A Second Chance
By Jenifer Aftanas



It was a special time in my life - a moment to remember - as young boys carrying a fawn arrived at my door. They were hoping to find someone that would care for this tiny spotted abandoned creature.

A car in our bustling seaside community had killed her mother, and left her stranded on the roadside.The dilemma for me as those beautiful eyes looked directly into my own: I knew it was against the law to take in wildlife. I knew the gravity of her weakened condition, and that she would not survive without my immediate help and a nourishing drink of milk.

Hogan my two-year-old male Ridgeback immediately welcomed the fawn now named Bella. She nestled in beside him for warmth and comfort and shared his dog bed: he groomed her as I looked on in disbelief. When it came time for her bottle-feeding he watched and cleaned the excess drops of goat’s milk from her face. He urged her to “go potty” exactly as a dam tends to her puppy. In the evenings, he would watch her sleep. I was more than privileged to witness an extraordinary and very special bond between this big gentle Ridgeback and a little fawn


I decided it would be in Bella’s best interest to have her placed with my aunt on acreage, where she would be safe and looked after in a secluded environment. When we arrived, my aunt had transformed the horse stall into a natural wilderness habitat with logs, branches, leaves, and sticks much like the world she would know later in life.

Hogan and I still visit her from afar and in a couple of months she will have a second chance in life to be free in the wild where she belongs.

Now when the doorbell rings I always say to Hogan: Maybe it’s Bella?

Jennifer Aftanas, goldenbear@shaw.ca lives on beautiful Vancouver Island. British Columbia. Hogan is an import from Australia; his breeders are Matt and Jan BensonLidholm of Bowbridge Kennels. Hogan was shown at the Canadian Specialty, in Best of Breed by Jenns friend Lance Poehike.


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