Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Sunday November 10th 2019
Now for the beautiful pup I met at the end of last week.
There we are, Y, J and I, sitting on our favourite log in Highbury Park, with half an eye on Isis who is dancing vigorously with her woodland edge. I use the word ‘with’ advisedly, for she is actively engaged with the brambles, plants and hedgerows, brushing up against them, patting, nibbling and grabbing.
Meanwhile, Blitzi is chasing off crows nearby.
Then J. arrives with Ruby, Sophie and Rory.
When K arrives with Scamp, that makes six rescues: Isis, Ruby, Sophie and Rory adopted through Dogwatch UK, Blitzi hailing from Birmingham Dogs’ home, and Scamp rescued from an unsuitable home in Scotland.
As we are admiring all the dogs, yet another rescue joins us. We are introduced to puppy Simba from Turkey who is nine months old.
J, his human, tells us his story.
Apparently, there are beach bars on the Turkish coast which take on puppies and kittens for the holiday season because tourists find them appealing. At the end of the season, when the bars close, the young animals are abandoned and left to look after themselves.
Concerned about the neglected dogs, a group of half a dozen local residents has formed. These volunteers take it in turns to visit the beach dogs every day to check that they’re OK and to ensure that they have shelter, food and water. They also try to find permanent homes for them.
When J and her partner visit Turkey early this year, they meet the group, fall in love with Simba and make arrangements to adopt him.
They return in September to bring him home and find that Simba now has a best friend – Mikey, an abandoned black labrador – who adores him. He’s two months older than Simba and they are inseparable.
On their last day at the resort, as J and her partner sit with some of the volunteers at a nearby bar, Mikey squeezes himself between them and sits down too.
They would love to offer a home to Mikey, but can’t afford to take both dogs. J can’t bear the thought of separating them for ever.
“Mikey’s going to miss his friend,” comments one of the group.
“Not for long,” interjects J’s partner, “He’s coming as well when we’ve sorted out the finance.”
J, astonished, bursts into tears.
They have arranged to fetch Mikey in February, and can’t wait to witness the reunion.
With the arrival of all these dogs on her patch, Isis, we observe, is walking purposefully towards the path to the car park.
I catch up with her and put her on the lead. To my surprise, she’s quite happy to walk back with me to the log and rejoin the group. She even stands calmly beside me as most of the humans disperse with their dogs.
Blitzi is in front of her, sniffing Simba, his tail wagging slowly in front of Hairy One’s face. To my surprise and delight, she makes a couple of playful grabs at his tail. This is the first time she’s ever attempted to play with another dog!
What an interesting day.
Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact email@example.com or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk