Lucy and Serkan

Until I personally delivered Lucy to her new family in the UK, Lucy would accompany me on my upcoming winter adventure; cycling through Turkey’s Central and Eastern mountain ranges.  Until I sorted out a suitable dog trailer I would bring Lucy to Fethiye, a Turkish coastal town renowned for its beauty and surrounding areas of nature.

I had no experience of emigrating a street dog to the UK.  It hadn’t been on my list of things I should know for cycling around the world.  So for me it was vital to find a vet whom I trusted.

My friend Kathy Conner was helping me and introduced me to Serkan, a vet in Fethiye.  I knew he had studied veterinary medicine in Istanbul and had over 25 years of experience.  Even so, I have to admit on meeting him I watched him closely.  I was assessing every detail of his body language, his eye movements, the tone of his voice and how he spoke of the animals.  World Bike Girl turned secret agent.  He passed all my tests and there was no execution at dawn.  The next day Gareth Patten, a stranger to me who has since become a big part of Lucy being fearless of men, took myself and Cathy on a road trip to fetch her.  These three months would be a very special time for me and I sure was thankful to the UK’s animal immigration rules!


Kathy Conner with Lucy, Calis Beach 

When we first arrived at Serkan’s, I hadn’t had time yet to help Lucy adjust to not being a street dog anymore.  She would under no circumstances pass the boundary of being outside to inside.  The fact she feared men made it impossible to get her through the door and into the waiting area.  Serkan appeared and so I went to lift Lucy in but he instructed me not to.  I felt a tinge of embarrassment as I watched him sit down some distance from Lucy.  They both locked eyes with Serkan just sitting.  After a little time and much to my amazement Lucy walked in and headed straight over to him!  From that moment on Lucy trusted Serkan implicitly.  Even when he was prodding or injecting her she was calm and relaxed and he was always comforting her.


Lucy and Serkan after she had fluid taken out her neck at Xmas!

After a week of having Lucy I had concerns which I discussed with Serkan.  Lucy would at times stop eating and be very withdrawn and quiet.  She didn’t want to be touched or be around anyone.  He instructed me to bring her in as he wanted to X-ray the hip which had been broken previously.  I was waiting in the reception area when Serkan brought me the results of the X-ray.


“Ishbel what happened to Lucy?”

I looked at him in confusion, “What do you mean?  She was run over”.

He asked if I knew anything about her past.  I said no.  He took out the X-ray from behind his back and held it up.

“These are shot gun pellets”, he said pointing.


I didn’t comprehend what he was saying and asked what shot gun pellets were because what they meant in my head couldn’t possibly be what they were.  My head was correct.

“She has been shot by a shot gun”, he clarified.

I burst out crying.  I stood in his waiting room sobbing.  He did more X-rays and found a total of 31 shot gun pellets splattered throughout her body.  I looked at Lucy and thought of what a great girl she was and what she must have went through as a street dog.

Serkan explained that when Lucy gets cold or wet the metal inside her cools down and this causes her pain.  My winter expedition through Central and Eastern Turkey was cancelled in an instant as I would be cycling through temperatures of -13 degrees and below.  Now you know the reason why I dress Lucy in wool jumpers!

This was such a big day for everyone involved with Lucy.  Her paperwork arrived from Turkey’s Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock confirming Lucy’s blood tests met the level of Rabies antibodies required for entry into UK!

If she had failed we would have had to have started the process all over again.  With the successful blood test results Lucy was now able to enter into her 3 month quarantine period which you can read about here Quarantine

Serkan is a true animal lover and dedicates his life to helping them.  I would like to personally thank him for helping Lucy and for all the animals he saves on a daily basis.  This Super Vet does not pass by an animal he can help.  He takes them in and carries out whatever treatments are necessary, then finds the animals adoptive families.  The garden of his surgery is a collection of dogs in various stages of recovery back to health and happiness thanks to Serkan.

Serkan the Vet


Klinigi Mustafa Kemal Bulv

No: 91A