Written by Lena Maggs and Deidre Moonsamy, volunteer at Domestic Animal Care
Professional photography by Photogirl
Whilst sitting in the Wimpy on a Tuesday at lunchtime, waiting for my coffee to arrive, I went onto Facebook, as I normally do. I came upon a picture of this poor dog that was so totally shocking and heartbreaking that I could not believe my eyes. Seeing how this poor fur baby had just decided that she’d had enough of life and went to lie down, literally giving up, I wondered what had happened to her for her to have come to that point.
I’ll take her
While scanning the article that Domestic Animal Care had posted, calling out for someone to adopt her, I did not even read it completely; all I wanted to see was where I needed to phone to find out if anyone else had responded yet. I called Bronwin Meyer from Domestic Animal Care, who said at that stage there’d been some calls but no definite commitments made. I immediately said that I would take her.
At that point my husband, Peter, had no idea of what I’d done. When he collected me from Walmer Shopping Centre in Port Elizabeth, I told him all about her… and what I’d offered. I showed him the photo and post on Facebook and he totally understood why I’d responded to the article. At that stage I had no real plan in place about how I’d take care of her, but I knew she needed to have a new lease on life – and I strongly felt that I was the one to give her this chance.
A room for Cassie
Bronwyn brought Cassie (as that was her name) to me on the 10th of November, making that her “birthday date” (all my fur children have birthdays).
When the skinny golden-coloured dog wearing a lovely, brand-new pink collar arrived at our door, she was very sad, scared and unsure of absolutely everything. I put Cassie into my son’s old bedroom, turning it into her safe haven.
I spent many hours with her in “her” room, talking to her, stroking her and feeding her small portions four times a day from my hand, wanting her to get used to my voice and my smell. And for her to start learning to trust again.
Cassie stayed in the room for a few days until Pixie, our oldest and smallest fur child, made a house call to investigate what was happening behind this mysterious closed door. Soon after that, Tessa and Candy came to see what all the fuss was about, followed by two of our other fur children, Deigo and Nalin (who are cats). They were all interested in our new addition to the family.
Eat, love, play
During this time, Cassie was visiting the vet once a week for her weekly bath/dip, weigh-in and check-up. As she started to gain weight, which went from 17kgs to 25kgs, she came into season, so she wore “underpants” until she was strong enough for the vet to sterilise her. After her sterilisation, finding that her stitches were itchy, Cassie started pulling on them, so again we returned to the vet, and home she came with a new, less pretty collar; she really wasn’t a happy girl!
Fortunately, it wasn’t long before she recovered and, like any happy puppy, Cassie came across my husband’s slip-slops – and found them very enjoyable indeed. She discovered a toilet roll or two, and decorated the yard with them. And she knows that she no longer has to fend for her food, and when looking into those beautiful loving eyes, how can one refuse? Her life now is about EAT, LOVE and PLAY.
While “Cassie” is the name on her adoption forms, “Cassie Baby” is her homely name, which, over time, has become “OUR CRAZY BABY”.
Deidre Moonsamy of DAC shares…
On the 6th of November 2016, I received a phone call from fellow rescuer Bronwin, who asked if I could help check on a dog that looked like it could be injured or dead. It was lying in a car park in a mall in one of the townships. Being employed full-time, I can only do after-hours callouts and it wasn’t safe for me to go in alone, so I asked a friend of mine, Steven Beale, who owns a security company, to accompany me.
We arrived at the mall just before 18h00 and saw the limp form of a skinny, mangy dog lying on the ground. She really did look dead but, as we approached, she mustered up the energy to get up and try to run. She’d been so afraid of humans and was terrified of us. I couldn’t believe from the condition she was in that she could still find the energy to run.
After trying to catch her, we eventually asked about ten men who were hanging around to assist us; we would pay them if they could just catch her. Finally, just as she darted across the road, a guy managed to grab her by the leg. It took about an hour for us to finally have her achingly thin, shivering body in our arms.
That’s the short version of how Cassie was rescued. So many people must have seen her daily and, sadly, did nothing to help her, or couldn’t get near enough to do so. She was spat on and chased away when all she wanted was some food because she was starving to death.
She was absolutely terrified and wet herself as I tried to comfort her and make her understand she was going to be ok. And now she lives the most royal glam life ever with a family who love her dearly. We are so happy for Cassie and thankful to Lena and Peter for changing her world.