It was my privilege to rescue and come to know this wonderful Ridgeback boy.
He was originally named Diesel and was left at Bunny Lodge boarding kennels by his owner, who went to Australia and never came back to collect him. He was there for several months until a guy came and took him, changed his name, and used him as a hunting dog.
This was not a successful arrangement, as Rutger was just left to wander, and it ended with the District Council taking the dog away and putting him in the Selwyn Pound. From there he was eventually sent to Dog Watch.
It was from there that he came into my life. A lady from this organisation phoned and said they had this beautiful Ridgeback boy there and she was sure he was a purebred, and would I come and have a look. Needless to say, he was in my car within days, and delivered to my Mother’s house to be cared for.
Mum only has a small townhouse, but Rutger was quite happy there, although he sometimes looked as though he was searching for places to run, having been used to the country life. Mum looked after him for a couple of weeks and grew very attached to him, as he had such a lovely nature and was so easy to have in the house (with a bed in the lounge and one upstairs by her bed).
The next stage of Rutger’s story is perhaps one of the happiest parts. A guy named Pete, who lives on the West Coast, was so keen to have him, that he drove his partner and little girl over one Sunday, met and fell instantly for this fabulous Ridgeback, and asked if he could take him back with them that day.
Pete and I made a quick trip to the pet shop to buy a new bed and bowl, then we were back home, everyone into the car, and off they went, with Rutger lying on the back seat on his blankets, looking quite happy, and the little girl in the car seat beside him.
He loved his new life on the South Island’s West Coast, where he ran, swam, played on the beach, slept in a warm bed, and had a master to follow around – I would say, one very contented ridgeback !!