For four months, Janine Fleurs searched desperately for her little dog which had gone missing.
Then, last week a young neighbour brought her a copy of the Plainsman. On the front page was a picture of a dog nicknamed “Audrey Hepburn”, headed by two words: “Puppy rescue”.
The Yorkshire terrier had been found wandering the streets of Strandfontein and nursed back to health by the Animal Welfare Society of South Africa in Philippi (“Puppy on the road to recovery”, Plainsman, June 27).
Janine only had to look once to know that the Yorkie which had stolen the hearts of the team who were taking care of her, was her Mimsy, a dog she had acquired in 2007 when she was struggling to get over her mom’s death.
Recalling the day Mimsy went missing, Janine, 47, from Rocklands, said she had arrived home after 6pm and called out for the dog.
She had bought some chicken for Mimsy, but she didn’t respond to her calls.
“I was so upset when I did not see her come out to me. I even started looking for her outside, in the road, at the neighbours’ houses, asking everyone I know where my dog is.
“I’ve had Mimsy since November 17 2007, for more than 10 years. She is my baby. I do not have children of my own. When I saw her in the Plainsman, I was so glad I found her,” said Janine.“I felt like I lost my child. It hurt so much when she was away.
“I could hardly sleep. I really love her. She was my comfort when my mom passed away in April 2007. I got a dog to help get over my mother’s death,” she told the Plainsman.
Allan Perrins, the resource development and communications officer for the Animal Welfare Society of South Africa, said: “All eyes were on Mimsy who was snuggled up in her bed in the office, when we discovered that her owner had called to claim her.
My colleagues who took good care of Mimsy, when she had undergone an operation to remove bladder stones as well as operating on her knee caps as they were not in place, played me the voice note of Janine speaking to Mimsy and I could sense how Mimsy’s expression changed at the sound of her owner’s voice,” he said.
“This little dog found her way into all of our hearts, especially mine. I was overjoyed to know that all our efforts had not been in vain.
“I am so proud to have been instrumental in reuniting this special pair. It is precious moments like this that we live for. This is a fairytale ending and I’m so thankful to everyone who helped ensure such a wonderful outcome.
“Saying goodbye to her was bitter-sweet as we all adored her. She will be missed but never forgotten and we hope she makes a full and speedy recovery. To prevent her going missing again we have micro-chipped Mimsy and encourage all other pet owners to do likewise. This small investment in your pet’s welfare can make a huge difference.”
Janine has encouraged all pet owners to love their pets and take good care of them. “All they need is love and attention. Feed them well, and care for them. I know sometimes we can’t always afford to give them the best but we need to do what we can.
“I am very thankful to all who made it possible for me to find my Mimsy,” she said.
The Animal Welfare Society of SA offers a full range of veterinary services to underprivileged and disadvantaged communities. The clinic is open seven days a week,
Call 021 692 2626 or 082 601 1761 (after hours) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For adoptions, email email@example.com and to report animal cruelty and neglect, email the AWS Inspectorate at firstname.lastname@example.org