Precious Poppy


Written by Kelley Nieuwoudt, Co-Founder and Chairperson of Aniwell, in Cape Town

I found Poppy in a storm water channel when she was a tiny pup of just eight weeks old – filthy, covered in fleas, and full of worms. I was out walking on a street that I never normally went down, so it was obviously meant to be that I found her…

At first I didn’t realise she was missing a foot; it took about a minute to notice and all sorts of red lights popped in my head. How did this little baby end up here and how did this happen to her? A variety of theories crossed my mind, including one that we didn’t think could possibly be true: that someone had viciously cut it off. But this was confirmed by the vet... and being horrified is an understatement.

Despite this, Poppy has the most amazing outlook on life. She is so determined and lovable; Poppy stole both my hubby’s and my heart through and through. This little girl came to us by chance, fate, or whatever reason – and we are so glad she did. We lost two very special dogs during the time she was with us and she literally got us through it. I was a nervous wreck during her quarantine period as parvo is rife in this town. Yet this little fighter had none of that and came through with flying colours.

Finding her forever home

A friend of mine had rescued a three-legged Jack Russell puppy called Boston Riley, who has his own Facebook page: ‘Boston Riley pays it forward’. She tagged this page when sharing my post about Poppy and, as life works out, the admin on Boston Riley’s page is now none other than Poppy’s new mum, Jacqueline Hayward.

It was a no-brainer for me – the minute I heard from Jackie, I knew she was the best mom for Poppy. And while it was hard letting her go, I did so with much love and joy for them both. Poppy went to her new home with our blessing.

Jacqueline Hayward shares…  

When I first saw Poppy on Facebook and heard about her horrific story, I knew in my heart that I wanted her to be a part of my family. I immediately contacted Kelley at Aniwell and let her know I really was serious about adopting Poppy. The quarantine period felt like forever… I was ecstatic on learning that she would be my new baby!

It was another lifetime (well, actually only a couple of weeks) before she could be flown to us in Johannesburg – we had to wait two weeks after her first inoculation before they would allow her on the plane! I arrived at the airport over an hour early, and what a special moment it was when she eventually arrived.

Poppy adapts beautifully to whatever situation she finds herself in and she has strength of character second to none. She will be starting with physiotherapy in order to strengthen her other overworked leg and I am sure she’ll do well. We just hope she doesn’t chew her therapist to pieces as she loves chewing! Thereafter, I will get all the advice needed in order to give this little poppet the best chance at a normal life. It will be a long journey, but she is truly worth it.

Big thanks to Kelley and Aniwell for saving her and for all the good work they do.