When I was six years old and living on Clearview Drive in Metairie, feeding Bambi, the family dog, in the evening was my job. It was my favorite time of day. She followed me as I carried her bowl of food to the back yard in front of the garage where I sat to visit while she ate. Bambi was great company and didn’t mind that I chatted over her dinner. She gulped her food quickly, licked the bowl, and then climbed in my lap. Bambi was a blond cocker spaniel with a tail that wagged fast and often. A closer buddy a girl couldn’t have — I knew she felt the same about me. Her large brown eyes caressed me, and her silky hair soothed my childhood woes. She followed me everywhere and listened to all I said. Her responses to me were positive, even when I was sad. She gave hugs any time I wanted one. Saint Bambi.
Much of my free time was spent drawing, sitting on the floor with paper and pencil, with Bambi at my side. She was always interested and always had time for me. At age six, washing the dinner dishes hadn’t been assigned to me yet so I got to feed the dog after dinner for a while longer. How I loved how she looked at me when I picked up the bowl of food! I can still see those eyes drilling into mine. Did she know that more than 60 years later I would remember her sweet temperament, soft touch and unconditional love?