelling any distance.  But why the hell couldn't he have asked when they first invited themselves?  Or why could they not have mentioned it? 

I was so angry that I had wasted my time and money on these people.  Mr A didn't come home, deciding that it wasn't worth spending money on petrol.  Thankfully, the cousin had phoned Mr A before he had bought the meat, which was something at least.

I have told Mr A that if in future his relatives want to visit, that's fine with me, but that he will have to be here, and I will go away for the duration.  I've had enough of these haphazard plans, over which I have no control. that I've calmed down, I am relieved of course....even though I will be living on cheese, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers for the foreseeable future.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Time for a bit of a moan

I haven't posted since last Sunday and thought it about time I wrote something.   .

Mr A hasn't been able to get home this week because he simply can't afford it.  He isn't getting many customers and as he only gets paid commission, it isn't good, and he is quite depressed about it.

He does however have to attempt to get home this weekend of joys...we have members of his family visiting.  I think by now you all know what that means.  They invite themselves.  They turn up whenever they feel like it, and stay for as long as they like.  This time it's a cousin and her husband.  I have met them before, briefly, but don't really know them.   With Mr A working I guess it will be left to me to entertain them, and I'm really not looking forward to it.

I have been given a shopping list.   I'm not really happy about this either, because I budget very carefully when I'm on my own, but when guests are here naturally one has to provide adequate meals.  Mr A says they will bring food.  This is pretty normal, although it's difficult to do shopping when you don't know what they are bringing, and on previous occasions we have ended up with too much of the same things in the fridge.  Apparently, there is a particular kind of cheese they like for breakfast.   There is only one place I know in Milas that sells it, so I went to get it today.  It cost me nearly 30 lira.  Far more than I would normally spend on cheese.

Thankfully my dear friend David is going to take me into Milas tomorrow to get my shopping.  Otherwise I'm not really sure how I would manage.

Mr A says the relatives will ring him when they are on their way, and he will come home.  We will then do a barbeque.  Mr A is going to borrow money from his boss to buy meat.  At this point in time we don't actually know whether they will arrive on Saturday or Sunday evening. 

All I can hope for is that my dogs barking all night will deter them from staying too long.   OK I hold my hands up...I'm antisocial...there I've admitted it.  I like to choose my friends.  I like to invite people to stay with me.  I don't like the way Turkish families all treat each others homes as if they are their own.  Of course I like guests to feel "at home" but this is not the same.  They move in and they take over, and I don't like it.

I would have loved to have reported that the dogs in the village have been rounded up and safely delivered to the shelter, but sadly this is not the case.  I am not surprised in the least.  Again the belediye make promises they don't keep.  This morning I spotted another puppy that I hadn't seen before, so that's 4 pups who need to be rescued, as well as half a dozen older dogs.   One old boy is very battered and scarred but such a gentle soul.  He follows me to the bus and sits and waits till the bus leaves.

My dog fund is running low again and I need to buy more food soon to keep feeding these dogs.  I have no idea when Mr A can arrange to get them to the shelter, and it's possible he may have to hire a man and a van to do so in one go.  This will probably be cheaper than him having to make several journeys here and take two or three at a time.   I also have the two puppy kennels to pay for, so I am getting quite desperate.  I would really welcome donations at this time, no matter how small, every penny helps. 

Enough moaning.  I must try to put on my "happy welcoming" face before the relatives arrive at the weekend.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

The perfect end to a difficult week

 Mr A's efforts on Wednesday night, accompanied by the Muhtar, resulted in them managing to round up three of the puppies in the village and deliver them to safety at Milas shelter.

The Muhtar promised to attempt to capture more dogs on Thursday.  When Mr A spoke to the Muhtar on Friday, he was informed that this mission was unsuccessful.  The Muhtar said it was impossible to get hold of the dogs because they tried to bite him.  I find it difficult to believe this to be honest.  These dogs are scared and pretty submissive.  I think it was more to do with the Muhtar's handling of the dogs than anything else.  He clearly doesn't have Mr A's touch.

I went down to the village as usual on Friday to feed the dogs and there were none there.  I searched for some time but could not find one dog.  I left food and water in the usual places, but I feared the worst.  Maybe they had been disposed of.

I returned again on Saturday morning.  Still no dogs, but the food was gone.  Although this didn't necessarily mean it had been eaten by the dogs.  It could have been swept away by the men in the teahouse.  Who knows?

Also on Saturday, two new kennels arrived for my three youngest, Chas, Dave and Melek.  We had already bought one, which all three used when they first tiny they took up a small space in the corner.  They have of course grown at a rapid rate and one kennel is only suitable for one dog. The wooden kennel (formerly a chicken coop which Mr A made) is also not big enough for the three pups, and because it's wood they have been chewing it and it is almost demolished!

So I ordered two more plastic kennels from Mehmet the vet.  He delivered them to me late yesterday afternoon.  He is only charging me what it cost him, he is making no profit, and not even allowing the expense of driving out to the village to deliver them.  He is also prepared to wait for payment, as we actually can't afford to pay for them at the moment.  If anyone would like to donate towards the cost, it would be very much appreciated.  They cost 220 lira each, which is around £60 each.  Needless to say, the dogs are delighted with them....and they are pretty much chew-proof!

The 3 kennels, sheltered from the sun

Chas, Melek and Dave

Dave, Chas and Melek (with Monty in the background)

This morning I went to catch the bus into Milas at 10.30.  Again I took more food and this time was relieved to find two of the pups and three larger dogs waiting in the village.  I fed and watered them, then got on the bus.  Two of the dogs sat next to the bus and watched me until the bus left...bless them...they know I'm their friend.  

I had a phone call from Mr A this evening to say that even though the Muhtar had failed to capture any more dogs, he (and also Mr A) had both spoken to the Belediye manager, who has promised to arrange for workers from the shelter to come out and capture the remaining dogs within the next few days.   I really hope this happens, but I won't hold my breath.   If they don't, Mr A has promised he will get home as soon as he possibly can to resume rounding them up.  In the meantime, although I got the usual glares from the men in the teahouse while I was feeding the dogs, I'm hopeful that they won't harm them now that they are aware the problem is being dealt with.

Today I had plans to meet up with a friend from Kusadasi.  Fleur and I have communicated for quite a while, first through a Kusadasi forum, then on Facebook, as well as a few phone calls and emails, and she is one my loyal blog followers.   We have been planning to meet for ages, and at last we did it today.  We agreed to meet outside Kipa supermarket which is easy to find, and as a new Kahve Dunyasi coffee shop has just opened next door, we had drinks and some lunch and stayed there for a couple of hours.  As I have now run out of filter coffee, I managed to get the girls to sell me a 500g bag of the filter coffee they use in the shop, which I am delighted about.

We then drove out to the village. Fleur met the dogs, and we chatted some more before she set off back to Kusadasi.  She kindly brought a 15kg sack of food for the dogs and a bottle of wine for me.  Thankyou so much Fleur.   She was just as lovely as I knew she would be.  We share the same concerns for the street dogs, and she has rescued many too.  She currently has six at her home.  She is great company, and we plan to communicate more, and meet up again.

So a happy Sunday, and not a bad end to a difficult week.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Update on the village dogs

Mr A heard nothing further from the Governor of Mugla province, which comes as no surprise really.  He did however come home last night and spent some time discussing the problem with the Muhtar.

Although the Muhtar is pretty useless at doing his job, he does seem able to respond if he's pushed.  And Mr A is pretty good at pushing.  It would seem that the Muhtar doesn't have a problem with the dogs being here from a personal point of view, but he is having pressure put upon him from others in the village.  He isn't sure how to keep everyone happy, and was prepared to listen to advice from Mr A.

They both agreed that the dogs are at risk if they stay here.  The Muhtar has also heard the rumours about people being prepared to "dispose" of them, and has made it known that he will not tolerate this.  (Although what he would actually do about it, I don't know).

Our main concern is the safety of the dogs and it was decided that as many as possible should go to the Milas council shelter.  Most of you know what I think about shelters here.  Some are pretty awful, but thankfully the Milas one is fairly new.  It's clean.  Well maintained, and the dogs looked after.  There is little point in waiting for the Belediye to take action on this, because clearly it won't happen anytime soon, if at all, and in the meantime the dogs are at risk.

So last night around 11.00pm Mr A and the Muhtar set off to round up and capture some of the dogs.

It was by no means an easy task, trying to get hold of dogs that are obviously scared, but after an hour or so they managed to get three of the six puppies, and then drove them over to the Milas shelter, where they are now safe.

For Mr A to drive over from Gumbet to the village, then to the Milas shelter on the far outskirts of the town,  back to the village and then to Gumbet again early in the morning, is costing him a lot in petrol.  We just cannot afford for him to do this too often, and frankly he has also had little sleep, which affects him being able to cope with his 16 hour a day job.

He will try to get home once or twice a week, but in the meantime the Muhtar has promised to go out again this evening, with help, and capture some more dogs to take to the shelter.  He has agreed to do this for as long as it takes to get all the dogs to safety.  We have to take him at his word...what else can we do?   Mr A will keep in touch with him by phone to make sure this is happening.

I have no doubt that this is going to be a problem that won't just disappear.  More dogs are bound to arrive, and each time they do, we will have to get them to safety.  In the meantime, I am continuing to feed the dogs while they are here.  I am avoiding any discussion or conversation with anyone in the village while I'm doing this.  Just keeping my head down and getting on with it...for as long as it takes.

Fingers crossed the Muhtar sticks to his promises.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

And so the battle continues

I had hoped by now to have something positive to report concerning the recent batch of dogs in the village.  But things don't get any better.

Mr A came home again on Monday evening with the intention of trying to round up some of the dogs, at least the six puppies anyway, put them in the car and take them to a shelter.  We just want them to be safe.  The shelters are by no means ideal, but Mr A has been talking to people in the village and there have been threats.  People don't want the dogs here and I'm afraid they are just as likely to shoot them than try to find somewhere else for them to go.

He spent a couple of hours trying to coax the dogs and to capture them, but to no avail.  He spoke to the Muhtar and told him that he should contact the Belediye manager and get the Milas shelter to agree to take them.  To be honest, Mr A wasn't hopeful that the Milas shelter would agree, even though by law it is their responsibility, and if he had managed to get hold of some of the dogs he would have taken them out of the area to any shelter that would have taken them.

Yesterday he contacted the Belediye manager in Milas, who was very unhelpful.  He then spoke to the Governor of the Province in Mugla who promised to do something about it and contact Mr A today (Wednesday).  At the time of writing this he has heard nothing, and will ring back himself by the end of the day.

This morning I went down to the village to catch the 8.30am bus into Milas.  I took some more dogfood.  There were only two dogs in the school playground where they seem to be gathering in recent days.  I put down the food, and filled up several water containers.  As I was doing this I saw the Muhtar approach.  He was standing on the other side of the fence to the schoolyard, and was joined by 4 other men.  They all stood and watched me, and I refused to allow any eye contact but just carried on with the task at hand.

I came out of the yard just as the bus was arriving.  I started to get on the bus and the Muhtar tapped me on the shoulder and started to ramble on about the dogs, the Belediye, etc.  He was speaking so fast (and loudly) that I didn't entirely grasp what he said.  But I was angry that he did this in front of a bus full of people, and I just told him to talk to my husband.

I phoned Mr A who phoned the Muhtar.   Mr A then told me that the Muhtar said that he (Mr A) should come home tonight and catch the dogs and remove them.  Who the hell does he think he is?  Well, of course, he's the head of the village, voted in at the last election, but he clearly is not doing his job.  Why is he not getting the Belediye shelter to take the dogs?  Why should Mr A have to keep buying petrol to come here and try to deal with the problem?

And why the hell should it be a problem anyway?  We are feeding the dogs.  I have already told the Muhtar that we will try to spay all the females over time, to stop the increase in population.  I don't know what else we can do.   If Mr A decides to come home to catch some of the dogs (which I suspect he will) then he can't do it without help and proper equipment.  He will need tranquillisers, strong choke leads to catch and restrain them, and help in getting them to the shelter.

Why can't these ignorant people see that the dogs are no threat as long as they are looked after, which we are prepared to do?

It's a real dilemma and I have no idea how to resolve it.  I'm just hoping that my next blog will be one where I will have some answers and something positive to report.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

One step forward and three back

My attempts to make the street dogs lives a little better is an uphill struggle.  Obstruction at every turn.

People in this village don't want them here, and they are making it difficult for me.

I have put 8 containers for water down in the village since last Sunday, and they either disappear or are broken.  

When I put food down for the dogs I get looks that could kill from the men in the teahouse.  I have tried to make people understand by posting on the village Facebook page that these dogs pose no threat.  They just need to be fed and given water.  I get approval from some, but those are the educated ones who have moved away from the village.  There is still so much ignorance amongst these people.

I am going down earlier each day to avoid people.  This morning at 5.15am before it was quite light.  The dogs are in the school playground, and this morning there was just one empty water container, which I filled.  The six puppies were there and 4 older dogs.  They are afraid of people and run and hide when anyone approaches.  I am starting to gain their trust.  I move very slowly, and put down the food and gradually they come out.

Even though it was early I was passed by two farmers on tractors setting off to work.  They both glared at me, but I held my head high and carried on feeding the dogs.  Mr A is not happy about my going down into the village so early.  He says people can't be trusted and he is concerned for my safety.  I have to admit that I do feel intimidated, and I will go down later tomorrow when there are more people about.  The dogs won't appear then of course, but I'll leave food and water, and they can come out when they feel safe.

Before the local elections Mr A was talking to the Belediye manager who had mentioned the possibility of a shelter being built on the other side of the hill behind our house, well away from the village.  It could of course have been pre-election talk, but when Mr A has time (which is rare) he is going to try to contact the Governor of Mugla Province to see whether this is a possibility.  It would certainly solve a lot of problems.

Closer to home, Chas and Dave were both neutered on Friday evening.  Mr A collected me and the pups at 8.30pm.  He dropped me off at a supermarket to get shopping and took the pups to Mehmet's clinic for their ops.  He also collected 4 more sacks of dog food, and picked me up at the supermarket. 

I put the boys on the balcony to recover, and their sister Melek was so anxious to see them that I let her on to the balcony too.  She was very gentle with them so I decided to leave the balcony gate open so that she could come and go throughout the night.  I slept on the sofa next to the balcony window.  Although I should say, attempted to sleep, because I constantly got up to check on them.

At around 2.30am I went out on the balcony to see how they were, to find Melek on the sofa, and the two boys down in the driveway playing.  A remarkable recovery.  They ate breakfast in the morning and are absolutely back to normal now.

The three pups have outgrown their Paraband collars so I will have to get more on Monday from Mehmet, and settle up the bill for the two operations and food.   I will also be collecting booster vaccinations for Freddie, which are now due.   Thanks to recent donations, I don't have the usual worry about how I can find the money to pay for all this.  I am so grateful to all those who have helped, and anyone who wishes to help me continue with my work will find the Paypal button at the top of this page.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Making plans

Thanks to the donations that have come in this week, due to my pleas for help, I am now in a position to start making plans.  A couple more people have set up monthly payment plans with Paypal  now giving me a total of £45 each month .  This is so useful in enabling me to budget for food and other treatments.  Together with the individual donations,  the pressure has been lifted for a while.  Thankyou all so much.

A Facebook friend called Liz contacted me to put me in touch with a lady called Linda who organises a group of expats in Bitez to raise money to provide help for the dogs in their area.  They have books and jumble sales through the winter, and try to get as many dogs neutered as possible.  The group kindly donated 250 lira to my fund.   Liz has also made a suggestion about sponsoring some of my street dogs for particular spaying the females, which is most important.  I will provide photos of the dogs, and she will try to raise the cost of spaying with our vet.  I think we agree that trying to get the Belediye (council) vets to spay and neuter is just not working, so something has to be done to help with the ever-increasing dog population on the streets.

Finding the dogs, taking photos, gathering them up to get to the vets is a bit of a problem at the moment, so this may have to wait until the end of the season when Mr A will be here, with the car, and we can do this together.  We also have to fit in with Mehmet the vet's busy schedule, but at least we will hopefully be provided with the money to get as many done as possible during the winter months.

A lady called Lenny who lives in Gulluk also contacted me and she drove over to see me yesterday afternoon, with her lovely dog Toffee.  Poor boy was a bit overwhelmed by all of my dogs so stayed on the balcony with us.  We tried to have a reasonable conversation, interspersed with barking from the pups, who really would have loved Toffee to go down to the driveway and play with them.  Lenny has also offered to help with transport, and this will be useful for vets visits and collecting sacks of food.  She also has lots of other good ideas, and we will meet up again and discuss some more.

I am going down into the village each day to take more food for the dogs, and to check on the water bowls.  Sometimes they are filled, and sometimes not.  I don't expect the people of the village to be as conscientious about filling them as I am, but I appreciate it when they do remember.  I've also posted on the village Facebook page to ask people not to remove the bowls, to fill them if and when they can. But also not to be afraid of the dogs, because as long as they are fed and have water they will do no harm.

It's difficult to know the best time to go to the village.  I have been down around 5.30 in the morning when no-one is about, but the dogs don't appear.  I wish I could whistle, because this is what Mr A does and they all appear.  I can see some in the distance but they don't come when I call.  However, the next time I go down, the food has disappeared so clearly they are eating it.

This morning I went down at 6 am and realise this isn't a good time because there are people waiting to be picked up by transport to go to jobs outside the village, and the dogs will not come out while they are around.  So obviously earlier than this is best.

Finally an appointment has been made to neuter the last of my 9 dogs, Chas and Dave.  Lenny would have helped me with transport for this, but Mr A phoned yesterday to say that he was able to come home this evening.  He contacted Mehmet who has agreed to do the ops  around 9.30pm. 

As usual, we have to get as much as possible done during Mr A's brief visits, so he will pick up the dogs and me, drop me at the supermarket in Milas to stock up with food.  He will then take the boys for their ops, and collect more bags of dogfood, after which he will pick me up from the supermarket.  Then home, put the two boys on the balcony, and I will stay awake tonight to keep an eye on them.

Without funds and offers of practical help, we wouldn't be in a position to make plans, so again my thanks to everyone who has supported me.  I am feeling a lot more optimistic today.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014


Yesterday was my birthday.  It was going to be a quiet day.  Mr A is working so I knew I wouldn't be seeing him.  Although he did phone me at one minute past midnight to be the first to wish me Happy Birthday.

As a result of my last post about the dogs dumped in the village, and our feeding at 3am Sunday morning, donations have been coming in, and I am now in a position to buy more sacks of dogfood so we can continue to feed these dogs.  We will also attempt to worm and flea treat as many of them as we can.

My friend Gwen had decided to make the bus journey over from Selcuk to spend a few hours with me in Milas. 

I set off to the village to catch the bus, taking some more dogfood with me for the new arrivals.  As expected they weren't around, but I left piles of food in different places where I knew they would find it when they felt safe to reappear.   The biggest surprise for me was to find that the new water bowls we had put down on Sunday morning, were not only still there, but actually all filled to the brim with fresh water!   I went over to the teahouse to ask who had filled them, and a little old man in the corner said it was him.  I thanked him profusely and he has promised to fill them every day.   This is such a breakthrough, and frankly the best birthday present I could wish for.  I so hope it continues, and that others don't decide to remove the bowls because they think the dogs are a nuisance.

Gwen and I had lunch together, followed by icecream and coffee.  It was very hot and dusty in Milas, not helped by the fact that they are digging up the roads everywhere.  (Note to self:  white trousers are really not suitable).

The usual 20 minute bus journey back to the village took an hour and 15 minutes, due to detours to two other villages on the way.  Gwen had bought me a huge supply of Cadbury's chocolate.  As she had set off around 9am, and I arrived home after 5pm, you can imagine what state it was in.  If I had opened any of the packets, I would have found chocolate sauce.  However, it all went into the fridge.  It has solidified again...a bit misshapen...but I've tasted it and no harm done.  Delicious! 

So...THANKYOUS are due.

To Gwen for the chocolate and your company on my birthday.  To all my Facebook friends who sent birthday wishes.  To the little old man in the teahouse for making sure the dogs have water.  To my grandsons Billy and Jimi for phoning me in the morning to sing Happy Birthday.

And most of all a huge thankyou to those of you who have donated as a result of my pleas for help, on this and previous occasions.  The vet bill for Dave's treatment when he was ill last Friday has been paid, and more sacks of dogfood reserved, to be collected as soon as I can arrange it.  Also plans for neutering Chas and Dave within the next week or so are in hand.

Without your help I couldn't continue to do what I do.   You will never know how grateful I am xxx

(If you would like to donate to help with my rescued dogs and the many more we want to continue to help on the streets, you will find the Paypal button at the top of this page)

Sunday, 6 July 2014

3am Sunday morning

This has been quite a week, one way or another, as you will know from my previous blog posts.

Mr A finished his job at the salon on Friday night.  As so often experienced here, he has worked very hard to earn money.  He only gets paid 10% commission, and with the results he had over just 45 days, the boss should have been delighted at what was going into his pocket.  But that's the point really.  Like most other bosses, he would rather keep it ALL in his pocket.

Mr A has had to fight to be paid (and thankfully he has been paid all he is owed).  But this man was also treating Mr A dreadfully.  Shouting and ordering him about and humiliating him.  The youngsters working in tourism seem to be able to put up with this, but for a man of Mr A's age and experience, it is just completely out of order, and I am glad he left.

He spent yesterday over in Bodrum looking for work.  Interrupted by the car breaking down, being taken into a workshop and repaired and collected two hours later.  A mutual friend of ours who is a hairdresser also works in a salon in Gumbet and he introduced Mr A to his boss.  This man has a similar salon to the one where Mr A has been working, but he also has 2 or 3 hamams (Turkish baths).  One next door to the salon and the others in hotels in the area.  Mr A will still be working just on commission but will be responsible for selling with the hamams too, so potentially this job is better.  It has also been agreed that whatever Mr A earns, he will take every day.  This way we can hopefully avoid problems.

He spent some time with our friend and set off home very late, arriving in the village around 2.30am where he was distressed to discover more new dogs.  A couple he recognised but the rest we feel sure have been dumped here, including 6 puppies.

I had been awake till he arrived anyway, as I was my usual anxious self about him finding work, so we picked up a 10kg sack of dogfood and went back down to the village.  We also took some more containers for water and filled them up.   The village was quiet.  Mr A whistled and the dogs came running (didn't I tell you he's a dog magnet?).   We used up almost all of the 10kg of food.

He took some photos, and a short video, which I will link to on here, in the hope that those of you not on Facebook, will also be able to see.

This morning Mr A set off to his new job.  Before leaving the village he filled up the water containers again and put down some more food.  He also spoke to the men in the teahouse and asked them to please keep the water topped up.  I think he used the "Allah is watching you" kind of threat which seemed to work!

He also attempted to find the 6 puppies because we thought they would be better off in a shelter at this point in time.  Unfortunately, none of the dogs were around, but as this village is like a rabbit warren, there are so many places to hide.  They will probably not appear much during daylight, but in the dead of night when they feel safe from anyone likely to abuse them.  We'll keep trying to locate the puppies.

Although we've stopped the feeding programme for the summer, we do feel it necessary to feed these newcomers and I posted an appeal on Facebook this morning.  As usual I was in tears when we returned home, and just cannot walk away from this problem.  I've had a lovely response from people today, and donations are slowly coming in.  Many thanks to everyone who has donated.  You have no idea how much a relief it is to know that we can stop worrying about finding the money to buy food for the dogs.

I didn't go to bed when I got home.  There was little point as I'm up around 5am with my dogs.  Mr A managed a few hours thank goodness.   Around 10.30am I decided to take a nap.  The nap turned into 5 hours of deep sleep, when I don't think even an earthquake would have roused me.  I clearly needed it.

Thanks again to those who have donated, and anyone who would like to help will find the Paypal button at the top of this page.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Hoping for the light to get a bit brighter know...the light at the end of the tunnel that I referred to in my last post.  It wasn't too bright yesterday, and it's getting dimmer.

Those of you on Facebook will have read about one of my pups, Dave, being poorly last night.  He was vomiting and then had diarrhoea which went on for a few hours.  He was also quite unusual for him as he is always the most lively of the three pups.

Mr A thankfully came home in the early hours of this morning, after having phoned Mehmet the vet.  Mehmet didn't feel there was any urgency at that point and unless things changed drastically we arranged to see him this morning.  We were of course not to feed him.

I stayed awake all night.  Dave was on the balcony sofa.  I was on the sofa next to the opened balcony window, just inches away, but protected from mosquito bites by the screen.  I did attempt to sleep, but found myself tossing and turning and getting up constantly to check that Dave was OK.

Mr A grabbed a few hours sleep and got up to take Dave to see Mehmet.  The diarrhoea and vomiting had ceased in the early hours but he was still lethargic.   Mehmet thoroughly examined him and came to the conclusion that it was nothing serious.  That he had probably eaten something in the garden that he shouldn't have.  He is also a greedy little pig and gobbles his food without chewing properly, so maybe this could have been the cause.  Anyway, he was quite dehydrated and was put in IV serum twice, which helped to reduce the lethargy.  We also have some tablets to give him to settle his stomach.  The IV connection is still attached to his leg, just in case he happens to deteriorate today and needs more fluids.  So I am watching him carefully.  He does seem a bit better though and I am relieved that it isn't anything sinister.  This intense heat doesn't help of course.  We all tend to feel lethargic at the moment.

It's very windy here today...very hot and windy.  This seems to affect my internet connection.  So even though my laptop finally connected yesterday, I am having problems again today.  We also had a powercut for a couple of hours, so that didn't help.

And now I am unashamedly going to ask for help.   Before I had Melek spayed a week ago and stocked up with more dogfood, my dog fund was almost on empty.  It is completely empty now and I will be facing another bill in the next day or so for Dave's treatment and medication.   Sometime before the end of the month I will be having Chas and Dave neutered.   Freddie's booster jabs are due on the 18th.  And then of course there will be more food to buy.

It is a constant struggle, and even though I am so grateful for the regular donations received by a couple of  friends, and the odd donation received from others, it just isn't enough.  Naturally, I assume complete responsibility for the 9 dogs I have rescued and now have homes with me, and they will always be fed and cared for, even if (most likely) Mr A and I will have to go without.  The last thing I ever want to consider is having to rehome any of them because I can't afford to keep them.  Nine dogs take a lot of looking after, but I have no regrets at all for rescuing them.  To watch them thrive and grow confident and unafraid is an absolute joy.

I also want to restart the street feeding programme again in October, but this will be impossible if I cannot raise enough money to do so.

So if anyone can donate I would be very grateful.  If you can't for any reason, maybe you might consider sharing this blog post with your friends, or perhaps mention me on your own blogs.  Anything that you can do to help will be very much appreciated.  Thankyou.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Getting results

It's been a week of problems.  Some small ones, some not so small.  Too many to mention really, and it had left me feeling unable to blog.

But today I seem to see a light at the end of a long tunnel, so am trying to be optimistic.

Amongst most of  the problems which will remain unmentioned, there is one that I will tell you about which forced me to toughen up.

TTNet.....those of you in Turkey are probably groaning in sympathy now at the mention of this company.

Two days ago I suddenly could not access any websites on my laptop.  According to my laptop and my modem I was connected to the internet.   I tried the usual simple procedures to regain access with no success.  Then I made the first of many phone calls to TTNet customer service in Istanbul. which carried on until midday today.

What then happens is that you get someone on the other end of the line and you explain the problem.  They suggest I do what I have already done, then they say they will put a report in to the engineers, who will phone me.   They never phone.   I then continue with the phone calls at 2-hourly intervals, getting a different person each time, and explaining the problem yet again.  Each customer service representative suggests a different reason for the problem.  They just guess because they haven't a clue.  They just want to get you off the line.

Some of them half-heartedly try to update the modem settings.  It doesn't work.

I avoided mentioning the problem to Mr A because he is busy and in any case doesn't have time to deal with all this.  However, for some unexplained reason, even though I had given MY mobile phone number for contact, they had discovered his number from an old report, and sent him a message.  Without telling me, he phoned a TTNet engineer in Milas who he knows, and asked him to come out to the house.  Then he rang me to tell me.

The engineer arrived with his assistant, who speaks English.  They've been here before and it's easy to communicate with him.

The engineer sat down at my laptop and proceeded to try to fix the problem.  He couldn't do it.  I asked his assistant if there was a problem with the modem.  He ignored me.  I asked again...three times in fact...he still ignored me.  Then the engineer made a phone call on his mobile, chatted to someone then handed the phone to me.  It was Mr A.   He was annoyed at being disturbed and proceeded to tell me what the engineer had said.   He didn't give me chance to explain that I hadn't asked the engineer to ring him and I got the brunt of his anger.

So now I am angry.   I stood in front of the assistant, forcing him to look at me and proceeded to tell him that this is the 21st century,  that women are equal and should be treated with respect.  I am capable of making decisions.  That if I speak to someone I do not expect to be ignored.  That this is my internet account, my problem, not my husband's and that they do not ring him, but they deal with me.  And I asked the question again "Is this a problem with the modem?"   He said yes he thought so.  I said OK, I have a new modem which I bought from TTNet some time ago which hasn't been used and I produced it.

There was unfortunately no adaptor in the box, but even I know that the existing adaptor will fit, but he is telling me I will have to go and get another adaptor.  Then they packed up and left.  I immediately plugged in the new modem and the lights came on except for the WLAN light.  I phoned the engineer's assistant (he had given me his number on their previous visit).  I asked him to return (they were still in the village) and deal with the modem.  He hung up on me.

I phoned TTNet and got them to set up the modem, which they did.  I still had no connection.

During all this to-ing and fro-ing I had been talking to my brother-in-law Yakup who has always been helpful with computer problems, and he said at this point that maybe the WLAN had been disconnected by the engineer.  I phoned TTNet again.  They checked the modem (the new unused one) and it was broken.  I connected the old modem and it was fine.   Still no connection though.  And yet another report submitted to the engineers, to call me back, and again no contact from them.

Maybe your eyes are glazing over by now, so you are forgiven if you want to stop reading, but I need to get this all off my chest because it makes me feel better (and it's a good reference point, should I have the same problems in the future).

This morning I got up and caught the bus into Milas with my laptop.  I decided that if it wasn't the modem, then it may be a laptop problem.  I popped in first to my friendly English-speaking pharmacist to get some treatment for the many mosquito bites I have acquired this week (another of the niggly problems).   Plus more tablets for my IBS, as I have had a particularly bad flare-up this doubt caused by stress, but I have completely lost my appetite and have lost 5 kilos in as many days.

Anyway, we got to chatting about the internet problems and he told me to log in to his network and test my laptop.  It was absolutely fine, so clearly it was a TTNet problem.

I decided to walk down to a favourite café which happens to have Wi-Fi, have a coffee and log on.  The coffee machine was broken so I had a cold drink instead, obtained the network password and logged on.   Fine.  Two minutes later internet connection was lost, and the café owner was unable to do anything about it.  So I gave up.

On arriving home, I logged on, and still had the same problem.  I phoned TTNet and this time I just could not remain civil and polite.  I completely lost it.  I shouted, threatened, ranted and raved, and insisted that this problem was fixed today.  From experience I realise that this is often the way that Turks deal with problems, but I have on most occasions tried to remain calm and polite, thinking that this was the best way to achieve results.

Twenty minutes later my internet connection was restored as if by magic.   So whatever the engineers did, I am pretty sure they could have done two days ago.

In future I will not be polite and pussyfoot around these people.  I will adopt the Turkish way of dealing with it.  It seems the only way to get results.

PS  Apart from having no connection for two days, for about a week now I have been unable to leave comments on most of the blogs that I follow.  I am trying to catch up now with reading, so if you don't get a comment from me, I apologise, but there is nothing I can do about it, until Blogger decides to resolve the problem.