Happy ending for dog-napped duo Zoey and Skippy

2015-07-03 07:48
Devan Naidoo happily reunited with Zoey (left) and Skippy after their long ordeal.

Devan Naidoo happily reunited with Zoey (left) and Skippy after their long ordeal. (Ian Carbutt)

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Pietermaritzburg - In what has been described as a “gazillion to one chance”, a Pietermaritzburg family have been reunited with their two beloved dogs after they were dog-napped in a car stolen in Clarendon on May 28.

What is more remarkable is that both dogs were found in completely separate circumstances on the same day.

Devan Naidoo was overjoyed after being reunited with his dachshunds on Tuesday, 34 days after they went missing along with his car which was stolen from Roberts Road.

He said on Thursday he and his father wept with joy at the sight of their pooches.

Naidoo said that on Tuesday, he and his father Jayce went to the SPCA in a desperate bid to find the dogs.

“We had looked through the kennels and found nothing [but] when my father called out Skippy’s name, we heard a hoarse voice reply and when we looked in the very last enclosure, we saw a scrawny dog with ribs showing, wagging its tail. It was Skippy.

“It was a very emotional moment,” said Naidoo.

Close shave with an eagle

He said they were told Skippy had been brought in after being found near the Bisley Game Reserve.

“He had been running wild there for three weeks, they said, living off scraps. The workers on the farm had been trying to catch Skippy but he kept evading them. Skippy bit one of them on the finger when they tried to catch him.”

But as if running wild for all this time, fending for himself and dodging electric fences wasn’t enough of an adventure, Skippy also had a close shave with an eagle, which nearly scooped him up for dinner.

The man who brought him in, Gavin Sibbald, said a colleague had seen Skippy running for his life as the eagle swooped down on him. He managed to duck into bush in the nick of time.

Safe back with his owners, Skippy, who has lost around 2kg of his normal 5kg weight, was checked by a vet who said he would be fine as soon as his weight returned to normal, despite his scratched and bruised paws.

Overjoyed to have Skippy home, Naidoo was amazed at what happened next. “I then received a call from a young woman who said she was visiting Imbali from Swaziland, when she came across a dog wandering the road. Concerned that someone may have lost the dog, she said she Googled to try and see if she could find its owner.”

Gumtree advert

She found an advert Naidoo had placed on Gumtree and called his brother, whose number appeared in the advert.

“She caught a taxi into town and met us at Game [store]. When she arrived, she had a dog wrapped in a towel. My dad ran towards her and as soon as we saw Zoey’s gold chain, we knew it was her. The woman was smiling and so pleased to have helped. We gave her a reward.”

The shy woman never revealed her name or phone number to Naidoo.

While Skippy is very thin, Zoey is still quite plump, and obviously fared better than her “brother” while away from the Naidoos.

Asked what the first meal the dogs ate when they got home, Naidoo chuckled sheepishly.

“We gave them a treat and bought them KFC. We have to feed Skippy slowly at first until he gets used to eating again, but whatever we gave him, he polished off.”

'Dogs are like his children'

Speaking to The Witness on Thursday, Gavin Sibbald, estate manager at Intaba Ridge at Bisley, said he was “so glad” to have played a part in returning Skippy to the Naidoo family.

“I’ve got dogs as well. Naidoo’s dogs are like his children.”

Commenting on the fact that Skippy and Zoey were returned on the same day, 34 days after they went missing, he said there was a “gazillion-to-one chance” of that happening.

“He wanted to give me a reward, but I said no. I was just happy to help.”

Commenting on the woman who returned Zoey, he said, “It’s nice to know there are people like this.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  good news  |  animals

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