Jade Daniel – Happily Ever After

It’s been four years since we first learned the name, Jade Hubner. Jade made her debut on television during the SABC’s presenter search. The down-to-earth blond, from Cape Town, revealed to us just how multitalented she is, and she continues to blow us away with every passing day!

Jade has a résumé that will leave most people wondering what they’ve been doing with their lives. The Top Billing TV host is a skilled actress, singer, MC and voice-over artist. Not to even mention the number of
sports disciplines she’s competed in, with Water Polo and Surfing being just two of the activities she enjoys. Jade labels herself a tomboy of sorts, never standing back for any challenge that comes her way.

In the last year Jade made headlines of a different kind. Jade traded her surname for something a little easier to pronounce. In April, Jade said, “I do” to her husband, Matthew, and officially became Mrs Daniel. Their fairy tale wedding was publicized and filmed by all the major networks, and the vows they shared had everyone in tears.
Their perfect day had dawned, and played out perfectly, for the perfect couple. Being the all-round go-getter she is, it should come as no surprise that Jade is also an ambassador for great causes, like Tekkie Tax, various wildlife organisations and the SPCA. Being a voice for welfare and animals, in particular, it was a great opportunity for us to get in touch with the lady of the moment, to find out about her furry family, and what the future holds for
the newly married couple.

Please tell us about Charlie. Where was Charlie adopted from, and why were you drawn to him specifically?
After losing my beloved Yorkie, Harley, in January 2018, Matthew and I decided to adopt a dog together. We needed a little bit of light in our lives, and decided to head to Woodrock Animal Welfare to see if we could find a dog that would match our personalities. We saw Charlie (a Chihuahua-Pekingese cross), who was named Rickie at that stage, and decided to meet with him in an open area. He was only about a year
old at the time, and it was clear that he had had a hard life as a puppy. He was hostile, and we were warned that he might try to bite us.

What followed was something truly remarkable. Charlie walked up to Matthew in a sceptical manner, with his eyes fixed firmly on him. Matthew extended his hand for Charlie to smell, and suddenly Charlie shoved his head right under his hand and hopped up onto his lap, without hesitation. It was love at first sight. Everyone was greatly surprised, including the people from Woodrock!

It hasn’t been an easy road from that day, but it’s been completely worth it. We’ve worked with Charlie and a behaviourist, to help him regain his trust in humans, and we are happy to report that Charlie is much
better now. His brother, Baloo, has also played a major part in getting him to trust us.

He is a changed dog now, one year later, and I think after another year, there will be an even greater improvement. There was a moment, when we just wanted to give up, which shocked me, because that is not
how I was raised, but my mom gave me a “talking to” and, my word, did it pay off!

This has been such a learning curve and it has certainly been rewarding. Charlie is a most loving and affectionate dog to all our friends now!

Baloo is such a cutie and looks after his brother so well. What breed is he, and why did you choose to take him into your family?
Baloo is a Biewer Yorkie. I had never heard of the breed, until I saw one at the Vet’s surgery, when I was taking Charlie for a checkup (an opportunity to get to know your local vet, which is advised when getting a dog). I didn’t have any intention of getting another dog at the time, but I couldn’t forget this blue eye’d breed.

The next few months with Charlie were very difficult, because I was still mourning the loss of my 9-year-old Yorkie, who, literally, had been my life and my shadow. For the first time in 26 years, I was coming home to no dog, then got a dog who I couldn’t touch, and who wanted to bite me most of the time. It was torturous. I felt incomplete. Besides my feelings, Charlie was battling on his own, and would scream blue murder on his own and go to great lengths to escape. He was extremely anxious.

Growing up, my dogs always had friends, and I told Matt that Charlie and I needed another dog.

Although my previous rescue dogs were fantastic, Charlie was a lot of work and I was so broken that I didn’t want to risk getting a dog who wouldn’t trust me, and would teach Charlie more bad habits. We decided to get a dog that I could train. I also missed my Yorkie terribly, and knew from experience, that they have great natures. I remembered the breed I had discovered at the vet and, quickly, did some research. I went to see a litter, and watched them for an hour. I chose Baloo, because he didn’t react at all when all the other dogs and puppies barked and became aggressive. He literally didn’t care. He was the perfect brother for Charlie.

I immediately took Baloo to doggy school, and began with my plan. Baloo got 100% at puppy and obedience school. He is the most obedient Yorkie I have ever met. My plan worked! He and Charlie are best friends, they play 24/7. Charlie doesn’t mind when we leave the house anymore, as he is not alone, and he trusts everyone that Baloo trusts. Charlie copies his good habits more and more every day. And Charlie LOVES me now! Walks are the way to a dog’s heart, it certainly helped me to win him over. You have to walk your dogs every day, or at least every second day, even if it’s a short one. I can’t express enough what it does for their mental state! They really need it! Just because your dog is small, or not a border collie, doesn’t mean they don’t need proper

Did you have pets as a child?
Dogs were like water in our lives! We couldn’t survive without them. The dogs were there before I was born. My family and I love dogs, they truly make a house a home. You come home from school or work, and you are greeted with such excitement and love. You relax at home and they snuggle up to your side, keeping you warm. No matter the troubles and stress in your life, your dogs are always there to comfort you and
make everything feel much better. They love unconditionally and sense when you need even more love. Every Sunday we would take them to Sunrise beach and go for an extra long walk as a family, no matter what the weather.
As an infant, I learnt to walk beside them on that very beach, as a child I learnt to swim with them, and I learnt to play, with them. Each one of my dogs has taught me something and each one was so different.

What has been your favourite part of becoming a dog mom?
I would say the companionship, the unconditional love and joy. I also enjoy looking after them and the purpose it gives you.

Leaving home and having my very own dogs have been such a new experience. The more time you invest with your dogs, the more rewarding it is. Taking your dogs to training yourself, really deepens your connection. It is truly special to be so connected with your dog, and it is really great to have a well-behaved dog. The more you put in, the more you get out!

You seem to have got it all together when it comes to family and career. What is your secret?
I think I used to have, but last year I hit a rough patch. I learnt a lot from it, and it certainly helped me grow. If you look at the overall to-do-list, it can be overwhelming, and debilitating at times. One can be stuck not knowing where or how to start. What I learnt is to take one task at a time, and to take it day by day. Ask yourself, “What if..”. What if I just pack away this right now, what if I just do this one email, what if I just read 10 pages of this textbook. One ‘what if’ leads to another, and the next thing you know, you have done a lot, you feel great and far less overwhelmed. This  is the secret, along with prioritizing (you have to write them down in order), and surrounding yourself with kind, positive people.

Now that you’re married, can we expect any additions to your family in the near future?
Lots more doggies for sure!
Babies too 🙂
Hopefully both in a years’ time 🙂

What would your advise be to anyone wanting to adopt a Pekingese?
Socialize your dog immediately with other dogs and people of all ages, and do so frequently. Make sure he/she has a doggie friend. Be patient and never give up. Hire a dog walker to socialize your dog with their pack if you are still struggling or don’t have friends with dogs that you can walk with. Don’t let people tease and poke your dog, because they think it’s funny when a small dog gets aggressive.

Lastly, enjoy the love and snuggles.

Families come in all shapes and sizes, and Jade and Matthew prove just how true this is. We look forward to seeing the new additions to the Daniel family, and wish them all the best for the future.


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