From troubled street dog, to lady pooch of leisure, the spirited Tilki is this month's 'Meet Our Customer' series...
What is your dog’s name?
Tilki (or Tilks)
How did you come up with the name? Does it have any specific
We adopted her from the shelter and kept the name she was given there. All the dogs were named according to something significant in either their appearance or characteristics. For example, there was an obese dog named “Balina” meaning Whale, a dog with unusual bright blue eyes, was named “Ice”, not very original but I guess it’s easy when you have so many dogs coming in. Anyway, Tilki means “Fox” in Turkish, and with her colouring and pointy “Foxy” ears, it makes sense.
How old is your dog?
Because she was rescued from the street, it’s difficult to know her exact age. Although the vet estimated approximately 2 years old. We celebrated her 3rd birthday earlier this year. We had a party with her dog park friends and pup-cakes! :D
What breed is your dog?
Tilki is a mixture of who knows what! Haha. Like most of the stray dogs here, they are all kinds of mix of breed. I would love to do a DNA test, but the vet here said “we don’t do Hollywood Tests”, haha! I hope we can test when we take her back to UK with us. I think it’s important to know for her old age, if we need to keep a eye on anything that is typical to certain breeds.
What is the story of Tilki?
Where to begin…? So, unbeknown to us, a friend of ours, Ihsan found this poor skinny sick looking dog hanging around the petrol station near his place. He kept trying to give her tins of food, but she wouldn’t eat. She was so afraid, but he managed to take her to the vet. She was seriously malnourished and had some kind of blood parasite/infection. Because she needed a few treatments, a few weeks apart, Ihsan didn’t want her to stay in the cage at the vet clinic the whole time, so he took her to the shelter and sponsored her to stay there, hoping she could be adopted once she’d finished treatment.
During this time, Craig and I had been discussing the idea of rescuing/adopting a dog, since there are SO many strays here in Istanbul that are in need of a good home, and as I’d just started working from home, the time was right.
A few weeks later, Craig and Ihsan were chatting, and Craig mentioned that we were thinking about taking a dog. At this point, he said “I have the perfect dog for you!” He showed us a photo of this sad fragile looking dog and our hearts melted. We could see in her eyes that she was desperate for some love. So that was it, she was ours!
It was a slow process and is still an ongoing challenge to get her to relax at times. It’s obvious she has really lived through some incredible trauma during her time on the street. (Sadly, like too many dogs here). It breaks my heart to think about.
A year later, the vet now says she’s overweight instead of underweight (I blame Craig and all the sneaky treats he gives her). She still has some moments of fear and anxiety, but she’s very happy in her new home and gives us as much love if not more than we give her! Our little love!
What is your dog’s favourite food?
Chicken, cheese, eggs, and these super stinky chicken and fish pork hide dental treat that Craig found at the pet shop. Yuck!
What is your dog’s favourite game?
She loves to play catch with her soft toys. Unfortunately, she’s afraid of balls (as hard as I try to get her to play)
What is your favourite thing to do together?
We have a nature/woodland park 10 minutes’ drive from home, we try to go there at least 5 times a week for a nice long walk. We love to escape the city and she loves to sniff everything. She has many stray dog friends there that often join us on our walk. It’s our happy place.
What is a bad habit that your dog has?
Lisa: Stinky farts!
Craig: Expects breakfast in bed!
What is the funniest memory involving your pet?
Lisa: Tilki was running around and in between this close bunch of trees in the forest when she was on the long lead. I was just watching Craig trying to keep up and not get tangled in the lead as she just kept going and going, I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe!
Craig: When she gets excited and runs like Bambi on ice.
What is the hardest thing about being a dog owner?
Lisa: Seeing how afraid she gets of thunder, fireworks (we get a lot of fireworks here), or other loud noises and not being able to help her.
Craig: Not being able to take in every dog that needs a home!
Which NextGenPaws pet portrait did you choose for your dog? Why?
I really wanted the Lady with Style because it just seemed perfect. As much as she’s a big scaredy cat, Tilki often appears very regal. Our friends call her Madame Tilki, and often comment on how she’s such a “Lady”.
Craig on the other hand, wanted many of the pawtraits available! We often comment on her big ears, so Yoda seemed appropriate. We love Harry Potter and named our fish after the wizarding friends, so that was also an obvious choice. The Convict was just a funny option that we had to have. There are so many amazing options on your website, it would have been so easy to keep going…
Where is your canvas now?
Proudly displayed in our living room. They make us smile.
Craig also has the Star Paws Yoda as his phone wallpaper 😊
How would you describe the custom pet portraits with one word?
Lady With Style - Lady Tilki
Star Paws – Lisa: Pawfect - Craig: Career path
Harry Pawter – Funny
The Convict – Appropriate
Thank you Lisa, Craig and the amazing Tilki for sharing your story with us!
Want to be our next feature?
- The Team at NextGenPaws 💕
Shop Tilki's Collection