My furry Valentine: Love at first bark for Durban pet owners


My furry Valentine: Love at first bark for Durban pet owners

Shelley Seid | 2017-02-08 09:38:47.0

Devin and Lola Lemon have entered the Valentine’s photo competition.

Image by: Supplied

It was love at first sight for Aadila Omarjee. Five years ago‚ the 29-year-old looked into what she calls “the sweetest eyes” she had ever seen and was smitten.

Neither bad breath not an unfortunate habit of chewing holes in the bedding has diminished her love for her German Shepherd‚ Puck‚ which is why Omarjee‚ a researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research‚ entered this year’s Durban and Coast SPCA’s Cutest Couple photo competition.


Aadila Omarjee and Puck. Photo: Supplied

Now in its fourth year‚ the Valentine’s photo competition is open to humans over 18 and their furry soulmates (of any age).

Every entry must be accompanied by a R50 donation to the SPCA. People and their purr-fect pets stand a chance of winning a photoshoot‚ a pet portrait‚ a fragrance voucher and a pet hamper for that cuddly kitty or handsome hound.

“This competition is all about that special bond between an owner and their pet‚” says SPCA marketing manager Lindsey Concer. “We are looking to see that love in the winning photos.”

While Omarjee says that the best thing about Puck is that he is 100% easier to deal with than any man‚ Shabir Essop says life wouldn’t be the same without his special Valentine‚ a cat called Mastaan (which means “naughty one”).


Shabir Essop and Mastaan. Photo: Supplied

“I can’t imagine life without him. The bond we share is no less than one would share with a little child‚ he is spoilt rotten.”

Essop is currently the only feline entry in the competition this year.

“For Valentine’s Day we will be getting him a comfy post-box bed‚ or making one‚ that is more personal. He will be treated to some special food – he likes real tuna or chicken fillets‚ which we make for him. Oh‚ and maybe a new toy‚ he loves those little mice on a rod‚” he says.

Concer says that a competition like this helps keep up the spirits of those who work at the SPCA. “We are faced with terrible cruelty‚ countless abandoned animals and uncaring‚ abusive people every day.


Julian Pillay with his furry Valentine. Photo: Supplied

“But we keep going because we know that people like the ones who enter this competition exist. People who love their pets unconditionally and treat them as part of the family.”

It’s not easy choosing a winner‚ she says. “We would give everyone a prize if we could. All animal lovers are winners in our eyes.”

Essop says that if we learned to behave like our animals the world would be a better place. “We learn so much from our pets. He gives unconditional love‚ not asking for anything in return but just a little love. We humans need to learn to forgive and love unconditionally. Life is too short to harbour hatred.”

The competition closes at midnight on Sunday 12 February 2017.

To enter go to:

– TMG Digital/TimesLIVE

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