Canines do it kasi style!

2011-08-12 00:00

It was a collar and tails affair in Mafakathini near Boston when the SPCA Hill’s Township Dog Show took place last weekend.

The usual stringent rules that go with pedigree dog shows are disregarded at these events, where the main aim is for the dogs to be vaccinated and for the pet owners to be educated about the basics of animal care. But the opportunity was presented for much fun and hilarity.

An impromptu gospel tent was assembled on the front lawn of Ngcendemhlope High School and as dog owners strolled in, they could also have their souls saved. People came on foot from miles around. For the local children the show is a huge occasion as there is sure to be treats and gift bags for some lucky spectators.

A small boy receives a rosette for taking his puppy through the medical stations

The dogs who arrived are “free-range” animals, not used to being confined in their owners’ yards, and being brought into the grounds on some kind of a lead, one of the requirements of the event, was clearly not something they liked. At the entrance owners were presented with a new dog collar and a lead. While they were very happy about this the dogs resisted these new restraints, scheming their escape.

Owners, many of them young children from the surrounding primary schools, registered and then moved on to the assembly line of volunteer vets and assistants. Each dog was dewormed, vaccinated against rabies and treated for fleas and ticks. At each station the owners were marked and once they have been to all of them they received a colourful rosette.

Once the animals had been through the medical process they swiftly managed to “escape” from their owners and moved on to socialise with the other dogs. Sniffing each other’s butts and wagging their tails this was finally their idea of a good time. Remarkably, despite the gathering of nearly two hundred dogs, not one fight or biting incident was witnessed.

A boy bonds with his furry friend at the Township dog show in Mafakathini at the weekend.

Among the hounds present there were one or two recognisable breeds but the majority looked similar – a genetic mish-mash. Some are taller, some are browner and some are prettier than others but mostly they are a mass of furry hounds.

 

"They have friendly temperaments and are usually not kept as watch dogs but are really kept for companionship,” said Howick SPCA educator Jabulani Mshengu. “They are not usually badly treated. The only problem is when they do not get medical treatment because the owners do not have money.”

Prizes were awarded to those who had clearly kept their dogs in good condition and a display of handling by the funda nenja training project was part of the day’s proceedings.

Township dogs are very well socialized and have the ability to mix well without aggression.

Keeping the spirits up and adding to the cheer of the day a deejay blasted out theme-related hits including “Who let the dogs out!” and the SA soccer anthem, “Waka waka”. Tails wagged and feet tapped.

Adrienne Olivier dog show organiser summed up the show as “a great success. Most dogs were in a good condition and we are seeing more women dog handlers. The community is really benefitting from this event.”

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