Proudly showcasing adopted and adored pets whose lives were changed forever because people gave them a chance. Proof that animals adopted from welfares make wonderful companions.
Proudly showcasing adopted and adored pets whose lives were changed forever because people gave them a chance. Proof that animals adopted from welfares make wonderful companions.
Eugenie Thomphson shares Nibbles
“Nibbles lived on a mine outside Middelburg where every day was a battle for survival as a tiny kitten. Hearing of his plight, I set out to change his world.
“While he was scavenging for food I made my move and, not trusting me at first, he put up a good fight and tried to escape, but I persevered and quickly won him over.
“After some food and a warm bath, he had his first vet visit where he was given the all-clear and we set off home to start our life together.
“Nibbles’ life changed from rags to riches. No more cold, hungry days since then – his days and nights are filled with more love than he could ever imagine.”
Natasja Du Buisson shares Odin, who was adopted from PitPals
“Following many years after moving out of my parents’ home and living without a precious animal of my own, I was thrilled when, finally, I was able to buy a dog-friendly home.
“I dreamt of having my own dog; one that would be part of our life. When Odin came along – special, busy, naughty, love-bug, all smooshed into one – it was a dream come true!
“When I say busy, he really is very busy. We started with puppy classes as soon as he had his third vaccination to help us better understand him and better communicate with him. We then started with the Bronze CGC Obedience class and he passed his exam on the 11th of Sep 2021. He’s now 8.5 months old and has grown quite a lot. Odin is a black-and-white Pit Bull mix but looks like he has a lot of Collie in him too.
“We take him to dog parks and beaches where he can run off leash and a farm for sniffing of flowers and games of fetch. He’s a huge part of our life and we’ll be planning our trips around him and visiting pet-friendly (not just pet-tolerant) places.
“He’s such an excitable boy and we’re glad he’s with us so that we can protect that special light he radiates. Some friends and family think he’s naughty, but the dog lovers understand that he’s just an excited pup who absolutely loves people. He also loves cheese and fruit, sleeps in the weirdest of positions, and enjoys car rides.
“This ended up as a book instead of a line or two, but there’s no other way to describe how precious our Odin is to us.”
Hermione (left) and Harry
Zonika Strauss shares Harry and Hermione, both adopted from Nicholson Rescue
“Harry and Hermione were once rescues themselves… until they rescued us. These two cats have sparked an unknown love inside of us.
“Each has their own little quirks and special ways, and they’re adored by everyone in the family. We have such gratitude for being blessed with them.”
Nicola Kruger shares Archie, who was adopted from Bella’s Guardian Angels (which she runs)
“Archie is a super special dog. We were initially asked to assist with ‘a blind Maltese pup’. We then made an arrangement with the owners to surrender all three pups (he had a brother and sister that were born healthy) and, in turn, we’d have their mom and dad sterilised.
“But, when Archie arrived, I noticed that something was definitely a bit off. It turned out that not only was he blind, but he was deaf as well. His parents are both senior doggies with blue eyes, so they definitely should never have been allowed to breed!
“He’s a very big Maltese, but the best dog ever! He can sit, lie down, give paw, and come on command, even though he can neither see nor hear. He loves all people and going to the beach. We live on a farm and he finds his way around perfectly.
“Because he lives by his nose, most of his pictures are mostly nose. He’s seven months old and the cutest and a very clever boy.”
Dahlia (left) and Hades
Paula Guassardo shares Dahlia and Hades
“Dahlia was adopted from Raise ‘n Rescue in March 2020 and came home with us just in time for lockdown. She made the best lockdown buddy and brought us so much joy with her playful personality. Now she’s Queen Bee of the house and supervises the other animals.
“Hades, adopted from Foster Love Animal Rescue, is our newest edition, and he joined our family a few weeks ago. He’s such a cool little dude; we call him our gangster cat with a heart of gold. His cheekiness and confidence have bought a new energy to our home, and he LOVES food!”
Barkley and Peanut
Debbie Turkington shares Peanut, Barkley, Caramel, and Brooke, who were all adopted from Berario Bunnies
“As a little girl, I’d always dreamed of having a pet bunny. However, my parents were having none of it – they wanted to stick to the rather old-school pets of a dog and cat! Now that I’m a single mum and have my own little girl, I had every reason to introduce a bunny into the household. And so, Peanut joined our family; after doing much research, I decided that Peanut needed a bunny friend as they do best when they have a companion.
“I started reading about the plight of bunnies and became aware of the number of bunnies who needed loving homes due to the fact that they’d been previously loved and then sadly dumped to fend for themselves. This is when I contacted Meahni Pieterse from Berario Bunnies, the Bunny Whisperer of the 21st Century!
“Due to the fact that Peanut is a rather feisty girl, it was tricky to find her a suitable friend, and so Meahni suggested ‘bunny speed dating’, where the bunny chooses their own friend. Meahni came with a hoard of bunnies and Peanut decided that Barkley would be an appropriate ‘husbun’.
“Meahni assisted with the bonding and now they’re two inseparable bunnies who free roam our garden peacefully and happily. As part of the bunny speed dating, I had my heart set on a little baby bunny called Caramel. He joined our family too at the very tender age of about eight weeks old.
“Given the fact that Peanut and Barkley were already bonded, I decided to get Caramel a friend too. He chose little Brooke, who unfortunately had to have one of her legs amputated due to a break (but she scoots around just perfectly on three legs).
“Now, all four bunnies live happily together. They spend their time roaming in our garden and come running when they spot you in hopes of getting a snack or two!”
Caramel and Brooke
Cobus van Zyl shares Stella, who was adopted from Animal Rescue Organisation
“Stella is a beautiful grey tabby kitten of around five months old. She talks a lot and loves her food.
“After my cat, Oreo, was tragically killed by a speeding car in our street, I was heartbroken. My loss was devastating, and to help heal my heart, I decided that I wanted to adopt a cat and give it a good home.
“My aunt found a kitten up for adoption on one of the Facebook pages she follows and my mum immediately phoned to ask if the kitten was still available. Thankfully, she was and arrangements were put in place for us to adopt her.
“Our home and our family got approved and we were overjoyed to go and collect her from her foster mum that same day!
“When I met Stella, my heart just melted. I fell in love! She’s such a beautiful and sweet little kitten. Stella is happy here in our home and I love her very much.”
Nicola Kruger also shares Louis, who was adopted from Bella’s Guardian Angels (which she runs)
“Louis is my other boy that I adopted a few years ago. He’d been abandoned in a little box with his siblings and suffered from mange, tick bite fever, malnutrition, and obvious trauma.
“During his rehab and care we grew very attached to each other, and he was a very happy foster fail.
“Louis and Archie have developed a very strong bond and are the best of brothers.”
Opal (left) and Skittles
Debbie Turkington shares Opal and Skittles, who were both adopted from Nicholson Rescue
“I’m a huge animal lover and fur mum to three cats, four free-roaming rabbits and a dog, all adopted from various rescue organisations. Last year during the lockdown, I lost one of my beloved 14-year-old cats, Patch, to cancer. Then, in August this year, I also lost my 12-year-old Golden Retriever, Mya, to cancer.
“For weeks, I was filled with heartache about the loss of my beloved family members until, lo and behold, while scrolling through Facebook, I came across Lynette Nicholson’s post about Skittles and Opal. My initial reaction was ‘no, not now’, as I still have one remaining old cat and was worried about the introductions and putting her nose of out of joint! However, the picture of those two little faces was emblazoned in my brain.
“I contacted Lynette, but she explained that they’d found a home… I was delighted when she contacted me to say that the home had fallen through and they were still available. Upon meeting these fur babies, I immediately fell in love with the timorous yet loving nature of Skittles and the mischievous attitude of Opal. They’re now a very much-loved part of our family who provide unconditional love and plenty of laughs. That’s how I became the happy fur mum of three cats, four free-roaming rabbits and one dog!”
Sharron Duff shares Rocket
“I welcomed Rocket into my home when her elderly owner had to go into a retirement home.
“Rocket has gone from filling-a-palm-sized girl to chasing anything that can be thrown, with nothing holding her back!
“She’s the sweetest-natured little girl with a big personality, and I’m so happy to have her as part of my family.”
Photo credit: Nat Gold ZA
Mary-Anne Knight shares Sabrina, who was adopted from TEARS
“Sabrina, a gorgeous jet-black cat straight out of a witch’s story, arrived during lockdown as a result of our wanting to support TEARS, who, like all animal rescue organisations at the time, were battling with a limited staff complement.
“I asked for the cat most challenged in finding a home – toothless, ancient, bald… I didn’t care! We’re on a small farm, so all the cat had to be was happy enough to muck in with dogs and horses.
“When Tracey of TEARS dropped her off, I thought she was exquisitely beautiful, with magnificent jade-green eyes. Why, I asked, had such a beauty not been rehomed sooner? Apparently, she’d been brought in as a kitten after being knocked over by a car and had to have surgery and a pin put in her leg; since then she’d been passed over for four long years.
“Sabrina, with the patient help of TEARS volunteer Ruth Morrison, learned to love our huge German Shepherds and they love her. She’s the kindest, coolest, sweetest cat, and we all adore her. Thank you, TEARS, for your awesome work!
“Please consider this: if, after reading this, most of you adopted a rescue cat from your nearest rescue organisation, would that not be a wonderful thing? Just imagine hundreds of felines finding a forever home!”
Caroline Jooste shares Tilly, who was adopted from GRACE Animal Sanctuary
“Tilly joined our family very recently and we’re so happy that she did. She’s such a friendly, loving little lady who’s settled in smoothly and quickly. She’s eating very well, has been for walks, had fun in the park, and even made new friends. I think her favourite thing of all is to be cuddled.”
Belinda Denzler and Jason Pearce share Sprocket and Apollo, who were adopted from Nicholson Rescue
“Sprocket stole my heart the second I laid eyes on him in January 2020,” says Belinda. “He’s a serial cuddler and sleeps in my neck every night. You can literally feel the love seeping out of him when he’s cuddling next to me.”
Jason adds, “And Apollo… this boy is truly special. If I had to describe him in one word, it would be ‘soulful’.”
“We’re so grateful to have these beautiful cats in our lives; they are our everything!”
Melly (left) and Storm
Amanda Lee and Danel Gerds share Melly and Storm, who were adopted from Noordhoek Bunny Rescue
“Melly loves to give kisses. She’s full of attitude and the alpha female of our family. She also loves watermelon and strawberries.
“Storm will only kiss for a treat (blueberries are his favourite). He’s a miracle bunny, having survived both Coccidia and E. cuniculi* as a baby. He loves to chase us around; it’s his favourite hobby. His ultimate thing to do is to cuddle us under a blanket!”
*Encephalitozoon cuniculi (E. cuniculi) is a protozoan parasite of rabbits that can cause cataracts, kidney disease, or affect the nervous system and cause a head tilt or complete paralysis.
Sue Grimer shares Floyd, who was adopted from Hellen White – Working in the Community
“Hellen posted Floyd’s photo on Facebook in February, saying his previous owners wanted him gone from the house NOW! He looked so dejected and shut down; I knew I just had to help him.
“So, on Valentine’s Day, Floyd moved to Benoni with me. He was thin and his fur was hard and brittle, but since then, he’s picked up 5kg and become soft and cuddly.
“He’s the most perfect dog, and I’m so blessed to have him in my life. He’s dearly loved.”
Deidre Esterhuizen shares Hunter
“I saw this beautiful tabby-and-white cat on the 21st of November 2020 in our yard. I approached him, but he hissed at me and ran away. I posted him on the various lost-and-found and community pages on Facebook to see if anyone was missing their cat, but no luck.
“I started feeding him and he came back every day for food. I could see he was semi-feral and terrified of people and noises. I named him Hunter because he’d climb high up in the trees to try to catch the pigeons. It took me about three months before I could touch him, but he remained very cautious.
“Day by day there was more progress, and Hunter eventually started to trust me. I could stroke him and he even started coming to me for some attention. About six months down the line, he started coming into the front area of our house but ran out when he heard movement inside the house.
“At the beginning of June, I got a rescue puppy, Minkie. On the second day, Hunter went right up to the puppy and sniffed and licked it – he wasn’t scared at all. He must’ve been in a home where there were dogs and had either been abandoned or gotten lost and was sadly never found by the owners. Hunter and Minkie have become good friends. Minkie taught Hunter to come further in the house and to not be so afraid anymore.
“Nine months later and Hunter is sleeping on the bed with his doggy friend, Minkie. It’s been a long journey with Hunter and me but very rewarding.”
Marisa Louw shares Bailey and Zoey
“Bailey and Zoey grew up in Johannesburg in a loving family. They had many friends that included dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and a hedgehog. The hotel, where both their parents hold senior positions, relocated them to a different establishment towards the end of the second Covid-19 wave. Bailey and Zoey’s parents had no choice but to rehome them. Many animal lovers will say that they won’t move without their animal children, but the reality is that sometimes one has to make difficult decisions that break our hearts.
“My pet pig, Willem, was nine years old when he passed away in March 2021. I immediately reached out to Home 2 Home Piggy Adoptions and they introduced me to the sisters. When I visited them at their foster home, I fell in love! They’re so tiny – Willem weighed around 200kg, but the sisters are true mini-pigs, weighing about 35kg each. Due to a swine flu outbreak in our area, I had to wait three months before the sisters could join our family. Bailey and Zoey settled right in and are the most adorable little piggies.
“(I’m still in contact with their previous mommy, who’ll be coming to visit us soon; it broke her heart to rehome them, but knowing they’re so loved by us makes it easier.)”
Photo credit: @Strike a Pose Photo / Video
Zlatko Dobronic shares Sashimi, who was adopted from SPCA Roodepoort
“Sashimi was adopted as a young adult, so we don’t know his exact age, but we think he’s similar in age to our other dog, Sushi, (Sushi’s Happy Tale) who’s 14 years old now.
“Sashimi and Sushi are best of friends and spend their days together, snoozing on their beds inside or soaking up the sun.”
Mandy Wattam shares Tego (pronounced Taygo, meaning “protector”), aka Patchy Moon Dog, who was adopted through ZanneWelfare
“We adopted Tego at a bleak and exhausting period in our family’s history, and he rescued us in so many different ways and on so many levels. Later, he rescued us again by inspiring me to write a story about him – ‘The Adventures of Patchy Moon Dog' – during the uncertain days of early Covid-19, during lockdown level 5. At that time, our Old Cash Store Restaurant was closed for several months and our livelihood at stake. Writing, illustrating (by my youngest daughter, Lara) and editing (by my eldest daughter, Amy) gave us a sense of unity and purpose through a very dark time.
“Times are still so uncertain, but the pleasure and comfort we draw from our beloved dogs really helps bring us back to our fundamental values and approach to life. Each day they greet us like it’s Christmas morning with such joy and love.”
Coco Boggon shares Mack and Cali, who were adopted from Raise ‘n Rescue
“We saw Mack and Cali on Raise ‘n Rescue’s Facebook page; someone had reserved the calico girl but not her brother. There was an appeal to take them together because they were so bonded; so much so that they couldn’t even be separated when they went to get sterilised.
“We offered to take them together as we liked the idea of them being able to keep each other company whilst we were at work.
“They really are lovely little floofs and still adore each other. They have very different natures, but they both love running around the garden and play-fighting.”
Annami Burger shares Spookie
“Spookies has completed our little family. His previous owner in Cape Town went to visit her son and Spookie got placed in my care to foster for a month. The owner decided she didn’t want Spookie anymore, so the one-month fostering became a permanent adoption.
“He was a very anxious and terrified dog who didn’t want to eat at all. After a visit to the vet, it was discovered that he had many rotten teeth, thus the reason for not eating. After those rotten teeth got removed, that’s all a distant memory. He’s full of life now and has no problem with eating. With a lot of love and attention, his trust in the human race has been restored.
“Spookie has the cutest manners and loves to ‘dance’ and ‘clap hands’ while trying to impress his two adopted brothers, Wollie and Boeta.”
Left to right: Wollie, Boeta and Spookie
Left to right: Boeta (sitting upright), Wollie and Spookie in front (with his paw in the air)
Judy MacGregor shares Brave, who was adopted from Noordhoek Bunny Rescue
“After seeing a Facebook post about Brave desperately needing a home, we knew he belonged with us.
“It took a while to earn his trust, but my son, Hamish, and Brave are the best of friends now. Brave is the most loved member of our family.”
Julie Marzio shares Smudge and Tigger
“Smudge and her two siblings, Tigger the tabby and Frosty, were found in a concrete conduit (water pipe) on a farm in the Stellenbosch area whilst we were horse riding. There was no sign of mom, so my friend and I went home, unsaddled and drove back to catch them with the help of some chicken mince!
“They’re now 12 years old and have never been to the vet other than to be spayed and vaccinated, and recently to have teeth cleaned.
“They’re hardy gals that were terrified in the beginning but have turned out to be oh-so-loving!”
Ingrid Liberté shares Chickadee
“I was given little Chickadee as a weak baby gosling that couldn’t keep up with his mum. I hand-raised her and let her sleep on her bed and got her strong and healthy once more.
“Chickadee has been with me since 2016 and she lives a wonderfully happy life with her other fur and feathered friends at the rescue centre.”
Sebella O’Donovan shares Bonny
“My husband and I are huge dog lovers and we have quite a few rescue animals. It got to the point that my husband, Sean, said: “NO more rescues!”
“But, on the 27th of March 2018, I received a WhatsApp message from a friend asking if I could help foster or adopt a Boerboel being cared for at Brackenhurst Vet in Alberton. I told her we’d decided on ‘no more dogs’ but offered to network the notice and sent it on to my husband so that he could circulate it at his work. Within one minute, I received a message back from my husband: “Fetch the dog; I will make supper.” I called him, sure that he was joking, but he said that the miserable look on the dog’s face was just too much for him – we had to help. So, my daughter and I hopped into the car and drove to Alberton to fetch Bonny.
“She’d obviously been used for breeding, and she had marks on her that the vet said came from lying on a concrete floor. She was painfully thin and had abscesses all over her body. She also has almost no front teeth and they figured that was from trying to gnaw out of her cage.
“Bonny settled in with my pack with no problems; she’s the friendliest dog ever and still very food driven (I have to keep reminding myself not to leave any food on the kitchen counters!). When we buy dog food, Bonny guards it until we decant it into the containers. Bonny is definitely more my husband’s dog, as if she knows who really saved her, and we take her with us wherever possible. Her first trip was to an isolated area in Barkley East in the mountains and she just loved hiking with us; we hope to travel with her again this year.”
“She’s brought us endless joy!”
Photo credit: @Strike a Pose Photo/Video
Deedee Besada shares Theo
“When I caught sight of Theo, who looked ever so sad and was totally overlooked because he only had one eye, I just knew he had to come home with me.
“Theo loves his favourite treats (strawberry-flavoured biscuits) which, of course, he stores in his cheeks for later. I do give him lots of healthy treats as well – I make up a salad box to feed him.
“Theo is a very active boy and always runs up and down his three-storey house. He’s super friendly and loves to come out and play with me all the time.”
Ayla Damon shares Little Flint, who was adopted from Rescue is Life
“Originally named Puggle by RIL, we saw him on their Facebook page and rushed to make sure that we got the opportunity to meet this sweet boy. We’re not sure of his back story, but that doesn’t matter when we see this little one running around having the time of his life with his older brother, Biscuit. (See Biscuit featured in July.)
“Flint is a Collie-Africanis cross and has the sweetest nature and cutest ‘scary’ bark that a puppy could have. We immediately knew he was a good fit when he just went up to our two bunnies in fascination and decided that he wanted to try and make friends with them (following in his brother’s footsteps).
“Flint enjoys annoying Biscuit by pouncing on him to encourage him to play, running around together like lunatics in the back garden and, of course, cuddles, as it’s been a chilly winter. This playful little character has brought much joy into our lives and we honestly can’t imagine our life being any other way.”
Susan Peart shares her precious rescue dogs Ruby, Floyd and Clara
“Ruby the seven-year-old Yorkie came to live with us in May 2019 when a friend of mine emigrated to Australia – she didn’t want to put Ruby through the stress of the travel, nor the quarantine period.
“In June 2020, during lockdown, we went to the Sandton SPCA where we spotted Floyd the Jack Russell, who’d been at the SPCA for a couple of months. He stole our hearts and so we adopted him.
“I’d kept in touch with the SPCA volunteers, Tracy and Linda, who’d helped us with Floyd. They contacted us regarding Clara, who was also battling to find a home.
“Clara is a black Staffie-Labrador cross. We tried to find a home for her, but we weren’t successful. She was very stressed and timid, so we decided to give her a home too; we officially adopted her at the end of July 2020. It took her a while to settle down and, for the first 10 days, we couldn’t even get her to sleep inside. Since then, all has changed – she’s very happy to be inside and is a very loving dog.
“All three dogs get on wonderfully. They’re enjoying their new home very much – as much as we are having them as part of our family.”
Eren (left) and Tate
Photo credit: @Strike a Pose Photo/Video
Isabella Besada shares Tate and Eren, who were adopted from Harties Feral Rescue
“I’m a cat lover of note and I wanted to adopt a cat again from Harties Feral Rescue. Tragically, on the way to collect Tate, we got the shocking news that our Ginger baby, Levi, had fallen over our neighbours’ wall and unfortunately their dogs attacked him. We decided to turn around and go straight home as we were absolutely heartbroken.
“A week later we returned to pick up Tate and I decided to adopt his brother, Eren, as I’d seen him on Facebook too. My little sister, Deedee, happened to fall in love with Moe (aka Zippy) (Moe’s Happy Tale) the day we collected Eren and Tate. That day, we landed up coming home with not one but three cats from Harties Feral Rescue. What a joy!”
Claire Macintosh shares Sansa, who was adopted from Ark Animal Centre
“I adopted Sansa when she was six months old. She’s always been a social butterfly and loves attention. When she was 18 months old, I had her evaluated to become a therapy dog with Top Dogs.
“She passed with flying colours and, together, we visited schools, hospitals, rehab centres, frail-care facilities and the Teddy Bear Clinic (where we worked with children who are preparing to testify in court). She was a super-star therapy dog for six years, made appearances at WODAC, and was even in the newspaper and on TV.
“Since lockdown last year, Sansa has retired from therapy work. She now helps out at home on the farm where we run boarding kennels and doggy daycare.
“Sansa recently turned eight and is still a social butterfly and my very special girl.”
Brixie (left) and Joelle
Christiaan du Plooy shares Brixie and Joelle, who were adopted from Harties Feral Cat Rescue
“I made contact with Harties Feral Cat Rescue last year when I wanted to adopt a special little cat for my then girlfriend, Roxanne, as a Valentine’s Day gift.
“I loved Nestle right away, a gentle spirited black ‘panther’ rescued during a heavy rainstorm in Kosmos by his foster mom, Antoinette, and family. We renamed him Brixie and he settled in well.
“This year, it was time for yet another feline to join the family. We looked past all the cutesy, fluffy, blue-eyed kittens and chose little Pampoen who, sadly, had been constantly overlooked. We renamed her Joelle.
“We send regular updates of both cats to the ladies of Harties Feral Cat Rescue and couldn’t wait to share with them our recent engagement photos with Brixie as our ring bearer!”
Larissa Bhagwandin shares Olivia Newton Pom (aka Ollie), who was adopted from A New Hope Dog Rescue
“Olivia Newton Pom is a lively, cheerful, and fiercely independent little 15-week-old-pup who was dumped at A New Hope Dog Rescue as an unwanted gift received by a family who’d kept her for four weeks before deciding that a puppy is too much work.
“As luck would have it, I was visiting Johannesburg at the time Ollie ended up at ANH, met her, fell totally in love with her and adopted her the very next weekend! She’s landed with her bum in the butter.
“Ollie loves playing with toys, zooming with her brother, Edgar Allan Pug, and has her own little wardrobe of doggy clothes and accessories already. Happawly ever after, Ollie!”
Photographs by Tanneth Bern - Fine Photography
Kathryn Varrall shares Simone
“In 2008, whilst driving through Cosmo City in Johannesburg, my husband spotted a very tiny little brown-and-white puppy, no more than six weeks old, wandering in the road all alone. He stopped and picked her up, brought her home, and presented me with the ultimate gift: my heart dog.
“I called her Simone (after my husband, whose name is Simon).
“She was a very independent little pup who initially showed no loyalty or interest in either my husband or me. She was more interested in wandering off and going on her own adventures, but it wasn’t long before we became inseparable.
“We’ve had our ups and downs with various medical issues over the years starting with malnutrition as a pup but, 13 years down the line, she’s still with us, and every day with her is a blessing.
“I do believe Simone is possibly the most spoilt pup on the planet – with the exception of maybe the Queen’s corgis. I quote my sister, who keeps saying: ‘I want to be reincarnated as Simone.’
“Simone now lives on a gorgeous farm which we go and explore every day; she has her very own custom-made Egyptian cotton duvet, enjoys family time with her own seat at the dinner table, has her own hot water bottles in winter, gets to be the queen and ruler of our pack of 13 other dogs (which includes dogs of varying sizes, from Great Danes to Belgian Malinois) – and they all respect and love her. She has a very fashionable wardrobe of jerseys for winter and various neck scarves for summer. Simone has also accompanied us on numerous adventures and vacations.
“Simone has never forgotten her roots; she will, without fail, walk up to literally everyone, one by one, and give them a friendly tail wag and a kiss (if they let her).
“What a lesson we can all learn from her – despite your circumstances or what your background is, always remember everyone deserves kindness. Always be friendly, give lots of kisses, go for daily walks, spend time outdoors in the sun, dig plenty of holes because you never know what great things lie on the other side, go on plenty of adventures, be brave and take lots of naps.”
Luna (left) and Noena
Aniska Victor shares Luna and Noena, adopted from Nicholson Rescue
“Luna and Noena have been with us for a month already, at the time of writing. They LOVE to eat and go by the motto: EAT. EAT. EAT. PLAY. SLEEP. REPEAT.
“Our other rescue kitten, Mishka (also adopted from Nicholson Rescue), is seven months old and has adopted Luna and Noena as her own.”
Photo credit: @Strike a Pose Photo / Video
Rowann Miller shares Leo, who was adopted from PAWS R US SA
“Leo was left at a kennel over the Covid-19 full lockdown. But, after the booked month, the kennel was unable to get hold of his owners. After keeping him for a further two months, they sent him to Paws R US SA, along with his Great Pyrenean ‘siblings’.
“I was looking for a small dog for our family and got to hear about Leo. It took him no time at all to find his place in the pack. He was a little hesitant about human contact but is now an energetic, feisty cuddle bunny and is adored by everyone!
“PS: The two Pyreneans were adopted by people who were aware of the breed’s requirements and temperament, so it was a happy ending for all three abandoned dogs!”
Emma Loades shares rescue bun Theodore, who was rescued from a farm after dogs got hold of him and his brother (who, sadly, didn’t make it). We’re not too certain of the exact details, as he lived in another home before joining us after they decided that they could no longer look after him.
“Theodore had had two ‘homes’ before he became the main guy in our little family, and now, we couldn’t imagine our life and home without him.
“And so much part of our family that he simply had to be included in my wedding photos!
“Theo has changed our lives for the better. He’s taught us to slow down, be present, love more, talk less… and also to clean up things off the floor. He’s our go-to comfort, berry thief, our movie-watching buddy, adventure companion (yes, he travels with us) and the best entertainer… those little binkies.
“Though he has an independent personality, Theo is able to read situations and our emotions in the most beautiful way. He not only has changed our lives but has also touched others too. He’s joined me at hospitals and clinics for animal-assisted therapy… and what he can achieve with a person in one session is certainly more than what I can as a therapist. He seems to know what a person needs, before they even do… just like me on my wedding day. I had no idea how much him coming to find me in the room and lying down on my dress would mean to me or for the others in the room. I loved him more in that moment than what I ever thought I could.
“As someone so wisely said, ‘Animals are a gift from above, for they truly define the words unconditional love.’”
Photo credit: Niki M.
Photo credit: Christy Mulder & Co.
Athena (left) and Luna
Photo credit: Jaden Grobbelaar
Esperanca Roelofse shares Athena and Luna
“These are my two baby girls, Athena and Luna. Despite their floppy ears, they are German Shepherds – the floppy ears just add to their cuteness. They’re both from the same litter, although we got them separately.
“Athena came home with us in December 2020 and was the light of my life. Her sunny personality is matched by her playfulness. She’s so loving and very affectionate.
“Luna originally was homed with a different family. However, they could no longer look after her, so we gladly offered our home to her. Ever since then, she and Athena have been inseparable. Luna is a lot more calm and reserved but is also beyond affectionate. I’m blessed to be their Mom!”
Bernice Mong shares Phoenix, aka Stompie, who was adopted from Be Wise Sterilise (BWS)
“The newest addition to our family is 17-week-old Phoenix Le Bob, a Japanese Bobtail look-alike!
“This incredible, special cat was rescued on the 4th of May 2021 from a house that caught on fire. He was surrendered into BWS’s care with severe malnourishment and scorched fur and whiskers. He was underweight and very sad.
“The first four days after his rescue he just slept; it was like he’d never slept peacefully at all and he was taking full advantage of it now. He ate okay, but after having him for four days, he stopped eating. The vet advised that he be syringe-fed, which his foster mom did, and within two days, he was eating on his own again.
“He started blossoming, playing, eating and being a little kitten again, and the transformation was incredible to see. Even after all that Phoenix has gone through, he still hasn’t lost his trust and love for humans.
“Thank you, Tahlia Berelowitz, for trusting me to give him the best home ever, and thank you, Charlene Grover of BWS, for taking him in!”
Deidre Esterhuizen, founder of PuppyLove Rescue & Rehoming, and owner Garth Jellars share Shakira
“Shakira and her three siblings were rescued from Valhalla Park Township in April 2017 when they were only three weeks old. Their mother, unfortunately, passed away.
“The pups were placed in foster care and were bottle fed. Shakira’s two siblings were adopted at eight weeks of age but, sadly, there was no interest in her. As Shakira got older, her foster mommy fostered many more puppies. Shakira loved all the foster pups, and she was like a mother to them.
“Then, finally, when Shakira was 20 months old, it was her turn. A family adopted her, and another fur baby named Riley was fostered along with Shakira. The two of them grew up together when they were pups and had a very special bond. (The family decided that they couldn’t be separated, so they decided that Riley must also join their family.)
“Shakira was in foster care for almost 21 months before she was adopted – now we know that she was just waiting for the perfect family to come along.”
“We adopted Shakira and Riley in November 2018. They are dogs with very different temperaments, but somehow they get along very well.
“Shakira is nervous and always aware of sounds and movements, but she’s also loving and very excited to see people that she chooses as friends. She has an enormous amount of energy and loves spending time in the doggie park or on the field. We always get compliments about what a beautiful dog she is.
“Riley is very calm, cuddly, and lovable. Everyone’s his friend, especially if they have treats. He never really moves fast unless there’s food involved. They give us so much love and joy every day. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to give them a home.”
Ayla Damon shares Biscuit, who was adopted from African Tails
“After being dumped on the side of the road, this little guy was placed with a foster while African Tails looked for a new home. I spotted him on Facebook and, once we’d seen him, we couldn’t wait to meet him. After introducing him to the bunnies, we knew that he’d be the perfect fit to our family. He had such a good nature, and instantly his mission was to make friends with the bunnies.
“After realising Macy Grey (see Macy Grey featured in June…) had some attitude on her, he decided that Bailey was the best option, and now, the two of them have a very special bond.
“Biscuit’s hobbies include napping on the couch, making friends with EVERYONE during our daily walks, destroying every toy we buy him, along with the occasional shoe, and swimming and SUPing (Stand Up Paddleboarding) with us!”
Gaeleen Tompkins shares little Luno
“Meet Luno – a little ‘apple’ face ‘Siamese’. We were on the lookout to adopt a male Siamese cross kitten in Cape Town and initially couldn’t find any. I then spotted a post for this little one – a family had had him for a week and decided it wasn’t for them. Of course, I didn’t hesitate.
“Luno is so affectionate, loves to play and cuddles up in our bed at night. His little paw tips look like they’ve been dipped in white paint. He’s the cutest baby ever, and I’m one very happy kitten mommy!”
Michelle Blackie shares Shelby, who was adopted from Rescue is Life
“Little Shelby is a much-loved addition to my family. She’s approximately four months old and was rescued from a drug den in Mitchells Plain.
“Her favourite part of the day is snuggling on the bed with her sisters and playing with Ellie (who’s also a special rescue girlie and was adopted from PetPals) all day. She’s brought so much joy and laughter to my home.”
Ayla Damon shares Macy Grey, who was adopted from Noordhoek Bunny Rescue
“When my hubby saw Macy, it was an instant ‘That one!’. It took a while to gain this little bunny’s trust as she’d had a hard start to life, but now she’s open to some scratches and the occasional cuddle. She still has some attitude but has definitely settled in and loves cuddles with her partner, Bailey, and is even used to our adopted doggy, Biscuit.
“Macy's hobbies include zooting around the garden, eating all of mom’s newly planted succulents and flowers and, of course, chewing phone cables.”
Josie Hon shares her “granddog” Ilse, who was adopted from Fallen Angels
“Ilse was the last to leave Fallen Angels just before lockdown to be fostered by my daughter, Giselle. But… how can you send such a beautiful soul back?
“I’m her ‘Ouma Josie’, and I always spoil her when I visit. I love her to the moon and back.”
Katherine Orr shares Princess Aurora
“Princess Aurora, aka Little Beastie, was found in the rain all by herself and not very well at all. But three months and a team of dedicated rescuers later, she’s a healthy hooligan.
“Little Beastie is adored and happy.”
Georgina Ovenstone shares Summer, who was adopted from Oscar’s Arc WOOF Project
“We’re thrilled to have welcomed a new addition to our family last month. Her name is Summer, and she’s already so loved by everyone who knows her.
“Summer enjoys long walks on the beach, wrestling with Marley (our Standard Poodle), and her puppy lessons in the afternoon.”
Charlotte, Aimée and Tinus De Jager share Verstappen, who was adopted from Nicholson Rescue
“Verstappen definitely lives up to his namesake, running around the house at top speed!
“He’s also the most affectionate kitty we’ve ever known and loves to sleep in your arms or on your chest, if given the opportunity!”
Zindee (left) and Banjo
Brenda Bryden shares Zindee and Banjo, who were adopted from TEARS
“Zindee is ten years old and her son, Banjo, is seven. They’d lived with a family as much-loved pets until the family’s circumstances changed dramatically and this bonded pair was put into the care of TEARS Animal Rescue.
“Still nursing broken hearts from the passing of our two old dogs (in July 2020 and February 2021), we decided that if we ever chose to get another dog (not dogs, plural), it would be an older dog that needed a good retirement home. There was one big proviso: the dog had to be good with cats (we have four).
“After seeing a few posts with dogs that appealed to us and enquiring, we were met with the same answer each time: ‘Nope, not good with cats’.
“When my daughter, Jenna, contacted TEARS about a young dog which spoke to her heart, she received the same response – “not good with cats”. The adoption manager told her the only two dogs they had that are good with cats were a mother and son who had to go together as mommy was a bit dependent on her boy. These dogs, she said, are good with children and cats, well socialised, love walks and are placid, loving and desperate to be in a safe home with a loving family.
“I was adamant that I only wanted one dog but, somehow, we found ourselves at TEARS meeting Zindee and Banjo.
“They’d been in the kennels for four months and were very withdrawn and unsettled – clearly missing being part of a family and confused by the noise and activity around them. I took one look at them and knew that, despite all my protesting, they would both be coming home to live with us.
“The rest, as they say, is history… and Zindee and Banjo have slotted into our family perfectly. From the moment we brought them home, they took their rightful places on the couch! They’re such loving, happy, intelligent dogs that adore being petted and made a fuss of. The cats and Zindee ignore each other, while Banjo’s exuberance and fast-wagging tail sets off a chorus of growling and caterwauling accompanied by very bristly tails and the occasional swipe. However, I’ve also noticed a few little nose kisses on the sly.”
Banjo trying to get close to the cats
Photo credit: @Strike a Pose Photo / Video
Elsabé Davis shares Gabby, adopted from Ark Rescue Centre
“We adopted Gabby as a twelve-week-old puppy. The people there knew exactly what her background was: she’s a Pekingese-Yorkshire Terrier mix. After she’d been weaned, she was fostered until ready for adoption. She had absolutely no hang-ups at all.
“She’s very gregarious and is fantastic with children and approaches everybody quite happily. Only downside is that she doesn’t really like other dogs. However, she seems to have taught Mo, our recent rescue (read Mo’s Happy Tale here), how to approach people and be friendly towards them.
“Life with our gorgeous girls is a blessing and truly simply the best!”
Photo credit: thehappytulip photography
Shannon Viljoen shares Oros and Oscar, adopted from KittyCare Durban
“Our little family had been chatting about finding a fur baby to complete our home for quite a while. For the longest time, my mom and I have loved KittyCare Durban and had adored from afar all the kitties up for adoption on their Facebook page. We absolutely longed to give one a home!
“During lockdown, we couldn’t resist the urge to adopt any longer!! I popped my friend Tayla a message (sister of Tatum Ridgeway – who founded and runs KittyCare), who put us in touch with Clare Burns (Oscar and Oros’s foster mom). My mom desperately wanted a little ginger baby, so we got sent some photos of the kitten who was soon to be named Oros; we were then informed that, at the foster’s home, he had a grey, scribble-patterned bestie – our Oscar. We immediately fell in love with both of them and, whilst we were originally thinking of adopting just one kitty, we couldn’t separate the precious pair and break up the bromance!
“The whole KittyCare Team (special shout out to Tatum and Clare) took such amazing care of them, prepped them so well for the adoption, and just made us SO excited to welcome these cuties home by sending us lots of photos and constant updates!
“It was the best experience and the best decision we made in adopting these beautiful boys through such an amazing organisation.
“Oros and Oscar have grown into the most stunning kitty cats. They couldn’t be more different in looks and personality, but they complement each other purr-fectly. They’ve filled our home with lots of meows, purrs, cuddles, and laughs, and we can’t picture life without them. They’ve made our house a home!”
Professional photography by @Strike a Pose Photo / Video
Lee-Ann Kaaijk shares Bailey, who was adopted from Husky Heaven Rescue
“We first spotted our Bailey on Facebook. We saw when the puppies were born on the 21st of December and I watched them grow. They were so cute as they grew through all their baby stages. Finally, in February 2021, I got to go in and choose our little Bailey.
“Baily came home in March and we’re blessed to have her with us. She’s the most loving and playful puppy ever. Bailey was born and stayed at Husky Heaven Rescue, and Brenda Meyer, the founder and owner, is the most amazing lady. She’s kind, loving and a very caring person, and her rescue centre is SO beautiful – neat and tidy – the animals in her care couldn’t be in a better rescue centre.
“We’re so grateful we could adopt Bailey and make her part of our family.”
Georgia, Bailey and Lee-Ann
Lee-Ann and Belle, Bees (centre), Georgia and Bailey
Photo credit: My Memory Photography
Dr Di Shand shares Kiki who was adopted from Hermanus Animal Welfare Society (HAWS)
“FINDING WHITE GOLD!
“We adopted Kiki just before New Year 2021. When she arrived at HAWS, alone and scared, she was only four weeks old. We met her at eight weeks and fell instantly in love. Over the festive season, HAWS had up to 90 cats and kittens up for adoption. It was so sad. There were cats and kittens everywhere, all deserving a home.
“But this little white kitty, who’s turned out to be more precious than gold, ran up to me on the window ledge and rubbed her nose against mine. That sealed our fate together. We brought her home to our naughty chocolate Labrador named Coco Mo and two other rescue cats, Savannah and Pumpkin. Kiki fitted in perfectly; Coco Mo became her protector and friend; Savannah, who was only a year old, played endlessly with her.
“Kiki has the sweetest nature and is the cuddliest kitten we’ve had to date. She loves to sleep between the pillows on our bed at night. She has a silk scarf that she loves to suck and knead before going to sleep, day or night! She then purrs like a steam train, making it hard for us to sleep! We can’t imagine life without her. She brings so much joy to us constantly.
“To crown it all, she finally met our long-lost cat, Truffles, who was found by Sandton SPCA after 16 months of being lost in Rivonia and flown to Cape Town to be reunited with us, so the family is now truly complete.”
Photo credit: Mariaan Browne (AWS PE Committee Member)
Kathryn Schmelzer shares Kitt, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth
“Kitt arrived at the shelter as her owner had passed away and she was left abandoned on the property. A family member brought her to Animal Welfare Society.
“The day I saw her, I knew I had to help her. She was covered in ticks and fleas; a shivering, scared little girl who’d lost trust in people. What attracted me to her immediately were her little eyes that looked into mine, and her EARS. I just love them!
“A week later, I brought Kitt home. She’s healed my heart and Maggie’s (our adored and adopted AWS PE Pit Bull) with the passing of Luna, our previous adopted AWS PE fur child.
“Kitt has become this bouncy, happy girl who keeps me smiling daily. I believe the day we met she was meant to be our next adopted fur child. I just love crossbreed dogs – they’re all unique and special and make the best family pets.”
Lydia Moore shares Toffee and Chance
“Toffee and Chance’s sad story of their life was shared by animal rescuer Cindy Kennerley, and it popped up out of the blue onto my Facebook feed.
“Immediately after reading the story of this mother-and-son duo, I knew they were sent to us for a reason. They needed somewhere to call their own, and I knew that place was our home.
“I contacted Cindy the same night, was sent the adoption forms, completed them, and the rest is history. They soon arrived at our house and my eldest son immediately fell in love with them. There was an instant connection.
“Chance is definitely a huge big baby. He loves lots of attention and, more so, cuddles. Toffee is a little more reserved and wasn’t sure about all the fuss and attention – a little more guarded. But, as the weeks have passed by, she’s coming out of her shell and enjoying more cuddles.
“In the beginning, they certainly didn’t like exercise at all – we’re a family that like to walk, so every day we take them for a walk at a sports field. They’d walk very slowly, one foot in front of the other. Over time, they now have a routine and enjoy their daily runs when going out. As soon as we pick up the car keys, they’re already waiting at the car. They’re really obedient and enjoy a good run on the field.
“They’ve settled down beautifully and have realised this is their forever home. They love the comforts of sleeping on the couch or, even better, on the bed. They play so beautifully together now and are fully relaxed and happy.
“We’re extremely grateful to have them in our lives. They’re part of our family now, and we look forward to growing old together.”
Eben Roets shares Vanyusha, who was adopted from Nicholson Rescue
“Our little Vanyusha weighs only 950g but is growing very quickly and has adapted very well to his new environment, along with our other three adult rescue cats.
“He’s very playful and loves to sleep on your neck. He has the most beautiful blue eyes, which we’re hoping he’ll keep, although only time will tell. We’re very curious to see how this boy will turn out when he grows into an adult in a year or so.
“We thank Lynette Nicholson for choosing us to be his parents. He surely has landed in animal heaven and will be getting much love and attention, now and forever!”
Shaun and Kendall Hopcroft share the story of Lilo, who was adopted from Paws R Us: SA
“Shortly after moving into our first home, we decided to add to our family with the love of two fur babies. We searched and searched. When we saw Lilo up for adoption we just knew she was meant to be loved by us! She’d been at the rescue centre for a couple of years, with so many people overlooking her due to her quiet and withdrawn nature.
“She arrived home first, and a week later her Bulldog puppy brother, Busta, arrived. Initially, Lilo was very distrusting and afraid of humans and appeared to have given up on life – life was non-existent in those beautiful brown eyes of hers, with her constantly hiding away and fearful to touch.
“Busta took to her immediately, although at first it wasn’t mutual, but over the months she slowly began to build her now unbreakable bond with Busta. She was incredibly patient with this boisterous and non-space-conscious growing puppy, never snapping at him and eventually taking on the role of ‘mother’. Nowadays, these two are inseparable and can often be found chasing one another round the garden and on our couches!
“Slowly, Lilo gained confidence with her human parents, first mom and then dad – accepting cuddles and kind touches. She’s become the most loving dog who constantly wants affection and will allow anyone to give her a tummy tickle. She’s now our fun-loving, soft, beautiful little girl, and life wouldn’t be the same without her.”
George (back) and Bob
Kerry MacDonald shares Bob and George who were found at and rescued from a car parking lot
"Bob and George are now five months old, and all they do is play and eat… yes, they eat a lot! We have a big garden in which they love to roam, and they’ve recently discovered the coolest park right next door.
“When they’re not out spying on the other neighbourhood cats and driving our dogs nuts, they’re little purring machines looking for endless love and attention – which we’re happy to give them!
“They really are living their best lives with us. Adopting them as part of our family was the best thing ever. Every day with them, watching them get up to endless adventures in our home, is a pure delight!”
Bob and George
Sabrina Oschmann shares Dash, who was adopted from TEARS
“We adopted Dash at the age of six months, and she’s turning 10 in May. We had to choose between her and her sister – I chose her because, as I sat in the playpen, she came and lay in my lap and fell asleep. Normally, people would choose the more playful puppy, but this little one climbed right into my heart when she climbed into my lap.
“She hasn’t changed, and, to this day, her favourite position is to hug or lie in your lap. Dash is beautiful inside and out and protects her little non-blood brother Oreo whenever she needs to.”
Nandi Canning shares Bijou and Archie, who were adopted from Nicholson Rescue
“Lynette Nicholson needed a foster home for three kittens found in a box near Vereeniging. Since it was lockdown and we were pretty much home bound, I offered to be a first-time foster mom. There was method in my madness, as I’m mad about gingers and one of the litter was a fluffy little ginger – I knew immediately that he’d conveniently be a ‘foster failure’!
“The silver tabby (Bijou) was already booked, but that didn’t stop us from falling in love with Archie and his tabby brother, Charlie, now Merlot. The day finally arrived for Charlie to leave, and we were sad but happy in the knowledge that his new mom, Steph Barker, already adored him and would give him a safe home. Next, it was Bijou’s turn, and just little Archie remained... But then, Bijou’s new mom sent us a message: she felt terrible taking him away from us and his brother Archie and would love for us to have Bijou back.
“Needless to say, we were thrilled and, 24 hours later, little Biji and Archie were reunited and have been BFFs ever since. We adore our fur kids – they bring us so much joy and happiness. They were the best thing to happen to us during lockdown!”
Photo credit: Veronica Strydom Photography
Veronica Strydom shares her “two black beauties”, Nala and Mufasa
“Nala is a four-year-old old Pit Bull-Boerboel cross (we suspect she has some Labrador in her as well). We got her when she was six weeks old, an unwanted pup, covered in ticks and fleas. She’s the most kind-hearted dog ever.
“She loves her humans and her brother, Mufasa, but is very picky when it comes to other dogs.
“Mufasa is a one-year-old, purebred Pit Bull (with a great bloodline). When he was three months old, his owner moved and couldn’t take him with them, so we adopted him. He’s the friendliest dog ever (and sometimes this actually makes people scared of him).
“They truly are my pride & joy, and they even have their own Instagram account
Kai (left) and Cooper
Photo credit: @Strike a Pose Photo/Video
Chantal and Anthony Walley share Kai and Cooper
“On our morning walk in our neighbourhood on Thursday the 30th of April 2020, Anthony and I passed by a park and watched a family’s delight as two tiny little furry bundles frolicked over the icy grass, stumbling around as they were still figuring out their feet and body balance. This beautiful sight got Anthony and I ‘ooww-ing and aaah-ing’ over these little bundles and asking more about them.
“Demi Jacobs shared that the pups (thought to be siblings) had just been rescued – one in exchange for a chicken, and the other in exchange for bread flour – from a very sad situation that they managed to survive. Demi mentioned that she needed to find a good forever home for them. Well, right there and then, we committed to taking them in and giving them the love, safety, shelter, and companionship they needed.
“By the Monday, we could collect our babies and take them home with us.
“They’ve grown, are so strong and are such happy, happy babies, and I can’t believe it’s now almost a year that we’ve had them with us; we changed their world and they changed ours!”
Louise Pinkham shares Spike
“Spike’s previous owners were returning to Russia and he had nowhere to go. Animal rescuer Ana Bibis came across his plight and I offered him a home.
“He came to the Pinkham household, skinny and neurotic, after living in a tiny flat and being terrorised by children. And now he’s a little on the chunky side and lazy!
“He wants to play with some of the young girl cats, but they want nothing to do with him. He lies around in the garden all day and will only appear when he hears food being dropped into bowls. His indoor favourite spot is the bathroom basin, in which he lounges like a king. He’d be a human version of a stereotypical nerd, down to the freckles on his nose. His personality outdoes his looks, though – you just have to love him!
“From Alberton to Pretoria, and happy as Larry now!”
Mileigh (left) and Peanut (right)
Sharon Bester shares Mileigh, adopted through animal rescuer Dana Wainman
“I adopted my dog Peanut from Kerstin Fuchsloch and needed a fur baby friend for him. I also wanted another puppy so they could grow up together.
“Scrolling through Facebook, I saw the pictures of an abandoned mommy and her pups, and at the same time, Kerstin tagged me – I immediately got in touch with Dana Wainman and this is how I adopted Mileigh.
“Now my two beautiful fur babies have their forever home.”
Susan Thesen shares Harry, who was adopted from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre
“Harry was found alongside the highway, cars whizzing by. His owners were never traced, and he was always overlooked.
“Harry was rejected by others because he’s slightly squint with strange eyelids. They missed out on the most loving and special cat! We’ve had six very special years with him and love him to bits. Thank you for trusting us with this special guy!”
Photo credit: Nadia Lingenfelder
Bianca Wilkinson shares Yuki, who was adopted from Halfway Haven
“If I had to describe Yuki in a few words, it would definitely be FIERCELY LOYAL, ENTERTAINING and SURVIVOR.
“Yuki was found almost beaten to death, suffering tick bite fever and was kept on a leash that made it barely possible for her to move. Unfortunately, she lost her leg and almost one of her eyes, but she doesn’t let that stop her from enjoying life.
“To get Yuki to trust us and even put a leash on her took a long time, a lot of positive reinforcement and patience, but we succeeded. Yuki follows us all over the house. If we need to slip out and are not able to take her along, we get back to our whole shoe collection in her bed… but without not a single scratch on them.
“She’s now great with other people and our cats too; always greets them with a wagging tail.
“She taught us patience, determination and to remain with your head up no matter how horrible things may get. Yuki showed us that every dog has potential no matter how broken they once were.”
Photo credit: Jackie Wernberg Photography
Monique Bayes shares little Archie
“Archie and his five siblings were found in a box on the side of the road in Penzance, Hout Bay. They were just hours old. Tracy, who funds the rescues personally and sometimes works with Fallen Angels, fostered three of the kittens, and a veterinary nurse friend took the other three. They had to be bottle fed every two hours, 24 hours a day.
“Archie couldn’t use his front legs; they were tucked in behind him. He was taken to the vet, who diagnosed possible nerve damage in utero or during birth. Tracy spent many hours teaching him to bring his legs forward and, as he grew, he learnt to walk. He’s still wobbly and often leaves his front legs behind, especially when he gets overexcited.
“I was looking for a kitten to keep my older cat company as I’m often out during the day. I believe that cats choose their owners, and he definitely melted my heart as he was tiny for his age, only weighing 500g and quite wobbly on his feet.
“Archie is the perfect ‘Flat Cat’, as I live in an apartment. He’s picking up weight and is an adorable little boy who’s landed with his bum in the butter.”
Paola van Zyl shares Rocco, who was adopted from Boksburg SPCA
“Rocco was rescued from a life where he was being kept in a trolley with no food and water. He had no blanket and had to lie on bricks and wire. He had scratches on his stomach from where the wires cut him…
“I saw the post on Facebook and took one look at this sad face in that trolley and decided there and then that Rocco would be my dog and he’d live the life he so deserves! I called the SPCA first thing on Monday morning and took my other dogs to meet him that same day. By the Saturday, we were able to embrace, kiss and hug this gorgeous dog.
“He’s settled in beautifully and we live on a plot, so he has plenty of space to run. If that front door just opens, he’s out in a flash.
“He has a very bad bow leg and we had him at the vet last week – it looks like his growth plate was injured, and we’re waiting to hear if he’ll need surgery. While we were at the vet, the lady who rescued Rocco was taking in an animal for treatment and she immediately recognised Rocco and was so happy to see him again with us, his new family.
“Rocco is our second rescue from the SPCA, and he’s definitely our little baby!”
Tessa shares Gertjie – from feral to firm friend
“In the middle of lockdown, I found a feral kitten in our garden. I asked around to see if someone was missing their kitten, but it was soon evident that he was completely wild. I couldn’t get close to him for months. He would come for breakfast and dinner but run away as soon as I tried to approach him. I persisted and later he’d sit with me while I talked to him, although still at a distance.
“I knew I had to get him neutered ASAP but had no idea how to get him to the vet. Someone told me to contact Capetonians Against Animal Abuse, and Sura was so kind and helped me to trap him.
“I wanted to try and rehabilitate him, and although I wasn’t optimistic, I followed Sura’s advice and, slowly but surely (and a few scratches later…), he started trusting me.
“Gertjie is now my shadow and sleeps in our bed. He’s the sweetest cat ever. He rarely leaves the house and meets me at the door when I come home from work. I sometimes wonder if he still remembers being hungry, cold and wet during the winter.
“I really hope that Gertjie’s story of rags to riches (as I do believe he’s the most spoiled cat ever) will inspire someone to give another kitty a chance to a warm and loving home. Not everyone can adopt or foster, but everyone can support NGOs by donating, networking and raising awareness for the plight of the voiceless.”
Left to right: Cuba, Koda and Tyson
Karey Neal shares her trio of Pit Bulls
“We met a lady whose dogs were having unexpected puppies and she needed a home for the puppies. She happily gave us the puppies, and we took care of them and they became our very own. Sadly, she later on passed on from Covid-19, so we’re really happy we could give them a home.
“Koda and Cuba are girls, and Tyson is our boy. They all have a very specific bond. Cuba is a very aware individual, and Koda is more the baby who can’t break out of her habits of being the puppy that she is! Tyson is very athletic and ever ready for a walk or a jog!
“They even have their own Instagram page: @thelifeofpitbulls, where you can follow their antics.”
Hilette Hatting shares Olive, who was adopted from SPCA Uitenhage
“Olive is our precious little four-month-old kitten we adopted recently. I’ve never been to the SPCA, and my husband, Ruan, took me there to cheer me up as I was struggling to cope with our cat, Chloe’s, crossing over the rainbow bridge. As we walked around the premises, all these little faces came running up to us, each one desperate to be noticed.
“My eye caught Olive immediately as we walked past. She was a bit shy and not as wild as the younger kittens. She mostly stayed in the background, but when I stretched out my hand, she came running and rubbed against me and started purring, and we knew straight away that she was the one! We went to sign all the papers, passed the home check, and waited for her to be sterilised.
“We brought her home a week or two later, and she went from a shy kitten to a party animal in 0.2 seconds and fits right in with the Hatting household now. She takes turns with the others to run up the Trellidor and zooms around the house at 3AM in the morning for no reason.
“In the beginning, she couldn’t decide which bed to lie in or which toys to play with, so she’d lie in her bed and herd all the toys so she could have it all at once. Olive is one sweet little girl who’s wild at heart.”
Photo credit: Lucid Dreams Photography
Samantha de Wet shares Shelly, who was adopted from TEARS
“We were looking to adopt a dog companion for my mom. One of her elderly dogs had passed away and her remaining dog, Gypsy, was slowing down and couldn’t do the two walks a day that my mom enjoyed so much. Gypsy had also gone deaf, raising our concern that she wouldn’t alert my Mom to any possible intruders. So, we were looking not only for a companion for Gypsy, but also a slightly younger dog who could enjoy those early morning walks with my mom and be the new watchdog as well as a friend.
“When I arrived at TEARS, I was led through to the back office. On my way there, I was met by what I can only describe as a ‘ray of sunshine’ – Shelly (then named Sheena) was in the middle office with Luke Kruyt, the kennel manager. Luke had been fostering her, but it was now time for her to come to TEARS to look for her forever home.
“I was immediately drawn to her soft eyes and playful nature and was very happy to be told that she was indeed up for adoption. I knew straight away that she was the one – she had an aura about her that I couldn’t quite explain.
“When Shelly arrived at my mom’s home, it was evident that the one thing she didn’t lack was energy: she had loads of it. We were suddenly concerned that maybe she was too much for my mom. But Shelly needed my mom, and my mom needed Shelly.
“The one thing my mom doesn’t lack is patience, and she’s also very strict about routine. And patience and routine are just what Shelly needed. In the beginning, the morning routines were chaos; the mere mention of ‘walk time’ would have Shelly running madly around the house, grabbing my mom’s walking jacket by the sleeve and flinging it around the room before dashing off to chase the cats in all directions. But, with patience and perseverance, we soon trained her to sit quietly in the morning before her walk.
“Shelly is one of the most intelligent dogs we’ve ever met: every morning she wakes my mom up at exactly 05h30 with a gentle nudge. She’s also one of the friendliest and most gentle dogs, and she loves her afternoon playtime with all her dog friends at the local park.
“Shelly is definitely one of those ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ dogs, the one who teaches you something about yourself that you never knew. We’re truly blessed to have her in our lives.
“My mom says that, although it was tough in the beginning, she knew Shelly just needed direction. Now, she can’t imagine her life without Shelly.
“Shelly is an amazing dog. She’s friendly, intelligent and a great companion, and we’re also very happy that Shelly and Teddy have bonded so well.”
Susan Thesen shares Fred, who was adopted from Fisantekraal Animal Welfare
“Fred was adopted in 2019. Butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth when he’s asleep, but when he’s awake, he’s an absolute character. He barged into his new home and made himself indispensible very quickly!
“Fred was abandoned by his owner in Morning Star (Durbanville) and left to fend for himself on the streets. Kind neighbours tried to keep an eye on him, but it isn’t safe there for homeless cats, so they asked FAW to take him and find him a new home. He came to me as a foster and, within days, was a foster failure. He fitted in so well with my other animals – at the time, two cats, two Poodles, and four tortoises (all rescues).
“Thank you, FAW, for our very special cuddle cat. We can’t imagine life without our Fred!”
Photography credit: @Strike a Pose Photo / Video
Brad and Toni Forrest share Mister Higgins, who was adopted from English and French Bulldog Rescue South Africa
“Mister Higgins has been a dream adoption – he came to us as quite old and very anxious, but he’s settled in very well and is an absolute joy. His name was Higgins, but due to his age, we gave him the title of Mister out of respect, although he’s fondly known as Higgy.
“We adopted him in October 2019, after his parents emigrated. He’s bonded deeply with his new dad and follows him everywhere – he’s the epitome of loyalty. He loves walks, despite his age and very stiff back legs. With all the ailments that Bulldogs usually bring, Mister Higgins is in immaculate health.
“Higgins is the ultimate companion and just wants to be where his people are – that’s all he needs to keep him happy. Mister Higgins, aka Higgy, we’re so lucky to have you in our lives, and you put such a smile on our hearts when your whole body wags in excitement. Despite all the emotional baggage that comes with being abandoned, Higgy now offers kisses on demand, is best brothers with Boellie and the world’s biggest sweetheart. (Read Boellie’s Happy Tale here).”
Mr Higgins (left) and Boellie (right)
Nelmie Skinner shares Sir Lancelot, who was adopted from Nicholson Rescue
“Sir Lancelot, aka Lance, crept into my heart from the very first day I saw him on Lynette Nicholson’s Facebook page. I just knew I needed him in my life.
“He’d been starved and was suffering malnutrition when rescued. He came to us on the 24th of August 2020 as a 2.4kg purr baby. He was so tiny and weak, I wasn’t sure our new baby would make it, so we administered regular sub-cutaneous fluids to aid in hydration and gave him all the delicious food his little heart could ever wish for. Slowly, his balance improved, and he could make his own way onto the couch.
“And then, just like that, he started playing with his purr brothers and sister, chasing them around the garden. He loves stealing our swimming towels when we’re in the pool. Our Lance is definitely the peacemaker in the family – whenever there’s a tiff between the other purrs, he steps in between them and breaks the tension. Perhaps being the biggest kid in the house, weighing in at almost 5kg, helps. He’s the most remarkable little soul that demands undivided attention and endless cuddles.
“We’re so thankful he chose us as his family!”
Tay Nalla shares Isla, who was adopted from FORA
“At the beginning of 2011, it was time for my first pet, Titan, to have a companion. I’d already chosen a name for a dog that would become a great part of my life: Isla. When I met her at FORA at only a few weeks old, her distinctive colouring caught my eye – her right front paw is darker than her remaining white paws. She also has a black tail with a tiny dot of white at the end. Already such a beauty, it’s not surprising that in that moment, I’d found my Isla.
“From fitting in the palm of my hand, she now has the bark of a wolf and a heart of gold. Ten years have rolled by, but she still wags her tail when I ask, ‘Who’s my FORA puppy?’. Sometimes in life you just need a big furry hug and a dog who still thinks she can fit into the palm of your hand.”
Anton Kleingeld shares AndyCat, who was adopted from Nicholson Rescue
“I adopted AndyCat for a very special reason: when I worked in Mexico, I had two very dear friends called Andrea (Andy for short); I decided that if ever I adopted a brother for Phoenix (my ginger tabby), I’d call him Andy. So, when I saw a Facebook post from Lynette Nicholson for a little kitty cat called Andy, I knew the universe was sending me a message: he’s The One!
“Since moving in, Andy has embraced me as his dad from day one. He’s a real daddy’s boy and follows me around everywhere! He sleeps with me at night and is by my side during the day when I work. He loves to play and will chase anything that moves. He has loads of energy!
“AndyCat and Phoenix have become the best of friends, chasing each other through the house like lunatics (especially at 4AM in the morning!). He’s a big purr machine and loves kneading dough on his blanket (making the cutest little sucky-sucky noises) when I lie next to him.
“He really has breathed new life into my and Phoenix’s lives!
“P.S. AndyCat came from Lynette with his beloved Mr Tomato toy (pictured) which he’s very attached to.”
Hannah Neethling shares Lucas, who was adopted from Imagine Animal Dreams
“From the first day we met Lucas, we fell in love and have only grown fonder and fonder. He’s got a personality of his own and, boy, is he a difficult one to cook for!
“He has my husband, Driesman, wrapped around his little finger, and Lucas is being hand fed at mealtimes – I know… so spoilt rotten! But he had a difficult time until now, and how can you NOT spoil this precious little boy?
“Our lives are changed forever since adopting him, and our life is good and very happy now!”
Liandre Deacon shares Quinny, adopted from Boksburg SPCA
“Quinny is a very calm dog, and although he’s deaf, he copes well, just following his siblings around. We renamed him Quinny as Quinn is a big name for such a small boy of only 3.7kg.
“My other puppies (three Maltese Poodles named Lenny, Gizmo and Pika) have accepted him with open paws. Quinny doesn’t know how to bark yet, but I’m sure that, with time, he’ll join the rest of the crew.
“He loves grass, probably because he didn’t have access to it for so long, and he enjoys sleeping in ‘mommy’s’ bed (with big brother Gizmo).
“An important message from Quinny: ‘Please adopt, never shop.’”
Photo credit: Jackie Wernberg Photography
Janet Wolfsohn shares Tammy, her precious “old lady”
“In 2008, we received a call from someone we knew who was desperately looking for a home for a Labrador pup who was about 12 weeks old. A family had bought a puppy for their young daughter, but sadly she turned out to be highly allergic to dogs and couldn’t breathe around Tammy, and so they had to give her away. The pup had spent most of her nights in their outside bathroom to minimise contact with their daughter.
“My husband drove from our home in Claremont on a Friday evening all the way to Somerset West to fetch her, and she was the sweetest pup. We’ve always had Labradors and, at the time, had an older girl – Shadow – who took on a mommy role. The two of them had an incredible bond.
“Tammy will turn 13 in August this year. She’s a fantastic watchdog and fiercely protective of her family. She’s a gentle soul and very loving once you get to know her. She gives Ruby a good woof or two every now and again to keep her in order!”
Charmain Hopcroft shares Harvey, who was adopted from the Roodepoort SPCA
“We adopted Harvey at the end of October 2020. He was such an anxious little boy who was afraid of everything, but within three weeks and after two behaviour lessons, he became a different boy.
“Harvey has learnt all basic commands and has discovered that he can swim. Nowadays, he spends his days swimming and playing rope games with our other three dogs. He’s such a gentle, energetic boy who just loves life now!”
Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Georgia Couvaras (11) shares Belle, who was adopted from Woodrock Animal Rescue Centre.
“My mom and I decided it was time for a dog and agreed that a puppy would be the best option as we have two kitties, and it would be easier to integrate the pup into our family without upsetting our cats too much.
“Belle has fitted in perfectly, and we love playing together in our garden, and, of course, going for walks with her cousins (my aunt’s dogs).
“Belle is the best puppy in the world (well, to me at least)!”
Ingrid Mittner shares Ryuk, who was adopted from Nicholson Rescue
“Ryuk is my very long, fluffy, ginger-and-white boy who’s named after my favourite character in an anime series. One of my biggest blessings in life as a photographer is having one incredibly photogenic cat!
“He’s a wonderfully vocal boy, and we have conversations all the time (when he isn’t sleeping, eating my shoelaces and terrorising my plants). While I was a student, I was working at an animal hospital, and it was one of the best jobs I ever had. It was here that I met lovely Lynette Nicholson, who runs a rescue for kitties called Nicholson Rescue.
“When I moved out of home and into my own space, it was time I got a companion. I contacted Lynette and she showed me a picture of Ryuk (who was named Milkshake at the time and was about 1.5 years old already) and I fell in LOVE.
“He’s been the best part of my world for the last four years. I could write forever about this wonderful boy and the incredible work that Lynette has done.”
Photo credit: Nat Gold ZA
Jessica Davidson and Andrew Lockwood share Jasmine
“Jasmine is our 10-year-old small dog (she only weighs about 5kg). She’s always been grey and fluffy, which people find adorable. We adopted her in Johannesburg after she was found in a cage in a warehouse where it appeared as though she’d been used as a bait dog in illegal dog fighting rings. Unfortunately, we can’t remember the name of the shelter we rescued her from.
“When she was found she had a crushed trachea, three broken legs and broken ribs. She was very distrustful of people and dogs growing up. She loved being a guard dog (she sat in the front room and alerted the house whenever a stranger was at the gate) and absolutely loves hunting birds and rodents. Unfortunately, she also loves to roll in grass, mud and bird poop.
“After moving with us to Cape Town, Belle has grown in confidence and now loves greeting new dogs. We actually take her along with us when we work with dogs that have behavioural problems. She’s also a lot more easy-going around people and has even learned to swim, although she certainly isn’t a water dog.
“We love taking her everywhere with us and strongly believe that, although she’s a small breed, she’s capable of everything any other dog can do. She loves hiking and is capable of jumping incredibly high. Even though she’s 10 years old, she easily keeps up with our other dog, Misty (5) and the younger dogs at the shelter.
“She’s got cute Batman-like ears and can be quite vocal – she doesn’t bark a lot, but she gives sighs of satisfaction before she goes for a nap. She’s acutely aware of how we are and can tell when we’re sick or otherwise unwell and will sit with us and lick us almost like she’s trying to take care of us.”
Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Antois Ferreira shares Milo and Myia
“Milo and Myia are both rescues we adopted as puppies. Milo was from Husky Rescue South Africa and Myia from Kitty and Puppy Haven.
“Myia joined us almost two years ago, and she and Milo have become very good friends (Milo taught her all his good manners).
“Milo does, unfortunately, have a condition with his spine and hips that prevents him from playing ALL the time. So, when Ava came around, Myia and Ava couldn’t stop playing. Milo joins in for as long as he can and then retreats to the couch to watch some TV. (Yes, our dogs are more inside our home than we are!)”
Left to right: Myia, Milo and Ava
Karen Dunn shares Mia and Charlie, who were adopted from Pomeranian Rescue South Africa
“Last year, we had to put my precious Lulu (Toy Pom) to sleep. She was only six years old. My son had surprised me with her when I turned 50. She brought so much love and happiness into our home. But, sadly, she developed a terrible autoimmune disease, and although the vet tried everything to save her, she didn’t make it. My heart was broken.
“I then joined the Pomeranian Rescue page on Facebook. I didn’t want to get a new Toy Pom just yet, but then one Sunday morning, while I was scrolling through the posts, there were Charlie and Mia. I just knew that they were meant for us.
“Despite their very sad past, they’ve settled in very well. We even took them on holiday with us to Scottburgh in December. They’ve settled in so well and are so happy. We absolutely adore them.
“They’re the light of our lives after a very dark 2020.”
Kathy Aronson shares Meg, who was adopted from Border Collie Rescue
“Meg grew up on a sheep farm and unfortunately developed severe anxiety while training as a sheepdog, so it was decided to rehome her through Border Collie Rescue.
“I saw her photo and, once having met, couldn’t help falling in love with her.
“She’s the gentlest soul, gets on with every dog she interacts with, and is friendly to my two cats and Yorkies.
“I’m so blessed to have her in my family.”
Leanne Ragaller shares her rescue Borzoi, Miyuki, who was adopted from Sighthound Rescue SA
“Miyuki was rescued in November 2019 by the amazing organisation Sighthound Rescue SA. She came to us a petrified, hairless and dirt-ridden, underweight little soul.
“Miyuki lives with us in Cape Town. We travel a lot with the dogs and took her to see the snow in winter, as her breed actually comes from Russia. She LOVED the snow!
“In the past year, with love and patience, she’s gone from strength to strength and is slowly learning to trust people again. We’re so blessed to have her in our lives!”
Steph Barker shares Skye, who was adopted from Nicholson Rescue
“What a ball of personality this little girl has! She is so very brave with our bigger eight-month-old kitten – you’d never say she was only 12 weeks old!
“When she waltzed into the house, you’d swear she’d lived here the whole time. Such a missus! But she has the sweetest, most loving personality – she’s the perfect fit.
“She’s still suckling, which is totally adorable, and she sleeps so well (much to our relief – our other kitty is a 3AM child). She’s found her way into our hearts so quickly, and we’re so very lucky to have adopted such a special fur baby.”
Laina Jordan shares Looli, adopted from Hartbeespoort Animal Welfare Society
“Looli came to me as a foster in 2012 after being confiscated in the Hartbeespoort area along with a litter of her puppies. Looli had been chained in a bricked courtyard, being bred litter after litter in terrible conditions. She had a dislocated front leg, severe skin allergies and was a skinny skeleton.
“We didn’t think she was going to survive at the time of her rescue, but I was working for Barking Mad at the time and love hairless dogs so welcomed the opportunity to give her a chance at a new start in life.
“I took Looli (then named Valica) home; she was a bundle of bones and a sad soul. With some TLC, good food and medical attention, this little dog blossomed. She’s so grateful and loving, and I fell in love with her entirely so decided to adopt her officially through HAWS and have never looked back.
“Looli is a gentle, sweet Mexican Hairless girl who loves lying around, going on the swing, cuddles and food.”
Hester Louw shares George, who was adopted from Cluny Animal Trust
“Imagine a life where no one loves you or wants you; where you just get passed around. All you want is someone to love you, pat you on the head, feed you and look after you... and in return you’ll be their very best friend forever. That was George.
“George’s life was threatened and, with thanks to Cluny Animal Trust, he was saved! We adopted him a year ago, and he’s definitely landed with his bum in the butter.
“He’s loved more than you can imagine, and he’ll be leaving SA later this year for a new life with us in Louisville, Kentucky. An amazing story, a township dog from the Free State making it all the way to the US of A!”
Editor’s note: Watch out for George’s Happy Tale on www.happytailsmagazine once he’s reached his final destination!
Karli Macintosh shares Skinny-Malinky Long-Legs, who was adopted from Sighthound Rescue SA
“We adopted Skinny-Malinky Long-Legs a year ago. She came from a rural township area in the Karoo, and all her siblings from her litter had died. She was very, very ill when she was little – viral gastro, dehydration and hookworm. Her mum is a black-grey Wolfhound cross, and her father was a black Greyhound.
“Skinny-Malinky is clever and easy to train. She can sit, lie down, shake hands and ‘leave’. She loves zoomies and the beach. Every morning she comes over to my side of the bed for ear scratches. Whenever she yawns, she lets out a chatty ‘Rooaaar’.
“Our house has lots of rescues. A three-legged dog named Chili, from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre; Bubbles, a dog from African Tails; three cats (two from Cape Town Feral Cat Project and one from African Tails); two rescue bunnies; and two chickens – and they all feature on my Instagram @k.mackintosh.”
Layla Davies shares Killer, whom she adopted as an unwanted puppy
“Killer is a larger-than-life Jack Russell who’s always there for you when you just need him.
“He was attacked when he was about four by a Bull Terrier, which cracked his jaw and resulted in him having to have it removed in surgery – now his tongue permanently hangs out.
“He’s our family dog, and he’s just so caring, and we love him to bits!”
Photo credit: Lauren Setterberg Photography
Tammy van Niekerk shares Grim, JoJo and Penny
“When friends of ours emigrated, we adopted their three bunnies, Grim, JoJo and Penny.
“Grim, aka Grimmy, is a three-year-old grey bunny; JoJo, who’s snow-white with small caramel patches; and then there’s toffee-coloured Penny, our only female.
“Penny is such a cuddler – if you hold her, she snuggles into your neck and will quite happily stay snuggled up to you for as long as you need cuddles. I actually call her my therapy bunny; she’s just the best companion and is always ready with a cuddle.
“The bunnies are free roaming in my garden. It’s really lovely to sit quietly on the garden bench and they all hop to you to say hello (and get the inevitable treats).”
Left to right: Penny, JoJo and Grim
Photo credit: Kym Clayton Photography
Chris Viljoen shares Stevie Wonder, aka Rockstar, who was adopted from Lucky Lucy Cat Foundation
“It was love at first sight with Rocky (excuse the ‘pun’). He came to us a little over two years ago when he was about one year old and had just lost both his eyes due to illness. He’s been part of the family since then and has never looked backed.
“He’s an absolute testament to how a special-needs fur ball has adapted to his environment and is living his life to the fullest, providing much joy and happiness to his adoptive parents along the way.”
Editor’s note: Read Stevie Wonder’s entire, amazing Happy Tale here
Photo credit: Kym Clayton Photography
Back: Daisy, Yip, and Yap
Front: Luna and Laylah
Ingrid Perie shares her five of her Salukis, rescued from the streets of Qatar!
“Yip (a feathered Saluki) and Yap (smooth Saluki) are sisters who were rescued along with their two siblings, mom and dad from the desert – they’d been cruelly dumped in the middle of nowhere.
“The ‘Black Jacks’ are sisters Luna and Laylah; their mother was dumped and was roaming the streets from which she was rescued… and produced eight pups the following morning. I adopted Laylah first; after the other pups had been adopted and Luna didn’t have a home, I said, ‘What’s another Saluki!’ and adopted her too.
“Daisy was living on a construction site along with two other siblings. There was no sign of their mom. I saw her at the vet when they were getting a health check and decided to add another to the pack.”
PS. I have since adopted another five Salukis… watch out for their Happy Tale coming soon to www.happytailsmagazine.co.za!
We found a sofa that was dumped next to the beach in the mangroves, and the hounds loved jumping all over it.
Yip, Yap, Luna and Laylah, running through a small estuary in the desert. Their favourite running place where they spend hours!
Salome Bruyns shares Stevie Wonder
“Stevie Wonder is the most special dog in the world!
“He adopted me last year November when he was a tiny, fluffy blind puppy, and he soon became my foster failure.”
Bianca Wilkinson shares Tammy, adopted from Capetonians Against Animal Abuse (CAAA)
“When we first brought Tammy home, she’d lie in the quietest room in the house in a small bundle. But that small bundle soon turned into long stretches. My worries of her wetting the bed due to anxiety soon turned into worrying if my lap was big enough for her and her new sister.
“My worries soon turned into ease when I realised that I’d always be kept safe from any insects.
“Seeing her this happy and comfortable is the most satisfying feeling. We didn’t adopt a new cat – we got a new family member.”
Yoda (left) and Pepper
Hilette Hatting shares her rescue cats, Yoda and Pepper
“Pepper had an older ‘brother from another mother’ that passed away a couple of months ago. He was very sad, and we decided to adopt a five-week-old kitten that was rescued from a farm where wild dogs had killed their mommy.
“It was as if Pepper knew we adopted the kitten for him, and they formed a special bond from day one.
“Yoda had his fair share of heartache from a young age with the tragic loss of his mommy, but he also had a bad case of tick bite fever and feline calicivirus, which he fought like a champ with that little body. Today he’s five months old and rules the house, chasing his big brother around as much as he can. His hobbies include hanging from burglar bars and chasing/attacking feet. He also has a personal goal of destroying all the toilet paper in the world. Boys will be boys.”
Erica Burger shares Willow
“Willow was rescued as a stray one cold winter’s night of August 2017. Courageous Willow went in search of help that icy night and never imagined how her life would change. She wasn’t claimed and got adopted by a family in Moreletapark. Sadly, she escaped a few days later, and I only found her three months later after offering a reward. It turned out that she lived in horrible conditions in an informal settlement in the East of Pretoria.
“I then adopted Willow myself. She had every tick and flea imaginable on her. Her right hind foot had been caught in a trap as well and had to heal by itself. My baby girl didn’t even know that she could have a meal every day.
“She’s the apple of my eye, and as long as I live, she’ll never have to fend for herself again. She now has a mom, dad and two four-legged brothers to look after her – always!”
Teepee (left) and Nelson
Colleen Smith shares Teepee and Nelson, her rescue cats
“Teepee was surrendered to me whilst we were on an ODIN (Oudtshoorn Dogs In Need) outreach mission because his owner could no longer care for him.
“Nelson was rescued from living under a car in Deyselsdorp.
“Teepee and Nelson are the best of friends!”
Molly (left) and Gus
Photo credit: Jackie Wernberg Photography
Lesley Smith shares Molly and Gus, who were adopted through Furry Friends
“Darren and I got married in May 2019 and had always agreed to get a dog once we were married and settled, as pets are a huge commitment. I was adamant that it had to be a rescue and not a puppy, as older dogs often get overlooked. I love small dogs, and after researching characteristics of breeds, we decided a Pekingese was the one for us. I follow a number of rescue pages on Facebook, including two for rehoming Pekingese specifically based in Johannesburg.
“We were planning on going to Johannesburg to choose our fur baby, but as luck would have it, my sister came across a bonded pair of young Pekingese dogs up for rehoming in Cape Town that were being networked on the Furry Friends Facebook page.
“I convinced Darren that two was better than one, contacted Furry Friends and arranged to meet two-year-old Molly (previously Mia) and three-year-old Gus that very weekend. We took them home a week later, on Saturday the 29th of February.
“They adjusted to us and our home in no time at all. They’re just the best, and we love them to bits.”
Lauren Setterberg shares Cadbury
“Earlier this year, I had to say goodbye to my beloved Soul Bun, Dixie. It was an incredibly painful time for me, and I still miss him with all my heart. One day, I was sitting by his grave and asked him to send me any messages he’d want me to hear. I felt as if he said, ‘Mamas, I don’t want you to cry anymore. Please love another bun the way you loved me. That would make me so happy.’ Dixie had been bonded to one of my other bun babies who’s called Cindy, aka Cinnabun. I sat with her and asked her to give me a sign when she felt ready for a new friend one day.
“On the Saturday night, I noticed Cinnabun snuggling beside an ornamental hedgehog in the way she used to snuggle Dixie! She was doing all sorts of things that she never normally does, and I finally felt as if the time had come to find her a new mate.
“The next day, I went to visit a friend of mine and she said, ‘You won’t believe it, a boy bunny was just surrendered to me today.’ I peeked into his hutch and couldn’t believe it – he looked like a chocolate version of Dixie – hence his name, Cadbury! It turned out that the day his family had surrendered him was the same day I’d felt called to find Cinnabun a friend. I went home to prep for his arrival and could barely sleep knowing he was coming soon!
“I collected him that Wednesday, and he settled in immediately! He loves to run, dig, and groom Cinnabun. He also adores being nuzzled on the bridge of his nose, and I feel so blessed to have him as part of the fur squad. Cadbury will never replace Dixie (and I’d never expect him to). I love him for his own playful, happy energy and the joy he brings to my home!”
Nafisa Desbois shares Lulu Belle, who was adopted from the SPCA
“I was volunteering at the local SPCA around February 2017 when three young children from an impoverished area came in with a puppy, which looked like a Yorkie, with a broken leg. They had no means of looking after her or paying for any of her medical treatment, and they had surrendered her.
“At the time, I was involved with fundraising, and we ran a campaign to raise money for her medical treatment and surgery. My husband and I contributed substantially to this campaign, but that was only the beginning of our story.
“It was love at first sight. I convinced my husband that we should adopt her… and we did. Lulu Belle, as we named her, arrived at her new home on the 1st of April 2017. She was in awe of her new fur siblings, Cleo, Caesar and Pebbles. Everyone fussed over her.
“After many months of therapy and care, Lulu Belle blossomed into this amazingly cute being that is loved and treasured. Everyone in our neighbourhood knows Lulu Belle because she never leaves home without taking her teddy or ball for a walk with her. She could also be mistaken for being a greyhound as she sprints in the garden, with no trace of her having had a broken leg at such a tender age.
“Finding Lulu Belle has led me to a path helping other rescues and not a day goes by without us looking at Lulu Belle with awe and love.”
Photo credit: Lauren Setterberg Photography
Tammy van Niekerk shares Mr Whittington, who was adopted from Kitty Care Durban
“I was at the vet during lockdown in March 2020 as my cat, Anthony, wasn’t well. That’s where I met Megan Whittington from Kitty Care Durban; she had with her three of the tiniest black-and-white kittens I’d ever seen! They were in bad shape. We exchanged numbers, and I promised myself I’d adopt them if they made it; I couldn’t believe such littlies would survive! They had tummy bugs and hydrocephalus; their eyes weren’t centred on their faces due to the condition.
“I kept in contact with Megan, and, sadly, two of the kittens didn’t make it. I adopted the remaining kitten, a male whom I named after his foster mom, hence the name ‘Mr Whittington’.
“Mr Whittington, or as he’s nicknamed, Nitzy, is the sweetest little boy. He just wants to be cuddled. From his early days, Megan gave him so much love and attention that he just wants to be held all the time. In fact, Nitzy loves to be held so much that I have a scarecrow sitting on a bench and he sleeps in the scarecrow’s lap when I garden.
“He’s extremely friendly and gets on with all our other pets – he grooms the guinea pigs and rabbits and loves to cuddle up to the chinchilla. He even naps in the bunny’s cage sometimes.
“When I adopted Mr Whittington his eyes were still not centred, but this has improved and he shows no adverse effects from his traumatic young days.”
Rayna Perrins shares Annabel, who was adopted from Cart Horse Protection Association Rehabilitation and Recovery Centre
Read Annabel’s Happy Tale here.
“We adopted our little Annabel in November 2020. When my friend who trucked her to me, Ryno, pulled up outside the yard, I peeped in through the window and saw this bewildered and (I’m sure) very unsure, little face looking back at me.
“Annabel is MORE BEAUTIFUL than I remembered when I saw her in Gordons Bay at the Cart Horse Rehabilitation Centre!
“Well, she obviously has such a little fighter personality; she walked out of the horsebox with the presence and determination of a 17 hand horse.
“We walked her to her paddock to meet her companion, our 16h retired horse, Aquilo (aka Naughty), who’d recently lost his friend. On the way, Annabel was met by all our horses, who ran up to the fence to greet her. She was very unsure of these horses who were all wearing ‘clothes’ (their flysheets) – she’d never seen horses wearing clothing before. It was love at first sight for her and Naughty – they got on perfectly well from the word go.
“Annabel has blossomed into a real little diva in the short time she’s been with us. She knows what she wants and isn’t shy to let all the big horses know.
“It’s not just the horses which are her fans. Everyone in the stable yard is totally obsessed with her. The grooms fight over who’s leading her out of her paddock in the morning.
“I can’t wait for our relationship with Annabel to flourish and for her to learn that she’ll NEVER experience any hardship from this day forward.
“PS. We decided not to take her son, Applejack, as I feel that he’s destined for GREAT things in his future. He’s known no malice and has so much to give a little child; I suspect he’ll go forward to be a very famous kids’ showing pony or something equally as grand.”
Editor’s note: Learn more about The Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre here.
Photo credit: Mandy Freeman Photography
Mandy Freeman shares Chuck, who was adopted from PlumPets Animal Shelter
“It was definitely love at first sight when I met Chuck, who was called ‘The Tiny’, in 2015. He was so tiny but so loving. I immediately noticed his wonky jaw – it had been broken before he was tossed away like rubbish.
“Tin Can Town initially rescued him but took him to PlumPets because they knew Paulette would be able to look after him. There was very little interest in him, but I knew he’d be perfect for us.
“He’s grown into such a handsome boy with the biggest heart. Chuck has taught me so much about life and how it’s ok to be different.”
Jenna Nadelman shares Ninja
“Ninja’s story is the perfect example of being in the right place at the right time. It was a scorcher of a day in October 2014. My husband and I decided on the spur of the moment to go to a random beach we never go to, at the most random time.
“Within a few minutes of settling down on the beach, we noticed a tiny black figure on the other side of the beach hobbling out of the ocean. It was so small that we thought it was a kitten! We then saw an individual pick the little thing up and throw it back into the water, like a ball. It was at this moment that we intervened. My husband sprinted over only to discover the kitten was no kitten at all but rather a little boy puppy, approximately four to five weeks old.
“We immediately took the puppy away from the kids who were mistreating him and promptly approached their parents about what we’d witnessed. After discussing the issue, we gave the owners two choices: come with us to the vet immediately or we simply take the puppy and go on our own. At this point, they were reluctant to hand him over to us and decided to come with us.
“Long story short, while at the vet, we convinced the owners to let us keep him. He was severely dehydrated, full of worms and way too young to be away from his mom.
“My husband named him ‘Ninja’ on the spot, and in that moment I knew we were done for! He crept into our hearts immediately. We’re proud foster-failures! Ninja has brought so much love, joy, and happiness into our lives. He’s our big baby with an even bigger heart.
“I’m convinced that the stars aligned on that day. We were destined to find Ninja. Or rather, Ninja was destined to find us.”
Photo credit: Organictales Photography
Keelan Stanley shares Mac, who was adopted from PitPals
“I adopted Mac last year in March. He was a very shy, wary boy but has flourished into the most confident, happy dog. My world would be incomplete without him... and my bed would be far too empty!
“Mac is my greatest adventure buddy, and such a looker, too!”
Dalene Erasmus shares Mufasa (aka Kleintjie)
“Our little boy was surrendered by a lady who’d bred him but, due to lockdown, couldn’t sell him and his siblings.
“A woman had come to our branch of the SPCA to vaccinate the female puppy she’d been given. When I heard the story, I obtained the number of the owner as I was very concerned: lockdown, no money, no vaccinations, and being the last one left… I immediately fetched him.
“My hubby named him ‘Mufasa’ (from The Lion King). I just call him ‘Kleintjie’ (Afrikaans for ‘little one’), as I felt very sorry for him. He still fights to get food, but, hopefully, one day he’ll realise he doesn’t need to as he’ll always get his food.
“Mufasa will be sterilised soon as he’s now old enough.
“He’s the most loveable little boy and sleeps with his head in your neck. I love him to the moon and back.”
Photo credit: Nat Gold ZA
Dr Travis Gray shares Natsu, who came into the vet practice with a nasty abscess on his tail base
“He was very loud and sociable; always wanting attention from whoever was walking past his cage. Since no owner came forward and he had no collar or microchip, we treated his wounds on our account. He was tested for FIV/FeLV, microchipped and castrated, and then… he came home with me.
“Since then, he’s made himself at home here, adventuring during the day and then curling up on the couch with me in the evening. He’s got quite the voice, and the best part of my day is hearing him running along the wall to greet me when I get home from work.”
Photo credit: Jackie Wernberg Photography
Lindsay Linklater shares Puppy, who was adopted from PlumPets Animal Shelter
“Our senior boy, Puppy, has slowed down a lot; he’s 13 years old. I fostered Puppy from PlumPets Animal Shelter 13 years ago when I was on holiday in Cape Town when he was only a few weeks old.
“He’d been confiscated from street children at the V&A Waterfront and was full of mange. I remember taking him for special baths at the vet a few times a week until it cleared.
“When it was time for me to return to America, where I was living at the time, he went back to the vet so he could go to another foster mum. But once back in the US, I couldn’t forget him. So, I flew back to Cape Town to arrange to adopt him, and as soon as his paperwork was done, he joined me in North Carolina. We were in the USA for five years, and when it was time for me to return to Cape Town permanently, of course Puppy came too. The joke around here is that Puppy has an American bark!”
Photo credit: Lauren Setterberg Photography
Tammy van Niekerk shares Ra, who was adopted from Kitty Care-Durban
“Ra was found pitifully small and malnourished at aMagwena store near the Jesus Dome in Mayville. He only weighed 300g and was found on his own with a broken front leg and a badly broken back leg; they’d healed crooked.
“Nikki of Kitty Care-Durban took Ra to the vet; he had a bad tapeworm infestation on top of the injuries. Nikki had to bottle feed Ra for a week or so.
“Ra surprised everyone with his incredible will to survive. He’s so resilient. I was looking at the Kitty Care-Durban website and saw Ra, and it was love at first sight.
“We adopted him and were told he may need to have his front leg amputated, but, so far, he’s proven to be the most agile out of all my cats! He’s a character of note and almost ‘talks’ – he’s very vocal and makes his presence known by his loud meow.
“He’s a very keen fisherman; we have a little stream in our garden, and he does what I call ‘bridge duty’. He lies on the bridge and watches out for birds, fish, dragonflies, etc. He’s highly entertained by it all. He actually fishes out crabs and hasn’t quite figured out which is the sharp end yet so often gets a nip on the nose.
“Ra has bought us so much love and joy, as have all our kitties. He’s a very special boy... and he knows it!”
Cath Jenkin shares Jake, “The Dog Who Changed My World”, who was adopted from Puppy SOS KZN
“Jake was adopted from Puppy SOS KZN. We’d applied for a puppy with them and David arrived to do a home check… with Jake under his arm.
“The scrawny puppy leapt into my arms, weighing less than a kilogram. They said he was ‘likely to remain small’, but Jake is a testament to the power of animal rescue, the truth of love, the goodness of a great diet, and the comfort of owning all the space on a king-sized bed. It was, for everyone, love at first sight. We opted to foster him for a weekend to see how he adapted to us. That weekend was almost six years ago!
“Now weighing in at a gargantuan 40 kilograms, Jake has outshone every idea anyone ever had for him. How lucky we were to be chosen.”
Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Elanza Kloppers shares Joshua, who was adopted from Dogtown SA
“I adopted Joshua and his sister, Hayley, in my very first week of working at Dogtown SA back in 2012. They were supposed to be fosters, but now, eight years later, they’re still very much part of my family.
“Joshua has ‘fostered’ and raised countless litters of puppies, and even kittens, over the years. He’s my three-year-old son Cameron’s best friend in every sense of the word.”
Joshua and our foster dog, Ina (read Ina’s Happy Tale)
Photo credit: Mandy Freeman Photography
Mandy Freeman shares Freddie, who was adopted from Sharon’s Foster Furries
“I remember seeing a photo of this tiny little three-legged kitten. My husband and I had just made the difficult decision to close the chapter on having human kids after many years of infertility. I jokingly said we should look at adopting one more fur baby – and then Freddie popped up on my newsfeed. It was meant to be!
“Since adopting Chuck (my other physically challenged boy), I’ve fallen in love with the perfectly imperfect babies. Freddie was born with three legs, but, my goodness, that doesn’t stop him one bit.
“Freddy has grown in leaps and bounds; he’s incredibly vocal, can climb trees, and is the biggest goofball ever. We look at him every day and ask, ‘How did we get so lucky?’”
Bernice Mong shares little Gina, her latest rescue
“Gina is a Chihuahua said to be around five years old, although the vet suspects that she’s actually closer to seven or eight. She was used for breeding and her owner said she could no longer keep her, so I decided to take her in.
“She only understands Russian, so she needs to learn English and Afrikaans. Her teeth are in a terrible state due to not being fed the correct food; the vet indicated that she’d have to extract most of her teeth. She’ll also be sterilised soon: no more puppies for her.
“Gina is very timid and extremely scared of people, but she’s slowly but surely coming out of her shell. She’s becoming very attached to us and growls at the other doggies and kitties when she’s lying by us and they come too close; she’s clearly claiming what’s hers!
“She also has a hip joint problem which will need to be attended to at a later stage. She otherwise has a very sweet temperament and with lots of time, patience and love will adapt perfectly, and she’s going to be a spoilt princess in her new home.”
Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Camilla Jane Logie shares Polly, her rescue cat
“I adopted Polly from an animal angel who’s sadly no longer with us, Sabina Essa. Polly comes from a litter of five whose mom, who was pregnant at the time, was found in the streets; it’s believed that her owner put her there because of her pregnancy. If I’m not mistaken, one of Polly’s siblings didn’t make it, but her mother and the rest of the litter were adopted.
“Taylor Swift (see October) and Polly were best friends until Polly was snipped, strangely enough. Since then, they don’t see eye to eye – they have a real love-hate sibling relationship; perhaps when they mature that love will be rekindled.
“Polly is somewhat of a bully but very lucky to have Libby (the one-eyed pirate from Soweto). Libby is accepting of all and loves to welcome new family into our home. Polly is always up for a bit of rough play, and Libby is certainly up to the challenge. Polly mostly irritates her siblings but means well. She has a kind nature and is perhaps a little misunderstood by her sisters.”
Left to right: Benji and Jessie
Noleen Fourie shares Benji, Jessie and Waffle, who over the years became part of the family
“Benji is an eight-year-old Chihuahua and he’s our oldest. After almost losing him in 2019 when he had to undergo spinal surgery, he still loves to run as fast as he can. Being of superior intelligence (of course, that’s the case for all my dogs!), Benji quickly learned after his surgery to ask us when he wants to get on and off the furniture – no jumping allowed. He was our first dog and he’s the best!
“Jessie is a Powderpuff Chinese Crested who was rescued from a puppy mill when she was still very young. If Jessie was edible, she’d probably be a pink cupcake with glitter on it – she’s just that sweet. She’s a long-legged girl who loves affection. We often find ourselves at a loss for words to even describe how adorable she is. Such a little princess!
“Waffle is a Maltese and a real clown. He was rescued from a life of neglect, and he’d spent many nights cold and hungry in his life. That’s surely not the case anymore, and it’s been a joy to watch him adjust to living inside a house. He still sometimes gets confused by how to actually use things like couches and food bowls, but he’s a silly, super-happy boy. He loves walks and drives, and when he’s in a good mood, he likes to roll around on his back and make funny noises.”
Joey and Shadow with Ina
Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Tanya Mullligan shares little Joey and Shadow, adopted from Harties Feral Cat Project
“I still can’t believe that these two beautiful kittens are now part of our family. We feel incredibly privileged that we were able to adopt these fabulous fluffy bums.
“It’s hard to believe they come from a feral colony; they’re simply incredible and so affectionate. They’re our first kittens, and I think it’s safe to say we are kitten-smitten!”
Nadine Moore shares Sadie and Gizmo, who were recently adopted from Claws Animal Welfare
“Adopting Sadie and Gizmo was the best decision we’ve ever made.
“These two angels have brought so much happiness into our lives. They’re partners in crime; they eat, sleep and play together all day long.
“Thank you, Claws Animal Welfare, for allowing us the opportunity to adopt our new babies.”
Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Camilla Jane Logie shares Taylor Swift, her rescue cat
“Taylor was given to me by a gentleman who sold newspapers on Rivonia Road. She’d been kept in a wet box for two weeks and was so weak that she nearly didn’t make it.
“She’s the neediest kitten you’ve ever met and loves to scream from my balcony when she hears anything that resembles my voice.”
Photography by Living Light Photography
Marti-Mari Kellerman shares Ricky, who was adopted from Border Collie Rescue
“Ricky was picked up by the side of the road in Wellington in September 2015 by Lisa, a lady who lived in the townhouse residential complex on the wine estate where my husband, Waldo, worked and we lived at the time. Lisa had taken him in for the night but couldn’t take in more pets. She knew that we also had a Border Collie, so she called Waldo and asked if he might adopt Ricky, as she’d named him, if he wasn’t claimed.
“At the time our daughter was about four months old, plus we had a one-year-old Border Collie named Zara, while living in a tiny townhouse, so Waldo thought I probably wouldn’t be up to it. However, he also knows that I have a very soft spot for fur babies too, so he arranged for me to go and see Ricky at Lisa’s house ‘just for a visit’. Turns out, Ricky happened to look exactly like our previous Border Collie rescue, Jasper, whom we’d lost the year before to a brain tumour; I adored Jasper and still get emotional over him. Needless to say, Ricky had me convinced at the get go with his soft manner and those soulful brown eyes.
“In the meantime, Lisa had made arrangements to take him to Border Collie Rescue, where he’d stay for the time being. We went to visit him there and started the process of officially adopting him. When Ricky came to stay with us, we wanted to change his name but couldn’t agree on one that suited him and we both liked. So, we decided that he’d probably had enough change and the name stuck. The vet estimated that he was about two years old at the time, but now that he’s been with us for five years, we think that he might be a bit older.
“Ricky is a gorgeous, loving boy and has fitted right in with our family from the start. And even though he has to answer to Zara (our alpha female) at home, he loves running around on the farm at Waldo’s work. He’s great with our kids and has such a soft and loving manner. We can’t imagine life without him!”
Clare Burns shares Tiger, her first kitty foster failure from Kitty Care-Durban
“I had no cats at all (I’d last had one as a child) when I started fostering for Kitty Care-Durban when lockdown began. Well, one of my special cases which came in with severe pneumonia and on death’s door just stole my heart! That was Tiger.
“He was found in a drainpipe at Cambridge in Durban; a kind family cut him out of the pipe to rescue him. There was no sign of mom cat or other kittens. They rushed him through to me and it was love at first sight. However, his prognosis wasn’t good; even our vet was uncertain if he’d pull through. So, I nebulised him every two hours for half an hour at a time and prayed very hard!
“Thankfully, Tiger survived. I just couldn’t part with him, and he became my foster failure and my best friend. And finally… I have my very own cat!”
Photo credit: Philip Fourie
Left to right: Ricardo, Luna, Isis and Dalaine
Dalaine Nel shares Luna, who was adopted from Greyhound Welfare, and Isis, adopted from Sighthound Rescue SA
“We adopted Luna as a 12-week-old puppy in 2017, and it was the best decision we EVER made to adopt her. She was our first Sighthound, and it was because of her that our love for them started.
“Luna is our princess in the house – she’s very dainty and fairy-like. Despite weighing only 4kg, everyone knows not to bring the beast out; she puts ALL the dogs in their place!
“Luna is a real diva with a whole lot of zest for life. She’s a go-getter and extremely bright. She’s excelling in her obedience classes and is now training for agility – she loves it! She’s known at class for her vast wardrobe, because she won’t work when she’s cold... she has a Milla Moo onesie for every day!
“Isis was adopted in in 2018. We were looking for a small companion of Luna’s size for her to play with. Isis came from an abused background and was an emotional wreck when we fetched her. It took her approximately six weeks to come to us, and she’d constantly be looking at the roof as if something was going to fall on her head.
“She and Luna differ like day and night. Luna is overly confident and not afraid of anything. Isis has her tail tucked in 95% of the time (up to today still, unfortunately) but has learned to trust us.
“Isis has one toy that she plays a bit with, though she doesn’t really know what toys are, it seems, even with Luna’s coaxing to play with her. But she adores going to the beach, and her favourite thing is to chase the seagulls.
“She demands continuous tummy rubs at night in front of the TV, and if you dare stop, you’ll be promptly reminded by a scratching paw that you need to keep showering her with love and rubs.
“Isis is a case of another man’s trash is my treasure; she’s my very special baby!”
Eleanor Beets shares her little rescue dog, Jessie
“Jessie is a very special little girl whom I got off the streets 10 years ago. She’d been burnt with cigarettes and had a long cut across her tummy. She was extremely thin, snapped if you showed her any affection, and was terrified of a fire.
“I didn’t want another dog as I already had two, so I headed to the vet with her. But I ended up bringing her back home as I couldn’t leave her there.
“After six months of having her, she changed into the sweetest girl ever.
“She’s been through a lot, aside from her previous abuse. She had a lump removed on the side of her neck which had affected her eye, so it also had to be removed; she has a lot of fatty lumps, and recently had six teeth extracted. But, with everything she’s gone through, her tail never stops wagging and she’s always happy. There’s definitely a reason why she came into my life.”
Zanne Parsons shares Zoe, who was adopted from Wellington SPCA
“When I saw that Zoe was up for adoption, I immediately contacted the Wellington SPCA – we are so lucky to be the ones to have gotten her.
“Zoe is two years old and as lovable as they can come. From the moment she arrived until today, there’s been a complete change in her.
“She took to my other dogs immediately, and she loves to play and walk. She has a fantastic soft personality and is beautiful, of course!”
Karen Campbell shares Ruby, their adopted Greyhound, and Mouse-the-Cat
“We couldn’t resist Ruby when we met her. She’s a real laid-back, out-to-lunch hound who, after a mad run, requires the next 23 hours reclining on a bed or couch to ‘recover’. Regal, gentle and relaxed, she’s a lovely dog who likes cats.
“The cat in the picture, Mouse-the-cat, was picked up and is an absolute delight. He has to perch on your shoulders to give you the warmest of morning greetings and gets on with Ruby very well. Such a character!”
Layla Belle Davies shares Sandy, who was rescued from an informal settlement
“Sandy wasn’t wanted because of her mixed breed – she’s a Rottweiler crossed with a Cocker Spaniel.
“She loves nothing more than a daily play on the beach and playing in the sand… and that’s exactly how she got her name!”
Butternut and Alex
Thandeka Makhaye shares her cats, Butternut and Alex
“Butternut was found at a petrol station. I was there to get airtime when I saw a kitten roaming amongst the cars. I asked the petrol attendants about it, but they all had no idea where kitty had come from. It was along the busiest roads and I thought: I cannot leave this baby here…
“Luckily, when I went up to the kitten, it didn’t run away, so I scooped her up and took her home. I immediately posted to Facebook and notified nearby vets to ask she belonged to anyone living in that area. There were no claims for her, so I decided to keep her. She’s such a loving cat.
“My big boy, Alex, was my first cat I adopted. I saw his post on Facebook as needing a home (the lady had too many cats and needed help). His lovely markings caught my attention. Alex is four years old, but he’s the baby of the house and the one who gets spoilt the most.
“Sharing my home with Butternut and Alex is one of my blessings in life!”
Adrian, Carmen and Tosca
Photography credit: Mandy Freeman Photography
Mandy Freeman shares Tosca and Carmen, who were adopted from PlumPets Animal Shelter
“We adopted Tosca and Carmen in 2017. We popped in at PlumPets and told Paulette we were looking to adopt two dogs that had to be cat friendly, and she introduced us to these two.
“Tosca is super attached to her pup, Carmen, so they had to be adopted together. After a few play dates, we knew they were the right fit (the cats disagreed and still do!).
“They’re both gentle, kind, goofy and super protective of us. They love off-lead adventures and are always two steps behind us when we’re in the house or garden.”
Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Zélia da Silva shares Gemma, who was adopted from Husky Rescue SA
“Gemma was around a year old when I adopted her. She’d gone from one home to the other. The last was a farm with unsterilised dogs, resulting in them fighting, and eventually they couldn’t wait to get rid of her.
“Gemma was placed in an amazing foster home with Melany Bartok and her five Huskies. When I was looking for another dog, the age and sex were the most important factors to me. Gemma, who I saw on Husky Rescue SA’s Facebook page, ticked all the boxes, and her features were absolutely beautiful.
“Introducing Gemma to Gino (read Gino’s MuttMix story) was such a beautiful experience. After my previous Husky-Shepherd dog passed, Gino really became listless and didn’t seem himself at all. Gemma arrived in early February 2017 and they got along instantly. Now they’re the perfect pair; they’re never far from each other. Her happy energy definitely rubs off on everyone she meets.
“Gemma is all things good and bad of the Husky breed. She’s gorgeous, very loving and eager to learn. But she’s also very vocal and demands attention. She can go from being the most gentle, chilled dog to being ready to pull a sled in an instant.
“She keeps us laughing, makes life happy again, and everyone instantly falls in love with her the moment they see her. Gemma is a true little Gem!”
Photography credit: Seven Oaks Photography
Kate-Lynn Downey shares Lady Ruby, adopted from Port Alfred SPCA
“I must admit I’m more of a cat person than a dog person, but I adopted a Malinois-German Shepherd puppy named Lady Ruby recently, and she’s beyond cute. I had such fun photographing her in my studio.
Two sons, three adopted cats, and now an adopted puppy and about 100 fish – our family is more than complete!
Roma Elias shares Tigger, who was adopted from Foster Love Animal Rescue
“Tigger is now six months old and is so affectionate he’ll sit in my arms for an hour, purring constantly. He gets so much attention! He and our black Labrador, Monty, are getting used to each other and play a lot.”
Sune Immelman shares Baby Hazel, who was rescued in a township earlier in 2020
“I was looking to adopt a puppy for a while but just couldn’t find the one for me… until I saw Hazel’s cute little face appear on my Facebook newsfeed. I immediately knew that she was meant to be with me.
“I messaged her rescuer, Bianka Lerm, and few days later, Baby Hazel was home!
“Baby Hazel is so loveable and playful. She honestly has the cutest personality ever! I’m so glad she’s mine – she deserves the world and so much more.
“Honestly, I wish people would adopt more.
“I love her so much, and everybody that meets her falls in love instantly!”
Photo credit: Seven Oaks Photography
Christel Erasmus shares Olivia, who was adopted from Port Alfred Feral Cat Project
“In Port Alfred, there’s a group called the Port Alfred Feral Cat Project; Elizabeth Kahn, our church organist, helped me to adopt Olivia from them.
“Olivia was approximately four weeks when she came into my life earlier in 2020. She seems to be very small for her age, but the vet is keeping an eye on her so that she can be spayed.
“Olivia is an important part of our church and is much loved by the congregation as her purr can loudly be heard over most of our early morning lockdown devotions, when she cuddles up in my dressing gown while I record. She’s even made her appearance on a YouTube service during one of the prayers.
“Olivia’s favourite things to do are to climb trees, chase moles, play with Amber’s tail and to give big kitty kisses on one’s nose.”
Barry Bowditch shares Molly (left), who was adopted from Pietermaritzburg SPCA, and Sandy, who was adopted from the old Ballito SPCA
“They rescued us when we collected them from the SPCA some 13 years ago – and I have to say that they’re the most considerate dogs in the world, as they allow us to share their bed at night.
“As I also like to say (and I’m not sure who penned these words): ‘They are not my whole life, but they made my life whole!’
“My wife and I love them to pieces.”
(Pictured with his lovely wife, Denise, who he says, “She found me”.)
Emma Kaye shares her precious rescue dogs Jessie, Squirrel and Bindy
“Jessie is my ‘first born’ and she was adopted from the Domestic Animal Rescue Group (DARG) six years ago. She was so tiny that she could fit through the cat flap; she’s now the size of a small horse. Jessie is a beautiful, smart and an extraordinary dog who loves to snuggle under the duvet and walk the mountains daily.
“Squirrel is my other little girl and is the most gentle, loving girl that trots like a Jackal and loves to give kisses. Squirrel also came from DARG five years ago, and while her name then was ‘Zsa Zsa’, somehow ‘Squirrel’ stuck. True to her name, she does indeed climb trees!
“Bindy is my ‘last born’ and the only boy in the family. I found him as a tiny puppy in Delft being used as a football and being urinated on by drunken men. He’s been a huge lesson in forgiveness, as he’s a truly happy little guy who just simply loves life.
“Walking the mountain daily with these three precious souls is a gift; a reminder to appreciate the simplicity and joy of each moment.”
Photography credit: Seven Oaks Photography
Kate-Lynn Downey shares her adopted feline friends
“Pepper (fondly known as ‘Pepper Pot’) was born in December 2016 in a local hardware store warehouse to a stray/feral cat. We adopted him and his brother, Marble, in January 2017. Tragically, Marble was killed by a neighbouring dog in 2017, when he was just a few months old.
“Pepper was the runt of the litter and had the bluest of eyes as a kitten. My hubby wanted Marble, but poor Pepper looked so sad and alone that I couldn’t bear to leave him behind. He was very sick with biliary when we got him (unbeknown to us when we adopted him), and we had to nurse him to good health over a period of weeks with syringe feeding and giving iron supplements. To this day we’re so thankful that we took him. He adores my husband and lies under the duvet against his stomach every single night.
“Shadow is a real princess and very selective about whom she shares her affections with. She’s around four years old and we adopted her in Aug/Sep 2019 from a preschool teacher with terminal cancer. We were told she that Shadow doesn’t do well with children and dogs, but she absolutely loves our five-year-old son and sleeps on his pillow against his head every single night without fail.
“My husband is a doctor at the local public hospital; Shadow’s previous owner was one of his patients. He had the opportunity to show her photos of Shadow sleeping with Nathan, and I think that was very surprising and special for her. She sadly passed away about a week after that.
“Then there’s our ginger kitty, Apricot. He was born at the end of January 2020, and we adopted him from our neighbour just before lockdown. He’s the sweetest, friendliest thing – he’s my little baby.”
Judy Jooste shares her golden oldie, Paris
“Paris and her brother, Sammie, were the only dogs I didn’t adopt; I got them from a friend.
“She was the tiniest puppy and had to wear a kitty collar with a bell so that I could find her.
“Through the years she became the mother hen of the house. She’s sweet and extremely loving and still very tiny. She looked like an Indian princess with her black-lined eyes. Now my frosty face loves to sleep, be with her mommy and, now and then, chase something. She’s had a few health scares and has become very blind and deaf. Her brother passed away a year ago, and I could see it really affected her.
“For as long as she’s having a good life and loves to snuggle, she’ll be sleeping in her mommy’s arms. She’s still my little princess.”
Susan Woker shares Mia, who was a foster failure
“We’re so happy to have welcomed Mia into our lives, and many thanks to animal rescuer Cecelia Strydom for loving her unconditionally and rehoming her with us in Hermanus. She’d been found as a stray in a bad state and sadly was never claimed. We fostered her and fell in love – she was formally adopted in August.
“Mia is so loving and has settled down really well. She’s my shadow, and l will love her forever!”
Photography credit: Nat Gold ZA
Natalie Goldsmith shares Jazzy, who was adopted from Cape of Good Hope SPCA
“Since doing some photo sessions of rescue pets for Happy Tails Magazine, I became much more aware of all the rescue organisations out there and how many animals need homes. When lockdown struck, I decided it was time for me to take on a new fur friend.
“Jazzy came to me from the SPCA as a very timid and quite panicky little pup but has blossomed into a confident and happy girl loving her new life. Jazzy is about a year old and was apparently found in a gutter by the SPCA at about six months of age. On our early walks she was pulling frantically, tail down, and just wanted to go back home. Now, just under a month after her arrival, she loves her daily jaunts into the wide world and even trots along on a loose lead, tail wagging, sniffing at everything.
“My next step is to start training, as she’s very quick to understand what I need from her. I believe doggie dancing will be perfect, as she’s often bouncing around on her back feet, especially at dinner time.
“It’s so rewarding to see a rescue dog transform as they start to enjoy their new life and realise they are secure and loved.”
Yolandi Burger shares little Gumbi, who was adopted from Bella’s Guardian Angels – Animal Rescue
“Gumbi was left at Bella’s Guardian Angels – Animal Rescue’s front gate when he wasn’t even a week or two old. He was bottle-fed until he could eat on his own.
“We adopted him and named him ‘Gumbi’ – my 17-month-old baby’s favourite word at the moment! Big brother, Piets, also a kitten from Bella’s (now a teenager of two years old) is still getting used to this idea of a pesky smaller fluff-ball in the family!
“Gumbi is very curious, extremely brave and gives as good as he gets from his ‘brother from another mother’. All three play together very well, so Gumbi is now a full member of the family.”
Clooney (left) and Tilly (right)
Jeanette Pearce shares Tilly and Clooney
“Tilly came into our lives with a broken back leg (I suspect it was a cat or a child). Sadly, her vets were unable to save her leg and had to amputate. When she was old enough, we started taking her to a physiotherapist to try to strengthen her muscles and correct her way of walking.
“After our previous rescue bunny sadly died, Tilly’s rehab/physio (Paws, Claws & Wings) lady recommended that she needed a young male companion, and that’s how we learnt of the The Strawberry Foundation (https://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/news-articles/the-strawberry-foundation/). We took Tilly with us and she literally chose Clooney herself.
“Today Clooney has grown into the Alpha Male of our family. He runs the show and is quick to tell you when he disagrees with you (a loud thump or a condescending look). He remains extremely loving and gentle towards Tilly and will always make sure she’s alright. He’s a real mama’s boy and loves to snuggle up (only on his own terms). Breakfast and dinnertime are the absolute highlight of their day, but they also enjoy running around the house and picking on the dog.
“Tilly continues with her home physiotherapy and sees her physios (both Paws, Claws & Wings and Ramsay Rehabilitation) now and again. She’s a strong bunny who can move surprisingly fast for her situation. She’s the most sassy, determined and happy animal – everyone who meets her agrees.
“We love our bunnies and cannot imagine life without them.”
Louis and Joey du Toit share baby Kenji, who was adopted from Husky Heaven Rescue
“Kenji had been bitten on his head by another dog when he was a tiny pup. Rescued by Brenda Meyer of Husky Heaven Rescue, who’s also a close family friend of ours, we simply couldn’t resist him and immediately took him in as a foster to rehab. However, we soon fell in love and adopted him as a much-loved forever member of our little family.
“Kenji is a daily delight and has brought much joy to our lives!”
Christine Riley shares Wizard, who was found as a stray
“Wizard is a true ‘rags-to-riches’ story. He was living on the streets before he found his way to us.
“Now he lives his best life with our family consisting of four other dogs, and he thoroughly enjoys his hikes and beach-trips every single day.
“At first I thought there was something physically wrong with his tail: it never wagged and was always between his legs. But I was wrong… his tail was perfectly fine and is up and wagging all the time now. A real ‘Happy Tail’!”
Elaine Wright shares Dona and Tello, who were adopted from SA Mast
“Rescued by SA MAST, Dona and Tello (previously named ‘Star’ and ‘Sparkle’) and their little brother were fostered by Claire Shadbolt. They were a little under-the-weather at first, but with tender loving care, good food and immune-boosting meds, they were soon thriving. It wasn’t long before their brother found his forever home just before Christmas 2019.
“Claire had fondly named them the ‘Glitter Sisters’ and soon felt disheartened when they were constantly overlooked when it came to adoptions because everyone wanted tiny kittens. It might’ve been her insistence that they had to be adopted together, but they really were bonded and needed to stay together!
“You can imagine her excitement when we got to hear of them and were specifically looking for a bonded pair and were happy for slightly older kittens, plus we could offer them a wonderful home as indoor cats in a large apartment.
“Due to my ‘essential worker’ papers I was able to drive out to meet them, and it was truly ‘love at first sight’!
“My little Ginja Ninjas have settled in so very nicely. They’re playful, loving, a little naughty, get into all the (cat-safe) plants and have oodles of personality. They keep me entertained with all their antics while I try to work each day at home. Then we all settle down for lots of evening snuggles.
“I love them to bits!”
Chiz Judge shares Rocco, who was adopted from Boxer Rescue South Africa
“When we lost our old boy, my beloved Zeno, in December 2018, we were totally devastated. Koko, our brindle girl, went into a depression and lost all her zest for life without him. And so, after two months of our little family of three (two humans and one Boxer) being so sad without his big, wonderful presence, and really NOT getting over the loss, we decided to adopt.
“We saw Rocco in Durban on the Boxer Rescue Facebook page, liaised with Debbie Wells, who organises the rehomes, and went to fetch him. It was total love from the get-go – he’s the happiest, most sunshiny Boxer we’ve ever had; he just brightened our lives immediately. He and Koko took one look at each other, tails wagged, and they started to play like lunatics around the garden. A ‘phew’ moment after all the initial fears of What If They Didn’t Get On?
“He’s obviously been well trained by a previous owner; he’d passed through two families before we took him in, poor boy. But he’s now in his furever home, and I’ll never let him go. And when he seems a little quiet, I always remind him of that. Even now, after 18 months, I sense he’s still getting closer and snugglier with me... it takes a long time for their wounds to heal, just like us.
“Rocco is amazing; he loves everyone and all other dogs, is super sociable, and I can even take him to the coffee shop with me, which is often not the norm with exuberant Boxers! Fortunately, living near the sea, the three of us can spend lots of time walking on the beach and paddling in the rock pools, which both dogs love.
“He’s a total joy to own. If I write a book about him, it has be called ‘Eat, Play, Love’!”
Ingrid Liberté shares her very special Supergirl
“Supergirl came to Australian Shepherd SA Rescue Organisation as she’s both partially sighted and totally deaf, and we have a wealth of experience in dealing with special needs Aussies.
“I adopted her through the organisation, and she’s absolutely the best. She snuggles at night, is learning hand signals so quickly and is just the sweetest girl!”
Debra Barker shares Biscuit, adopted from Kitty-Care Durban
“We’d been thinking about adopting a kitten for quite a long time, and when we met Biscuit, we knew he belonged with us.
“Kitty-Care Durban had done an amazing job after he’d been rescued from being sold for R40 at the Durban Beachfront.
“Biscuit is now part of the family, and we’re enjoying every moment with him!”
Photo credit: Mel Photography
Pauline Till shares Sylvie, who was adopted from Cape Dachshund Rescue
“Greg and I adopted Sylvie on the 8th of June 2019. She was with a foster mum, Sugnet Van Wyk Strauss, in Onrus. We’d seen her photo on their Facebook page, and, being fans of silver dappled Dachshunds, we fell immediately in love. CDR advised we could meet her first to see if we liked her. But we already knew she was the one to complete our little family, so we paid the adoption fee immediately.
“Sylvie is six years old (born on the 1st of February 2014), and her MuttMix DNA test revealed that she’s a Dachshund crossed with a Chihuahua, which is clearly evident in her ears.
“It was thought Sylvie would do well as an only dog, but she’s grown to love her canine brother, Ollie; they spend hours playing together. She’s a fun, cheeky and lively little girl. Fiercely independent but incredibly loving, and needless to say, she’s adored!”
Bianca Horne shares Loki and Louis, adopted from P.A.R.R. (Pietermaritzburg Animal Rescue & Rehome)
“I’m a foster mum for P.A.R.R., and both my boys are foster fails. I’ve always had girls, and these are my first boys – and they’re my absolute life.
“Louis is our little Dachshund and Loki is my little scruff ball (who knows what he is), but I always say they are 100% dog!
“Louis is minute but has the biggest and cutest personality, although he’s also a bit shy. Loki is my shadow and also a very sensitive little boy, so I’m very protective over him. Who knew the boys would be such softies, hehehe...
“Thank you so much for asking for pics of my boys; I feel so proud.”
Angela Coltman shares her bunny, Farah
“We rescued Farah after she’d been dumped at a dam.
“There are so many bunnies that have been dumped, and I just knew that she had to come home with me. She loves to go walking in the forest on her harness, or pretty much anywhere that we take her.
“The meaning of her name is ‘happiness’, which is everything she has brought to us.”
Ingrid Liberté shares Romeo (back) and Kate, who share her home with her
“Romeo is a semi-feral cat that was trapped along with three of his siblings and his mum on the neighbouring farm by Australian Shepherd Dog Rescue Organisation (ASSARO), of which I’m the founder. He’s actually quite tame, while his three siblings are still semi-feral. We were very happy to help sterilise them all so that there would not be millions of ferals on the property in future.
“Kate (aka Katey) is a Maine Coone, and she was returned to a breeder who let me adopt her and her friend Leopold (Leo). Not many people know this, but I’d always been more of a cat person until I started ASSARO. Now I adore both.”
Karl and Tania Stott share Daisy, adopted from Spaniel Welfare SA, and “The Springer Pack”
“Our Springer pack consists of Georgie (9), Mika (8), Arthur (7), Daisy (adopted, 6) and Pippin (5). We’re also babysitting a nine-week-old pup for a friend.
“Daisy was adopted through Spaniel Rescue some years back; we helped by being a foster family for a while.
“She had some serious health issues after rescue; she found her way into our hearts and life. So, we adopted her. She’s the surgery queen, having had a major facelift (to remove excess skin) to help her see properly and a full dental repair procedure done recently.
“Daisy is such a special child; the gentlest friend in the world, such a treasure, and a favourite of the family.”
Looking at this photo makes us wonder why we didn’t get an extra-long, extra-wide bed
Julia Aitchison shares Wickets, who was adopted from Cape of Good Hope SPCA
“We adopted Wickets from Grassy Park SPCA in August 2010. I was told that he’d been run over by a taxi in Khayelitsha; he was roughly six months old at the time. A police officer was driving behind the taxi, and he stopped to pick the dog up and immediately took him to the SPCA where he had his badly injured leg amputated. I believe his owners then abandoned him. He was named ‘Wickets’ and was in the adoption closure for six months before we adopted him when he was a year old.
“Wickets has the most incredible personality and ‘talks’ to me when he wants to go out, have a treat, go for a walk, etc. And he’s constantly smiling!”
My daughter Jess and Wickets
Zhané Mills shares Scraggles, her “heart cat”
“Scraggles walked into my house in early 2004 and never left; he was already an adult cat, so he must be at least 16 years old now.
“He is the coolest cat on the planet, and my adorable hug-a-bug.”
Julie Mentor shares Daisy Duke Mentor, who was adopted from the Animal Rescue Organisation (ARO)
“Daisy Duke turned one in May and has been part of our family since August last year.
“After losing our precious cat the month before, I found Daisy while scrolling through Facebook, and I immediately knew she was meant to join our little family. Her adoption photo went viral, and as a result, she was quite popular in our neighbourhood when she first came home.
“Daisy Duke had a tough start to life, but she’s the picture of resilience and joy. She’s the ‘little furry sister’ to my two young boys. She loves nothing more than to fetch a ball (definitely Retriever in there), cuddle (and chase) the boys, and keep my feet warm as she snoozes under my desk. I can’t imagine my life without her in it... even though she sheds enough fur to clothe a second dog!”
From left to right: Eli, Daisy and Liam
Sabine von Hase shares William, who was adopted through Oscar’s Arc WOOF Project
“William (then named Jaxon) was rescued with his two sisters (Bella and Jessie) when they were only a few days old by Tin Can Town. They were bottle-fed by a foster mom, Carol, until they were old enough to be adopted.
“When my son and I saw him as a tiny puppy at the adoption drive of Oscar’s Arc WOOF Project in de Waal Park, he melted our hearts immediately, and the rest, as they say, is history!
“William has been on numerous wonderful holidays all over the countryside of the Western Cape with us and his two fur friends and is a firm fixture in the area around De Waal Park, Vredehoek and Oranjezicht, as well as Deerpark on Table Mountain.
“We truly love him to the moon and back, and the joy his goofy and relaxed outlook on life brings us is immeasurable. He shares his life with a mini Dachshund and a Pug cross from Cape of Good Hope SPCA, and they love each other to bits.
William is the most wonderful Pittie; so gentle and calm, and extremely well socialised. And we love him endlessly.”
Lucindi Storme shares Cotton, who was adopted from Fallen Angels
“We got Cotton and her litter to foster the day before lockdown began – they’d just arrived at Fallen Angels. Cotton was a bag of bones, but her pups were well looked after (she’s such a good mummy).
“The first three days she was beyond scared. She wouldn’t leave the room; we had to carry her out. At night she would silently dig in our garbage bin and carry whatever she could find back to her pups (without waking us).
“She was scared of any strange noises, like the vacuum or anything in our hands she didn’t trust, such as a brush. It was only by day four or five when she started to settle in and began to trust us; from day six it was just smiles and love.
“When people see her today, they don’t believe she’s a rescue (never mind one adopted as an adult that was so scared), because she’s loving, excellent with small children, and very well behaved. Everyone who’s met her loves her! And, needless to say, Cotton is our treasured ‘foster fail’!”
Tamaryne Keevy shares little Stanley, who was adopted from Sighthound Rescue SA
“Stanley is a Greyhound mix. He was only nine weeks old and weighed just 2kg when we adopted him at the end of May.
“He’d been found in a township and was very skinny. A wonderful person by the name of Judy Meyers from Love-A-Bull assisted us with his adoption, as we’ve adopted from her before. Judy was fostering Stanley at the time when his name was ‘Tiny’, because of how little he is.
“I saw a picture of Stanley about a week before and fell in love with his face. There was just something about him. So, we decided to adopt him!
“Needless to say, he’s added a lot of colour and happiness into our lives. Bringing him home was a bit of an adjustment; there are lots of sounds he’s not used to (he’s really not keen about kitchen noises), but slowly he’s getting more and more comfortable. He doesn’t like cars, though; he just seems to freeze up when he sees them while we take him for walks. But we’re working on it.
“Taking in a rescue dog is so rewarding. I feel like we’re giving him a second chance at life. A second chance to have a loving home and to grow up like a regular pup. He’s got such a giant personality in such a tiny 2.5kg body.
“I hope we can be everything that he needs in life.”
Jackie Wernberg shares Chrissy, who was adopted from the Animal Welfare Society of SA, Philippi
“I first met Chrissy when I was doing a photo shoot at AWS to help with their animal adoptions.
“When the COVID-19 lockdown was announced, I knew I had to help out by fostering a dog. After all, it was ‘only for three weeks’, and I had no other animals at home. I knew after the first week that it wouldn’t be easy to give her back. Just as well, because lockdown lasted a lot longer than initially anticipated, and she’s now become a firm family member. Yes, a Foster Fail!
“It’s a long time since we’ve had a puppy, our last dog having passed away over a year ago at the age of 16. But we’re so enjoying this little girl with her gentle yet mischievous personality. She’s been such a gift for us during a very difficult time. Scarcely an hour goes by that she doesn’t make me smile at her antics, or simply because she’s so cute.”
Photo credit: By-Joao Photography
George and Melissa Joao share Akira, who was adopted from the Kitty and Puppy Haven
“Akira’s name has a Japanese origin, meaning bright or intelligent, but also a Hindu origin, meaning graceful strength. We’d originally visited the haven just to see their operation, but when my husband saw Akira, he immediately knew that this was an extremely sad and depressed cat who needed a rather special touch. It turned out that Akira’s previous owners had emigrated and he had to remain behind; he suffered horribly emotionally. He was only about one-and-a-half years old.
“He was very scared initially when we adopted him and used to hide in cupboards, under the bed, or wherever else he could fit. It took two long weeks to gain his trust – George worked with him over this time, all the while forming a very strong bond with him.
“Today, Akira is a highly affectionate and sometimes very vocal cat with the prettiest, bluest eyes. If you lift your hand just above his head, he jumps up and head bumps you, almost like a ‘high five’. He loves cuddling, even under the blanket, and purrs so loudly that it sounds like he’s purring right into your ears.”
Dawn Ratcliffe shares Leah, who was adopted from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre
“Owning another dog was not in my future… or so I thought. For starters, I’m terribly allergic to most dog and cat hair, and, secondly, dogs need exercise, attention, etcetera… there was always an ‘excuse’ that I told myself as to why I wasn’t getting another dog. Then, in January 2019, my husband passed away, coronavirus arrived on our shores, and lockdown happened. It’s time, I thought, for a dog as a companion.
“Due to lockdown I couldn’t visit shelters, but I scanned the many Facebook pages of animal shelters looking for homes for dogs. While there were one or two (or a dozen) that appealed, they were either too young, needed a family, high maintenance, etcetera, etcetera. None were ‘just right’.
“Until, scrolling down my community Facebook page, a gentle doggy face looked out at me from her spot on a bare patch of sand, sad eyes looking directly at me. Leah, from that moment, you had me hooked and I knew: you were a special girl.
“She’d been fostered out at the beginning of lockdown, but due to the economic downturn, her fosters were forced to move and couldn’t take Leah with them. She was so sad to be returned to the shelter.
“I made contact with the go-between, Adopt a Senior Dog, and expressed my desire to meet with Leah. Numerous conversations took place with the end result that Leah is now firmly ensconced in my home and in my heart. While she’s having to adapt to a pet Muscovy duck, a hen that has adopted me, and various other wildlife that either lives or visits my garden, she’s doing really well.
“Leah and I are going to create many happy memories that will obliterate the nine years of her life where she was unloved and unwanted in a shelter until I scrolled through my community Facebook page and we found each other.”
Alan Commaille shares Azriel, who was adopted from Capetonians Against Animal Abuse
“Azriel settled in with us very quickly. He’s a very shy guy that has no idea how to talk to the girl cats in the block, but he gets very chatty with people and needs lots of lap time. He sleeps on the bed with us, with his own pillow.
“He even has his very own Instagram @mrgreywillseeyoumeow !”
Jeanette Pearce shares Eddie, who was adopted from family friends
“We decided to welcome a seven-week-old puppy into our home at the beginning of March 2020. My husband was elated, as he could finally have a dog – his dream. As a mom to two bunnies, I admit that I was slightly hesitant at first. Nevertheless, we adopted little Eddie into our home and hearts.
“Much research was done on properly socialising a puppy with other pets. Flash forward to today, we might have done too much of a good job. It seems that Eddie now believes he’s actually a rabbit. Although we never allow him to be with the bunnies unsupervised, he enjoys grazing with them – herbs are his favourite snacks, and he prefers the bunny pellets to his own. I’ve even seen him take a whack at eating their hay (but he quickly decided that it was too much admin). His favourite part of the day is when we open the bunny room for the bunnies to come out, and it breaks his sweet heart when we put them to bed at night.
“Our boy bunny, Clooney, has been alfa male since we adopted him from The Strawberry Foundation. Today, he remains just that. Eddie has fallen into his rôle as submissive to Clooney and lets a 1.5kg rabbit boss him around. He’s been taught to completely ignore our special needs bunny, Tilly, but loves to give her a big sneaky kiss when he thinks no one’s looking.
“We’re a happy family. Our herb and bunny treat bill might have gone up, but so has the love and entertainment. The whole family has fallen in love with Eddie, and we’re glad to have given the special pup a chance.”
“Naughty” Clooney, “Diva” Tilly, and “busy puppy” Eddie
Linda Simone shares Winston and Waddles, whom they adopted through TOP (The Outreach Program)
“After the very sudden and sad passing of our beloved cat, P2, after 17 years of wonderful times together, we were heartbroken and not yet ready to take on any new babies. Until I happened to see a Facebook post of two kitties desperately needing a foster home. My heart just broke again.
“After a very brief discussion with hubby, off we set to see if we could be temporary ‘mom and dad’ to these two boys. We met Waddles and Winston in the spare room of a local home, occupied by the amazing animal rescuer Samantha Mann of TOP (a pet angel in human form).
“She told us that the two boys had come from a pretty terrible background, and it was clear from their behaviour that they were very traumatised. Winston hid, but Waddles came straight to John (hubby), and he was sold. Samantha told us that they were a ‘package deal’, and we were glad to oblige.
“Needless to say, the first three days at our home the pair were bordering on terrified. Winston hid under the bed constantly, although Waddles occasionally came out to charm us before flitting away again. John didn’t think we’d make it, but, just two weeks later, these two boys couldn’t be more at home, or more loved.
“They’ve become such a special part of our family and are much loved by all – including the neighbours, who watch us walk them daily around the block in our complex. So, after all the heartache of losing our lovely P2, and the trauma these two special boys went through, the happy ending is both ours and theirs. We’re officially their new mom and dad and look forward to many long years with these amazing and adorable cats.”
Dido Blagden shares Suzi Q, who recently joined her family
“Suzi Q was adopted from CLAW and adored by my good friend Jill Olivier. When Jill sadly passed away in April 2020, when South Africa was in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown, there was no hesitation that I’d take in little Suzi.
“For the first couple of days, Suzi was sweet and obliging but a little unsure. She slept in the kitchen for the first couple of nights. She kept trying to engage with my other three dogs – Herbie, the fat little Derriere (Dachshund-Yorkshire Terrier dog), Dini the feral rescue, and Pablo, my blind, deaf, dumb (as in, not the brightest bulb on the tree) 17-year-old ‘foster’ from an ex-partner.
“Herbie was the first to engage with her a little, but Dini was the one she really persisted in trying to win over; Dini determinedly ignored her. I tried to get Su to sleep in the main bedroom with us by closing off my bedroom door; she then insisted on sleeping outside. So, I put out a huge plush dog bed and her blankets and dressed her in a pink jersey. Nothing I did enticed her to sleep with us in the bedroom and come back into the house. That is, until the 1st of May, when we were allowed to walk dogs again.
“On that very first walk, Dini and Suzi were walked on a bungee ‘splitter lead’. It was then that they bonded and became besties. They started to play, and that night, when I got to the bed, there was Suzi Q. She’s slept with us on the bed ever since! It turns out that it wasn’t anything I was or wasn’t doing – she wanted Dini’s permission to join the wufflecuddleparty.
“Suzi is a darling, is adored and fully belongs with us; she was our blessing and gift during this whole Covid-19 lockdown!”
Felix (left) and Savannah
Brenda Bryden shares Savannah and Felix
“Savannah and Felix are a five-year-old bonded brother and sister pair who originally came to join our household as fosters in August 2017.
“A colleague was leaving to teach English in China for a year; we’d been trying for several months to find a suitable forever home for the cats together. When it got to a week before departure date, my colleague was desperate, as there’d been no interest in these beautiful babies. I agreed to foster them for a year with the understanding that when their original owner returned from her one-year stint in China, she’d take them back.
“But one year turned into two, and in November 2019, Felix and Savannah were gifted to my daughter and me. They’re an entertaining pair – Felix is a master at opening doors, so there’s no privacy in our home, and Savannah is a chatterbox who loves to give head butts. Despite them entering a household with existing resident cats, they still tend to dominate when it comes to taking affection and deciding when it’s mealtime.”
Vanessa Raphaely shares Daisy Rose, who was adopted from Grace Animal Sanctuary
“My daughter had looked and looked for the perfect pooch, until finding and falling for Daisy Rose’s photo on the sanctuary’s Instagram account. The rest of our family had never met her before she waltzed into our lives during lockdown. But it really didn’t matter – we would love whichever dog arrived at our door.
“Daisy Rose is adorable, sweet, bouncy and very ‘chewy’, and we’ve all fallen in love with her. Except our two existing dogs, who will take, we think, a little longer to like being used as teething toys. She has sharp teeth!”
Priscilla Babu shares Bentley, who was adopted from Husky Heaven Rescue
“Bentley was born at Purrpaws For Life and was only a pup of six months old when the shelter was devastated by a fire at the end of January 2019. He was kindly taken in by Husky Heaven Rescue, where he remained until we found him.
“Our family decided to foster Bentley when we went into lockdown in March 2020. Of course, he crept firmly into our hearts and now claims ‘foster fail’ status and is joyfully part of our family.
“Bentley is a Bull Terrier mix dog, and he loves to play, give hugs, sleep on a pillow next to my bed, and watch cartoons on TV.
“He has a wonderful personality and doesn’t bark much. We’re forever grateful for Brenda Meyer of Husky Heaven Rescue for taking such good care of him for over a year and entrusting him to us.
“He’s greatly loved by my sisters Jenny and Lynn, and me, and he even has his own Instagram account: i.am.bentleytherescue.
“Bentley has discovered so many new things, like looking at himself in the mirror, playing with his teddies, barking at leaves, playing with pillows (he has a thing about pillows) and loving his daily walks, which are now allowed once more.
“We think he loves us as much as we love him, and we’re so happy to share our lives with him!”
Photo credit: By-Joao Photography
Melissa and George Joao share Kitara, who was adopted from Wollies Animal Project in 2014
“Our beautiful Siberian forest cat, Princess Kitara, was adopted from Wollie’s Animal Project on the 22nd of February 2014 when she was just two years old. She was rescued from an industrial area after being found there living as a stray.
“We’d adopted a Siamese kitten in 2012 but unfortunately lost her to FIP. When we were finally ready to adopt again, Wollie’s had Kitty Wednesdays, focusing on sharing adult cats for adoptions – I saw her post advertised on their page.
“We went on Saturday morning to meet her, and she stole our hearts the moment we laid eyes on her. She is a breathtakingly beautiful cat with a very unique and cheeky personality to match. We have three other cats, and she’s mostly integrated well with them. However, the princess prefers her own company and being doted on by her minions (us).
“Kitara is living her best life in her forever home with the people who love her. Adopting an adult cat from a rescue is truly a gift in disguise. Rescue pets are amazing; saving a life is amazing. They may require more love and care initially, but they end up being the ones who truly save us.”
Ice (left) and Dutchess
Suné van der Merwe shares Ice and Dutchess, adopted from New Beginnings
“Ice and Dutchess were adopted when they were about three years old. They were both extremely thin and malnourished. Ice had a big scar all around his body, and Dutchess’s weight was a great concern for us, as she was really only skin and bones.
“They’ve been with us now for three years, and although they never really learned to play as puppies, they’ve adjusted and are great with each other as well as our little Daschund girl. Dutchess loves her little sister to bits and plays with her all the time.
“We’re so glad that we could help these animals and give them a chance at a happy life in a caring family; they’re part of our family, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Angela Verster shares Dio and Sab, who were both adopted from Capetonians Against Animal Abuse
“We adopted Dio (white) and Sab (black) on the 12th of November 2019.
“Our intention was to get ‘a’ kitten, but their foster, Cindy, suggested we should consider taking two. We did… and it was the best decision we ever made! We’d definitely recommend that anyone looking for ‘a’ kitten should definitely take two. They spend hours together playing, and they SO love each other, it’s clear to see!
“Dio and Sab bring us many hours of happiness, joy and laughter. They’re two such different little personalities, and we just love them to bits.
“We’ll be forever grateful to CAAA for finding these two beauties for us – they enrich our lives every minute. They may need us, but we certainly needed them too!”
Almond (left) and Cashew
Yolandi Strauss shares Almond and Cashew – her adored rescue bunnies
“Almond, she was adopted because there were rumours that she would have been euthanised. We don’t know her history but believe she was abused, which caused her behaviour issues. Despite these issues, we shower her with love. Deep down she’s a loving bunny, sweet and kind. She free-roams our home and is as charming as a queen.
“Cashew was adopted to save him from a bad housing situation. He was kept in a small enclosure with a very angry rooster. The rooster frightened him into corners and kicked his food. Cashew also free-roams our home and is the most loving bunny we have ever met, full of energy and always looking for hugs.”
Ryan Eatwell shares Maddox, who was abandoned
“Maddox was abandoned at a coffee shop in 2012 because his family found out he was deaf.
“That’s when we met: he was a tiny little ball, and I was a farmer. He grew up in the bakkie and on the bike. He’s been with me almost 24/7 for the last eight years. Well, the last two years have been tough since we moved to town and he has to stay home all day – I think it’s tough on both of us.
“Maddox is fearless. And he’s stone deaf. This combination has gotten him into some hair-raising situations! He’s gotten stuck into snakes, cattle, a herd of zebra and a dozen hippos! The hippo incident was the worst; he was like a bullet as soon as he saw them (12 of them!) dozing on the riverbank. He caused such a commotion, and, of course, he couldn’t hear my screams!
“The last hippo left was a big old bull. Maddox grabbed him by the tail and got flung, spinning across the sand. But this didn’t stop him. When all 12 hippos were safely in the water, he dived in after them. There was nothing I could do, since he can’t hear a word! When he came trotting back with that proud look on his face, I could almost hear him say, ‘You saw that, right?’.
“Maddox, a brave little ball of muscle, a real Jock of the Bushveld, and my constant companion!”
Ezette Adao shares Levi, who was adopted from Spaniel Rescue SA
“Levi was suffering from mange when we adopted him, and he frequently had to go for injections at the vet as ongoing treatment. He recovered miraculously and has since had no sign of the mange; today he has a gorgeous coat.
“Levi is the boss in our household, which he shares with two female Boston Terriers, Dot and Dora, and Roxy, a very cheeky Pekingese.
“Levi is well known and adored by our Albert’s Farm Parkrun breakfast club. We, and everyone who meets him, love our Levi.”
My daughter, Tiffany, and Levi
Flo (left) and Felix
Jacqui Steadman shares Florence (Flo) Hamm Steadman and Felix Percival Steadman, who were adopted from Capetonians Against Animal Abuse (CAAA)
“Felix Percival Steadman (tabby) was adopted on the 4th of November 2018. My little boy arrived at CAAA as a feral kitten with awful snuffles. He had some health issues as a result but has been 90% well since he’s been with me. Felix is the most adventurous and talented hunter (I don’t encourage this but frequently receive ‘treats’) out there and was born to be an outdoor cat. He loves lying in the sun and watching the birds, bees and butterflies flit by. Though he appears tough and rugged, he’s a mommy’s boy through and through and is really MY cat only. He’s totally affectionate and loving with me but doesn’t take kindly to male guests and strangers.
“Florence Hamm Steadman, aka Flo (black-and-white), was adopted on the 5th of December 2018. Apart from a little sickness when she first arrived, she’s been a healthy chonk in the making since. She’s the most caring little girl and loves her brother dearly. She loves to lie by him and groom him, and although she isn’t the most loving with humans, she’ll sleep by me when I’m not well and sit in the doorway watching me if she’s concerned. She’s always nearby, watching over me. A cuddle from her is the highlight of my day; this usually happens when I’m sitting on the toilet – we take what we can get!
“These two are really my babies, and caring for them has given me a reason to get up and live day to day.”
Stephan Stone shares Patapon (aka Dixie), who was adopted from Winelands SPCA
“Patapon, aka Dixie, is actually my wife’s dog – it was her turn to choose a dog (we share our home with a few rescue dogs) – but she has an affinity for both of us. This was kind of love at first sight, because we’re both crazy about her.
“We live close to the sea, and the dogs get a walk on the beach almost every day. Patapon loves the sea; she just goes and lies in the water.
“Patapon still loves her ball playing; we have a little stretch in the house, which I call the Patapon-mile, for throwing a ball for her. She’s very energetic, always playing, always bringing a toy, demanding attention… and getting it! I truly believe she’s happy with us, and she makes us very happy.”
Patapon (aka Dixie) on our bed with Rosie, my eldest daughter’s dog
Anne Darne shares Lexi, who was adopted from Cape of Good Hope SPCA
“We adopted Lexi in 2014 from the SPCA when she was about six months old.
“She’s a very talkative, goofy girl and loves nothing more than sneaking up to give us a fright.
“With winter around the corner, she’ll reclaim her place IN the bed (head on my pillow), much to the annoyance of her Maine Coone brothers.”
Andrea Bronkhorst shares Shadow
“Shadow is a crossbreed Shepherd-Border Collie dog. She was abandoned as a pup; she couldn’t eat and was very frightened of people and other dogs.
“Today, she’s healthy and happy, eats with gusto, plays with her adoptive brothers and sisters, and is a real mommy’s girl. With lots of love and attention, she grew into a beautiful doggo.”
Sonia de Beer shares Cinnamon and Nougat, who were adopted from Mdzananda Animal Clinic
“Cinnamon and Nougat joined us at the beginning of the year, and it’s been one of the best decisions we ever made as a family.
“Nougat’s greatest skill is climbing the curtains as high as she can go. Cinnamon’s ‘climbing skills’ involve what has been left after the mad breakfast rush and having a quick lick of left-over oats! I’m not so convinced about their physical activities. Our son promises me they are just playing, but all I see is red-card high-tackle rugby shenanigans!
“The sisters have a very special bond and sleep together, curled up with paws around each other.
“They’re showered with love and attention, and I hope they feel they have found their special forever home with us.”
Samantha Burrill shares Violet, who was adopted from the Randburg SPCA
“Violet chose me; I was confirmed her human. She’d been found with her siblings abandoned in a house where the people had moved and left her mommy and babies behind.
“Violet is Spike’s best friend (featured in February) and they love to play. She’s still people-shy and will hide behind my legs, and she’s never shy to nip at ankles.
“She healed my heart after my Great Dane cross passed away very unexpectedly at the age of four. All I ever wanted was a little dog that would follow me everywhere, and that’s exactly what I got with Violet.”
Mizan Malan shares Baby Harvey, who was adopted from Raise ‘n Rescue
“Baby Harvey (as I still like to call him) is the most loving cat I’ve ever come across. He’s my shadow, permanently under my feet and following me wherever I go.
“Harvey is six months old now and is currently teething. I get woken up to him spitting his teeth out on either my pillow or on top of me for the ‘kitten tooth fairy’.
“Since the day I got him he’s always slept on my bed, in my arms, and he’s a proper purr machine. Harvey can purr for two hours solidly, non-stop!
“He’s our daredevil boy that has absolute no fear. He keeps the harmony in our house, as whenever his two bigger fur brothers are at it with each other, he just plonks himself right in the middle and starts being playful, calming the brothers and creating an environment for jolling and proper play time.
“He’s my special boy, my cuddling bear, with the softest fur and whiskers that could be seen from afar.”
Photo credit: Nat Gold ZA
Mumford (left), Rex (right), and Harvey (in front)
Photography credit: Beverley Anne Page
Etta van der Merwe shares Dolf Louw, neé Van der Merwe, who was adopted from SPCA Bloemfontein
“We love to call our animals by their names as well as surnames – they are, after all, family. We adopted Dolf, and he was my late husband’s “seehondjie” (as we call it in Afrikaans). Where Johan went, Dolf followed.
“He’s very intelligent and a little hostile towards strangers, making him even more loyal. He loves to dig stones out of the sand; he’ll carry a stone all the way home to show us his trophy, and then he’ll carry it to his food bowl, where he’ll add it to his food for safekeeping. Sometimes there are three or four stones in his bowl. He never eats them… he simply enjoys ‘hunting’ and ‘storing’ them.
“The tragic fact is that Dolf still waits for my husband to return home every day. There were so many times when Dolf refused to allow me to get into bed when he and Johan were already in bed. We had such wonderful times together, and now, without Johan, Dolf and Koos (Koos’s Happy Tale) are my constant companions.”
Danika Genade shares Litchi, who was rescued as a stray
“Litchi was found in the parking lot of Cape Gate Shopping Centre. Seeing that he needed urgent medical attention, I took him straight to the vet. Afterwards he came home with me, and, because he was covered in fleas, I gave him a bath (which he really didn’t enjoy!). The vet had told me that he was only about six weeks old.
“I called Cindy of Capetonians Against Animal Abuse, and she said for me to bring him in and he’d go into foster care. I put down the phone, looked over at Litchi, and decided there and then that it was too late… I’d already lost my heart! I called Cindy right back and told her that he wasn’t going to be joining her but that I needed their help in processing the adoption and getting him microchipped soonest and sterilised.
“Litchi now lives a life of absolutely luxury! Rescues rock, and Litchi has five cats, three dogs and three feathered siblings.”
Greta Wilson shares Sadie
“Sadie is estimated to be four years old. She was previously adopted by my neighbour from the SPCA and lived with them for three-and-a-half years. I used to stop my car and run over to her if I spotted her being walked at the lake across the road. My neighbour has since emigrated, and this dog, with whom I always felt a soul connection, is now mine.
“She fits in perfectly with my other two Boxers; Sadie was meant to be!
“Immediately after my Sophie died, my neighbour came to ask whether Boxers are good with children, as they’d seen a Boxer that they were told ‘has been here three months and is due to be put to sleep’. The rest is history!”
Left to right: Mango (15 months old), Sadie (estimated to be 4 years old) and Kerneelz (10 years old)
Jodi Schiff shares Ozzy, adopted from Capetonians Against Animal Abuse (CAAA)
“I already had Blue (adopted from Cape of Good Hope SPCA), and I thought, as an indoor-only cat, he was lonely. I started scouring the Internet for another Siamese/Oriental to rescue.
“After many months, I saw the photo of the cat who’d be Ozzy on the CAAA Facebook page and immediately applied to adopt him.
“To cut a long story short, we got Ozzy (Monster) as brother to Blue on the 1st of December. He fearlessly rules the house with an iron paw and squeaky meow. With his slight cross eye, he always looks vaguely surprised but couldn’t be more adored by us all – especially Blue, who’ll no longer play with us.
“P.S. Blueboy and Ozzy have their own Instagram page – it’s called blueboy_and_ozzy!”
Shreela Gupta Banerjee shares Max, who was adopted from the Boksburg SPCA
“We brought Max home from Boksburg SPCA on the 10th of February. He’s a bi-colour German Shepherd Dog who’s about one year old. Max had been found as a stray on the 6th of December 2019 and sadly never claimed.
“He seems very well-trained and knows basic commands; he was obviously someone’s house dog. He sleeps well, eats voraciously, and the vet confirms he’s just in perfect health.
“For me, he’s perfect in every way.”
Photography credit: Nat Gold ZA
Mike Anhauser shares Alexa, who was adopted because she was unwanted
“Alexa was adopted by us in November 2017 as a six-week-old kitten. She became unwanted by her previous carers, and we took in this tiny ginger kitten; Liam, our youngest grandson, took ownership of her and named her ‘Alexa’.
“At that time, the canine in charge of security at home was Fluffy, a Maltese Terrier who’d been with us for eight years at the time Alexa came on board. He was very aggressive towards strangers but took an instant liking to Alexa. The chemistry between the two matched perfectly, and soon they became inseparable. Then, in his tenth year, Fluffy moved on. Alexa found herself all alone, and one could see that she missed him as time went by.
“Enter Mopsy as the new canine on the block. At first glance, she ignored Alexa and showed no interest in her. Alexa tried to make friends by cuddling up to her, but Mopsy wasn’t interested. Mopsy then got a BFF named Ollie.
“All hell broke loose; they quickly became allies and decided to launch a dual ‘attack’ on Alexa, chasing her down the passage growling to scare her even more. One day, Alexa decided to put an end to this onslaught. They again chased her down the passageway, and Alexa stopped dead in her tracks and faced them head on, scratching Mopsy and Olle with her steely claws right on their jaws. This lady decided that she’d not be bullied.
“That was the last time they chased Alexa down the passage. Soon thereafter, a bond was formed; Alexa, Mopsy and Ollie are the best of friends.”
Tracy Whitaker shares Dobby, adopted from R.A.D.
“Dobby was kept in a tiny cage for the start of her life. When we adopted her there was concern that she’d never be able to walk properly due to a suspected deformation of her spine and legs.
“Everyone thought she’d be the size of a Min Pin… she’s now 23kg, with the heart of a lion and the body of a Great Dane. Life with Dobby is never dull, and she loves to test out the durability of her collection of tennis balls.”
Photography credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Kyla Blasyk shares Pixie, who was adopted from 4Paws
“Pixie was born in October 2018 at 4Paws Shelter. There were THREE mommy dogs that gave birth there in the space of two months, so it was very hard to choose as there were so many pups! This was to be my first dog – I had always wanted one, my whole life!
“I chose Pixie because she was the teeny-tiniest one and her paws looked like she was wearing little socks. She played with me and drank water from my hand; it was love at first sight! I went to visit her as often as possible until she was big enough to come home with me.
“From here onwards, Pixie became “Princess Pixie”. She’s lived a life of luxury and spoils, being my Number 1 Baby Girl. Now that I have Daisy, I have TWO princesses in my life. Pixie & Daisy are inseparable; they play all day long together and are the light in my life.”
Photo credit: Nat Gold ZA
Mizan Malan shares Mumford, who was adopted from Aid4Paws
“Mumford is indeed one lucky, lucky boy, and by luck, I mean that he is a survivor.
“Mumford joined our family in 2018 when he was only 12 weeks old – a beautiful, unwanted kitten who stole our hearts. We decided to adopt him and make him ours forever!
“Mumford sustained a terrible tail-pull injury when he was only eight months old. His injuries were severe, as he had a spine fracture that injured his nerve. This led to both back legs being partially paralysed, his tail was completely paralysed, and he had paralysis of his bladder and rectum. He was rushed for emergency care, as his kidneys were starting to be affected since he had no control of elimination anymore and his poor bladder was full.
“He was admitted to hospital and catheterised to help empty his bladder; he received laxatives, and after much treatment, he eventually stabilised and was discharged home… but his fight was not over.
“While at home, he was confined to a big cage to limit his movement. To see whether his nerves would regenerate and heal we had to take special precautions, as, if he damaged it again, it could have led to complete paralysis.
“Even though he was unable to use his back legs, he would still try and get around. He was fierce and determined to get out of his cage. Never in my life had I been so excited whenever Mumford made a wee by himself or was able to defecate.
“Eventually, with loads of therapy, time, patience, support from his brother Rex and our whole family, Mumford boy recovered 100% against all odds.
“He can walk again, and although restricted when it comes to jumping, he is such a happy boy who enjoys his freedom. He even showed our vet how he wasn’t going to allow his tail to be amputated: he regained full strength in that tail, his pride and glory – fluffy and upright. Even though he walks a little funny, it doesn’t stop him from doing anything. He is indeed a fighter and has overcome so much.
“We wouldn’t be able to envision life without our fighter who brings so much love, joy and happiness to our lives.
“PS. He even survived falling from a four-storey building thereafter with not a bump or scratch on him. He truly is a miracle baby; a proper survivor with seven cat lives left!”
Lauren & Greg Námer share Emmy, who was adopted from A New Hope Dog Rescue
“After losing one of our precious dogs to cancer, it took us a long time and a lot of heartache to even consider adopting another dog. We knew, however, that we could offer another rescue a great forever home, and with so many needing a home, we decided it was time to open our hearts. We chose to adopt a senior, because seniors have less chance of adoption and because our other dogs are senior.
“We started to look at profiles and came across little Emmy’s photo (named Tequila back then) and we fell in love. A few days later, we adopted her from A New Hope Dog Rescue, in time for her to experience a Christmas with us that included lots of treats, walks and love.
“She’s fitted in beautifully and is such a blessing, and we’re so thankful to be her guardians.”
Vincent and Sandra Jacobs share Dusty, whom they adopted after he lost both his owners
“We have known our very best canine friend for almost one-and-a-half years now; Dusty has been a fully-fledged member of our family for a whole year. He was welcomed into our home that included a very beloved and talkative Indian Ring-Neck parrot named Dr Kiss-Kiss, and two budgies named Toto and Beaky-Blue.
“Dusty, who’s a very handsome brindle American Staffordshire-Pit Bull-type breed, stands tall on his dainty feet. He’s a gentle giant with a loving nature. He welcomes all visitors into our home by presenting them with an avocado leaf from a little pile of leaves that he keeps close to him on his favourite rug in the living room.
“He was first rescued from the Margate SPCA when he was a year old. The couple who adopted him lived in a beautiful beach house, and so Dusty was often taken down to the beach where his favourite playmate was a Labradoodle.
“Sadly, both his human parents passed away when he was about 10 years old. One of our friends tried his best to visit Dusty and play with him regularly and also arranged for someone to stay on the property until the house was sold.
“One day, Paul phoned us in a panic to tell us that part of the fence enclosing the property had collapsed, and Dusty had been seen running towards a busy main road. We’d lost our beloved Paddy-Bear, a Labrador-Shepherd mix, a few months prior to this, and so we immediately offered to take Dusty into our home.
“After a week or two we’d completely bonded with him, and now he’s a permanent member of the family.”
Tracy Whitaker shares Sparky, who was rescued as “discarded rubbish”
“Sparky is literally our ‘spirit of joy’! He was rescued by my husband when he accosted someone taking a cardboard box to throw away in the skip that turned out to have a tiny puppy in it that was hairless and covered in vomit.
“Sparky is our smallest pack member who has an endless capacity for cuddles.”
Odette Joubert shares Molly, who was adopted from SPCA Vanderbijlpark in November 2019
“Molly is just the happiest little soul and brings joy into every room she enters. When we saw her picture on a Facebook post, she looked so worried. You could see her little tail was droopy and she needed a home. Her little face reminded us of Quentin, our dog that went missing on the 19th of October 2017. We searched high and low – and still continue to search for him. But we decided there and then to add little Molly to our group of other rescues from various SPCAs, as well as Sasha, from Tembisa.
“When I went to meet little Molly, she looked at me then disappeared into her sleeping quarters to bring me a tennis ball. There was no question: we were going to adopt her.
“People must realise that there are so many souls waiting to be adopted. I think little mixed breeds have so much character. All my dogs are a mix of breeds. No one knows what exactly their life stories are, but they are souls with lots of love to give. Each one of my rescues has a special personality, each with their own special abilities to warm our hearts.”
Aimeè Zermatten shares Ron, her rescue dog from Thailand
“From the very day I met Ron as a puppy, whilst working with an animal rescue organisation in Thailand, I knew that he’s my soul dog, and there was no way I was returning to South Africa without him. It was a challenging time, but, thankfully, it all worked out in the end.
“I take Ron to the local park for a few hours a day where he’s been able to meet so many new dogs and thoroughly enjoys swimming in the river.
“Ron celebrated his second birthday on the 8th of January 2020, along with my mom’s dogs whom he visits on weekends. He truly enjoys life in South Africa!”
Bianca Peens shares Odin, adopted from Place A Pup
“Little Odin and seven of his siblings were rescued by Place A Pup in Roodepoort in December 2019.
“Odin was three months old, weighed only 1.65kg, was badly abused, had had hot water thrown on him and an untreated eye infection that was left too long, causing him to lose his right eye.
“Today, he has the shiniest coat, his skin has healed, and he weighs over 5kg. He went from a withdrawn, scared little boy to a bouncy, happy and full-of-confidence handsome lad.
“He’s a typical puppy now, exploring, playing, chewing, and he absolutely loves lying on the grass stretched out watching the other doggies play. He has a habit of pulling his ears back, straightening out his legs, and wagging his tail all at once when he gets excited. He loves playing, and even though he only has one eye, it doesn’t stop him from being silly.
“Odie absolutely loves his sleep and his foodies, he snores worse than an old man, and still gets a bit overexcited with food, but it’s a work in progress.
“He’s a very small boy, but if he has to grow to the size of his heart, he’ll be a giant.”
Chris Williamson shares Lil Princess Bunny and Charlie, who were both adopted from Catz R Us SA
“My fiancée was looking at kittens when she came across this gorgeous five-month-old tripod cat with a bob tail and we were smitten. For some reason (possibly because she was shy and maybe because she’s disabled) nobody else wanted to adopt her.
“As soon as we saw her hopping like a bunny and with her little bob tail, we named her ‘Lil Princess Bunny’.
“Later in the year, Catz R Us SA contacted us to say they still had her brother, Charlie, so we spread the word, but nobody was interested. The reason he couldn’t find a mom and a dad at the shelter is that when people came to look, he hid at the back of the cage.
“At nine months old, we ended up adopting him too. They’re both still very scared of humans, but they come out for mom and dad.”
Robin Thesen-Smith shares Sherlock and Cleo, her precious rescue dogs
“Sherlock the Fox Terrier was rescued by PAWS (Plett Animal Welfare). He came in with a very badly broken leg, and when we adopted him, he still had his leg in plaster. He is super intelligent and loves playing ball games.
“Cleo the Rottweiler mix was adopted from KAWS (Knysna Animal Welfare) when she was a puppy. I took her to agility classes to give her confidence, and she loved it. She’s loyal and fiercely protective.”
Photo credit: Jackie Wernberg Photography
Helen Walne shares Joey, who was adopted from DARG (Domesticated Animal Rescue Group)
“We adopted Joey in 2007 when he was still a puppy. He was a small, scared boy who was getting bullied and picked on by his siblings, but when we brought him to live with us, he soon felt right at home.
“He’s now 12 years old and is slowing down, but still comes for a walk every day and loves swimming in the sea.”
Lauren & Greg Námer share Pinky, who was adopted from Kitty and Puppy Haven
“Our gorgeous Pinky is such a special, affectionate and, as you can see, vocal cat. We fostered her and her mum (whom we also adopted).
“She recently celebrated her tenth birthday but still acts like a kitten, and we absolutely adore her!”
Beth Partridge shares Hooch, who was adopted from Stellenbosch Animal Welfare
“What can I say about our new family member? Hooch is kind, gentle, smart and very funny. He absolutely loves to play with other dogs and enjoys any form of attention – he sits perfectly still to be groomed, have his teeth brushed or be bathed. And, of course, he loves to snooze too.
“He’s extremely loyal and trusting, and he brings me more joy with every new day.”
Ansulaine Spies shares Lily, whom she adopted from Cat Trapping in the Winelands
“Lily just jumped straight into our hearts the very first day she arrived. Nursing two litters of kittens is not an easy job, but Lily took it in her stride. The kittens of the second litter that we fostered with Lily will surely grow up to bring joy to all the homes that were lucky enough to adopt one of them.
“Motherhood came so naturally for this black beauty, and her loving and protective personality is the first thing you notice after her striking green eyes.
“After all her hard work, Lily can now finally just enjoy life and is now part of our family. While brother and sister Pips and Pooh are still adjusting to the new member, Lily is happily the New Kid on the block.”
Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Samantha Burrill shares Spike, adopted from CLAW (Community Led Animal Welfare)
“Spike was posted on CLAW’s Facebook page on the 30th of December 2014. He was dehydrated, malnourished, full of ticks and very weak, and they asked for good wishes so he’d pull through. And without a second thought I commented and said I’d have him as soon as he was well enough.
“I collected him from FORA on the 9th of February 2015, and he’s been my soulmate ever since. Everyone who meets him loves him.”
Guy Thesen shares Molecule, Irie and John, who were adopted from Sedgefield Animal Matters (SAM)
“I’m a cat lover. I’ve always had cats in my life from as far back as I can remember, except for a bad three-month period this year when our six-year-old tabby died. The house was not the same without that cat’s presence; it felt empty!
“So, when I found these kittens at Sedgefield Animal Matters, I told my wife I’d get two of the four… but fell for the black one as well! The garden is bursting with striped mice, rats, snakes, insects and birds... and yes, they will be trouble, but I’m aware that felis catus is identical in DNA to its original parents, felis lybica, better known as the African wild cat.”
Twanette Bronkhorst shares her new pup, Gidget
“Gidget is my Dobermann rescue pup. Previously, she was an abused and scared pup that wanted nothing to do with anyone, but when I started to love and care for her, I realised it’s all she needs.
“Now, she follows me everywhere, loves her daily walks and enjoys coming for a drive in the car. She’s my world, and we’re inseparable.”
Hermien Delport shares Lucy, who was adopted from SPCA Roodepoort
“I would like to thank the SPCA Roodepoort for my beautiful Lucy. She’s been an absolute Godsend, and from day one, she was already part of my family. She’s adorable, potty-trained, and gets along well with my Yorkie, Rocky.
“Over Christmas, she stole the hearts of my whole family. I seriously hit the jackpot; she’s already spoiled and loved and freely gives endless cuddles and kisses.
“She’s calm and loves being on my lap. I would definitely recommend adopting. I think Lucy rescued me, because her unconditional love is priceless.
“Thank you to everyone who made this possible.”
Lilian Schultz shares Maggie, who was adopted from Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre
“I came across Maggie on Facebook, and I thought: why not phone – she looked so forlorn. And that’s how the whole journey started.
“I’ve rescued many dogs, and I just want to tell you that Maggie is a wonderful girl. She’s slowly coming out of her shell and even barked once… it was a bit out of tune, but she tried.
“The others get along with her, and she’s settled in very well.”
Chanellé van Deventer shares Tex, adopted from Maltese, French Poodle & Yorkie Rescue South Africa
“Tex immediately caught our eye at the rescue. He had such beautiful brown eyes and a soft demeanour that resonated with us.
“Our experience with Tex so far has been one of pure love, joy and lots of cuddling. He even has his own Instagram page: tex_the_adventurer.”
Photographs by FourPawz Photography
Claire Shadbolt shares Mr Dorian Grey adopted from Mdzananda Animal Clinic
“I fostered Mr Dorian Grey for Mdzananda from four-and-a-half months old. I was there one day, taking kitties for sterilisations, and told them my first foster involved having to rehabilitate a kitty with spinal damage after kids had swung him by his tail – and he went to his forever home walking 99% right. The vet said, ‘Oh, can you go look at Mr Grey for us...’
“And so he came home with me that day. Sadly, the damage was too severe, so he stayed with me whilst he awaited his operation to remove his front leg that had irreparable radial nerve damage (hit by a car, they thought). He had absolutely no feeling in the paw and leg. It had to be removed as it was a dead weight, which threw him off balance. The risk of his catching it somehow, tearing it and causing infection, etc. was too great.
“At six months of age, he had the op and amazed me with both his quick recovery and how, within 48 hours, his balancing ability improved dramatically.
“After 10 days of pain meds and me sleeping upstairs in the granny flat, where all my fosters live, his stitches came out and I had ‘the conversation’ with my husband. His answer was: ‘Of course Mr Grey is staying; I was just waiting for you to ask!’”
Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Lesley Donnelly and Engela Calitz share Ares
“We are besotted with the Boxer Dog breed and, after having lost our first two Boxers, we decided to rescue two adult Boxers, Ares (male) and Kali (female). They lived together on the plots outside Pomona on the East Rand and their owner could no longer take care of them. They came to us skinny, unsocialised and very scared.
“From day one Ares decided that we were his moms and has been glued to our sides ever since. Kali was more independent and a truly strong dog in all ways; that’s why it was so hard to see her succumb to the spirocerca lupi infection. She was a beautiful Boxer, lean, affectionate and super-clever.
“Ares is luminous in his whiteness and he photographs beautifully. He’s an extremely sensitive dog and hates offending us in any way.
“Ares has mellowed a lot since Kali passed, and although he’s still sensitive, he’s embraced little Pearl (our newest rescue) as his new best friend. He loves running with her in our garden in the cool of the day and looks a bit like Pegasus when he runs. He’s gentle (mostly) with his toys and with Pearl but can also firmly reprimand her if need be. His love and loyalty are unsurpassed. Ares is the Greek god of war, but there’s nothing ‘warring’ about our boy – he should have been Eros, God of Love.”
Suzanne Thomson shares Magpie and Bailey, adopted from Sharon’s Foster Furries
“Magpie and Bailey were rescued in Athlone by Sharon’s Foster Furries and given so much love by their foster mummy until they came to us, their forever home.
“Magpie is our little feisty lady; she’s a big hunter and can get up any tree in a few seconds – and she also loves love!
“Bailey is a big-hearted snuggle bunny. He just wants to curl up in our arms and then he’s happy.
“They love each other more than anything. They run around and play together like absolute hooligans and then pass out snuggled on top of each other. Adopting them has been such a blessing!”
Olly (left) and Kai
Nicky Charlewood shares Olly and Kai, her recently adopted baby goats
“After being taken in by animal rescuer Marizanne Ferreira after their mother died, we couldn’t resist and immediately offered them a forever home.
“Kai has been ill (he ate something that didn’t agree with him but is on the mend). They’ve become part of our pack of seven dogs and love to meet and greet everyone who’s arriving and leaving.
“They are a delight and keep us entertained daily!”
Olly jumping out of the lounge onto the stoep
Kirsty Moyes shares Baby Girl, who was adopted from the AACL Johannesburg
“Baby Girl is our five-year-old Collie-mix baby. From what we can understand, she was at the shelter for just over a year. We don’t know her background, but that doesn’t matter as she came to her furever home on the 2nd of August 2019.
“Her beauty and gentle eyes caught our attention when we went past there to look for a fur child to join us in our new home. It was love at first sight.
“Baby just oozes love. She’s definitely a daddy’s girl but gives mommy so much love too.
“She loves learning new tricks and speeding up and down the garden with her ball! She loves fetch but with her own twist (we must try and fetch the ball from her). She makes our hearts glow and has brought so much love into our home. We have truly been blessed!”
Petal (background) and Helen with Harry
Photography by Nat Gold ZA
Helen Bastin shares her precious pigs, Harry and Petal
“Harry’s parents were rescued in a shocking state, emaciated and covered in skin cancer. The vet who was treating them said they wouldn’t breed as they were so sick, but he was wrong!
“Kim, the mummy pig, gave birth to two piglets only. One was very sickly and we weren’t sure she was going to make it. The lady who rescued them simply didn’t have space for more pigs, so I offered to take him. Luckily, Harry’s sister, Penny, lived, and she went to another loving home.
“Harry means everything to me. He’s so loving and adores cuddles and belly rubs. He can be stubborn, as all pigs are, but isn’t aggressive as a lot of pet pigs can be. As with any pet pig, there is NO such thing as a teacup pig. He needs a lot of space and mental stimulation, as they are demanding pets.
“Pigs do better with friends and Harry was getting lonely, so we decided to get him a companion. Always wanting to adopt a rescue pig, we went to Greyton Farm Animal Sanctuary and asked if there was a suitable lady pig that was sterilised (Harry is also sterilised).
“Petal was the suggestion, and my husband and I fell for her straight away; a beautiful little black pig both in looks and personality. Petal had been dumped in someone’s garden as a baby. We took her home, and although it wasn’t love at first sight, they’re firm friends now.”
Photo credit: Strike a Pose Photography
Samantha Burrill shares Schlossy, adopted from Mama Kasi Rural Rescue
“Schlossy was found in the township when we were doing some outreach work. She had a terrible glaucoma, with the pressure in her eye measuring 68 when it should’ve been between 12 and 22. The ophthalmologist told us that she had such a bad migraine that if she were a person she wouldn’t have been able to lift her head, which would explain why she was so quiet and slept such a lot.
“Thanks to Mama Kasi Rural Rescue, we were able to book her in at Dr De Kramer at Rant en Dal Vet the very next day for enucleation surgery (eye removal).
“She just came alive the next day after her operation and showed me that dogs really don’t know self-pity like humans do – she was just so happy to be alive and pain-free.”
Sharon West shares Miss Moxxie (formerly Latte), who was adopted from Uitenhage SPCA
“Our Miss Moxxie is a beautiful chocolate colour and has the most gorgeous eyes. She’s settled in well with our other fur babies (two cats and a Jack Russell).
“She’s really cute and has loads of personality. She’s also known as Little Miss Attitude (my son says Miss Cattitude), but she can be so sweet when she wants cuddles and kisses.
“We love her very much and now can’t imagine life without her!”
Lily (left) and Mr Bean
Jackie Romanov shares her two special fur kids, Lilly and Mr Bean
“Lily is nine years old and was adopted from our local vet (Dr Koury). She’d been rescued from the streets and is the most gentle, loveable and darling girl.
“Mr Bean is two years old and was adopted from Oscar’s Arc. He’s a bundle of energy, and so loveable too. He’s always keen on an adventure or just getting out and about. He’s the cutest and sweetest boy ever, with so much energy!
“They really are the lights of my life, and we’re so lucky to have them around.
“Thanks, Happy Tails, for all your wonderful work and helping all the furries – you guys are truly very special and so appreciated!”
Leoné Walters shares Cooper, who was adopted from Pretoria Dog Rescue
“We adopted Cooper in 2017. His mommy had been neglected and abused for years and then abandoned just before having nine puppies. Luckily, she had a great foster mom who cared for her and her pups, finding good homes for Cooper and his siblings.
“Cooper is Level 4 Belgian Malinois, French Bulldog, Bloodhound, Rottweiler, English Springer Spaniel and Border Collie, according to MuttMix results, making him very special.
“He’s protective like the Belgian Malinois, intelligent like the Border Collie, loyal like the Rottweiler, charming like the Frenchie, enthusiastic like the Spaniel and able to sniff out treats from afar like the Bloodhound. He loves cuddles, but only by pre-approved family members.
“Due to his mom’s abuse and trauma whilst expecting the puppies, Cooper has a very nervous nature and distrust in humans. We decided that he needed a friend for emotional support and adopted Leah, a blonde Schnauzer from the SPCA (read more about Leah here). It was the best decision ever! Cooper is becoming more confident and trusting of people. They’re inseparable and love each other dearly.”
Photography by Jackie Wernberg Photography
Stacy Edwards shares Sam, Ben and Clyde, her precious rescue pack.
“Sam, our Border Collie mix, adores life, people and other dogs despite a rough start to life. He was a loved companion of a vagrant but was frequently found wandering the Constantia Main Road area; he was lucky not to get hit by a car and would often be handed in at Alphen Vet, who looked after him (including being allowed to sleep in the vet’s bed at home) until his human would come to claim him. He was found more than once tied up against a fence in the full sun without shelter or water when his human was staggering around drunk or moved off by Law Enforcement. Alphen Vet contacted AID for Animals in Distress, who put him into foster care with me, and he crawled so deep into our family’s hearts that he became our first foster failure. He now gets to spend EVERY night curled up in our bed cuddling with his humans.
“Ben the Aussie arrived at nearly two years old after being returned to his breeder by his original owner whose husband abused him badly. He was horribly underweight, his hip bones sticking out, and he was terrified, especially of men. We suspect that he’d been hit over the head, as he hates the top of his head being patted. He was also probably kicked, as he runs away when James swings his legs off the couch to get up. He’s been with us for about six years now and is the sweetest boy who ‘sings’ when excited about anything, whether it’s going for a walk (his favourite), his humans getting home, or getting treats after supper. He’s a super, cuddly, special boy.
“And, last but not least, Clyde the GSD mix was evacuated out of Mitchell’s Plain in a hurry. The lady with whom he ended up was a backyard dweller who rescued dogs in the area; one of the pups (that we fostered and lives in the lap of luxury in Gordon’s Bay) had mange – her landlord wanted to dip all of the pups in motor oil to kill the mange, and she, knowing that this is dangerous, contacted AID for Animals in Distress for help.
“Clyde’s story before he ended up with this lady is not known, apart from the fact that he was thrown over her wall as a 10-week-old puppy by a group of kids who’d been given him by someone else who no longer wanted him. He became a foster failure when our first Aussie, Jake, passed away from cancer in September 2018. Clyde and Sam had become the best of friends; we didn’t have the heart to uproot him and break up their friendship after all he’d been through.
“In conclusion, all three of my boys with a rough past are adored and repay us in laughter, cuddles and unconditional love each and every day.”
Leigh Page shares Atlas, who was adopted from Life is Rescue.
“Being of the belief that a home isn’t a home without a cat, as soon as I was settled in my new home, I put word out that I was looking to adopt.
“With the help of Happy Tails, little Atlas was drawn to my attention, and there wasn’t a moment of hesitation to make him part of the family. He’s thoroughly enjoying his new life with us.”
Eulogi Rheeder shares Nacho, who was adopted in June this year from the Spaniel Welfare SA.
“Nacho is two years and ten months old. She arrived at my house as a timid, scared little dog, but with daily training through games, patience and lots of unconditional love, I’m seeing her blossom into a confident little pupper!
“Lots of people think that she’s a boy with her name, but, as nachos (the dish) is so delicious and comforting, I thought to name her after it… isn’t she just delicious-looking? You can follow her daily adventures on Instagram at @life_of_nacho_”
Nicola Mullineux shares Ollie (left) and Lulu, who were adopted from Rescue is Life.
“I’d been searching for kittens for a while and fell in love with these two the minute I saw their photograph. I have friends who take their dog everywhere with them, so I thought I’d see if it was possible with kittens.
“Before I adopted them, I went shopping for everything I could possibly think they would need – I was determined to make their lives the best they could be. The little harnesses JUST fitted (the kittens were about six or seven weeks old at that stage), and the next weekend they went on their first adventure. They were timid at first but then discovered TREES – and that was them for the afternoon.
“I take them on adventures every weekend, from walking in the bush to hiking (where Lulu is an absolute ‘parrot cat’ and is in her element perched on a shoulder, taking in everything she sees) to walks in the park and their favourite spot of all – the BEACH!
“The best part about coming home is seeing their little faces and them bolting through the front door, running a few steps and looking back to see if I’m watching them.
“Every animal deserves only the best! What many people don’t realise, however, is they do as much for you, if not more, as you do for them. I’m looking forward to many, many more adventures with these two! They have a place in my heart like no other.
“For updates on their adventures, please follow them on Instagram @fuzzybuddies2019”
Marisa “eM” Louw shares Yogi, adopted from Parys SPCA.
“Little Yogi was found in the street on the 9th of September 2019. With thanks to the community Facebook Group, his owner was found… but the very next day he was surrendered to the SPCA.
“Being Peke fans, my husband, Stéfan, and I adopted him and welcomed him into our family.
“Yogi went from being a malnourished little dog to a happy chappy!”
Lily (at the back) and Bozi, her 15-year-old BFF
Ann Gmür shares Lily, who was adopted from Harties Feral Rescue.
“Lily was more than likely an abandoned kitty who returned to a feral state and found a home in Timmy’s Feral Colony in Hartbeespoort. She was trapped, sterilised, vaccinated and returned to her outdoor home by Harties Feral Cat Rescue almost two years ago.
“Then, in mid-July 2019, the call that every guardian dreads came: there’s an injured cat wandering around a car park. It was Lily, and for five days and nights, Harties Feral Cat Rescue sat with a trap, desperate to get her to a vet; on day six she was finally rescued!
“Lily had the most horrific snare injury, and the vet had no choice but to amputate her entire hind leg. But where to now… with Lily being feral?
“Being known as a cat whisperer, I immediately offered Lily a safe haven and recovery home. With unconditional love, devotion and patience, Lily has turned back into a homebody.
“Lily is living the life of a queen; she’s found a BFF in Bozi and will never have to spend another day fending for herself ever again. Lily is one of the BEST ‘look at me now’ stories EVER!”
Paulene Hardy shares Oscar, who was adopted from Humansdorp SPCA.
“I adopted Oscar three years ago after he’d been surrendered to the SPCA. He was just over a year old and looked pretty sad.
“After signing all the documents and paying for his sterilisation, vaccinations,
and yard check, etc. I was able to bring him home.
“Oscar is my boy! He’s definitely Schnauzer-cross; I think he’s a Schnoodle. I took him for training weekly for a good few months. He’s obedient and so affectionate, and I love him to bits!”
Kerrey Ann Baker shares Squidge.
“Squidge and her two siblings were rescued underneath the rocks on Clifton beach 17 years ago. They were very tiny and incredibly feisty, and Squidge wasted no time in asserting her authority over our pack of four very busy rescue Border Collies, who did their best to herd her.
“She’s been a real blessing and continues to reign supreme over her new pack of three rescue Border Collies, as their predecessors are now running free in doggy heaven.”
Marise du Randt shares Nicky, who was adopted from Happy Yappers.
“My own Ridgeback girl, Lila, went missing over a year ago, and it’s been a never-ending search for her (see Facebook article), so when I saw the post of a very old Ridgeback girl up for adoption at Happy Yappers Animal Sanctuary in Koster, Magaliesburg, I felt I needed to open my heart and give Nicky a home. She was found tied next to the road to a pole, just dumped.
“Nicky has been with me for a few months now and is such a gentle soul. She’s settled in as if she’s lived here her whole life; she gained weight and enjoys walks on the farm. She still gets spurts of energy and acts like a silly puppy sometimes, but due to a tumour she has, it doesn’t last long, then she gets tired.
“Seeing her content every day and her thankfulness makes it all worth it. She’s only a blessing to have, and I’m happy to be able to give her a loving home for the rest of her life.”
Tracy Whitaker shares Tinkerbell, who was adopted from Kitty and Puppy Haven.
“Tinkie – short for Tinkerbell – is a brown Shepherd cross who is food mad and SUPER smart. She’s never been keen on toys, but anything she can put in her mouth gets her vote!”
Mart-Marié Gouws shares Jacky, adopted from Feral Cat Assist Heidelberg.
“Jacky is the definition of a ‘cuddle bug’. He’ll be two years old next year. I adopted him from a photo, believe it or not, and only saw him for the first time when I drove quite a distance to fetch him. But it was a perfect match.
“Jacky cuddles every chance he gets, but, make no mistake, he wasn’t like that when we adopted him. He was this shy, scared little cat. It took him about a month to trust us and let us touch and cuddle him. I call him my awkward little baby! Jack loves his big sister, Shado, who’s also a feral rescue from Cats9Lives. Jack and Shado are both indoor kitties. I just felt their lives were already so hard on the streets and I didn’t want them to go through that again.
“To this day, if someone comes over, Jack immediately runs and hides; he doesn’t trust easily and comes across very scared, but once he lets you in it’s a whole different story.
“I think he had a very challenging time in the feral colony from which he was rescued. He has a skew leg – we have no idea why or what happened, but it doesn’t stop him. We also learned in the past year that he has floating ribs as well and, just the other day after a vet visit, that he also has a tumor that needs to be removed. Luckily the vet isn’t too concerned and thinks we caught it in time.
“Jack is really a gentle giant and weighs 5.8kg today. I’m so grateful to Feral Cat Assist Heidelberg for rescuing him.”
Photographs by B-you Photography
Simone Jones shares Nada, adopted from Critter Rescue SA.
“We were on holiday in Ballito in March 2019 when I came across the post on Facebook by Critter Rescue Rescue SA that this cute little bunny was looking for her forever home. It didn’t take long to convince my heart that I needed this bunny in my life, and it also didn’t take long to melt Charles’s heart when I showed him the adorable photos of her.
“So, while we were still on holiday at the coast, I got the paperwork done and emailed it as soon as I possibly could. After making some changes to the setup in our apartment, our home was approved and we were ecstatic!
“When she arrived, she climbed even further into our hearts and became our ‘little child’, never mind our pet.
“We love Nada so much that when we go to the shops we have to come home with something for her. We tell all our friends and family about her. We share all her little photos and videos with them of when she does something new or too adorable for words.
“She’s really become a part of our lives and hearts, and when we recently got engaged, Nada had to be part of our engagement shoot.
“Thank you, Critter Rescue, for giving us the chance and opportunity to give this bunny the perfect home and love she deserves, and thank you to Happy Tails for sharing our story.”
Debbie Smith shares Peanut, who was rescued from a family without the means to sterilise their dogs.
“Peanut is something else; as the smallest of six dogs he thinks he is the BOSS! He was the smallest of the litter and had been bitten badly by his littermates (Chow cross Sharpei). At only four weeks old I offered to foster him as he certainly wouldn’t have survived otherwise; and then of course, I just had to keep him.
“He doesn’t miss a thing and has to be included in whatever we do. He is high energy and very ball driven. Nothing can move in our garden without him knowing about it.
“And… just to add, we sterilised all the dogs at the home where Peanut came from, and so thankfully there were no further litters from them. I think our paths were meant to cross.”
Gretna du Toit shares Byron, who was adopted along with his brother, Ozzi.
“I saw a photo of Byron (ginger) posted up for adoption on Facebook, and something in his eyes just melted my heart.
“I was met with an appalling cat hoarding situation when I went to meet them and immediately handed over the adoption fee and hurriedly left with both kittens. I was already over my quota of allowed pets, but I couldn’t leave one of them behind.
“I took them straight to the vet for a checkup and the necessary dreaded disease tests, and thankfully, apart from snuffles, they both got the all-clear.
“When speaking to a neighbour in the block next to us, I showed her the little black-and-white kitten and it was love at first sight! She adopted Ozzi, and the two brothers still play together in the garden every day – Ozzi cannot work out how to use the cat flap, but he comes and bangs on mine to call Byron to come and play.”
Caroline Hartley shares Dakota, who was adopted from Stellenbosch Animal Welfare Society.
“Dakota’s mother is a Boxer (I met her) and her father is apparently a Boerboel, but she looks more Ridgeback. She is my mix; she’s very bouncy and full of life, and if she barks, the whole house shakes.
“She’s pretty much in charge of the whole household. She’s now two and is just a big baby who thinks that she’s a lapdog!”
Quinn (left) and Harley
Michelle Raath shares Harley and Quinn, who were adopted through a private animal rescuer.
“Harley’s face jumped out at me from my Facebook newsfeed. I was determined not to get any more cats after losing two cats within a week but simply couldn’t resist her face.
“Harley was not well accepted by the older cats in the house and was lonely. Because I don’t believe a cat should be alone all day, when another cute face appeared on my timeline, I queried and the lady sent me photos of a few cats. Little Quinn had the same effect, instant love, so off we went to collect her. These kittens are not related in any way, but one would never say so.
“Now both kittens tear around and wreak havoc, and both want to know nothing about cuddling with us humans anymore, but I’m so happy for them!”
Marilyn Pillay shares Little Lucy, who was adopted from Virginia SPCA.
“Lucy was adopted at seven weeks old. We always wanted to give a loving home to a dog from a shelter, and Lucy is perfect in every way. She’s already settled into our hearts. Our little Lucy is a sweet baby girl to us, her parents, and a loving and doting sister to her big brother (our two-year-old son), Kade. Our family is now complete.”
Professional photography by Nelia Schwim-Cornelius Photography
Lizanne Penderis shares Kedi.
“Kedi was adopted from the SPCA 10 years ago, but when his owners had to move overseas and were unsuccessful in taking him with them, I became his mom. He has three cat siblings and one human (a six-year-old girl) to hang out with.
“Kedi is an excellent soccer player and can play with his ball and mouse for hours when he isn’t lounging in the sun or reaching out for cuddles. He’s a perfect addition to our family.”
Kerrey Ann Baker shares Mei Mei, who was adopted from Anti-Animal Cruelty League Bellville.
“Mei Mei is the most adorable, beyond naughty, most crazy, funny and different dog I have ever had. She arrived a shivering, nervous wreck, BUT not for long!
“She’s feisty, determined, shouts very loudly if she wants something, and feels absolutely nothing to climb on the kitchen table in pursuit of our cat, Squidge’s, food!
“She’s so lovable and definitely the lickiest dog I’ve ever had. She adores people, her siblings and ‘her’ cat (even though chasing Squidge is done when she thinks no one is looking).
“She was one of the millions of black dogs that are overlooked, and her time was nearly up. Mei Mei (pronounced ‘May May’) is Chinese for ‘Little Sister’, and she’s enriched our lives hugely.”
Elsa van der Merwe shares Lucy, who was adopted from A New Hope Dog Rescue.
“I’d lost my Dachshund baby, Nicky, last year in October, and my heart was absolutely shattered. I’d been looking for the missing piece to my heart for a couple of months when I saw Lucy’s picture on the Facebook group, Dachshunds in SA. I saved her post as a possible candidate, and, upon meeting her, I fell in love.
“She has exactly the same personality as Nicky, and I knew she’d fit right into our home situation. When I went to collect her, she was overwhelmed with joy.
“She was so happy to be going home. The whole family loves her, and within the short amount of time she’s been with us, she’s already made it very clear that she’s not going anywhere.”
Photographs by Jackie Wernberg Photography
Lyn Barker-Veary shares Jake, who was adopted from TEARS.
“Jake was born at TEARS to an extremely anxious mom, and, sadly, he’d inherited her anxiety. He was eight months old and the last of the litter. He was so nervous that he wouldn’t even let me touch him for the first two months.
“Our journey together was initially really difficult, and I wasn’t sure I could cope with his anxiety issues. But, with loads of perseverance, it’s four years later and he certainly has gained so much confidence. He loves his cuddles and being chased around the garden. Jake always has a wagging tail and a smiling face.”
Photo credit: Pet Portrait Photography
Darryn Rodwell shares her daughter, Abigail (9), and her “baby”, Daisy (12 weeks), who was adopted from Pietermaritzburg Kitten Fostering & Rescue.
“When we saw Daisy, it was love at first sight. Already inseparable, Daisy and Abigail sleep cuddled up together every night and spend hours playing. Daisy has also formed a bond with our two little dogs and regularly pounces on them, instigating playtime.”
Abi shares… “Daisy is very special to me. We love cuddling on the couch… she walks all over me, purring loudly, and then snuggles up to me.
“When I first saw her, I was already in love with her, and she loves me because she only purrs for me. I love her very much!”
Photo credit: Christopher Grobler
Linda Smit shares Logan, who was adopted from Wollies Animal Shelter.
“Logan was just a pup when he was rescued by Wollies Animal Shelter. He spent most of his puppy years with the other dogs at Wollies until the day we saw him and fell in love.
“He settled quickly into our family; he loved having a whole house to play in, alongside his fur sister, Izzy.
“He spends his days chasing birds, playing with Izzy and cuddling with us!”
Caroline Hartley shares Leah, who was adopted from Tin Can Town.
“Leah and her two sisters were found in Blikkiesdorp at 10 days old, weighing only 250g each. Leah had to have a blood transfusion and had to be bottle fed.
“I met her when she was about three weeks old, and I told my friend who was fostering her that I was going to adopt her. And, well, I did!
“She’s now three years old and the fluffiest bundle of joy; of our cats, she has the most fluff, and she’s the one that feels the cold the most. She’s also very affectionate and cuddly, and she’s the princess of the house.”
Laetitia Genis shares Mia, who was adopted from Mnandanza Animal Clinic.
“Mia is a great addition to our family. Not only does she get along with Eyevy (read Eyevy’s Happy Tale here) but Leela (our daughter) loves her to bits.
“She’s always up for a snuggle, regardless if it’s with myself, Leela, Marius or Eyevy!”
Gey Van Pittius shares her most recent rescue, Roady.
“At the beginning of July 2019, a friend forwarded me a Facebook post of a kitten that had been found in the road; he’d been hit by a car and had broken his leg badly.
“He was taken to a vet; he’d be put to sleep within three days if no one came forward to pay for the surgery and give him a home. So, of course, I went to collect him, brought him home and named him Roady.
“A long story short: after a three-and-a-half-hour operation to put seven pins in his leg to save him, he’s now home with me, my hubby and our other rescued furry children.”
May (left) and April
Elsie Went shares May and April, rescued as orphaned pups.
“April and May are six years old. We were looking for a new dog, and our local vet called me and said they had puppies whose mother had died in an accident after she’d gotten out of the yard.
“My husband decided we’d take two; April’s eyes were already open but not May’s. We had to feed them with small bottles, and my housekeeper, Gracie, looked after them during the day until we came back from work.
“Casey, our ‘ouma’ of the pack, helped raise these two teeny-tiny girls and taught them to be just as playful and kind as she is. And these days we have our other rescue, Lilly – making up a very happy family of four fur kids.”
Kerrey Ann Baker shares Kai, who was adopted from Border Collie Rescue (Cape Town).
“Kai is six years old and has to be the fastest and strongest Border Collie I have ever had. He is highly intelligent and extremely lovable. He’s amazing with ‘his’ old cat and absolutely adores his fur sisters, Mei-Mei and Sophie-Li, who are also both rescue Border Collies.
“He loves being on the bed and enjoys a cuddle with his sisters and me every morning to start the day, followed by licking the remains out of our coffee mugs!”
Zhané Mills shares Jemima, adopted from a foster mom in Johannesburg South.
“I adopted my Calico Love, Jemima, from a foster mom in Johannesburg South in 2017. She’s a princess and a hunter of note. She loves cuddles and kisses but will tell you quite loudly, with claws, when she’s had enough love.
“My home is full of sloppy kisses, paw prints and cat hair, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I just have to convince my hubby we have space for more fur babies...”
Laura and Brent Dodd share beautiful Bella, who was adopted from Labrador Lifeline South Africa.
“Bella was surrendered by her owners, who were unfortunately leaving the country. She came from a loving home, and she now lives a continued life of luxury filled with love. She loves swimming, and her stuffed unicorns, and we absolutely adore her!”
Brenda Diamond shares Evie (left) and Bowie, who were adopted from Raise ‘n Rescue.
“In May 2019, we adopted Evie and Bowie from Raise ‘n Rescue. By some fate, although they weren’t siblings by birth, within a day these two were causing utter mischief together as if they’d known each other forever and being were utterly adorably cute.
“With guidance from Raise ‘n Rescue we slowly introduced our older rescue cat, Leia, to them. It took some time, but they now all play together and even sleep together (sometimes!). In fact, Leia has taken on a mothering role; when she’s not tumbling around with them, she watches like a proud mother.
“They say every cat has a different “purr-sonality”, and never have we experienced such mischief makers! Of course, that means there’s never a dull moment in the house, whether it’s Evie trying to “help” with cooking supper or Bowie trying to catch a hadeda in the garden! And when all the mischief making is done, they couldn’t be more affectionate, purring for attention and snuggling up close.
“They’re now both six months old, and we cannot wait to see what more craziness they get up too. Follow the daily lives of Leia, Bowie and Evie on Instagram: @leiabowieandevie.”
Photographs by Alicia Thomas
Angelique Nefdt shares Misty, who was adopted from SPCA Louis Trichardt in 2017.
“Bubbly, energetic, kind, happy-go-lucky Misty joined our home in October 2017, and life has been a blast with her ever since.
“She was rescued from the Thohoyandou streets, where she seemed to have been in some sort of accident that left her with an amputated leg and scarring on her back. However, this has never stopped her love of fun and play.
“She’s our daily inspiration and has taught us that your outlook on life is more important than your circumstances. Misty spends her days bathing in the sunlight, napping on comfy oversized beds, playing with her canine siblings, patrolling the kitchen for snacks and filling our hearts with joy.”
Anneke van Vuuren shares Jan, who was adopted from Raise ‘n Rescue.
“About 19 months ago we were ready to adopt a new kitten and asked a volunteer at Raise ‘n Rescue to look out for one for. Within weeks they let us know that a new litter had arrived and that they had the ideal little one for us.
“In the beginning, Jan was very skittish, as he wasn’t used to human touch, but he soon surrendered and became a very loveable and happy kitten.
“Today, he’s extremely fat and fluffy, enjoying the garden with all the hideaway corners and nooks!”
Andrew Prince shares his pack of precious rescues – Skollie, Stevie Nix and Athena.
“Skollie Boy, my Scottish Deerhound, joined us in 2014. I was visiting my parents and came across a gangly young pup that had been found on the side of a national road by a road builder. He was only the size of a boot and was bleeding from all openings.
“He was the oddest-looking hound I’d ever seen that blossomed into a magnificently handsome boy. Whilst his looks have changed he is a proper goofy, and I’m constantly laughing at his behaviour and antics.
“Stevie Nix, my Africanis (and aka my first wife), came into my life in 2012. It was love at first sight. After visiting a friend in hospital, I came across an individual selling this tiny puppy on Bree Street. After a firm chat, I convinced him to let me have her and, after a snack and a widdle, I realised that Stevie Nix was all mine.
“Athena(kie) the Pit Bull was rescued from a terrible life; she’d been the victim of dog fighting and had literally been left for dead. When I saw her post on Facebook I was drawn to her, and, after visiting her at the vet where she’d had an op to save her leg, there was no turning back.
“I must be honest, she came with a few challenges for all of us, but, with perseverance, positive training and much love, she’s one relaxed girl who is happiest when she has a ball in her mouth.”
Timo (left) and Anna
Ernestine Strini shares Anna, who was adopted from A New Hope Dog Rescue.
“After loving her family for nine years, they felt Anna was ‘no longer needed’. She was surrendered to A New Hope Dog Rescue where her shelter mom, Olivia Stirling, made her feel at home and much loved.
“Of course, nothing compares to a real home, and we fell in love with her the moment we saw her. Timo (another of our adopted dogs) adores her and has taken on the role of her ‘Big Brother’, and they’re never far apart from each other.”
Left to right: Keanu with Gucci, Chloe with Ella, Roxy with Ginger, Wayne with Coffee Cat, and Desiree with Bear
Photography by Jaqcui L. Photography
Desiree Palos shares her family’s precious rescue cats.
“On the 20th of March 2017, I sadly lost two beloved pets, my Maltese Poodle, Candy, and my Russian Blue cat, Max. I was left with Nixie, my skinny ginger cat who’d been found in a box with a puppy on a vet’s doorstep; she was adopted through Heidi Tietz, who was involved with rescues eight years ago. My husband said: ‘NO MORE PETS!’
“This was not to be – obviously. I thought Nixie was lonely and needed a friend, so I adopted marble tabby Ella. She was a feral kitten born in a builder’s pipe in Aspen and is very shy and timid. Unfortunately, Nixie hated her from the start.
“A few months later, my friend Jacqui saw some kittens that had been abandoned at a house in Walkerville and taken to Dr Erasmus. Ella needed friends as Nixie was horrid to her, so we soon welcomed Bear and Gucci, my other marble tabbies who often get mistaken for Bengals.
“Aspen Hills has a feral cat programme, so when my friend Zia, who’s one of the ‘nursery’ moms, got yet another intake of kittens, I spotted stripey tabby Sassy and beige fluffy Maine Coone-look Wolfe and I couldn’t resist... again! They are a year old now.
“During this two-year period, Ginger – aka Fatty Boom-Boom – and Coffee Cat also rocked up to join the gang (read Coffee Cat’s Happy Tale here).
“Eight really is enough now!”
Cheryl Price shares Asha, who was adopted from Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth.
“We lost two dogs this year and we have one old girl who has cancer, and so our last year’s rescue, Mac, will probably be an only child in the near future. But my daughter, who regularly checks the AWS Facebook page, said that there was a GSD that we should go and have a look at. I’d decided that we only wanted to adopt an adult dog, because they’ve already done that high-energy puppy stage.
“There were plenty of young, funky puppies and teenagers… and one very sad and depressed German Shepherd girl. We went home to think about it. As we had experience, having owned dogs for well over 30 years, we decided to take her despite her few little issues. We knew youngsters would find homes very quickly, and our very thin, unhappy-looking girl probably wouldn’t, and we really felt that we’d be able to give her the chance of a good life.
“We’ve called her Asha – Sanskrit Indian for ‘hope’ and Swahili for ‘life’. We felt that this was fitting as she’s been given hope of a good life. She’s adapted very well, and brother Mac has a playmate (they both behave like puppies).
“She’s gentle and she’s kind, and she loves us from the bottom of her heart, as do we, her. A rescue dog has such a sense of gratitude and appreciation, because I believe they know that we’ve saved them and given them hope for a better life.”