Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 1 of 1
 [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: In loving memory, Mary aged 3 years
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:04 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Posts: 12166
Location: meandering between senility and menopause
FAC Member (2013)
The pet cemetry got me thinking to the role that dogs and other animals have played in the development of the Park. As I write a group of specialy trained Fox hounds are being prepared to take on poachers. I would like this to be a testament to all those brave and loyal little creatures who have given their lives to protecting, or servicing the Park.

James Stevenson Hamilton realised in his very earliest days that dogs were needed to protect livestock, horses and donkeys from the many predators. Aquiring a good pack of dogs was an essential part of being a ranger.

On my favourite, though poignant stories concerns the first justice of the peace in the Park. Tim Healy was a very likable young Irishman who took up the position with gusto. His favourite dog was Mary. She suffered from heat stroke on a patrol one day. Healy carried her back 10kms to camp, but despite his best efforts she died.

Healy was besides himself with grief. Stevenson Hamilton reports that he made his black rangers stay up all night for a proper Irish wake and she was buried with all the suitable wailing to go with the loss of a loved one. (I can only imagine what his rangers must have thought).

He then placed a "tombstone" incribing her name and date of death. "In loving memory" it stated. Later this was taken by some visitors to be the grave of a child.

Sadly, Healy himself died young in the first world war. He left a very young widow and a son, "John".

_________________
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: In loving memory, Mary aged 3 years
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:50 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:15 pm
Posts: 20
What a sad story! Indeed a dog can be like a child to a person


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: In loving memory, Mary aged 3 years
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:58 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Posts: 12166
Location: meandering between senility and menopause
FAC Member (2013)
Anabel, indeed.

The rangers needed to keep many dogs in the early days. Many were lost to snakes, crocs and of course sickness.

One of the most eccentric early rangers was Alexander Frazer, a crusty Scot.. I know a few crusty Scots :hmz: . I come from a line of crusty Scots :whistle: I strongly suspect that he was dyslexic. He refused to write anything and when once left in charge, left a legacy of chaos.

He hated people, in particular women and loved his dogs and whiskey... in no particular order. He was known to have as many as 28 dogs at a time.

There is the story told by Harry Wolhuter and Stevenson Hamilton of his strange habits. Harry Wolhuter once had to stay over at his camp for the night. It was winter and rather cold. Frazer gave Wolhuter one of his blankets and his bed. As the temperature dropped, Wolhuter felt that he needed a more substantial cover than one blanket.

He went to ask Frazer for another blanket and found Frazer covered by all his dogs and sleeping on the floor. It seems that he had given his only blanket to Wolhuter. It was not unusual for him to sleep covered and kept warm by his many dogs.

There is a lovely picture of Frazer in James Stevenson Hamilton's "South African Eden", where he is indeed surrounded by many, many dogs.

_________________
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: In loving memory, Mary aged 3 years
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:05 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Posts: 12166
Location: meandering between senility and menopause
FAC Member (2013)
Poachers used dogs as well as the rangers. Harry Wolhuter would often have to shoot their packs as they were too often starved and covered with mange. Every so often he would spare a dog's life if he felt the dog had potential and could be an asset to his own pack.

One dog in particular took his fancy. He was intelligent, fearless and an asset to the pack. This dog would however continually break away and find his way home to his original owner. This was despite the conditions close to starvation and lack of any comforts.

Such is the loyalty of dogs.

_________________
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: In loving memory, Mary aged 3 years
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:30 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 4:30 pm
Posts: 2550
Location: Helderberg
Thank you for these canine tales from the past, MM. Fascinating indeed :thumbs_up:

_________________
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: In loving memory, Mary aged 3 years
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:21 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:21 am
Posts: 4502
Location: SA
FAC Member (2013)
MM thank you for telling us this great Kruger story. I enjoy listening to Kruger stories and this one especially - about Mary

_________________
An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language - Martin Buber


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: In loving memory, Mary aged 3 years
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:20 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:11 pm
Posts: 1496
Location: Roodepoort
Thank you MM, do you have any more stories?


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by ritad at 08:10:42 Submitted by Jacani at 18:30:25 Submitted by BevAnn at 18:16:09 Submitted by Mellory at 18:01:58