Our re-acquaintance, after a absence of 5 years, with the lewd, the rude and the crude of the Isle of Dogs* reminded me of a bit of a gag that Bob Senkow sent me some time ago:
It’s important to have a man who helps at home, who cooks from time to time, cleans up and has a job.
It’s important to have a man who can make you laugh.
It’s important to have a man who you can trust and who doesn’t lie to you.
It’s important to have a man who is good in bed and who likes to be with you.
It’s very, very, very important that these four men don’t know each other.
Just a happy gay life? Discuss.
*Contrary to its name, the islands have little to nothing to do with the canary bird. Rather, it is the bird that is named after the islands, not the converse. The name Islas Canarias is likely derived from the Latin name Canariae Insulae, meaning “Island of the Dogs”, a name applied originally only to Gran Canaria. According to the historian Pliny the Elder, the Mauritanian king Juba II named the island Canaria because it contained “vast multitudes of dogs of very large size”. Source: Wikipedia.
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?
Our fat perfidious landlord has unveiled his dastardly intention to evict us should he find a buyer for the house. This is in spite of our two year tenancy agreement and faultless payment history. We will jump before we are pushed. Our minds are now set on change and this is the opportunity to cast our net wider than sleepy Yalıkavak. We now know there is more to the Bodrum Peninsula than living in an igloo with a view on the edge of a ghost town populated by street dogs and feral felines. Besides, the vile Vikings are back for the spring and I don’t relish the prospect of enduring the whinging drivel from miserable Cnut or the sight of vapid Ragnild’s gravity ravaged baps. Despite the temporary bedlam, a Bodrum in shiny new livery looks promising.
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.
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?
Care for the animals by all means but care for the children too.
Yalıkavak life is in hibernation mode, and the hatches are well and truly battened down. As a working town, daytime activities go on as they must, but by night the village falls eerily silent except for roving packs of abandoned hounds and the few venues scraping a scanty living from the rare hardy emigrey annuals who venture out after dark.
Dogs in Turkey are employed primarily to guard houses not to live in them and are discarded when no longer required, usually at the end of the season. The local council does its best to control the numbers but resources are limited and the supply overwhelming. For the most part, the animals seem healthy and happy, more of a nuisance than a danger. I suppose life on the streets is preferable (and certainly more natural) to being tethered to a post in solitary confinement and fed on kitchen slops. We’ve been sorely tempted to salvage a winsome mutt with a sad, down at heel expression but this would be unfair given our frequent sojourns to Blighty to placate our abandoned families.
Animal-loving emigreys are appalled by the callous treatment of man’s best friend. After all, it’s well known that Brits love their pets more than their children. So, fund-raising and re-homing of street dogs is a regular aspect of emigrey life. A concern for street children seems less prevalent.