Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Polis Dog Pound ...

For those who live anywhere near Polis Chrysochous, you may or not be aware that the municipality has a dog pound and someone who is theoretically in charge of it. They supply food and water, and a caged area for the strays. After fifteen days (and this is the point of this post) the dogs are put to sleep unless someone comes forward to claim them or offer them a home.

Step forward Ruby Pearl Evans from Lysos who is the dogs' guardian angel. I cannot remember the exact number but she has over a dozen rescue dogs living with her at home, and she makes the journey from Lysos to the pound twice a day to feed the dogs, play with them and clear up the mess they inevitably leave. When the dogs have been there for more than fifteen days, she then pays for food for them out of her own pocket in the hope she can find them homes before they have to be put to sleep.

My heart bleeds for these dogs (and the many thousands and thousands of dogs in pounds, and running loose) and it is a sad reflection on this country that nothing more is being done. As some of  you may know we have adopted a lovely young dog (who reminds us of Harvey in those brilliant tv adverts a couple of years ago) and she is slowly coming to terms with us and our two cats.

We have offered to help Ruby with the feeding of the puppies a couple of times a week, and I know another woman has also offered help. But I wonder whether animal lovers in the area might step forward to help. Anyone wanting to offer one of these gorgeous puppies a home (or even a foster home) would be welcome with open arms.

I realise it is no small thing to adopt a dog but ...

Sunday, 23 July 2017

It was inevitable, I suppose ...

Ann and I offered to help a local lady, who made a plea for help on Facebook, and who has taken responsibility for looking after the dogs in the Polis pound. We agreed to meet her on Thursday at the pound to feed and play with the dogs there. Ann and I had a long talk before going, and both agreed we would not take any dog or dogs home - no matter how appealing they were.

And so we arrived and were given entrance to the enclosure. There were about ten dogs there, one large male in a cage (as one of the bitches was in season) and about seven or eight very young puppies, all of whom were very excited to see us. Ann's shoelaces were a terrific attraction, and a couple of the puppies helped her to undo them. After removing the shoelaces there was a terrific tug-of-war to gain control of the aforementioned laces.

On Saturday morning, despite all we had said, we returned to pick up Daisy (a three-year old bitch) to take her home for the weekend on trial. Our cats sulked and stared, whilst Daisy kept her distance and just wagged her tail. She obviously wants to be the best of friends with everyone. Our garden is not yet dog-proof and our friend Tim came round to suggest the best way to make it so. By the way things have gone, it will be off to the hardware shop early next week.

The day proceeded in a fairly predictable fashion and Daisy followed us around wherever we went. We had cool water available for her and we had bought some dog food on the way back from the pound. Daisy was found by some Swiss (I think) tourists who were lost. She was tied to a tree, and there were no houses in sight. As they were lost, they could not tell exactly where that was. She was not microchipped but was obviously from a domestic environment. Why she was abandoned, God alone knows.

She is a beautiful girl with a lovely white coat. If all goes well she will have to be speyed at the end of next week, have her inoculations, and have her anti-flea and anti-tick treatment reinforced. Then she will have to be microchipped, registered and apparently we should have a sign for the gate saying "Beware of the dog". Being British we shall, of course, obey the rules. Happy days ahead ...

Friday, 7 July 2017

The "Cyprus Syndrome"

I have come to the conclusion that there is definitely a "Cyprus Syndrome" which affects Britons living here. It all comes down to the small communities in which we live, and it may be something to do with the fact we live on the outskirts of a small village - rather than living in the centre of Limassol.

In the UK we had, and still have, friends with whom we keep in touch and who come out occasionally to visit. They all had one thing in common. They were of a similar age (although some are younger), and had similar interests to us, and - by and large - were professionally employed. British people, by and large (and there's a generalisation for you), tend to feel comfortable when they live alongside people like them. Human beings have evolved into tribal creatures and that's the way they like it. It explains a great deal about the problems immigration throws up in the UK.

But in Cyprus, with a much smaller population, quite often British people congregate and "make friends" with other Britons. Are these "friends" true friends? I am not so sure. When we first arrived we held a party at our new home, and there were a few Greek Cypriots (who all sat together and talked to each other) and some people who had offered advice or help before we came out here to live. One couple became proper friends, until his untimely death in a car crash, another couple became "friends" and we haven't heard from them for months and months and months. Other guests turned out not to be "our cup of tea", and so any relationship withered.

I believe some expats collect "friends" almost like a safety blanket. Others want to be "best friends forever" within a few hours of meeting. But when I compare them to our friends in the UK it took years and years before the friendships developed. And so the "Cyprus Syndrome" ... I wonder whether all expat communities have the same or similar syndromes? Only time will tell.