Bon Voyage BONNIE!!
Just over a month ago an email popped into my inbox. It was an enquiry for Bonnie, one of our special “mommy dogs”. Immediately my heart started doing flick-flacks because just the idea of her being in a forever home was enough to make my day. For those who don’t know who Bonnie is, let me quickly refresh your memory.
Bonnie was running around the vehicle testing grounds in pretoria for months when we were approached for assistance. She had given birth to 9 beautiful babies inside a drain pipe. Our team had to break the pipe in 2 places in order to access the puppies, they were only about 10 days old at the time. It took a day or 2 after rescuing the puppies to finally catch mommy before we could re-unite the little family. Well all of mama Bonnie’s pups were very quickly adopted when they were old enough but Bonnie got left behind 🙁 Its always so heartbreaking when the mommy dogs stay behind at the shelter while the pups all get to go into loving, forever homes.
Getting back to the email, the enquiry sounded great … up till the point where they said they were based in Cape Town. My heart cringed. Our adoption procedure is lengthy and involves multiple meetings and meets and greets, how would we make it work with a home in Cape Town when we are based in Hartbeespoort Dam, which is smack in the middle of Gauteng and North West Province. The family sounded great but how could we make it work? My first reaction was “I am sorry, we generally do not home dogs out of area etc etc etc” but the family persisted. They saw something in Bonnie’s eyes and they knew that it was meant to be. After seeing photos of their home and their little girl, adopted from a local CT shelter, we decided that we owe it to Bonnie to at least try.
The usual steps followed. Application form, supporting documents, home check, reference checks, conversations with their vet and lots and lots of back and forth correspondence about a plan B, C and D, just in case plan A did not work out. Usually our adoption process includes one (or more) meets and greets between the dogtown doggy and the adopting family’s dogs done by our behaviorist, so this step could obviously not happen with the distance issue. But where there is a will there is a way. Our super behaviorist, Gordon, offered to accompany little Bonnie to Cape Town so that he can oversee the introduction and be on hand if needed.
So with all this planned and prepared and one very eager soon-be-be fur mom, Bonnie’s journey to Cape Town started. After checking her micro-chip about 10 times to make sure its working, we secured her in her crate and on Wednesday 31 May, Bonnie & Gordon set off into the distance.
I think it was one of the longest days of my life but it was all worth it when we got the feedback that not only are they safe in Cape Town, but that Bonnie and her new fur-sibling were getting along great! The photos started coming through and things started to make sense. This was where Bonnie was meant to be, there, with that family, all the way in Cape Town. I still look at the photos of her looking so happy and I am so grateful to her adoptive family who were incredibly supporting and accommodating throughout this process. They had to jump through many hoops which they gladly did, for Bonnie.
Gordon spent the night in nearby guest house so that he can pop in again the next morning to see how things were going between the 2 new fur siblings and answer any questions that the family might have, before making his way back to Dogtown.
I am incredibly proud to be part of a team who not only went above and beyond to rescue Bonnie and her puppies all those months ago, but once again went above and beyond now to make her dreams of a forever home come true.
By Elanza, Adoptions Manager