Mandela Day 2023 – Part 1

Mandela day is celebrated annually in honour of Nelson Mandela on the 18th of July, the former president’s birthday. It is not a public holiday, but rather a day to honour his legacy and his values, through volunteering and community service. It’s tradition to spend at least 67minutes in service, as that was how long Madiba had fought for social justice. So we at the South African Blues Society sought and found two worthy causes to support in 2023!

Wet Nose Pamper-a-Pooch Saturday 15 July 

Bundled up in scarves, hats and many, many layers of clothing, we met up at Wet Nose Animal Rescue Centre in Bronkhorstspruit at 09:00. Wet Nose is a registered NPO and is devoted to the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of abandoned, abused and neglected animals. They have a Right to Life policy and love and care for over 500 animals. They have no government or municipal funding and rely instead on donations from the public and what they can generate through their own ventures (shops, clinic, party venues, etc). So we shook off the cold, fluffed our feathers and ventured forth! Our crew consisted of SABS members Jean-Claude, Illimar and Irma, supporters Deoudoné, Greysie and Rosie, Takhaar band members Stewart and Lucy, Levinia’s Laura and Vince, and Erica, a student of the Illimar Neitz Guitar School. We were greeted by the friendly staff and started off by handing in the donations we had gathered – dog food, shampoo and blankets. Then it was on to the serious business being matched up with pooches to take for a stroll around the grounds! This author loudly proclaimed that she wanted to pair up with a large female dog – thinking German Shepherd size… Well, the staff obliged! And boy did they ever oblige! Laura and I were led to a kennel with two enormous and very excited Great Danes – Thula, and her slightly smaller buddy, Werner. Ask and you shall receive! Fortunately they calmed right down a small distance from the kennels and walked like two dreamboats – no shoulders were dislocated in the making of this post. This pair was rescued from a hoarding situation and both are absolute sweethearts! Everybody got matched up with a furry friend and embarked on a brisk stroll to the stables and back. Unfortunately it was too cold to bathe our new pals, but there were plenty of grooming cream and brushes to freshen them up and dole out some love and pampering.  We wanted to give as many dogs as possible a turn, and managed to each walk and spend quality time with two to three. We met so many lovely souls! Huge to small, crazy energetic to laid-back… Truly something for everyone. We had to hold back tears at times at the overwhelming amount of pooches so starved for love and a home and a family to call their own. One lovely story to emerge from our time there, is that of Erica and Camo. Camo was the first and only dog Erica was matched up with. She fell head over heels for him and couldn’t bear to return him to his kennel! Unfortunately as Erica is soon heading back to America for her studies, she couldn’t consider adopting him herself.  As a direct result of her walking him around the premises for hours, however, a lovely young couple spotted Camo, fell in love with him too, and adopted him! Go Erica and Camo! We had a great time at Wet Nose, and will certainly not wait a year to go again. Watch this space!

Wet Nose is an awesome organisation run by dedicated and passionate staff. Please support them in any way you can – make a donation, support their ventures, take your own dogs or some of theirs for a turn around their dog walk park, and remember… Adopt, don’t shop!

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