Love dogs? Be a hero. Save a life. Go to your local shelter for your four legged bundle of joy. Or don’t save a life. Don’t be a hero. And go to a breeder. The choice is yours. WBG
“Lucy smashed the wall around my heart with her tail wagging and her eyes loving and I don’t want to build that wall again” WBG
Cycling through my tenth country of Turkey, a street dog joins the journey of World Bike Girl. Through our time together I experience for the first time an animal’s power of pure, unconditional and absolute love.
Lucy has 31 shot gun pellets scattered throughout her body. She limps from old fractures, a broken hip and one of her paws is destroyed. I watch her lie down in submission as four dogs attack her at the same time on the road biting at the injured parts of her body.
I stop cycling, throwing down my bicycle and running in a Braveheart of emotion to pull the dogs from her. She lies still, moving only her head to lick my hand, her big chocolate eyes melting my heart.
I have 300 miles to travel to get Lucy to safety. I plead for help but no one cares about a street dog. Most people in Turkey think of dogs as dirty, impure creatures not to be touched. They believe dogs get in the way of the relationship between humans and Allah when prayng. I’m on my own and the only thing I can do is attach a vegetable crate to the front of my bicycle and attempt to pedal her the 300 miles.
Cycling an injured dog through foreign territories belonging to packs of wild dogs is terrifying. I have to act beyond my fear to protect Lucy. The dogs attack time and time again and I put my bicycle down and walk towards the charging dogs shouting I will not let you hurt Lucy. As long as the Alpha dog of the pack is scared they will retreat and we are safe. Two hundred miles of cycling like this and my legs and nerves are destroyed. Lucy is a 20 kg dog. In the midst of tears I post on World Bike Girl´s Facebook Page Lucy¨s story pleading for anyone passing in a car to stop and help. An act of desperation as I´m in a foreign land far from my home and friends. I cycle on unknowing the post is going viral on the internet. Help is coming.
It´s 3 am and a news channel arrives outside my tent with cameras and gigantic fuzzy microphones calling my name. They only go and drive us the rest of the way!
A home of love is offered to Lucy by an amazing family in the UK. Lucy begins the quarantine procedure to allow her entry into the UK and after some months we can fly to her happy ever after family.
Dales Cycles in Glasgow, Scotland, www.dalescycles.com donates a luxury dog trailer. Attaching it to the back of my bicycle, Lucy and I are able to cycle another 700 miles through Turkey. Educating children, students and everyone else who crosses our path about the value of street dogs and treating them with love and respect. But most of all enjoying life, each other and having fun!
We give talks about animal rights to a top university in Adana where Lucy is awarded a diploma for being such a good girl in class. I am so proud of her! Lucy is changing so perceptions of the street dog across Turkey.
This street dog teaches me more about love, life and living than anyone else in my life has. One dog. A street dog. A soul no-one had cared enough about to be her family. A dog who receives an abundance of love from all around the world in the last months of her life.
Lucy unexpectedly dies in my arms at 8.50 am on the 26th March 2015 in Hatay, Turkey. It is her last day of quarantine. A day that should have been happy messages to people that Lucy was now free to go to the UK. A shock to me and to everyone following our journey. Only the day before the Head Vet and the Director of the Hatay University Vetinary Department assures me she has just a cold, a reaction to the change in weather. The next morning I’m carrying Lucy through the streets of Hatay covered in the blood she was coughing up again crying for help. Lucy suffered a gastrointestinal rupture, common yet devastating to both humans and dogs. The autopsy reveals that Lucy had advanced heart worm also and all along she was never going to live very long. I had been Lucy’s Happy Ever After.
There is a special bond between those around the world who shared in the life and death of Lucy.
World Bike Girl followers continue to use social media to help street dogs around the world which is wonderful and I thank each and every one of you. Dogs are enjoying happy ever after lives with wonderful families because you care.
This video is made in memory of Lucy by James Gasko in the USA.
Lucy I hope you’re running on a beach somewhere in doggy heaven. In the meantime I wait for you to come back to me. Somehow. Somewhere. Thanks for being the best thing that ever happened to me. Miss you like crazy. Your best friend Ishbel x
Pedalling on Lucy’s book shall be written at the side of the road, in my tent, or on the crest of mountains. Perhaps Lucy’s life will help raise more human kindness and respect towards street dogs around the world. What will be will be.
Love dogs? Be a hero. Safe a life. Go to your local shelter for your four legged bundle of joy. Or don’t save a life. Don’t be a hero. And go to a breeder. The choice is yours. WBG xxx