First it was 6, then it was 11…

16th Oct, 2018

Left to right: Tracy Bertish with Spaghetti, Patrick Hemp and Cooper, and David Frank with Olive – all at puppy training

Written by Faustina Gardner – Managing Director, DARG (Domestic Animal Rescue Group)

How do you choose six puppies to take for rehoming and leave five behind, not knowing what kind of life they’re going to end up with? This was the decision DARG was faced with on Saturday, May 9th.

Choosing six

Eleven adorable pups, and only six could join DARG. The owner was insistent on keeping five, saying she already had homes for three and would keep the others.

It was a difficult decision to pick the lucky six. But with the tough task done, the little pups were bundled off by loving kennel hands Mama Gladys and Linda to be fed. Their new lives could now begin.

DARG’s new additions were named Treacle, Ivy, Olive, Junior, Harry and Alfie. The pups did well in their new space and were getting all their needs met by Nicole Jac, DARG’s behaviourist.

How six became eleven

Two weeks later, four young boys arrived at DARG’s gates with five puppies – the siblings of the first six pups. The original owner was no longer able to keep them and wanted DARG to take them in. There were already three applications for some of the original six puppies, so in they came.

Spaghetti, Cooper, Jackson and Isabella were quite a bit smaller than their siblings and not too sure what was going on. Their environment of chickens and cats by a river had suddenly turned into a room with tennis balls, toys and lots of newspaper.

All 11 pups were slowly introduced to sounds such as fireworks, vacuum cleaners, microwaves, etc. on Nicole’s phone and socialised with dogs of all sizes and shapes. This is essential as a puppy’s critical period for healthy development is 4-16 weeks of age. The real fun started when they were first put in DARG’s enrichment garden and got to explore the many different areas in there and to interact with children and adults. The little girls were less confident and adventurous than their brothers.

Lucky pups

One by one Treacle, Ivy, Junior, Harry, Alfie, Spaghetti, Cooper, Jackson and Isabella found their forever homes. Little Olive was the last to leave DARG and is thriving in her new home in Hout Bay. Fortunately, the pups’ mum is a lovely dog who did a great job with looking after her large litter; she’s still with her owner and is now sterilised.

These lucky little bundles of joy have all found wonderful homes and are now snuggling up to their new canine, feline and human friends.

At DARG, we often deal with a lot of heartache with injured, neglected or abused animals being brought in, so to see each pup being doted on by his/her new family is incredibly rewarding! The photos certainly speak for themselves: these fur babies are indeed very, very fortunate.

A tiny glimpse of the pups in their happy homes…


Cathy Wegener shares… “Nala (previously Ivy) has landed with her bum in the butter. She has a very patient big brother in Golden Retriever Joey, who is her constant companion and playmate. She has a sweet nature but can be feisty in asserting herself too, especially when Joey has something she wants.” 


Mila Nicolella shares… “Earlier in 2018, our family decided to adopt a dog – we were specifically looking for an Africanis-type dog. We decided on DARG to adopt a puppy; the same day we went to visit and we got to meet a few Africanis puppies. I immediately felt a bond with one of them – Isabella. My dad filled in the forms and the staff promised to get back to us as quickly as possible. A few days later, they contacted us for a home check, which we passed. Soon after that, Isabella – now Gira – was ours to take home!

“We as a family felt very good that we were so lucky to adopt a puppy from DARG.” 


Nikita Domingo… “We adopted Alfie as a pup, and he’s now four months old. He’s full of beans and keeps us on our toes, but we love him to the moon and back!”


Sophia Moosa shares… “Ellie gives us even more reason to get outside and make the most of this beautiful city, especially the beach!”


Tracy Bertish shares… “We’re so happy with our new addition to the family. Spaghetti is an awesome dog, and our two boys, aged six and eight years, can’t love him too much. He’s so gentle, and to see the happiness in our kids’ eyes and how they care for and love him is very special. He’s been such an amazing new family member and has fitted in perfectly. He’s an awesome companion and so loving.

“Thanks, DARG, for an awesome fit.”