Scruffy – A Christmas Miracle Tale

15th Apr, 2020

Written by Donna Gertenbach, Treasurer – Heidelberg SPCA

Photography by  Mathieu Bouchaert

Scruffy, previously named Chuck, is a little legend! A lot of dynamite packed into an adorable little body. He’s a SURVIVOR and a WARRIOR!

CHAPTER 1: Acts of Kindness

Our Facebook administrator took photos of this teeny-tiny little dude on Saturday, the 21st of December 2019, and before we even knew just how brave he was, we named him Chuck Norris. Poor Chuck was found wandering along a farm road, covered in ticks. A kind lady brought him to us, and we decided that he was really brave surviving on his own.

This was put to the test when, on Monday afternoon, he fell ill. He was taken to our vet, where it was determined that poor Chuck was suffering from tick-bite fever. The vet told us that it would be a miracle if Chuck Norris survived the night.

We were devastated by this news, but after a year of heartbreak and so much cruelty, neglect, and suffering, we decided that we NEEDED A WIN and took a leap of faith. Chuck was given loads of medication intravenously, and our chairperson, Petro Coetsee, decided to take him home and make him as comfortable as possible, showering him with love and attention, preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.

A lot of prayers went up for Chuck just to survive the night. All the healing prayers  were answered! When we told our vet on Tuesday, the 24th of December 2019, that he’d survived the night, he was really surprised.

Petro decided to keep Chuck for the week, so he spent Christmas with a caring family and not alone in the kennels. He went from strength to strength under her care. He returned to the vet on Friday, the 27th of December 2019, for his follow-up injections and was given a clean bill of health. Thank you to Petro and her family, who dared to care about one little soul!

We’re so humbled by this little dude’s bravery and fighting spirit. We had NO idea what he went through before he came to us, BUT what we did know is that he deserved the best forever home ever! And so the hunt was then on for a new family for our Chuck. 

CHAPTER 2: Brave Heart

It was smooth sailing after Chuck was given a clean bill of health. His “foster mommy” even took him to the big city to meet a possible new family with two fur buddies to share a home with.

Poor Chuck’s resilience and fighting spirit was, however, once again tested when he had to go for emergency treatment at a vet in Pretoria. He was diagnosed with “Giardia”, a parasite that had infected his gastrointestinal tract. Remember, we had no idea just how long Chuck had wandered in the field before he was rescued – most dogs get infected by drinking water contaminated with faeces. The poor boy had to do whatever was needed to survive in the veld on a farm.

The vet in Pretoria suggested that he be hospitalised. It was decided to bring him back to Heidelberg, and his foster mommy and our vet worked their magic (and once again prayers galore started). Within days Chuck was back to his normal cuteness, stealing hearts everywhere. Chuck just loved any furries he met, and humans couldn’t resist his charms and adored him.

CHAPTER 3: Happy Tails

A family friend of Petro, Heinrich Heymann, followed Chuck’s story closely, and as there was already a meet-and-greet with his furries, he decided to give Chuck a new home (and a new name… “Scruffy”).

We’ve received numerous pics and videos from Heinrich, putting our minds at rest that our Little Scruffy is happy, very well cared for, and absolutely adored.

Go well, Scruffy!

Heinrich Heymann, Scruffy's new owner, shares…

Our first encounter with Scruffy ignited an instant connection with this little dude. The first visit was short, as Scruffy was still very sick and had to go back to Heidelberg to get better.

After spending just one night with him, he crawled into my heart, but I knew it was best for him to get all better before he could come and stay in his forever home.

After two weeks of not seeing the brave doggie, I was extremely excited to bring him home. He immediately made himself at home after the hour’s drive back to Pretoria, following me around wherever I went.

He also immediately got along with his “step-sisters”, and they play like they’ve been friends for years.

We’ve been inseparable ever since, and apart from the occasional “normal” naughtiness, it was very easy getting used to him and have him climbing into my heart.

This little dude has also helped me a lot while going through a difficult personal time. He serves not only as a good friend but also a therapy dog, because if you look at him, you can’t help but smile.

In other words, Scruffy is amazing, and I’m very honoured to be the one to give this brave boy a home.