Written by Tracey Cohen – Chairlady, Kleinmond Animal Welfare Society
Professional photography by Jackie Wernberg Photography
“He was probably dumped and left to die a slow and agonizing death in the middle island between two main roads near promenade. Dehydrated and starved and a nylon rope knotted tightly twice around his neck. Luckily an earth angel noticed him. Gave him some water and food. The rope was so tight around his neck she panicked when she tried to cut it with a scissor. There was not even space for her pinky. While she was cutting he was choking. Under a year old, a German Shepherd-Collie mix.
“Can any animal welfare organisation please help?”
This was the Facebook post that caught my eye on the evening of Friday 22nd February 2019. I could not scroll past.
I immediately got in touch with the dog’s rescuer in Cape Town and offered KAWS’s help.
The wheels were set in motion, and as soon as we posted that transport was needed, amazing supporters rallied to ensure this gorgeous boy would get to Kleinmond the very next day.
A special soul, Shelley Savage, and her family drove this handsome black-and-brown boy through and we met at KAWS to take Geronimo – as we named him – in. But as I laid eyes on him, I knew I couldn’t leave him at the shelter. So, he came home with me.
A difficult night
He spent his first night very confused and not sure what was going on. He was absolutely terrified and STARVING hungry. He was nothing but skin and bones, and he was covered in ticks and fleas; his little tail was constantly between his legs.
Over the next few hours, he livened up a little and we saw the sparkle come back into his eyes. He became my shadow and would literally jump walls to get to me. When we gave him chicken to eat, he must have thought he was in heaven.
It was a long and difficult night, as Geronimo was very stressed, but once he fell asleep snuggled on the bed (it took a few attempts to show him that he must jump on a bed), he snored away until 9am the next day.
Early the next morning, Geronimo had his first bath as he was filthy dirty – he was a superstar, behaving so well. He spent the rest of the time with me just chilling out and sleeping and eating. He had lots of recovering to do.
By the time the day came for him to go to his happily ever after, he was playing like a puppy and had transformed into a very happy boy.
The day he left was both a happy and sad one. We’d really bonded and would miss him; that goes with the territory. Fostering is not easy, but when you see the joy in the new families’ eyes and faces when they meet their precious new angel, it makes it all worth it.
This boy is a special soul who’s super intelligent, loving and caring. We’re sorry, Geronimo, about your terrible start in life, but our faith in humanity has been restored. To watch so many people jump into action to help this baby brought tears to our eyes.
Go well, sweet boy – and to the amazing family that adopted him, you guys are earth angels, and we know he’s going to have the very best life with your family. Thank you!
SOMETHING IN HIS EYES
By Colleen Smith, Geronimo’s – now named Bolt – new owner
On Monday the 18th of February 2019, we lost our beloved Nordic, a beautiful, gentle 12-year-old Border Collie-Siberian Husky dog, whom we adopted through TEARS as a tiny puppy on my youngest son’s fourth birthday.
We weren’t planning on getting another dog any time soon, but a week later I came across the KAWS Facebook post about Geronimo (or Bolt, as he’s now called), which a friend shared.
Something in his eyes just got to me. He also reminded me very much of a previous rescue dog we’d had.
Bringing Bolt home
I sent his photo to my husband and sons and asked what they thought. The answer was immediate and unanimous: GET HIM! It was as if fate had a hand in it, as it was on exactly the same day as we’d adopted Nordic all those years ago.
A few days later we drove to Kleinmond to fetch him. It was only on the way that it suddenly hit me: this is a traumatised rescue dog almost off the street – how are we going to cope?
Well, I needn’t have worried. Bolt settled in straight away. What a beautiful, gentle boy, and highly intelligent to boot.
A second chance
I have a suspicion that he’s had a home previously, as he’s house-trained, can follow quite a few commands, and walks well on a lead. He loves his comfy bed and snuggling up on the couch with his humans in the evening. It took a bit of time for him and our other Border Collie to get to know each other, but there have been no major issues. He had a few medical problems, as there were complications after his neutering, but he’s now on the mend.
I’m so glad we were able to give Bolt a loving home and a second chance after his terrible time on the streets. We’ve all fallen in love with this gorgeous boy and can’t imagine life without him!