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Medical Pet Care on Four Wheels

Spending a Day with Hilary Barclay

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Friday morning 11 am. I am standing at the parking lot of the Hout Bay Spar supermarket, waiting for an old silvery Mercedes Benz to come and pick me up for an adventurous day of pet care and medical treatment. “Come on in, how are you?” Hilary Barclay, driver of said Mercedes, friendly salutes and invites me to jump into her slightly wrecked vehicle that has been the motorized means of transport for many of her four-legged patients over the last decades. Working as a vet nurse for the local shelter DARG as well as for her own non-profit organization PETS (Proactive Education, Treatment and Sterilization), Hilary provides a weekly mobile medical service from the trunk of her car for the residents of the township of Hangberg and their furry friends. Every Friday, dog and cat owners from the township gather together at the side of Bayview Road and wait for the “dog lady” to treat their pets.

Once we reach the township, Hilary parks her four-wheeled pet hospital, gets of it and moves naturally among the many patients waiting for her treatment. She occasionally pets a head or two, enthusiastically greeting every other dog with the words: “Hello, my boy!” It is only now that the real work starts for the former cardiothoracic ICU nurse from Glasgow: vaccinations, de-worming tablets and treatment against the common skin disease canine scabies (also known as mange) are provided from the trunk of her car and carefully administered to her furry patients. Part of Hilary's working philosophy is that the pet owners only have to pay for the medicine – never for the service itself. Otherwise, she later tells me, many would not be able to afford the treatment so that a great number of dogs and cats would end up not being treated at all. Vaccination and de-worming only cost the small amount of 50R while other medical provisions like for instance vitamin tablets are often completely financed by donations and hence given away for free.

What impresses me the most about Hilary is the way she addresses the township residents. She is respectful and friendly yet direct and down to the point when she, for instance, emphatically advises the pet owners to have their dogs and cats sterilized.

Unfortunately, not all of Hilary's furry patients can be treated right on the spot. When a dog is suffering from a deep bite wound or a broken leg, Hilary often re-functions her mobile pet service station into an animal ambulance and takes the four-legged injured patient straight to a veterinary hospital. Today, not even all of the “normal” cases can be sufficiently treated since Hilary is running out of medicine before each dog has had the chance to get his share. She patiently explains to the remaining pet owners that a new box of medical provisions is due for tomorrow and that everybody is welcome to come to DARG the next day in order for his furry friend to be looked after. As I have to learn, Saturdays are by no means leisure days for the passionate dog-lover Hilary. Her shift is quite often a twenty-four-seven one, the constantly ringing mobile in one of her pockets delivering vivid proof for this.

Once Hilary has treated all of her little patients, she hurries back into the car, already being a little overdue for her next appointment. Following her shift in Hangberg is a house-visit, which is obligatory whenever a family decides to adopt a dog from a shelter in order to make sure that their properties are well-prepared for the dog. Also on her to-do list for the day is the picking up of five baby kittens from a local resident and a stop at the veterinary hospital in order to check on one of her little patients. Although Hilary is often working some extra hours, even spending her weekends at DARG, she never seems to be frustrated or tired by the work she is doing. She greets each and every furry patient with the same warm-hearted head stroke and the same loving words of empathy. By the end of the day, when she drops me of at the Spar market, the “dog-lady” still seems to be full of energy, waving a hearty goodbye, inviting me to come and join her for another trip of medical care in her old silvery Mercedes Benz.

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Author: Daniela Koentopp

 

Featured Furkidz: Weekend Argus 28th June

website top dogs header Weekend Argus    

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These 7 wonderful dogs are now stars. They've all had their picture published in the Weekend Argus seeking new homes! They are just a small sample of the numerous and amazing animals currently available for adoption at shelters around the country.

The dogs in our shelters have been lost or abandoned or sometimes even, sadly abused, and are really looking for a new lease of life with loving owners. You'll find them by browsing through any of the shelters featured on our website or feel free to make an inquiry directly, on 0742758105. If you are quick, you may even still pick up one of our stars from the Weekend Argus.

The newspapers have shown their generousity by featuring these FurKidz, perhaps, it's your turn to show an equal generousity of spirit too, by adopting rather than buying, and giving any of these dogs a loving new home 

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World Dog Day and World Cat Day

url by Katharina Hendrickx

Do you feel like your kitty or doggy deserves a special day to be celebrated? Then the World Dog or the World Cat Day is just the right thing for you and your furry companion! The Animal miracle network and the IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, founded the days. The true meaning of them is to be a gentle reminder of your responsibilities as a pet owner. What better way to do that then celebrating with your partner in crime? 

The World Dog Day, celebrated each year on the 26th of August, honors the special bond and friendship between dogs and humans. This bond is ancient and has evolved over thousands of years. Dogs are trained to live with us and they are the perfect human companions. However, that means they also need us to take care of them and provide them with all they need to be happy. It is also proven that the wellbeing of humans and dogs is inseparably linked to each other. This means it is beneficial to our own health to take good care of our four-legged companions. The World Dog Day was especially invented to encourage people to adopt dogs that do not have the fortune to have a home and their other, human half. Even if you already have your furry fella it is a day to celebrate your time together.

Here are some recipes to spoil your doggie: Click here

The World Cat Day is celebrated on the 8th of August around the world. Founded by the IFAW it is meant to value all the years with your personal Garfield. The history of the friendship between humans and cats dates back as far as 9500 years. A statistic found that cats are currently the most popular pets in the world. It is said that the interaction with cats may reduce stress and improve mental health. Most importantly, they are faithful companions and friends, which makes them such great pets.

Ideas how to spoil your fur ball:  Click here

However, these special days are not the only pet-related days out there. If you want to celebrate more spoiling days, here are some suggestions:

January: Walk your pet month

February 20th: Love your pet Day 

March 23rd: Puppy day

April 18th: Pet Owners Day

May: Chip your pet month

June 4th: Hug your Cat Day

July: Pet Fire Safety Day

August 5th: Work like a Dog Day

September 23rd: Dogs in Politics Day

October 4th: World Animal Day

November: Adopt a senior Pet Month

December 2nd: Mutt Day

 

10 Things you did not know about your dog!

 images by Katharina Hendrickx

A dog is a man's best friend but how much do we actually know about our furry fellas? New researches and studies reveal surprising facts, which will give you a whole new perspective on our faithful companions. 

1.    Dogs yawn contagiously when they see their owner yawn. A study also shows that dogs yawn out of empathy, which means the yawning is emotional (PLOS ONE Journal).

2.    Statistics suggest that there are more than 9 million pet dogs in South Africa, more than in France.

3.    Dogs cannot only recognize familiar faces on images but they can also read people's facial expressions. They are able to conclude if you are happy, sad, angry etc. (Animal Cognition Journal).

4.    Dogs are able to sniff out testicle and other sorts of cancer with an accuracy of 99%. This is more precise than any human-built scanner. Using their incredible sense of smell dogs are trained with blood samples of cancer patience.

5.    A new study from Vienna, Austria, suggests that the relationship between a dog and its owner is strikingly similar to a parent-child relationship. Adult dogs behave to their owners like children to their parents.

6.    Dogs have a slightly higher body temperature than humans. The average body temperature of a dog is between 38°C and 39°C.

7.    The nose print of a dog is as distinctive as a human's fingerprint. The dog can be precisely identified by it.

8.    An American study reveals that around 1 million dogs were named primary beneficiary in their owners will.

9.    A new study on the brain of dogs suggests that dogs have emotions very similar to humans, which makes dogs capable of love and affection.

10.  Dogs can easily overheat, as they don't have an efficient perspiration system. They only sweat underneath their paws. These are the only glands they have. 

 

 

Featured Furkidz: Weekend Argus 31st May

website top dogs header Weekend Argus    

 Husky Janu Kola2 Penny1

These 7 wonderful dogs are now stars. They've all had their picture published in the Weekend Argus seeking new homes! They are just a small sample of the numerous and amazing animals currently available for adoption at shelters around the country.

The dogs in our shelters have been lost or abandoned or sometimes even, sadly abused, and are really looking for a new lease of life with loving owners. You'll find them by browsing through any of the shelters featured on our website or feel free to make an inquiry directly, on 0742758105. If you are quick, you may even still pick up one of our stars from the Weekend Argus.

The newspapers have shown their generousity by featuring these FurKidz, perhaps, it's your turn to show an equal generousity of spirit too, by adopting rather than buying, and giving any of these dogs a loving new home.

Rupert Scamp1 Toby           

 

Featured Furkidz: Weekend Argus 17th May

website top dogs header Weekend Argus    

 Curly Dante Lucky Marilyn 

These 7 wonderful dogs are now stars. They've all had their picture published in the Weekend Argus seeking new homes! They are just a small sample of the numerous and amazing animals currently available for adoption at shelters around the country.

The dogs in our shelters have been lost or abandoned or sometimes even, sadly abused, and are really looking for a new lease of life with loving owners. You'll find them by browsing through any of the shelters featured on our website or feel free to make an inquiry directly, on 0742758105. If you are quick, you may even still pick up one of our stars from the Weekend Argus.

The newspapers have shown their generousity by featuring these FurKidz, perhaps, it's your turn to show an equal generousity of spirit too, by adopting rather than buying, and giving any of these dogs a loving new home.

         Milkey Sid Zaka 

 

Featured Furkidz: Weekend Argus 10th May

website top dogs header Weekend Argus    

 Bright Eyes Cole Dio Elma    

These 7 wonderful dogs are now stars. They've all had their picture published in the Weekend Argus seeking new homes! They are just a small sample of the numerous and amazing animals currently available for adoption at shelters around the country.

The dogs in our shelters have been lost or abandoned or sometimes even, sadly abused, and are really looking for a new lease of life with loving owners. You'll find them by browsing through any of the shelters featured on our website or feel free to make an inquiry directly, on 0742758105. If you are quick, you may even still pick up one of our stars from the Weekend Argus.

The newspapers have shown their generousity by featuring these FurKidz, perhaps, it's your turn to show an equal generousity of spirit too, by adopting rather than buying, and giving any of these dogs a loving new home.

Tiger Anne Pepper

 

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