Meet Sniffels (now called Marie):
On 21 November 2017, at the Lucky Lucy Foundation in Cape Town, our head caregiver, Bonile, received a phone call from a distressed owner in one of our Outreach areas. Her dog had been kicked by a horse and needed immediate medical care. When Bonile arrived on the scene, he attended to the injured dog first, but spotted another dog, a female puppy, called Sniffels, that was in a very bad condition. She was severly underfed and in some places she had crusty patches on her skin and, in other places, the skin was semi-raw and swollen. She was oozing fluids and blood. Her owner requested help from Lucky Lucy, since she couldn’t keep Sniffels anymore and wanted a good loving home for Sniffels, but didn’t know where to turn. Sometimes these communities are judged, because they don’t have extra money to pay for sterilizations, vaccinations and medical emergencies, but this owner loved her dog so much, that she made the choice to surrender her to Lucky Lucy rather than having her suffer. Sniffels had endured a lot in her short life and deserves better. This is how Sniffels joined the LLF family and became part of our lives. Both dogs were taken to our Welfare vets at Bergzicht Animal Clinic in Malmesbury for immediate medical attention
The Road to recovery:
The vets diagnosed Sniffels with a skin condition. Her skin scrape showed Demodectic 4+mange. She was only 6 months old, unsterilized, had never received any vaccinations, and had multiple skin abscesses, multiple draining tracts and general alopecia. The good news was that she could be treated. Demodectic mange is not infectious to people and other animals, but it takes longer to treat and heal than Sarcoptic mange. She was admitted to the Lucky Lucy clinic where she received nutritious food and daily baths with a special shampoo. In the beginning, one was afraid to touch her skin for fear of hurting her, she was so thin. We had to wash her whole body, including her head, in order to remove the scabs. During her first bathing session she looked at us bright-eyed and expectant, not sure what was about to happen to her, not used to being bathed. After her first bath her skin appeared even worse, but it had been necessary to remove the scabs to enable to skin to heal.
She was a very sweet, friendly girl and would sit still while being treated, despite her pathetic condition, which must have been so painful. At no point did she seem sad, afraid, traumatized or aggressive. I believe that she seemed to understand that the treatment was important to her health and well-being. She was always trusting and loving, which was wonderful, because sometimes the emotional repair process requires time and patience, and can make treatment very difficult. The rest of her treatment included antibiotics for 6 weeks, special anti-flea and tick treatments, that are part of the recommended treatment for mange, and dipping sessions twice a week, to kill the mange mites. During the recovery phase she went to the vet regularly for check-ups.
Sniffels’ skin condition improved in leaps and bounds, thanks to the assistance and guidance of our wonderful vets at the Bergzicht Animal Clinic in Malmesbury, and the dedicated care and medical treatments of the staff at Lucky Lucy. Once her skin had healed completely, she was sterilized and micro-chipped, and moved from the clinic to a camp where she spent many happy days with her camp mates. She enjoyed her walks on a Saturday and received much love, and many hugs and treats from our wonderful volunteers.
A New Life
Sniffels has had a brand new beginning at Lucky Lucy and now has a brand new life. We normally have visitors on weekends at Lucky Lucy, and in January her new parents walked into her life. They wanted to adopt a female doggy and when they saw Sniffels it was love at first sight. We were so happy and excited for our very special Sniffels when she found her forever family – she was adopted on 21 January 2018. According to her new parents, she has settled in nicely. She is good natured, loves her dry food and playing with her new friend, Kallie, the Spaniel. She already responds to her new name, Marie. Her new parents are enjoying her and find her just as special as we did. Sniffels’ success story is one that I have witnessed many times at the Lucky Lucy Foundation. Outreach work is not for the faint-hearted and sometimes it is heart breaking, but it remains greatly rewarding to walk this road with any rescue animal.