Through thick and thin - real families stick together

Posted on 2023-04-17 13:36:04


[A story to warm your heart by Erica Fouche]

We adopted Pepper from the Durban SPCA in 2014. It was literally like fate brought us together. I will never forget how she looked at me in the car on our way home that day as if to say, “Thank you”.

Pepper was our first “baby”. We did go on to have two human children, and Pepper was so patient with them as they grew up. When it my husband and began to look into emigration, I said from the start, “Pepper comes with us”. When you adopt a dog, or any pet, you are making a life-time commitment. I just couldn’t imagine our lives without her.

Yes, it is expensive; I did all the necessary research to see how much it would cost and what the process would be. It became clear that taking a pet to New Zealand can be very time consuming. If I could do it all over again, I would have planned sooner. Luckily, Pepper was already microchipped and her rabies and other vaccinations were up to date. Even so, you need to have blood tests done 3 months before the rest of the treatments can begin.

Pepper wasn’t going to be “ready” in time to travel with us. But we were blessed to have friends who agreed to keep her with them in Durban and take her to all her vet appointments for us. When we left, I told Pepper, “This is not goodbye,” and I honestly believe she understood.

Once in New Zealand, we had to look for a rental that would accept a dog. At first, we were discouraged by the number of landlords that don’t want you to have a pet. But in the end, we found a wonderful place to call home for a few years – all because of Pepper! The landlord also has a little dog named Pepper and that’s why they chose us as tenants!

In all, we were apart from Pepper for 4 months, and missed her very much. But throughout her long journey from Durban to Johannesburg to Singapore and Auckland, she was in good hands. She then had to go into a quarantine faciality for 10 days. She must have wondered what on earth was happening! But there too, she was well looked after.

The day arrived for me to collect her. I was full of emotions – happy, excited, but also a bit scared that she wouldn’t remember me. But, even before I saw her, she could hear my voice and I recognised her cries from the kennels … “mom!”. When she was let out and ran to me it was the best feeling ever!

I took her home and showed her around, then took her with me to fetch my sons from school. They were so happy. When my husband got home later that day, he just lay on the ground and let her lick him all over! She has settled well into her new home, and I can’t wait to take her to some beaches to explore.

It really was the best decision, and just the right thing to do. When you adopt a pet, you should be in it for the long haul. After all, they are in members of the family!

Pepper in New Zealand

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