Tuesday, June 29, 2010
"Bambi" July 23, 1997 - June 22, 2010
We've had Bambi since she was a tiny little round puppy. We almost didn't even get her. I remember it very clearly, even though it happened nearly 13 years ago. I had called the breeder and they only had one girl in the litter, but she was already promised to someone else. I was so disappointed, because we were all ready to get the puppy, had saved the money and everything. We were gonna surprise my mom. This particular breeder had been recommended by a couple of independent sources, so I just felt it was the right place to go. But she wouldn't have any more litters that year.
A couple of days after she told me she didn't have anything for me, I decided to call her back one more time. Just in case. Maybe she knew someone else who had puppies now. But then the best thing happened. Turns out the other person hadn't shown to pick up the puppy so she was available again. We were so excited, driving out to Olcott, NY, nearly an hour away, to see her. We thought we were going to see the puppy, discuss it, put down a deposit, come back to get her the next week. Then we saw this little tiny ball of fur, all round and cuddly and playful and we had to have her. That minute. I wrote the check and we drove home in the dark with her shivering, tucked into the front of my husband's jacket.
We came home and put the puppy in a large paper bag to bring her to my mom. We had to wake her up to tell her we'd brought home a doggy bag from dinner. Surprise!! From that Friday night in October of 1997 to the very end, Bambi was the sweetest, most beautiful, patient, loving companion we could have had.
In November 2007, we thought we were going to lose her. She became very ill and had to be taken to the emergency vet. Her lungs had filled with fluid. They said she had an enlarged heart and liver. They wanted to put her down then, but I insisted that as soon as she was breathing properly, we were taking her home. We took her to see our vet the next day and she was diagnosed with Cushings. Turns out a lot of the things we thought were part of old age were actually because of the disease. Once she was on the medication, she perked up again, became more active and lost a lot of weight. She had been very overweight, which was another sign of her illness and not just that she loved food.
And she did love food. She would eat anything you were eating, right off your fork or spoon, if you let her. My mother has eaten most of her meals that way over the last few years. One bite for mom, one for Bambi. Sometimes she just made up a plate for Bambi. Noodles were Bambi's very favorite and if you even mentioned them, her ears would lift up and she would tilt her head, ready to eat any and all noodles that were forthcoming.
Once, she modeled for Tops Markets, making the cover of their pet flyer. They told me she was the best dog they ever photographed, cause she just sat where they put her and smiled at the camera. What they didn't realize is that Bambi was just a very polite and patient girl. She always just sat where ever you put her. Maybe it was just easier than trying to do something else. She instinctively learned to do things that good dogs did, like wait for you to go first and walk next to you when on a leash. Certainly it's nothing we ever taught her to do. She slept in our bed, usually taking over one (or more) of our pillows, so that we had to sleep further down on the bed. How one little tiny dog managed to lay her body out over several pillows at once is still a mystery to me.
I know that we were blessed to have had in our lives. I'm thankful that we had the additional time with her that was almost lost to us. But even so, there's a hole in my heart and it aches.
I miss her. I know I will for a very long time.