The remarkable tale of Dolly

If you don’t understand a dog’s delight, meet Dolly.

If you don’t understand a dog’s delight, meet Dolly.

Published May 19, 2024


Durban — The couch loves a happy story, especially one that involves dogs.

We were overjoyed when this one dropped unexpectedly into our WhatsApp box.

If you don’t believe dogs can understand and express joy, you’ve not heard the commotion when the human says “it’s time” or the B word. We can’t say “biscuit” in our house unless “it’s time” for them.

Cartwheels and happy barks announce the pronouncement and there’s a great rush, even from the arthritic old boy, to the biscuit bowl. If that’s not enough to gather the pack, the little clip thingy that closes the container squeaks so they all come running.

And you definitely haven’t seen the picture of Dolly.

The exuberant, joyful little canine was an entry in the IOS’s pet of the month competition, and by all accounts, narrowly missed out. Disclaimer: the couch is not a judge and at the time had no idea who Dolly lived with.

Then my long-term friend and early mentor Heather Whatsapped Dolly’s story; she and her husband Tony are the people little Dolly delights daily.

This is what she said: “We sent that pic to the vet who mended her after she fell under the wheel of a golf cart. Broke her pelvis in four places; snapped the femur, top and bottom. Horrific. We didn’t know if she’d survive; whether nerves were severed or whether her innards were damaged.

“Local vet said we needed a specialist. Were sent to Westville Vet Hospital. She was there for two weeks after surgery. When we got her home we acquired two camp cots – one in the bedroom and one in the lounge and lifted her in and out for the toilet and little steps, slowly, slowly.

“Took three months’ recuperation but ‘kyk hoe lyk dit nou’, as they say in the classics! My neighbour Jen took the pic.

“Dolly is quite the best and bravest dog in the world, and of course, the cleverest ‘rescue’ in the world. Not a bit biased.

“We got her when she was about three, saved from ‘the gallows’. The woman who had her and two of her brothers had to get rid of them. She’d shut them on a little verandah all day, where they yapped their heads off. So was going to have two put down. Happy to say Dolly and her brother Max found happy forever homes.

“That’s the story of our little champion – she does not wear bows and clothes (couch note: like the winning pooch did), but has the smartest anorak for chilly days.”

When Heather and Tony heard the verandah lady story about six years ago, “I was horrified”.

“We’d been dog-less for 18 months after our precious rottie, Carla, died at eight years old. She was the dearest soul. A great leaner, not a cuddler. You could always be sure of a big lean against your legs when she was telling you she loved you. In the right care they are the most rewarding friends ever.

“PS we don’t care if Dolly didn’t win. She’s our winner always.”

Ours too.

Independent on Saturday

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