A Dog Story: Bambi, The Little Monkey Dog

She was a strange looking girl with wispy orange fur, long legs like a gazelle and a face that reminded me of a spider monkey, a real monkey dog. Her coat wasn’t in bad condition, and I only needed to snip off a few longish mats hanging from her legs; the rest was pretty good, and a few swishes with a comb were enough to have her looking elegant.

A dog story bambi

Credit: Cindi Scholefield

At the beginning, though, Bambi was very aloof.  She was pleased to be let out of her cage, but immediately clamoured to be put down so she could run on her own.  I didn’t push her, and just waited till she ran out of steam.  When I saw her starting to lag and slow down, I sat and lifted her up on the bench beside me, whereupon she promptly turned her back on me and sat facing the road.  The second day it was the same, and on the third day I gently took her head and turned it around to face me.

I could almost feel her holding her breath; she was clearly afraid of making eye contact, presumably in case the act brought on serious repercussions.  I assured her this was not going to happen, and little by little she raised her eyes to mine.  We did this a few times, and each time I would cuddle her and tell her what a good girl she was, and each time she got a little more comfortable.

In the meantime, she decided to risk allowing me to wipe out her eyes, and that was obviously a relief, so all in all it didn’t take long before she realized she could trust me, and after that it was alright. She had been found on the road, but someone had obviously made a pathetic attempt to trim her fur, probably grabbing chunks of it and cutting straight across.  Still, you could see that as the fur started to grow back, it was wavy, and promised to look quite luxurious when the full hair growth was restored.

Her head was quite another matter.  It was uncanny, there you were with a dog walking beside you, but when you looked at her face, a monkey dog looked back at you. The expression that I had taken to be sadness before turned out to be just wariness, and soon she was past that, and taking an active interest in life again.

A monkey dog story, BambiThe little monkey dog’s  face was full of mischief, and sure enough, as she gained confidence, she began dashing around the property when we went for ‘walks’, with the difference now being that when she was worn out and I lifted her up beside me, she would climb onto my lap, settle herself with her head resting on my arm, sigh and doze off.

As the days passed she got friskier and friskier, and when I approached her cage she would stand up on her back legs, and pound frantically at the door with her front paws.  She was so anxious to get out that I had to be very quick getting the leash around her neck or she would be off like a bullet out of a gun.   But, when she had got rid of the excess energy, she still liked to climb into my lap and curl up for a nap.

When her 21 days were up (the compulsory time that must elapse before adoption in case the real owner turns up) I enquired because I had a friend who I thought might like her. I was told she was already booked, and as inevitably happens, one day I approached her cage and didn’t hear the little paws thumping at the door, because the door was wide open, and she had gone to her new home.

I hope they like monkey dogs!
Guest Post by Cindi Scholefield, a volunteer at the local animal shelter in Kingston, Jamaica. For any donations to Cindi and her dogs, please send to:
Eunice Crompton-Nicholas
Harry Dufour
9330 Dunhill Drive
Florida 33025-3869

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