Thread: bandits story
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Old 03-31-2018, 10:45 AM
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carolc carolc is offline
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Default bandits story

this will be long. i just need to share my grief and story.

15 years ago we lost our teenage son due to an accident. totally different grief, but a pain i NEVER EVER wanted to reopen.
in 2006 we got a dog, Tink. she's part sheppard, part rottie, we think? she's a good dog, totally laid back. but we knew she was bored. so a few years later, we started searching for a buddy for her. she hates other dogs, she acts like a rabid animal when she sees them. so the search was hard. my daughter found a rescue group, they were having a meet and greet so we went. there was bandit, he was 3 years old, same age as tink. i never liked little dogs, i just assumed they were all ankle biters. but i thought he was the cutest little guy, so we put in an application. They brought him over to meet Tink, i was shocked! they hit it off right away! so we got to keep him. They told me he couldnt be around cats, i lied and said we didnt have any. we actually had 4. But, i know cats take care of business. They taught him some hard lessons in his 1st weeks here. eventually they all became buddies. We were told his owners had to surrender him because they were moving. I think they didnt want him becuase he was so bad. and he was very food aggressive. over time, he learned to trust us. it took a lot of time for that. and if i went to pet him or pick him up, he would cower. clearly someone was hurting him.
he was also a runner, you open a door and he's gone. we spent many days out searching for him. he would only come if Tink was with us.
Bandit and Tink would run and wrestle for hours, it was so funny to watch! I was working back then, I came home one day and my couch cushion was gone, he ate it. he was sitting in the hole looking at me with stuffing all over. I was so angry, but laughed at the same time. how can such a small dog cause so much mess? so i crated him after that. He would steal my baking things and hoard them in his crate, flour, bowls, etc. we joked he was going to give baking a whirl while i was out.
One time he ate an entire bag of dark chocolate. he was in the ER all night for that. luckily he threw up most of it, all over the other couch. we ended up keeping all doors closed, nothing near his reach, and put child locks on the cabinets.
over the years we took them hiking in the blue ridge mountains, took them to the beach, we always took them on vacations with us. so if it wasnt pet friendly, we didnt go. in the summers, i would lay in the pool on a raft, he would either climb over on me or swim to me, he loved floating around on the raft. he loved that pool! tink not so much!
about 4 years ago he was getting his teeth cleaned, he had dumpster breath, it was horrid! thats when they heard his heart murmur. they never heard it before because he's so wild. they asked if he coughed, i said only at bedtime. TA DA! thats why! they did xrays, his heart was enlarged. that started the large supply of meds. after that, he couldnt do hikes anymore. we still took him to the mountains but i stayed back with him. when he walked, he would stop and jump for me to carry him. i just thought he was being cute, no, he really couldnt do it. so his walks got scaled back to very short ones. and never in the summer. this is around the time he sort of slowed down more. at bedtime i tucked him in, being a min pin, he loves being wrapped in blankets. i would kiss his ears and he would make noises like growling but not. i cant explain it. so i would make the same sound. he would do it again. as my husband laid in bed saying he's a person you know!
a few years ago he went to the dr. for a skin issue. the vet said he's really pot bellied, i want to test for cushings but its expensive to treat. i said thats fine, he's too young, test him. we did several tests and he was cushingoid. the cost of the trilostane made my eyes pop! so now he's taking 3 heart meds and the trilostane. twice a day, he took it like candy. i was grateful for his appetite, he would eat anything.
at this point he stopped running away. he always stayed in the yard watching the deer and fox in the field next to us. Tink likes chases them. their favorite game was running outside body slamming each other. or playing tug of war with toys. in the last few years, he has slowed down a lot.
back in early october he started "asking" to sleep in my bed. i let him, but he was wetting the bed. and he was hungry and thirsty around the clock. thats when he was diagnosed with diabetes. that was a tough battle! but one i think he would have been ok with.
this last month has been the hardest to watch. he went from a silly, black shiny dog to a depressed gray dog over night. his hair totally changed, so much that the vet tech asked why he had long hair suddenly. i have no idea how that happened but it seemed with each seizure, he got more white and fuzzy. The vet asked if i wanted to do an MRI a few weeks ago, i said no. if it was a brain tumor, they couldnt do anything anyway. so i will never know what really happened. Someday bandit can explain it to me. he wouldnt eat dog food anymore, so the 2nd shelf in the fridge was dedicated to bandits dinners i made.
this week was the worst, he just wasnt himself. he stopped eating thursday. and I always said if i had to make the decision to put him down, i was taking him to mcdonalds 1st and getting him one of everything. especially a milkshake. but i probably wouldnt have been able to anyway. watching him die was heartbreaking. he kept going outside and laying in the grass far from the house. it was drizzling and he hates rain. so i would go bring him in. i know what he was doing, but i wanted him comfy on his couch. listening to his yell while he died was horrible, i dont think i'll ever forget that. i regret not telling the vet to put him down that morning. something in my gut kept telling me to let him go. i should learn to listen to myself.
i was fine, actually relieved it was over. it was like a weight lifted off me. UNTIL I looked at photos on my phone. i wasnt fine last night. Tink didnt seem to care last night. I was up most of the night tossing and turning, listening for him. Woke up at 6 thinking "shit i forgot his insulin!" he usually got it at 5am. Tink started looking around, she hasnt eaten yet. a little later i had to go food shopping, i felt bad leaving tink. but we're out of everything.
back to my original human grief, while at the store i lost it. I was looking at vegetables thinking, oh he would have liked that or that. (i wonder what people thought, crying at veggies?) I did the same thing after my son died. i couldnt even go down the cereal isle, that was his favorite thing to eat. This grief is different, very much but its also the same. I know it wont last as long and the pain isnt AS deep. but my heart hurts. and its a pain i never thought i'd have to revisit. I packed that away. i thought. as hard as it was having him, with all his shinnanigans, i wouldnt trade it for a second. we changed everything aspect of our lives for him, and now its just habit. "lock the sliding door, bandit will open it. shut the pantry door, bandit will go shopping. lock the garbage cabinet, bandit will tear the bag out. keep your purse high up, bandit will steal everything out of it. put your clothes away, bandit will eat them." someone said to me years ago if he was her dog, she would have gotten rid of him. i said no i love him. and even though he's bad, he is still my furry child. she's no longer a friend. I'm honored he came to our lives, and i think we showed him that humans are trustworthy and capable of love.
this is painful for me but i understand. Watching tink "look" for him is even more painful. she does a little bit of a whine, she runs outside looking around then comes back in. I dont know what she understands. but i'm giving her space. she knows she was always second fiddle to him, i admit it he was my favorite. so i'm just trying to treat her the same for now. she'll take front seat soon enough.
its so hard to believe hes gone. I was reading about other recent deaths here last night, and i am so sorry. looks like bandit and lacy both died yesterday. and poor gus has only been gone for 3 weeks. I like to think right now they're all body slamming in fields, running through creeks, eating chocolate, ice cream, chips, and all the crap they could never have before. and bandit is holding a happy meal box in his paw that he paid for with the credit card he stole out of my purse.

sorry that was so long, i find it theraputic to write. it helped me before.
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