A very interesting afternoon was spent at the Sea Vista sports field on Thursday afternoon in the company of some very dedicated ladies. Each Thursday afternoon, weather permitting, Stephanie Ernsten who has taken over the great work done by Rebecca Tilders, runs a clinic for the Sea Vista community at the sport field. Accompanied by local vet Narina Botha of Aloe Veterinary Clinic and Tanya Keyser of SPCA Assisi Humansdorp and SPCA assistants Desmond and Simon they administer to the needs of the dogs, and cats we were told, although no cats were seen that day.

As new dogs arrive, the owners details are recorded and the they are given a dog ‘passport’ which they are required to bring each time they visit the clinic. Narina gives any necessary injections as well as checking out those animals that need attention which seem few and far between for most were in good condition, some in excellent condition and well cared for.  Once necessary treatment has been given by either Narina, Stephanie or Tanya, depending on what needs to be administered, the dogs are handed over to Desmond and Simon who bathe them. Certainly not a job for the faint-hearted for very few of the dogs seem to enjoy their encounter with the dipping process but Desmond and Simon are thankfully experienced and very capable handlers so no one was bitten. After their bath the dogs are offered a doggie biscuit treat although it must be said most dogs preferred to run helter skelter to shake of the water from their bath.

Towards the end of the afternoon five youngsters arrived each carrying a puppy that was not much more than a few weeks old. Very cute they were but, herein lies the problem. This world simply does not need more dogs being born.  Recently some St Francis residents would have attended functions to raise funds for the “Open your Eyes – Sterilize” campaign, the most recent being the SPCA Book Fest luncheon held at St Francis Links. Another is being held at Dune Ridge Country House on Thursday 29 October from 11:00 to 2:00 where St Francis’ nutritionist, Alison Jones, will talk about using good nutrition as a powerful weapon against poor health, ageing and weight gain. Tickets are only R150.00 and will go to a truly worthwhile cause of reducing the number of unsterilized dogs in the area. Sarah-Jane Swanepoel of Dune Ridge will, as always, be putting on a lovely spread so please make an effort to attend.

To end what was certainly an interesting afternoon, we made a house call with Stephanie to tend to eight new born puppies (last  photo). The mother was not too interested in have eight hungry mouths suckling  as she was stationed outside the enclosure but Stephanie managed to coax her in to feed the pups even if it was only for a quick snack. Cute little blighters, but unless these pups are sterilized they in turn are going to go and produce litter after litter.

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Trivia: If you are wondering where you have heard the expression “Dog day afternoon”, it was a 1975 movie starring Al Pacino based on a true story in the early seventies in which the Chase Manhattan Bank in Brooklyn, was held siege by a gay bank robber determined to steal enough money for his male lover to undergo a sex change operation. It was the 70’s however so the movie depicts the robber as heterosexual trying to get money for his lover (played by Penelope Allen).