Our Odie

6th Jul, 2017

Written by Charmaine Booysens of The 9th Day and Clarissa Porter

Photography by Charmaine Booysens and Estelle Potgieter

One afternoon, towards the end of April 2017, a home owner noticed that a small, brown stray dog had wandered onto their property; a commotion broke out but they assumed that their dogs were just excited about the little visitor. But it was much worse than that…


The following morning, to their horror, the gardener told them that a snake had bitten the “new dog”. The dog’s face and head had ballooned and he was very ill. His head was so swollen that, when his picture was posted on Facebook, people thought it had been digitally altered.

We rushed the Dachshund-mix, whom we named Odie, to the vet. He was in a bad way and, unfortunately, it was too late for anti-venom to be administered. All that could be done was to provide supportive treatment and hope that he’d pull through. Odie was placed on a drip and given pain medication – and then it was up to him. It was touch and go at one stage – we feared he wouldn’t make it as he just lay silently, depressed and flat.

The start of Odie’s new life

Five days later, Odie was well enough to stand and the swelling had gone down drastically. Thanks to excellent vet care – and plenty of prayers and positive thoughts – this little trooper rallied and survived his ordeal. Nobody ever claimed him so he recovered in our care.

Slowly, but surely, little Odie made his way back to good health and he soon found a wonderful new home with Clarissa Porter. And now his new life could begin.   

Clarissa Porter, Odie’s new owner, shares…

Ever since I can remember I’ve had a love for animals. Mostly, I like them a lot more than I do many people! If I had the space and finances my house would be overflowing with rescued animals – that’s still on my wish list for one day. A big house, massive garden and rescued pets… EVERYWHERE!

I follow Charmaine’s Facebook page about the 9th Day Animal Shelter and began visiting the shelter over weekends to play with and treat the dogs – to give them just a bit of the huge amounts of love that they need so much and deserve. Funny, you would think that this is where I met little Odie, but, as with everything else in life, the plot thickens…

Charmaine posted pictures of Odie on their page after he was bitten by the snake. One look at that swollen little face and I was hooked. I followed his progress and showed everyone in my circle photos of him with the idea of adopting him slowly beginning to form in my head. There were so many pros and cons to weigh up: the finances, the space, the responsibility, how he would get along with my uncle’s dogs (where I’m staying)… I worried that, as I hadn’t even met him, I might not like his personality. I’d almost talked myself into not going through with it when I decided: just do it.

Charmaine kindly brought him to my house for both a meeting and to do the home check (to make sure my living environment was suitable for him). So scared, so unsure, he cowered away from anything new; at least he loved the dog biscuits I coerced him with.

It’s been just over a month since Odie became part of my life and all I can say is: if you’re thinking of adopting a rescue animal, don’t think twice. Just do it! How this scared little boy’s outlook and attitude towards life changed with the love and attention I had given him is absolutely amazing.

I just cannot get enough of him and his funny overbite. He loves his three new Labrador “sisters” and my mom’s three little doggies as well. He’s also a pro cuddler, and as long as he can fall asleep with his nose in my neck, he’s happy! Adopting Odie has been the best decision of my life so far.