I decided I wanted to move from Durban to Cape Town. I wanted to be near family and my sister, lived there. When I told my parents of this, Mum’s response was: “Gaynor, there’s no way you’d be able to afford a place in Cape Town. The prices are astronomical. Why don’t you rather move down to George?”
“George! But….George is for…well, old people.”
“What utter tripe! It is just that you don’t know any young people in George.”
The next day I looked around George. It’s actually a beautiful little town with the sea, forests and those incredibly majestic mountains. Mum phoned a friend, Gill, who was an estate agent and the next day she arrived complete with plans for a new block of flats going up called Mallory Place. It was going to be built half a kilometre from my parents house and…..yes, you’ve guessed it! I bought a ground floor flat. I was shocked at the haste with which the whole deal came about and I thought that I would wake a few days later and would be filled with regret. It didn’t happened! So I went back to Durban, sold my flat and duly headed for George. My apartment is situated directly behind a supermarket, a chemist and a video shop. What could be better for this DVD junkie?
I asked Gill: “Do you think that I will be allowed a dog?”
Instantly she was on her phone inquiring for me. Apparently they were not clear on all the rules as yet. The flats had not even been built! Well, I thought, somewhat mutinously, I am going to have a dog. I want a dog! Oohhh, please God, let me have a dog!
Mallory Place was beautiful when it was finished and I duly moved in. But horror of all horror, no dogs or cats were allowed. Yes, I was allowed my cockatiel but that was it. I duly wrote a letter to the board asking them: Please may I have a dog. I am deaf and I need the protection! And you are not going to believe it but they said YES! I was overjoyed.
Mum has a close friend, Maureen, who works at the SPCA. She knew the kind of dog I was looking for and contacted me, highly delighted. “We have just the dog for you, a wire haired Dachshund. She came to us pregnant and had two puppies. She has a week longer with the puppies and then she is free to go. Come and meet her!”
I was nervous travelling to the SPCA. What happened if I took an instant dislike to this dog that Maureen had picked out for me? Well, I decided, I would be totally honest and say exactly what I felt. Maureen greeted us and said: “I’ll go and fetch her. And Gaynor, if you don’t take her, I will.” Maureen owned six dogs, all SPCA specials! I had no doubt that she meant it. I waited. The next moment Maureen appeared with a dog on a lead.
She was a small dog with a brindled coat of sandy, cream, rust and black hues, kind of a Yorkie colouring. Her face is dominated by these bushy eyebrows. She has brown eyes framed with the longest eyelashes that gazed shyly up at me.
I had just finished romping through a Jilly Cooper novel in which the heroine was called Perdita. I read that it meant – little lost one. A perfect name for my new female friend, I thought. I am ashamed to say that I have never read A Winters Tale so that Perdita is totally foreign to me. My Perdita is pronounced Per-deeta.
Last year a new resident moved in to Mallory Place, and she bought her little Maltese dog with her. Our supervisor spoke to her and said that before she moved in he had said quite clearly that no pets were allowed.
“Yes, but I saw that woman downstairs with her dog and I thought…”
Our supervisor cut her off. “You saw wrong, Madam, that is not her dog, that is her child. I am sorry but no dogs allowed!”
Laugh…and that is how my “child”, Perdita, came to live with me at 88 Mallory Place!
Disclaimer: To protect privacy, names and places in this story have been changed.