Παρασκευή, 22 Απριλίου 2011

A night in the Cairo airport...

unbelievable traffic
Flashback: May 2009

I have just spent three days in Cairo.
It's time to leave.
My flight back home leaves at two in the morning.
I'm waiting for my taxi to take me from the hotel to the airport.
The taxi comes and I get in.
Orange lights in cities are the same all over the world.
We are passing through the warm night and I am observing buildings, cars, the moon... The moon was hazy. Almost full.

We arrive at the airport. The taxi driver is very polite. He insists on carying my back pack but I insist more than him. I take my bag. He's probably a bit intimidated by this small but strong lady in front of him.

I pass the airport check and take my boarding pass. You can still smoke in Cairo airport.
I sit down and smoke and read my book.

It's almost time to go to the gate.
As I approach the gate, I realize I cant' find my boarding pass.
I empty my bag. It's nowhere. I go back to the places I passed. It's nowhere.
No boarding pass.

They call my name. "Passenger so and so is kindly requested to proceed to the gate so and so"

I go to the gate. I tell them I lost my boarding pass. They freak out. I freak out. I really hope they don't think I'm a terrorist or something....

A guy tells me we have to go back to the check in so I can get a new boarding pass. We run!

Airports are really big spaces. So we run. And we have to go through customs again. Only this time backwards. They are all speaking arabic and I don't have a clue if they will let me pass or not.

They let me pass. We keep running!

I get a new boarding pass.
And we start running again! I'm thinking " I don't want to leave this country, that's why this is happening..."
After a lot of running, we go to the gate. And I've got my boarding pass. A whole plane is waiting for me! I am delaying a whole flight....

I am ready to go to the bus, which will take us to the airplane.

A guy stops me again.
The date on my passport is yesterdays date!
They did not change the bloody date after midnight!
I do not believe this!

"I certainly do not want to leave" I'm thinking.

Finally they decided to let me pass with yesterdays' date. I get on the bus and everybody is staring at me. Or so I think. God knows how long they have been waiting in that bus for me.

And this is the end of my little Cairo adventure. I still remember it and laugh. It's when things are not going according to plan that they are more interesting! They add up a little spice to your travelling...

Κυριακή, 17 Απριλίου 2011

Learning to dog sit... learning to teach...

Pets. Patience. That's what they need. Practicing my patience. P - P - P. 

Next time I take on a pet, I will ask the following questions.

- Does it pull on the leash?
- Does it sleep on the owner's bed?
- Does it know the basic words "sit", "come", "go to your bed"?

If one of these questions is "no" then my answer will be "no" too. Otherwise I will ask for more money to train them.

Meanwhile, another job came to me out of the blue. A friend wants to practice her english and I'm teaching her! I really enjoy these lessons. She knows her grammar and vocabulary. What she needs is to practice on a day to dayt level. Get rid of her fear. I find it very creative. I'm showing the words she does not remember in pantomime and she chooses her favorite songs to sing and translate. We have conversations about her everyday life!

Did I create this reality? Of course I did! I kept focusing on what I have and not what I don't have.
I'm so grateful for all of this and I'm waiting for my next trip. Till then, I'll be travelling through life with gratefulness and joy... Have a good day!

Κυριακή, 10 Απριλίου 2011

On pets and the necessity of training them

I declare myself a "warm climate" person".

Cold weather makes me stiff while in warm weather I release tension. It might be because I was born in December...

So... One more dog is added to the family. She's a bit spoilt and she has to go through training to adopt to the rules of this house. Her name is Lucy and she's going to stay for a month. Our income is increasing and I'm doing something I really like besides travelling. Taking care of pets!

There's only one thing that conserns me. Here in Greece, pet owners are very far from training their dogs. Even people who love their pets, they spoil them so much that the dog becomes unbearable. It might bark, chew, jump and do all kinds of nasty things to draw your attention.

So, let me talk to you about Lucy. She is a rescue dog and she has a "special need". Due to a car accident, her colon does not function properly and she needs to have special cooked food in order to poo properly. Otherwise, she is an extremely intelligent (6 kilos) creature! She is adorable. But very very spoilt. Because of her "problem" no one has ever told her "no". She pulls on her leash, barks a lot and wants your full attention all the time...

Yesterday it was her first day and she drove us crazy! After a lot of patience and loving energy today she is calmer and does not bark as much. She is calmly sitting in her bed like Nelos and Freeda.

There is peace and quiet in the house. For a year and a half no one told her "no", so she never had boudaries. But she is so clever that she learned her boundaries in less than 24 hours.

Miguelito, photo by antonisartheart
My personal belief and - most trainers belief as far as I know - is that a dog feels safer when it has boundaries. If there are no rules and no limits it feels unsafe, much like a child. It feels it has to be leader. But in truth, a dog does not want to be the leader, it needs to be lovingly guided by a leader.

Most small dogs get away with bad behaviour because they are so small and cute. But they are still dogs and they need to be guided! And why should we care? Because it makes our life easier. Because it makes your dogs life easier. The dog sits and is rewarded by a walk in the park, a tasty treat, by whatever!

I wish everyone trained their dogs no matter how small... And we will train Lucy.

photo by antonisartheart
Put a caption to this photo!
My caption is "cats rule!"
And a closing note. People ask me how come two dogs and a cat sleep altogether in the same bed? It takes boundaries. The dogs know that they MUST not hurt the cat. Even the cat is trained not to mess with the dogs! Everyone has their boundaries and they sleep comfortably in their warm beds! Everyone in the family has a good time because they know what is allowed and not allowed!

Have a good day!

Κυριακή, 3 Απριλίου 2011

Gifts of the Spring

image by antonisartheart
Spring. One more Spring. One more beautiful Spring.

I have counted 12 projects that occupy my mind. Projects on travelling, helping others, ecology, psychology, animals... I will reveal them in the near future. There's one quite realistic project, which might give us a little bit of income. And that is... keeping other people's dogs for a short period of time.

I am so happy that our friend left us his dog! Nelos is a very good friend with Freeda and he even sleeps next to the cat! We are discovering our talent for positive dog training and it gives us so much joy...

Other people have expressed interest in leaving us with their dogs and I have already sent out an e-mail to friends who have dogs! It's a dream job! No, it's not a job... It's a game!

The other day I was walking on the mountain and I discovered a horse! He was with his owner and he asked me to keep an eye on him everytime I pass by... So I made a connection with Rigas (his name means king). He is a wonderful stallion, very calm and sociable. Another animal to keep an eye on... It's so weird that I live in Athens, yet I am so close to nature... It's the magic of the Wild West!

The Spring has indeed flourished! Have a good day...