My best friend, Tank


Written by Matthew Esterhuizen

Photography by Ace Photography Studio

I adopted my best friend, Tank, from the Boksburg SPCA. He was one of several puppies that had been confiscated from a security company where they were, unfortunately, not very well looked after.

A dog of my own

I’d wanted a dog to call my own for a very long time. When my mom first showed me a picture of Tank, I knew he would be perfect. He was beautiful – advertised as a Swiss Shepherd-Husky mix – and I fell in love.

We were so impressed by the adoption process: on the same day as we sent our application in to adopt Tank, Ballito SPCA came to do our home check on behalf of Boksburg SPCA. Within 24 hours we’d been given the “green light”. We could fetch Tank that weekend, after he’d been neutered.

A living teddy bear

The very next weekend, my lovely parents, Marion and Gavin, took me to the Boksburg SPCA to adopt Tank. We drove from Ballito, Durban, all the way to Boksburg, Gauteng – a seven-hour journey. During the long drive, I debated what to call my new puppy – I was so indecisive. But the second I saw him, the name Tank came to my mind.

He was huge with monstrous paws and a gigantic, loving face. He looked like a living teddy bear with all the soft fur on him. He was very playful and rolling around at my feet.

We signed the paperwork, scooped up our new baby, and headed back to Ballito; Tank sat on my lap and cuddled me all the way home.

We arrived home at 20h00; the drive had been long and tiring but it was all worth it because I now have the best friend I’ve always longed for.

A best friend indeed

We introduced Tank to each of our other dogs – two Bull Terriers and a German Shepherd – individually and they all get on well. He’s especially good friends with our German Shepherd and they play non-stop in the garden.

He does struggle with strangers and strange noises. Wind and storms scare him and, initially, he hid under the bed. He has now started hiding out next to us, which means he trusts us to protect him.

Tank is now happier than ever and has made himself at home. He sleeps on three quarters of my bed and I get the other quarter. I give him lots of love and play with him after I finish all my homework.

He is truly my best friend.

Tank’s MuttMix results:

Level 2                        German Shepherd Dog

Level 4                        Border Terrier

Level 4                        Airedale Terrier 

Level 5                        Chow Chow

We decided to do a MuttMix test on Tank as we wanted to know how big we could expect him to grow – and were astounded by the results. I’d guessed the German Shepherd but the other dog breeds came as a real surprise.

Dominique from MuttMix says…

Don’t judge a book by its cover as what you find inside may not be what you thought it would be! Rescue dogs are given breed labels based on a “best guess” and are often incorrect, as a mixture of breeds can often mimic the features of other breeds.

Rescue a dog you know you can love regardless of what breeds may be in there – follow that up with a DNA test, to ascertain what breeds are actually in there, to assist you with understanding your new family member as well as taking preventative measures against possible health issues those breeds may present in the future. It’s also a great way to get an idea of what size a puppy may be.