Robbers stab dog in the head

2011-08-08 09:56
Stellenbosch artist and musician Vernon Swart's dog Bella was stabbed in the in the head by robbers. A vet successfully removed the blade after it luckily missed her brain. (Die Burger)

Stellenbosch artist and musician Vernon Swart's dog Bella was stabbed in the in the head by robbers. A vet successfully removed the blade after it luckily missed her brain. (Die Burger)

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Cape Town - A well-known Stellenbosch artist and musician has told how he thought his neighbour was joking when he received a call on Saturday morning to say he should come quickly as his dog was "running about in the street with a knife in her head".

Vernon Swart said it transpired that his 6-year-old German Shepherd and terrier cross, Bella, had foiled a robbery during which she was stabbed in the head.

Swart, known for his nude studies and landscapes as well as being the drummer for Valiant Swart, said he thought it was "absurd".

He then went outside, to see the police "come charging, guns drawn".

"Bella then attacked them," he recounted on Sunday, while she lay quietly in front of the fireplace in their house in Dennesig Street, Stellenbosch.

The neighbours had called the police as they had trespassers on their property. The suspected robbers never got into Swart's home, but must have been in the yard.

Missed the brain

Swart and his wife, Ingrid, who was at work at the time of the incident, then took Bella to a vet.

She was put under anaesthetic and the vet “literally had to push his knee against her head” to pull out the knife, said Swart, whose son Lucas is the drummer for the Stellenbosch rock group The Pretty Blue Guns.

To their surprise, Bella was fine, despite the stitches to the wound.

The knife penetrated about 12cm between her eyes, and appeared to have missed her brain.

Swart said he gave the knife to the detective and police would hopefully be able to dust it for fingerprints.

Stellenbosch police spokesperson Major René Matthee said they were investigating a case of malicious damage to property.

To reward Bella for her bravery, Ingrid cooked her a piece of fillet on Saturday evening.

“She was still under sedation and was a bit groggy when she ate it.”

Ingrid said Bella had always been a good guard dog and had in the past got rid of unwelcome visitors.

But they added that they thought Bella didn’t really do justice to her name - which means beauty. “She looks like an old, worn-out mattress.”

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