Aurora 6

Aurora’s Second Chance at Love

I will never forget the first moment I saw her, standing regally protecting her den. That first photograph still haunts me. I was in Cape Town when Bruce, my husband, and a number of other animal rescuers first received the call for help.

Aurora had built a den on an empty lot to birth and care for her seven pups.

Initially, Pooja Supersad, who discovered her, didn’t even realize the pups existed. She started putting food out for this beautiful stray, who was very skittish and would not approach people. And then building developers moved in to clear the land she was living on. At this stage, Pooja had already realized Aurora was not alone. She had seven pups all under 6 weeks old living on the vacant lot with her.

Pooja contacted a number of rescue organizations including Husky Rescue KZN and Lost Souls Animal Rescue. Tracy McLellend Smit from Lost Souls Animal Rescue rushed to Chatsworth to rescue Aurora and her pups. It was a particularly wet and muddy day and Tracy had a daunting task ahead of her getting Aurora and pups safely removed. She then took them to Hillcrest Veterinary Hospital as a temporary place of safety.

Shortly after Tracy left, the neighbours dog found one last puppy trapped in Aurora’s den. Charnell Ruth from HRKZN, rushed to Chatsworth to collect the last pup, a little girl, and took her back to Hillcrest to be with her mom.

As Aurora was predominantly of the Husky breed, Husky Rescue KZN agreed to take responsibility for Aurora, her pups and their care. Siobhon Kelly, from Husky Rescue South Africa, stepped forward to cover the costs of Aurora, her pups and their care. They were temporarily moved to another rescue organization, Animal Lodge as HRKZN did not have a dedicated area to keep mom and pups separate from the main pack.

I first met Aurora and her pups the day Bruce received a frantic call notifying him that three of the pups were lethargic and listless. We rushed to the fetch the pups and take them to the vet, but sadly all three crossed the rainbow bridge in the next 24 hours. They had contracted Leptospirosis, a disease carried by rats. This was most likely contracted from the rats sharing their den in the bush. Fortunately, the four remaining pups showed no signs of the disease and were happily homed shortly thereafter.

Our family adopted one of Auroa’s son’s, Milo. However, within 24 hours of arriving at home, Milo started showing symptoms of the deadly Parvo virus. He was meant to join us on a camping trip that first weekend, but ended up at the vet instead. Fortunately Bruce was extremely vigilant and caught it in time. Milo is one of few rescues who actually survived Parvo.

Milo settled into our home quickly and easily became part of our pack, yet I continued to be haunted by that first picture of Aurora protecting her pups. Every other week we would visit her at HRKZN and spend time with her. She was timid, shy and very wary of strangers. However, I started to connect with her. I was drawn to her. I would spend time just sitting with her and cuddling her. She refused to leave the property or walk on a leash. Each time I would try and she would not get further than the gate.

Milo settled into our home quickly and easily became part of our pack, yet I continued to be haunted by that first picture of Aurora protecting her pups. Every other week we would visit her at HRKZN and spend time with her. She was timid, shy and very wary of strangers. However, I started to connect with her. I was drawn to her. I would spend time just sitting with her and cuddling her. She refused to leave the property or walk on a leash. Each time I would try and she would not get further than the gate.

Then one day I decided to take Milo with to HRKZN and it was the most bizarre thing, Aurora suddenly came out and greeted me in the crowd. She knew her son immediately and wanted to play with him. That day for the first time since arriving at HRKZN Aurora let me clip on a leash and she left the property for a walk with me and her son. We had the most wonderful walk, and every visit thereafter she would walk with me. I started to refer to her as my dog. Everyone at HRKZN knew she was “my dog”. She had won a very special place in my heart.

So you can imagine how heartsore I was the day I saw a post on the HRKZN Facebook Page, putting Aurora up for adoption. I was devastated. I was in tears, as I saw a number of enquiries to adopt my precious girl. That was the moment when I knew she had to come home to us. She was our dog and we were her furever family. In December of this year Aurora moved home to us.

Today she is a completely different dog. She is calm, serene and peace at home. She loves going for long walks and runs. She sees car rides as adventures and no longer as something to fear. She is my baby girl.

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