Archives for posts with tag: rescue dogs

 

I photographed a little peak of Matthew and my life here on the island of Lesvos for You Magazine a couple of months ago and here it is. Thank you  Clare Nolan for loving our lifestyle and Fiona McCarthy for  your kind words. Greece is the word 1

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Living with dogs is a new thing for me. I had never had a dog until now, and I have gone from one extreme to another. As a child I begged my mother for a dog but she dug her heels in saying she had enough of us to look after without a dog. I now understand she was completely right and admire her for sticking to her guns especially even when I did my up most to sway her. Matthew and I have found ourselves taking care of many waifs and stray cats and dogs, that have made their way to our doorstep. We both find it curious the way we have become so fond of these furry friendsWe help them as much as we can but it’s very difficult as there are so many. As I write this we feed about sixteen cats, one of which has just has two of the sweetest kittens and six dogs, three of which need new homes. We only have a small garden so exercising the dogs is important. I usually do one long walk in the morning and Matthew another four around the village throughout the day. A couple of the cats like to join in the walks and our village friends are amused when they see the parade.

I dedicated a chapter in my book My Greek Island Home’ its called ‘Nature Nurture’. I write about some of the characters that have passed through our lives. One of my Greek friends, Vasillia has 25 rescue dogs in her care. She once told me that it was important to harden my heart otherwise it would be broken. It often is. We do our best and over the years have re-homed many four legged friends, especially dogs. A couple are now living happily in America, the others in the UK and Europe. We get help where we can and have been lucky to have very generous friends.

London florist Nikki Tibbles absolutely loves dogs and she has helped us with some of the financing and re homing of our four legged friends. We like have make contact with the potential new owners to get an idea if they are compatable with the dog. We have made some new friends along the way and also kept up with most of the dogs beautiful new lives. It’s hard work and expensive. There are the vet bills for injections, chipping and neutering together with the transportation costs, it all adds up. Matthew does the lion’s share of transportation dealing with the flights and the paper work which seems to change daily can be extremely time consuming and challenging.It’s always hard to say goodbye when they go off to their new lives, I sob but I know it’s for the best. When we see the lives these beautiful dogs are living now its so, so worth it.

Matthew has designed a t shirt to raise awareness and money for the dogs and cats we rescue, care for and re home. If you would like to be part of raising the awareness and helping the dogs and cats the ‘want me’ t shirt can be purchased on line www.usmarstudio.bigcartel.com And don’t forget to take a selfie in the t shirt and post it wherever you can. The t shirts will aslo be on sale at my London book launch on Wednesday night.

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Last weekend our rescue dog Fanti left us and boarded the overnight ferry from Mytilene to Athens. He was accompanied by our friend and dog lover, Vassilia. On their arrival at the port in Athens they were met by a pet taxi and taken to Athens airport where Big Fanti had to be brave and travel in a large box for the next part of his journey, a flight to London’s Heathrow. Matthew found Fanti next to the bins on the outskirts of our Greek village just over two months ago. He was suffering from malnutrition and had very little fur due to skin parasites. He was in a very sorry state indeed. Matthew scooped him up and took him to the local vet where he was given treatment. Fanti didn’t like the needles one bit and cried. When he arrived home Matthew and my father showered him using ‘Fur so fresh’ shampoo. Fanti did not looked back and loved being in our garden with all our other pets, particularly Bingo our white cat. They would play for hours. As Fanti began growing  it became clear he was going to be a big dog. He was floppy and very uncoordinated and often fell over his own head when running. On several occasions he did this on the beach, running into the water. It was so funny to watch but a shock for him. He became part of our family over the short time we had him and was a joy, a gentle loveable giant. We fell in love with him and I shed many tears when we said goodbye. Fanti has gone to a great home and he has new friends to keep him company. His life will be a full and fun one and we both know he will be loved dearly. Thank you to his new family for taking Fanti and loving him, allowing us the space to rescue yet another . I took these shots of Fanti before his departure.

This is Margo she is about 4 years old and looking for a lovely home. She loves people children and cuddles. If you think you may have the perfect home for her emails office@ clairelloyd.com. Thank you.

As promised another one of Vassilia’s beautiful Greek rescue dogs we met.This is Bessie and she is looking for a beautiful home. She is a little larger than a medium sized dog and weighs about 20 kilos. She is 4 years old, VERY affectionate and good with cats. Lets us know if you need more info on Bessie, office@clairelloyd.com.

Last weekend Matthew and I went to photograph some of Vassilia’s rescue dogs. Vasillia is one of the wonderful people on the island working to help stray cats and dogs. Over the next week or so I will post some of our sweet friends who need good homes. If you have a lovely home and would like to share it with one of these beauties please email me, office@clairelloyd.com. If not if you could introduce them to your friends please. Thank you Vassillia for all the good work you do. I will now introduce you to Amber a big gentle dog around 18 kilos and three and a half years old.

 

 

 

 

Living on a Greek Island has opened our eyes to so many new things. We are privileged to be living our life here. We have met wonderful people and been embraced by our village community. The landscape that surrounds us is spectacular. When we arrived we never imagined the number of cats and dogs that needed help. There are some people on the island doing incredible work with animal rescue and we try to help when we can. Matthew volunteered for 1.5 years at the wildlife rescue centre, which has now closed. We have taken on kittens, cats, puppies and dogs, something I would never have imagined myself doing when I lived a city life in London. All of the animals we rescue are unique and they all have their own special place in our hearts.We do what we can to re home them and to date, with the help of our friends, we have re homed 8 dogs and many cats. The dogs have gone to Scotland, England, Holland and one puppy found a great home here on the Island. Every time we say goodbye it is really difficult but we know it’s absolutely for the best. We are lucky to find them new families and also lucky that the new owners keep us posted from time on their new lives. The last dog to leave was about a month ago now. Her name is Tollie and we found her on the outskirts of the village with a puppy. The puppy was about 2 months old and Tollie the mother only about a year. She was an incredibly good mother. The puppy, now called Cookie found a home here on the island. She was taken by a Greek girl and is happy, spoilt and doing well. Tollie was well loved in our garden and also a big hit with the children of the village. Bingo our white rescue cat had a special bond with her and they played together continuously, it was sometimes quite rough and tumble but they loved it and it was a joy to witness. They slept together every night even when the puppy was still with us. They would choose the smallest dog bed and all pile one on top of the other occasionally you would find that the puppy was at the bottom. She was a sensitive enthusiastic and charismatic dog and when she looked at you, you felt she could see into your soul. Nellie our first rescue dong, the one we have kept became her close friend. Nellie is very particular and doesn’t share herself with just anyone. They had hours of fun together and Tollie even managed to convince Nellie to relax and play, something that didn’t come naturally to Nellie. On the day Tollie left we took her and Nellie to a lovely beach for their last run together. We then drove to the port where she boarded a boat for Athens. This was the first leg of her long trip to the UK. Here are some photos of their last games. They were in dog heaven. I cried when we handed her to Vasillia her chaperone on the boat to Athens. Vasillia then took her in a taxi and checked her onto her flight to Heathrow. It was so sad to say goodbye but we knew it was the right thing for her. Tollie is now in a lovely home just outside of London and we have seen photos of her with her new friend Jack, she is happy. Tollie you will never be forgotten, thank you for all the laughter, joy, love and fun you brought to My Greek Island Home.

 

 

 

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