Written by Judy Jooste
Photography by Judy Jooste and Yolandi Strauss
Beauty’s story starts with the kind lady who saved her in a township
Annette van Vuuren relates the tale of how she rescued Beauty: “I was dropping off my helper at a funeral in Schaumburg when I saw Beauty dragging herself through the dust chasing after a kid. I stopped and asked for the owner of the dog, so they took me to him. He told me that somebody had dropped her on the ground, and from that day on she was unable to use her back legs. I convinced him to surrender the dog to me to see if we could help her, to which he agreed. She got into the car with me and sat very quietly. I could see that her little face was full of hope and happiness – I think she knew that from then on she’d be okay. I promised her that day that we’d make sure she was okay, and together with Team Woodrock and Judy, she’s more than okay. She now has a beautiful loving home with Judy, which she deserves. Thank you for adopting her.”
Beauty’s long journey to better mobility
When Beauty got to Woodrock Animal Rescue they contacted me regarding getting wheels for her. Her feet were “weird”, almost duck-like, and her nails were very long, but she couldn’t stand on them. She hopped like a bunny to get where she wanted to be, and she was fast. We estimated that she was about six months old. As I sat at Woodrock with this little pup on my lap, I decided her name was Beauty, as she was beautiful with her dark eyes.
I had no intention of adopting Beauty, but she had other plans.
Through Vesper on Wheels, I’d just received a pair of wheels that we’d made for Kayleen in Cape Town, which didn’t fit. They fitted Beauty as if made for her. She took to them immediately and stormed off, running everywhere. However, Beauty was very hard on harnesses and ate quite a few.
While I was on holiday, Beauty came to stay with me so I could start teaching her wheels’ skills, not that she needed it. She literally just bounced into my heart.
As she couldn’t stay in her wheels permanently, her feet were almost always covered to avoid damage to them when she scooted around. This dog was used to township life, and she went everywhere. Because of the weird shape of her feet, we struggled to get booties or anything permanent for her to wear to protect them. They became infected, they healed, and so it went on.
In 2018, I went for a hip replacement, during which time my old boy, Sammie, passed away due to a stroke. I then decided to foster Beauty permanently and in the end adopted her. She fitted right in, especially when I fostered little Ciska, who became her partner in crime and zooming mate.
Beauty’s feet, however, kept getting worse, and she’d take the bandages off and self-mutilate. It became so bad that we started worrying about gangrene. The vets made a decision to amputate her toes and save the pad so that we could still try to get her boots or a prosthesis later on. She went through the operation like a trooper.
She never complains, and she’s so much happier without those toes. The vets are still not convinced that she’ll ever walk, as her hind muscles have atrophied, but I never say never: this dog is a survivor and fighter of note.
Beauty is loveable and adores cuddles and sitting on my feet. She hates anything constricting her front legs and loves her wheels; she now has two pairs, because she loves to give me extra work by breaking them. I found a harness she likes. She plays the whole day every day with Ciska, and she’s patient with me putting on nappies and washing her butt. She’s beautiful with her dark brown eyes and floppy ears.
The special ones usually find me somehow, then we heal each other. I wouldn’t have it any other way.