Sue Rae Fox introducing Alison Jones

Sue Rae Fox introducing Alison Jones

The “Open your Eyes – Sterilize” campaign received a much welcomed boost to their funding at a late morning function held at Dune Ridge Country House on Thursday. Thanking the more than 60 ladies who attended the function for their generosity, Sue Rae Fox, the inspiration behind the campaign went on to explain how the funding was assisting both SPCA Assisi and the April Olive Blossom Fund in their work. This event (Thursday’s) raised a little over R5500 providing funding for a further 11 dogs to be sterilized. With the money raised this year through the “Open your Eyes-Sterilize” campaign, 70 dogs both male and, as Sue prefers the term them, ‘female dogs’ rather than the alternative which she felt should rather be reserved as a descriptive term for certain humans of the female gender.

SPCA courageous ladies

Melanie Botha & Tanya Keyzer of SPCA

Sue went on to praise the courageous work of Tanya Keyzer and Melanie Botha of

Stephanie Arnsten

Stephanie Arnsten (centre)

SPCA Assisi of not only rescuing dogs, but also farm animals, sometimes under the most trying, even terrifying conditions. Also praised for her dedication was Jessica Naude of Jeffreys Bay Animal Rescue. Last and certainly not least, Sue introduced Stephanie Ernsten who has taken over the work of the April Olive Blossom foundation started by Rebecca Tilders. Stephanie runs weekly clinics where local Sea Vista dog owners bring their pets for inoculations, deworming and dipping. Ably assisted by staff of SPCA Assisi and Narina Botha, our local vet who is administers the inoculations as well being on hand to advise where an animal appears to be ill or malnourished. Stephanie has also extended these services to Thornhill where she runs similar clinics at Woodridge College.

One cannot underestimate the importance of the work done by these wonderful and caring ladies for without their efforts we should reflect for a moment of the consequence of not reducing the rate of an ever expanding dog population.

Statistics indicate a pair of dogs and their offspring can produce 67000 puppies in six years.  “Open your Eyes – Sterilize” funding has neutered or spayed 70 (let’s say 35 breeding pairs for calculating purposes if half of these were male and half female). A little Math! The campaign thus has potentially prevented the birth of some two million dogs going forward six years. That is quite ridiculous, these figures must be an exaggeration some may say. So let’s say the statistics are incorrect and use just  0.5% of what statistics show as possible.  At this percentage each breeding pair and their offspring would produce only 335 additional dogs in six years. Not too bad until you multiply 335 dogs by the 35 breeding pairs or staggering figure of almost 12000 additional dogs in just six years had the Open your Eyes campaign not had these dogs sterilized.

If St Francis residents think they have a problem with marauding pigs and the odd cow or herd of goats wandering the highways and byways of the village, consider the problem of 12000 additional dogs. Poor Bob Meikle would have to move to bigger premises just to store the food for the horde he already feeds every day. And avoiding knocking over a wandering pack of dogs would make running the gauntlet of the potholes on our roads seem like child’s play.

The alternative? Certainly there is an alternative but can we even consider the awfulness of having to euthanase hundreds if not thousands of dogs every year? Too horrible to contemplate so rather we lend a helping hand by dipping into our pockets to fund the efforts of this small band of wonderful lady volunteers, and here we include Sue, Bernice Katakuzino and Verna Couper and others who work tirelessly to avoid the terrible consequence of allowing the dog population to grow to unmanageable proportions.

Alison Jones with Bernice Katakuzino

Alison Jones with Bernice Katakuzino

But to the occasion that helped raise over R5500 thanks to the more than 60 ladies that attended the talk on healthy eating by Nutritionist Alison Jones!

As the only male at the function and no doubt the only person in the audience who believed a couple of cold beers with steak and chips was all the nutrition a body would need, it was indeed an interesting talk. In fact one could say it was in keeping within the theme “Open Your Eyes” for it certainly was an eye opener on what we should be eating rather than what we do eat.  As men approach the latter laps of life many of us tend to display inner tube rather than the firm six packs of our sporting days and it seems sugar is the cause of it all. Apparently cutting back on the sugar in our coffee is not going to help for it seems there are so many food items in our daily food intake that contain loads of sugar that we just are not aware of.

The subject of good healthy eating is certainly worth paying attention to and maybe it would be a great idea for the “Open Your Eyes” committee to arrange a similar event and invite only men to listen to what Alison has to say. No doubt it would be a very humorous event particularly if Alison were to bring her special scale that identifies all sorts of aspects of your body other than just your weight. Maybe she could have public hangings, oops public weigh-ins for that would certainly encourage some ribbing from the audience of those being hanged, oops again, weighed.

All in all a very interesting morning and certainly food for thought on one’s eating habits. And on the subject of eating, Dune Ridge Country House put on a wonderful spread of sandwiches and cakes with the tea and coffee served after the Alison’s talk. Having just heard how sugar is the number one villain there was certainly opportunity for one final sugar overload before putting all Alison’s good advice into practice.

Vanessa Kasperski won a lovely painting donated by Joan Barnes

Vanessa Kasperski won a lovely painting donated by Joan Barnes



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