Vlooi - my poster pup


Written by Karen van der Westhuizen

My “connection” with the now-closed Krugersdorp SPCA began in May 2015 when helping Charmaine Booysens of The 9th Day in rescuing a little brown Dachshund. The poor thing had been dumped on the front doorstep of the closed SPCA and was running and hiding on the runway of the airfield close by.

People kept on dumping animals

Luckily, after two weeks we caught the Dachsie but soon realised that people kept on dumping animals, despite knowing full well that the SPCA no longer existed. Numerous dogs and cats were found but, tragically, with some we just couldn’t get there in time. I made a poster with numbers of the closest SPCA and laminated it as it was continuously raining at that time.

Three months later, while busy teaching ballet lessons in Magaliesburg, I received a call from Charmaine. Another dog had been dumped at the SPCA’s closed doors. Needless to say, I immediately ended the class and drove the almost 40km to Krugersdorp in record time. As I drove through the rain, I imagined it would be yet another medium-sized, mixed-breed brown dog, and worried that it would be a struggle to catch the scared dog. 

A small bundle sheltering from the storm

When I got there I saw no dog at first but noticed that the poster wasn’t on the palisades anymore. I got out of the car and, to my surprise, saw part of a small white doggy halfway underneath the poster on the inside of the premises. Just out of reach…

He moved a bit further and crawled up into a tight bundle under the poster; he didn’t respond to me at all. The factory owner across the street approached me with his own dog by his side and told me that this little white doggy had been there for two days and had been sleeping underneath the poster for protection. While we were talking, the abandoned dog moved closer as he’d noticed the other dog; I saw my chance and quickly grabbed him.

He was so thin I could feel his tiny ribs and pounding heart, and he was infested with fleas and ticks. I always have dog food and blankets in my car and will never forget his reaction when I put him on the front seat on a nice soft blanket with food. He snuggled in and was really SMILING, so content with where he was. When thinking back today, I know that God again had His hand in this: there is no way anyone would have been able to catch Vlooi normally. He is as fast as a Greyhound! He can run full-speed, turn direction whilst running and still knows exactly where he is going. No one can catch our little flea if he’s not in the mood.

End of the story: Vlooitjie and I drove to the vet, checked him out, and he came HOME – yes, home – to a bunch of new friends! This “ugly” little “toilet brush” – as he’s been referred to by some – has since joined ballet classes, made friends with the chickens and tortoises, and is truly loved by the whole family.