A New Home for Nova

13th Sep, 2019

Written by Bianka Lerm and Ria Brink

Professional photography by Zoey Furtography and FourPawz Photography

Bianka Lerm shares…

In early June, I came across a Facebook post that featured a beautiful wire-haired dog called Nova. He was being treated in May by a private vet after sustaining terrible bite wounds from a larger dog who lived on the same street. After staying at the vet for a week to receive proper wound care, he was sent home with instructions on home wound care and to receive daily antibiotics and pain meds. They were happy with his health and the healing of his wounds.

Approximately one month later, a volunteer brought Nova back to the vet. The staff were shocked to see the state of the wounds and how much weight he’d lost. He’d ripped all the stitches out and his wounds had started draining pus. Worst of all, the skin around the wounds had started dying off.

Nova required a daily flushing of his wounds and wound care at least three times a day. They also placed him on a high-protein diet in order to get his immune system back on track and to allow him to regain weight. He urgently needed a foster home, and Duncan and Rosemary Briggs from Roscan Dog Sanctum offered to take him in, to help him heal and recover at their wonderful organisation and sanctuary for senior doggies.

After two failed adoption attempts, which were no fault of Nova’s, we finally found the perfect home, all thanks to the word-of-mouth spreading of Nova’s plea. Grace Animal Sanctuary handled the adoption, and after the initial intro with the resident female (an Airedale Terrier) went well, it was all systems go.

My heart never felt such an instant connection with a dog as it did with Nova... but I’m so grateful and thankful to Ria and her family for giving him a chance and falling in love with him so quickly! Go well, sweet boy! I hope to see you soon!

Ria Brink, Nova’s new owner, shares…

I’ve always loved and adored dogs. I grew up with Staffies and Jack Russells in the house in hordes.

Sadly, my dear husband is very allergic to pet dander. And, until a year ago, we lived in homes with small gardens. Since meeting each other 23 years ago, I’ve never been able to have a dog.

Last year, this changed after we moved into a home with a nice big garden suitable for a dog and our kids to run and play in. I did some research and convinced my husband that he’d cope with a hypoallergenic dog like an Airedale. After some online searching, we found a puppy in Paarl and, in October last year, Ginny Weasly Brink arrived home. She’s a bouncy, jolly ball of fur who’s crept into our hearts very deeply. But she was very lonely during the day when we were all at work or school. We knew she needed a buddy.

Enter the search that led to Nova…

I undertook some research on what would be a suitable breed for my husband’s allergies and found Wire Hair Terriers to be most satisfactory. Around this time we also took Ginny to Leadville Park for her regular outings, where I chatted to some people who had rescues from Grace Animal Sanctuary and who encouraged me to search the animal sanctuaries for a rescue rather than buying from a breeder.

I searched for “Wire Hair Terrier Rescue South Africa” and was directed to a Facebook Page community where people post Wire Haired breed rescues. Just a few posts down the page was Nova, and he was from Grace Animal Sanctuary. I contacted them right away; I just knew that this was the right dog.

When I first spoke to Bianka she informed me that Nova was already going to another family, but if it didn’t work out, we’d be next in the queue. I decided not to get my hopes up; I was sure we’d missed out on our chance to get him. I didn’t even tell my husband or my kids so that they wouldn’t get excited.

Fate, however, had her way. About a week later, Bianka messaged me out of the blue to ask if I was still interested in adopting Nova. I was hysterical with excitement! Two days later, we introduced Nova to Ginny, my boys and our home. He stayed that day and we’ve never looked back.

From the moment he met us it was as if he was already a part of our family. He’s the perfect match for Ginny and has calmed her down beautifully, and they play so well together. My boys adore Nova “Dobby” Brink; but most of all, my husband has fallen in love in a way that I could never have imagined.

Nova is a really good cuddler and has now been elevated to the very special position of being allowed on the furniture in order to cuddle in bed with us.

We are so happy to be Nova’s forever family and will always be grateful to Bianka, Roscan Dog Sanctum, and the team from Grace Animal Sanctuary for bringing him into our lives and saving him from the horrible life he had previously.