Changing the world for Jacky Chan


A story about an incredible woman and a broken little dog

Written by Avril Culverwell, founder of Yorkie Rescue South Africa, and Petré Bosman

In 2013 I rescued a little Yorkie from a caged environment (not a breeder), where he was cold, afraid and hungry for both food and love.

The little dog crawled around on his belly

I took him home to the sanctuary where he could run free among many dogs. But he didn’t; he wouldn’t let himself be free. He had experienced such hardships and cruelty at the hand of man that the only thing he could do was crawl around on his belly. He very seldom walked on his legs; he seemed to feel that being this submissive would keep him out of trouble.

We picked him up, stroked him, kissed him, and loved him until he started to build up a little more confidence and began using his legs to walk on instead of tucking them away to scoot around on his belly.

It took six months before he was ready for a home

He became Jacky Chan to us in the sanctuary. Each night it was our ritual to pick him up onto the couch and cuddle him a little, then allow him to stay there and relax watching TV. At first he would slide off the couch and slide under it, or into the bathroom and scoot behind the loo and hide there.

If he was outside, he tried to become invisible next to the drain. He never showed any personality; he tried his best to blend in and disappear. We continued to love him and treat him gently, and after six or so months of TLC and rehab, we thought he was just about ready to go to a home.

A match made in heaven

It was during this time that an animal angel, Petré Bosman, came along wanting to get involved with the rescue of Yorkies in the Cape and also wanting to adopt. I told her about Jacky Chan and she fell in love with this little scooter who didn’t want to even look at you.


We flew him to the Cape where she met him and the rest is history – or should I say a full-on love story. Petré Bosman and Jacky Chan were a match made in heaven. 


Petré owns a dog parlour so, every day, he goes to work with her. She started giving him baths and massages and grooming him until he looked like a beautiful boy and not a slug. He came out of his shell and provided comfort to those animals that were scared when arriving at the parlour. He watches, communicates and provides support to many animals, including cats.

Today, this is a beautiful, independent little guy who loves life but, most of all, loves Petré and she loves him in return. The message in his story is that no matter how broken and in despair you may be, when love is poured on you – and I mean unconditional love that covers your entire being – you have no option but to glow.


Thank you to Petré for your unconditional love, which changed Jacky’s world and made him whole once more.

Petré Bosman, Jacky’s owner, shares…

I always talk about Jack as the “love of my life”, and that he is indeed.

He came to me from Avril Culverwell of Yorkie Rescue South Africa on the 3rd of December 2013. If you’d seen him that day arriving in a cage at the airport in Cape Town and you could see him now, you’d say: “No ways, Petré, I don’t believe it’s the same little dog.”

From that day on, I fell in love with this little broken soul baby of mine and he became my everything. I adore him and carry him around everywhere on my right hip (my mother once asked, “Does Jack not have legs?”).

I have a doggy parlour in Wellington and Jack accompanies me to the parlour every day (a day spent mostly with him on my hip). It took me a little longer than I’d thought to get him out of his loneliness and shyness with my friends and clients, and with their dogs. It was as if he didn’t know how to behave around people. But today, all my clients love him to bits – and he loves to be cuddled and kissed on his head.

Digging for moles, walking and beach runs – he loves them all. The first day that I took him in the car there was a new fleecy dog basket on the back seat that I’d bought for him; whenever we travel together he knows his place and stays in it until we arrive at our destination. He travels with me everywhere and my friends know that if they invite me out, their invitation has to include Jacky or I simply don’t go.

I absolutely love my little Jacky Chan (or Jack, or Channels, or Seuntjie). When he first arrived, I worried how on earth I would rehabilitate him; but, looking at him now, I’m so glad I was up for the challenge and could show him what unconditional love can do. I am blessed to have him in my life – joined at the hip!