Easter was a rebirth of sorts for one precious angel at BARC Rescue Centre in Gansbaai. Bijou, (meaning ‘jewel’), the name given to the 4 month old lab cross (kennel management are not certain of her exact breed) by her new owner, Lydia van der Merwe of Cape Town, had been in the kennels for more than a month. Kennel staff say that she had been reported to them by a farmer in the Bardskeerdersbos area as roaming his lands. He was fearful that she may start attacking his sheep, so to the kennels it was for this young pup.
A regular visitor to these parts, Lydia’s much adored Labrador companion, who always accompanied her on holiday to Pearly Beach, had passed away two months earlier. “I was still mourning the huge loss of my beloved dog, and could not imagine a visit to Pearly Beach without my trusted Labby, who had so enjoyed her runs on the beaches here.”
According to Lydia, just days before her departure for Pearly, she came up with the idea that she could perhaps ‘foster’ a rescue dog from the local centre for a few days and at least give it some relief from the misery of caged living and kennel stress.
A few calls and emails to the BARC Gansbaai kennel administrator, Annalie, and a visit to the BARC Gansbaai Centre en route to Pearly Beach resulted in the young pup being chosen as the lucky one to get a break. Although Lydia had no intention of adopting a dog so soon again after her recent loss, she and Bijou soon bonded and the two have become inseparable. And the rest, as they say, is history. “Bijou (formerly called Cindy) is an excellent car traveller,” says Lydia. “She has settled in well, is following me like a shadow and learning to settle into her new home. There are lots of puppy explorations and little accidents but she is remarkably well behaved for such a young dog. She is also responding well to her new name. I am looking forward to giving her all the love and attention she deserves.” Lydia has been so moved by the plight of the dogs and cats at the rescue centre that, after discussion with the kennel management, she has offered to voluntarily promote the work of the BARC centre on their Facebook page so that there are more regular updates on all issues pertaining to the centre and the welfare of its inhabitants. Particular emphasis and greater exposure will be given to the kennel inmates available for adoption as well as new arrivals and keeping them in the public eye on a much more regular and high profile basis. Note: Bijou is only one of many beautiful dogs and cats cared for at this centre by Annalie, Antonie and Gavin. They desperately need volunteers on many levels, but especially to help with walking the dogs for exercise and giving them a break from the confines of daily kennel life.
If you can help in any way by adopting a dog or cat, donating your time, money or pet food, or unwanted items to the BARC charity shop in Gansbaai, please get in touch with BARC or visit and become a friend of the BARC Gansbaai Facebook page. Give Annalie a call on 0828260631 or Antonie on 0837423903
Photo 1: BARC rescue dog, Bijou, happy in her new home in Cape Town