Ten years ago, 10 July 2006, was a rather sad day in the life of our family.
When Val was leaving for work early in the morning, when it was still dark, she found the back gate open and our Toyota Venture gone. There was no sign of the cable we used to lock the gate.
There was also no sign of of our four-month-old puppy Mardigan, and Val called him and went looking for him while I phoned the police. Eventually, after quite a long search, Val found Mardigan cowering behind a wall. He looked ill, and we thought the thieves may have poisoned him, and Jethro and Simon took him to the emergency vet that was open at that time of morning.
Later Ariel, our older dog, started looking sick, so they took her to the vet as well, and brought her back, and the vet said she was OK, but kept Mardigan for treatment.
Later in the morning Ariel looked very sick, so we took her to our vet, and he gave her an atropine injection. He said we should warn the neighbours as other dogs had been poisoned, and when they left to take them to the vet, burglars broke into their house. Val worked at home for the rest of the day. Jethro came home as well, and bought new and bigger locks for the gate.
A couple of days later we fetched Mardigan from the vet, thin and weak and wobbly on his legs. The vet said we should watch him because he could have a relapse, and might need immediate treatment. And the following day he looked ill again, and so, not having a car since the Venture had been stolen, Simon set out for the vet’s surgery on foot, with Mardigan in his arms, but later returned saying that Mardigan had died even before he had got there.
We had used the Venture for our mission work, taking people from our mission congregations to services and courses and conferences.
A few months later we got the insurance money for the Venture, but it was not enough to buy an equivalent vehicle. It also didn’t cover the R2500 vet’s bill. In August 2006 we drove to Durban to buy a second-hand Subaru station wagon, which the insurance money did cover, and we still have it, and I would say it is the best car I have ever had. It is a nice family car, but could not do the same job in the mission congregations as the 10-seater Venture, and looking back over the last ten years we can see that the mission congregations have declined ever since, so we are still feeling the loss.