I Am Somebody – The Power Of One
I Am Somebody – The Power Of One. There is a saying that floats around frequently on social media – “Why doesn’t somebody do something about this – and then one day I realized that I am somebody”. I am so delighted to let Silke Kaiser tell her inspiring story about the incredible Power Of One and the day that she said “I Am Somebody” and acted on it.
My name is Silke Kaiser, and I am 48 year old woman living in Johannesburg in South Africa. I have my own business, and as a result, travel all over the country. About eight months ago, I noticed an American Staffodshire tied up to the back of a derelict bakkie (I do not know what these cars are called in the US – photo is attached) in a poverty stricken suburb. I called the SPCA, and they did send out an inspector, who only told the owner to give the dog food and water as the dog had none. The owner also told the inspector that the dog would go to a farm (ranch) at the end of the week. I was grateful, and thought no more about it.
On 4 November, I went to the same client and drove past the house where the dog had been. I was horrified to find the dog still living in the same conditions. I immediately reported this to the SPCA again, and again they went out. When I followed up, I was told by the inspector that the dog had food, water and shelter, and therefore the owner was doing nothing wrong. This dog was exposed to the elements, and our winters do get freezing – I argued with the inspector saying that surely the law in South Africa does not allow a dog to be tied up on such a short chain, with what is clearly not adequate shelter. He told me that no magistrate in the country would grant a warrant to remove the dog because so many dogs are tied up in South Africa. This did not sound right to me at all, and I contacted the National Council of the SPCA, who told me the same garbage.
It dawned on me at that time that I was the voice for this dog, and nobody else was going to do anything about it. On 4 December, I drove back to the house, and took photos of this poor wretched creature. He watched me without barking at me and I promised him that I would not rest until he was free. I had visions of me dressing in black, and carrying enormous bolt cutters, cutting him free in the dark of the night. If I had to do that, I would have done so. But, when God sticks a suffering creature in your face – He sends the help.
Not knowing what the result would be, I posted the picture of the dog on FB, and included the full address of where the dog was kept. I thought that crowds of people would go to that house and demand the dog be freed – but nope, I was wrong. Again, I realized I HAD to keep on fighting for this dog, because I was his only voice.
God then sent the help. Claw (which is affiliated with Ifaw) contacted me as a result of the FB post. To cut a long story short, the second photo which I have attached shows a free dog with me in the back of the vehicle in which we collected him and by then I knew his name. His name is Tyson. As I write this, he has already been sterilized and vaccinated.
This is what happened today in an impoverished, crime riddled street in Johannesburg, South Africa. Cora (the lady from Claw) and I arrived at the house. The dog was still there, tied up as usual. I sat in the car, and she being experienced, went into the property alone. I sat in the car for almost 30 minutes, just praying that the owner would hand the dog over, never, ever thinking it would happen. Next thing, a man came out, and spoke to me, telling me that no dog should ever be tied up. Then as he was talking to me, the dog, now free of it’s chain, came racing out of the yard and into the road. I was on the pavement at this stage, and just called him by the first name that came into my head – Bubby. I knelt on the pavement and he came right over to me. I held onto him, and Cora managed to put the lead on him. The owner of the dog and the man who had come to talk to me, put the dog in the backseat of the car. I got in beside the dog and off we went. The dog had marks on his neck where the chain had chafed him – Cora told me that it was just a chain with a lock, and that there were so many feces on the bakkie that the Health Department would close that place down.
She told me his name, Tyson. It was more than an hour’s drive to the shelter, and Tyson was beside himself – sticking his head out the window, rubbing his neck frantically on the seat where the chain had been, and whimpering. Finally he calmed down, and this gentle, friendly, loyal creature sat on my lap (only dog lovers will understand how he fitted, but fit he did). He licked and licked me – I told him, “I am not your rescuer, but I was your voice.”
This all happened yesterday, only hours ago, and the feeling that I had as I held that creature in my arms, safe and sound, as we travelled towards his destiny, was indescribable. They say that every human gets 10 special moments in their lives, I think I used up all 10 and then some.
Saying good bye was hard – he was immediately put into a cage, to be sterilized. Tomorrow he will be able to run and play, and I know, that somewhere, there is a fantastic home for him.
Out of an entire population, I was the only one who spoke up, and look what it achieved. I BEG you, if you see an animal being abused, chained up, God is asking that you step up to the plate – He will send the help. I did not spend hours and hours on this at all, it was about five phone calls, and the rescue, including the travelling time, took three hours. They do NOT have a voice, if they did they would be able to ask for help. So often YOU are their voice, so speak up.
The italics are mine – I Am Somebody – the Power Of One and your actions changed the life of this chained and lonely dog. Silke you get the newly minted – A Beating Heart – Award For Action. Your Beating Heart has changed His Beating Heart forever. I Am Proud To Know You – Thank You!
A Beating Heart
Award For Action
Presented To Silke Kaiser – December 12, 2013
For Rescuing Tyson
Now I’d Better Get Busy And Create An Award!