South Africa famous dog Theodore dies

South Africa famous dog Theodore dies

Theodore, arguably South Africa’s most famous St Bernard, has died and will be mourned at a special Easter memorial service.

The headline-grabbing dog ruptured his stomach while chasing monkeys at his uMhlanga home recently.

His owner, financial adviser Rita Abraham, received his ashes on Sunday, her birthday.

“Receiving his ashes was the hardest thing but receiving them on my birthday was harder,” Abraham told POST on Monday.

“But knowing I have a part of him is comforting.”

Theodore was the focus of a two-year legal battle since 2012 between his owners - Abraham and her son, Edward - and the management of a plush estate in Mount Edgecombe who insisted that dogs more than 20kg were not allowed there.

Five-year-old Theodore weighed over 70kg.

In 2015, a High Court judge agreed and Theodore moved in with Abraham’s daughter, Nicolene Pillay, and her husband in Cape Town.

“In 2016, a year after we moved him to Cape Town, we decided to bring our boy back. Edward purchased a home in uMhlanaga and Theodore loved his new space,” she said.

“I would spend days with him and sometimes my daughter and I would sneak him into the estate for visits, as he was not allowed to stay - no one said anything about visits.”

Abraham said her dog’s death had left a huge void in her family.

“Theodore was the glue that held us together and now there’s a missing piece in all our lives,” she said.

“He was such a beautiful and kind-hearted hound. He loved people and left a name or a mark for himself. People have followed his story for years and opened their hearts to him.”

Theodore, whose parents Roxy and Harry are still alive and working as international show dogs, might have been Abraham’s last pet but her children will continue to adopt dogs “and share their love”.