3rd June 2008
Howzit Doggy Friends!
Last month we were chatting about the SPCA. More readers have written in
on this & other topics, so let's see what they say!
We also have letters from folk asking questions - maybe you can
SG says, "I am blessed to share my life with 9 dogs. I am a dog
trainer, and run a puppy training and socialisation school.
11 years ago, I purchased my first puppy - a beautiful Rough Collie named
PJ. The puppy had been inoculated and dewormed prior to me taking
him home. I was advised by another dog-lover that instead of paying a
private vet's bill, I should rather take PJ to the SPCA for his next
inoculation, and give the fee to the SPCA as a donation. I thought
this was a wonderful idea, as I was all for doing something good for the
SPCA, and I took PJ for his 2nd inoculation and deworming to the SPCA.
The vet on duty was a very rough lady who seemed to be in a terrible rush,
and she overdosed PJ on deworming syrup (as confirmed by a private vet)
and he got sick and died 2 days later. I was devastated and when my
parents called the SPCA to tell them what had happened (I was only 15
years old) we were told that there was probably something wrong with the
dog or we
had not taken proper care of him, and that is why he had died and the SPCA
was not responsible. We insisted that the SPCA was responsible and
consented to send PJ to them for a post-mortem. They said that the cause
of death was inconclusive - so we didn't even get an apology from the
I was angry with the SPCA and thought of them as being heartless killers
of innocent dogs...but, thankfully I matured and
realised that there are those that truly have a love for what they do at
the SPCA and are committed to making the lives of all the lost, abandoned,
and abused animals worth living. It helped that I have met people that
volunteer for the SPCA and its fund-raising events over the course of my
dog training years, and they have shared stories with me about animals
with happy endings, all thanks to the SPCA.
By now, I have forgiven the SPCA for what happened to my PJ, and I like to
think that he is happy somewhere up there in that big puppy palace in the
My husband and I often visit the SPCA, play with the dogs and give them
treats, and we donate food.
The SPCA may look cruel when they euthanize animals, and they may mess up
big time, but at the end of the day, there are so
many animals at the SPCA just waiting for a good home...instead of wasting
our time and energy on being angry at and opposed to the organisation, we
should rather dedicate our energy and time to improving the plight of its
many animals...Thanks for letting me have my say...God bless!
Tks, SG, for blessing us with your story! You have shown us how to
forgive! When someone does us wrong, it's human nature to want an apology.
We want them to know how much they have hurt us. They must grovel &
beg for our forgiveness. Then they will know how gracious we are being to
forgive them. But often no apology is forthcoming. The vet did not admit
guilt, but you
forgave anyway, & now you are helping the organisation that hurt you.
Well done! Forgiveness is so freeing for both the forgiver and the
forgiven! The energy we use up on keeping bitterness going, could be
better used to help others.
EVS says, "I would like to donate money to the SPCA when I have spare
money to give. I got 9 dogs ... 7 Yorkies and 2 Australian shephards.
Adopted the 9th dog from a lady who couldn't keep him anymore in a
townhouse development because Blu (his name) was too loud and when he got
scared of lightning he usually ran through the whole complex barking. I
just love my dogs and treat them like children. They follow me wherever I
go inside or outside the house. People shake their heads when they see me
with all these dogs constantly around me. I cant stand to see any animal
suffer or anything.
These SPCA stories touched my heart and I feel I want to do something even
if it's giving some money which I know is much needed.
Thanks for your great stories and emails."
Last month we heard about Wizki, a "happy ending" story about a
dog that the SPCA homed. The dog recently competed in Agility in Belgium.
Feedback from his owner:
"Wizki came in at 14th place overall. His
height category is very competitive so I was happy with that result
(although I was hoping to get into the top 10!) Main thing was how much we
learnt and plan to pass on to other handlers here in SA. My plan for the
future is to start an agility club in one of the poorer areas in George
(previously disadvantaged). Hopefully we can get sponsorship from someone
to pay for the equipment needed and try to get the people interested in
having fun with their dogs. And at the same time educating them and their
community about dog care. It's a big dream, but I'm going to start
AVS wrote, "In response to the comment on breeders just breeding for
money and the dogs then ending up at the SPCA: Good breeders breed to
improve the breed. The money you get for the puppies doesn't cover your
expenses. Our dogs are fed on premium foods from vets costing much more
than the food sold in supermarkets. Our dogs are well cared for, loved,
and get the best veterinary treatment. We screen buyers and only
dog-lovers will be considered as new owners. There is a mutual
understanding that if the new owner cannot look after the dog at any time
and wants to rehome him/her, the dog should be brought back to the breeder
who will find a home for him/her. I rarely see thoroughbred dogs at the
SPCA. It is the cross breeds and dogs given away for free that end up
there. Stop unplanned breeding and breeding of crosses! Stop accusing
registered breeders and start looking at the real culprits: the people
that allow their dogs to roam free and get mated by any dog coming around,
the people give those cross puppies away to anyone without screening the
people, too stingy to spay/neuter their dogs or feed them proper
food or keep them in the yard. Leave the responsible breeders alone.
Without us, you will not have a healthy, well-bred, socialised bundle of
joy to share your life with. You will be left with the
unpredictable crosses and malnourished pups. If you stop registered
breeders, purebred dogs will disappear from South Africa.
Is that what you want?"
I heard from a breeder whose dog had 8 pups. The breeder sold them all to
folk who lived nearby so she could keep an eye on them. When they were a
year old, she had a birthday party reunion for the whole litter! I thought
this was lovely! Here is an exemplary breeder who keeps in touch with the
buyers for at least a year after the pups leave home. Very good
"after sales service!" She offers to rehome the dogs if the
buyer can't keep them. It's a good thing if breeders keep records of who
buys pups, & it's a good thing if folk who buy pups keep a note of the
breeder's contact details! If breeders take responsibility for finding new
homes, the dogs won't end up in SPCA when folk relocate.
In response to the stories about Staffies attacking dogs, SW wrote,
"I have 2 wonderful Staffies. It breaks my heart that staffies can be
so aggressive. I have a female and Male ( I do not breed with them, they
are my children) and not Belle or
Lex has ever hurt a dog or a kid. I am very fortunate to have the most
lovable dogs. I think a lot of people have a misperception about the
breed; they are gorgeous dogs with fantastic personalities. I also don't
breed because I don't know
who is going to get my pups and if the new owner will appreciate this
breed, as they need a lot of attention and love. My husband call them
sponges, they just soak everything up. It makes me sad that people think
the breed is aggressive. I never
wanted a staffie but my husband was in love with them. Now, I will never
ever in my life have another breed of dogs than Staffies. Thank you Lex
and Belle for making me fall in love with your breed and for showing me
how to love!"
EH wrote, "My mom has a German Shepherd 7 years old. Since a
pup he gets a sore on top of his nose. This gets really big, running
up almost a quarter of his snout. It looks weepy and raw. They
have him on cortisone tablets, and have put all kinds of remedies on it
trying to clear it up. Any other readers had this problem?
CB wrote, "Something VERY disturbing happened... A lady phoned and
asked me whether I am part of puppyfinders SA. She contacted
puppyfindersSA for a white toypom puppy. She paid R900 as a deposit. They
sent her an email in VERY POOR Afrikaans, confirming that they will fly
her puppy on the 3rd, & that they will send her 'a puppy tracking card
number', whatever that
means! Attached to that email, they sent her pictures of the so-called
'puppy'! And guess what - they attached a picture of 'Shelby of Yunest' as
the DAD!, a picture of 'Mamspride Misty of Pomelene' as THE PUPPY at 7
weeks, and pictures of 'Pomelene Sno Dazzle King', as the MUM! All these
pictures were taken our Website!
We are very upset about this. It seems as if anybody can copy a
picture of our dogs on our websites! This is very serious and disturbing.
She is busy with legal action against them. Puppyfinders want the rest of
their money, which is R700. I will testify in court (if I have to)
to confirm that these pictures are actually mine."
Editor's reply: Anyone can copy pics off the internet - search
"Google Images" for the breed of your choice! Right click &
save the pic. You can then pretend you are a breeder & con folk into
sending you money for pups. You can set up your own
website with all your stolen pics - LOTS OF BREEDS. If anyone gets wise to
the scam, quickly set up ANOTHER website with a different name. Even if u
live in Cameroon or Nigeria & have poor Afrikaans & poor English,
you can get a .co.za domain name, & folk will trust you & believe
you are in South Africa. You can make up a South African name, address
& phone number. Just
look at the website of any SA business & copy it. Change 1 digit so
the landline seems accidentaly wrong, & use a cell phone - they'll
never catch you.
To make your website look authentic, ask real breeders to link to you, or
invite them to advertise pups, or list, no charge on your website. This is
a good smokescreen. Folk will be completely off guard if they see familiar
names on your fraudy website.
You can also pretend to be a boarding kennel or a hotel. Set up a website
- you can get one mahala - copy pics & wording off the web. When
folk phone, get them to pay in advance then disappear with their money.
"What?" you say, "I would never do anything
Have you never copied a picture off the internet? No? I bet you've copied
a picture from a book! Or a recipe! That is stealing copyright. Have you
ever taken a pen from the office? Used the firm's phone, fax, internet,
& copier for personal
use? That is stealing from the company! Have you copied, or accepted a
copy of a CD, DVD, or tape? We excuse ourselves by saying, "I"m
not SELLING the CD - just giving it to a friend." But The more we
flood the market with copies, the harder it is for the artists to sell
their work. We are stealing their livelihood.
Fraud starts small. We justify stealing by saying, "It's OK because
they underpay me," or "Everybody does it." No,
stealing is not OK. God says in His Word, "You shall not steal."
So let's you & I pull ourselves up the next time we're tempted! Just
say NO! The next time someone offers you a copy, don't say, "Thank
you," say, "Get our my way, Satan!" (Watch your friend's
face! LOL) We talk about fighting crime. We can't change society unless we
start with ourselves! Let's show others a good example.
Cloned sniffer dogs have begun training, South Korean customs officials
said. 7 cloned puppies named Toppy ("Tomorrow's puppy")
were born in late 2007 to three surrogate mothers under a state-funded
project. They used the nuclei of somatic cells from a Golden Retriever
sniffer dog, to clone the puppies. The Project manager said that training
the clones of a skilled sniffer dog is easier than training ordinary
I.D. wrote, "Our 8 month old Wire hair foxy is giving us grey hairs,
although we love him to bits. He is jumping the 7-feet fences around
our house and it's difficult to keep him in the yard. He is alone 3 days
of the week only, and that is when he
gets out. My husband is not keen on another dog & I am not keen on
having him snipped. Any solutions?"
"I bought your e-books a few months ago from you and would like to
take the opportunity to thank you for the very helpful information written
in the book."
The Adventures of Wellington
By Barbara Simpson
Wellington, aka Dr Wellie, trod the green carpet at Crufts three years.
As a junior he gained a 3rd & a 5th place out of huge classes, nothing
like the numbers entered here. He did obedience training in UK.
He was somewhat slow, but very good.
He has always been a very laid-back dog and has never put a foot (paw)
wrong in his 8 years. Last year at Grahamstown Show he won Best Veteran in
Show and at Queenstown, Reserve Best Veteran in Show. Now we have a
new dog, Wellie is taking a well-deserved rest from showing, although he
may put in an appearance occasionally.
Last year I began looking into therapy visiting. (A therapy dog needs to
be obedient, gentle and affectionate. And, of course, clean and well
groomed. Not necessarily a show dog.) With the help of Steve Lesley
of the East London Police Dog Unit, I began with an elderly retirement
home. Since then, we have built us a list including critically sick
home, & autistic children's home. Wellie takes his visits very
seriously and doesn't let me leave anyone out. He puts his head on a
lap and looks up adoringly and they just love him.
Pics of Wellington:
MT says, "One of my Yorkies has intermittently been having breathing
problems when he gets excited. I described these attacks to our
fabulous young lady vet thinking it may be asthma. She assured me
that it wasn't. She told me that some dogs have "Trachaea
Collapse" which causes them to struggle to breathe for a while until
they relax, and the trachaea also relaxes, and they begin to breathe
again. My doggy seems quite exhausted after an attack and the vet
says some dogs even 'pass out' after one! This obviously causes the
trachaea to relax and breathing is restored. She says no harm is
We have recently moved to a farm so it is seldom that our dogs are walked
on leads but we went to the coast with our three little rascals and
decided to leash them as we were not sure if local dogs were friendly.
Our male Yorky suddenly had an attack each time he pulled on the lead!
I realised that he had always been the excitable one who pulled on the
lead throughout the walks. I'm now guessing that the pulling put pressure
on his throat and this may have been the cause of his
I would like to offer this as a preventative measure to other dog owners.
I will in future use a harness instead of a lead directly on the dogs'
PETS & POVERTY
Many people are fleeing from xenophobic violence. While the authorities
try to help the people, IFAW & CLAW (Community Led Animal Welfare) are
trying to help the pets left behind. "While it isn't currently safe
or possible for CLAW to go in and rescue the animals, we can arrange for
food drops to keep them sustained until we can get in to retrieve
To help IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) Tel: +27 (21)
424 2086 or +27 (82) 330-2558
3 million folk have run to SA from Zimbabwe, mostly setting up homes
amongst the poor, & putting a strain on the meager resources of the
townships. Anger has exploded into violence, causing the immigrants to
flee once again. It has highlighted
the housing shortage & job shortage in SA, and the terrible poverty in
which folk live. It reminds me of the French Revolution. The French
aristocracy & Rulers were living in opulence, while the peasants
starved. A spokesperson said to Marie
Antoinette, "Ma'am, the peasants have no bread." To which she
replied, "Let them eat cake." A riot broke out which started a
What should our response be to this crisis? Are you and I like Marie
Antoinette? We have become so used to seeing squatter camps that it seems
normal - we have no sense of outrage that folk are reduced to this level
of poverty. We can donate a tin of dog food - that will feed a pet for a
day, but are we contributing to the poverty? Are we paying a decent wage?
Let's do what we can to help.
I do enjoy the doggy miracle stories that folk send me. However, on the
subject of miracles, NW wrote, "It is not enough to rely on God to
look after your pets. Responsibility lies with the owner as well."
NW is right! We must do our best to keep our pets healthy & safe.
Let's take sick animals to the vet and be thankful for medicine. But.if
our pet recovers, can we not thank God? Not every pet recovers, but if God
is merciful, can we not be
grateful? Can't we thank God that we have enough money for a vet? Enough
money to feed our pets? Enough money to fence the yard? Jesus healed 10
lepers & only one came back & thanked Him. Jesus said, "Where
are the other 9?"
Your story doesn't need to be supernatural. What I like about the miracle
stories is the credo - the "I believe in God." How are
folk to believe that God exists if we don't tell them? So keep those
By Steve & Hettie van Rensburg
We are Breeders of Boston Terriers, and in a litter we found that the one
female had a concave/flat chest. The vet said that this abnormality was
sometimes found in cats, but that she had not seen it in dogs. She advised
us not to sell the dog, but
to keep her, as the chest area will most probably not develop much, which
would mean the lungs and heart will also be underdeveloped, and the dog
could die at an early age.
We decided that we would register her with the rest of the litter and keep
her. She was registered as Angelface.
Our Vet who is into Homeopathy, gave her a couple
of courses of pills that we had to grind to powder and place on the dog's
tongue, as well as drops to be used.
We were praying for our Angelface, who was developing into a beautiful
puppy. One day when handling her, I realised that her chest is not
"flat" any more but felt almost normal! She kept on improving
and growing into a beautiful young dog.
After she turned seven months, we took her along to a dog show with our
other dogs we show. This was a non-championship show, so we could enter
her even though she was not yet the required 9 months old. To our
astonishment, she not only won the best Boston Puppy, but also went on to
win the Best of Breed!
She developed to become a beautiful dog, and we started showing her more
and more at shows. Ten days after turning two years, she earned her last
point at a show in Natal, and qualified as a Champion with KUSA.
We can only thank the Lord for this beautiful Boston who runs around with
the other adult dogs, has a special fondness of any new puppies in the
family, and shows no sign of her birth defect.
Till next time,