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A Township Love Story

21 February 2013, 11:00

You often hear of the horrible animal stories from the townships of South Africa, but you very rarely hear of a good story…well this is one of those. A story that gives hope and shines light on some special people living in Johannesburg’s informal settlements…

Wendy McWilliams, one of our fantastic volunteers had told us about Toby and his amazing dog. She brought Toby and Master to visit us on Sunday – and were we in for a treat.

Toby is the most amazing person, he is a security guard at a complex, lives in a shack in Kya Sands Informal Settlement and is an avid animal lover. His dog Master who he has had since he was a puppy and is now 5 years old, he has trained himself – with no formal training whatsoever.

This is how our meeting went. Toby arrived, I asked him if he needed his dog vaccinated – No, he is fully vacced, sterilised, de-wormed and rabied. Oh! So would you like help with basic training – No, Master is well versed in training, here is a demonstration.

Well after the basic sit, paw, down, we then moved onto tricks, fetch, stay, etc. For the first time that day I was in awe, I thought we could teach Toby, but no Toby has a lot to teach us. We then entered the shelter, I was a bit concerned, firstly with an adult dog entering into a pack of dogs who had been watching the goings on behind the gate and secondly with a few of the dogs being a bit racist.

Well! Toby and Master walked in quite casually and were greeted by all our dogs with absolute glee. Master was so well socialised and got on phenomenally with dogs and small puppies alike. Dolly who is racist went up to Toby and asked for love – all our mouths dropped open – this has never happened before. Toby has a way with dogs very rarely seen. He is absolutely gentle with them and they respond incredibly.

So why was Toby there? He would like to learn Tracking with Master and would also like to find out where he could do a formal course in Dog Training.

What we would like to do for Toby – Find a Tracking group in the Kya Sands vicinity, organise a course in Training and mostly if we could find a job for Toby working in the animal field, as we feel his talents are absolutely wasted in the field he is currently in.

If we could we would hire Toby in a second, but we can’t, so if anyone is looking for a fantastic employee please consider Toby, you will not be disappointed. If you would like to contact Toby, please let us know at and we will put you in touch with him.

Until next time,

Tracy Otto, Ark Animal Centre Manager.

SMS ‘Donate FOOD’ to 48748 & help us feed our rescued puppies! R10/sms.

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