Petal was my ten year old staffie, who I brought home as a five month old puppy. She was the first dog I had ever owned. A replacement for the empty nest after my boys had launched off into the world.
Very quickly she became beloved, giving me much laughter and grief between the cat chasing and altercations with the law . A fine from being at the beach where I changed my name and pretended to not own her to my best friend`s horror and an irate cat owner that sent the police to paw print her for chasing her pet up a tree!
She came everywhere with me and became the most wonderful guard dog, seeming to know instinctively who was ok or who was a menace. Fortunately I was never in a situation to know exactly how protective she would have been …because when those teeth were bared, they were scary.
She was so good and seemed to intuit my every move, running out to the car so as not to be left behind when I went out. As she grew older she developed into such a lovely quirky personality.
One of her favourite walks was around the vlei at Capricorn park where I work, chasing anything that moved…and unfortunately I think this was what caused her death.
Midway through the walk she would drink the water which was worrying as I have noticed that over the last few years the bird and duck life have disappeared
I had to go to New York for the trade fair and Lorraine and Cedric her much loved carers were left with her. She was poorly just before I flew and within the week she deteriorated with an infection that caused her organs to fail and so to my utter despair, she died.
Losing Petal was heartbreaking in a way that has been indescribable but I am so glad of having been able to love her and for the friends who always welcomed her and supported me in my eccentricity in having her so tightly bound up in my life.
I also realised how much I hate being sad and the need to have something to care for.
People have said what good pets pigs make. How intelligent and clean they are! But when seeing online how big when grown I rejected the idea…until someone told me about teacup pigs!! Which I have subsequently found out, also do not exist!
So a couple of weeks ago we went off to look at these little piglets, so different to Petal and I came away with Bella.
She is very, very sweet but there is no doubt proving to have her own challenges. It has been lovely welcoming her to the Kalk bay community especially the children and even the local woofs come and give her a sniff, do a nose greet and on she goes with her munching the grass.
They guys at work have built her a run with chicken wire and she seems quite happy to stroll up and down, thrilled when she is given food to forage!
So welcome to our world.
Little Bella that I hope does not grow too big……….Chris