pets

Our Cow and a dog. Wandering around GlenMyu Estate. Inspires my though for the day

Dogs in Sri Lanka

Dogs in Sri Lanka

Dogs in Sri Lanka.

When you visit Sri Lanka on holiday you will see lots of dogs in a poor condition.

Learn how you can help and what we do.

Biscuit was born at GlenMyu Estate

New Lives in the Wild - Ben Fogle revisits the British Sri Lankan Vet

The plight of Sri Lankan dogs was highlighted again when Ben Fogle visited British Vet, Janey Lowes, who lives in Sri Lanka. (Channel 5, Series 18, Episode 11).

Bon Fogle originally met Janey Lowes in 2019 (Channel 5, Series 9, Episode 4).

The update highlights the uncontrollable issues that have added to the pressure on the work WeCare Worldwide does in Sri Lanka. With events such as the global pandemic, the economic crisis and the lack of medicines available during the period increased the challenge caring for the dogs.

Issues all around the island

We at GlenMyu Estate also were affected by the issues that were beyond our control. 

Over the years since we moved to the Sri Lankan hill country we have cared for and re-homed many street dogs.

Historically, after giving the puppies that were dropped off at GlenMyu Estate, a good start in life, vaccinations, nutritious food and medical care, we were able to re-home many puppies.

We have also funded spaying and neutering dogs villagers close to the estate. Many of our neighbours do not have the means to pay for the surgery. The aim was to control the rise in dog population and ensure that the females did not have letters every seasons of their lives. 

New puppies at GlenMYu Estate. Dogs in Sri Lanka

The effect of the 2022 financial crisis in Sri Lanka on re-homing dogs

The effects of the financial crisis in Sri Lanka during 2022 and its recovery since led to us finding it more difficult in er-homing dogs. 

People had to think carefully as to whether they could afford to care for a puppy when inflation was so high reaching 60% and incomes had not followed. 

There was also a lack of medicines during this period coming into the country. This led to an additional concern as to whether vaccinations would be available to protect the dogs. A major concern was the shortage of rabies vaccines which would create a health risk of the owners and their families. 

A lot of good work is going on

There are several organisations, in addition to WeCare Worldwide that care for street dogs in Sri Lanka.

Embark Passion

Embark has been transforming the lives of street dogs and the communities they live in since 2007. 
They do great work for dogs in Sri Lanka by providing medication, spaying and neutering and finding new homes.

Dogs of Ella

Dogs Of Ella is where the stray dogs from the hills of Ella and neighboring towns come to claim their second chance at life.

They have more than 30 rescues currently residing in the Ella shelter

Individuals doing their own bit for dogs in Sri Lanka

Similar to us at GlenMyu Estate, there are lots of individual around the island that are all doing their bit to help the street dogs.

Many Sri Lankans feed the street dogs in their local area. We had personal experience of this when we lived in Colombo before moving to the Sri Lankan hill country. 

A retired doctor drove around the neighbourhood in the mornings and evenings feeding the street dogs in the area.

Support the work we do with street dogs by staying at GlenMyu Estate on your holiday in Sri Lanka.

Feeding the dogs at GlenMyu Estate. Twice a day, 100 kg of rice a month makes several happy dogs.

Some of guests at GlenMyu Estate enjoy helping feed our dogs when they holiday in Sri Lanka.

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country helps to fund feeding our rescue animals and the work we do locally with street dogs.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

Dogs in Sri Lanka Read More »

Our cow gets a new friend.

My wife’s birthday present to herself.

My wife's birthday present to herself

My wife’s birthday present to herself.

You may be surprised what the lady, who worked in the fashion industry before moving to Sri Lanka, bought for herself.

A dream made real.

I didn’t know when we met where we would end up. 

It’s not something that you discuss on an initial date.

I don’t have the type of character that would naturally discuss dreams and aspirations.

We did discuss a future plan. I saw it as a change at the right time of my life. A chance to get some time back. 

My wife is Sri Lankan and we met when she was working in the UK.

And how did you meet?

Lots of our guests at GlenMyu Estate ask how we met. Some are surprised that we met on the dance floor in International Student House, near Great Portland Street.
At the time she was in the country only occasionally and we always danced together when we met. It took her almost nine months to ask me out. Yes, she asked, I didn’t read the signs. 

A relationship and a plan.

During our years in the UK my wife always said that her plan was to go back to Sri Lanka at one point.
Our relationship blossomed and I guess I was in on the plan. 
Maybe I didn’t listen hard enough, but I understood that the reason she wanted to go home was to live with her parents.

What I didn’t hear (or listen to) was that she really wanted an organic farm and to look after animals.

Things evolved.

Plans change in life and our initial idea of living in Colombo and using a smaller version of the house at GlenMyu Estate as a holiday home changed.

I really couldn’t manage with the heat in Colombo (almost 10 degrees Celsius more than the hills). The feeling of being a prisoner in the morning and evening avoiding the mosquitos was also not pleasant. Although there are mosquitos in the hills, the temperature results in very few bothering me. I can sit out in the evenings in the cooling air and not be pestered. 

Our plan changed and it fell in line with my wife’s dream of living in the mountains and creating an organic farm.

A lot of work, a bed and breakfast and lots of animals.

Roll on to the present time and after a lot of hard work and persistence we created GlenMyu Estate.

The estate is funded by having guests stay with us when they are on holiday in Sri Lanka. Being around an hour away from Ella, Nine Arch Bridge, Little Adam’s Peak etc, we are a good alternative to the busy tourist town. We have great reviews from our guests and they rave about Ru’s food.
As we only have three bedrooms availability is getting scarce during the peak holiday periods.

We have gathered some animals which are an added interest to the guests that stay.

My wife's first birthday present to herself.

As you get older it’s hard to chose a birthday present for your partner.

In the UK it was a little easier as Ru was really interested in cooking. So, cook books were welcomed.

I managed to get several books signed by Rick Stein over the years through my brother who drove him around for a period and also standing in line at a book signing at Waterstones. There were books from other authors and Le Cordon Bleu as Ru carried out a short course there.
My mother lives in West Cork, Ireland and there are books from great producers such as Gubbeen and by her acquaintances including also Darina Allen from Ballymaloe.

In Sri Lanka, living away from Colombo, it is a little more difficult choosing a suitable present.

As we were driving from Haputale to Beragala, my wife decided that she wanted to buy four ducks for her birthday. I guess this is where buying her own birthday presents started. 

The ducks were installed at GlenMyu Estate and have multiple over the years to around twenty. They add something special to the environment and I find watching them quite meditative.
Ru has a special relationship with our original mother duck who follows her around and is more like a pet. 

Her latest birthday present to herself.

In December 2022 we took ownership of our rescue cow Maali.
She has also become a great addition to the estate and provides us with manure for our organic garden.

Unfortunately, being alone, behaviour problems started to arise and she would try to play and heat butt our dogs, ducks and chickens in the afternoon.

Having read more about the issue it was clear that cows, being a herd animal, need some company of their own kind.

An opportunity arose to chose a new birthday present.

One of our neighbours had a bull calf which was destined for the slaughterhouse.
Females are the important ones as they produce milk and generate an income for these smallholders. 

Ru was given the opportunity to rescue the bull calf and, after a little discussion with me, she decided that this would be her birthday present to herself. 

The birthday present would not just be purchasing the bull calf, but also building a new cowshed where he and Maali could stay. Maali’s accommodation was not big enough for two.

My wife's birthday present.

My wife used to work in the clothing and fashion industry. I think that if you asked us ten years ago what she would be getting for a birthday present, a bull calf would not have arisen as a choice!
Life has changed and perhaps there will be another life saved with her choice of birthday present next year.

Not just a bull calf for her birthday.

The day of my wife’s birthday included feeding stray dogs with the big batch of chicken and rice that had been made that morning.

Lots of poor creatures were fed on the way to the beauty salon where she spent a lot of the remainder of her birthday being pampered

Stay at GlenMyu Estate and meet our animals.

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours or so drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

My wife’s birthday present to herself. Read More »

Our cow gets a new friend.

Our cow got a friend.

Our cow got a friend.

Our cow got a friend.

Maali is excited as she finally has a friend at GlenMyu Estate to accompany her as she grazes at the 5 acre estate.

Read on to find out how this came about.

If you want to read about how Maali arrived at GlenMyu Estate please read our articles “We got a Cow” and also “The Cow, a year on (almost)”.

Malli our Cow

Dogs and ducks as friends and playmates?

Maali was a little confused. She cleary was lonely and decided that her playmates were the dogs, ducks and chickens. 

Maali would graze for the morning until mid afternoon and then we would let her free to room and forage.

Our Cow and a dog. Wandering around GlenMyu Estate. Inspires my though for the day

So cute, but such bad behaviour.

Maali settled into GlenMyu Estate quite quickly. She was let free on the estate to forage and eat what she liked. Life is a learning curve and we realised that we would have to tie Maali to one spot for a few hours to concentrate on feeding in one area. She had a tendency to flit from one place to the other. Sometimes she would come bounding towards us when we were working on the land. It was funny, but sometimes scary and dangerous. 

When we started to take her to forage in one part of the land she was quite stubborn and wouldn’t move. I used to play rugby in the front row so there was often a tug of war to get her to move to where we wanted her to go. Luckily I still have a bit ion technique and she hasn’t neaten me yet!

When Maali was released in the early afternoon she would run around like a crazy cow. The puppies would run after her and she would try to butt them with her small horns. This was the same for any ducks or chickens that she came across. We think that this was play rather than anger as she appeared to seek them out when she was loose. 

She would bound around the land running more like a cheetah rather than a cow.

Although this did provide some entertainment, I was worried that she would create an accident either to her playmates or herself.

There needed to be a change at GlenMyu Estate

A little bit of research - Our cow needed a friend.

We did a little bit of research and found that when cows are alone they sometimes develop bad behaviour. They are herd animals and really should be with other cows. 

According to Farm House Guide “The truth is that cows are herd animals, and they need friends to help keep them happy and safe”.

We had known for some time that Maali really needed a friend.

So spoilt!

Doesn’t the first one always get spoilt? Maali was certainly spoilt and given a lot a leeway at GlenMyu Estate. 

Here she is waiting near the outside kitchen for a snack. 

An opportunity arises for our cow to get a friend.

One of our neighbours has cows which are used to supply milk. One of his cows had a bull calf. His mother had been sick when he was born an he was not fully weaned on his mothers milk. This left him with a pot belly which is normal in these circumstances.

Another neighbour had told us that the owner of the bull calf was looking to sell him.
We asked him to get in contact with us.

After a discussion with the owner and the vet, Ru asked the bull calf to be brought along to meet Maali and see whether they would get along with each other.

What was the alternative for the infant calf?

Unfortunately, if we did not buy the calf, he would have been sent to the butcher. This is the normal outcome for these animals in Sri Lanka.

Ru met the calf when he was brought to the land to see whether Maali would accept him.
Both Maali and Ru made a connection straight away and there was only one choice.
He was going to have a new home at GlenMyu Estate.

We try to do our bit.

Unfortunately, we cannot save all the animals we would like to from the fate that this calf would have met.
We have limited space at GlenMyu Estate to allocate to the animals and being on a hill limits our capacity.
However, at least this animal will have a good life ahead of him.

No room at the inn?

We did not plan to have a second cow.
In early 2023 we had constructed a new home for Maali where she was now settled. We had not planned for two animals and there was “no room at the inn’ so to speak.
Therefore, we had to identify a suitable site for a home for two.

A big move and a some investment.

The land at GlenMyu Estate is bisected by a stream that runs through the middle of the land.
The stream runs alongside the swimming pool and forms a natural barrier for each side.

Maaili did some major damage to our flowers and other plants that she found tasty. We used to have a beautiful array of flowers alongside the lawn in front of the house.
Maali used these flowers as a buffet when she wanted some variety from the grass she normally eats. This has left our flowerbeds devastated and not looking very attractive! 

The site is identified.

We decided that we would site the two cows in a new spot across the river. A gate would be placed at one side of the stream to protect the plants we have nearer the house.
This would result in the cows being focussed on one side of the land where we would be happy for them to forage.

More work to make a new home for our cow and her new friend.

The arrival of the prodigal son.

Here are some videos we took of the big moment when Maali met her new friend.

Maali was not aware re at first but in the end she looks very happy.

Happy together -Our cow got a friend.

You can see from this photo that Maali is making her acquaintance with her new friends. 

The start looks good, let’s se if it continues and they become good friends and companions.

Our cow gets a new friend.

Our hopes for the future for our cow and her new friend.

Our aim is to provide both Maali and her new friend a good, safe life at GlenMyu Estate.
In exchange we expect lots of manure to put on our organic garden.

How can you help?

Income we generate from guests staying at GlenMyu Estate when they are on holiday in Sri Lanka is the way we fund the costs to run the property.

By choosing GlenMyu Estate you will support what we do.

You will also have a great experience when you stay and explore the fantastic sights in the Sri Lankan Hill Country.

Your spend with us help fund the following:
Maali, our cow and her friend.
The cost of feeding and providing medication for our rescue dogs.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate, meet our animals and explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

Our cow got a friend. Read More »

One of the rescue dogs at GlenMyu Estate and Hotel, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

How did seven become ten?

How did seven become ten?

I often wonder how did seven become ten?

My maximum was seven, and even that was too much.

With only two pairs of hands, I couldn’t even close with the attention that the seven required and demanded.

I was almost in tears when I realised that the additional three were not moving on and they were here to stay.

So, how did we get to ten?

My anguish was as a result of the increase in the number of rescue dogs from seven up to ten.

Numbers up, down and then up

We really didn’t plan to have any dogs. 

When we started the construction at GlenMyu Estate we stayed with a neighbours bed and breakfast around a kilometre from the land. 

During that time we got our contractor to build a one bedroom unit at the entrance to the land. This property was going to turn into staff or drivers accommodation. 

Our neighbour had several dogs and we got to know them as we stayed there several times. They were friendly and happy to see us.

Here’s your dog!

The neighbour decided that we needed a dog for our property (no consultation needed in Sri Lanka of course). All of a sudden Sudhu was a resident at our neighbours. Sudhu was a white coloured puppy and was lots of fun. Lots of dogs in Sri Lanka are called Sudhu, which means white. Basic, but it does the job!

The construction of our one bed unit took longer than we planned and Sudhu had made her home at our neighbours. It would have been cruel to have taken her away from her home so she stayed. We visited every so often and she made a big fuss of us each time we saw her.

You can read our article about our initial experience with our dogs “Our Rescue Dogs – making GlenMyu Estate a special place”.

The story of the seven

We had got to a number of seven dogs and at that time I said we could not have any more at GlenMyu Estate. The estate is five acres in size and could accommodate more dogs, but I felt I could not commit the time and love to any more. When you only have two hands and you have three, four, five, six or seven dogs looking for attention, the equation doesn’t work. 

Our dogs at that time were:

Clove – our first dog

Roti – Clove’s son

Kahlu and Donie

Patch and Biscuit – Kahlu and Donies’ off-spring.

Fleur – the fluffy one.

Clove – our first dog.

Clove at around one and a half years old

Roti – Clove’s son

Kahlu – Superdaddy

Donie  The supermum

Patch – a chip of the block.

Biscuit – Patch’s crazy sister

Biscuit was born at GlenMyu Estate

Fleur – the fluffy one.

The Dog looking down to the Natural Spring Fed Swimming Pool at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

They didn’t quite live in harmony, like many families, and squabbled from time to time. However, they were mainly harmonious and got used to meeting guests. Fleur was particularly affectionate and was able to win our guests hearts very quickly. 

I managed to share my time with them throughout the day. In the morning I would be bombarded by four or five of them who were excited to see me. Kahlu wanted to be brushed and petted all day and would have insisted if I had the time. Biscuit was the one that waited to find me on my own later in the day so she could have me all to herself.

Fleurs’ birthday gift to me.

Unfortunately, Fleur went missing on my birthday the year before last. We were heartbroken and sent out search parties for him. I drove for miles looking for him  just in case he got lost. We printed leaflets and posted them where we could. Social media posts were created and we searched the internet for him. We had several false alarms and drove to places where he was sighted. It turns out that. Although we thought the Fleur was unique, there are lots of doubles of him. 

We don’t know whether he met with an accident or was picked up by someone. He may have gotten lost and not found his way back home. We prayed that he was alive and being taken care of by someone who would love him as much as we do.

When we drive anywhere we are still looking for Fleur and hope that we can find him.

At the end of the day, we had to face the fact, we now had six dogs. 

Here comes Mo Mo.

A smelly, dirty, starving dog with no hair attempted several time to come into the property. The dog was chased away again and again by the resident pack. We were made aware of the dog by our staff and some food was placed outside the gate for it to eat. 

It was raining and this poor creature tried again to enter the property for some shelter and was chased by our dogs. Ru decided to take the poor thing into our old cow barn and give it some shelter and some food. It was bathed and you could see she was in so much pain as she had severe mange which left her with very little hair. She was installed into a box with a blanket and slept for days occasionally coming out for one sustenance. A mange cream was bought and applied and we tried to make her more comfortable.

An antibacterial solution was also applied which painted the skin and remaining hair a mauve colour. One of our guests, who helped treating her, suggested that we call her Mauve. Unfortunately Mauve sounds too much like Clove which was too confusing. So the name was changed to Mo Mo.

No medicine available

Unfortunately, at that time, Sri Lanka was suffering from an economic crisis and we could not find any more mange cream to continue to treat the dog. We reached out to vets and animal shelters however they were all in the same predicament. 

Ru searched online and made up a herbal medication from what we could find that was growing on the estate. Unsure whether this would be effective we were concerned that Mo Mo would make it. 

The herbal remedy worked for a while and Mo Mo deteriorated again. We were able to take her to the vet for examination as we finally had enough fuel for the car. Injections were given and various other treatments. 

We were delighted that the treatment made the difference and the pain subsided and Mo Mo’s hair started to grow back again.

Mo Mo was here to stay - so we were seven again.

Clearly, it was unlikely that someone would take on a sick dog that needed treatment so we accepted that Mo Mo was here to stay. 

Lamaiaa was named after a guest on her request

Ah, poor Kahlu

Our hearts were broken again when Kahlu went missing. 

When we first got to know Kahlu he was quite aggressive and clearly the dominant male in the pack. He was a fighter (particularly when female dogs were in heat) and would come back to the estate with all kinds of wounds which Ru treated. 

After getting permission from his original owner, we arranged to get Kahlu neutered. 

The affect of this was amazing. Kahlu changed from a scary dominant male into a pussy cat. He was so cuddly and just wanted petting all the time. There were no more fights and he really became a home dog just making a daily trip to visit his previous owner. 

Kahlu still had an appetite and always was around for his breakfast or dinner. 

One day he didn’t turn up. 

We waited and then looked for him. I drove around to see whether he had met with an accident. We asked our neighbours whether they has caught sight of him. Several days passed and we still had hope that Kahlu would return. I missed him a lot.

His fate finally revealed.

A few weeks later we were in a bank in Haputale and one of our neighbours told us that Kahlu had died. He had eaten some poison left at a trap and succumbed. He had found him and another dog who had met the same fate some days after they had died and he buried them both.

I was quite upset for several days but, unlike Fleurs’s fate, we knew how Kahlu had died. At least there was some finality.

Now we were back down to six

How on earth did you manage to get up to ten?

In the middle of the night we had a break in. Not a burglar, but a little black stray dog. It managed to enter our dog house (which is abandoned by our dogs in the warmer weather).

In the morning there was a big fuss around the dog house with this little puppy barking at the older dogs that had now seen the intruder. She held her ground and wouldn’t let any of the other dogs in!

Like all the other strays, we fed, cleaned and gave the puppy medicine to make her stronger before she could be re-homed. A visit to the vet revealed that she was anaemic and needed treatment. Injections and medicine was given and we knew that this would be a long road.

And now for the name!

At the time we had a French Moroccan guest staying called Lamaiaa. She spent a little time with this puppy and requested that she be named after her. As her name didn’t sound phonetically like the other dogs the name was given.

The requirement for ongoing treatment to get Lamaiaa healthy meant that this was another dog that could not be re-homed. So, we were up to seven dogs again.

And that was going to be the last

We had some guests stay with us a GlenMyu Estate who came across three abandoned puppies on their travels. After some messages going back and forth to ensure that they were abandoned we agreed for them to bring them to us. Later that day there was quite a downpour and they were stuck in a drain. Perhaps if we hadn’t said we would take them in they would not have survived. 

At this stage we were happy to take in a few puppies because we had always been successful in finding them new homes. 

The puppies were cute, needing worming and a good bath. They had a little skin infection and a few days later we took them to the vet for treatment.

They were attractive enough that we thought that when they were strong enough and had their vaccinations that there would be a queue of people wanting them.

The landscape had changed.

Unfortunately we were wrong in our assumption.

It turned our that the financial crisis meant that there were a glut of puppies that were in need of new homes. We advertised on social media however, unfortunately, there were no genuine takers.

One neighbour did take one of the puppies, but it found its’ way back to the estate later that day. We had no chance of re-homing these puppies unless they were relocated far from GlenMyu Estate.

I could have cried!

Ten dogs! Really!

How would we manage? Where would they stay? Would they integrate with the existing pack?

It took may several days to come to accept that we now had seven dogs. I’m still not happy with the situation but there was no point dwelling on the matter.

The final ten.

So, this is how seven became ten!

I am adamant that we will now not be taking in any more puppies under any circumstances. More puppies are for Ruwanthi’s next project which will be an animal sanctuary. At the moment it is just a dream for her. However, GlenMyu Estate was also a dream and she successfully achieved her goal.

The puppies are now around eight months old, have been spayed (no more puppies!) and have made GlenMyu Estate their home.

They are puppies, so they are naughty, have eaten too many shoes and annoy the other dogs from time to time. It will take some more months before they are fully part of the team.

Of course, they are cute. They are also characters and have provided me with some content for my YouTube dog channel. The guests love them, but who doesn’t love a cute puppy.

Lipton

Sunny

Bobbi

The final line up!

Our contingent now comprises of the following:

Clove – our first dog

Roti – Clove’s son

Donie

Patch and Biscuit – Donies’ off-spring.

Mo Mo (formally mauve in colour)

Lamaiaa – still a little bit crazy

Lipton, Sunny and Bobbi – the three sisters from Lipton’s Seat

If I say the names fast, it doesn’t sound too bad.

Support our work with rescue dogs by staying at GlenMyu Estate.

The money you pay for a fabulous stay at GlenMyu Estate helps support the work we do with rescue dogs. Food, shelter, medicine, annual vaccinations and sundries are partly covered by staying at the hotel. Your money also supports several local workers, local suppliers, the maintenance and development of the estate and our other animals. Did I mention we have around twenty ducks, twenty chickens and a rescue cow called Maali!

Find out more about a stay at GlenMyu Estate by visiting our website.

Contact us directly on WhatsApp for our best direct booking rates.

You will also find us on Booking,com and Airbnb

Read our reviews to find out about the guest experience at GlenMyu Estate on Booking,com, Airbnb, Google and Tripadvisor.

We look forward to meeting you and introducing you to all the dogs.

There will be a test on whether you can remember all the names!

How did seven become ten? Read More »

One of the rescue dogs at GlenMyu Estate and Hotel, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

A holiday for Animal Lovers

A holiday for animal lovers.

When we initially opened GlenMyu Estate Hotel, in the Sri Lankan Hill Country, we were concerned that having dogs would be detrimental to the business. What we have found though is that there are animal lovers from all parts of Sri Lanka and the World

The animals that we have at GlenMyu Estate have really added to the guest experience. We have been amazed that one of the reasons that guests have chosen us is because we have our rescue dogs.

All vaccinated and loved.

All of our dogs are vaccinated and are also used to greeting new guests on a regular basis. Sometimes I feel sorry for the dogs (and guests) because I can see how quickly a relationship and friendship is developed, only to be broken when the guests leave to discover more parts of this paradise island.

So you thought that you didn't like dogs?

We have had a few guests come that are not too keen on dogs. However, I don’t know how the dogs manage it, but they are able to forge a relationship really quickly. We recently had a family stay and the mother didn’t want the attention from the dogs unlike the rest of her family. A few hours later she was cuddling one of our abandoned puppies and didn’t want to let her go!

There was also a Sri Lankan family comprising of Mum, Dad and three delightful daughters. The girls were pinned close to their mother when the alighted the car and were met by several excited dogs. Within an hour they were playing with the dogs and there were tears in the morning when the left as the youngest wanted to take one home with them!

The house with the seven dogs.

Early on we had a French family living in Colombo stay at GlenMyu Estate. The parents and their two young daughters really loved their time here and picked out their own favourite dogs. 

On their second visit their mother told us that we were known as “the house with the seven dogs” and that they had remembered all their names!

We often have puppies at GlenMyu Estate.

Over the few years we have been at GlenMyu Estate we have had puppies from time to time. 

As spaying a neutering dogs in Sri Lanka is not the norm there are lots of unwanted puppies that turn up throughout the year.

Sri Lankans are animal lovers however we do wish that a sterilisation programme was enacted by the government to control the population.

We have lots of tourists arrive and comment on the number and poor condition of the street dogs that they have seen around the island. 

There are charities and organisations that do their best to help, treat and care for the street dogs. However, the challenge is huge and overwhelming. We just do our best to care for these animals at GlenMyu Estate. After providing them with them with a good start in life with a good diet, additional vitamins and the relevant vaccinations we try to re-home them with loving families.

Were you always animal lovers?

Both Ru and I had been around dogs and animals all of our lives through each of our parents who had dogs, cats and so on. However, we had never had the full responsibility of the animals ourselves. Living in London in a small apartment, working long hours and travelling meant that it was not feasible to have a pet. We were so busy that it was not even a consideration.

Living in Sri Lanka has reconnected us with animals.

Ru’s dream was always to have an organic farm up in the mountains with her own animals. I suppose that the original intention was to have farm animals that we functional on a farm. However, the focus has changed since we have been in Sri Lanka and the main driver is being animal lovers providing a good safe environment rather than seeing their role as part of farming.

A holiday for animal lovers?

There is so much to enjoy about a stay in the Sri Lankan Hill Country at GlenMyu Estate. Sri Lanka’s Hill country offers lots of wonderful places to see and visit. Ella Town is around one hours drive and lots of our guests visit Nine Arch Bridge, climb Ella Rock and Little Adam’s Peak. They also visit Ravana Waterfall and Ravana’s Cave.

Hiking at then UNESCO Heritage site of Horton Plains National Park and seeing the spectacular views at Lesser World’s End, Greater World’s End and the beautiful Baker’s Falls is a favourite. 

Upper Diyaluma Waterfall is a relatively new discovery for us and as it is only a 40 minute drive it is now one of the most popular day trips. A visit to Lipton’s Seat and seeing how tea is processed at Dambetenne Tea Factory is also a great experience.

After exploring the area coming back to the five acre estate and being welcomed by the dogs adds to your holiday memories. 

GlenMyu Estate has more than street dogs to provide interest for animal lovers.

We also have a rescue cow called Maali. She has been a resident at the estate since December 2022 and adds to the landscape. Maali provides us with manure for our organic garden and grass around the estate. She is interested to meet new guests and give them a sniff and perhaps even a lick with her coarse tongue!

You will see lots of ducks wandering around the estate foraging for food and then bathing in the streams that run through the land. They are a perfect way to lose some hours watching them go about their daily lives. We find them very relaxing (apart from when they are mating!) and it is our form of meditation.

Our chickens and roosters also wander around the estate looking for tasty things to eat. We do keep them in an enclosure for part of the day to protect them from predators such as the mongoose and eagles. 

Meet some of our animals.

Here are some of our dogs that will be happy to meet you!

Our ducks provide a relaxing experience at the estate.

And Maali may also welcome you

Other visitors to the estate.

Apart from the animals that we care for at GlenMyu Estate there are lots of visitors, some you will see and some are hidden. Occasionally you may see a Barking Deer in the distance eating leaves and fresh grass. You are unlikely to see a porcupine or Wild Boar as they tend to come in the middle of the night, however you may see the damage that they do to our crops.

There are a variety of birds that visit the estate daily and seasonally. We have a bird book to help you identify what you see whilst you are here.

We also have lots of squirrels and occasionally a beautiful Giant Squirrel eating our Jackfruits on the tree.

GlenMyu Estate Hotel - a holiday for animal lovers.

To find out more about a holiday in the Sri Lankan Hill Country please visit our website and contact us via the WhatsApp button to inquire about direct booking rates.

We are also listed on Airbnb and Booking.com.

You can also see videos of the animals that visit the estate on our social media channels.

If you are particularly interested in the dogs we have a separate YouTube Channel.

Read our guest reviews

Please read how our other guests have found their stay at GlenMyu Estate on Google, TripAdvisor, Booking.com and Airbnb.

A holiday for Animal Lovers Read More »

Our Cow and a dog. Wandering around GlenMyu Estate. Inspires my though for the day

Rescue Dogs of GlenMyu Estate

Rescue Dogs of GlenMyu Estate

Since we moved to the Sri Lankan Hill Country we have adopted many rescue dogs at GlenMyu Estate. Some have been kept on the 5 acre estate, some have been re-homed and unfortunately we expect to have to continue to do this work.

We try to give these orphans a good start in life by providing them with nutritious food, added vitamins & minerals and the necessary vaccinations to protect them against diseases. 

It was not part of our plan and we did not really expect to have dogs on the estate. We thought that it might deter some people from booking a stay with us in the Hill Country.

A few people have booked and cancelled when they find out that we have dogs – which is fine with us. We would not want anyone to feel uncomfortable staying here at GlenMyu Estate.

We have however, been surprised that, often the dogs are the star of the show. Our welcome message includes a small commentary about the dogs and we have had lots of people really excited about meeting them. 

As it is a little dangerous interacting with dogs in Sri Lanka due to the risk of rabies, guests are delighted that they are able to pet the animals at GlenMyu Estate. They know that the dogs are all vaccinated and there will be no issues.

Also, our dogs are so used to meeting new guests sometimes they are quite blasé about the situation. We find that when the vehicle carrying our guest arrive they just want to have a sniff and then they get on with their daily lives. If however, guests make a fuss of them, they know that the guests are dog lovers and that they will get plenty of attention when they are here.

We didn’t plan to have dogs however Clove was delivered to us and we have never looked back. You can read about Clove’s story on the following BlogPost.

Donie is the mother of Patch and Biscuit

Here is Donie with Patch and Fleur in the background. 

Patch is Donie’s son and was born at GlenMyu Estate.

Donie (and Kahlu) were owned by the caretaker to the construction company who built the main structure and roadway into GlenMyu Estate. The contractors were here for about one and a half years and both Donie (and Kahlu) were supposed to go with their owner onto the next site.

Donie had a litter whilst living at GlenMyu Estate and her son and daughter, Patch and Biscuit, survived. 

We decided that we would keep Patch and Biscuit as we brought them up on the estate and it was their home. 

The caretaker was happy for Donie to stay and Kahlu was to go with the contractors to the next construction site…..however….(read about Kahlu’s story here).

Patch and Biscuit - brother and sister!

Patch and Biscuit have different colourings however, they certainly act like brother and sister.

Like most siblings, sometimes they get on well together and sometimes they don’t. Patch acts like a guardian to both Donie and Biscuit and will run and protect them if there is any disturbance. 

However, Patch has a large appetite (being the boy!) and he will try to take food off Donie or Biscuit once he has gobbled up his breakfast or lunch. Motherly Donie is happy to share her food but Biscuit will snarl at him warning him to keep away.

Donie is a great mother and she still, after almost 4 years, cleans Patch’s eyes and ears almost on a daily basis. Sometimes Patch looks a little embarrassed when this happens, however we have also seen him offer his ears and eyes to his mother to clean!

Clove and Roti

We made a mistake!
Being new to having dogs were foolishly missed the time when Clove was on heat and were not able to stop her mating (with half the neighbourhood!)

Oh No! Puppies!

We have realised that when you give a puppy a really good start in life, giving them a wholesome diet supplemented by vitamins and minerals, that they will be very healthy. In turn this appears to have made Clove very productive when it came to having her first litter. Fro  our discussions with neighbours they would expect a litter of perhaps three, four or five.

Can you imagine our horror when Clove had her litter and produced nine puppies over a very long night.

Unfortunately two of the puppies did not survive the next day and we were left with seven healthy and hungry little ones. 

Support or work with the rescue dogs by staying at GlenMyu Estate

I think of GlenMyu Estate as more of a social enterprise than a “proper” business. By opening the house and grounds to paying guests we certainly benefit by being able to live in a nice environment whilst meeting really interesting people. 

By holidaying at GlenMyu Estate you also support the staff that we have by effectively contributing to their wages so that they can support their families.

You also are providing money so that we can support the work we do with rescue dogs, providing them with a good start in life prior to being rehoused into loving homes,

We have lost count of the number of abandoned puppies that we have taken in that have been dropped close to our gate or brought to us by our staff.

At the Estate we have decided that we can only have  a maximum of seven dogs. This is still too many however we got to seven and decided that must be the limit. The puppies that we take in are given a good healthy start and then we make sure that they go to good, loving homes. 

We ensure that the puppies get all the relevant vaccinations and also have committed to pay for neutering and spaying in the future if the owner wants to go down that route and doesn’t have the funds to meet the costs.

In conjunction with a local vet we have also supported the funding of sterilisation of dogs owned by poor villagers who cannot afford to pay the vet bills.

We support these costs due to, as you will see from your travels around this Paradise Island, that there are too many street dogs that are in really poor conditions. By reducing the number of litters. Most females can have litters two or three times a year. Even if a mother has three puppies twice a year the number of dogs increases by six, so you can understand the problem if there is no control.

If you want to find out more about a stay at GlenMyu Estate please click on the following link to our website.

You can also see some videos on our YouTube Channel for the dogs on the following link.

Here are some pics of some of the puppies we have re-homed.

Rescue Dogs of GlenMyu Estate Read More »

The dog looking upon the swimming pool at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

Our Rescue Dogs

Our Rescue Dogs - making GlenMyu Estate a special place.

We have seven rescue dogs here at GlenMyu Estate.

Dogs were not in our plan!

Ruwanthi and I didn’t intend to have any dogs, they just found us.

We ended up with Seven!

How we ended up here.

In 2018 we were living in our temporary abode whilst we develop the land at Beragala in our “Garage” at the top part of the land – a 1,000 sq ft building with one bedroom, attached bathroom and internal garage.

Ruwanthi had started planting various fruits and vegetables in the kitchen garden new the garage and we were losing produce on a regular basis to various raiders during the day and night which included a wide variety of birds, monkeys and wild boar. 

The onsite caretaker for the construction company had two dogs, a male and female called Kahlu and Donnie and we were regularly disturbed at night by the barking warning us of predators looking for a midnight snack or two. 

Some of the construction workers alerted us that there were three puppies that had been dropped off at the top of our road which they had been feeding as they arrived and left for the evening. 

We were to subsequently find out that dropping off unwanted dogs, especially females, was a regular event in Sri Lanka. It is particularly prevalent around the monthly Poya day and puppies are dropped near temples with the expectation that a worshipper would take on the problem.

Ruwanthi went with one of our workers to investigate and found that the male puppy had died and there were the remaining undernourished female puppies remaining. Despite not being a dog lover the natural instinct was to take the two orphans and provide some sustenance and shelter as you would with any animal in need.

We fell in love

We named them Clove and Cinnamon as they were dark with some flecks of white and brown on them. It was a steep learning curve for us both with lots of searching on the internet finding out what we needed to do.

We didn’t want the dogs inside the garage and their quarters was a box outside with a towel to provide the warmth that they would have gotten from their mother.

At the time Donie was due to have some puppies so we were going to have more animals on the premises than expected however we did think they would all be found new homes and Kahlu and Donie would move on to the next project with their owner.

Donies pups were born and the dog numbers were raised by three. We were feeding Clove and Cinnamon and Kahlu and Donie were mainly fed from our spare rice with their main meals being provided by the unwanted leftovers from the construction workers.

Disaster Strikes and we are heartbroken

Clove and Cinnamon were very sweet and we unexpectedly had gotten quite attached very quickly. A few trips to the vet for advice and the relevant injections they started to grow and get stronger with their regular feeding of rice and curry several times a day.

Cinnamon was the more adventurous of the two and they both provided us with lots of entertainment watching them grow and develop. 

One evening we didn’t have too much food available left over for Donie and her pups however they were fed by their owner. Perhaps there was little provided there as some of the workers had gone home for a few days.

In the middle of the night I was awoken by Ruwanthi shouting at the dogs as there was some racquet going on outside. It took us a minute or two to get the garage door open and find out what was going on in the pitch black of the night. 

Ruwanthi had seen Donie with one of our puppies hanging from her mouth and she went searching outsides soon as able. Eventually, after what appeared to be an age she returned with the limp body of Cinnamon cradled in her arms. Within a few minutes Cinnamon stopped breathing and was gone.

The Grief Cycle

An event like this never leaves you and I do think about our Cinnamon quite often and wonder what type of character she would have grown into. Early on Clove had attached herself to Ruwanthi and Cinnamon to me.

It was very traumatic for us to think what Cinnamon must have gone through and we were confused and bewildered in trying o work out why this had happened. We felt guilt and sorrow for what Cinnamon must have endured as a shocking end to her short life.

We went through the established emotions of grief and my anger towards Donie was difficult to abate.

We had really become attached to the dogs and were distraught by the events that had taken place.

We came to the conclusion that Donie had not had sufficient food to eat as she was providing for three suckling puppies and perhaps had seen Clove and Cinnamon as threats to her food source. Cinnamon, being adventurous may have been disturbed during the night by the new puppies and went to investigate and Donie decided to protect her pups. 

A change or lifestyle

We now changed our outlook to protect Clove until she had grown to a size where she would be able to defend herself. Our reticence to have a dog inside the garage abated and Cloves home was over into the Garage part of the building.

Prior to her moving inside we did not have to worry about midnight trips for the dogs to relieve herself or investigate any potential nocturnal predators at our vegetable garden. 

Sleep depravation was now to follow with the garage door being raised and lowered regularly during the night. Clove took some time to work out that the garage was not her toilet and we were regularly met with presents for us to avoid in the morning.

It was all worth it in the end.

Our first dog that we named Clove.

It turns out that Clove was not going to be the last of the dogs that came to us at GlenMyu Estate, however that story will have to wait for another Blog post.

To be continued - the story of our rescue dogs.

We now have Seven dogs. It has not been our maximum number as we have taken in a rehoused lots of puppies over the short time we have been at GlenMyu Estate.

At the time of writing another female puppy has just forced her way into the estate! 

Pictures to follow.

See our Dogs YouTube Channel at this link.

A stay at GlenMyu Estate to meet the rescue dogs and so much more.

At GlenMyu Estate we have 3 guest bedrooms nestled in the 5 acres of land.

If you are looking for a different holiday and to meet our rescue dogs please contact us by WhatsApp for our best rates 00 94 752 999 272.

Contact details are also on our website.

Our Rescue Dogs Read More »

Thought for the Day

Our Thought for the Day

Here is our thought for the day from GlenMyu Estate Hotel, Beragala, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

As I wander around the beautiful 5 acre Estate in the Sri Lankan Hill Country my mind wanders. It’s amazing what comes to mind when roaming around the land with 7 dogs in tow.

What comes into my mind and inspires my thought for the day.

Surrounded by nature and a sea of green.

Birdsong providing the background music.

It’s easy to be inspired into thinking different thoughts whilst enjoying this little piece of paradise.

My intention with my "Thought for the Day"

Often when walking around memories or ideas come into my mind.

I plan to regularly share my thoughts with you the reader.

However, I can’t promise to share them every day as some many not be inspiring or interesting.

Please accept them as they are.

Thought for the Day - How wrong I was!

I didn’t really want a cow.

My wife wanted a cow.

As usual, my wife gets her own way.

Now we have a cow!

Maali, the co, really adds to our beautiful landscape at GlenMyu Estate.

Here is a picture of her adding to the scenery and ambiance of the land.

 

 

She doesn’t just add to the ambience of the estate. Maali is an important addition to the aim to produce organic food. A cow produces cow dung and urine which is used towards our composting. It provides valuable additional goodness that helps the plants balanced homemade natural fertiliser.

My thought for the day

It’s okay to be wrong.

I have read so many books and been in business training courses where they recommend you to set a goal. However it is okay to adjust that goal and reset it.

 

I guess that’s what happened when we got the cow.

Thought for the Day Read More »

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