I arrived on Kok Lanta on the 7th of November 2020 with my 11-year-old son Jo and my seven-year-old rescue staffy Alfie. Thailand was locked down but because Jo had been accepted at the local international school we were permitted entry into Thailand because education was one of the exceptions and I was granted a guardian visa. We had to do 16 days in a quarantine hotel in Bangkok before we picked up Alfie from the airport and then took a 12-hour taxi ride to Bangkok. Freedom.

A week later I did some shopping at Mother Marche, a small store near my house. Outside this shop, I fell in love with a street dog I named Scruffy. From that moment on I would visit him most days and give him something to eat. I was not the only one as many Thai and ex-pats would make a fuss of him and give him a treat.

Scruffy had an owner who lived in a village behind the shop but Scruffy was smart because he knew that by spending his time outside the shop he’d get lots of love and treats. He was a happy boy.

The amazing Lanta Animal Welfare would keep their eye on him as they do with all the street dogs. They give food to locals who feed the stray dogs on the island as well as treat any sick dogs and give them any medications and shots needed. I will write an article about the wonderful LAW soon but find out more by clicking on this link. https://lantaanimalwelfare.com/

Scruffy’s fur would often get Tangled. Marika, a Finnish friend of mine who often visited and gave Scruffy a treat nicknamed him Mr. Tangles. Lanta Animal Welfare would take him in and give him a fur cut, a bath and check him over and treat him with creams and meds if needed. He would then be returned to his favourite spot outside Mother Marshe for more love and treats. There  he would stay looking ever so smart and he seemed to have a permanent smile on his beautiful face as his tail wagged joyfully’

Almost a year back a white dog joined Scruffy outside the shop. I nicknamed this dog Fluffy. Scruffy and Fluffy seemed to get on well so I gave them both treats most days as did many others.

About three months ago Scruffy wasn’t his usual self. He just stayed on a piece of wood where he slept outside the shop. When I got out of my car to give the treats, Fluffy ran to me wagging his tail so I fed him but I had to walk over to Scruffy, he was happy to see me and his tail wagged a couple of times as he ate his food but he seemed very nervous of Fluffy.

I informed LAW and they took him to their rescue centre and informed me that he had bite wounds. They kept him for about a week before returning him to his favourite spot outside the shop. One night I went to hand some treats to the two dogs and  it was obvious that Fluffy was bullying Scruffy. I felt so sad.


As you can see from the above video Scruffy was not living the dream anymore – he was living a nightmare. Sadly when I went to visit the following day the shop assistant informed me that he had been attacked by Fluffy again and was taken to LAW hospital. The assistant also told me that Scruffy’s owner had died.

Sandra Issac an animal-loving friend of mine in St. Annes in northern England asked if she could rehome Scruffy because the above video broke her heart. Junie the founder of LAW agreed that a new home for Scruffy was the answer and after checking that Sandra was the right person for Scruffy the news is that in about 4 months’ time, Scruffy will be in his new forever home. Of course, I will keep you all updated.

It is estimated that with the paperwork, upkeep, shots, and flights it will cost about 1000 pounds to get Scruffy to his new forever home in the UK. Sandra has already paid 400 pounds and once I know the full details I will ask my friends and followers to chip in to help both Sandra and Scruffy.

For those of you in the UK who have followed Scruffy’s life, I have a limited edition giclee art print of Scruffy. In fact, those of you on Lanta who fell in love can grab one too.  It is a limited edition of just ten and one has gone already so just nine remain. They cost just 19.99 pounds plus 5 pounds for shipping to UK addresses.

If you are on Koh Lanta a print will cost 850 baht and as I have friends from the UK visiting you will save the 1000 baht shipping cost. You also receive a certificate of authenticity.

You can pay to my PayPal account sydbarnes@hotmail.com as family and friends if you know me. Because these prints are of the very highest quality I make very little money – Less than five pounds (just over 200 baht).

If you want my UK bank details or my Thai bank details send me an email at sydbarnes@hotmail.com

Only get a print if you really want one and can afford it. My giclee prints as explained above are not going to make me any money after the time spent placing orders etc. They are just souvenirs for my friends who enjoy my madcap real-life tales.


Loads of love Psycho Syd xx


I will still be treating Fluffy. He is a street dog doing his best to survive xx



Written by : Syd

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