It is always a pleasure when we are able to recount stories with happy endings, such as those of abandoned animals Marnie the Dog and Dave the poodle cross. After a miserable start to life, both dogs secured a new, loving owner and a safe forever home; their struggle to survive had ended. However the case of a dog called Pegasus is slightly different, her rescue and subsequent adoption from a wretched beginning did not guarantee her a happy ending…
Pegasus the Great Dane and her uncertain future
Pegasus, the Great Dane was not expected to live very long. Rescued from a backstreet breeder, with many of her siblings born poorly or deformed, she was born with a genetic condition – a form of albinism called double merle – that was likely to affect her vision and hearing. Pegasus’s form of albinism also affected her coat, which appeared white but it was actually lacking pigmentation, making her skin more susceptible to sunburn. Against the odds, with almost no hope of survival, Pegasus lived when most of her siblings did not. Due to her health issues however, Pegasus didn’t have many aspiring masters at her disposal but fortunately, unlike many other dogs in similarly, sad situations, she found someone willing to take her on.
Dave Meinert and The Pegasus Project
The adoption of Pegasus proved to be much more public than a regular adoption. New owner Dave Meinert, a South African filmmaker had been warned that Pegasus might not live very long and could go blind and deaf so he decided to celebrate every day of good health with the dog, not knowing how long it would last. To document the daily achievements of the ‘faulty’ quadruped, Meinert created a daily video diary of Pegasus doing her strengthening exercises on a treadmill with him alongside helping and encouraging her. He then turned his daily recordings into a touching time-lapse video entitled: The Pegasus Project. At the end of the video he writes: “I still don’t know how long she is going to live. But right now is pretty great.” Unsurprisingly, in our world of sentimental animal lovers, the moving video went viral.
Since the video’s release, the public has been very interested to hear what happened to Pegasus, and the latest news from Meinert and Pegasus is even more heartwarming. Unfortunately, the demands of Meinert’s job took him away regularly so he recruited the aid of someone to take care of Pegasus while he was absent. The ‘saviour’ as Meinert describes her had a nice house with a big garden and a Great Dane of her own called Luna, and both dogs became firm friends. Meinert’s dynamic lifestyle meant Pegasus was being shuttled back and forth between owner and dog-sitter and it became obvious to Meinert that Pegasus would be happier with his ‘foster’ mum and new best friend Luna on a more permanent basis, so he made the difficult decision to leave her with them. He still pops in to visit Pegasus from time to time so feels lucky to still be a part of her life. Meinert writes about the decision on his Vimeo channel: “If the dog is happier, do you forsake your happiness? I think yes. If a dog is negligently bred, should it be killed to prevent more negligent breeding? I think no. Who’s to say? In the end we try our best and our pets teach us incredible lessons.”