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A busy weekend for one of our staff who helped rescue a beautiful little girl.  Here’s her story:

An early Saturday morning walk along Noordhoek beach to the Kakapo wreck turned into a minor rescue operation that involved much driving around, grumbling over missed rugby, and trying to get a lost little girl home.

Saffron resting with us at the wreck

About halfway down the beach we were joined by a little crossbreed.  A docile and sweet natured little thing, she attached herself to our party and trailed us all the way to the wreck.  There she plopped herself down and we got a good look at her.  In fairly good condition, she nevertheless was covered in oil and had a nasty wound on her front left paw, and another on her left thigh, although they didn’t seem to bother her too much.  We thought she belonged to one of the surfers out early to take advantage of the excellent swell, and assumed she would rejoin her owner on our way back.

By the time we reached the carpark she had followed us across the lagoon and had no intention of leaving us.  We asked around but she didn’t appear to belong to anyone, so we made a unanimous decision to take her to the local animal welfare organisation.  She happily hopped up into the back of the car, promptly lay down and fell asleep.

At the shelter I explained to them that we had a little dog that had followed us off the beach, she was wounded, and could they take her?  The reply was “We’re too full, don’t have any space, and there is no vet on duty.”  Well, what was I supposed to do, take her back to the beach and leave her there?  I don’t think so.  “Take her to your nearest vet.  They will take her if they have space.”  And, as an afterthought, “Oh, well I supposed we could scan her for a microchip.”  My response was, well so can the vet, but thanks so much for your help.

Back into the car, we headed home to start phoning local vets.  The first we tried, located in Sun Valley, declared although they were open, they also didn’t have a vet on duty, and they had no space.  “But try Noordhoek Vet, I can give you their number if you like.”  No thanks, I have a phone and a phone book, I’ll rather do it myself.  Unfortunately there was no answer at Noordhoek Vet so we got back into the car and decided to take a drive through there and see if they were open.  In the meantime, one of our party was at the local nursery, we got hold of her and she promptly drove down to the vet to see if they could help.

Yes, they were open, and yes, they were unbelievably busy.  And yes, they were absolute angels.  We arrived at just about closing time, but they went above and beyond to help us with this little girl.  The receptionist, Teresa, scanned her.  We were extremely dubious about the chances of her having a microchip, but wonder of wonders she beeped confirmation.  First thing we found out was her name, she was Saffron.  Then began the task of tracking down her owners.  Once we knew her name, little Saff responded eagerly, and began eating the nuggets & dried sausage treats that she was given.

While Teresa worked the computer and phones tirelessly, Dr Petersen took Saffron in to tend to her wounds.  All this little girl wanted was to be held, and she was very unimpressed with the injections.  She had to be muzzled so Dr Petersen could clean and bandage her wounds, and she shrieked her displeasure at being restrained, but soon enough it was over.

Saff in our car on her way home

In the meantime, Teresa discovered that Saffron lived in Kommetjie, her owner was overseas, and she loved to squeeze through gates, run, and roll in things.  We thought she might have gotten off the property, had a minor run in with a motor car, and bolted in a panic.  We did manage to get hold of the housesitter, and after leaving Noordhoek Vet, armed with antibiotics and instructions for Saffron’s care and recovery, made an arrangement to meet and return Saffron to her home.  Little Saff was overjoyed to see her temporary mom again, who had been very worried about her, and went off back to her home with tail wagging merrily.

Not such happy news for one of our party who took a shine to little Saff and was quite eager to foster her for a while if needed.  Although she may have been a little disappointed, I believe we can convince her to adopt a shelter dog one of these days.

But all in all, a happy ending for a little dog who decided to trust a group of strangers to look after and help her.  A happy ending for us to see her receive veterinary treatment, and find her way home.  And a happy ending for Saffron’s owner and housesitter.

The only black spot was the attitude of the reception staff at the local animal welfare organisation, who repeatedly ask for donations, yet do not display the appropriate care and concern for animals in need.  But the angels at Noordhoek Vet more than made up for that.  It’s so heartwarming to see the lengths people will go to to help.  A HUGE thank you to Teresa and Dr Petersen.

And it just goes to show – microchip your pets.  Without this, I dread to think what may have happened to little Saff.