We have four families of dogs travelling with us from North Cyprus. We met up with everyone this morning at the port, and all of us waited patiently in the gorgeous sunshine while the last bits of admin and paperwork got sorted out.
Many of the dogs rescued by Kyrenia Animal Rescue (KAR) are Cyprus Poodles or include that breed in their makeup. Margaret of KAR has christened them all Cyprodoodles, and many are looking for loving new homes.
Here’s the background on just four of these lovely dogs — all young adults — who’re currently being looked after at the KAR rescue centre. If you have room in your life for a Cyprodoodle, visit the KAR website rehoming page or contact KAR.
These three handsome hounds are moving to Northern Cyprus with their owners Ian and Michelle.
We took Bruno, Issy and Sam, along with Labradoodle Buddy and black Lab Winston, to the Waterdene veterinary surgery in Caterham, Surrey, to get the mounds of paperwork required for them to enter Northern Cyprus sorted by the efficient Mr Dibble. The dogs also had their internal parasite treatment and boosters against parvo virus and other nasty ailments.
Unfortunately, after we’d checked in at Eurotunnel we received a call to say that Buddy’s blood test report — an essential requirement for entering Northern Cyprus — hadn’t reached the laboratory. After much deliberation we agreed that it was too much of a risk for Buddy to travel all the way to Turkey only to be turned back. So we decided to ask Buddy’s carer Heather to collect him from us in Calais and take him back to the UK.
Winston, who’s travelling with us from Solihull to Northern Cyprus, is everything you’d expect a lovely black Labrador to be.
He was very keen to get into the Animalcouriers van — perhaps someone had told him about all the new places he’ll be visiting over the next few days? And his behaviour at the vet was exemplary.
These three hounds are exchanging Wales for the beautiful Greek island of Zakinthos. They’re on the Animalcouriers trip via Switzerland and Greece to North Cyprus.
Animalcouriers are on their way to North Cyprus with a variety of pets who’re all bound for different destinations.
Biggie and Ginger are Manau’s much-loved rabbits. Manau has been studying in London and is now returning to her home in the Zurich area of Switzerland — and of course, Biggie and Ginger are going too.
Cats Spangle and Toffee are off to North Cyprus. Their owners, June and Len, are driving themselves there via Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. We speculated that we might get there before them, so they have friends on hand to welcome Spangle and Toffee if need be. When June and Len’s extensive family, including a great-grandchild, saw them off, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
Also on board are three dogs who are heading to the Greek island of Zakynthos. We’ll tell you about them in a separate post.
In addition to Bugsy, Nine Lives Greece is also sending Margarita and Blackie on the next Animalcouriers trip from Greece.
These two elderly cats have a retirement home waiting with Sheila in northern Italy. Cordelia tells us all about their remarkable lives, and celebrates the kindness of their previous Greek carer and now Sheila:
“We believe that Margarita (Greek for Daisy) is around 13 years old. She’s lived on the roof of a disused kiosk just on the edge of the park since she was a young kitten. She and the other members of her colony used to stay on the roof for safety as on one side of the kiosk is a very busy main street, while on the other side there is a changing pack of dogs.
The cats would descend down the branch of a convenient tree for swift meals (always keeping one eye on the dogs, which the feeder would keep at bay by giving them some treats further away) and then quickly go up again.
Tragically, twice the small safe spot became a target for poisoners, in the run-up to Greece’s heading the EU Presidency in 2003, when the park was ‘cleaned up’. The first time, all the cats except Margarita were killed, as well as a further 70 cats in the greater area of the park. Many of the dogs and countless pigeons also died a painful slow death from the poison. Miraculously, Margarita escaped, the first and second poisonings. But by 2009 she was getting older and less able nimbly to leap from tree to roof at the first breath of an approaching bark.
One of the Nine Lives feeders offered her a retirement home for her golden years where, although remaining unsocialised and wary of humans, she bonded with another cat, Blackie, who had been found by the same feeder several years before outside one of Athens’ hospitals. He was dragging a badly fractured leg and crying with pain. The feeder took him to the vet who said that sadly there was nothing to be done to save the leg, but that unless Blackie created an open sore on the leg, it might escape amputation. Nine years down the line, he still has his leg, misshapen and useless, but nevertheless intact. He and Margarita are best buddies, sharing a bed and snuggling up together to snooze.
Sadly, the feeder who took in Margarita, Blackie and several other former strays is now unemployed and simply cannot afford the costs of keeping these cats anymore. As they get older, they need more vet care, and even meeting the costs of food and litter are a struggle, while the chances of finding affordable accommodation which accepts so many pets are slim-to-none. We feared that finding a caring home for these two golden oldies, with their issues of not being cuddly, friendly cats, added to that Blackie’s wonky leg, would be mission impossible.
But then we met Sheila. She has dedicated her life and home to helping older cats in need, while at the same time setting up a TNR programme for all the cats in the northern Italian village to which she ‘retired’ some years ago. We are wholeheartedly grateful to Sheila, who appeared like a guardian angel offering these two cats a cosy fleecy bed to rest their weary paws after their lifetime of adventures.
And of course our most grateful thanks go out also to Animalcouriers for ensuring them a safe, comfortable and swift ride to their new home, with the most expert care and compassion en route.”
Handsome, friendly Bugsy has lived rough in Athens for most of his two years, during which time he’s been lucky enough to be fed by Nine Lives Greece.
Now he’s found a new home with Rosalia in Surrey thanks to an article in Your Cat magazine about Julie Barrie, a Nine Lives volunteer. He’s staying in a Nine Lives foster home until the UK-bound Animalcouriers trip leaves Greece this week.
Cordelia from Nine Lives Greece tells us:
“Bugsy is a complete softie, really amazing that he’s been living — and surviving so far — as a stray in a dangerous Athens park since being dumped as a kitten, when all he wants is cuddles and a cosy bed to snooze on! He’s adoring being in his foster home, and looking forward to lots of affection and chin-rubs from Animalcouriers en route!”
In the Your Cat magazine article (full text below) volunteer Julie describes him as “a real bonding cat” and ”a gentle tabby who loves being stroked even more than he loves his food.”
Handsome felines Georgie and Zippy are staying at a cattery in Siena, in the Tuscany region of Italy. Animalcouriers will be collecting them next week for their journey to the UK.
Their owner, Jayne, has gone on ahead to get everything ready at their new home. She tells us her two cats are probably wondering why all their feedom has suddenly been curtailed:
“I can’t wait to see an entry on your blog! Poor things — a friend of mine who has been to see them says they’re both a bit sad. Georgie won’t let the cattery lady get near him, even though he’s usually quite sociable!”
When we catch up with them, we’ll make sure we explain that it won’t be long before they’ll be back with Jayne and out and about again.
These two gorgeous girl cats are waiting in Zurich to be collected by Animalcouriers later this month. Their owner, Ariane, has told us a bit about each of them and sent us some rather fantastic photos of them. They look beautiful and sound like real characters — we can’t wait to meet them!
“Billi is four years old and her name is the Hindi word for cat. She is always hungry and quite heavy for a girl. She likes to be around people and observe them, but she takes a while to trust someone at first. In fact, most people think we only have one cat, because Billi hides when we have guests and only our more frequent visitors get to see her.
She likes to play, but often lets Luna have fun first. Billi will stand on her hind legs and beg if she wants a treat … which is quite often. Billi loves to take long naps in the most comfortable places in the house.
Luna is three years old and named after a cartoon cat. Her name means moon and makes it easy to give her the nickname Loony, which she really sometimes is. She was handed in to a vet when she was just a tiny purring kitten, so we’re not really sure of her birthday.
She has a lot of fur but is really light. Maybe because Billi sometimes nicks her food? She loves to play and is quite wild around the house. She is very easy going and loves getting to know people. She loves to play and have adventures.”