Florida man Miguel Rojas found himself in a Miami hospital in early 2016 after his pet pup was fatally mauled in a vicious street attack. Understandably, the poor man was traumatized following the shocking ordeal. But then he received a surprise that left him in floods of tears.
Miguel and his wife, Ada, are retired and live near the airport in West Miami, FL. In January 2016 the elderly couple were 89 and 83 years of age, respectively. And they very much enjoyed the company of Gucci, their beloved three-year-old Chihuahua, and treated him as one of the family.
So naturally the Rojases were utterly devastated when their time with Gucci was tragically cut short. Ada had been walking with their pet in the local neighborhood on Thursday, January 8, when they apparently came across two loose American Bulldog mixes. Miami-Dade Animal Services reported that the larger stray dog mauled the five-pound Chihuahua viciously, as Ada and some of her neighbors tried desperately to fight the attacker off.
Sadly, by the time the unprovoked assault was over, Gucci was left fighting for his life. Miguel was summoned to recover the poor Chihuahua, and he bundled the dog up and rushed him back home. However, it seems that Miguel’s heightened emotions led to a rise in his blood pressure, and soon the elderly guy was in serious trouble, too.
In fact, when Miguel reached his address, he suffered a mild heart attack, and the emergency services were called. Miguel’s daughter, Ada Rojas Jr., spoke to local TV channel WPLG about the incident the day after it happened. She recalled, “He just cuddled the dog, ran all the way back to the house and started crying, crying, crying until – I guess – he had the heart attack.”
Tragically, little Gucci was not strong enough to survive the attack. Not that his elderly owners escaped the ordeal unscathed. As well as Miguel’s woes, Ada severely injured an arm in her apparent efforts to rescue her beloved pet. As a result, the retiree reportedly needed some 100 stitches to fix the damage.
Meanwhile, Miguel was in safe hands and recovering from his minor cardiac episode at South Miami Hospital. His blood pressure was stabilized, but there was nothing they could do for what ailed Miguel most: a broken heart. No, nothing could comfort the poor man after the terrible loss of his little pet.
But the attack on Gucci was so shocking that word of it soon began to spread on social media. The online community was also concerned about how devastated the Rojases were over the appalling death of their dog. And later that same day, local television news crews picked up the story.
In fact, it was through a TV broadcast that Thursday evening that a kind stranger learned about the Rojas’ loss. That’s when the shockingly sad story began to turn around. Yes, local viewer Mario Cambo decided to make a difference. “I saw the story yesterday, and right away I said I needed to do something, and I did something because this broke my heart,” he told regional broadcaster CBS Miami. “From the bottom of my heart, this story broke me up.”
With that in mind, Cambo contacted specialist breeders the We Puppy Paws Kennel in Homestead, South Miami, in an effort to make things better for Miguel and Ada. He told the facility’s owner, Lynn Broderick, about his thoughtful intention to purchase the couple a replacement puppy, and it touched the woman’s heart. The dog breeder then decided that she would like to help as well.
As a result, Broderick sold Cambo a baby Chihuahua at a half-price discount of $300. She told CBS Miami that she had knocked so much money off the bill because the story of Gucci’s death and the Rojas’ loss affected her so much. “It just broke my heart, and I wanted to do something,” Broderick revealed.
But it was Bina Fink Kohl, a friend of the Rojas family, who delivered the nine-week-old Chihuahua to the Rojas’ door on Friday, January 9 – just one day after Gucci had passed. Thankfully, Miguel had been released from South Miami Hospital in time for the surprise. Needless to say, the Rojases were overwhelmed by the strangers’ act of kindness. Miguel, in particular, just could not control his tears as he took the puppy into his arms.
Nevertheless, they were tears of sorrow as well as joy, despite the emotional Miguel lifting the new arrival to his face and crying out “contento.” Later, he told a CBS Miami reporter that he was “happy” but also “sad.” And bearing in mind what the old guy had been through in the previous 24 hours, it was hardly surprising that he was suffering from mixed emotions.
However, Ada was quick to add that the new Chihuahua puppy – soon to be called Willy – had given the elderly couple hope in their darkest hour. “We felt Gucci’s death very big, and this dog made us want to continue to live,” she explained to the TV reporter. “We did not feel like living. God has given us a gift.”
Ada Jr. was also overcome with bittersweet emotions. “I am numb with happiness, and I am numb with pain to see my father suffering tremendously since the puppy deceased yesterday,” she told the crew from WPLG. “They are not animals. They are family.”
She went on to add, “If someone came and offered me a million dollars, I don’t want it. I don’t want the $700-million lottery. We don’t want any of it. We just received unconditional love for my parents. I don’t want any money. To me, what is going on right now, I am already a winner.”
As Willy settled into his new life in the grateful Rojas household, the dogs who had attacked Ada and caused Gucci’s death were experiencing much less comfortable accommodation. In fact, the Miami-Dade Animal Services Department seized both stray American Bulldog mixes successfully.
Lillian Bohorquez, a communications officer for the local government agency, assured WPLG that the male and female animals were safely under lock and key. She revealed that the male mutt was found to have a microchip fitted. However, the department had been unable to contact the owner. Since this dog had not been directly involved in the killing of Gucci, it was likely that he would be released if his owner came forward.
But, Bohorquez said, it was a different story for the female American Bulldog mix. She was not microchipped, and her owners had not made themselves known. The female had been solely responsible for the fatal attack on Gucci, too. So following a time limit of ten days in quarantine, the animal faced the prospect of being put down for her actions.
It had turned out to be less of a sad ending for the Rojas retirees, though, thanks to the kindness of strangers. Miguel and Ada may never forget their dear Gucci, but they were now looking forward to a future with Willy. As Ada Jr. told WPLG, “We’ve lost one of our family members, but this is going to allow my father today to sleep and maybe he will feel a little bit better.”