Muthi pup’s new home

2008-08-15 00:00

Bernard the pup has found a safe new home.

After being the victim of a cruel alleged muthi ritual two weeks ago, he has found comfort and love in the arms of SPCA worker Stacey van Rensburg (20).

Yesterday, Van Rensburg, a former pupil of Longmarket Girls’ School, took Bernie to her old school to show them how he is getting along. The school’s eco-club visited Bernie at the SPCA last week and the pup made a huge impression on them.

The air of anticipation at assembly at the school yesterday rivalled that of Christmas morning and a bulging stocking under the tree.

The girls were wriggling with excitement, eyes shining and grinning as they stretched their necks for the first glimpse of their special visitor.

When Bernie arrived, a ripple ran through the hall as whispers of “Aaah, shame” and “He’s so sweet”, were heard.

Van Rensburg carried Bernie into the school hall, all eyes on the bundle in her arms. He was shy at first, nuzzling into his new owner’s arms, with his paws crossed in front of him. Then he slowly looked around, did a big yawn and shook his head.

Van Rensburg gave the girls an overview of Bernie’s ordeal and thanked them for their donations to the SPCA. His injuries, although healing, are chilling to see.

Shaved patches with scabs are a stark reminder that he was pierced twice under his front leg with assegais and once on his back, and then buried alive.

“But he’s all better now,” smiled Van Rensburg as the eco-club girls later frolicked outside with him. “He’s full of life and cheeky; a typical little puppy!”

Bernie surrendered happily to the girls’ petting, licking an eager hand here and there.

Bernie’s new home is in Lincoln Meade, where Stacy has three dogs. “But Bernie’s the boss. He barks, chews their ears and rules the home.” She said he is closest to Tyler, her St Bernard.

“When I first started caring for him, he was scared of the dark. I stayed up nights with him and he slowly started to trust me.”

She said Bernie loves pulling blankets off the bed.

Van Rensburg said having Bernie in her life has “meant so much”.

“It’s given me a positive outlook knowing that if Bernie could overcome his ordeal, we can overcome many obstacles. At first he couldn’t even walk, but look at him now! He is well aware of his celebrity status,” laughs Van Rensburg.

And indeed, back at the school, Bernie is scampering down the corridor with an adoring following.

He slows down, looks back, and seems to throw them a carefree grin, before running off again.

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