‘I am not an animal person’ but…

I am not an animal person. There I have said it; I just do not fawn over animals. I would never be cruel to animals and I think anyone who is, is the lowest life form. But pets and me, no way José. However, this was before I met Tamarly.

How do I describe Tarmarly, those eyes, the way she is so cowed she crawls almost on her belly to get your attention and will only stand up properly once you pat her head. Yes, Tamarly is a dog and I have just finished telling you I am not an animal person.

How can I explain it then? Tamarly has wormed her way into my heart, plain and simple. She is not my dog and yet I am sure I am one of her humans. Her Mum and Dad live next door and when she isn’t there, or sleeping in the pool room of the house up the hill, she is in our garden.

Agile has always been an animal person, so his having her as his shadow does not surprise me, but the affect she has had on me is truly amazing.

So why am I not an animal person? I can only attribute it to being quite badly bitten on the bum when I was a little girl. I have to confess I was up a tree scrumping apples at the time, but this experience has left me scarred, my bum too.

Tamarly is the funniest dog I have ever encountered. She is a tea leaf. If you leave your shoes at ground level she will steal them. We know she buries them because when she returns her nose is covered in mud. She even stole and buried the dish we were using to feed her from when we had any titbits for her. We have this game going with her now, Agile gives her whatever is left of the bunny loaf, usually about half and she takes it off and buries it. Somewhere out there, there is a forest of bread trees growing.

Sometime she wanders down to the building site below us and we see her sauntering back with a Bektaş carrier bag in her mouth and we just know that one of the men has lost his lunch that day. We do worry about that because we all know that Turkish people do not generally get on well with dogs and are not always kind to them. How can we stop her, she is a kleptomaniac and we are not able to explain to her that stealing is wrong?

If I decide to sweep the patio, she gets on her back and manoeuvers her way under the broom head so that I can sweep her too. Her eyes take on a dreamy look and she becomes mesmerised. She leans on me and if I move she falls over. She just cannot get close enough to you. She even sticks her head under my arm when I am on my hands and knees gardening. How could I not love her? How could I not repay that unconditional love she shows with every fibre of her being? The answer is simple I cannot. I am one of you now. I love Tamarly.

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