“His name is Bandit,” our friend, Vickie, said to Debra recently at a party. I caught the tail end of their conversation. “Who is Bandit?” I asked. “He’s a little black and white Chihuahua that’s looking for a new home,” Vickie said with a big smile on her face. “And?” I replied. “You and Debra need to adopt him,” she replied.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want a new dog. Debra and I had just been through a lot with her multiple knee surgeries over the last few years. At the same time, Georgie, our previous dog, was getting older and his health was failing. My hands were full and, after Georgie died almost two years ago, I needed a break.
All of us who have ever had a companion animal become a part of our family know how hard it is to say goodbye when the dreaded time comes. A dog’s love is unconditional and the tail wags and wet kissed unlimited. No matter how tired you are when you return home after a long day, they are always willing to welcome you with open paws.
There has not been a day since Georgie died that I haven’t missed him and expected him to be waiting for me at the backdoor when I came home. It takes time to make the adjustment of the house being without a furry friend to greet you, jump up in your lap and cuddle.
After Georgie died, Debra had another surgery and she said more than once how much she missed Georgie’s little warm body curled up against hers in the sick bed during her long and painful recovery. I commiserated but still I didn’t think we were ready for another dog. Georgie had been so perfect that we both knew he would be hard to replace.
Every time Debra brought up the subject of getting a new dog, I tried to convince her that the time just wasn’t right. I could tell she never bought my argument but she would graciously let it go for at least a few days until she voiced her desire again. I could see in her eyes a sadness that melted away every time she said, “Mark, I want a puppy.”
Vickie knew my weakness and conspired with Debra about little Bandit. She made calls to us on more than one occasion and even sent full color photos of Bandit in all his awesome cuteness. “Mark, he’s perfect for y’all! He’s two years old, already house trained, and being fostered until he finds a forever home,” Vickie pleaded, refusing to give up. From the very start, I was outnumbered and didn’t stand a chance.
One day our backdoor bell rang and I opened the door to be greeted by Vickie and Bandit. I jokingly closed the door in their faces but not before my eyes met with Bandit’s. It was love at first sight and I knew I had lost the battle and won a forever furry friend.
Bandit is four pounds of joy. He is cuddly, cute and has a great personality. He has a beautiful, shiny black coat that looks like mink when the sun shines on it. One of his ears stands up and the other one refuses to, remaining in a flopped down position. He appears to be wearing a tuxedo with his white chest and his paws look like he fell into a cookies and cream Blizzard and didn’t clean them off.
Bandit Ballard likes his new home. He immediately spotted a portrait of another dog hanging in our living room. He wanted to know who he was. I told him it was Georgie. He looked at me and then back at the portrait and said in the cutest dog voice ever, “I want you to draw me. I live here now!” So, I did. There is no doubt who is already in control of this house and will be for many years to come.
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