“Jazz was such a loving dog.”
That’s how Alwyn Vorster remembers his Scottish terrier cross whom he had to put down after his suffering from intestinal failure became too much to bear.
And although the little pup wasn’t exactly a thoroughbred, Alwyn says that his Jazz “stood head and shoulders above other dogs when it came to manners and behaviour.”
Alwyn and his wife Estelle don’t have a fence around their plot in Stillbaai and that was where Jazz lived his life to the fullest. He was one of those dogs who stayed behind to keep watch, says his owner.
But when Jazz became too weak at 13 years old, Alwyn decided to take his pup to the vet.
Now two years later, Jazz watching over the property -- but in the form of a Westringia tree which represents the beautiful memories of their days together.
Alwyn decided not get another dog after Jazz’s death, but rather plant a tree in his shape. He built a dog using four Westringia plants. The seedlings were planted in such a way that they would represent the new Jazz’s four legs.
When our neighbours would meet in the street, Jazz would step closer and give the impression that he was listening to them and understanding every word that was being said.
“And when I asked him to join in the conversation, he pulled his ears back and barked twice,” says Alwyn. Jazz especially enjoyed the attention when all eyes were on him.
Every morning Jazz would visit his friend, Ninna, a black Staffie and as soon as they would come close to Ninna’s house Alwyn would say, “Go and call Ninna!” With Jazz running ahead and Alwyn following with treats for the two dogs. Ninna would run out, ready to greet.
“After the treat sharing we could continue walking,” says Alwyn.
One of Alwyn’s favourite memories was to take Jazz along when he would go out to catch fish with the boat. “He absolutely loved running through the vlei grass.
And this was one of the reasons that Alwyn wanted his beloved dog to “live forever.”
Since May 2015 Jazz has grown full and Alwyn trims the tree regularly.
“It was hard to say goodbye to Jazz,” says Alwyn. “This living representation gives me some consolation whenever I miss him too much.”