Written by Karen Obray
Professional photography by Fourpawz Photography
Cheryl Cambell of Sighthound Rescue SA shares…
Ulysses, or Uly as he’s affectionately called, was rescued in Noupoort by Courtney Stassen of Noupoort Animalcare after his owner accidentally drove over him and then left his injuries untreated for two months! Immediately after uplifting Uly, Courtney drove straight to the vet who said Uly needed an urgent leg amputation or he’d die. They were unsure if he’d pull through because he was extremely weak, but thankfully, he did. He had extensive open wounds to his right back leg, his tendon had grown around his elbow, and his leg was stuck in a bent position! He was painfully thin, weighing only 8kg, and he’d developed sepsis. Uly also had pressure sores around his bum from being on the hard, cold concrete. He was immediately sent to Cape Town for his leg to be amputated.
Ulysses then came to stay with me to heal from his operation. Lia, the Saluki cross, was constantly by his side, day and night, licking him and being his emotional support. She was so gentle with Uly as he struggled to learn to walk again. They developed an amazing bond that was so special to witness.
Ulysses was successfully rehabbed and then adopted by Karen Obray and her family. We couldn’t have wished for a better home; I was over the moon when Karen agreed to adopt him!
Karen Obray, Ulysses’ new owner, shares…
My husband and I had discussed rescuing another Greyhound as, since we moved to Knysna and had lots of space, we’ve been rescuing more dogs. We always wanted another one after rescuing our other Greyhound in 2003, and while we kept seeing other dogs in need, the timing just wasn’t right.
Then, while my husband was looking at the Greyhound rescue pages and websites, I saw Cheryl’s Sighthound Rescue SA Facebook page. I spotted Uly and immediately felt a connection with him. We applied to adopt Uly and ended up with Lia as an unexpected, but beautiful, bonus! Witnessing the special bond she had with Uly made it crystal clear that we couldn’t leave her behind, so, Lia came home with us as well.
It’s been an amazing experience to watch Uly, then a scared little soul, come into his own and settle into our family. He has so much love to give!
Uly is such a clown! When we got back to Knysna, he jumped out of the bakkie, started wagging his tail, and instantly began to make friends. If one of the dogs got too close to his leg, he’d growl to warn them. Lia took a lot longer to settle because she was a bit scared of all the dogs, but they’ve adapted and settled wonderfully and are part of the pack. They swim in the dam at least three to four times a day and have an entire farm to run around in and explore. They have such a ball! We love them so much!
Poor Lia was also treated very badly previously. She was rescued from Vryheid (KZN) where she nearly died giving birth. An emergency caesarean saved her, but all her puppies died. Dr Kerry Easson fostered Lia until she was fully recovered and was able to get a ride to Cape Town. Lia bears the thick scars of a terrible previous life on her legs and elsewhere but is still a very loving dog. I love dogs so much: they love and trust even though they’ve been treated so terribly!
Our farm is filled with rescue animals that we’ve taken in since moving to Knysna! We have a goat and a dog that are best friends and stay in a little house together in the paddock; two rescue donkeys that suffered horrific injuries; six horses that were almost starved to death; a stray cow; 13 dogs; three parrots; and a 300-kilogram pig who lived inside with us for nine years until we moved to Knysna and now prefers her outside pen, much to my dismay.
Life cannot be sweeter for us… or them!