For many people, the hard lockdown was nothing short of an ordeal – but for Mariette Odendaal, it was a blessing in disguise.
It meant she rarely needed to leave the sanctuary of her home, that she could hole up with her family and take some time out from the real world – a world of stares and whispers, cruel comments, pointing and sniggering.
It was also a break from a world full of dogs and, although Mariette used to love the animals, she finds it difficult to trust them now. And it’s little wonder when you hear her story. Four years ago, a Staffordshire terrier ripped off a chunk of her nose at a braai, triggering a nightmare that would turn her into a virtual recluse and change her and her family’s lives forever.