Written and photographed by Chris Kritzinger of Schnauzer Friends South Africa
Fairy tale stories normally start with “a long, long time ago...”, but not this one. Lulu was born a happy and normal little bundle of Schnauzer joy. Her life unfortunately took a dramatic turn after she fell ill and suddenly went blind. She was taken to the Johannesburg Eye Hospital where she was diagnosed with suspected SARDS. Unfortunately, her home was a multi-level building with a pool and was not suitable for her as it compromised her safety. The vet’s assessment was that Lulu could live a happy, normal life – within the right home environment.
Friends to all Schnauzers
Our involvement as Schnauzer Friends South Africa (SFSA) started when we were contacted to help rehome Lulu. SFSA is the largest breed specific community in South Africa (probably the world). We welcome all Schnauzer lovers and love, celebrate, share and enjoy the Schnauzer breed – with a specific focus on Schnauzer rescue. We believe in helping less fortunate Schnauzers who are at shelters or need a new home. We also encourage walks and outings and anything fun to do with Schnauzers.
It was time for the SFSA rescue team to kick into gear! We first obtained advice from Estelle Meldau from Woodrock Animal Rescue on how to handle a special needs blind puppy. We renamed her to Princess Lulu because she was so special, and then we began the search for the perfect home.
What makes SFSA so effective in rehoming dogs is the fact that we have an incredibly caring and loving community that supports us. To say the least, when we advertised Lulu as a special needs blind puppy, her post went viral. We had an amazing response from people wanting to adopt her. She was just the cutest puppy, full of spirit and a zest for life.
Finding a home fit for a princess
We worked through all the applications for literally days and nights to find a shortlist of people that qualified; interviews followed and a home was decided on, pending a home check. And this is where the true fairy tale starts.
The day arrived when Lulu had to put her best paw forward and meet her new family, which included two Schnauzer girls. To adopt a blind puppy takes tremendous courage and patience and, most importanty, unlimited love. But Princess Lulu waltzed into her new home with so much confidence that she completely overwhelmed her new mom, dad and sisters through her bravado and passion for life. She immediately bonded with the new doggy siblings, and her new mom and dad say that they sometimes cannot believe that she’s blind; her sisters are apparently getting a lot fitter through all the games they play.
Dad Dale says: “Lulu just grows and grows on us; she rules the house and surprises us with just how independent she is. We bath her regularly and she has been on her third neighborhood walk. She loves it. We just love her so much. We are so grateful for the opportunity to be able to care for her.” We receive regular updates from them and she is doing just great.
We must never see the “disability” of a dog, whatever it may be, as an obstacle but as an opportunity to look differently at the world and change it.
Photography credit: https://www.facebook.com/Kritzography