Rescue Stories - Bandit The Rescue
From A Stray Of Bosnia To A Loving Forever Home
Bandit (formally known as Bumble) was a stray dog on the streets of Sarajevo, Bosnia. September 2017 he was found at the local kill pound, awaiting termination, by a lady called Milena who is the founder of the Saving Suffering Strays Sarajevo charity, that rescue strays/ abandoned dogs and try to restore them back to good health, and appeal for people to adopt them.
Milena decided to save Bandit among many dogs awaiting a horrible, unfortunate fate, and had him taken to a dog’s safe haven, sharing a compound with a lot of other rescued dogs until he had a ticket on the ‘Happy Bus’.
March 2018 and Bandit had his ticket on the Happy Bus, taking him from Sarajevo to Derbyshire in the UK where he arrived late on Thursday 22nd March at a kennel called Just For Dogs in Brailsford. The next day, we went to view Bandit having been sent my photo prior, and as soon as he was let out of his pen, he attempted to kiss me as I was sat on the floor so not to intimidate him.
We took him on a walk around the local area and he was a pleasure on the lead, he came across quite timid and shy at times but overall he seemed quite content with our company. After another visit a few days later, we decided that we wanted to adopt him and let JFD know that we would collect him on Wednesday 28th March 2018. The day he was collected he had been bathed, had his first collar put on and put in the car ready to go to his furever home aged approximately 3 years old.
We realised we had problems
Not long after having him at home, my parents came to visit with their dogs but before they introduced the dogs to Bandit, my parents wanted to meet Bandit and this is where we realised we had some concerns. Bandit appeared to become quite territorial at home and would growl at my parents, particularly my dad. We had been warned that he may have issues with men, typically those of a big build and that certain clothing could be a trigger for Bandit such as hats and hi-vis vests, all of this could be a trigger for Bandit due to the dog catchers in Sarajevo typically being men, wearing said clothes. My dad wasn’t wearing any of this but he is male and of a larger build compared to that of my husband.
My dad feeling comfortable around dogs, attempted to get down to his level to see if that would ease Bandit but it only seemed to make him worse and not only was he growling, but his heckles had come up. On one occasion he attempted to nip my dad’s finger when he was talking to his own dogs.
We all were consistent
Over months of building up Bandits trust with people he slowly started becoming more trusting of people, more so in the house than on walks but ultimately he became a lot more welcoming to guests and this once scared dog that would growl and bare his teeth, started to become more trusting of people in our home. Since we’ve had him we’ve hosted a lot of gatherings at our home, some of which have been parties with 20+ people (adults through to children/toddlers) and Bandit has been fantastic!
He seems so content and safe around people now to the point where he has built up a trusting relationship with the people at doggy day care.
He had to learn to trust
He still occasionally gets spooked by people on walks, particularly joggers in hi-vis but this is few and far between. And when he gets spooked he tends to just bark at them whilst maintaining a safe distance. I feel with Bandit he had to learn to trust people, and even the relationship between myself and Bandit, as well as my husband and Bandit, that took some time as we were all trying to figure each other out.
Since having Bandit I have worked on making him feel safe, and giving him an affectionate relationship which typically involves lots of cuddles and fusses, and I believe that is something that has made a huge difference, even over food and having regular meals. Whilst my husband is predominantly the feeder, the walker, and the playful one with Bandit (not that I don’t do any of those things with him), I have always been the more affectionate one with him and because of this I feel he is more connected to me, and is more obedient to my commands.