Angelic Asher

17th Nov, 2021

Written by Tamsym Meyer

Professional photography by Meraki Photos

Mollie, my 2.3-year-old Dachshund, was born with a severe liver shunt, and although we were offered the option to put her to sleep as a pup, this was never an option for us. My family and I swore that we’d give her the best life we could until I felt she was in any pain or was suffering, which we did. And then the time came to say goodbye.

She came with a purpose

It was the most cathartic transition of my life. I’ve lost two great loves, including my father while I was pregnant, and I held myself strong for everyone, as I always have. I found myself so clear, so raw, and so vulnerable at this pinnacle point of my life. Mollie came to carry me through this transition and left at her own divine time, not fully understood, but in clear understanding of what her life has meant and will forever mean for all of us.

We all came together as a family. My strong boys and husband wept their tears as we grieved together as one and felt pain as one. I held her in my arms against me and sang to her as she took her last breath safe on this earthly place – her favourite place, my arms. I held a strength for her that I’ve never known, knowing I was loving her enough to let her go as I promised. I felt her spirit leave and went cold. I screamed a guttural animal rasp – a pain from the trauma of the past, the losses, all of it.

It was something bigger than me – a knowing that there’s a life Beyond that’s incomprehensible in human language; a connection of all. The full circle of life… my grief and pain are physical, yet there was a calmness knowing my beautiful Angel little spirit fur baby came for the two of us to fully complete a karmic bond and experience a love in this earth known between us.

I made a commitment to her in that moment that I would save a life as she’d saved mine. 

Reaching out with love

A couple of weeks later, although I knew I wasn’t ready for another pet as my grief was enormous and physical, I reached out to Dachshund Rescue South Africa. I offered to be a foster should they have a dog of any age that was in between homes, or simply needing a warm bed and some loving.

The phone call came just a few days later: A Dachshund-Chihuahua pup had been rescued from a farm where the animals had been neglected and mistreated. Her mom was too weak to care for her, and so, at four weeks old, she was taken in to be hand reared.

I immediately contacted Matlosana-Stilfontein Animal Shelter to offer my help. This precious pup was finally out of the woods and my brain switched gear – I knew I had to get her.

Very early the next morning, I hopped into the car, not paying too much attention to the address, merely punching it in and driving. I drove through the back highways of Johannesburg in the dead of night; there were no streetlights, and I simply followed the signs to Potchefstroom (a drive of over two hours).

She’s an angel

Being mid-winter, it was still dark when I arrived at Matlosana-Stilfontein Animal Shelter. I signed a piece of paper and they handed me this tiny little mite, full of mange and sores all over her body. I was told she’d been checked out, but we headed straight to Bryanston Veterinary Hospital for another check. It was during the strictest pandemic lockdown, and I was stopped as I was coming back into Gauteng for not having any necessary travel permissions. Miraculously, after pleading my case, the officer kindly let me through (going out, I’d taken a different road, and no one had stopped me – another miracle).

The vet prescribed medication for ringworm and worm infestation; her mange had been treated and would clear. I was told that, other than that, she was tough (she was the only pup to survive). We got her the best pet food and brought her home – she was an angel. Very soon, she graduated from foster to full-fledged family member, and we named her “Asher” (meaning Blessed in Hebrew).

I believe that somehow Mollie needed to let go then – to sacrifice this temporary space that she’d filled with so much – so we could love another little destitute pup; who knows where she’d have ended up otherwise.

Asher is so happy to be alive. Every day brings her joy. She’s never aggressive, she loves people and animals, and is just about the happiest little thing you could meet. Today, our angel is in 100% good health. There is and always will be a place for my Mollie – my heart has just grown bigger to fit Asher’s perfect place too.


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