This is the true story of rescuing Bambaloo.
She was advertised in an online international website that people can give away, barter, sell, buy, find discreet encounters, and more.
Why did I even think of getting a second dog? That in itself is a short story.
One day after visiting a thrift store, my dog Bailey and I were driving along the back roads. I noticed a chocolate lab wandering by itself. After bringing the car to a halt, I saw open farmland to one side, country road in the middle, forestation on the other side and the possibility of coyote or wolves, and one lonely dog in the road.
The dog had on a collar, but I couldn’t see any tags. It walked calmly around my automobile and Bailey whimpered and pounced from window to window wanting to play.
The lab remained quiet. I took a chance and opened my door, and got out. The dog did not run, bark, or attack me. It just looked at me. I put the back of my hand down for it to sniff. It did and then licked. I must have tasted friendly for it started to wag its tail. At this point, I let Bailey out of the car and she approached the lab.
There was the customary sniffing, and I wondered what an elevator scene would be like if humans did that every time a new person got on.
There were no issues with the dogs, so I opened the back door and they both jumped in.
We drove off and I wondered what I should do with the dog. Do I keep the lab? Do I call Animal Control? As I pondered, I looked in my rearview mirror to see the dogs lying down with their heads next to each other.
My mental struggle continued. I called my vet thinking the dog had a chip in it since it had no tags. He scanned the neck area and no chip was present. Now, my dilemma got a bit more dramatic— no tags or chip. I saw how great the dogs were getting along and she was pretty.
I thought of how I almost lost Bailey a year ago when she wandered around the corner of my building and someone snagged her up and turned her into Animal Control. I thought of how my Emotional Support Dog was gone, and my panic and fear were not. So, I decided to call the Animal Control office.
The operator took my information and within five minutes called back and that someone reported a dog that fit the description and the area I found her.
I returned the dog to the owner and was told by him that it was common for her to just walk around the area, on the road, or on the neighboring farm...wherever she decided to go. This thought pattern was unusual to me, but it was not my dog to worry about. Sure, I could have lectured him on having tags and a chip, but it would have been a waste of breath.
After seeing how happy Bailey was with another four-legged friend, hairier than me, I decided to at least research getting another dog.
I went to the website I mentioned earlier and did a search for dogs. One came up in a city about 30 miles away from me. The picture accompanying the ad was a cute and smiley furry creature sitting on a tile floor.
I contacted the person and a woman responded. We conversed about the dog she said was named Bambi. We agreed to meet at my home in the early afternoon while it was still light outside.
The reason I wanted it to be light out is that there is a huge field behind my home, and I could test her ability to "come" when called. A big plus of doing this during the day is there are coyotes far down on the other side of the valley, and they only come out at night.
The woman showed up late in the evening after dark. It was pitch black outside and I could not take the chance of letting the dog out of my sight. However, it would not have mattered what time she brought the dog for this dog was stuck to the underside of my chair— shivering.
It was not cold, but a pleasant night. The air was still, and there was nary a sound.
I asked the woman how old Bambi was and for the veterinarian's name for records. She told me that she thought maybe 5 and that she had never been to a veterinarian.
I asked why she was getting rid of her and the response was that her landlord would not let her have three dogs, in addition to the three donkeys in a barn, and the giant pig (the size of two dogs) that she showed a picture of laying next to one of the dogs— in the living room. So, she had to give up a dog.
Again, I looked down and saw this cute little dog trembling under my chair looking up at me as if to say, “ Please Save Me.”
I asked how much Bambi cost and the woman said I could have her. Not surprisingly, she did not bring any dog food, a bowl, or a leash. I did my best to be polite and said, “thank you,” and bid her farewell.
Bambi came into her new home after the woman left. Inside, she met Bailey, my emotional support dog, and first rescue. Bambi headed right to the bedroom, and I put out a large dog pillow for her. For one and a half days, she lay on that pillow trembling except to go outside to the bathroom.
A couple days went by with her right between my legs and feet wherever I walked. Her tail wagged so hard it was like a whip against them. While Bailey ran into the field to play, Bambi would just look up at me. I would point and say, “Go play," but she wouldn't leave me. Slowly, there started to be a change.
After the third day, that tail that had been tucked between her legs and whipped back and forth shaking her whole rear end with it, came out, and became a full extended wag. She was starting to stop being afraid. She decided to take a chance and join Bailey, her new big sister, in the field, but not so far I was out of sight.
Yet, still, there was work to be done. Each time I called her, I would see her ears go down and her happy mouth close. Being deathly afraid, she would inch her way toward me expecting a beating, only to find she was going to find a loving touch waiting.
After three months of continual love and happy hugs, her eyes glowed with happiness. She finally realized that she was free from whatever life she had before in that other place. She now has a sister she trades licks with every morning, a Valentine's dinner with the main course of venison, receives a biscuit with peanut butter daily, and she has been brought around two new sisters in Chicago for visits.
A month ago I registered for her tags and spaying, and the receptionist asked me her name. The name of Bambi would no longer be heard in her ears. I momentarily thought of how she is a character full of joy and happiness and decided that her name would be Bambaloo from now on. My rescue has now become my second official Emotional Support Dog.