When I visited Dogwalk on Wednesday, I heard the welcome before I saw it.
Barks, sniffs, the padding of paws on soft grass. Small, cold snouts edged their way through the gaps in the fences and wagging tails followed.
It wasn’t difficult to spot Kit and Kat in the litter of friendly, playful dogs.
Gee, who works in Dogwalk, told me earlier that the two German Shepherd pups are often in their own quiet niche of the yard, at a self-imposed distance from their playmates.
And sure enough, that’s where they were.
Life has not always been kind to the seven-month old siblings. After spending months in pain and isolation, they are now on a long road to recovery.
When Montserrat Martin, founder of Friends of Animals, picked them up from a villa in Abu Dhabi, they were on the edge of survival.
Severe malnourishment had turned the dogs into reptiles – they could only walk by pulling their weight with their front paws, close to the ground, because of decalcification in their bones.
Rickets had almost crippled them and it was apparent that their owner’s neglect would be responsible for deep and lasting physical and emotional trauma.
Now, with a lot of therapy and love, the dogs are on their way to recovery.
Kit is the brave one – a brown male, gentle and protective. His younger sister Kat is much more reserved and shy – as dark as a shadow and safest in his.
While Kit is being adopted by a family in Dubai this week, Kat is still in need of a happy ending.
Friends of Animals is also appealing to the community to help cover the cost of hydrotherapy and lodging for the two dogs. They can be contacted on 0507706711.