On April 7 Nala joined our household.
In January this year Kaela left us for happier hunting grounds - her back legs had all but given in and she suffered from a distressing breathing problem. Dr van Schouwenberg, a veteran vet who has cared for our dogs for years, and her assistant kindly came to Thatchwick Cottage to put Kaela to sleep on her favourite spot on the verandah. She slipped away, eyeing the birds flutter around the bird feeder.
|Kaela and Flash, Dec 2016|
I decided to wait until after a short trip to Bloemfontein and full recovery from my broken ankle before I adopted another dog as a companion to Flash. Last year, Kim, my music teacher, had offered me her dog.
"Nala needs a good home. I am out teaching all day, the yard at our new house is just too small and my grown up children are all too busy with their own lives to give her any attention. When Kaela goes, please don't approach Lab Rescue. Take Nala instead."
At last I was ready. I approached Kim and we arranged the date. The introduction with Flash went off smoothly. The farewell was a bit harder on Kim. For more than a week, anxious Whatsapp messages flew between us: anxiety on her part and reassurance on mine, bolstered by lots of happyp photos.
|Sleeping in on Saturday|
"Nala's fine. She loves being allowed to come inside. She's on a strict diet, is looking slimmer and she enjoys her walk every day."
Kim still visits Nala once a week when she comes for my music lesson. And Nala is always pleased to see her. But after the garage door closes, Nala follows me contentedly. She is not pure Labrador Retriever as all our previous dogs have been to date. Her ears are too perky and her tail has a curl. But she has the gentle nature of the Labrador. Grace, my nearly three year old granddaughter, loves her best. Nala is Swahili for lioness.