A Saluki Extreme Sport

Whilst over the last 8 years most of you have read Affrika’s view of life in the Cranstal household I felt that you might be interested in parts of the history of our scribe that Affrika has never seen fit to publicise. Possibly through some sort of modesty - although I have to say that I do find that theory a tad unlikely!!

But where was I to begin was the problem. Affrika’s whole life has been somewhat eventful and if I was not very disciplined it was obvious that we would have to devote a whole new website to my meanderings. So I decided it had to be bullet points - rather apt methinks at times!!

2003. Affrika's mother Shala had a much larger litter than we had ever had before. But she was a wonderful mother and all the puppies thrived under her care. Well, all apart from a small black bitch who thrived from Day 1 to week 3 and then had to be taken to the vet as an emergency as she seemed to be getting increasingly 'distant' from the other puppies. At the vets (as we were to observe with almost every future Affrika crisis) our favourite and very experienced vet was on holiday. Affrika was seen by a very inexperienced locum who informed us that ‘the puppy had a Grade 3 Heart murmur and was very unlikely to make it past three months‘. We were instructed to call back three days later (though how a heart murmur was going to disappear in three days still escapes me) where the diagnosis was confidently confirmed. Completely heartbroken I could not let this little soul - who was my pick of litter - run the risk of dying without a name. So I quickly named her Affrika and she and I bonded from that day on with a depth that was quite terrifying in the circumstances.

Our own vet subsequently arrived back from his holiday break - but I could see no reason to take Affrika to him as a 'heart murmur was a heart murmur' and to me it seemed pretty impossible to get that wrong!! Eventually however, after a couple of weeks had passed, I decided to take Affrika to find out if the heart had deteriorated any further and if there was even a chance that she might make it to young adulthood. Karl said that he had already been made aware of the diagnosis, he then inspected Affrika carefully, listened to her heart even more carefully and then handed her very carefully back to me. As I stood in front of him I can remember feeling physically sick. 'There is absolutely nothing wrong with this puppy’s heart - she has a puppy heartbeat which will be gone by the time that she is six weeks old' was the diagnosis of my qualified heart specialist vet (who had also worked in one of the large USA Veterinary Cardiac hospitals). Then he handed me the tissues - a very large box!! And thus started Cranstal's life with Affrika - and of course continued my lifelong love affair with her of which she has always been aware and utilised to her advantage whenever possible !!!!





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Last Updated: April 2017