For those of you that follow me on social media, you know that my rescue dog Bandana is very close to my heart and a big part of my life. And if you do follow me on social media, I apologize because you’ve been bombarded with photos of him almost daily! However, Bandana came into my life unexpectedly and because it is his birthday, or rather his “adoption day,” today I thought I would share the story of how he came to Canada and, well, came to live with me.
There was still snow on the ground last March because, similar to what happened this year, in Edmonton we were “Blessed” with a second winter. My lucky sister was on vacation in Nicaragua and one day I got a phone call from her all teary and upset. She told me there was a dog there who had been following her around and how sweet he was. She has two dogs herself so it broke her heart to see this dog without a home. Of course I was sympathetic. Being a huge animal lover it always pains me to see that too. But I didn’t expect her to ask “well, will you take him?” I was a little shocked that she suggested that I bring this dog all the way from Central America to Canada but at the same time I felt I couldn’t say no.
Of course she said she would have to find this dog again tomorrow if she wanted to, in fact, rescue him. She had met somebody who could put her in contact with the local rescue group but that it would be her job to actually catch him in order to start the process of taking him home. It all hung on whether she could actually find him the next day before she had to board the ferry in order to catch a flight to another island.
Fast forward to the next afternoon and I get a text from her saying that she had lost him and that she would now have to head to the ferry without him. That’s when I knew I really wanted him deep down inside because my heart sank. Even though I haven’t even seen a picture of him he already felt like he was my dog. Lo and behold with literally minutes to spare before they have to catch the ferry they managed to slip the leash around him. Well, I can’t say a leash — it was just a piece of rope. So began the long and treacherous process of bringing him to Canada. It started with a visit to the vet followed by ferry ride and a very long flight all the way from Nicaragua.
When he finally did arrive we had to pick him up from a huge cargo building and he was visibly traumatized from not only a long journey but then being stuck in this loud echoey building in a crate. At home he kept making these little whining sounds once we had taken him out of the crate. We thought he was quite upset or confused but now we know that this is his way of talking to us and telling us that he is extremely happy. It’s pretty funny.
A few weeks after we got him we discovered another one of his quirks. One evening I found him in a hamper that was on the floor with a few towels in it. I thought that was pretty hilarious. Little did I know that he would take up this hamper as his permanent place and that he would literally sleep in it every night.
Here is a photo (taken on my phone) of him in smiling in his hamper.
From the very beginning he came with an array of medical problems that we didn’t know about until he arrived. This included finding out that he had a cancerous lump on his foot. We thought he was done for but he has strived through all the challenges and came out on the other end. He is also a very timid guy and so there is lots of work ahead with training which has been, in fact, a lot of fun (I am a big nerd for agility and dog training).
It’s been stressful and not cheap and some people may not understand sticking with it but this little guy has stolen my heart and become my best friend, running partner, and the source of a lot of laughter. I love the quote that says ‘Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
Follow Bandana on my instagram @laurenhannahphoto and at #bandanathedog
Update: A Year of Adventures!
Hiking in B.C.
He still sleeps in his hamper every night!
He loves the mountains…
even when it’s windy!
Chilling in his favourite sunning spot.
Exploring Edmonton’s ravines
Happy 2 years Bandana!