Life got sweeter for Sweetie Pie


Written by Chris Fletcher and Team SaM (Sedgefield Animal Matters) team, Colleen Smith, Founder of Oudtshoorn Dogs in Need and Martie Anderson

Photography by And so it is Photography

Her elderly mom’s companion dog had passed away due to old age, she said, and they felt it would be a great idea to rescue another senior doggie to live with and love Ouma. This was the call SaM (Sedgefield Animal Matters) received on the 17th of June from a lovely-sounding lady from Sedgefield.

Requests to adopt senior dogs are few and far between, and SaM immediately set to finding the perfect match.

Please let her stop crying

We immediately contacted Colleen at Oudtshoorn Dogs In Need to ask if she had any suitable senior doggies looking for a home with a senior lady.

This is what Colleen sent us: “Every night we say a little prayer: please let her stop crying. We cannot understand why she would have to spend her old age in the pound and neither does she. At night, when we leave, we hear only her heart-wrenching cries. This darling girl is the size of a large Chihuahua and yet has the heart of a horse. Please can you consider her, we are all so traumatised by her broken heart.”

Well, how could we resist! 

The big move

Two days later, Lucile and I set out on the three-hour round trip to Oudtshoorn. We planned to meet Sweetie and, hopefully, bring her back with us to Sedgefield to live with Ouma. She really was a sweet girl and we placed her into the car for the long drive back.

Poor Sweetie Pie; she was so bewildered and restless on the back seat, just looking around with the look on her face that said, “WHAT NOW?” 

We arrived at Ouma’s house with our nervous passenger and, with a few heart-pounding moments, introduced the two of them. To our delight, it went very well! It took Sweetie a little while to settle down and realise that this was indeed her new home but she did – and the rest is history.

They go to church together

Sweetie adores Ouma and they even go to church together. Sweetie Pie proudly trots along beside Ouma’s mobility car, happy as a lark, when they go to the shops. She sleeps next to Ouma at night and has a warm and comfy cushion on the couch where she can doze and keep an eye on what’s going on during the day. And she loves to eat chicken… especially still warm and whole and on the dining room table just waiting for a “snatch and run” moment – yum!

I call on her regularly and it’s so good to see that she’s very healthy and happy – and much loved by Ouma and her whole family.

Colleen Smith of Oudtshoorn Dogs in Need shares…

Oudtshoorn Dogs in Need (ODIN) is an animal welfare organisation in Oudtshoorn. We offer assistance to the community and do outreach work; we also rescue and rehome all shapes and sizes – and we NEVER give up. But a small town organisation like ours relies on support, including the networking of our animals. Sedgefield Animal Matters is our faithful, helpful supporter.

In this case, Chris emailed us saying that he had a dear old lady looking for an old companion dog and we sent through some suggestions. Sweetie Pie was the deserving lucky girl. SaM took it from there, making all the arrangements, including showing the photo to her new mommy, organising vaccinations and sterilisation, and even collecting her. They gave hope to a near-hopeless case. 

Sweetie Pie got the ultimate home and we thank Chris and everyone at SaM for their never-ending support and fantastic networking, without which we’d be floundering on our own in the Karoo.

We miss you lots, Sweetie Pie, but we know you are rolling in the bowl of cream. We love you.

Martie Anderson, Sweetie Pie’s owner, shares…

My heart was totally broken when my old dog died. I’ve never ever been without a dog and, knowing how I felt, my daughter contacted Chris from Sedgefield Animal Matters to help find me another little companion. In no time at all, he came back with a suggestion: little Sweetie Pie from Oudtshoorn Dogs in Need.

Always together

It wasn’t long before Sweetie Pie arrived, nervous and bewildered. For two hours after arriving she was very unhappy. So, I picked her up and put her on my lap, stroked her and told her that I’m her new mommy. That night she slept in my arms and, since then, it’s as if she is tied with a string to me.

Sweetie Pie never leaves me alone; she even comes with me to church where everyone loves her. She brightens everyone’s day and they all come to say “hello” to her. I have a little scooter and the church is just across the road. Sweetie Pie accompanies me there on her leash, running happily next to the scooter. I am very watchful for any cars.

The little chatterbox

Sometimes she is not so well-behaved in church and has lots to say, making little “mewly” sounds or whining a little for attention and I have to shush her. Because of my bad knees, my pastor kindly comes and gives me communion in my seat – then Sweetie Pie moans because she wants to know where her piece of bread is!

I love Sweetie Pie very much; she often stands in front of me and “talks” to me. Sometimes I don’t understand what she’s saying but we battle through and most of the time I understand what she wants.

Recently, after she’d been let outside for her last wee before bed, she stood at the end of the bed “talking” to me. I said, “Sweetie Pie, what do you want?” She actually started yanking the bedcovers off until I got up to see what might be wrong. It turned out that she urgently needed to go outside for a big “business”. Boy, had she made very sure I got the message.

I have twin single beds – Sweetie Pie has her own bed but it isn’t long before she’s crept up onto mine and sleeps tightly against my body all night.

Adopting Sweetie Pie has changed both our lives for the better.