Maverick Ricky Pinkham

25th Oct, 2023

Written by Louise Pinkham

Photographs by Erika Reich

Once upon a time”, on Sunday the 27th of August 2023, was the end of an uncertain life and possible slow death from starvation. In nowhere-land “It” was spotted running along the buzzy Old Warmbaths Road, Komdraai. With a car full of animals I’d fetched from Makapanstad, North West, for sterilisation, I pulled the car over, worried about my passengers as the traffic and lunatic drivers were hectic, and I had three angry dogs in car.

Before I go further, Annie Bennet was with me, and let me not divert attention from her... she tied the two most aggressive dogs to the car seats and was out the car before I came to a complete standstill; she took off like the Road Runner.

It” started running away with Annie in pursuit (not fast) and into a culvert under the road – “It” disappeared. Trying to keep the aggressive dogs calm in my car and ensuring they couldn’t attack each other, I moved the car to a safer part to go and help Annie.

Annie went to the other side and threw bottles, stones – whatever she could find – deep into the drain and “It” moved within a metre and half of the side I had now blocked. Whilst I tried to maintain “It’s” attention, Annie blocked the other side with a cardboard box she found, hoping “It” wouldn’t go back deep again... We prayed hard. With cars hooting, but no one stopping, we continued – just the two of us. We were hoping for help to keep the other side guarded.

It” moved to my side within a metre and a half of me and sat down. “It” just sat and shivered, and we sat and waited whilst we contemplated how, and if, we were going to succeed. Staring at us with unbelievable fear, we tried encouraging “It” to come closer (very hopeful indeed).

Then hero Annie, despite her deep fear of creepy-crawlies, said: “Louise, I’m going in. Pull my feet when I shout…”

And deeper and deeper her body disappeared. Anxious moments, and out she backtracked with MAVERICK RICKY Pinkham, as he’s now named, being pulled by his front leg. SHE HAD HIM!

At only seven or eight weeks old, he was filthy, skin and bone, fearful; she held and cuddled him on her lap and we continued our journey to admit the patients from Makapanstad to Dr Chris Janisch of Pyramid Veterinary Clinic. Maverick was fully vet checked and homeward bound he came.

(I feel the need to mention, I had my old Spud of 17 years put to rest on the Saturday evening before and had contemplated whether to cancel my outreach on the Sunday. I went in loving memory of Spud, and Maverick came into my life. Thank you, Spud, for giving me the courage to still go. Your life did not pass in vain.)

Maverick is doing well. Socialised with my pets – eating like a horse and delights in playing with his toys. Welcome home, Maverick!

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