He Who Finds Mercy series

Monday, February 10, 2014

RIP Bandi 1999-2014

The two pups
Fifteen years ago a sweet puppy joined our family. Robert, who had just turned nine, had saved the shelter's adoption fee for over a year and we went to see what dogs were available. This little pup was the only one who wasn't barking; she sat in her kennel wearing a bandana and looking cute, so of course Robert chose her. The shelter employees had been calling her "Bandit" but Robert changed it to "Bandi." And so began our adventure.

We didn't know her actual "birth day" but since we adopted her on June 14, 1999 and the shelter guessed she was about four months old, we set her birthday on February 14th. She weighed about ten pounds but quickly grew and stayed about 28-30 pounds for the rest of her life.

Since we didn't know her history, we could only guess at her ancestry. As she grew to maturity she appeared to have some Corgi and some Sheltie, but we never figured out where her TAIL came from--it was as long as her long body and feathered. When she trotted around the yard, she held it up like a sail. She had a very thick undercoat and we had to get it cut each year so she could handle our brutal Texas summers.

For a long time she would bark at my husband's shoes, whether or not they were on his size 13 feet, and we guessed that someone may have kicked her. Fortunately she got over that memory, but until the last year of her life she still barked at most men.

Bandi was an outside dog at first. We provided her with a doghouse, which she of course never slept in. She preferred to sit on top of it, Snoopy-style. If she needed shelter, she climbed into our large canoe, which we kept upside-down against the fence. Otherwise she'd dig a hole for herself. She was a digger, as well as a chewer. And she would eat ANYTHING--including plastic, aluminum cans, plants, dead birds and other small animals, cat droppings, etc.
Bandi loved peanut butter (as well as the plastic jar)
Robert was determined to train her and checked out every video at the public library on training dogs. She learned quickly, and Robert soon taught her to come, sit, lie down, heel, and shake. He even taught her to "shake right" and "shake left." She loved going for walks, but she hated riding in the car. And we soon discovered she absolutely HATED thunderstorms, which is one reason she learned to open the gate and escape, and how she was hit by a car when she was only 18 months old.
Bandi did not like cameras
When the vet put the rod in her back leg, he said her tree climbing days were over, but she did manage to get back the "spring" her in legs and was soon leaping back to the roof of her doghouse. When I bought my Dad's pickup from him, her new favorite activity was to leap from the ground onto the seat of the cab and ride with me on my errands. She was never afraid of the pickup cab like she was riding in the car, but she would NOT stay in the bed of the truck. In fact she cracked a rib when she jumped out of the bed when the truck still belonged to my Dad and he was bringing my husband, both sons, and the dog back from his house.
Robert and Bandi reunited after his first semester away
Once Robert moved six hours away to go to college, Bandi transferred her loyalty to me, since she was a "one person dog." Of course she always knew me as a member of her pack, and was especially sweet to me during chemo, lying beside me while I camped out on the living room couch. (Yes, by this time she was becoming an inside dog.)
"Point that camera somewhere else."
Eventually she lost her hearing and then her eyesight, and dementia consumed her brain to the point where she did not know where she was 99% of the time. She glued herself to me, afraid of getting "lost" and then she didn't know who I was any more. It was so sad to see this animated body with nobody at home, and when her pacing became almost non-stop, it seemed cruel to leave her in that lost state.

So now she's gone to that doghouse in the sky, and I'm sure she's sitting on top of it.

Thanks for being such a good dog, Bandi, even when you were chewing things you shouldn't have. We'll miss you, girl.
Bandi and me 2006



4 comments:

  1. Katy, I had my Sheba for 15 years, a lovely collie-shepherd cross who was afraid of cigarettes and men with hats. She left us ten years ago, and not a day goes by that I don't think of her and the great joy she gave us. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know you will all miss her until the end of your days. Bless your family for giving her such a loving home and a great, long life. <3

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    1. Oh, thank you, Anne-Marie! Thank you for sharing about Sheba, too. It's so easy to become attached to these sweet, loyal friends because they are the embodiment of unconditional love. ((HUG))

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  2. So sorry for your loss, Katy. What a gap they leave when they're gone. =(

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    1. Thank you, Ann. You're certainly right about the "gap" they leave! :(

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