Gone to the Dogs

I love dogs. We always had dogs at home. Petra, Pepe, Rocky and the rest were all emotionally interwoven into the rich tapestry of my family life. When they died, I cried. I even wept when my hamster, Goliath, performed a fatal somersault off the top of the freezer though I confess my pain was short lived and Goliath was quickly replaced by Samson.

After we migrated we were taken by surprise by the volume of stray and feral dogs sniffing aimlessly around the streets. Liam’s often waylaid by a wet snout playfully jammed into his groin and we are often tempted to take Rover home, hose him down and feed him up. I’m not at all surprised that animal welfare is an emigrey preoccupation. The story of an animal-lover leading her pack to a Bulgarian Promised Land like a modern day Moses is but an extreme example of the canine devotion that seems to dominate the humdrum lives of many.

Animal welfare is a noble cause but so too is the care and protection of children. It distresses me to hear and read so little about the plight of the thousands of children in our foster land who lead brutal and miserable lives, trapped within abusive families, rented out by the hour or thrown onto the streets to fend for themselves. Take a look at the following articles if you can bear to know more.

Istanbul home to 30,000 street children

Rise in sexual abuse of minors

Child Labour

It’s easy to think that the problem is overwhelming and nothing can be done, an all too comfortable mind-set that is underpinned by the apparent dearth of children’s charities and non-governmental organisations working within Turkey. However, it is possible make a difference no matter how small. Why not sponsor a child in Turkey or make a contribution to Unicef?

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