By Marda Fairlie

It could have been a tragedy if the Harare SPCA (HSPCA) hadn’t come to the rescue.  But fortunately this is a story of hope, compassion and love, with a very happy ending!

Sometime ago a beautiful young dog (half Spaniel, half another unknown breed) was found lying on the side of the road, obviously sick, or injured.  It turned out that the dog was suffering from biliary.  A kind person then reported the location of this dog and notified the HSPCA, who immediately responded to the call for assistance, and collected the dog.  He was an unneutered male and had no identification.  The HSPCA vets were not optimistic about his recovery, but gave their best and miraculously he made it.  He was neutered and taken into the “homeless” kennels at HSPCA headquarters.  The HSPCA always attempts to find the owners of lost animals, but despite their efforts, sadly no-one claimed this lonely and traumatized little dog.

As luck would have it my son and his partner were looking for a dog, and were in a position to give their chosen pet a loving home. Having checked out facebook, they visited the HSPCA kennels and were shown several dogs.  The one they took a liking to was the dog in this story.  However, he looked very sad and afraid, and hid away from people and the other dogs. In fact, he was not at all responsive. Despite this, the couple chose to “adopt” him.  He clearly needed lots of TLC.  They felt they could offer him the chance of a happy life.  Following the customary check of the future home by the HSPCA Inspectors, he was brought home, nurtured, loved, and made to feel very special.  He is called Rafa, and has become a highly intelligent, energetic and loving companion for the whole family.  He especially adores my son and partner, probably in gratitude for what they have done for him. He is great fun; loves his daily walks; has learned tricks; plays with one of our cats, and just generally enjoys life.  We feel lucky to have him.  This has been the most rewarding experience, having a dog who loves you as much as you love him.  He constantly surprises us with the affection he shows the whole family. We salute the HSPCA and their dedication to the welfare of animals.

Rafa has participated in various HSPCA fun-day events.  He is so popular he has won the “dog with the waggiest tail” prize, and also the “best rescue dog” prize!

There are so many dogs and cats housed at the HSPCA looking for homes.  It is a far greater thing you would do if you could give an abandoned animal a home.

So think carefully before you decide to acquire an over-priced and highly pedigreed pet when there are already so many animals requiring loving homes.  Rescued animals can be the most loving and devoted pets.  We know! 

Thank you, HSPCA, for your excellent work!!

By the way, we’re learning to speak Spaniel!

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