Your Pet Loss Stories

'My Darling Bandit'

by Shelley Francis
(Ottawa, Ontario Canada)

When Bandit came into my life, he was a very thin and extremely fearful 18 month old Chiuaua/whippet mix. When I first went to see him he barked and snarled a bit and hid behind his owner. She did not want him and I decided I would try taking him home and see how it went. I was not sure but I gave it a much needed chance and believe it or not I became his one and only true love. We were inseparable from that point on.

Bandit was a very special dog (true dog lovers know what I mean) we had a connection with each other. Strange as it sounds he was very in touch with my emotions as well as his own. On the occasion when I was down or sad Bandit would come very slowly to me and gradually seat himself upon my lap and look into my tear filled eyes. He would then press his white, soft body against mine very close to me, and just be there. This is one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I felt truly loved and understood. We had wonderful times together; when we walked, he would always look back at me to make sure he was going in the right direction and that I was still there. There were nine years to follow of just a terrific relationship between us.

Bandit always had a mitral valve prolapse of his heart, but he was taking medication and a very active little dog who did not seem very bothered at all with his condition. In the end I took him for a routine blood test because he was coughing a little more than usual in the winter months due to his heart problem. After they shaved his neck to take blood and said his blood count was fine I took him home. After just one week he started becoming extremely lethargic and I took him in again, and they said he had "hemolytic anemia" a fatal condition. I believe it was due to the shaffing of his skin which can cause hemolytic anemia ( basically the red blood cells are consuming themselves because they think it is a foreign body).

My world completely fell apart. I now knew the meaning of grief on a scale I have never experienced before. I could not accept it, they told me his only option may be to undergo a complete blood transfusion. I pulled out all of the stops but I also knew they only had a fifty percent success rate and due to his age and heart, he very likely would not make it. I thought things were getting better because of his blood count but he took a turn for the worst. I had to make the excruciatingly painful decision to put his suffering to an end. If I did not he would suffer cardiac and respiratory distress. I could not bear to witness this so I gave my angel his wings that night. I screamed and completely lost my mind sobbing for actually months on end.

Bandit was my soulmate and I deeply loved him. I was heart broken and sick with grief for a year following and I can at least think of him now without breaking down every time. It took a very long time before I could even walk in my neighbourhood again without crying. I see him now when I dream at night and have made several beautiful poems. Just remember If you are going through this right now and you are crying so much you can't breath I am there with you and it will get better but you must give it time, it is a slow process. After all you just lost your deepest friend. For now just cry yourself to sleep and hold on to his or her collar with the tinkly things or bells and dream. All of our dogs are together at the Rainbow Bridge.

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