Animal care

Chrissie Oktekin and her canine family

By Margaret Sheard…..

In 2014 I wrote an article about Lily, a lovely dog who was abandoned in Turkey and was in danger of being shot by the locals.  Lily was rescued by Pinar, a Turkish lady, and fortunately survived, and with the help of Karen Wren of the Turkish Animal Group (TAG) and  Sonia Garnett of Gokova Animal Rescue, Chrissie Oktekin was able to move mountains to adopt Lily and bring her back to North Cyprus. 

It was a very frustrating time for Chrissie but with help also from Kyrenia Animal Rescue (KAR), she was able to deal with paperwork etc. and then travelled to Turkey with 2 friends, Ann and Cathy, and brought Lily to North Cyprus and her new home in Kayalar, where she still lives today.  To read Lily’s lovely story click here

At that time Chrissie had a Belgian Shepherd called Ebony (Ebbie) who she had as a puppy and was then 11 years old, and Daisy a mixed variety rescue dog in North Cyprus who was then 14 years old, deaf and going blind.  There was a bit of apprehension regarding Daisy and introducing a new young dog to the family, but they all got on very well.  Since then sadly Ebbie died at the age of 14 and Daisy at the age of 17, but what a good life they both had.

Lily when she arrived in Kayalar, with Ebbie and Daisy and Chrissie, and friend Rasim and his two sons

Since we visited Chrissie in 2014 to meet Lily and write her story, there have been some additions to the canine family, and now there are 5.

We went to Kayalar on 29th August 2017 to again meet Lily (now 4 years old) who is a Chodsky breed from Czechoslovakia, Sweetie-Fizz – now 6 years old – who Chrissie fell in love with, when spending some time helping Karen at the TAG centre in Turkey, and brought back to North Cyprus, Soleil, a Belgian Shepherd brought by Chrissie from Hungary, Vogue a Belgian Shepherd, also from Hungary and the new arrival Venus, a Belgian Shepherd brought from Hungary a couple of weeks ago.   There was also a smallish brown dog and we were told he visited for biscuits every day, this was Ollie who I realised disappeared shortly after we arrived so no doubt he had his biscuits and departed again.

Lily with Soleil, Vogue and Venus

I was amazed at the size of Lily, she has grown into a very large dog and settled into her home so well.  Chrissie said she is one of the best dogs she has ever owned.  The new addition, Venus, is so like her brother Vogue, it is difficult to tell them apart, Soleil is their cousin but slightly bigger.  They are certainly a lovely breed and we could see why Chrissie has always had a love for and been associated with this breed of dog for some 40 years.

We sat and chatted to Chrissie and the dogs milled around, lapping water (much of which landed in our laps!) and generally sussing out the human newcomers to their home.   It was difficult trying to do a photo shoot of 5 dogs but we managed reasonably well with the aid of biscuits, and I knew Chrissie had many photos on her Facebook page if needed.

This canine family has much to be thankful for with their beautiful surroundings, huge area in which to run and the love and attention they receive from Chrissie.  I asked if she would be increasing her family and the answer was No, it was large enough now, and I am inclined to agree 5 large dogs is quite a handful.

To see more pictures of this lovely canine family, some taken by Chris and others from Chrissie’s Facebook page, have a look at the slideshow below:

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