A Special Rescue
Tuesday, 24th February, 2015
In November, 2014, I received a long distance phone call from another state in which I was asked to help with an unusual and urgent rescue.
With the help of dear friend and veterinarian, Dr Jude Mulholland, I was able to help and be part of a wonderful rescue story and get to know yet another magical critter.
Meet Kelly Chi.
Kelly Chi is a captive bred pure dingo. She was not safe in her previous location but a plan was formed and after a couple of weeks organising the logistics of it all, finally, late on a Monday night, Jude and I headed down to Melbourne to pick up a six month old dingo from Melbourne Airport.
We did not know what to expect. Dingoes can be quite anxious creatures who can be very shy of strangers so on our trip down, we were both excited but also nervous of how she coped with her flight from afar and how she would behave in strange surroundings and in our hands.
Apart from Kelly Chi missing her connecting flight, which made her arrival time even later than planned, plus a few worried moments when they could not find her crate in the freight building, everything went better than Jude and I could ever have imagined.
We took our own crate down with us as the crate she took her flight in belonged to the transport company. When we first laid eyes on Kelly Chi, she looked scared, nervous and very aprehensive. Everything was foreign to her, including us.
I am sure the freight company staff thought we were a little odd when we asked if they could shut the huge roller doors of the warehouse. We didn't want to take any chances, the last thing we wanted to happen was for her to escape into the night if anything went wrong in the change over from crate to crate!
To minimise stress for her, we covered both crates with sheets and butted them up together, with only enough room to open doors of both crates. This created a blanket covered tunnel from crate to crate.
With a little coaxing, Kelly Chi moved through the tunnel as planned and we were so relieved to safely close the door then cable tie it to be sure it was secure. We travelled home with her in the back of Jude's wagon so she could hear our conversation all the way home. Once we left the airport, we felt the hardest part was over.
On arrival home, we carried the crate inside and sat down on the floor nearby. Jude gave her water and food, both of which she took straight from Jude's hands.
From the first time Kelly Chi licked Jude's hand, I knew everything was going to be alright and she had found a safe, forever home.
Our original plan was to let her settle in for the night and not introduce her to Jude's other dingo, Banka Banka, until the following day but the dingoes had different plans. After observing them greet each other through the crate bars, we decided we would just open the door and see what happened.
The moment two dingoes meet one another and become friends is a very special one indeed and I can only describe it as a magical experience to behold. It was also a highly emotional experience as Jude and Banka Banka had suffered the heart wrenching loss of Jude's first dingo and Banka Banka's mate, Mardi Chi, in a tragic accident less than twelve months earlier. We watched the dingoes play and become familiar with each other until the early hours of the morning.
As I left that night, Jude's departing words were, "Kirsty, that dingo isn't going anywhere" and I knew I had done a very good thing. We were never sure whether Kelly Chi would stay with Jude because it was dependent on how she interacted with both Jude and Banka Banka.
The rescue and rehoming of this beautiful young dingo is one of the most special rescues I have ever done and the reason I feel this way is because the day this dingo arrived, I felt in my heart that I had not only saved her from a horrible outcome, I also felt in my heart that I had made a very dear friend happy and the legacy of Mardi Chi lives on in the preservation and education of the Australian Dingo, through Banka Banka..and now, Kelly Chi.