Returning The Gift of Life

When Markus Brenner gave a little brindle-coloured stray a home, he didn’t realise how much this dog would change his life. But little did he know that Bonni would one day also save his and his family’s life. We chatted to Markus about his beloved friend and the night that could have turned out tragically.

Bonnie’s story starts on the streets of Port Elizabeth. As a stray, she found a temporary home at the Animal Welfare Society. Markus took this bright puppy into his family — a Pitbull and Boxer cross. But no sooner had she come to her new home when symptoms of the dreaded Parvovirus presented itself. 
“It was touch and go for two weeks for Bonni,” says Markus.
“My wife and I visited her daily at the Animal Welfare Society to talk and even sing to her. It was terrible to see this little dog in such a state. But she eventually did pull through. Credit must be given to the vets at the Animal Welfare Society. They saw a light in her eyes and they also refused to give up on this little fighter.”

Fast forward five years and Bonni is a beautiful, strong, happy dog.
           “She thinks she’s a small lap dog and likes to lie and sit right on top of us,” says Markus. Well socialized, intelligent and sensitive, Bonnie became the dream dog.
           “Her trainers described her as a thinking dog. And she was born to run. She loves the beach and outings on which she can run off-lead.”

One night during the December holidays, however, the Brenner’s world went up in flames. A faulty freezer in the garage caused a fire which was spreading rapidly to the main house where Markus, his wife and his daughter were fast asleep. He was awoken by Bonni’s loud, insistent barking. When he followed her to the door that separated the garage from the house, he was confronted by flames from the floor to the ceiling. Using a fire extinguisher and the knowledge he acquired from attending a course or two in firefighting, Markus managed to put out the fire — in the nick of time.

“The last flames literally went out with my last pull of the fire extinguisher,” says Markus. “There was no more after that.” Which is why Markus believes that Bonni saved not only their house but most probably also their lives.

           “Basically, I like to say, we rescued Bonni and now she returned the favour and rescued us!” says Markus.

           What he hopes it that Bonni’s heroics will also raise awareness about the amazing work the Animal Welfare Society in PE is doing — something Markus is particularly passionate about.
           “The cages are constantly full of cats and dogs that have been surrendered, or those that have been picked up as strays and never claimed.”Dogs just like Bonni — waiting to find a home that they’ll make their own and protect with their lives…To find out more about the Animal Welfare Society in PE go to their Facebook page.

He saved her life and then she saved his. Read about Bonni, the Pitbull-Boxer cross who exemplifies everything we stand for.

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