Written by Judy Miller of Hermanus Animal Welfare Society and Emmie Gouws & photography by Photture
When I first saw Fluffy, as he was called then (with hardly a hair in sight), I gasped in alarm at this pathetic little hairless doggy with such a fighting spirit who was trying to run everywhere! He was brought in by law enforcement, found on the Hawston dumpsite, near Hermanus and was in a very bad way.
The pictures that captivated everyone were actually taken two weeks after his arrival at the end of March 2015. Christa Nefdt, our vet technician, was very worried and didn’t know if he would make it. But, when she saw him, something in his huge eyes just grabbed at her heart and she asked for the chance to fight for him.
She came in every weekend to give him extra care to help pull him through; he needed special baths and ointments. He was very weak to begin with and the vet was worried about his immune system (often compromised in severely mange-ridden dogs). But, despite his weakness, he had such a happy little nature.
From strength to strength
We put him on Facebook to ask for help for his high treatment costs and the support flooded in from wonderful people countrywide. We decided to give him another name and, after Facebook suggestions, he became Ely, after a fighter!
He actually recovered amazingly fast in the following two weeks. On 13 April we cut his hair to even out the long scraggly hair with the new fuzzy hair that was growing and took photos. It was during this ‘photo session’ that Emmie Gous walked into the kennels saying she had seen him on Facebook… and that was that. Two days later, he was adopted – almost a month to the day after he’d been on death’s doorstep. Emmie continued with his treatment to make him into the stunning little guy he is today!
Emmie Gouws, Tommy’s owner, shares…
I ‘met’ Ely on the Hermanus Animal Welfare Society Facebook page and, like so many of us, followed his amazing recovery. On Monday 13 April 2015, tired after quite a strenuous hike in the mountains, I decided to pop in at HAWS as they mentioned Ely/Tommy has recovered enough to be fostered. Judy was outside taking photos of him and that was it for me; I lost my heart!
Already owning two biggish dogs already meant I needed special permission from the Overstrand Municipality as well as the normal home inspection by HAWS themselves. The very next day, I got a call from HAWS to say I could collect him. Ely became Tommy and he was ‘at home’ from the moment he came into my house. He has the most lovable and caring nature - knew immediately that my other dogs, Nipper, the black ex-HAWS Lab cross, and Maggie, my very ADD Australian Kelpie, are his mates and cuddle bugs!
I have never had a dog sleep on/in my bed but now I do! He teases the other two non-stop but is also aware of their seniority in the pack and respects them. He is a very calm, obedient dog and we all adore him to bits. What a miracle!