Successes and failures

I suppose it’s better to get the bad news out of the way first. Well it’s not really bad news, just a bad experience, but only one. The Sunday before last I gave all the dogs their breakfast at about 7am as usual,  then took them into the garden for a sniff, bark, pee and poo. Whisky was being particularly good, paying attention to me and coming to me when I called her (she was still on a long lead) so I thought I’d give her a treat and let her off her lead.

Mistake.

She immediately trotted off into the bushes at the side of the garden, found a hole in the fence and went out to see what she could find. I wasn’t too worried about this at first because she had escaped once before and had been relatively easy to catch after fifteen minutes or so. I went out into the bushes after her with the lead and followed her here and there, all the time just too late or just too far away to catch her. Then she went onto the road and trotted off towards Pınarbaşı, the next village. This made me worry about her a lot more because she has never experienced road traffic and doesn’t know to keep out of the way of vehicles. I walked after her for ten or fifteen minutes but then went back to the house to get some proper shoes, sunglasses because my eyes were hurting and I returned to the chase on my scooter.

I drove slowly up the road and eventually saw her and stopped to try and get the lead on her again, no luck. She would come to about a metre from me and seemed quite happy to be near me but she wasn’t close enough for me to get hold of her. Luckily there weren’t many passing vehicles and her natural timidity caused her to get off the road when a vehicle came past. All this time my right eye was getting worse, streaming with tears and starting to be quite painful. I went back to the house, bathed both eyes and returned to Whisky with a tin of meaty dog food to entice her closer to me. Over the next hour or so I managed to get my fingers on her collar three times but she jerked away each time .

Eventually my eye got so bad that I had to go back to my house to wash it out again. Something had got into it I was sure but I couldn’t see anything. The pain subsided with the cool water so I went and had another try to get Whisky but it was no use. By this time it was 12 o-clock midday! I had not even had my first coffee or any breakfast so I again went back and made a coffee, started making breakfast and bathed my eye again. As I looked up from the kitchen sink there was Whisky having a drink from the water bowl on the front terrace! She had come back by herself. I went out to her, she still didn’t want to come too close to me but she did start following so I walked around the outside of the house a couple of times and then stood near her kennel and she walked into it and lay down looking quite pleased with herself. I secured her lead ate breakfast and then went to the hospital to see if there was anything they could do with my eye. On the following Tuesday I saw the ophthalmologist who did various test and pronounced me free from any lasting damage, still don’t know what really happened but the problem has gone away with repeated use of lubricating drops.

Now the good things, Whisky has become much calmer and is able to bounce back from upsets much more quickly. She has become quite used to being fussed and stroked and even wants to jump up at me in the general boisterous melee when I go out to them all first thing in the mornings. And she has found a voice, not a real bark but little squeaks of excitement and happiness when I bring the breakfast.

Maureen, who lives up the road from me with her husband John, came to see her the other day and proved one of my thoughts right, Whisky seems to be happier approaching women, this is quite a usual thing with a lot of dogs apparently. From what I have read it seems that a lot of dogs find the lower pitched male voice more scary and off putting.

My other dogs are interacting with Whisky in a normal fashion now, sniffing each other and touching noses in the usual way. I just wish that it was easier to photograph her, because she is black most photos just show her as a black dog-shaped hole in an otherwise well exposed frame, I have the same problem with my black cat, they always look like silhouettes. I would love to post more photos of her here, also she is not an easy model, if I don’t get a photo of her within about 10 seconds she becomes afraid of the camera and dives into her kennel. I have a lot of blurred pictures of her leaving the side of the frame.

Well that’s all for now, generally things are looking more positive and successful than I had first thought, we’ll just keep calm and carry on.

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8 Responses to Successes and failures

  1. Moira Rutherford says:

    Oh so pleased she came back but pretty scary for you xxx

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  2. Carl Andrews says:

    Pixie her Mum (who lives with us ) loves to wander off, sometimes a few minutes others an hour or so. She is a real houdini and will manage a way out of the well fenced garden if she is really on a mission……. BTW she never barks!!!…..

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    • cukurbagli says:

      Thanks Carol, so she has the wanderlust in her blood eh? Perhaps I should install a back gate in my fence so she can wander in the bushes without going to the road. Interesting that her Mum never barks either, wonder if it is a hereditary voicebox defect or a learned action?

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  3. Teresa Reeves says:

    I have enjoyed reading the blog and can relate to it. It’s hard to get the roaming instinct out of street dogs, but it’s true they do come back. Apart from the roads, one of the main worries around here is poison. Just on Tuesday, when I was up the shelter, I found my carpenter there with his dog that had eaten poisoned bait. After my early months here of finding some of the dogs had managed to escape and go walkabout, I had the garden escape proofed and that has given me peace of mind. A few times when workmen had to come in, Olive, who used to live in the shelter before she was chewed up by the other dogs, managed to slip out of the gate and go running down the road. No good chasing her. But less than half an hour later she would be at the gate again, dancing around and very proud of herself. I laughed at your comment on taking photos of black dogs. One has get the light and the background just right. Really hard.

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    • cukurbagli says:

      Thanks Teresa. Some years ago my black dog Alfie ate poison put out for the boar up at the top end of Çukurbağ. I was on my own, no phone and about a mile from my house. I ran back to get my car to take him to a vet and he was dead by the time I got back. I’ve seen boar at the same place dead in the road.

      Getting the conditions right to photograph black cats and dogs is hard but I have found the hardest thing is to get them to sit still, practically impossible unless you’ve got a laid back guy like Wolfie.

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  4. Elly says:

    How worried you must have been when Whishy disappeared. Our Lulu also liked to discover the neighbourhood, so we kept her and Ollie on the lead when they were in the garden. And always the leads got into a mess while they were playing. Now, we have them for a year, they stay in the garden. Lulu sometimes escapes, but she comes back, tailwagging.
    Everything will end well, but it takes time and confidence.

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  5. cukurbagli says:

    Thanks Elly, yes, time and confidence, I will repeat that to myself every morning.

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