Rags to riches: Simon
Simon’s owner called us one day as we were driving down her street: she wanted us to take her dog and put him down because ‘he is old and his skin is bad’. We understand that sick, elderly dogs in the township have a very rough life as other dogs harass (and sometimes kill) them and, in some cases putting an animal to sleep is indeed the kindest thing to do. But when we saw him, our volunteers’ hearts just melted! There sat the saddest little scrap of a dog, big bat ears at half-mast, coat all threadbare like an old teddy bear.
Yes, he was elderly but he had such spirit in his eyes and, other than the skin problem (which we could see was treatable), he was not in bad shape. It was clearly a combination of neglected flea infestation and a bit of demodectic mange due to a weakened immune system caused by stress and malnutrition.
We were sure that, with a quiet, calm home and needed loads of TLC, he would be just fine. And so began the hunt for a foster home.
That’s when Hettienne stepped in. This angel and her family offered to take Simon, despite his age and despite the work that lay ahead. She would foster this lovely old guy until he was better and could be rehomed. Two days later, our volunteer got a call: they were not going to foster him anymore…they were going to adopt him!
The rest, as they say, is history. Full disclosure: it wasn’t easy as Simon had several issues. He was very nervous of strangers, especially men. He was hard of hearing and he needed teeth removed. He scratched constantly because of his long-untreated skin problem. But they persevered.
Two years later and the dog you see is just about unrecognisable. He is alert, his big ears upright, his fur is lush and healthy, he has a spring in his step, and, above all, he is SO LOVED! We are immensely grateful to Hettienne and her family for taking in Simon and making his wildest dreams come true.
THIS is what makes our work so worthwhile.
Hettienne reports: “He is doing so well! He is double his size with thick fur and a bit of weight. We go for short walks only as it seems his legs are arthritic. He follows me everywhere and also loves my daughter. He is too fearful to go to the grooming parlor so I have a home visit one and he absolutely loves being washed and pampered. He also loves a walk. He is very fearful and paranoid but I understand him and am so happy he came to me…“
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Post script: Simon has since passed away from old age but he lived his last years in absolute happiness and comfort.