A loyal pal – always there when I need her, Cola has become a part of my life I greatly appreciate. Since I was three years old, I had always loved animals, but dogs had always been at the very centre of my heart.

Unfortunately for me, I spent most of my life in the high density suburb of Mufakose, where owning a pet is pretty much impossible. Firstly, my parents had always struggled with getting food on the table for the family, the addition of a dog to the already big family would have a put a neck-breaking strain on them.

Once, I succeeded in convincing my mother to let me get one when I was 14, after having exhausted her with my incessant pleas. I loved the dog so much that I would sneak out at night and play with her.

Sadly, the dog only survived for a month. It died after eating a poisoned rat from the huge rubbish dump that thrived next to our house, due to lack of rubbish collection by the city council. My mother knew that was how it would all end. I was so heartbroken I cried for days. I had never got a pet again till Cola came to the boarding house.

Cola stole my heart the moment I saw her. She has brought me such joy. She is the pet I always wanted. She has brought more liveliness to my life than anything. When the studying gets too tough and I feel miserable, Cola always welcomes me with an air of cheerfulness, barking excitedly as soon as she sees me step outside. I always feel immediately comforted, and I’m reminded of the beauty of the other things in life besides my grades, on which I focus deeply.

I really enjoy the the time I spend with her, and no matter how busy I am, I make sure after school I give her her favourite “tummy-tickling” treat that she greatly deserves. I also love how she likes to make me chase her all over the yard, forcing me to exercise, which otherwise, I wouldn’t do. She also likes to
fetch and jump about, which I find really adorable. I’m also proud of the fact that I taught her how to extend her fore paw in greeting.

Cola has become something so priceless and special to me I find it hard to find the words with which to express myself. I am deeply thankful for her, and I am thankful to Makomborero Zimbabwe for letting us have her.