For Ry.

umzila kawulandelwa
3 min readJan 31, 2024

Sigh. I have been feeling out of words all week. My little baby. My sweet, sweet angel dog, Ry, passed away on Saturday. It feels so unbelievable to even type that! Cos what do you mean?! The baby I *just* got is dead?! I got Ry in May 2022. 15 May 2022 to be exact. I still remember that day SO well! It feels like yesterday.

The most perfect little thing that ever existed.

The dogctor found he had advanced osteosarcoma and he had to be put down that very same day. It all happened SO fast I still can’t believe it actually happened.

With his passing I feel like I have no words. Perhaps it is cos ours was a nonverbal relationship? I have zero words but ALL the feelings. We felt our way through our relationship and it seems like this grief will also be processed in silence.

I am grateful to God for bringing him and I together. He was the most perfect gift, ever! From God he came, to God he has returned.

I feel like he found me at the beginning of my healing journey, healing from the loss of my boyfriend, and he moved me further along. I am eternally grateful for that. I never wanted my life to end with my boyfriend’s passing. Ry made sure that didn’t happen. I will always be grateful for that. I am in a much better space now than when he found me. Isn’t that honourable? That he left me better than he found me?!

I will always love my little baby dog. He passed peacefully in my arms. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how that last embrace felt.

In his memory I will be planting a tree in my garden. I have also signed up to be a volunteer at the SPCA. I’m also looking into opening up my home on weekends for service dogs in training through the SA Guide Dogs Association. There is also the option of raising service-dogs-to-be for their first 18months but I’m not sure our building manager allows big dog breeds even when they are service dogs. I’ll find out.

My baby moved me forward, I’m taking that same momentum and using it to propel myself. Every other dog I am going to love upon from this moment on will be cos of Ry.

Had I not met my late boyfriend I would have never had Ry. He’s the one who loved dogs not me. It was his influence in my life. Had I not met Ry I wouldn’t have signed up to be a volunteer at the SPCA. Had I not met Ry I also wouldn’t be thinking of opening up my home to more dogs. I’m starting to see the invisible thread in my life neatly tying my story together. I can’t wait to see where this thread will lead me to!

“The floor seemed wonderfully solid. It was comforting to know I had fallen and could fall no farther.”
― Sylvia Plath

I have been SOOO scared of losing Ry so much that I feel like I have hit rock bottom. However, it is also comforting to know the ground is solid. From here on I can’t fall farther.

Goodnight, my sweet baby. Send my love to daddy as well. I miss you both sooo much!! You are both safely tucked in my heart where you will continue to live forever.

Ry Pitse-Ndebele |18.05.2015–27.01.2024



umzila kawulandelwa

I tell stories about my experience of being alive. Perpetually day dreaming of reading and writing by the beach