Durban Metro Police dog continues Fancy’s legacy

Jacques Fourie with his outreach dog, Lexi.

FOR Metro Police officer, Jacques Fourie, the loss of yet another police outreach dog was so heartbreaking, he never wanted to take the journey again.

Jacques’ dog, Kongo, was diagnosed with a heart disease and died from an unrelated illness in 2013, and he then continued Kongo’s legacy with his dog, Fancy, who used to visit schools, old age homes, hospices and shelters for abused women and children to educate people about how police dogs work with the Metro Police.

Sadly, Fancy got cancer and died on 22 July 2016 at the age of five.

“After Fancy died, I just couldn’t do it all over again! I was devastated as she was so young. I don’t know why it happened to her, she was so well-known and loved in and around Durban, but I just started thinking that her legacy also had to go on! I was motivated to continue with her work, in her memory,” said Jacques.

Jacques said his wife, Enid saw the shift in him, and told him he should just take the journey, and if doors to get another dog closed, then he could give up.

He said even though he did feel maybe he shouldn’t try all over again, he invited himself to a dog show at Gelofte and approached a breeder at the competition.

“I asked him about his dog, and he told me his wife had died three weeks before of cancer and he had attended the competition for her, in her memory. This opened doors for me as I commiserated with him. I was put in touch with a top breeder in Johannesburg that breeds with Sable Shepherds, the same breed as Fancy was, and found out his female Shepherd had just had a litter of puppies,” he said.

Jacques then approached Blue Security to help with sponsoring the purchase of a new dog, as the company had helped tremendously by starting a trust fund in Kongo’s name and collected R27 500 for his medical expenses before he died.

With the help of Paul Romeril from Blue Security, the Blue Angels got on board and donated money towards the new pup.

Jacques said he travelled to Johannesburg and drove back with a two-month-old pup, ready to start yet another adventure with the yet unnamed female.

“I tried out names with my daughter as I wanted to have a name which would be easy for children to pronounce. I came up with Lexi, and my daughter pronounced it perfectly, so it just fit!” he said.

He said Lexi has taken well to her new role and has so far accompanied Jacques on more than 30 community outreach events.

“Part of Lexi’s training is to take her everywhere with me in the van and to our outreach events so she can get schooled in what she needs to do. She is a very friendly and loving girl, and we are working well together. I will soon be starting to teach her ‘party tricks’ like sniffing out explosives and other tricks so she can show off at our events,” he said.

Jacques said he was extremely grateful to Blue Angels as well as other sponsors, Hills Dog Food, Medi Pet and specialist physician Dr Phil Rees from Westville Veterinary Hospital.

 

 

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  AUTHOR
Lauren Walford
Journalist

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