A Promise is a Promise
By Cheryl Thomas
It was the month of June and I scheduled a trip to Cuba with a girlfriend. It was just beautiful when we arrived and we were greeted by hosts they were singing and dancing for us. After we checked into our hotel, we were waiting in the lobby where there was warm air flowing though the open setting. It was paradise. As we were waiting in line I looked over and there was a small dog laying there on the furniture all by himself. I was surprised as he appeared to be alone. Being an animal advocate and dog groomer I asked who the little dog belonged to? They said they didn’t know, and that there used to be three dogs but now there is just the one. I sat for a bit and played with the small puppy and then we went to our room for the night.
When we came down to the lobby the next day the dog was not there, but the following morning there he was again. So I went over and spent some time with him. He was just so cute, about six months old, brown and black, with a small frame and long legs. From the side when I looked at him it looked like he was smiling. He almost looked like a baby deer. Since he had no owner and no name tags, we decided to call him Bambi. So we went about our day and then when we returned to the hotel there he was again. We began to worry about what he was eating as he was so small. From that point on I started feeding him. He was always so happy to see us and whenever we came back to the hotel from our daily outings there he was again. He was now becoming accustomed to us and the attention and love he was getting.
You could tell how delighted he was that someone was caring for him and that someone cared.
Well, I just couldn’t leave him in the lobby anymore. I wanted to bring him to our hotel room and I did! I gave him a bath and let me tell you it was like a bucking bronco, but he slept like a baby after. So now I started taking the dog with me everywhere and people would see me and say “So how is Bambi?” I would just say OK. I just could not get into my vacation as I was just so concerned about minding this little helpless puppy.
Then this little girl came up to me and said “Where is that small dog?”. I said he’s in my room. She asked if she could see him? I said sure. She was traveling with her dad, Mr. Green. Later I asked if she could ask her dad if she could watch him for the day while we took a day tour. From that point on they were also supporting me with Bambi.
The little girls name is Taylor. She said to me I wish my dad would let me have this dog and I said tell you what, if I can get this dog back to Canada I would give him to you, since this is part of what I do working with animals over the years finding good homes for dogs in need.
I then went on two different trips to see the local doctor in a taxi with one of the local tour hosts and we got the vaccination and the International Health Certificate that Bambi needed to come to Canada. I was so happy when I got back to the hotel I asked the representative of the tour bus to please find out if I can take him on the plane. They checked all airlines and they said no at this point it was high season and they didn’t accommodate people with pets. We had to return to Canada without him.
So one month later in July when school was out I booked another flight back to Cuba for my daughter and I. I had called the past month and my friend in Cuba (Myra) was keeping the dog at her moms house. I thought, how honourable she was to keep the dog until I could find a way to get him back to Canada. I was so excited to know I would see little Bambi again.
When we got back to Cuba I phoned my taxi driver friend that I knew and he picked us up and drove us to my friend’s house. I then also phoned Mr. Green and told him I was back in Cuba with Bambi. I just wondered what he was thinking about all this, but this was all because of a journey for Bambi, Taylor (the little girl) and I. We had made a promise to help Bambi, and we even did a pinky promise.
We arrived and were so excited. There she was at my friend’s house, there was Bambi. We spent our vacation together and then we returned to Vancouver on Westjet via Toronto. Monday morning the Green family had been leaving messages on my machine. I phoned back and I said YES – Bambi is here with me now and we met up that evening. Taylor was so excited and I gave her the puppy. I was a bit sad when I went into the house after all Bambi had felt like mine, but I knew he was going to a good home. They were so kind, and generous and they gave me a card, flowers, and a donation to help with my efforts. This was all just for Bambi, myself, and my new friend Taylor. A promise is a promise.