THE STORY OF PEARL AND THE BOXER

9th Jan, 2020

Written by Lesley Donnelly and Engela Calitz

Professional photography by Strike a Pose Photography

Our story starts sadly on the 10th of May 2019, when we lost our beautiful female Boxer, Kali, to a vicious Spirocerca lupi infection. We were stunned. She was only six years old, strong and healthy.

Our Boxer boy, Ares, was as devastated as we were, and I can safely say that we were all in a state of depression as we mourned our loss. Ares is 100% dedicated to us, but, over time, it became apparent that he was becoming withdrawn and a couch potato, unusual for a young Boxer dog. They say Boxers stay puppies until they die, but sadly, this didn’t describe our beautiful boy anymore. We knew that we had to do something, and so we tried to find a friend for Ares via Boxer Rescue.

It soon became clear that an adult dog wouldn’t be the answer, and so began our quest to find the “right” female puppy.

Looking for Miss Right

I scoured the websites of the various rescue organisations looking for Miss Right. We visited some of the rescue organisations and were devastated to see the urgent need for resources and homes for the animals in their care but still didn’t find “Miss Right”. Then, one weekend, my partner found a request on WhatsApp for good homes for three female puppies rescued by a Good Samaritan from somebody’s car boot.

We phoned the lady and decided to take a drive out to plots in Randfontein to look at the three little sisters.

It was the 30th of September, a coolish day, and everything was dry and depressing on our drive to meet the puppies. We arrived at the agreed-upon destination and the Good Samaritan was already there with the three pups in a box.

Since it’s said that a dog chooses its human, let the record show that we were interested in the solid black puppy since we already had a white Boxer. We put her on the ground, and, cute as she was, somehow she just didn’t speak to us. 

In the meantime, a lively black-and-white pup was hanging over the box, and when we put her on the ground, she walked straight to our car with the feisty determination and sense of purpose that we’ve grown to love. Needless to say, I gathered her in my arms and we took her straight to our vet.

She sat on my lap complaining and chewing a ribbon on my top all the way to the vet. She was very dirty, covered with dead and dying fleas; she had food or milk spills down her chest and was extremely tiny, weighing in at just 1.8kg. Our vet checked her out, gave her all the necessary vaccines and meds, bathed her and gave her a clean bill of health. 

We don’t know her birthdate, but our vet estimated her to be around eight weeks, so we chose the 9th of August 2019 as her official birthdate. Being Women’s Day, we thought it appropriate.

Our vet thought that she was possibly a Border Collie-Labrador mix, and certainly we did too as we searched the Border Collie sites for some sort of a comparison. She’d be a medium to large breed – the size of her paws attested to this.

Precious Pearl

She was beautiful, and we decided to call her Pearl, because she’s so precious.

We arrived home and introduced her to Ares. He was somewhat flabbergasted and proceeded to shout at her for quite a while. He’s our gentle giant with the sweetest heart, and after a while the shouting gave way to curiosity, and he followed her around allowing her to sniff (and chew) his toys and bones. She was starving, and as her confidence grew, which didn’t take very long, she began shouting at us if we took too long to feed her.

Pearl weighed in this morning at a hefty 10kg; she has the shiniest, most beautiful coat with bright, intelligent oriental-looking eyes. Ares has taught her to “mouth spar”, and they engage in this activity every morning on our bed; he has a deep growl like a human wrestler would have, and she sounds like a ninja warrior with her high-pitched squeaks and shouts.

She’s extremely confident and has all of us wrapped around her paw, including Ares. Pearl has proven to be rather clever, and we had minimal effort house-training her. Ares is clever and obedient and is a good teacher and role model for her, and she emulates a lot of what he does. She’s super-confident, and her only fears that we can identify are loud noises and loud-barking dogs. 

We’re so grateful to have this beauty in our home; Ares has his mojo back, and the two of them play like crazies. She’s brought joy to our sad hearts, and we often feel that she exhibits traits of our beloved Kali. 

We really needed to know her origins, and a friend recommended MuttMix. Imagine our surprise when we discovered her genetic history – not a Border Collie in sight! Thank you MuttMix – very useful to understand her genetics, not only for personality but also health, and thank you also for the prompt and efficient service. 

Pearl’s MuttMix Results:

         Level 3 – Chinese Shar Pei (huh?? We smiled at that)

         Level 3 – Boston Terrier (certainly explains her beautiful colour and coat and the feistiness)

                     Level 4 – Labrador Retriever (yes, we can recognise some of that…)

                     Level 4 – Doberman Pinscher (hmm, perhaps the coat and the razor-sharp teeth and jaw)

                     Level 5 – Poodle (halakha, a little bit of class since she’s moved in with two divas)

Pearl is almost five months old as I type, and she has a special place in our hearts and home. We look forward to many joyful years with Pearl and Ares. A little toss-away pup has become our Precious Pearl and Ares’ new best friend.

Dominique of MuttMix adds…

The Boston Terrier and Labrador Retriever have definitely dominated Pearl’s features, and while the Shar-Pei doesn’t seem to have presented physically, the shorter snout and “oriental” eyes are most likely from this breed. And let’s not forget that the Doberman Pinscher is known for being feisty and incredibly intelligent, which most certainly presents in Pearl!