Superhero dog uses FaceTime to connect with hospitalised owner

2018-07-07 07:24
Louise Schachat with her dogs Sasha and Khaya. (Supplied)

Louise Schachat with her dogs Sasha and Khaya. (Supplied)

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A superhero dog, who fought off her owner's hijacker and lived to bark the tale, is fast mastering the art of using technology to connect with her while she recovers in hospital.

Sasha made headlines recently when it emerged that a hijacker drove off with her and her canine friend Khaya, after hijacking their owner, Louise Schachat.

But the feisty 4-year-old refused to be a victim and fought back, biting the attacker as he drove and foiling his escape in the process.

She was hit in the head as she took him on and ended up jumping out of a window. After a massive search, she was eventually recovered near Cape Town International Airport.

Schachat is recovering in hospital and misses her pooches.

But they have managed to find a way to connect – FaceTime, a video-calling app.

"I did a FaceTime call with the dogs last night…and Sasha is sitting there, and she is turning her little head side to side," said Schachat.

"She can hear my voice, but she doesn't know where it is coming from," said the retired nurse from Rondebosch.

However, Sasha eventually got the hang of it and jumped up excitedly when Schachat declared during the call: "Sashi, mommy is going to give you a bone!"

The hijack occurred on Thursday last week in the mid-afternoon. Schachat explained that the alleged hijacker – a 19-year-old, who has since been arrested – accosted her in her driveway as she returned from a walk with the dogs.  

Louise Schachat with her dogs Sasha and Khaya. (Supplied)

 Police arrested a 19-year-old while he was travelling on the highway in Philippi. Initially, they stopped him because they noticed that one of his tyres had burst.

But he was later arrested in connection with the hijacking. Khaya was found unharmed in the car, but Sasha was missing.

Schachat said the community, even total strangers, were incredible and embarked on extensive searches to find her precious pooch.

Eventually, Sasha was discovered near Cape Town International Airport.  She had to have stitches and the vet said she had a lucky escape because she had a wound just millimetres from her eye.

Schachat herself spent a week in ICU recovering from injuries so severe that she was told that it could take between six and eight months to completely heal.

"I have a shattered pelvis, punctured lung, fractured wrist, four or five fractured ribs, lots of haematoma and bruising."

She said she was grateful to have survived and added that she was taking it day by day, coming to accept that "it is okay to go through these emotions".

There is no set timeline for her return home, but Schachat is hoping that the dogs will visit her soon.

"I think what will happen is that my family are going to put me in a wheelchair and take me downstairs and I'll see my dogs."

Meanwhile, Western Cape police confirmed the incident, saying the arrested suspect remained in custody.

He is to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of the theft of a motor vehicle.

Community groups on Facebook were also full of good wishes for Schachat's recovery and praise for the united spirit in which people had gone out to search for Sasha.

Kelsey Hendricks who was one of the people who searched for Sasha, posted on Facebook and described how, when the dog was found "there was a LOT of whooooping!!! And hugging and crying!!! You better believe it!!! WoOoHooOOo!! (sic)"

"This baby girl had so many people rooting for her safe return. Just miraculous!! (sic)," she added.

On Friday, Schachat explained how she previously changed her career, out of "passion" to become a dog walker. She said she loved taking her canine clients for mountain hikes.

When it came to her own pets, she said they were quite simply "my life".

"You spend 24 hours with them; you see their character."

Sasha, the crime-fighting superhero, had always had a particularly distinctive disposition, Schachat said.

"She is a very special little dog. She is unlike any other dog I have ever had. She is ultra-sensitive."

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