Written by Annarina van der Westhuizen of Nog ’n Kans/Another Chance
Professional photography by Kym Clayton Photography
The tiny, elderly, black-and-tan Miniature Pinscher was spotted wandering along Kuilsriver train station by a young man from the window of a train while on his way to work on the 4th of October 2017. The man, Jason Cupido, thankfully used his initiative to snap a photo and posted it onto Kuilsriver Lost and Found Facebook page.
Fallen between the tracks
Jason’s concern over the little dog did not stop there when he discovered that, after the train had left, the dog had fallen between the steel train tracks.
No one will ever know how he got there – perhaps he slipped and fell or someone boarding the train accidently knocked him off the platform, or maybe he simply couldn’t see where he was going in his very dehydrated and weak state. Miraculously, he landed in a “safe” place, out of danger of being crushed by the wheels.
Jason, risking his own life, sprang off the platform onto the tracks and lifted the weak dog back onto the platform, assuming he’d find his way back home.
On death’s doorstep
Kind animal lover, Berita Drescher, saw a Facebook post which had been shared by one of her animal rescue friends, pleading for someone living in the area to help. Berita and her fiancée, Gerrie, immediately headed down to the train station where they found the little dog lying flat, as if dead, in the hot midday sun.
He lay at the feet of a homeless man; no one around had thought of giving the exhausted little dog some water or ensuring his safety. Another half hour or so spent in the scorching sun would have certainly meant death due to severe dehydration.
Gerrie gently scooped the dog up; the hazy look he gave Gerrie was indescribable, as if to say “thank you for discovering me”. They took him home where he was placed inside in a cool, comfortable spot and given water. It was a huge relief when he was still able to take in water by himself as dehydrated dogs often won’t drink and need to be rehydrated by syringe or drip.
Lucky’s lucky break
It was at this stage that Nog ’n Kans/Another Chance was called in to assist. The Min Pin, who was semi-blind, spent three weeks with us while we tried to find his owners. But nobody ever claimed him. This was the saddest part of his story – he was in all probability used to living indoors in a carpeted area, judging by the length of his exceptionally long nails.
The local vet estimated his age at 12 years and, despite having a slight heart murmur and impaired vision, he’s quite healthy; hopefully, he has another few good years left on his little clock to be loved and cared for.
The best news of all came when his rescuers decided to adopt him. A scene of happiness and tears awaited me when I took him back to their home. In the two days that he’d been with them after his rescue, Berita and Gerrie had formed a very special bond with him.
Lucky, as he is now aptly named, is adored and spoilt rotten in his new forever home. He’s a true little treasure and loved dearly.
By Berita Drescher, Lucky’s new owner
Gerrie and I were very sad to part with Lucky when he went to Nog ’n Kans/Another Chance (a shelter exclusively for small breeds), run caringly and lovingly by Annarina van der Westhuizen. But we felt that, if he should stay longer, we’d end up bonding with him far too much and it would have been devastating to hand him over should his owners claim him.
But the weeks passed with no one enquiring or posting a lost notice in the media. We suspect that he’d been dumped; it’s highly unlikely for a tiny lapdog to have gotten onto the train station’s platform without being placed there by someone as the footbridge’s steps are far too high for him to have climbed and the gaps between the stairs would also have been an obstacle for him.
Longing for Lucky
With every day that passed, the longing and missing him was getting worse. Great was our joy when we saw that he was up for adoption! We knew that it was most unlikely that any other person would be interested in adopting an elderly, semi-blind and sickly doggy. Our little boy was coming back to be loved and cared for.
We were so excited and hardly closed ours eyes that night. The following day Annarina brought him back with his box and blankets that he adores.
There were tears of joy all around, although I think Annarina had mixed feelings – sad to part with him but also very glad that he was coming back to us forever. She told us that “Gelukkie” (“Little Luck”), as she named him, could never find better parents to care for him in his last years.
Lucky enjoys a short stroll to the open space park to “water” all the shrubs and pretend he’s a huge dog by kicking after each piddle, which sends sand and grass flying.
We often take him in the car on a cool day when I have to pop in to the supermarket. He loves to walk with his Pa on a leash under the big oaks in the car park while they wait for us. He was clearly used to going in a car.
When we’re out he cuddles with Gypsie, our gentle and loving adopted Labrador-Boerboel girl; she’s absolutely wonderful with him. Lucky initially became very possessive and growled at Gypsie whenever he was sitting on my lap and she wanted to come near; this has improved as he learns that she’s also part of our family and must get equal love and attention. Gypsie just ignores him as we stroke both of them when they are looking for attention. It’s evident that Gypsie has accepted Lucky; she used to get upset when Lucky made the choking noise which has thankfully been remedied by his medication.
Lucky’s funny little ways
The little guy can be very funny and amusing at times, like when he’s given a mutton leg bone. He first stares at it and has a jolly good smell while contemplating how to get it to his “den”. Once he’s summed up the size, he drags it to his box and has a whale of a time chewing away (supervised, of course) until his jaw tires. Then he lies on top of it to prevent it being snatched by big sister Gypsie, who’s not allowed any bones and wouldn’t hesitate to steal it.
Lucky has the ability to cover himself with his top blanket, which is light, soft and warm. Like a mole, he digs until he finds an opening, slips in under and curls up for his nap.
This little sweetheart has changed our lives for the better. We cherish and love him very dearly. Hopefully, with a bit of luck, he’ll be with us for a good few more happy years.
NB: Lucky’s tagged collar was removed for the photos as it’s a reflecting collar that spoils the pictures. Other than that, he’s never without identification.