A story as compelling as Bambi’s needs to be told again, this time without the distraction of American Girl nursemaids and doll hospitals.
On the morning of October 21st, (not the 29th) some A-HOLE decided that shooting a stray dog was a good idea. Perhaps she was on his property looking for food. Maybe some other jerk just dumped her on the side of the road thinking she would be able to fend for herself, and she was at the wrong place at the wrong time. No matter the reason, Bambi was shot with a .22, shattering the femoral head of her left rear leg.
Thanks to the kindness of a stranger, Bambi was taken to Williamson Country Regional Animal Shelter where she was evaluated, and medical treatment commenced. After reviewing the x-rays, Dr. David Allman, a Vetinary Orthopedic surgeon, determined that Bambi would need a femoral head ostectomy (FHO) a surgical procedure that removes the head and neck from the femur. As you can imagine, her recovery is going to take months.
Kent and I first met Bambi on October 31st. One of the administrators said they needed a foster family to provide a quiet place for her to rest and recuperate before and after her November 14th surgery. One look was all it took before we said yes.
Dr. Allmand examined her on November 13th, the day before her scheduled surgery. He was amazed at how well she was walking (and running) with a minimal limp. He pulled out his prescription pad and said, “Keep doing what you are doing” which was short to medium walks on grass 4-5 times a day. He wants her to continue to build up the muscles in her back leg before he performs the FHO, now scheduled in approximately 8 weeks.
That evening, KVUE news ran a tug-at-your-heartstrings story about Bambi, along with a request for donations to pay for her surgery. As expected, people were justifiably outraged that someone would shoot a dog.
To date, WILCO has received about $2,000 of the $5,000 needed to pay for her surgery. You know where this is going don’t you? Please consider donating to WILCO’s Medical Fund to help Bambi. Click the Donate button at the top right hand corner. (It will say Jane’s Fund – but that’s the right place!)
Many people were moved by Bambi’s plight and offered to adopt her sight unseen. WILCO staff vetted many people, but determined that there were only two families worthy of consideration. Our job was to introduce them to Bambi, and determine which family would best suit her needs.
Honestly, I felt like a pregnant teenager who was interviewing potential parents who had agreed to an open adoption. I needed to make sure that “my” foster dog was going to be placed in the right home. We arranged to meet both families over the weekend.
Bambi was utterly charming. She greeted each family with tail wags and and a shy, sweet doggie smile. We told them everything they needed to know about her (both good and bad) before any decision was made and papers signed. Yes she gets along well with other dogs. She gets 2 cups of grain-free food two times a day. Medications are happily taken Laughing Cow cheese. And, if you don’t take her outside 5 minutes after she’s eaten, you will be cleaning up a really big pile of poop off your floor.
They in turn provided their dog ownership “resumes” to us. We learned how many dogs they currently have, and how many they had in the past. How their dogs liked to swim in the river, or play at the dog park, and most importantly to me, how they were treated when they were sick. Honestly, I liked both families equally.
Family #1 told me they traveled to Texas A&M’s veterinary school, so their horse could receive cancer treatment. Surprisingly, Family #2 had also consulted with the vets at Texas A&M. They had adopted a Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix that had hip dysplasia after being kicked or thrown from a moving vehicle. Clearly these are people who love their animals and are willing to do whatever it takes to relieve them of pain and suffering.
This morning I heard from Family #2 who tearfully and regretfully had to pull their foster application. Her father was going to have hip replacement surgery in two weeks, and she did not think she would be able to care for both man and beast to the best of her ability. She took some comfort in knowing that Bambi was going into a loving home, and I was certain she was going to be spoiled rotten!
It looks like Bambi might be leaving our care sometime this week. I am really going to miss her, but I think I’ll be able to work out the same arrangement with my first foster dog…Facebook updates and and occasional visits. You know, “open adoption”! Besides, now I can pick out our next foster dog!
“Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love. They depart to us about loss. New dogs can never replace a former one – they merely expand the heart. If you have loved many dogs, your heart is very big.” ~ Montgomery County Texas Animal Shelter