Eastern Europe

Grizzly & Ozzy – I am back in Bakuriani, where I spent some time earlier in the year where I have two dogs to look after. For two months I am caring for Grizzly, a Georgian dog who I have met already and Ozzy who is a puppy that was adopted and saved from a life of hunger, pain and disease. Both of these dogs get the best in medical and dietary care now that they have a committed owner and they don’t have to scavenge and hunt for food and shelter. Ozzy is a serious girl that literally grows before my eyes and she gets more coordinated, bolder and smarter every week. Grizzly is the tough but beautiful older mountain dog and she likes to make sure she is not missing out on any action around the house or in the forest. She barks and stands guard in all weather, and then seeks shelter in her custom made kennel, which on a cold night she will retreat to after running around in the woods.

Beach dogs and Cats of Gonio – After having spent a few of months in the Georgian mountains and then another month in the capital Tbilisi, I headed west to the Black Sea and the beach dogs and one cat of Gonio. The friendly and carefree dogs rule the beach. Each group informally belonging to a hotel or restraunt. Here are some of the dogs that would take afternoon walks with me, head down to the beach in the morning or just wait in the shade patiently for the next stroll. Cats were much less visible, but you can see there is one here that is not any less confident of the dogs, and actually quite sure of his rights to a comfy spot in a beach cabana.

Grizzly & Wolfie – As a result of the Corona Virus travel restrictions and lock down of borders my two week holiday in Georgia turned into a stay of several months. While I didn’t do any house sitting during this time, there were plenty of friendly street dogs in every city and every town to get to know and have fun with. Grizzly and Wolfie have been adopted and have hit the Georgian Street Dog jackpot. A friend who is based in Bakuriani ensures they get good nutritonal meals, any required vet treatment and plenty of walks in the mountains. While he was out of town I eagerly volunteered to check in on them and take them with me hiking.

Jackie, Tilly, Dolly and Jeti – Four sisters that have lived together in the small village of Marathounta, Cyprus for a long time. They are all sweet, affectionate, well behaved and ageing gracefully. This foursome is much loved and cared for and get the exclusive privileges of being the inside pets (see the other outside animals at this sit below). They all love having company and were quick to let me know if I was not paying them enough attention or too much attention to one of the other siblings. With numerous snoozing spots to catch the afternoon sun or hide in a cosy cupboard, a headcount would sometimes have me on a hunt for a missing cat, only to find Dolly, Jeti or Tilly in a favourite quiet corner or basket.

Percy, JoJo, Barooch, One Eye, Micha, Tiny and Allessio – Seven lucky wild cats of Cyprus. They have an entire balcony and huge yard to defend between morning and evening feeding times. This seven, plus the four above, make my largest house sitting assignment to date. It was a pleasure to learn all of their personalities, and the hierarchy and power structure within this tribe. An occasional scrap, hiss and howl could be heard in the evening, but the law of cat society had big old JoJo as the head of the tribe, Percy the “I’m too pretty cat”, the two black boys Tiny and Allessio the stealth warriors, Micha the only girl and very timid and shy and Barooch the ginger has some health issues and is the most delicate in the group.

PB & Rhino – This brother and sister pair could not be more different, in both their looks and personalities. Small and grey Rhino is ironically named but has the confidence of a horned African beast and PB is big and goofy and the colour of his namesake sandwich spread. Both completely adorable, they live a wonderful life in the Bucharesti suburbs. Their days exist to torment the neighbour’s dogs and be doted on by the Building Manager, a far cry from the cardboard box they were found in at just a couple of weeks old on the Romanian streets.

”When we returned, my house was spotless, neat and tidy, and the cats as happy as ever. Everything was in its place as if we’d left for the day. I really felt like a friend stayed over while I was away and I hope she can return. I’m sure PB and Rhino would love to see her, too!.”

Billi ~ Romania ~ July 2019

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close