Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bandit -- A Final Note

As readers of Naperville Now already know, we lost Bandit, our 18-year-old Shih-Tzu, last month while we were in Savannah.

He was 3 when we adopted him from the Hinsdale Humane Society. Surrendered by his family, for reasons I have yet to discern, Bandit was featured on this newfangled thing called the Internet. Our daughter AJ, then 11, was surfing through shelter websites, saw his picture and read his back story:

"Hisfamilydoesn'twanthimanymoreandyousaidifwefindaShih-Tzuthatneedsahomewecangethim.Pleaseohpleasecanwejusttakealook?Please?Heiscompletelyhypoallergenicandpottytrainedand
needsahome.Seehowcuteheis?Pleasecanwegethim?Please?"

 The next thing I remember, we were headed to the shelter.



One shave-down (his fancy Shih-Tzu hairdo was matted) and one discounted neuter later, he was ours.

His poor health in the last two years of his life has made us forget how entertaining he was in his youth. He ran through our house in mad bursts of gray and white energy. He could leap effortlessly onto our bed. He loved to snap off the eyes on all of his toys. He adored his walks (three times a day because I read that somewhere in a dog care book). The first week, he ate a loaf of white bread, leaving slices under Charlie's pillow and assorted seat cushions. If you sat down, he jumped onto your lap and snuggled in. He sat on a chair and watched us eat dinner every night. He was devoted to AJ, his saving grace, and to our eldest. More than anything, he hated to be left behind, so we didn't.

Since 1998, various family members have acquired Shih-Tzus, seduced as they were by Bandit's soft coat and effervescence. The most recent Shih-Tzu is Rudy, my sister-in-law's beloved pooch. He hates everyone on the planet except Johanna.

In memory of Bandit, Johanna sent a generous contribution to Shih-Tzu Ground Zero, also known as the Hinsdale Humane Society. She wrote:
The amazing thank you letter from the Hinsdale Humane Society was the only thank you note I've ever received that made me cry. According to their letter, part of it hand written, Bandit's memorial gift was responsible for vaccinations for 8 lab puppies so they could go to new homes, treatment for a respiratory infection in an older cat named Bailey so she could be adopted (you know that's why I fostered and eventually adopted my cat Jingle Belle. She had a respiratory infection I had to treat for 3 months and no one would take her.) Also a litter of 4 kittens were given their first set of shots. Even if they made it up, it was so powerful! Wow!!!
When I go, if anyone wants to send a memorial, it will go to the local Humane Society so other people can find the joy, the love and the companionship my precious Rudy has given me (even if he bites other people).
(When visiting Johanna, take bacon as a precaution. Just saying.)

It remains quiet around here.

We miss having a little buddy, but there is freedom in not worrying about who is available to go home and take Bandit out or give him a pill or rustle up a little Braunschweiger snack.

And every day is a little bit easier, a little less sad.

Mostly, we remember.

  

20 comments:

It's All Connected said...

Bandit leaves a proud legacy! See how your $10 cheque has multiplied itself over the last 18 yrs? Now, that's compound interest! ~ Maureen

The Other Me Is Sane said...

this brought on the tears for me of course! You did a lovely job of remembering your dog and letting everyone know there are so many little souls waiting to come home with someone soon.

Johanna said...

I read your beautiful post to Rudy. And he listened to every word with his head cocked to the side and seriously thinking. He asked that I remind your readers that he only bites non-family members. Except for Will who sometimes needs to be bitten. Rudy is the reason I can travel wherever and whenever without being afraid to be alone. He protects me! Our family love for our Shih Tzus is Bandit's best loving legacy!

Aunt Johanna said...

Now you need to publish the immortal words of Anna Johnpeter in her essay entitled "Why We Need a Shih Tzu." I remember reading it!

Golandfolre said...

Worth every penny!

Golandfolre said...

Worth every penny!

Naila Moon said...

Your 10 dollar check gave you lots of love. Sorry for the loss of yoru beloved pet.
~Naila Moon

http://imaphotographicgenius.blogspot.com/2012/05/b-is-forbooksalphabe-thursday.html

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

So sorry to read that you lost a beloved pet! They really are members of the family and it is sad when they depart. Take solace in that you gave Bandit a good life and that he shared many good times with you all. {{Hugs}}}

Sharon said...

You're amazing lady!

Judie said...

First we lost Watson, our wild boy Maltese, who was a loyal companion for 16 years. Then we lost our Precious girl, a feisty, 14 year old Yorkie who actually chose us for her family. Our hearts were broken two years ago when we had to make that decision we knew was for the best. We now have Mulligan, a mixed breed that we rescued, and Little Liz, another Yorkie who is constantly getting into serious trouble, first by being bitten by a rattlesnake last year, and more recently by jumping wildly into a barrel cactus chest first. That adventure cost us $1200 at the emergency vet, but we paid it gladly!

Our pets are like our children without orthodontia or college expenses. They bring calm and unconditional love into our lives, and make us better people.

VBR said...

Those who rescue animals are really angels on earth. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story.

anitamombanita said...

Sorry for your loss. My mother-in-law had a shitzu that passed away about 8 months ago. She was 12 or 13 and nearly blind and totally deaf...it was sad to see her go. As dog lovers, it's always sad when we lose one.

Cathy said...

I'm so sorry. :( I can only imagine how you all must feel. The letter from the Humane Society was a wonderful touch. I loved it.

Riet said...

What a beautiful post, lots of sweet memories

Erika, Artful Rising said...

What a wonderful story of Bandit and his rescue.I help create journals with rescue animals on them -- what a great way to give back and remind others that a great pet can be saved.

Annesphamily said...

You have a beautiful family. Your life was blessed with Bandit! The donation you made was giving another pet better life. Thank you for the kind heart you have! We have a Bandit, he is 11 and a Rat Terrier. Needs to have his bad teeth pulled. A shaky little fellow but loved by all here at our home. I like the share otday and your bounty of memories with your Bandit. Blessings to all at your home. Have a beautiful weekend.

Jo said...

oh, I am so sorry that you lost your beloved Bandit ... what a beautiful pal! Pets truly do love us back and it is always so sad when we lose one! Kudos to you for choosing a rescue dog!

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm sorry for your loss but happy you have many wonderful memories.

Kathy and Freddy said...

A lovely Bandit story. It brought many tears to my eye.
I miss him. Fred stops every day hoping Bandit will come bouncing out, tail a-wagging, but no.
He was lucky to have had such a wonderful, caring family.

Jenny said...

What a beautiful story.

I'm glad you gave Bandit a forever home.

It sounds like the love was mutual.

This brought tears to my eyes.

Bless you.

Thank you for sharing this story.

A+