The services animals provide……even if at times the service is unintentional.

During the South African War (Anglo Boer War) 1899-1902 the Royal Dragoons landed in 1899 at the port of Durban. A young dog attracted the attention of some of the soldiers who were eating and who soon began offering scraps of food.  The next day the dog returned to see what was on offer but the soldiers were on board a train heading for Pietermaritzburg. Somehow or other the animal managed to get onto another train headed in the same direction and soon was once more among the members of the Royal Dragoons.  At this stage the new “soldier” was named Scout because of her seemingly patrolling at the head of whatever was happening. Scout was at the Battle of Colenso 25 December 1899, acted as a guard at the failure of the British at the Battle of Spion Kop. When peace was declared she walked at the head of the regiment and did the same when the Dragoons reached Cape Town.   When her soldier friends returned to England Scout went with them was placed in quarantine and after a time rejoined the Royal Dragoons.   For her services during the South African War she was awarded the Queen’s South Africa medal with six bars and the King’s South Africa medal with 2 bars.

Some sources name the young dog as HE and others as SHE. The sheer brains of Scout suggests female.





GOYA : Hoho! (hullo)  We have had some rain in our area and I heard the humans talking about how important it is for people and plants.   But I also heard that I had an appointment at the vet but the lady vet is very nice and all went well. I was told how handsome I am and I puffed up my feathers but my human told me not to get too big for my boots.  I wonder what that means?



Honey Belle


HONEY BELLE: There are some rather cheeky creatures who also live or visit our garden – many different birds, grey squirrels, skinks, geckos.  Every year the guinea fowls raise their babies amongst the greenery.  This is a time when we must be very careful and not go near the chicks because the parents race to attack us.



At this time of the year – July –  a pair of large Hadedah Ibis are beginning nesting.


They have very loud voices which they use to scream a great deal. The nests are not attractive and are rather messy. Their feathers are grayish but sometimes they look quite glossy when the sun shines on them. The grey squirrels whose ancestors arrived many, many years ago from the United State of America pinch our food and on a number of occasions have dared to enter our home. They also eat the eggs laid by other birds.






MARGUERITE:  I was bathed yesterday and look pretty and smell nice.  When no one is looking I can snuggle up in a warm duvet. Not mine exactly but we were told to share, so I guess it will be OK.