About T.A.G

T.A.G. is committed to saving the animals of Turkey! Please donate today and save a life from the harsh streets these animals are born on!
We have our own private shelter set up to rehabilitate, rehome, neuter, give medical treatment to so many animals. Mission to rescue sick, stray, injured and starving animals from the streets of Turkey and to rehome these animals to loving homes throughout the world.
T.A.G. is also committed to promoting trap, neuter and release programs throughout Turkey as well as helping to educate Turkish animal shelters in the proper care of its animals.

Company Overview
The Turkish Animal Group (T.A.G.) is a registered charity and our number is 1148352 - we are based in Turkey and United Kingdom.
T.A.G. was founded by Karen Wren after she visited Turkey for the first time in 2002 when she witnessed the horrific living conditions animals were forced to deal with in Turkey day in and day out. From that day forward, Karen knew that the rest of her life would be committed to helping the animals of Turkey.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A Guest Post by Elizabeth

I am delighted that Elizabeth has written this post for the blog.  She has so much experience with the street dogs of Turkey, and if any of you are considering adopting a dog from TAG, you will find her words very reassuring.    If you have any questions to ask Elizabeth, please put them in the Comments box at the end of this post, and she will do her utmost to answer them for you.

Elizabeth's Daily Journey with TAG

As all of you will know we adopted 3 Turkish dogs and a Turkish cat. We have done it over the last couple of years but if anyone is interested in doing this I would thoroughly recommend it, but tell you honestly what we did wrong and what we did right. Hindsight is wonderful. We have another dog on the cards and that will complete our family.

To adopt any dog can be difficult as you are  getting  an animal which may have been abused, starved or beaten. Unfortunately they cannot tell you their story but as you get to know them things become very evident.

To understand what I'm hoping to tell, you will have to read the previous stories about my dogs - Elizabeth's Journey with TAG. ( parts 1-5)
Ruby: Ruby survived because she was tough and strong. Now this is good for a street cat , of course, as she can and did chase any other cat away. One look from Ruby and they fled from any dish of food. So we took her home and we have 3 other cats. She is still the toughie she always was, so we have  had to take our time adjusting her to food out all the time and letting the others eat. She is getting better but Ruby Rules OK!
This will always be the case now but as long as the rest are reassured there is no problem.
Toorki : Toorki ( Ataturk) had huge problems with commitment. How could a dog be anything else when he is so intelligent ?  Toorki was difficult BECAUSE of his intelligence. We didn't understand why he couldn't and wouldn't come to us. We then realised he had a fear of grass and being held by the collar. Every Turkish dog we have had , has had this problem about being held. They are fearful of collar contact- clicker training was needed. Click/touch/tasty food.
Toorki had also been shunted from place to place,  landing up in boarding kennels before he came across to the UK. Even when he arrived with us his future was not secure but when we eventually adopted him the real bonding could begin. He always wanted to run- he's a big dog and this would scare me as I can't stand him out of my sight. I did accept though that he would always come home after about ten minutes- a very, long ten minutes for me. I had to train him out of this and did it by walking and walking and walking him.
We now have a wonderful dog- I really mean this. Even our vet who sees dogs every day commented, Hasn't he the kindest eyes?  
Zorro: Zorro, Zozzie, Zozzicle (all his names) has been an absolute character. It was as though he was waiting for us all his life. When we put him in the van beside me to leave Turgutreis he NEVER looked back. He KNEW he was heading to his new life.
He had never had a toy or bone or chew ( and he is at least 10 years old) and when he DID get them he would growl at the others. We noticed this was part of the fun. He could really enjoy having a bone if everyone else wanted it!!!!  He will bury the bone then guard the burial place with great enthusiasm and dedication, refusing to let anyone pass by so all the dogs, to placate him, go for long circuitous routes around him. If he gets the chance to chew the bone Toorki will, at any time, approach, look at him and Zorro immediately gives up his treasure. This is quietly and confidently done by Toorki- no growls or any outward signs to us , yet repeatedly Zorro gives in.
As befitting a street dog he is a brilliant bin raker. The swing lids are wonderful  for him and the fuller the bin the better. Once a street dog? Always...............  The times I have forgotten and heard CRASH............ and he's off!!!!! Holding on to any wrapper, paper or egg shell!!!! For an old man he can fairly sprint. 
  Because he didn't have a MUM before, he is totally besotted with me. He will guard me with his life and I find the street dogs are very loyal like this. Who can blame them? He IS getting braver about Mum disappearing into the bathroom, but the first time he saw me have a shower was hilarious. He SO wanted to be with me but hey ho..... what was she doing? Cattle also running to the fence as he passes utterly amazes him. He has NO idea what they are. Eyes are on stalks. He is a great joy to us and every day we have him is a good day.
Frodo: Frodo was very difficult and I needed help . With hindsight we should NOT have had anyone else into his chalet/ den /cave. He went out there to have a rest after the long European journey and he didn't come out for 4 months. I had a dog trainer come in and she said to sit with him in the room  but NO looking or touching until HE wanted. Extremely difficult. He also must be the most learned of dogs as he had radio 4 on all day in the background. I was also glad of it when I spent time with him as it was a long sit with your coffee. What we did was introduce friends to the chalet and they would sit with him as well. I see now I should have left him with me alone because when he decided to come out he had me and his cave as his safe place and HE then decided who he saw and didn't. NO one else is now allowed into his chalet. He comes out to my husband and is quite happy with him outside  but would  shrink back from him if he went into his cave/ his personal space still. He has come on in leaps and bounds- literally!!!! He boings around like a spring lamb.
We also wondered about Frodo's brother- he is coming across at the end of the year but SO glad Frodo was on his own. He is brave by himself and is our young lab's friend and if Stitch had been with him he would always  have been in his shadow, so in that respect we did the right thing. Frodo can now show off to Stitch.
To take any rescue dog is a leap of faith that you will have a dog you can train and will accept you and the TAG dogs we have are intelligent, grateful and loyal. ALSO they are healthy as only the tough have survived. Survival of the fittest indeed. Toilet training for them has been a breeze. When you consider they have been in outdoor kennels for most of their lives it amazes me how very clean they are. Frodo was 4 months inside but not once did he do anything anywhere other than the newspapers I gave him for this act. Whenever he came outside that was it- all toilet outside. He did it himself.
 No dog or cat asks to come to you. You have chosen your dog or cat and when things are a little difficult , as sometimes they can be, remember that animal has a sensitivity and dignity that I feel a lot of humans have lost. A day spent with humans or my dogs? My dogs win  every time!!!


  1. What a wonderful story. I had tears in my eyes as I read it. I can understand fully your dilemma with some of the dogs because I have had many street dogs and currently have 6 and maybe a 7th one as my daughter Charlotte found a young female who has obviously given birth recently, down by the road and she has been injured, maybe by a car. So off tomorrow to the vet in Selcuk for a full check.

  2. Wonderful Elizabeth - a lovely snippet into each of your rescue friends' stories (of course I had tears streaming down my face reading about Zozzie - we know first hand what that poor dog went through locked in a cage for nearly 10 years, so it's pure joy to hear of his life now with you). There is a saying that "You Can't Change the World.. but you Can Change the world for one animal", but in the case of you and Robert, you have changed the lives of many and given dogs, cats (and horses) hope, dignity, health... and best of all fun and love. Karen pours her heart and soul into finding wonderful homes for her animals and your story shows that adopting a dog from TAG is as rewarding and joyful for the new owners as it is for the animals... if not more so. (Although Zozzie's grin says it all - he's now almost bursting with happiness all the time, bless him). Thank you for sharing the journey you've taken with these wonderful animals. xx


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