Written by Dalit Anstey
Professional photography by Hey Doggo
Bazuka (then Seth) was surrendered to the SPCA Springs in December 2020, along with 23 other dogs, from a backyard breeder who could no longer care for them. For five weeks while at the SPCA, Bazuka refused to let anyone near him. He’d hide, growl and bark; no one knew if he was aggressive or not. Eventually, after most of the other doggies in the pack were adopted, Bazuka was able to receive more attention.
One Saturday in late January, when I enquired about another dog in the pack who’d already been adopted, Elaine Garnett (a dog whisperer) managed to coax Bazuka out of his kennel and saw that he wasn’t aggressive at all; just absolutely adorable, but also terrified.
Cristina Domingues (SPCA Springs Adoptions Co-ordinator) sent me photos of Bazuka from his first day out of the kennel and I just fell in love. And on Sunday, I met Bazuka with Elaine facilitating the visit, thanks to the SPCA agreeing to open on a Sunday (normally closed on Sundays) to accommodate me.
When I first approached Bazuka’s kennel, while all the other dogs were barking furiously and jumping at the fence, he was hiding in the enclosed part of his kennel. Only his head peeked out through the gap to check me out and then he’d pull back very quickly. His curiosity and reserve drew me to him. Elaine managed to get Bazuka out of his kennel in less than eight minutes, and we headed to the bench where she gave Bazuka to me to hold. He sat calmly in my arms, and after a short while, his shaking stopped.
By that Friday, Bazuka was already in his new home with me (it’s amazing how quickly and professional the SCPA was in this regard). After 24 hours, he began following me everywhere in the apartment. I live alone and have been working from home for one year. Bazuka has brought me so much joy during the six weeks he’s been with me. I’m so grateful. He started to trust me from day one.
He’s tiny on the outside but incredibly strong and resilient on the inside. His behaviour and fear of strangers suggest that he was abused, and we’re working through his fears and previous traumas with a professional trainer. He’s gaining more confidence with both strangers and other dogs by the day. He’s such a happy dog now and makes me laugh multiple times a day.
In March, Bazuka and I flew to Cape Town for a delightful three-week vacation with family, and he got to meet and hang out with a family fur friend, Ntabeni (Tabi for short, as he’s known among the locals).
Cristina Domingues shares…
Bazuka was the last of the pack to be groomed and one of the last to get adopted because we couldn’t get him out of his kennel. He hid under the pallets and would run away when anyone came close. We played this cat-and-mouse game with him for WEEKS! We were over the moon with his perfect adoption!
Elaine Garnett shares…
I’m so glad that Bazuka has settled down in his fabulous new home. This wonderful story of dear “Sad Seth” is one that I’ll not forget. It was such a privilege to have been the one that he felt he could trust.
I feel truly honoured to have played a part in Bazuka’s happy ending.