3

Just as I thought

The little pup is dead….

Today we braved the snow and ice and went to feed the dogs…

.Just as we reached the top of our village road there was a Mum dog and two chubby pups following her but they were on the other side of what can be quite a busy road.

I asked Neville to stop and after a tut or two he did. I got out of the car and from the back took a packet of dog biscuits..plus my walking stick..the snow was quite deep and slushy but the stick came in better use to stop the traffic . An old lady with a waving walking stick does make cars stop.

I went across the road and placed the food on the snow and Mum began to eat whilst the pups plonked their fat little bottoms on the snow and watched…

It was sad when we got to the water hole in Draganovo. No dog at all!..I called and called. We hooted the horn and revved the engine….but nothing.

Considering that it has been so cold with the temperature last night at -17, a very heavy frost and there has been lots of snow I am not really surprised that pup has possibly died ….I feel sure that had he been alive he would have appeared…maybe I am wrong!

So Rexy got two lots of food which he thoroughly enjoyed. There are tyre tracks in the snow so someone has been there and maybe fed him..if not then he had a full course today.he is such a lovely dog..I just wish he were mine!

So there we have it…it is sad but in a way i am relieved… because we live so far away it would not always be possible to be there to feed him and then what would I have done in the months ahead…I cannot possibly  be responsible for all the stray dogs in the world so maybe in this case the Good Lord  made the decision

2

I hope that I am wrong…

…..But I sadly fear that the little pup that I have fed in Draganovo may be dead.

I have not been to see it but the last time it was fed was on Tuesday when my friend Karen had to go that way.He is only tiny , very skinny and not much fur to keep him warm

Since Tuesday it has snowed again and again, the road in our village has not been cleared and it is like an ice rink. Every night the temperature plummets and I think of the wee creature out there in the snow with no food and no shelter. It makes me feel very sad.

As sad as I feel I cannot risk our lives on the roads such as they are,

However tomorrow the sun is supposed to shine and on Saturday so maybe we shall be able to go to find out. The other dog Rex is ok, I am sure of that. He has a thick coat and he is an adult  dog who has lived through Bulgarian winters, also his owner comes to feed him..at least I hope so.

I shall just have to wait to find out…

 

2

Not again!

I would not believe this  if I could not see it for myself..IT’S SNOWING AGAIN!!!

I thought is would be rain but it’s definitely the white stuff.

However we have been out to Veliko Tarnovo to collect our four pairs of new specs and at the same time I was able to feed the dogs again

There was still no sign of the other dog but the pup was there before the car had stopped so was rewarded with some food..cake bits, bread and milk

Rexy came just as soon as we pulled up and sniffed at his food offering …then he walked off. He is far more interested in having a cuddle and a fuss so I gave him both . He looks so dejected when we leave  but he did eat all his food as it was gone when we came back

So shopping done yesterday, VT done and sorted plus a visit to Metro, dogs all fed and accounted for (except one)…so let it snow..I have nowhere to go until Tuesday.

 

here is a picture of Holly and BobbyCIMG0208

2

All seems to be well

 

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It has finally stopped snowing, and the sun is shining so all the snow is quickly thawing but tomorrow we can expect rain which will possibly freeze later in the night.

So today was the day  we went shopping and it also gave me the opportunity to see if my stray dogs were safe.  So I packed two bags of scraps that I have been saving..one enough for the two dogs at the water hole and one just for Rexy at the wood yard.

When we got to Draganovo…. where the dog and puppy live , the snow was too thick for me to walk in so I called ‘Dog!, Dog Dog’ and out from the hillside appeared the puppy, so I put down the food ( which was for two dogs) but the other dog never arrived.

What has happened to him I do not know but it seems that throughout the very cold weather this small skinny pup has managed to survive…We left him devouring a pile of food.

We arrived at the wood yard but there was no sign of Rexy. There were four or five men fiddling with a  vehicle inside the gate so I called and asked where Rexy was…. Eventually Rexy emerged from the great barn but was not over joyed to see me until he realised who it was and that I had food. He is such a gentle kind dog and if he is supposed to be a guard dog, I think he has not read the manual about being aggressive or at least appearing to be so…

So all is ok except that the dog who was with the puppy was not there, but 2 out of 3 is good news. We shall be going that way again in the next day or two so maybe I shall see all three then…but for the moment I am happy that all seems to be well

4

It is cold bbrrrr!!!

12443520_211215375891965_1882113465_oIt is very very cold here in Bulgaria and there is masses of snow. It reminds me of the first winter we were here when the snow was piled high against the wall, and I got chilblains on my toes . I had to use sellotape to keep on what bandage I had. It was not a good time…but this time we are better prepared!

download 3Neville has been outside most days clearing the paths so that the cats can go to the toilet and the dogs can see where they are going. For the larger dogs like Max, Missy and Bonzo the snow is no problem …..but for the smaller ones like Holly, Bobby and Charlie ….they have to bounce up and down to see where they are going..its really rather comical.Like Jack-in-the-Box..up!down!up! down…

download 2It all looks very beautiful but the roads are lethal and like an ice rink so therefore unless life or limb are in danger it is best to wait.Daytime temperatures are -10/-15   and at night it drop dramatically . Five humans have died of the cold in the south of Bulgaria

BUT!!! I have stray dogs waiting for food and I cannot get to them. I think about this all the time….I would imagine that the very small pup under the trash bin in Dolna Oryahovitsa is dead by now . There is no way that it could have survived in these conditions.

And I hope that the man who owns Rexy the Karackachan living in the disused wood yard would have had the sense to go to feed his dog…but at least Rexy had some shelter even though it was a big drafty barn..also he had a good thick coat

However.. i wonder about the two dogs at Draganovo water hole ..there is no shelter and no food . The pup was skinny and not very old..These two worry me the most as the humans that live nearby are gypsies who probably threw them out in the first place so they would not feed them.

It is impossible to get the car there as it would put our own lives in danger…so they will have to survive without my help and this really does upset me..

To end on a lighter note..if I had a drone I could airlift food to them..Amazon ..where are you when i need you?

We shall survive and hopefully so will my stray dogs

6

My heart aches

images-3my-heart  January 2 of the New Year 2017…

We ventured out into the snow-covered roads to go to another village called Dolna Oryahovitsa to post a parcel at the Ekont office.

I also had an ulterior  motive. This was to take food to a Karakachan dog called Rex who lives in a disused wood yard. I think his owner does come to feed him but I like to add my bit. He is not chained up and completely free to wander so he stays there because he wants to and not because he has no choice.

However our first stop was the Ekont Office which was closed but as we drove away I spied a small puppy all by itself so I asked Neville to go back and  then I fed the pup some sausage roll and a bit of wild boar meat. He was so small..maybe 8 weeks , a little bundle of fluff which I think hid a very skinny body. When I first saw him/her it was rummaging his  little  nose into the snow around the garbage bin looking for food.  How could I not stop to help?

My next question…’we could put him in Carl’s garden? met with a resounding NO..and its the right answer. Every time i rescue a dog it ends up being a permanent fixture which is why we have 6 dogs. I have tried to find homes before for these pups that I rescue..I have pleaded, begged, and pleaded again but everything falls upon deaf ears and so they remain here…so when Neville said NO i could understand why….but it breaks my heart to turn away from a creature who needs help…for surely this pup will die in the coming weeks when the temperature is to be -20 and 50-60cms of snow….Maybe some kind soul living in Dolna Oryahovitsa will read this and go to save the dear soul.

Then after feeding Rex we made our way home and then as we passed the water spring ( where we found Mr Dog a couple of years ago) there was a mother dog with her pup…My heart aches for these poor creatures who do not ask to be born but pay a heavy price for being here…if only people would get their dogs spayed or neutered…it would save my heart a lot of pain because there is nothing I can do…

All I can do is to pray that they will find food to live another daythumbnailmended heart

4

Up to the North Pole

For a year our holiday in Norway had been booked. For a year we looked forward everyday to the great adventure..then suddenly its October 30 2016 and we are off on our travels. Two big cases ..one full of Arctic gear, coats, hats gloves boots, thermal underwear, thermal trousers and tops…everything the good Arctic traveller would need, including a supply of those packaged things that can warm your hands and feet. I have forgotten the name but i am sure you will know exactly what I mean. The other case was just normal clothes and other necessities…

Our journey took us to Sofia by bus. overnight in Sofia .to Gatwick by plane..to Heathrow by bus, overnight in Heathrow Ibis and the next day the flight to Bergen in Norway..Upon our arrival it was raining quite heavily and nobody knew where to go..eventually we found the bus stop and waited for the bus to arrive. Fortunately Neville and I managed to get on the first bus but others had to wait another hour…Finally we arrived at the ship2500x1250_spitsbergen-3b

We had cabin 605 and although it was a bit small and a bit tight it was ok but the beds were very high and for me to get into bed it was necessary to sit on the edge of bed and walk my feet slowly up the wall until I could push backwards. Neville had no problem because his legs are longer. Seems the idea is so that you can watch passing scenery without getting out of bed…

Now this is not a cruise ship as such..it carries parcels and loads to be delivered to all the ports along the coastal  highway. It actually stopped in 34 places going North and 34 coming back to the south . Our cabin was just to the side of the gangplank which at every stop would grind and  groan as it was opened and closed, even at 2 am….time was irrelevant  as deliveries had to be made. Just a bit inconvenient for passengers trying to sleep.

The food and the services were very good..maybe a bit too much fish as it was served everyday,and for nearly every meal.. but even I cannot find fault with the chef’s cooking skills.  I will add that I lost 1/2 stone in weight whilst away so I achieved something.

It was not cold enough for all thermal gear that we had brought with us, there was hardly any snow even though it was a bit cold but no worse than Bulgaria in the winter. We did not see any whales, in fact we did not see any Arctic animals at all …only in the museum and they were stuffed! We did see the Northern Lights but only just..nothing like the pictures you see..but then nature does not guarantee…I did find two or three dogs that i could pat and say hello to…mad fool!

The Bering Sea  is where many currents meet from various different oceansand my goodness was it rough. It was like being a small cork on the mighty ocean…one lady fell and hurt her head and many were seasick, including me, I did not enjoy that at all. To make matters worse we had to endure it all again on the return journey.

Did I enjoy my holiday? To be honest NO! But it was an experience that I am glad I have tried. Had we not gone we  would have always wondered what it would have been like. I enjoyed the experience but it is not one that will get repeated.

AND.. I did not see Father Christmas!!!