MYRA – AN EXTRAORDINARY ORDINARY DOG


Written by Jenni Davies

The Cape Flats in South Africa is notorious; it is impoverished and crime-ridden, with ordinary people living in daily fear of gangs and violence. Murder is, tragically, not uncommon. In August 2015, an armed intruder brandishing a gun invaded a humble home on the Cape Flats.

Bloodcurdling screams and the hysterical barking of dogs came from the house and multiple shots rang out. The intruder had cold-bloodedly gunned down the man and woman, then turned the gun on the rest of the family, including a child. Terrified, the family huddled together, pleading for their lives. But there was no stopping the inevitable…

That dog that stopped a bullet

That’s when the family dog, an “ordinary” medium-sized, medium-brown “pavement special”, leapt in. This faithful girl wouldn’t allow anyone else to be hurt – not on her watch. Myra* launched herself into the air, her furry body a living shield between gun and child. Unstoppably, the bullet smashed into the courageous animal.

A loud yelp and, like a bird in flight hit by a stone, she crashed to the ground. While the wailing of sirens grew louder in the background, Myra lay motionless on the cold floor in a spreading pool of blood beside her beloved owners. She had saved their children’s lives – but at what cost to herself?

Saving Superdog

Courageous Myra, alive but in shock and gravely wounded, was taken to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA in Grassy Park. Her owners’ children wanted them to help the heroic dog. The situation looked grim, but if ever there was a dog that deserved to have all the stops pulled out for them, then that dog was Myra.

An x-ray revealed that Myra’s right front leg had been shattered by the bullet. Fortunately, thanks to donations, the CoGH SPCA has a surgery where they were able to successfully amputate the destroyed limb and save her life.  

A hero’s welcome

Her recovery took time but, thanks to the hard work and care of the SPCA staff, Myra did recover. It was a beautiful day in Cape Town when Myra – minus one leg – was helped into the SPCA van. Rubble- and litter-strewn streets slid by as Myra, allowed pride of place on the front seat of the van, watched a world familiar to her go by through happy, shining eyes. 

When the van stopped and she realised she was home, this good-natured canine’s face split into a big doggy grin and her tail wagged joyfully. In her new ungainly way, ears flopping and tail waving, Myra trotted down the street, greeting old friends and neighbours. Everyone had come out to welcome her home – a hero’s welcome. Myra may look like “just an ordinary township dog” but she’s anything but. In fact, this heroic, loving, intelligent animal is truly extraordinary. She is a real Superdog.

Watch Myra’s story in an incredible, moving short film on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Mmi5Vn-cjI

*Not her real name