Written by Sam Chatham for Instant Tags
Photography by George Provan
The story of Snowy was most definitely worth waiting for and is indeed the ultimate furry rags-to-riches tale.
Looking out for Snowy
Let’s backtrack to July 2020… Snowy was a lively young pup, living in the poverty-stricken area of Morningstar near Durbanville, where Bianka Lerm of Die Honnemense animal welfare organisation does amazing outreach work.
Snowy lived life on a chain, as the premises were not enclosed, and she kept escaping. Although this was far from ideal, in the realistic world of animal welfare, one isn’t able to just confiscate every animal not living the perfect life – sadly, there aren’t enough homes. Instead, one has to go the education route and try to assist the owners to improve the lives of their animals.
Over the next few months, Bianka really looked out for Snowy, organising a gorgeous kennel and a runner (a long wire to which the chain is attached so as to allow the dog to move more freely), which gave her more freedom to run around whilst on the chain. She ensured that the young dog was vaccinated and sterilised at the first opportunity to prevent yet more overpopulation and unwanted pups. The main mission, though, was to eventually put up fencing so that Snowy could finally be free of her chain.
Mission accomplished… or was it?
A few months later, this mission was completed: to everyone’s joy, fencing was erected and Snowy was finally able to run around in her own backyard.
Great news until, literally not even a day later, Snowy was reported stolen. Thankfully, after much networking, she was found 6km away in the suburb of Glengarry with two men trying to sell her at traffic lights. Bianka once again reminded the owners of their responsibilities and the importance of keeping the gate shut. She hoped that this would finally be the end of Snowy’s saga… but it wasn’t to be.
A couple of weeks later, Bianka was contacted by Ansie Viljoen, a friend of Die Honnemense. She’d spotted a beautiful white dog following a homeless man on a busy road and watched in horror as the dog was almost run over. It was, of course, none other than Snowy!
Deeply disappointed, Bianka couldn’t believe that, despite all their efforts to provide fencing, etc., the owners were still not being responsible and Snowy was still at risk. After some back and forth, they decided to surrender her. Die Honnemense doesn’t have a shelter and relies entirely on fosters, so the search began for a place to go for sweet Snowy. That’s when fabulous foster parents, George and Kelli Provan, stepped up and welcomed Snowy into their home.
She crept into their hearts
It was mid-February 2021 – eight months after Bianka first came across Snowy. George and Kelli had recently moved into a new home and had been considering getting a dog. The rules stipulated that only a small dog was allowed, so the couple decided to go the foster route.
Within days of Princess Snowy’s arrival, they were already dreading having to let her go. She effortlessly crept into their hearts as, despite her rocky start in life, she’s the most loving soul.
One day when George was at work, Kelli decided to contact the landlords and check whether they’d be allowed to keep her, despite being quite a big dog. Thankfully, they agreed. When Snowy greeted George that evening, she was wearing a note written by Kelli on her collar saying: “Dad, will you make it official and please adopt me?”
Needless to say, it was a very special moment, and the rest is, as they say, history. After barely four weeks, they became official “foster fails” and adopted Snowy.
Thanks to Bianka for not giving up on Snowy, despite much of your initial efforts to assist her being in vain and, of course, to George and Kelli for turning this gorgeous girl’s life around 360 degrees. We wish you many years of happiness together and thank you for choosing to adopt.
Kelli shares more about life with Snowy…
My husband and I have always loved dogs. We’d just returned from working abroad and finally settled into our new home after much uncertainty. My husband’s brother’s girlfriend’s mom, Ansie, is quite involved with Die Honnemense.
I remember it like it was yesterday: I’d just started a new job and got a message from my husband that there was a dog that desperately needed a foster home; the message included a photo of a white dog with a gentle face. I’m always one to jump at needy dog posts, but, at first, I was quite unsure – we were still trying to find our feet. But my husband pushed on, and by the time I got home, Snowy was there already! I walked in, met this soft-natured, absolute sweetheart, and immediately fell in love.
She’s the most loving dog with the softest eyes; I think that she could even be a therapy dog. Time went by wherein we fell more and more in love with her. We soon realised that we just couldn’t live without her. I approached our landlords to discuss keeping Snowy and got the go-ahead that we could keep her permanently. I was over the moon with gratitude and glee. That day, filled with excitement, I got home early and tied the little note to her collar so that my husband could find it, which said, “Dad, will you make it official and please adopt me?” And, of course, we did.
At the time, my husband and I were going through an unsettling time in our lives – starting a life back in South Africa during a pandemic. It was almost like Snowy was a gift from God to us to tell us that everything was going to be okay. In the end, although we saved Snowy from a hard life, she actually saved us.