Buddha Street Dog
Photo Cred: Kytin Valoo

Buddha – a dog who had most probably spent his entire life on the streets – got to spend his final seven days surrounded by love. This is his incredible story and that of the Valoo family from Joburg.


Johannesburg, South Africa (26 January 2022) – Buddha didn’t have a name a week ago; he had most probably never spent a night indoors or eaten a meal that he hadn’t scavenged for. This old guy had never felt love before but his last week on earth was filled with the best of everything.

The old dog was found roaming the streets of Joburg seven days ago; he had long matted fur, the top of his ears were missing, and you could see that he was tired. His life had been a hard life. His ribs were showing from hunger and his head hung in utter sadness.

Kytin Valoo – a Joburg resident – saw a post about him and immediatly knew that the pup needed help!

“I showed my partner the message about the doggie; I told her we need to find him.”

The couple headed out on the 19th of January and drove around the area to try to find the dog. They spent the entire morning searching for him and were just about to give up and head home when they spotted him!

“I see this brown fur on a verge, behind a tree. It was him! He was resting there and looked so exhausted with life. We approached, and he tried to walk away, but he was just too weak to outwalk us. We put the lead on him, coached him into the car with some food and off we went.”

They took him to the vet for a check-up. There was no chip. He had hundreds of ticks all over him and was incredibly malnourished. This old pup was scared, exhausted and not in good shape.

The doc gave him a full medical, administered medication and explained that the pup would be much better with some food and lots of love. While leaving the consultation room, a very excited woman – who was standing in there – approached the couple and asked if she could touch the dog.

“I just thought she was getting excited to see such a cute doggie. My partner told her that we rescued him today and the lady then explained that she had actually posted about him.”

“I immediately turned and said her name, and she said yes, that’s me! She came to the vet to meet the doggie and find out if he’d be okay. We are so grateful for her!”

The Valoo couple took the pup home, gave him a bath, shaved him, removed all the ticks and introduced him to their fur-babies. They also decided that he needed a name, one that was powerful but gentle and loving.

They called him Buddha.

Unfortunately, as much as the Valoos wanted to keep him, they couldn’t due to their cats. But the next couple of days were spent giving Buddha as much love as possible while trying to find him a home. And he was happy. He spent his time sleeping on comfy beds and blankets, getting loads of cuddles, eating yummy food, playing with their other pups and getting all the love.

Yesterday – as if written in the universe – the pup spent the whole day near their Buddha. Valoo believes that he was meditating.

Buddha Street Dog
Photo Cred: Kytin Valoo

And then, late last night, this goodest boy who had most probably spent his entire life on the streets lay down with a full belly, on a comfy bed inside a home… and took his last breath.

“We are so grateful that we were in the position to provide him with a loving space, for him to leave his frail, handsome body instead of on the street. As sad as it is losing such a beautiful boy, we truly believe we were meant to help him pass on.”

“The lady who originally contacted me about him being on the street messaged me yesterday to ask how he’s doing. I gave her an update and sent her the picture of him staring at the Buddha. She then responded with an image of her beautiful collection of Buddhas. She had zero say in his name, and we had no idea she was a Buddhist till she sent that image.

It’s truly beautiful how everything connected with this baby boy’s story.” 

I doubt the Valoos knew that Buddha would only be in their lives for such a short time, but I doubt even more that they knew that the incredible story of this old pup – and his last seven days on earth – would touch so many.

Buddha says “Kindness is showing someone they matter”. And this pup got to feel just that.

Imagine if we could do the same for everything and everyone around us?

Sources: Kytin Valoo Interview | Original Posts to I Love Fourways on Facebook 
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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