It is pouring down rain today, which brings me back to a time
and place of delightful memories of our German shepherd dog. It was inevitable that we gave her the legendary name of Bambi.
Our family adopted her at the tender, young age of four months. The first time I met her, she reminded me of a delightful little fawn. She had the warmest, brown eyes,
which could melt even the hardest heart. She had long, pointed ears that seemed to be over sized compared to her little head. When I watched her playing in the yard, all I could see were ears, eyes, and legs.
Like all puppies, she was full of energy, inquisitiveness, and wonder. Our boys remarked excitedly that she looked just like the young
deer, Bambi, in the movie they had recently watched. Quite naturally the name Bambi fit her personality perfectly.
Along with her unique personality and mannerism, Bambi also inherited all the fine, physical characteristics of the German shepherd breed. She was strong, yet gentle and shy. She was a handful at times. But we were a young family with
two growing, energetic boys, so she fit right in with our life style. Bambi loved the boys. She’d wrestle, romp and play with them until all three were completely exhausted.
When Bambi was almost two years old and considered a full grown, mature dog, she became quite protective of us. She watched religiously over the boys. If a stranger
entered our yard, she’d glare at the intruder with piercing, determined eyes and lowly growl. The stranger sensed not to proceed any further.
On one occasion I had called a repairman to come to our home to fix our refrigerator. I was at work and the boys were home with the babysitter. I informed the repairman by phone we had a dog, but
it would be safe to enter the house, as the babysitter would be there to meet him.
The repairman entered our yard and proceeded to go to the door and attempted to enter our home. Bambi growled and glared at this intruder while she diligently guarded the door. The frightened man froze in his tracks. He didn’t know whether or not to
stand still, retreat or scream for help. Finally the babysitter and boys returned from their walk. They rescued the poor, frightened fellow from our guard dog. They reassured Bambi, that it was okay to allow the man to enter our home. But even while the repairman
was fixing our refrigerator, Bambi kept a constant, watchful eye on him. This man was very glad to finish repairing the appliance and get away from this beast.
Even though Bambi had this protective instinct, she never bit anyone. Nevertheless, she did manage to frighten away many welcome and unwelcome guests.
However, there was a side to her personality that didn’t match her bravery. She was so terrified of thunder and
lightening, she’d immediately turned into a frightened, timid pup. On any given summer day when the sun disappeared behind the clouds, Bambi would race to the door and demand persistently to be let in the house.
One time, Bambi was so relentless she literally ripped a whole in our screen door, and came galloping into the house.
She seemed to have this built-in sense that told her it was going to rain. She was usually correct in her predictions because in a short while it would be raining, thundering and lightening.
During the impending storms, Bambi still didn’t feel safe enough just being inside the house, lying on her designated rug. The only place she felt safe was in
our bathtub, curled up all snug, safe and sound. When the boys found her there, they knew without a doubt it would be raining soon.
Time and time again with great difficulty, we tried to remove our terrified, large dog from the tub. Finally we surrendered to the realization this was impossible. As a result of this unattainable task,
we freely allowed Bambi to find refuge from all the loud, summer storms in our tub.
We came to the conclusion our bathtub was a small, confined area which also muffled some of the noise from the thunder. She instinctively felt safe there. After all who were we to question her natural ability to seek a place of safety from danger?
At times it was little embarrassing. Like the day one of our neighbors stopped by to visit during
one of the thunderstorms. Upon discovering a full grown dog in our tub, she did think this was a bit peculiar. But to the rest of us, it was perfectly normal and acceptable. Of course, after each and every storm, Bambi would once again become the brave and
protective companion we grew to love and respect.
As Bambi matured in years, she
was unable to jump in our bathtub, but this didn’t prevent her from finding another safe refuge. Of all places, she discovered our walk-in shower as a secure shelter during the cloudbursts.
Bambi was quite a dog. She brought so much enjoyment into our lives over the years. She is no longer with us, but her wonderful memories remain
to brighten rainy days. Today, there is a little more sunshine and laughter in my heart, as I remember our weather forecaster, curled up in the bathtub.