A Honeyed Tail

honeyBy Bronwen Bickerton

It all started at 2.30pm on a Thursday when Tony Lidgett drove his domestic down to the taxi ranks in town. When he arrived back at The Chimes in Plant Road at around 3pm, Honey, the Lidgett’s beloved golden Africanis, was nowhere to be seen. Tony’s wife, Jill, could not remember when she last saw Honey. And so the search began. All four single semi-detached units in the Lidgett’s complex were checked. Jill called the SPCA kennels in desperation at around 3.45pm and left her details.

As Honey is not a wanderer and always returns to the garden gate if she accidentally gets out into Plant Road, Tony and Jill ruled out various options. Nevertheless, convinced that her Honey had come to a nasty end, Jill broke down in tears, walking up and down Plant Road and sobbing Honey’s name. For a dog which slept on their bed every night, had her own blanket and pillow on the sofa, and was always at one’s feet, gentle Honey’s disappearance was mysterious!
Tony checked the nearby Scout Hall, where they often took Honey for walks, and also drove back to the taxi ranks, on the chance that Honey had followed his car. Even the neighbours’ search efforts were commandeered! The house seemed empty without the loving Africanis playing fetch with her tennis ball, following Jill or Tony from room to room, or rolling over on the sofa for a ‘tummy tickle’.

Then, at 5.30pm, Jill glanced yet again out to the road, and there was their beautiful Honey, dragging a lady along on the end of a lead, and emitting high-pitched squeaks as she sensed home!

Honey’s adventure started when she did indeed slip out of the closing automatic gate and follow Tony’s car when he left at 2.30pm. Having no chance of keeping up, she wandered the surrounding roads, lost her way, and was discovered shivering on a dirt road by Leslie Robinson outside her Abergavny unit in Teviot Place. After calling the SPCA to collect Honey, Leslie put a lead on the obviously disorientated and confused dog, before waiting in the road for the SPCA van. Then an African man walking past said, “That dog belongs to Miss Jill at No.4 Plant Road!”

Jill and Tony Lidgett had indeed lived in No 4 Plant Road but in April 2010 had moved to No 1! Jill used to give tins of baked beans to passers-by asking for food and she said that the gentleman could have remembered Honey from then! Anxious to return Honey to her owners, Leslie, after failing to coax Honey into her car, walked to Plant Road. The watchful Lidgetts saw Honey being led past their gate and rushed out to a joyous reunion. Thanks to a very caring member of the public and a helpful passing gentleman with an amazing memory there was a happy ending to Honey’s 3 hour afternoon adventure!

Meet the team

Njabula Hlongwane

Njabula HlongwaneNjabula is a Receptionist and a Trainee Inspector. He helps out at the front desk with general office work and assists Jean and Linda when needed. He has been with the uMngeni SPCA for 18 months and is our friendly man who always has a smile on his face when you meet him.

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