Fairview Homestead | we have pets…
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we have pets…

This December I’ve had a guest make the booking and then mention as an afterthought that she had a little Yorkie;  surely I would not have a problem with that? My reply : ” If your little Yorkie can handle my big Bull Mastiff then we do not have a problem… “. I’ve had guests threatening to sneak our one year old Bull Mastiff into the bedroom and I’ve had guests reeling back in horror at the sight of a dog.

Bull Mastiffs turned out to be perfect guest house dogs : they are non territorial , not unnaturally aggressive and hardly ever bark.


Our Fawn colored Misty (registered name Madame Mistique) would greet guests with herside-view-Nelleke-and-Mistydoc exuberantly wagging tail – I would always say one would swear the only attention she ever gets were from guests. When we got her as a puppy we also got a small Ginger cat (called Garfield, what else) and the two had a very special relationship. They slept together , would groom each other and the favourite party trick was for Misty to carry the cat by her head in her mouth ! When I heard a guest frantically shouting for me I’d know – they’re at it again! Of course Garfield only had to give Misty a gentle whack with her nails out to be let go of. She died shortly after her 12th birthday – a good age for a big breed.


Mutual adoration

Mutual adoration

When Misty turned ten our daughter, Nelleke, brought a new Bull Mastiff puppy home. I took one look at this ugly brindle pup and Eveline commented in Xhosa “Inja m’bi” (ugly dog). She was promptly named Umbi , but she grew in our hearts and turned out to be the most beautiful dog anyone could ever wish for. So sweet natured, intelligent, sensitive and incredibly loving. We were heartbroken when she died of cancer in June 2009, not even 3 years old.

Fairview baby - it's a girl!

Fairview baby – it’s a girl!

Juno as a teenager

Juno as a teenager

Philda Benkenstein

In 1995 we moved from Namibia to a town called George on the Garden Route in South Africa - we found a wonderful property,first registered in 1861. The place was very neglected, but I undertook to start a guest house, so that the house could at least pay for its own upkeep after the restoration, and of course - for Desmond's garden. That is the start of my life as a guest house owner and this is the story of a house and garden,lovingly restored and shared with our guests, with family and friends...

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