Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Living in the centre of busy, bustling Bodrum means compromise. Hubbub abounds. It comes with the territory. It’s part of the charm. We filter out the mad traffic, high-pitched horns and loud rows. We’re from the Smoke and old London Town is not so different. It’s the price worth paying for the short skip to the marina inns and eateries that serve to remind us that we’re sophisticated boys about town (or so we think). Calm country living in the middle of a muddy field is not our style. But, (here comes the but) we are wrestling with the double whammy of ferocious, veracious miniscule flies and barking mad, howling hounds. The midget midges circle us like we’re rotting corpses. The mozzie net has been re-erected above our bed as our only line of defence.

The flies will die but there’s no easy solution for the dogs. As all emigreys know, most Turks have an entirely different relationship with man’s best friend. Here in Bodrum you will see some dogs on leads but they tend to be the toy variety attached to the over-dressed well-to-do. Most mutts hereabouts perform the traditional guard and protect function, chained up outside. For our considerable sins we’re surrounded by four of them. Passage down our busy thoroughfare, even in the small hours, is constant. So too is the barking. We’re serenaded by quadrophonic yapping 24 hours a day. Have people not heard of house alarms?

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15 thoughts on “Mad Dogs and Englishmen

  1. Oh! I can SO relate to this post. If you want to hear dogs barking at a really dramatic level, try Jamaica! Admittedly, we have two ourselves – two crazy mutts who career around our yard pretending to chase rats (or cats, which hardly exist in our neck of the woods). Our well-off neighbors have little fluffy things, but the average Jamaican dog is nondescript, brown, fiercely loyal – and loud. We don’t chain ours up of course, and they do actually frighten people away – Jamaicans are mortally afraid of dogs except for the ball of fluff variety. So they are better than a burglar alarm. What really gets me is that we have too many of the darn things – the street dogs are a menace, digging up garbage, copulating in the middle of the road and generally stirring up trouble. They usually start the barking routine some time towards midnight, when I am just getting into my deeper sleep. My husband has been known to run out of the house, grab large stones and throw them at the street dogs in the early hours of the morning. I hear a yelp and he returns triumphantly: “I got one.” One thing I’m thankful for… no flies. And we have a “zapper” which frizzles the mosquitoes.


      1. That’s why there are so many… to frighten off other Turks. If they are your own dogs, they’re cool. But other people’s… Some Jamaicans have some huge creatures – Rottweilers and the like (I happen to love Rottweilers though)… and love their own dogs, but of course they terrify the living daylights out of any potential mango thief.


  2. The dogs in this country are a real problem. I wish the government would realise that the only effective way of dealing with it is for a mass sterilisation programme. I hate to see dogs chained up (and people here use VERY short chains which is cruel and only makes the dogs bark even more). Of course there are groups that try to help by rescuing and re-homing them (such as Turkish Animal Group which I support) but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    Oh and don’t mention flies…there are more about this year and they’re driving me nuts.And shouldn’t the mosquitoes have disappeared by now? The only reason I’m here reading blogs at 4.00am is because I’m wide awake after chasing one around the bedroom for the past hour!


  3. Ha ha, sounds like they’re driving you mad. We’re lucky where we are. We seem to live in a street of people who aren’t remotely interested in owning pets. We rented an apartment when we first cam here though and the dogs kept us awake all the time. I love dogs – but not when I need my kip! 🙂


  4. . . before dear old Sinsi-dog became bereft of life last year she managed, despite ‘the op’, to come in to season at least twice a year. This would draw in a Muttly crew from as far afield as Denizli (no J, this is not hyperbole, I’ve counted the buggers!). They seemed to lie up during the day to avoid me and my catapult, but the row all night long was such that we took to letting her go off and do her thing around the village. Our lovely neighbours were totally un-phased by this twice yearly travelling mad-house and would often comment to us that she had been in their back yard and was obviously having a good time – nudge, nudge, wink, wink!


  5. Our problem at the top of the hill is that many surrounding home owners are on in situ during the summer and leave (one supposes) their least favourite mutt to guard the properties through the winter under the careful eye of our shared bekçi. This is bearable and serves me some comfort until the guy down the road lets his 2 retrievers run riot without a leash for half an hour, twice a day for their exercise while he stands watching, having a fag or 3 and every single other dog goes absolutely mental. Or a cat happens to stroll past and they go mental. Or the gas/electricity/water/telephone man comes and they go mental. Or the wind blows and they go mental…… I find shouting ‘Shut the **** up’ at the top of my voice works wonders for long enough for me to get back to sleep 🙂


  6. Fortunately I got meningitis when I was 16. When the dogs start barking I roll over, put the good ear to the pillow and sleep like a babe. It works equally well with the call to prayer, the high heeled early riser in the apartment above and minor earthquakes.


  7. Oh dear that would definitely turn me off living in Turkey. In India wild dogs are everywhere, but they seem too malnourished to be a threat, certainly doesn’t stop them from making a lot of noise too though.


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