Bambi came to us at an unknown age, guess-timated at around 16-17 years of age.
Found as a stray in Miami, it was obvious she had been bred many times, and she was almost completely bald (alopecia), and needed some surgical attention. Her teeth were rotten, she lost them all in a dental, she was spayed at the same time and had multiple mammary tumors removed. She had it pretty rough for the next few days, the surgery taking its toll on her aged body, but she recovered and though we did not have her long, she graced our home with her resilient presence.
Bambi was also blind and deaf, yet she learned to navigate the house and would fend off any dog who came by to sneak some of her food! She let us know when she needed to go out, and relished rolling on her back to itch herself in the green summer grass and warm sun.
This precious and elegant lady lost her life to inner ear cancer after only six short months with us. In that tme, my family and I learned what it means to live life to the fullest and with grace and dignity. Bambi taught us the respect that the world has, for the most part, lost for its elders.
She was buried in our backyard, under my bedroom window, with a Native American ceremony, incense, bells and candles, with all of us who loved her there to see her off to the Rainbow Bridge.
To this day, she remains our first and most precious angel and we still miss her. She was and is loved as if she had always been a member of our family.
Valentino was another shelter stray out of the Miami area. We didn't know his name, and since we got him in February, we knew what to call him! He was of unknown age and his time was short, deemed too old to be adopted. He was toothless, but had the spirit of a lion, and ate his kibble with gusto. His gums were obviously toughened over years of having no choice but to eat hard food with no teeth.
A galant dog, smart and loving, he was instantly a member of our family, making himself right at home. His favorite place was with me, in his "master's" bed! He is loved and missed dearly, still alive in our hearts and memory.