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Dog Sharing

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I must admit that before I came across these two elderly ladies I had never heard of dog sharing, but came across this by accident some 30 years ago
The story goes like this:
Molly and Jean were two retired ladies living near Penzance in Cornwall, both lived in the same street and within a few weeks of each other had both lost their dogs of old age. Both were devastated and swore that neither of them would have another dog. The pain of loss was too great to go though again. Molly was struggling with her mobility and Jean had thrown herself into charity work so was quite busy, however both realised that their lives were not the same without a dog.
So the two ladies came up with a dog sharing scheme.
In both houses they put in place identical beds, bowls, toys etc and adopted a miniature wire hair dachshund called Bobby.
Jean did the exercise bit, took him to vets and took him out and about in the car when she was on her charity work.
Molly who was much less mobile played with him in her garden and generally did the babysitting bit.
Both ladies found that the system worked well and Bobby happily went from one house to the other without any problem.
Jean ,in particular, was keen to stress that this system worked very well for them and hoped that it would be an inspiration to others particularly in the retired community
Now before anybody thinks about copying this, let’s be clear what is involved.
Both ladies were in complete agreement how this was going to work.
They had been close friends for decades.
All expenses were shared.
All Bobbys’ paperwork showed both ladies as co-owners.
On the demise of one of them, the surviving lady automatically became Bobbys’ sole owner.
I suggest that the success of this venture is due to the total harmony in this relationship, no jealousy no hostility.
It is not going to work for everyone but it is thought provoking.


In order to keep a true perspective of ones importance everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him.
Dereke Bruce

sitianimalrescueDog Sharing
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The Royal B…..

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I wasn’t there, but I heard this story from two separate individuals and it involved a police officer, a police dog and a member of the royal household. It occurred in the 1960s, and I did actually meet the dog and handler several times, the last occasion in sad circumstances. As I understand it, all the participants of this episode have passed on so I feel able to put this in print. If these blogs stop it could be that I have ended up in the Tower of London!!
I will refer to the dog handler as “PC Smith” and to the dog as “Fergus”
The actual incident was brief but it is important to set the scene, particularly for younger readers.
This was the 60s, hippies, flower power, bell bottom trousers, mods and rockers, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, (still around) most of the fellas, including me, had shoulder length hair, in fact often referred to as the age of sex, drugs, rock and roll. The sex and drugs passed me by, Joy, however was a disco queen but that is another story…..
One of the biggest differences was that this was the era where there was no political correctness or bleeding hearts.
Before anybody thinks “sad old sod” reminiscing about the past I am not, some things were much better and others much worse, but I expect every generation says the same.
The reason for raising the issue was the difference in the recruitment of police dogs and attitudes.
Nowadays if somebody is bitten by a police dog the first port of call will be a solicitor who will assist them to sue the dog handler, the Chief Constable, the Home Secretary the dogs breeder, the tea lady and probably the dog. In the 60s it was very different.
When a dog handler called out “Stop or I will release the dog” you stopped. There was a simple reason for this, if you didn’t stop and the dog reached you the chances were that you were going to suffer some serious injury.
There were reasons for this:
A dog will cover a distance of 100 yards in under 10 seconds, 50 years later only Usain Bolt can go that fast and he has a flat track, running shoes and kit and gets to start from blocks and he can’t keep that speed up for very long, the dog can!
If you are lucky the the handler will only take twice that amount of time to arrive and instruct his dog to release you, however, in that short space of time, a fully grown German Shepherd Dog who is exerting 238 pounds per square inch pressure on the bit he has got hold of is doing a lot of damage.
To make matters worse the dog would be in no hurry to let go, after all he was enjoying himself!!
However, I digress, in those days police dogs were mainly German Shepherds and Dobermans and they were not chosen for their soft cuddly nature, the same could probably be said about the handlers!!!
Now Fergus was a prime example of a dog with serious attitude. This was a dog who didn’t wait to be told to bite people he did it for fun, even fellow handlers didn’t like being around him and when police dog handlers are nervous you know things are bad. Certainly in todays world he would never be allowed to work.
Now to the incident:
PC Smith and Fergus were seconded to Royal Protection Duty. They were given responsibility for patrolling at night inside the house of Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret and her husband Lord Snowden.
The incident was a combination of circumstances. Police dogs are meant to be on the leash at all times but when a handler is on duty for up to twelve hours it is understandable that in the middle of the night PC Smith let Fergus off the leash. Lord Snowden as I understand it was in the habit of coming down stairs to raid the fridge during the night. A door had been left ajar and the inevitable happened, Fergus heard a noise, went through the door and the Royal Bottom was bitten!!!
Fortunately a winter quality dressing gown and PC Smith’s swift action saved his Lordships backside from series injury.
As I understand, PC Smith and Fergus were transferred back to normal duties and the matter was hushed up.
Fortunately for PC Smith, Lord Snowden was not a typical member of the Royal family, he was a rebellious man, a very unconventional individual who would not have made a fuss, after all before he married Princess Margaret he was just an ordinary guy who was a photographer.
At the time this occurred I was still in school but several years later I was on duty as a veterinary nurse when Fergus made the final journey.  His behaviour hadn’t improved and he was so unstable and unpredictable it was decided that the time had come to put him to sleep. I had met this dog several times when he arrived for the regular check ups that were mandatory for police dogs
When police dogs were put to sleep there was a ritual that was rigidly enforced. The appointment was made at a quiet time, every handler whose dog was being euthanized had to bring at least one more colleague, preferably two, and a room was cleared so that the officer could take as much time as he needed to compose himself. Everyone of us knows how tough it is to go through this but imagine having to lose a dog that you have worked with every day for years. PC Smith was as given tranquilizers to give to Fergus prior to bringing him in, enough to knock out a shire horse, naturally on Fergus they had no effect!!  As it happens Fergus went fairly easily.
My boss was once asked by a visiting veterinary surgeon why she employed a male nurse, unusual at the time. She replied: “Academically he could improve but if it has four legs and hair he can handle it” I think it was meant to be a compliment!!
She was only partly correct, I doubt that I could have handled Fergus. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to try. After a lifetime working with dogs I freely admit this was the one and only dog who actually frightened me.
He may have been unstable but if reports were anything to go by, Fergus was responsible for saving his handlers life on one occasion and this was the dog called upon when dealing with violent individuals and dangerous situations involving firearms. He was totally fearless. Not many dogs leave that sort of legacy. He never got to enjoy a retirement, but you know what, that was probably just as well, you just couldn’t imagine Fergus, old, arthritic, losing his sight etc. laying in front the fire. Best the way it was.
Wherever he is. R.I.P.


If there is a heaven it’s certain that our animals will be there. Their lives are so interwoven with our own it would take more than an archangel to untangle them.
Pam Brown.

sitianimalrescueThe Royal B…..
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Charity Football match

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We would like to say a huge thank you to the International Union of Police Officers, lassithi area and the Sitia Veteran Football players, who today did a charity match to raise funds for our campaign…
We are very happy to say that we raised a amazing 1040 euros!!
Thank you to everyone who bought a ticket and supported us… ♥️

Θα θέλαμε να σας εκφράσουμε μια τεράστια ευχαριστία στη Διεθνή Ένωση Αστυνομικών, την περιοχή lassithi και τους παίκτες ποδοσφαίρου της Σητείας, οι οποίοι σήμερα έκαναν φιλανθρωπικό αγώνα για να συγκεντρώσουν κεφάλαια για την εκστρατεία μας … Είμαστε πολύ χαρούμενοι που είπαμε ότι δημιουργήσαμε ένα καταπληκτικό 1040 ευρώ !! Σας ευχαριστούμε όλους όσοι αγόρασαν ένα εισιτήριο και μας υποστήριξαν ..

sitianimalrescueCharity Football match
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How do dogs and cats hear?

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The truth is that the dog has excellent hearing, in fact dogs can identify the car that you drive from up to a mile away. Which means that if somebody is at home then they can put the kettle on!!
It has been written that dogs hearing is 4 times more acute than ours, a somewhat misleading statement because the truth is that dogs can hear sounds from 4 times the distance that we can but both we and our canine companions hear notes in broadly similar fashion. Dogs, however, are better at detecting higher notes.
Your cat can do even better than that because it’s hearing is even more acute. Research shows that dogs can locate the source of a sound in six hundredths of a second. A dog might use one ear to locate the sound and then both ears to catch the maximum number of radio waves. All this is possible because dogs are able to move their ears to accommodate sound, as do cats.

Certain dogs will have will have better ability than others. For instance those who’s ears are erect such as German Shepherds will have a more acute ability to hear over longer distances, whereas dogs like spaniels, who have drop ears have a slightly reduced range.
Cats hearing is so good that it can hear a mouse moving through the undergrowth at distance of up to nearly 10 metres. It’s no wonder then that cats are so proficient at controlling vermin.

Finally today I offer you a totally irrelevant fact that you may try and get it into the conversation at your next dinner party.
I must admit that I thought that the animal with the best hearing in the world was an elephant but I was wrong, it appears that the the creature with the top hearing is called the Greater wax moth. We learn something every day.

I am indebted to Dr Bruce Fogle. M.B.E.  D.V.M. . M.R.C.V.S. For the
technical information contained in this article


Dogs have a way of finding people who need them, filling an emptiness that we didn’t know we had.

Thom Jones

sitianimalrescueHow do dogs and cats hear?
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F.A.Q Part 1

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Is my dog descended from wolves?                            (Yes)
Your dog, regardless of breed, from a Pekingnese to a great Dane is descended from the grey wolf. The diversity of appearance is only due to selective breeding. Some scientists, however, only refer to dogs as a sub species of the wolf. Take your pick, if the scientists can’t totally agree we have no chance!

Does my dog see in black an white?                            (No)
Most dogs see in colour, albeit somewhat restricted. See the previous blog on vision

Do I get a male or female dog?                                     (Y/N)
There is no simple answer to this question, but it is generally considered that females make better family pets

Does the way I feed my dog affect his behaviour?     (Yes)
The family pet needs a totally different diet than a working dog.
Working dogs ie sheep dogs need a higher protein intake to compensate for the calories used and should be fed accordingly.
A family pet fed on this high protein diet may well show signs of hyperactivity and strange behaviour.

Should I have my dog neutered?                               (Yes)
Female dogs who are not neutered are susceptible to a condition called pyometra (inflammation of the womb,) which, if not diagnosed early can be fatal. Having a season once or twice a year is a pain for most owners. Males queuing up outside, restricted walks, mess on the carpets and soft furnishings
Male dogs that are neutered are less likely to be aggressive, less likely to wander. For the benefit of male readers the dog is not so attached to this part of his anatomy as you!! Get a grip lads there is no need for the sharp intake of breath or crossing of legs. As the saying goes: “Real men have their dogs neutered”

Should my dog have puppies before being neutered? (No)
There is a myth that females need to have puppies because they need to be “fulfilled” There is no scientific or practical evidence to back this statement.

Should I allow my make dog to be used at stud?          (No)
Once a dog has savoured the delights he will want more…
think about it fellas!!!

Will my working dog be less effective if he is
neutered?                                                                      (No)
There is no evidence that a working dogs efficiently is impaired  by neutering. As an example Guide dogs for the Blind are always  neutered so that they are not distracted.


I have always thought that it was human arrogance that assumes that only people have souls.

Ann Raver

sitianimalrescueF.A.Q Part 1
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Children and Animals

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Do children benefit from growing up with animals? The answer is yes and there is ample evidence to prove this both health wise and emotionally. Health care professionals constantly refer to the benefits of pet ownership to children.
Children who are brought up with animals are more likely to have a higher immune system and therefore are healthier. In fact children who live on farms are considered to exceptionally healthy.
It give children a sense of responsibility as looking after an animal requires them to feed it, make sure that It has water, and it needs exercise or stimulation.
On the subject of exercise it ensures that children get out and get fresh air and exercise
Living with animals gives children a sense of compassion.
Children with learning difficulties and those who experience problems with reading benefit from the presence of animals.
Children with physical difficulties also benefit.
Research shows that people who were brought up with animals are less likely to be involved in criminal activity.

Now the question is what sort of pet is best?
The answer quite simply is, it doesn’t matter and obviously it depends on many different factors. Lifestyle, finances, type of home etc, but knowing as we do most children regardless of circumstances benefit from growing up with animals it’s whatever suits. From a hamster to a horse, the list is endless!

To end this I quote from the mother of a badly injured child who wrote me a letter which I still have to this day.
Stuart was very young when he was kicked in the head by a horse sustaining 7 skull fractures, his life hung in the balance for weeks much of it in a deep coma. He had always wanted a yellow labrador puppy but his parents said no because they felt that their lifestyle was not right. Throughout this ordeal they had to keep talking to Stuart to stimulate his brain and repeatedly promised a yellow labrador puppy. Stuart survived, 6 months later he went home and started the very long road to recovery. It would take years,  walking, talking even eating had to be relearned and the promise was kept. The yellow labrador arrived and was called Honey. The two became inseparable and here I quote:

“One day Stuart was trying  to walk from one side of the kitchen to the other with the aid of calipers when he got stuck in the middle and was in danger of falling, before either of us could reach him Honey must have realised the danger and came to his side whereupon Stuart put his hands on her back and she lead him to the other side of the kitchen to safety. Coincidence maybe but we are so glad we kept our promise”


A house is not a home without a pet.


sitianimalrescueChildren and Animals
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Which Breed and how many?

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The question that has been asked many times? Do I get one puppy or two ? The argument being that two will keep each other company and get into less mischief. I venture to suggest that whilst this may work very occasionally, in the majority of cases it is a recipe for disaster.
Now trying to cope with one pup is hard enough, two puppies is double the trouble and in the majority of instances all that happens is that one puppy gets into trouble and the other one follows. They are only as good as the most badly behaved one of the two.
If you are looking to have a dog in the household permanently may I make the following suggestion. This will stand you in good stead for all the years you want keep dogs.
Think about your lifestyle, so you like walking, if so, you need a dog that can go for long walks so pugs, pekingese, English bull dogs or any sort of breed that has a flat face resulting in restricted breathing is out of the question. Are you house proud or have a respiratory problems then you need to be looking at the breeds that don’t moult like a poodle or a bichon frise.  If you have small children you are looking for a  dog that is very good tempered and is robust enough to cope with children. Remember that a working breed of dog needs stimulation and in many instances will not be suitable as a family pet.
There are a number of websites available for helping you choose the right dog. Train the dog well, put in the work needed and the benefits will be as follows.
Once you have one really well behaved dog in the home any subsequent dogs generally will be easy. Why. Because the first well trained dog will show the next one how things are done and so on for decades to come Example: when you call the first dog to return to you the second will almost certainly come as well as he will follow the senior dogs example. In the end you probably only need to train one dog and the rest learn from their predecessors.


Clearly animals know more than we think and think more than we know

Irene M. Pepperburg

sitianimalrescueWhich Breed and how many?
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The Coconut hound!

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Now I am sure that most people have not come across this particular rare breed. It is not to be found in any Book of Dogs and it certainly is not recognised by the Kennel Club. To the best of my knowledge it only exists on the island of St Lucia in the West Indies and is only spotted during the tourist season.
I was living on the island in the early 80s and therefore have a unique insight into the origins of this rather special creature.
When I was there I was regularly asked by tourists, mostly American, “What sort of dog is that”? The answer I had was as follows.

“As you can see a number of the palm trees don’t grow straight up, they lean, this is where the coconut hound comes into his element. They run up the trunk of the tree, reach the coconut, headbut the coconut, the coconut falls to the ground and the little boy catches them. This particular dog is an excellent specimen. In fact one of the best I have seen and if you want give me your camera I can take a photograph of you and the coconut hound, and you can show the folks back home.”

Yes, you’ve guessed it, I had a mischievous streak in me in my younger years and I was amazed at the number of times that the story was believed.
At that time there were hardly any pedigree dogs on the island other than those brought in by expatriates.
It has occurred to me that there must be a number of homes in the United States that have photographs of coconut hounds in their albums.

I hearby publicly apologise for the misdemeaners from my youth and if you are ever on the island of St Lucia and you are introduced to a coconut hound, you will say…….well I’ll leave that for you!I


The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog.

Ambrose Bierce

sitianimalrescueThe Coconut hound!
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‘Wild dogs’

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At the shelter we have a group of around 10 dogs, that we affectionally refer to as the ‘wild dogs’. 

These are all dogs that we have rescued over the years, that unfortunately due to one reason or another are not able to be re-homed. 

This lovely lady is a good example….. Before she was brought to us we do not know what sort of life she lived, we know it can not have been a very nice one, as she is soo distrustful of humans…… she runs and hides whenever we come near her….

She was found beside the main road, where she had been hit by a car and left for dead.

Now she lives in our open area with the other 10, where hey have houses, trees and bushes where they can hide and feel safe.

All these dogs would be just wondering the roads, if they did not live with us, they have a huge area where they can roam free, but safely…. with no worry of humans causing them harm.

We never give up hope that they will become more friendly, and possibly one day might find a home….. never say never!  We work daily with each of them, sometimes just sitting there quietly with them, letting them know that we mean them no harm.

If you would like to sponsor one of these angels, and help towards their feeding and veterinary costs, it would mean a great deal to us and them. 

sitianimalrescue‘Wild dogs’
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Date of Birth: 06/08/2014

Sex: Female

Colour: black and brown

Size: Medium – large 

More about Malamo:

This slightly older lady, is a very shy girl.  She is not keen on meeting new people, this being said, if you were to bring her breakfast she will love you forever….

With the people she knows, and trusts, she will come and greet them straight away ask for a back rub.

Though she is shy, she gets on great with the other younger dogs, who kind of look at her as a mama figure.  She is more happy to lie in the sunshine, than run around playing with the others, but this would definitely change if she had a home of her own, where she felt safe and loved.

She has no problem being with other dogs, of any size or age.  And has no problem sharing her food, in fact she is a bit of a bowl hopper herself…. she likes to test out what everyone is eating before selecting which bowl to eat from.  

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