They may be our best friends, but all too often dogs end up on the receiving end of humanity’s capacity for senseless brutality.
Equipped with her species’ natural instinct to protect its home territory, Bella, a six-year old terrier–German Shepherd cross, managed to scare off potential burglars in Stellenbosch, a South African university town near Cape Town. But not before one of the intruders stabbed her between the eyes with a six-inch knife.
Vernon Swart, Bella’s owner and a well known local artist and musician, was alerted to her heroics and state when neighbors told him that she was “running about in the street with a knife in her head.” Remarkably, the dog had not been killed by the attack while the knife remained lodged 12 centimeters deep in her skull. Pictures of the poor brak (South African slang for dog) are bizarre and disturbing, but Bella survived.
Swart rushed the dog to a local veterinary clinic where the blade was removed while she was under anaesthetics. The vet said he had no idea how Bella had survived the ordeal, but the knife had clearly just missed her brain and any other vital parts. In the end, all Bella needed was a few stitches and she was back off home.
Dogs are remarkably resilient that way. I’m reminded of a terrible incident when my dad had to rescue one of our own dogs after he had managed to literally impale himself on the spike of a wrought iron fence. My dad injured himself in the process and his wound ended up taking much longer to heal than the dog’s.
While Bella’s story is heartwarming, it’s also a graphic reminder of the many pets the world over that suffer not only neglect and humiliation, but also horrible violence at the hands of people. They deserve our love, respect and protection for selflessly giving us theirs.
Andreas is a book shop manager and freelance writer in Cape Town, South Africa. Follow him on Twitter: @Andreas_Spath
Photo from: Stock.Xchng