Fido and Luis needed to go to the loo at 00:55, to my great joy. At least Luis wasn’t barking at caterwauling! I clambered back into my hammock and drifted off until just before the alarm.

The walks were organised in the same way as the previous days. There were more cars in the car park and I could see three tents in the Big Beach area as we walked through. Using some careful route diversion techniques it was still possible to navigate the area without impacting on the FreeLoaders thereabouts. Kostas was working and arrived as we were walking up to the end of the Promontory. He kept himself busy with his salt collecting.

We left the Promontory after an hour or so then carried on down to the river, up the track, across the road, past the house and towards the Viscous Guard Dog. He was calmly sitting near the gate minding his own business. I prevented Luis from barking at him by keeping him and Fido on the lead with Skinny and Obi. Once past the majority of the distractions, they were allowed to go free but not Skinny and Obi.

We were at the furthest extent of our trajectory when I heard the sound of an approaching vehicle. Generally, we see no one at that time of the morning. We were walking back downhill by this point in an orderly fashion with Skinny and Obi on the lead. The man stopped the truck to ask me why I was walking the dogs there as he was concerned for the animals. I pointed out that the dogs were all under my control and that they were wearing remote training collars. He seemed satisfied with this explanation, got back into his pickup and resumed his journey up towards where the bulk of the goats are. I don’t go up that far with all of the dogs but have been right to the end with Skinny and Isabella.

I should imagine that having been intercepted by one of the guys who has goats in that area it will be a very short time before the others are aware of my visits and hopefully they will all feel the same way.

Interestingly, shortly after the meeting with the guy in the pickup, some goats had attracted the attention of Oskar who was hurrying in their perceived general direction. His quickening of pace caused Isabella, Charlie, Luis and Fido to join it. At this point, I pressed my little buttons whilst calling the dogs to me. As expected, the ones with the collars responded quickly, however, the other two came too as that’s the way dogs work. One goes and they all go, one or three return and so do the others.

We crossed the road at the end of the track but I noticed that a bulldozer has been at work on the river bed so it may soon be possible to walk up the river bed once more so not having to cross the wretched road. Assuming the bulldozer fills in all the hole made by the excavator.

I went swimming after I dropped off the dogs. I met Maria who was just preparing to enter the water. We had a brief chat but she was supposed to be at the reception quite soon so needed to get in the water. We swam together but separately for a little while then she got out. I suggested she swam further east as it’s less rocky and deeper. I can’t be doing with rocks and shallow water.

I had a quick hosepipe shower and rode off to Krios. I’d briefly contemplated a trip to Petrakis but concluded that I’d survive until Sunday. There’s a lot of activity around the greenhouses. They have all been emptied of the tomato plants and are now being cleaned and repaired. Mini-tractors are used to plough up the ground or the greenhouse is dismantled and the entire area covered with new soil and ploughed up by a bulldozer or similar.

Some of the greenhouses were in pretty poor shape so are being repaired, some were destroyed in the storms before Christmas so are being cleared and new greenhouses are being erected. The older ones are made of wood or wood and metal whereas the new ones are all metal. They all have polythene stretched over the frames although very few use actual glass.

Gregor and his dogs were pleased to see me. We chatted and directed some Swiss to the track which goes to Elafonissi. I know about the track as I’ve been that way on my bike but Gregor know the area as he’s spent years on that section of coast. The conversation started in Greek until we discovered the woman was Swiss whereupon she and Gregor continued in German.

The dogs were quietly awaiting my return so I let them out, made my breakfast then fed them. I sat down for a bit of a rest.

I had some support tasks to do for Barbara so got on with them until I fell asleep. Fortunately, I’d replied to her email before falling asleep. I ate breakfast and the day continued from there.

Later, I made up the Doggy Dinners and dealt with another support matter from Simon. Having had quite an active start to the day, I was happy to sit in the chair and enjoy the warmth.

Looking at Isabella earlier in the day and considering the amount of food she consumes, I was concerned that she still looks a little bony. She, like Fido and Luis, guzzle down their food without letting it touch the sides. Before embarking on the Doggy Dinner path, I read up and it was suggested the food might be put through a blender to make it more easily digested. Today, with the help of Ursula’s blender, I gave it a go.

The blender only has a 250ml capacity so it took a little while to process something like 5kg of food. But I got there in the end. The results, to me, looked very unappetising however, as expected, the experts guzzled it down and polished the bowls. I should have added more water as the mixture had become a little gloopy. Processing it should make it more quickly absorbable and therefore more beneficial to the recipients so they might feel more satisfied. Although Ursula’s blender completed the task without a problem, a more powerful model with larger capacity would make the process less labour-intensive.

If we can get a little more meat onto Isabella without increasing the input and decreasing the output, it would be worth the effort. Blending the DDs makes it more equitable as sometimes there are lumps of meat which end up in only one dog.

There appear to be many more tents in the upper part of the camping but definitely far fewer than would be expected normally at this time of the year. As Maria pointed out, once next weekend is over, so will be the peak of the season. I suspect it hasn’t been a disaster despite the additional costs of providing enhanced levels of sanitary precautions but a year without profit.

I’ve moved the magnetic pussy feeding bowl to the middle of the fence to ensure it’s the Fluffy Mummy Cat who is eating the food and not any of the foreign invaders. It’s easier to see which cat is eating with the bowl in direct sight.
Processed Doggy Dinners. It looks pretty yucky but they seem to like it.


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