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3 in a bed

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Certain details have been changed to protect anonymity

We have briefly mentioned previously about dogs in the bedroom and it reminded me of a problem that I was asked to solve, it went something like this….
Mr Brown telephoned me regarding his dog but it all sounded very mysterious as we had to meet in a car park, Mrs Brown must never know and therefore I could never visit his house. I arrived at the appointed hour and was surprised to find that Mr Brown was without a dog. I joined him in his Mercedes and he proceeded to tell me his tale of woe.
And what a tale it was!!!
Like many married couples Mr and Mrs shared a double bed but unfortunately for Mr Brown there was a third occupant, their West Highland White Terrier called Snowy. Now this little dog was the apple of his mistresses eye, he slept on her side and all would have been well if it has stayed that way but as Mr Brown pointed out with some embarrassment that he was obliged to get up in the night for a visit to the loo. This is where the problem was because Snowy didn’t want to let Mr Brown back into the bed. He bared his teeth, growled and poor Mr Brown departed to the spare room. I gathered that this issue and others regarding Snowy had caused friction in the Brown household before and it was very obvious who wore the trousers in this relationship. Mrs Brown would have nothing said against her little darling and without a doubt she was a formidable woman, hence all the subterfuge.
I must admit I was tempted to walk away from this one, getting involved in other people’s domestic problems isn’t my thing but I was intrigued by the challenge
I informed Mr Brown that I would give his problem my prompt attention and asked him to ring me in a couple of days.
The problem was how to remove Snowy from the Mr Browns side of the bed without waking Mrs Brown and therefore retaining some degree of harmony in the Brown household.
After a few hours of deliberation I decided there was only one way to do this.
At the time silent whistles were all the rage. Now personally I wasn’t a great fan of these things, if you are going to use a whistle then use a proper one.
So the scenario was to be this, Mr Brown would use the bathroom as normal and when Snowy growled Mr Brown would blow the whistle and hopefully Snowy would be so shocked he would let Mr Brown into the bed.
It was a bit of a shot in the dark (unintended pun! ) but it was all I could think of at the time.
I supplied Mr Brown with the whistle and waited with some trepidation.
The phone call came about a week later.
 It seems that Mr Brown is now king of his castle, Snowy now shows Mr Brown respect in and out of the bedroom. Mrs Brown is puzzled at the turn of events and can’t understand why Snowy is so well behaved with Mr Brown.
I collected my fee and filed my sheet which I raise for every client and quickly forgot the rather strange episode.
At Christmas that year I received a card, inside was a photo of Mr and Mrs Brown with Snowy sitting between them. They all looked very happy, a typical family photo. The card was unsigned and only had two words “Thank you”




From the animal Kingdom we have taken so much and given so little, our debt is incalculable.


sitianimalrescue3 in a bed
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The Dentist

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In all honesty, how many of us look forward to seeing the dentist?
Now I am sure that most dentists are nice enough people, probably kind to old people and animals and are good neighbours. In fact a dentist might be reading this right now and if they are, maybe they can let us know what makes anyone decide to become a dentist!!
Unfortunately in their line of work they are sometimes obliged to inflict some degree of discomfort and if we escape from the dentists chair without too much it then we are greatly relieved.

While we are talking about dentists have you noticed that when you are trapped in the chair and they are doing whatever dentists do in your mouth, they then start asking questions. Your replies are gibberish as you try to answer with your mouth wide open against a backdrop of gurgling water and the whine of that drill. I am sure they are specially trained to do this as It appears to happen all over the world.

Why, you ask, are we talking about dentists? Well to a dog, there are parallels with a visit to the vet and unfortunately we are unable to explain to our hairy friend why we are at the vets and this visit is for his benefit.
Whilst he is enduring the indignities of examinations, injections taking of blood and urine etc, the scents assaulting his nose
 must be causing him great anguish.( For more information on the nose see the blog on this subject) Not surprisingly then on subsequent visits as you get close to the clinic your best friend takes one look at the destination and decides to retreat with alarming speed. This distress is often a source of amusement to us humans as we drag our reluctant pet to the vets door but if you equate it to your visit to the dentist maybe it isn’t so funny after all and instead of laughing maybe a little understanding!!




An animals eyes have the power to speak a great language

Martin Buber

sitianimalrescueThe Dentist
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Living with a deaf dog….

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For most people the scene is very familiar, you return home to be greeted by the family dog who is very excited to see you, wagging his tail, jumping up, bringing you his favourite toy and showing you how pleased he is to see you.
Now imagine the scene in a home of a deaf dog. You arrive, open the door bring in the shopping, make a cup of tea, even turn on the tv and through all this your dog is still fast asleep!!

Welcome to the silent world in which the deaf dog lives.

When it comes to deafness there are generally two forms.
There is the dog who is profoundly deaf. This literally means total deafness. The other have an ability to hear very sharp sounds very close.
Let’s first get rid of the myth; that deaf dogs are more aggressive, this is total nonsense. People are frightened that waking a deaf dog from a deep sleep will startle it and therefore cause it to bite. As any owner of a deaf dog knows the way to wake it is to stamp on the floor, the vibration will wake it.

The obvious problems are that these dogs don’t hear traffic, so for a stray, vehicles are a major hazzard and if the dog is adopted then communicating your instructions to your dog becomes problematic. Think about it, in order to get your message across you have to use hand signals but in order to do this you need your dog to look at you and if he can’t hear you how do you get his attention.

So what are the options when training a deaf dog?

1 If you already have a dog in the house that hears the hearing dog will help teach the deaf dog and you’ll be able to introduce hand signals.
2 Deaf dogs are no different to hearing dogs in that they will follow food and if they know that you have some they may be inclined to stay close.
3 You can try investing in a vibrating collar but they have limited success.
4 If you are new to this you may need to seek help from a professional who has personal experience.
5 There are a number of videos to help you and in my opinion they are essential to the owner with no experience

This blog is far too short to go into the intricacies of training a deaf dog and without doubt it is challenging but extremely rewarding.


“You think that dogs will not be in heaven. I tell you that they will be there long before any of us”

Robert Louis Stevenson

sitianimalrescueLiving with a deaf dog….
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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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