Written by Sharon King
Photography by Sharon Brink
Earlier this year, I received a WhatsApp from Sighthound Rescue South Africa (SRSA); it contained pictures of an extremely tatty-looking, black three-legged Greyhound who’d been found running along an open road in Gauteng. He was thin and covered in bite wounds and scars. It apparently took his rescuer quite some time to catch him, and a young man by the name of Isaac assisted her, so she named the hound after him. SRSA was contacted, and Isaac was taken to the vet where his wounds were stitched, after which he was placed into foster care with a very nice lady called Patricia.
I often get contacted about three-legged Greyhounds, because I have a few rescued tripod Greyhounds in my pack. Unfortunately, I can’t take all of them, but about five weeks before Isaac’s pictures were sent to me I’d lost one of my tripods – a black boy called Onyx. I was devastated at his loss and my heart was still broken. In one of the pictures sent to me, someone was holding Isaac’s head and he was looking at the camera. In that picture, I saw the face of Onyx. Ironically, Isaac was missing the same leg as Onyx – the left front – and he was the same colour, black with a white chest and paws. I was sold, and I sent a message back to SRSA to say I’d take him. The problem now was getting him from Johannesburg to the Overberg in the Western Cape. A few of my rescues come from other provinces and had been flown through Watershed Rescue and Rehabilitation Fund. I contacted Stephne Jackson of Watershed and asked if she’d be willing to fly my new boy, Isaac, to Cape Town. She agreed immediately and I was extremely grateful.
Patricia had found it easier to call Isaac “Zeke”. I loved the name, so we changed it to Zeke. I was in contact with Patricia until Zeke had to travel – she’d give me daily updates on him, letting me know how he was coming out of his shell, how some of his scars were healing, what a quick learner he was, and how much I was going to love him.
Zeke arrived in Cape Town a couple of weeks later. I live in a small town in the Overberg, and it’s quite a drive to Cape Town, so SRSA offered to collect Zeke at the airport and I’d meet them in Caledon to collect him. A neighbour and I drove to Caledon accompanied by my other black tripod Greyhound, Jack, so that Zeke would have company on the way home. He was such a good boy on the drive home and slept next to Jack, only becoming over-excited when I gave them some chicken that my neighbour had packed in for him.
Zeke settled in immediately, no problem at all – it was as if he’d always been here. His coat was still dull and had a few bare patches where wounds had been stitched, and he also had a few scars on his body and face. He became attached to me as soon as we met, and he’s still that way. He suffers from bad separation anxiety and starts to howl if I’m out of sight. Fortunately, I work from home, and when I do go out he comes along in the car, together with another little old rescue mutt, Tatty Teddy, who also suffers from separation anxiety, and Jack (who’s just very naughty if left at home and gets up to all kinds of mischief). If they can’t come with me, I organise a hound sitter to come and stay with all of them.
Zeke has turned into a beautiful, happy boy with a lovely shiny coat. All the wounds have healed, and only a few scars are noticeable. He loves to get involved in playing with the other hounds, but I do have to watch him – he’s not used to play and gets a bit rough with them. I’m so happy that I decided to adopt him; he’s such a joy to have around.