This morning I thought I would share my morning routine with everyone and introduce you to whom I meet on a regular basis on Ladies Beach here in Kusadasi.
I feel very privileged to live literally one minutes’ walk from my apartment to the beach and now that the tourist season is coming to a close, I have, as you can see, the beach to myself – plus a few four-legged friends.
My morning starts with my very necessary mug of black coffee as I look for a photograph of the many beautiful landscapes around Turkey to post on our Facebook page. During this time my own dog Ollie (the Cocker Spaniel) prances about giving me no peace to enjoy my coffee as he sees this time of the day to be purely dedicated to him. I get up; grab his leash and give Mao (our resident cat in our block) some food on the way out. Ollie has no time for Mao at this time of the morning and whilst I am trying to feed her he pulls impatiently with all four legs running although he is going nowhere as I have a tight grip on his lead.
Ollie drags me down onto the beach in his excitement and I am thinking that Ceaser Millan would not be impressed by my lack of control over my dog. However, once on the beach and his lead comes off; I have a well behaved dog that comes back (most of the time) to me when called.
In the distance I see some of my four-legged friends. As soon as they see me they come charging and for a stranger this sight can be a little frightening watching a pack of dogs descend on me and my small dog.
Betty arrives first as she is the fastest and loves to run up and down the beach chasing seagulls. Just when I think she is going to bound straight into me, she puts her brakes on and lays down for a belly rub. Bailey (the largest dog) is second and he grins (he really does) as he knows he is getting fed. Beyaz (sort of a lab) is next and her party trick is to constantly paw at me looking for a biscuit. Lagging behind and a little unsure of themselves are two black Labrador ish type dogs. I am sure that these two are sisters and one of them has a collar, but they have the traditional ear tags of a street dog. They have been accepted by the rest of the pack and someone is obviously feeding them.
Beyaz belongs to a local shop owner and he has sort of adopted Betty as well. These dogs are the lucky ones as they get plenty of food and thrive well. Bailey, I have fed since he was a pup. He is the boss of the pack and has had a lot of trauma in his life so he gets extra special attention.
Meanwhile Ollie is enjoying his walk and has no interest in the rest of the dogs. He spends his time sniffing and looking for food that even the street dogs will not eat.
I stopped for a coffee at a local restaurant and I am joined by Efe and; well I am not sure of her name – I usually say hello you. Ollie is the perfect gentleman and sits calmly while I enjoy my coffee before going home, and this time Ollie does stop and give Mao a sniff.
If anyone has any stories they would like to share about their own experiences here in Turkey, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can share them with the group or even publish them in the paper.