Report from Paxos from Director of PAWS - Lindsay:
I decided to visit Paxos in November to carry out maintenance work at the clinic, help vet Nefeli Damigou during her visit and discuss long term plans with the mayor.
Rod Turner very kindly offered to accompany me to help with the maintenance work at the clinic and erect and paint 2 new feeding stations that he had made with timber supplied by Travis Perkins UK and we had transported out to Corfu. Going to Paxos during the winter is a tricky business - the flights are circuitous and the ferry crossings are unpredictable as is the weather! However after a short delay in Corfu, we finally arrived in Paxos which was bathed in sunshine and looked as beautiful as ever.
I had previously arranged for Roy Churchill to carry out some extra work on the inside of the clinic and was pleased to see that this had been done satisfactorily. However, because of this work the clinic was in chaos, so we had to start the clean up straight away in order to be ready for Nefeli's arrival. After 2 days, painting of the clinic was complete and everything was clean and tidy.
Nefeli and her beautiful dog 'Cherrymou' arrived on Friday 11th November and in fact docked earlier than expected due to being on the new speedy 'Christa', the latest addition for the Kamelia Lines. After a brief welcome chat, Nefeli went off to settle in at her accommodation in Gaios and we agreed to meet again at the clinic the next morning. Nefeli decided that she would prefer to work straight through from 10am - 5pm instead of splitting the day. This worked really well especially as it was dark by 6pm and meant all the veterinary work could be done in daylight hours.
Nefeli was extremely busy over 5 days and carried out 39 consultations some of which were very complicated. She also neutered 25 cats and did 3 other operations. Working with her was an absolute pleasure - she is a wonderful vet, extremely caring and professional and with an excellent taste in music which emanated from her lap top during operations!
In order to facilitate assistance during Nefeli's future visits to the PAWS clinic over the winter, I contacted Anna Hadjianastasiou who had assisted previously and very kindly offered to come and help again. She is also very kind and caring and unlike myself speaks fluent Greek. It has been agreed that Anna and Faye will alternate shifts at the clinic whilst Nefeli is working during the winter and their help is greatly appreciated.
One particular success story was a tiny kitten that had been accidentally squashed and was brought to the clinic with its rectum hanging out and with serious diarrhoea. Overnight care and attention was recommended and after several doses of Metronidazole, ice packs sessions on its 'bum' and special kitten food, it made excellent progress and returned home to Gaios 2 days later feeling much better - see photo gallery.
Whilst the clinic was open, Rod Turner erected and painted the 2 new feeding stations as well as cleaning up all the existing ones. His work at the clinic included helping with the painting, putting silicone around all the windows, putting up 2 new shelves in the consultation room, adding extra fittings to the outside storage kennels,repairing any ill fitting doors and leaking sinks plus strimming the garden.Despite this great long list that I had given him, Rod still manged to find time to make us coffee & tea and bring us delicious treats from one of the many excellent bakeries in Gaios!
Nefeli was delighted with all the work done at the clinic and also with the attention we gave to the garden - in fact she even had a go at strimming herself! - see photo gallery.
A meeting was arranged with the mayor Spyros Vlachopoulos and was attended by myself, Faye Lychnou and Nefeli. The mayor was very welcoming but explained that the PAWS municipal clinic could never be converted to a private clinic and that the municipality did not have the resources to pay Nefeli as a municipal vet. I am hoping that Nefeli and I can come up with an alternative plan so that she can continue to work on Paxos. I emphasised to the mayor that we should all be very proud of the PAWS clinic and encourage the locals to take better care of it since it is one of the best voluntary clinics not only in Greece but in the world. It would be a shame to lose it.
As always I was sad to leave the island, but was pleased with what we achieved. Working with Nefeli was without doubt the highlight of my trip and it was with great restraint that I stopped myself from kidnapping her gorgeous dog!
See photo gallery for more photos!