Second chances

It’s sad when an owner can no longer keep a pet and it has to be rehomed.

Often pets are cruelly abandoned and left to fend for themselves on the streets, but sometimes an owner through circumstance can no longer care for an animal and they desperately look for a loving home to adopt it.

Perhaps they are moving to a place where they cannot keep a pet, or they cannot afford it anymore. There are also invariably times a pet outlives its owner and needs a new home.

This week I adopted a little eight-year-old Jack Russell named Pixie. Her former owner, who loved her dearly, is moving to Cape Town to be with family and cannot take Pixie with her.

I was in the right place at the right time to see the request a friend had made on her behalf for someone to adopt her dog and cat. I hope the little kitty gets a home too.

Though she still has to get accustomed to her new home and family, Pixie was the right dog at the right time. My 15-year-old Jack Russell Jabu has been a lonely dog since his brother Max died last year.

Of course, he has been getting all the attention – and all the treats – when everyone is home, but the solitude is long when the humans are at work or school. So I hope Pixie and Jabu will be good company for each other. He’s still a bit dubious at this new presence.

Pixie has been a bit skittish and understandably anxious, especially on that first night, going to the gate to look for her owner and peering out the sliding door.

Dr Google says it takes about three weeks for a rehomed pet to settle down and get used to its new owners and surroundings. It can seem long, but those weeks will fly by.

Sometimes people are put off at adopting an older pet that has become used to other people and other situations, and which might carry the trauma of cruelty or neglect. It’s much easier to raise a puppy that is part of your family right from the beginning.

But I believe in second chances for dogs like Pixie.

Retreat 2 Eden animal sanctuary is the institution of second chances. The work done by Johann and Lynne Wilhelm is incredible.

They have taken in so many animals – mostly dogs, but also some farm animals – that needed a second chance at life and being loved.

They rely on public support and depend on people like you and me to consider adopting one of those animals.

– Jon Houzet

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