Bella first came under ARK’s wing in early January 2020 – she had just given birth to pups near Kumsal Restaurant, Long Beach, where we were aware there was disease. We were worried for the safety of this canine family and so moved Mum & pups to a derelict but safe building at Kuştur, the other side of Kuşadası. Jane & Brenda organised a feeding rota, with many animal-lovers willing to lend a hand, visiting the family on a daily basis to clean and provide good food, water and cuddles. Alan & I were allocated Sunday mornings.

The first time Alan & I, together with Brenda & Jane, to show us the ropes, visited the brood, I noticed that one of the pups was different – a brown nose rather than black and a fawn scruffy coat rather than sleek. We had cooked a delicious chicken & pasta meal for the family, but although his siblings tucked in with relish, this brown-nosed pup wasn’t interested in food. We heard alarm bells. The previous day one of the puppies had died . . . so we decided to take this scruffy, roly poly pup for a check up, just to make sure. The puppy looked up at me as we were driven to Vet International, which was open on Sundays. ”Don’t worry, Brown-nosed Barney,” I murmured as we journeyed on. ”Oh, you’ve named him, have you?” said Jane, with a twinkle in her eye.

Barney was given a thorough examination and declared fit – but I asked about his lack of appetite. The vet opened a can of choice kitten food – and offered it to the pup – to our relief, Barney licked it, considered, then licked again. He obviously wasn’t a ”foody” who would eat everything in sight!

Brown-nosed Barney and his siblings all contracted the dreaded parvo disease – but all but one survived, thanks to the excellent care received from Deniz & Özden at Pandora vets.

On Saturday 21March, the Covid-19 curfew was announced to start the next day – Sunday, our Kuştur pups feeding day. Alan & I decided to sneak out, for one last time – and knowing that it would be the last time made up my mind. We’d bring Brown-nosed Barney home, to share our lives – and what a joy he’s been.

But that still left his Mum Bella and siblings Bertie, Billy & Betty at Kuştur, being fed daily by ARK volunteers. But as pandemic curfew restrictions eased, traffic flow increased – and we became concerned about Bella’s habit of running into the road after cars. We decided to move the family back to Long Beach, for their safety . . . and did so just in time. Shortly afterwards the derelict building and grounds which had been the family’s home for six months became developed into a car park for the busy beach – definitely not the ideal place for our family.

ARK’s daily feeding programme by ARK volunteers has continued, ensuring the family’s survival, although Billy went missing (hopefully adopted) – leaving Bella, Betty & Bertie, along with other friends Brandy & Bob.

All was well, as the summer progressed, until a week ago when it was noticed that food and water was untouched – our dogs were missing. ARK volunteers checked Kuşadası Shelter – no sightings – walked the length of the beach . . . what had happened to our happy, healthy family?

Then today there was a sighting – ARK member Leyla was enjoying breakfast at Yaylaköy – some 14 kms from Long Beach – and she spotted dogs which resembled those pictured in Banu‘s ”Dogs Missing” post. Leyla contacted Banu, who contacted Jane, who contacted Alan & me – and off we went on a rescue mission.

SUCCESS!! The very busy Kuşadası/Söke dual carriageway through Yaylaköy would have been a death trap for our family & friends. We’ve brought all of them – Bella, Bertie, Betty, Brandy & Bob – back to Long Beach, where the lads in the Water Sports hut welcomed them warmly. Bella immediately greeted some of her other doggy friends with delight as they frolicked in the waves. ARK volunteers Paula & Jan had visited the beach to search for the family just a few minutes previously and they had left a good supply of fresh food and water ‘just in case’ – to everyone’s delight their wishes were granted.

We must question by whom/why/how the dogs were moved so far from home – as summer draws to an end . . . we’re crossing fingers and toes that they are now secure and can enjoy the winter months in peace . . .

Please consider contributing towards ARK’s work, helping the vulnerable street animals of Kuşadası that have nobody else who cares . . . click the link to donate to our mission – every lira counts: https://animalrescuekusadasi/help/donations