Bandit, affectionately known as Baby Boy Bandit, came into my life in 2002 fresh off a plane from Puerto Rico through the Save a Sato Foundation and Danbury Animal Welfare Society. A twenty–five pound, street-smart firecracker with an insatiable appetite for all things new, Bandit had a mouthful of kisses and a quirky disposition. Instantly the house clown, he immediately bonded with my elder dog Killian, and kept us all young at heart with his unconditional love and enthusiasm for everything and everyone he met. Quite the character with six toes and an endearing under bite full of cracked up teeth and ready with endless kisses, he was the most loyal, sweetest little baby boy dog I could have rescued.
On June 16, 2006, Bandit became acutely ill and was delivered to the able hands of our local emergency clinic. After three grueling days and various transfusions and treatments, he painstakingly succumbed to Lyme disease. Despite a Lyme vaccination, yard spraying, and monthly topical treatments, Bandit contracted Lyme Disease, but an earlier treated parasite most likely masked his deeper sickness until he was gravely ill. Bandit’s affection and kind soul did not go unnoticed by members of the animal hospital staff; one member held him all night in his dog crate while he underwent plasma transfusions. Unlike humans, our dog children cannot verbally comfort us during difficult decisions. With a wag of the tail, he rested his head on my arm and let out a labored sigh of forgiveness.
On June 19, 2006, I vowed to honor Bandit and the love he had granted my family, because we believe that it was he who rescued us. Bandit was a champion of living. Strangers were his friends, and friends were his heroes. He lived for every moment, giving everything he had to whatever he was doing, whether running, playing, snuggling, or fighting for life. Every day that goes by this little being’s memory is a powerful reminder that life is fleeting— dreams are meant for chasing, and kindness should be contagious. If we all treated one another the way Bandit treated us, the world would be a happy, happy place to live.