Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Clever dogs welcomed a quiet sit or lie down when asked.

Don't you just love them!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Interesting facts regarding dogs in Cyprus

All dogs in Cyprus must be registered and licenced. Any residence that includes a dog must have a visible "Beware of the Dog" sign posted
The island is free from all serious contagious animal diseases.
Be aware of the summer heat can be a danger to some dogs.  Swimming pools pose a real danger.
There is a danger of chemical poisoning, especially near farmland, to dogs that tend to scavenge. Poisons may include carbamate pesticides Lanate (Lannate) and Nudrin (Methomyl), which can be highly toxic to a dog. If it is suspected an animal has ingested poison seek immediate help from a vet.
There are three types of venomous snakes found in the wild in Cyprus, the most dangerous being the Vipera lebetina or Blunt Nosed Viper. It is a fat, front-fanged  snake, identifiable by the "blunt nose" and dull grey/brownish shade. It typically reaches 130 cm in length and is most commonly found near streams and in shaded areas under rocks or shrubs. All snakes are most active during the summer. If a pet receives a snakebite, seek immediate help from a veterinarian.
There is a Facebook page dedicated to notifying people of poisonings: https://www.facebook.com/SkippyKit
All the above information has been gleaned from the internet.
Whilst most people in Britain focus on the huge welfare issues ( welfare problems we are indeed suffering from ourselves) there is more to Cyprus than just cruelty.  This of course does not mean we should ignore it but of course I am sure there is much to learn from looking at other countries way of living with dogs.

A fresh look

Every time I go on holiday I can't help but seek dogs out.

This time there was a positive drought of dogs, the more I looked the less I found.  I think three days is the longest I have ever had not seeing a dog and I don't like it!

The first pooch I did see was named Bonny which I though was a funny ironic name since we were in Cyprus and she had a Cypriote owner. A small breed a lovely sandy colour clearly clipped she shared the fishing duties on her owners boat.  Or rather she was standing on the boat watching and waiting.....for the left overs she would clearly be enjoying once the fishing as done.

With no shade, a great view and great company I thought of what a great life she has.  She may have never been wormed, vaccinated or indeed walked but she was clearly a welcome companion to this guy as he worked away.

Next was bizarrely two huskies.  I always wonder about Huskies and heavy coated breeds in hot countries yet every where I have been there has always been the same.  The guy was walking hard, mainly because the dogs were walking hard and were happily pulling him along.  I saw a tiny snippet of their lives and it made me just want to know more.

Whilst sipping a rather lovely cocktail( sheesh check me out and I did need to walk them off, I had two a glorious mix of strawberry puree and champagne) a mix was being walked by his owner heading off for the beach ( past the big NO DOGS sign)like a short back version of a long haired dachshund.

The last three I saw were actually on a phone...no of course they weren't ringing someone I was merely admiring them on the owners phone gallery.  Now this was interesting as I found out what their daily routine was, where they lived and all those little snippets I just love to hear about.  Vicky was one of our receptionists in the Melini she has a lovely GSD bitch who had free rein of the house and garden.  Then one day whilst in season she was caught by a local hunters dog...usually English pointers or a mix of pointers.  In due time she gave birth to two healthy pups and needless to say the pups stayed.  The bitch puppy is very like mum with flop ears whereas the dog pup is a big lump of a pup and much more hound like.

After chewing pretty much anything and everything in and out of reach they ended up living in a home made pen with shelter and much entertainment.  Much like our guys they are walked regularly on local fields and like many of our british dogs they have the usual problems of pulling, non recalls and lead aggression.  Funny how different continents can have such similar problems and similar lives whether this is down to an english owner is likely.

The hunting dogs in Cyprus are similar to ours, pointers and springers with the odd beagle and beagle cross.  They main quarry are european hares and partridges although I am certain cats will also be on the fair game list for many unfortunately.  I bought a hunting mag and dog mag, one article highlighting a problem with regular poisoning of dogs by fresh meat left laced with goodness knows what, it took me two days just to work out that much as needless to say it was in greek and I don't speak or read Greek though I am learning through necessity haha I do love a good dog mag.

I didn't see as many cats as I expected and the ones I saw where all pregnant or lactating.  Although I wanted to rescue them there and then my logical brain also wondered what most feral cats/ dogs would do if given the choice to live lives like ours or their hard lives full of danger but freedom.

I have enjoyed books, though they made me cringe, where the owners or keepers of the dogs allowed them absolute freedom.  The dogs came and went, lived and died by their actions and it makes you think long and hard about our guys lives.  I wonder how our dogs would change if given absolute freedom to roam and come back with all the risks that entails.  I have no doubt many would be happier, my would disappear and many more would die so it is not something I will be experimenting with.  Maybe the day the lottery win comes i will buy a huge estate and test my theory with free roaming within a monstrous fenced area.  How interesting would that be and I just wonder how much time my boys would actually spend with me( gulp).  

On that note I feel it would be a wonderful learning experience so if anyone feels they would like to sponsor me to take a year out, supply me with a huge estate for my cat/ horses/ dogs and of course me and Bruce to free roam please contact me at anytime to make arrangements...all in the name of research of course!