My staffie Mila runs away. She is scared of lightning. Johannesburg is in the highveld. We have thunderstorms almost every single day during summer. This is that story.
A little over a month ago my neighbour phoned me. "Megan, we have your staffie, she jumped over the wall. Don't worry about her, she is safe. You can come fetch her after work." They are an elderly couple, who lives in a garden cottage in their daughter's yard. They lived on a farm, but was urged to move after an insurgence of farm attacks in their area. Their dogs were poisoned. At first, they were okay. But then it became a problem. "She will scratch our cars. Our dogs (there are three sharpeis on the yard) will tear her apart." And one day, I actually saw her fall. Heartbreaking. She fell flat on her face from over 2 m. Something had to be done. So, we set out to Boksburg and bought two wattlewood screens next to the road. This would keep her in the yard for sure.
"Hi Megan, there is a brown doggie here. Her name is Mila. Is she yours? Please phone back when you get this message, my number is. . ."
That was on November 11. I rushed to the address to pick up my little one, my heart. The lady was nice, but I didn't get her name. "Your doggie is very sweet. My father had a stroke last year and she ran straight to him and jumped on the bed with him. She kept him company the whole afternoon. He is talking now, but his one side of his body is still a little weak. The bird in the kitchen brought him back to life. He called the bird's name first."
I wish I could take pictures of the inside of her house. Little figurines, books, trinkets, pictures, toys etc will all stacked in neat piles everywhere you looked. It wasn't hoarding per se, more like OCD collecting.
November 7. I was in the gym. It was starting too storm. I received the call, but signal was terrible so communicated with Zilda, as I would later learn, over sms. She owns two staffies of her own and told me that she takes them everywhere with her, even the preschool she owns. "I had to drop them off at home first, then went back to pick Mila up, because people will steal a beautiful dog like this. She is so sweet. I will check up on her when I drive past your house."
She lives on her own, she says. "If I meet a man, the first thing I tell him is that he must love dogs, and accept that they sleep inside the house, with me. He must accept that, otherwise, no, I don't want him in my life." She also has a husky and a white alsation. "Both of them were strays, also ran away from home, but I rescued them. No tags, no chips, and no one asked for them at the vets or SPCAs, so I kept them."
Mila smeared blood all over her walls and tiles. "Where does that come from?" she asked. I explained that Mila keeps on fighting with the Yorkshire terrier next door and hits the wall so hard when wagging her tail that it now has no hair or flesh. Just bone and blood. Zilda offered me a concrete slab to put against the wall. It was the heaviest thing I have ever had to pick up and it barely fit in my Kia Picanto. At least it stopped Mila from seeing the damn Yorkie. Fucking pest.
Zilda and I stay in touch. I love her. She's just so charismatic.
Tomorrow, I will share two more.