From Commodity to Companion

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By Dr Tamsin Price

In a world with many humans, but very little humanity an occasional beacon of hope shines in an effort to restore our faith.

Let me not tarnish all enterprises with the same brush, however, I ask that you take a closer look the next time you see a faithful German Shepherd or Rottweiler standing to attention, for your security. Many of these canines are traded as disposable commodities, weapons, beasts of burden disregarded as objects, not sentient beings.

They were given no choice in their life’s work and are in most instances provided for poorly. The preferred treatment option by slave traders for a nonfunctional “commodity” is death. Nights of short chains ensuring they cannot lie down and days of wire imprisonment. How should one repay a soul for its sacrifice for the security of others?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” William Shakespeare

Lucky, a comrade shot in the line of duty. Taking a bullet to protect those who hardly took note of the being amongst them. A once glorious canine, a powerful force of muscle and mane reduced to a bag of bones with instant paralysis from the chest down.

Lucky; fortunate, blessed.

Was the spine shattering lead, a blessing or a curse?

Lucky was rescued by a woman who sees more than a commodity, a woman who sees spirit and has a respect for life. Lucky was swooped up, transformed from commodity to companion with unrelenting determination. The irony is that even though paralyzed, he then lived a better life knowing love, nurture, play and happiness.

Tenielle Dippenaar and an army of soldiers at Lionsgate Security ensured that whatever Lucky needed he got. From physically lifting and moving, to wheelchair walks and garden treasure hunts. Lucky has basic therapy performed on him daily and is faithfully transported weekly for hydrotherapy.

Slowly this shadow of a dog started to recover building strength and forequarter muscle mass. Those pesky hind limbs started to twitch and tremble with wisps of quadriceps slowly creeping back over sullen femurs.

Our journey has been rough and rocky and is far from over. There are days when we feel elation and days of defeat,however, the fact remains that Lucky lives on.

A canine commodity, traded flesh and fur, marked for certain euthanasia now focuses on his rescuer and so our beacon of hope became his.

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