Luna – the life of an adopted dog in Cape Town
We brought Luna home a few days before New Year 2022. We’d learned just a few weeks before that our apartment block did, in fact, allow dogs, and that we could finally get a pup of our own, after mooning over every happy dog we passed! She was a foster puppy when we met her, happily staying with some other dogs in a temporary but good home. And from the get-go, she was so boisterous! No nerves, aside from a little excited pee, she ran right up to us and made very sure we were smitten. The little pup climbed all over the car on our drive home, sniffing everything and snuggling up. And when we brought her home! She raced around the place, explored everything, trotted up shoe-in-mouth as we were discussing how to keep her from chewing our shoes, and then had a cosy snooze.
Luna learnt so fast. My husband and I are first-time dog owners, but we knew the difference it makes to train a dog well, and we’d done a lot of research on her breed (at least, the three-quarters border-collie that we know, the last quarter is a mystery!). So we worked hard on her training to make sure she was engaged and learnt good habits young. And also, to make the time of indoor pees and poos as short as possible! Still, we were blown away by how fast she picked things up, capable of doing something perfectly today that she had stumbled through yesterday. She loved her doggie biltong treats, and was very willing to put in the hard work in exchange for fair compensation! Since then, Luna’s had a wonderful Cape Town life. She’s a city dog, staying with us in the apartment, meeting loads of people, and learning how to handle passing cars and sensory overload. She’s even learnt to join us at cafes, sitting at our feet having a chew, and accepting pats from every passer-by who will give them. She’s not the calmest cafe dog, for sure, but she pulls it off!
In true Cape Town form, she’s also such a mountain dog! Her dad takes her running on Signal Hill every day, and she’s been dubbed ‘rock dog’ by friends because of her fantastic, confident rock-climbing skills. She’ll leap and scramble up walls of rock we’ve got to stand back and figure out before we attempt, and if she can’t make it on her own, she trusts us to give her a little boost. We’ve taken her camping a fair few times now, and every time is similar (which is to say, an absolute joy). We rock up at the campsite and start to get settled in, pitching tents, figuring out braai spots, finding shady spots for cooler boxes. Meanwhile, Luna races all over the place, inspecting every inch of her temporary new home. The first night, she’s a little anxious, getting spooked by the sounds and animals outside. Then the entire rest of the time she naps in the tent and charges all over the place, making friends with every human, dog, and guineafowl around. By the time we head home, she’s been running around almost non-stop for days on end, and spends the rest of the week sleeping contentedly.
She also loves to swim in Cape Town’s frigid waters. As a puppy, she was not interested, and it took a fair bit of convincing before she’d step paw in the shallows. But a year into life, she enjoys it as much as she enjoys everything. Which is to say, a lot!
I’m so grateful to TEARS and the dog fostering system for ensuring that Luna had a good start to her happy life. One that bred confidence and enthusiasm, and made her comfortable with other dogs and humans. She fills us with as much joy as I know so many adopted dogs and cats provide their pet parents, and we can’t wait to take her on all our future adventures!