Essentials South Africa

The picture that MEANS SO MUCH

After Nicola Owst rescued a pup in need, she realised her new best friend had saved her, too

From the moment that I met Buddy, there was no doubt in my mind I’d do everything

I could for him. I gave him love and a safe home, and today I can’t imagine life without him. Not only is he a family member, but he’s my best friend and has been by my side longer than my husband, Jon, 37, and my two children, Toby, two, and two-month-old Harvey.

My story with Buddy began on a wet morning in April 2009, when I was on my way to the outskirts of town with my friend Sally and her daughter to see a horse they were interested in buying. As the rain pelted down, we drove along a tiny street and arrived at a scrapheap, piled high with furniture and machinery. I spotted a discarded dog crate next to it – and, edging forward to have a closer look, I spotted something inside.

Peering in, I gasped as I saw a puppy, still breathing, alive, but looking very ill. His bones protruded from his skinny body, and he was covered in sores. Gently opening the crate, I fished out the Staffordshire bull terrier pup, cradling him in my arms as we rushed back to the car and wrapped him up.

I stroked him as he sat on my lap, and we rolled down the windows as the stench of faeces, urine

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