December 12th, 2008

Mindy's head shot

Goodbye Bandit

Last week, my 13 1/2 year old Siberian Husky died. We knew she was getting old for a husky, but thought we still had more time left with her. At least she didn't suffer. As soon as we saw her have a seizure, we brought her to the vet, but there was nothing they could do for her. It's been way too quiet in the house without Bandit--sometimes I still expect her to greet me at the door, hang out in my office while I write, and beg for snacks, walks, or a ride in the car.

Here are some random thoughts about my sweet husky, who I still called a puppy until the day she died, because she had so much spunk.

About fourteen years ago, my brother died and four months later, my dad passed away. I felt such a huge hole in my life. Hubby and I didn't plan to buy a dog, but we saw those beautiful blue eyes, and just had to play with her. She showed her spunk right away, but I also wanted a cuddler, so I was told to pick her up. She was twelve pounds at the time, and she licked my face,lay her head on my shoulder, sighed, and fell asleep. At that moment, we knew she had to be part of our family.

My girls grew up with Bandit. I used to put her in a down/stay command when they were babies, and she'd crawl until she reached them. We watched a lot of baby videos this week, and most of them had at least a paw or snout. Bandit followed my girls everywhere--always full of kisses and cuddles. Bandit curled around Becca when she first learned to sit by herself, and my dog would press her nose into Becca's back to help steady her. I'll never forget the time she licked Becca's foot, then sneezed--it was the first time my daughter laughed!

When my grandma was sick, couldn't remember the names of relatives, and wouldn't get out of bed, I hopped in the car with Bandit and Gram seemed to be back to her usual self the second Bandit ran over to lick her.

I loved listening to Bandit talk. She'd do it throughout the day, but especially in the morning. I wish I knew what she was saying--I could usually tell the difference from her let me out, play with me because I'm bored, and feed me barks. She also learned to say I love you. Well, it was more like Ri ruv rooo! I'm glad she said it to me the day before she died.

Bandit brought so much love into our family. The house feels so empty without her. I don't think I'll ever be able to walk by one of her favorite spots without thinking about my sweet husky. She helped inspire so many of my book ideas. One of the earlier ones is a picture book called PLEASE DON'T EAT MY GUINEA PIG. She never did more than sniff and lick my daughter's pet though! The manuscript she helped inspire the most is a middle grade novel called ADVENTURES OF BRA GIRL. Bandit was terrified of storms, and used to try to hide under my desk or bury her head in my lap at the first crack of thunder. She helped me come up with the idea of my main character drawing a comic about Scaredy Dog, who is always attacked by giant dog-eating obstacles. She based it on her own pup--who ra roo's and plays bone hockey like Bandit did. I already loved that manuscript--but now it will mean even more when it is published!
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