Bane in our lives

27th Nov, 2020

Left to right: Mavrick Jafta (Kennel Assistant), Papi Kebengele (Kennel Assistant), Tawanda Gwatirera (Kennel Assistant),
Kelly Rae (Practice Manager), Rodrick Vuma (Kennel Assistant), Candice Ehlers (Doctor), Shonak Parbhoo (Doctor) and Lincoln Mafuya (Doctor)

Written by Nerina Naude

Professional photography by Cindy Allen Photography

The beautiful brindled pup had tumbled off the back of a bakkie (pick-up truck) while it was travelling and was subsequently left in an open enclosure where he’d spent the night in excruciating pain and shock. This was the story I was told when I received a call about an injured dog in Lydenburg, Mpumalanga, on the evening of Wednesday the 5th of August 2019. Worse, I was shocked when I heard that the dog in question was the brindled brother of my beloved Funkler, my own baby Boerboel of only four months.

I immediately contacted Ron Horton from Balls an’ All (a community pet sterilisation organisation); I asked him to accompany me on the long trip to Lydenburg to fetch the puppy and to assist in seeing to his medical needs. Of course, he immediately agreed, and within half an hour, we were on the road. 

Upon arrival, we found Ramsey – as we’d named him – all alone in the enclosure. His little body had many cuts and abrasions, and he had an obviously badly broken jaw. Although in great pain and severely traumatised, the little tyke still greeted us with a weak wag of his tail when we approached him. I scooped him up and headed back to the car.

We couldn’t subject this poor boy to the five-hour trip home in the state that he was in, so I contacted Cathy Schutte from Home 4 Paws shelter in Lydenburg who kindly directed us to her vet. There, Ramsey received painkillers, antibiotics and a tranquiliser to knock him out for the trip home.

On the way back, I contacted Zuerina Venter from Animal Protection Network who immediately offered to assist in raising the formidable funds I’d need to give Ramsey the treatment he required. Early the next morning, I rushed Ramsey to Brackenhurst Veterinary Hospital who, alerted to my pending arrival by Zuerina, were standing by to receive him, and he was immediately taken in for x-rays and treatment.

The Brackenhurst Veterinary Hospital Team share…

Losing a furry family member is never easy. In recent months our two elderly Boerboels both lost their battles with cancer and we had to say two heart-wrenching goodbyes. Toby and Mac can never be replaced, but their parting did provide us with a great opportunity to rescue a little brindled pup called Bane (then Ramsey).

He’d broken his jaw quite badly falling off a bakkie. Worse still, his owners had subsequently left him without pain relief or any other intervention. He came to us through a welfare organisation, and we jumped at the opportunity to give him both the veterinary care and loving home that he so desperately needed.

Due to the infection that had set in with the delay in getting him help, surgical options to treat him were very limited. The fracture, however, did have an innate stability that made it a good candidate for conservative management with a muzzle and liquid food for six weeks. And so began the healing journey that earned him the name of a Batman character.

At first, Bane spent most of his time sleeping, but as his fracture began to heal, we had the pleasure of watching him regain his puppy enthusiasm and enjoyment for life. Not being able to use his mouth, he took to playing with his huge paws (he weighed a massive 15kg at just 12 weeks) and enjoyed pouncing and jumping on anything that moved. The greatest change came when the six-week x-rays cleared him to have the muzzle removed and suddenly he could be a real puppy again and bite everything in sight. Since then, he’s been making sure that he catches up on all the chewing that he missed out on!

He has a super-friendly nature and thinks that all the dogs that walk into our practice are his playmates. At 28kg and six months he doesn’t always realise his strength and can already nearly bowl you over.

He’s currently enrolled in puppy school to instil in him some social skills and help him use his big floppy ears for something other than looking cute. When he’s fully grown, he’ll also join us in saving lives by donating blood a few times a year.

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