Before I met Lucy she lived her life in fear. She was a street dog in Turkey. Some places take good care of their street dogs. Other places do not. In Lucy’s 5 or 6 years of life, she has suffered a broken hip, a fractured leg, a destroyed paw and has been shot. She still has 31 shot gun pellets inside her and that’s only the things we know about. Lucy crossed paths with me on my bicycle tour around the world. She was scared and underweight.
Lucy has suffered enough and it is my duty to protect her until I deliver her to the home which has been offered to her by the wonderful Murfitt family in England. Those factors which had caused so much fear and distress to Lucy disappeared and were replaced with love and good food thanks to many people coming together to help her. I am no animal expert but I’ve noticed some changes in Lucy since I first met her that I’d like to share with you.
When I first met Lucy she wouldn’t go near humans. She was too scared. I often wonder about Lucy allowing me to sit her in a shaky box on the front of a bicycle as I cycled. This short video clip shows Lucy in the box. We cycled over 200 miles like this.
Lucy didn’t like to be near places where people were. She was petrified of men. She would jump and hide anytime there was a loud noise. If I had to stop at a service station to use the bathroom she would run away from the building and sit as far away as she could whilst still being able to see the door I had entered. On rare occasions when she would sit outside a shop I would come out to find her being kicked away when all she was doing was waiting on me. That’s why I tied a pretty scarf around her neck to show that she belonged to someone. Lucy showed her love only to me. Two months on and Lucy shows her love to all humans. It’s been an amazing change to witness sometimes bringing tears to my eyes. She approaches people passing her fully expecting a petting with no fear of being hurt. I have allowed this because Lucy is going to such a wonderful family in the UK – she doesn’t need to be afraid of humans any more. Her fear of men is much less now thanks to those who have spent time with her building up trust. I am forever grateful.
Lucy refused to step inside a building. She absolutely would not step over the boundary from being outside to being inside. She would not walk up and down stairs. I had to carry her each and every time. She didn’t want to be carried and lay down putting all her weight on the ground so I couldn’t lift her. Using treats did not work. It was a tough time for both me and Lucy. I felt I was losing some of the trust she had placed in me. She has been an outside dog all her life and I would have considered leaving her outside but her safety came first and there was the risk of her being poisoned if outside. Not to mention Lucy’s vet in Fethiye, Serkan explaining that Lucy would be in pain when she got cold or wet as the metal inside her cools down. A result of the 31 shot gun pellets inside her. Much to my astonishment on New Year’s Day the first thing Lucy did was walk down the stairs! What a great way for 2015 to begin! She has walked up and down stairs since. She moves from outside to inside as though there was never a problem in the first place. I will always be grateful to the staff of Vojo’s Beach Hotel for ensuring Lucy felt safe, comfortable and at home during our stay which enabled such great progress. I wish the team of Vojo’s every success in their new venture in Calis – they deserve good fortune.
Lucy wouldn’t eat food from a bowl when placed down. Confused because I could see her rib cage sticking out I discarded the food into my rubbish bag away from the tent. She immediately went over and ate from the rubbish bag! Most of Lucy’s food probably came from rubbish and she did get very happy around bins! It’s been a priority for me teaching her to stay away from rubbish bins. It’s well known about poison being put down around bins which cause slow and agonizing deaths.
Lucy would not drink clean water from a bowl. She would only drink from muddy puddles. I remember the victory dance I did when she first drank clean water!
Lucy never associated a person eating with her getting food. She would never come near me when I was eating. She stayed away. That changed quickly when Vojo’s Beach Hotel came to our aid and offered us accommodation to keep us out of the storms. People would feed Lucy yummies from their meals as they were eating. Now if I or anyone else is eating, Lucy thinks she has a chance of food and gets nice and close as she stares with puppy eyes. I have the task now of teaching her that people may choose to feed her but this does not mean she can help herself to food from any plate in her sight.
I wrongly assumed the accident which caused her broken hip had also damaged her tail and bent it permanently downwards under her belly. For that was how it always was. Now her tail is extended all the time and wagging away. I was confused at this change but people have said it may have been because of fear she had kept her tail tucked in that position. I love seeing her tail wagging and I think ‘good on you Lucy’
The more time I spend with Lucy the more I wonder if someone has tried to drown her. Every time we approached a bridge over running water Lucy would instantly hit the ground on her belly and would freeze. You couldn’t budge her. She was petrified. She did the same when any lorry passed which makes us think that was what caused her broken bones. I had to always be aware and plan a route to avoid bridges if in dangerous spots. For example, once we were crossing a busy road with 3 lanes of oncoming traffic when Lucy hit the ground and froze. I hadn’t spotted we were crossing over to a path with a wooden bridge and river. It was a terrifying moment having so many cars coming towards me with Lucy lying in the middle of the road! Anyone who has tried to lift a dog which is lying down with full weight to remain in position will know how hard a task it is to lift! I managed it just in time and knew I would have to train this out of her. Of all the things we spent time on this was the hardest to overcome. I have no experience of training animals. I have never had responsibility of an animal before. It’s taken 6 weeks but Lucy is able to cross bridges without freezing, although she is still scared. I’m so proud of her.
It’s wonderful to see Lucy live with no fear. Her future is the result of many strangers coming together for her well being and I just want to say thank you to every single one of you xxx
Here are a couple of videos of Lucy having fun and being happy.