Bambi’s Adoption Story
Georgia Mud Dog
Even though we adopted Nadia, we decided to continue fostering since Nadia does so well with other dogs. That’s where Bambi came in the picture. In Summer of 2015, we took in another super shy, shut down dog from a hoarding case with 37 dogs. These dogs were called the Georgia Mud Dogs. They came from Griffin, GA and lived outside in cages of mud. You can read about the news story here. They were not socialized, some were heart worm positive, they were underweight, and just neglected.
A few rescue groups stepped up to take in these dogs to rehab them. Again, Society of Humane Friends of Georgia came through. They asked if we would take “Goldie” (some sort of hound dog) from the case. I agreed and went up to Petco on a Saturday to pick her up. She was heart worm positive, so she was going through treatment. They said she hates leashes and would chew them. We had to carry her in a heavy duty airline crate to my car. I remember I got her settled at the house in her crate with some water and food. Then I left to go to volunteer at the shelter. My sister came home from work and called me to say “uhhh did she throw up?” She had spilled her water and food all over her crate which made a mess. We definitely had our work cut out for us!
A Defeated, Terrified Dog
We decided to name her “Bambi” as we thought that was more fitting than “Goldie”. Poor Bambi was so anxious and shut down. We have pictures of her just sitting in the corner looking so defeated. It’s actually heartbreaking. We had a tough time with her at first. I was going back to teaching for the Fall semester and it was the first day back, so I was waking up super early. Bambi was growling and screaming in her crate. No joke, it sounded like a possessed monster was in there! I eventually had to put her in the closet in the crate and give her a Benadryl because nothing else would help.
She would tear up towels if we put them in her crate. She really would chew a leash if it was on her, so we ended up having to use a harness on her. It also got to the point where she would have nervous accidents. For example, when we would wake up or get her out of her crate, she would have to potty immediately because she was so afraid. We got to the point where we would leave the harness with a leash attached to it in the house. That way we could easily grab her leash to take her outside. When we’d take her out of the crate, we had to immediately put the harness on her to take her outside super fast.
Thankfully, Nadia helped her gain some confidence in our house. She would let me hold her in my lap and sleep in bed. She started to do so much better with the potty issue. Bambi also recovered from her heart worms after the treatment period. I eventually even started taking her to adoption events. She was very nervous and would always seek comfort from me. It was actually devastating to have her stare into my eyes. Sometimes she would even let out a frustrated bark at me. I would usually just have her out on a leash and she would put her front paws on my lap. People felt bad for Bambi, but no one was really interested in adopting her.
A Dog for Valentine’s Day
On Valentine’s Day 2016, I was told I could take Bambi to another adoption event at a different location. I actually just went ahead and said that we were going to adopt Bambi. Similar to the situation with Nadia, I just could not uproot the progress Bambi made with us. Plus, her and Nadia became so bonded. They loved to play together and cuddle with one another. I think they truly needed each other. So we became dog moms of two dogs now (plus a cat). Yet, we still decided to foster. I am actually friends with a few other people who adopted a Georgia Mud Dog. A lot of them are foster failures for similar reasons.
Spoiled and Loved
Five years later, I look at Bambi and I find it hard to believe she ever lived outside. I literally have to put a rain jacket on her and coax her to go potty outside when it’s raining. She will tuck herself in and put her head on a pillow when we go to bed like she’s a human. When she’s cold, she will curl in a ball and nuzzle herself into you. Bambi is obsessed with food and is definitely not malnourished anymore! In fact, she now knows words like “bell pepper”, “peanut butter”, “treat”, “cookie”, “hungry”, “eat”, “carrot”, and a bunch more. She does the cutest head tilt and runs with excitement when she hears any of those. Then she will be sure to give a “high five” over and over until she gets the treat!
Of course she still has her quirks too. Storms and fireworks scare her quite a bit. Bambi will shake and try to climb in my lap. She still has a little bit of a nervous personality when going out or meeting new people, but of course treats/food help her warm up quickly. She does have some resource guarding issues when it comes to toys or bones, but of course that is manageable. I’m sure some of that has to do with her past living with a slew of dogs and having to share resources. I will write about resource guarding in a separate post.
It breaks my heart to think of Bambi living in those deplorable conditions before with the other dogs. I always think of what I would say to her previous owner. She treated the dogs like trash. Bambi is safe, fed, cared for, and seems to love her life. That’s the way it should be. The really sad thing is this is happening all over even in our own communities. So please, if you hear or see something suspicious report it to the proper authorities.
I am so grateful Bambi and her friends made it out safely! Thanks for reading about my sweet baby Bambi!