Kopek(there are two dots over the o) is dog in Turkish. In Turkey there are ALOT of stray cats and dogs. They seem to mainly stick to their areas and communities they rely on for food(or garbage if it is all that is available). This is our house community but there are a whole other pack of characters that live by the cafe.
In our little community there is our crazy Tequila, our 6 month year old who is learning about life, who never goes hungry and has a family who loves her. She looks beautiful and calm in this photo but don't be deceived...she's a puppy!! In Turkish maniac has just a little different pronunciation, our Manyak! She is learning and we do love her!
In our community the next character I would like to introduce you to is Fred. Fred is the Loner. He is the cool, tough guy unless you mess with his food then he is scary! This photo doesn't do his size justice...this is a big dog. He is up to my waist and his head is huge! He is part Kangal, sheep dog. He is old and has scars on his face to prove it. He doesn't just stay next to one house but wonders around the neighborhood for his next meal. Fred's old mom was adopted by a neighbor, partially because she is old and partially they want protection for their house and possessions. The neighbors are currently out of town for a month and the workman are looking after this crazy old barker. Sometimes Fred goes and sits by her house, everyone loves their mom. She is crazy but doesn't bark at Fred. He wants food and trys to rub up against you for some loving but you feel like you need to wash your hand immediately after. Times get hard for these street dogs in the winter because this is a summer home community by the sea. Few families are here in the winter and that is less extra food for the dogs(and kitties). They get really hungry!
This is Shero. His name is a mix of Seker(sugar in Turkish) and hero. He has a family. I am not sure if he was a stray originally and they adopted him or how he came to live on our neighbors lawn. But he is feed at least once a day but free to come and go as he pleases. He loves being pet that is why our neighbor added sugar to his name. He is sweet to humans but not Tequila. It took him a long time to warm up to her. I think because she always wants to play. He is coming around. His best buddy's name is Hero. He is so cute!!!! He is in the below photo. When I first came back to Turkey in August he was always wondering around looking scared like he had been abused before. Our neighbor nursed him, fed him and loved him and now he is ok around humans. He is so freaking fast! Tequila tries to run after him but can't catch him. It is good for her to learn from him. He can't be more than a year and is always eager to run and play with Tequila. His best buddy, shero might be jealous of that too! He always wages his little tail but is still a bit shy. He has had the worst luck this adorable little dog. As I said before he was probably abused before our lives crossed paths, then last week he was shot with a be be gun(baby gun...he he inside joke for mom and dad) in the leg. So he limped around for a while but our neighbor nursed him back to health. We thought he was fine until 3 days ago. I was walking tequila and he was lying down obviously ill, he growled at both of us which he had never done before. Later that day...
I found out he had been poisoned! Yes some idiot had fed him poisoned meat. There was this other little white dog that our neighbor found dead along with four kitties... all dead! Poisoned! Our neighbors, Attila and Nurtan are the ones that feed and love all these animals. Nurtan went to Istanbul to see her daughter the night before and then Attila found the dead dog and kitties in the morning and found out hero was so ill. So Attila called the vet. The vet said if he wasn't dead in 6 hours he would be ok. For two days we all checked on this little sick dog who just laid there trying to hide in the bushes because he was in pain, barely eating or drinking just lying there suffering. Enough was enough this little dog needs the vet or to die because this was just awful to watch. Finally after Caglar's mom and I talked to Attila he called the vet again. The vet just came to the bushes and gave him 6 different shots. Hopefully this little guy will be better by morning...at least not suffering!
Attila thinks the handy man for the neighboring housing site feed them the poison. The man has chickens and maybe these hungry dogs got into them? I don't know but they don't deserve to be poisoned. The man has kids...how can he feel good about himself poisoning poor animals whether they got into his chickens or not. He free ranges his chickens...get a bigger fence or something buddy! I am so angry and it was so hard to see this sweet dog that has had such a hard life lie there so sick he couldn't even stand up!
Unfortunately this sort of mentality is not a singular case in Turkey. The stray animals is a huge problem that in most cases is poorly dealt with. I have heard other cases of feeding animals poisoned meat, what poison do they use? Also stories of rounding up the animals and dropping them in remote locations, out of site out of mind- NO!!!! They just starve out there. They are reliant on us for food. Some dogs get spayed or neutered but not enough and not cats! pray for this little dog, Hero tonight!
The Sad State of Strays is an article from the Turkish Daily News about strays from last August.
One more article about a woman, Perhihan Agnelli who has been doing something about this issue.