Written by Rosemary Briggs – co-founder and co-owner of Roscan Dog Sanctum
Professional photographs by Kate Davies-Benadé from The Being Project
Eddie’s story started in Touwsrivier in the Western Cape. This severely neglected little dog was spotted roaming the dusty streets by a concerned lady who, in turn, told Tesna Palvie from Touwsrivier Diere about Eddie.
A Facebook post went up with Eddie desperately clutching a piece of bread – and that was just the end for us; we knew we had to help him.
I contacted Tesna and told her that when they caught Eddie, they could bring him to me and that I would help nurse him back to life. The very next day – 10 November 2016 – Eddie arrived and this brave old man started his road to recovery.
He was a very sick dog…
Eddie was not well. On top of his sarcoptic mange he’d developed a secondary infection, making his skin look thickened and lumpy. Because sarcoptic mange is contagious, he had to be placed in quarantine – his “cuddles” would have to wait. Roscan Dog Sanctum is literally our home – there are no kennels or “dog rooms”; everyone lives together, dogs and humans. My dining room table went outside and we converted it into a quarantine ward for Eddie for the next three weeks.
Four days after his arrival, we discovered that – to make matters worse – he also had tick bite fever and an eye infection (probably secondary to the mange). Eddy was emaciated and malnourished; slow feeding was needed. He enjoyed his baths in Vondi’s Buchu Soap, which helped with the itching; we even had volunteers come to help with his many baths. Twice a day towels and bedding were washed to ensure there could be no mange mites remaining.
Nearly a week after he’d joined us, Eddie tottered to his feet! We were so excited to see him take his first steps on his wobbly “toothpick” legs. By this stage, we’d been giving him twice daily massages to keep his circulation going as he hadn’t been walking at all – just eating and sleeping. He really loved cuddle time and, if I stopped, he’d nudge my hand to rub him more. His meals consisted of Vondi’s Pet Food with Spirulina sprinkle and he had to get a face wash after every meal because his mouth would be covered in it!
Once he was up and about, I was able to take Eddie to visit my parents in Riversdale for a few days. Because they don’t have pets, he had free reign of the garden, which he loved... He clearly missed being outside where he’d spent his whole life.
Eddie’s real hair colour shines out!
Slowly but surely, Eddie “got his dog on”. The thickened skin recovered, leaving him smoother – if rather wrinkly. He stopped scratching himself and his fur started to grow in. Like a butterfly from its cocoon, a beautiful strawberry-blonde terrier with the tenacity of a Bengal tiger emerged! The pint-sized pocket rocket Eddie. He is as feisty as I have ever seen a dog. He was still scared of most people, although he was already totally relaxed with me.
SO much support came in for Eddie and it was an absolute pleasure to help him over the last seven weeks.... He is still going to grow lots more hair, but there is no going back now for this old boy who was found clutching a dry piece of bread.
Huge thanks must go to Touwsrivier Diere and all those who went out and found Eddie and brought him to us; they are the real heroes and angels of this story. And a big thanks to Vondi’s for always helping with sponsoring food and all the supplements, soaps, creams – you name it; they are an incredible company!
Note: At time of going to press, Eddie had not yet been adopted, although there have been enquiries.
Paul Jacobson of Vondi’s Holistic Pet Nutrition says, “We are incredibly proud to be part of Eddie’s recovery. We have been sponsoring Eddie’s food and treatment on an ongoing basis. We love animals and, with our hearts in the right place, we hope to inspire others to also support and rehome rescue animals. Watching Eddie’s daily improvement along his journey of healing has truly been amazing!”
For more information about Vondi's Holistic Pet Nutrition, visit https://www.vondis.co.za/our-products/