Today was my first introduction to Nissan, the Alsatian dog with attitude. I had met her owners, retired couple Mike and Shirley, briefly yesterday, their smiling faces and midlands accents making me a little homesick if truth be told. Bespectacled Mike, well over six foot with shoulder length grey hair and his partner Shirley, a smaller version of himself bedecked in their matching brightly coloured ponchos. Mike proudly told me he was the owner of one of the few VW camper vans in Turkey and explained that they had travelled all over Europe in the same camper van.
Nissan, however, was a different story altogether. Without missing a beat, Shirley said that they had named her after the location where she and Mike had first consummated their love. This particular visual stayed with me for the remainder of the day – and not in a good way. Having been invited by Mike, for afternoon tea, Ahmed and I entered Nissan’s territory for the very first time. Ahmed, more gingerly than I, having inherited the Turkish mistrust of dogs. Nissan sensing this moved in for the kill. Mike shouted Turkish commands at her and then asked us to remain stock still whilst she familiarised herself with us. Don’t know which was more scary a grinning Nissan or a mad ancient hippy frantically barking Turkish at a dog hell-bent on disobeying. Nissan clearly enjoying our discomfort at this point began sniffing Ahmed’s crotch and then suddenly decided to grip his manhood in her teeth and hold on for grim death. Mike acutely flustered at this point, tried every conceivable bribe to get her to release her grip. Ahmed was ashen and reassurances from me did little to comfort him. Shirley, however, was the voice of reason in a desperate situation and shook a large bag of pork scratchings. Instantaneously, Nissan being a very intelligent canine released her death grip on Ahmed’s meat and two veg, realising that Shirley’s offerings were going to be tastier than Ahmed’s.
The remainder of the afternoon was a bit of a tense affair, with Ahmed unable to take his eyes off Nissan for a single second. Mike mortified with Nissan’s behaviour and eager to lighten the proceedings decided to get her to perform some of her party tricks.
One of two tricks were performed without incident, however, Nissan was becoming bored and during the third trick where she had to take a biscuit from Mike’s lips, disaster struck.
Shirley later said they didn’t have long to wait at the hospital before the doctor administered Mike’s stitches and assured me that his facial scarring would not be permanent.