I certainly did not expect to be writing this at this point in time...a heartbreaking memorial for our beautiful girl, Bandit. We've been enjoying the beautiful Autumn weather in our new house in a new town that has been filled with engaging walks with Bandit and brother Wolfie filled with exciting exploration of the surrounding nature's beauty, new neighbors, and new doggie friends. Both Bandit and Wolf adjusted so well.
|Bandit the "Thief" in her glory! |
Chloe was closest to her, while Wolfie has always been more standoffish. He'd snuggle with Chloe, or his big brother Gibson the most. This past year, since it was just Bandit and Wolf, they became inseparable. Joint walks were a thrill! To think only one Pupster is left, is a tough one for me. Very tough and extremely surreal to go from a pack of five fluffers to one within four-and-a-half years; two last summer.
Bandit was our wild child of the pack. She was always healthy. Resilient. Tough. Smart. Silly. And totally self-reliant. Although easily sidetracked by passing insects and animals, our girl could survive in the wilderness if she had too! That is why her sudden downfall took us all by surprise. We all always thought that one day (we had hoped way, way in the future) she would be the last of the FiveSibes standing. But, as life goes, nothing is a sure thing. Not even for the strongest when it comes to that sonofabitch, cancer.
After Bandit's bout of medication for a UTI, I thought she was doing great. In true Siberian Husky form, Rebound Bandit had come back, tail wagging, being the best trained dog ever. Never even an accident in the house since a pup. But after one walk, I noticed her back legs looks a bit shakey. I kept an eye on her and figured her mild arthritis was flaring. Then this past week, there was a slip here, but she quickly covered it up and act normal. I put a call in to our new vet and started her on daily anti-inflammatories. Then suddenly came the low whimpering and crying at night. Some anti-inflammatory meds and full-spectrum hemp seemed to ease whatever was bothering her, most likely another arthritis flare.
In true Bandit style, she picked herself back up and walked around almost normal. Then two days ago, I felt in my gut something was not right, and apparently Wolfie picked up on something, too, because he sniffed her - all the time - everywhere. Then that night, she refused dinner. Very unlike her. Maybe it was pain, maybe a side effect of her medication? Yesterday (of course a Saturday when our vet office is closed), while breakfast did not entice her, after some deck time with my grandson and Wolfie, she seemed to eagerly accept bits of his fish sticks. Yay! All good signs, but I decided Monday I'd have the vet give her an exam and run some tests. I mean, we all don't feel like eating from time to time, right?
She was going out to potty before coming inside, when suddenly she collapsed. Down to the ground, yelping. We tried to pick her up, but she yelled out in obvious pain. When we were able to stand her up, her legs were caved in the back. They would no longer do what legs were supposed to do.
My heart sank. This was not a pulled muscle; nor another arthritis flare. I've been to this sucky rodeo before. My big sweet fluffy boy Gibson all of a sudden one day collapsed in the same fashion. At first, we thought it was ataxia from his epilepsy meds, or his weak hind end which plagued him most of his adult life due to the meds. But no. After rushing him to the ER hospital, he was bleeding from the spleen and spiked a 107℉. Transferring him to my vet in the morning, they hooked him up to an IV and brought him back...we brought him home and for a week, the techs came over and hooked him up to an IV in our living room in the hopes of getting him strong enough for a splenectomy. But sadly, once he was in surgery, our vet discovered an orange size tumor and cancer had spread throughout him. Bandit's older brother Gibson was felled by hemangiosarcoma.
Today, I was having serious déjà vu.
I was overcome by that familiar sick feeling as my heart was breaking--I knew deep down inside in the pit of my now sick stomach, it was going to be time to assist Bandit on her final journey to north of the Rainbow Bridge before her body started shutting down, just like Gibson. After a trip to the ER vet, it was confirmed that, her belly hard, she indeed had indications that she was bleeding internally, most likely her spleen. At the ER, she could not stand at all. The light of life had left her once bright blue and uber observant eyes. It was her time. While I wish she could have passed outdoors at home, with us and Wolf by her side like Chloe and Harley did, thankfully in this day of Covid-19, the new ER vet office was so compassionate and allowed family in to a private room to be with her (with masks, of course).
Even in her last moments, Bandit could give you a laugh. She was so many things, but topping the list, she was a lover. There was not a face she met that she didn't bestow with her passionate BandaBear kisses! Even on her last day here on earth, in her last moments, she gifted the ER vet one of her famous messy Sibe kisses.
And then she was gone.
I still cannot believe it. My heart is yet again broken, as is Wolfgang's-her brother, fellow Pupster, and constant companion since two months of age.
I like to think our girl is once again running Bandit-speed style toward sister Chloe, big bro Gibson, and momma Harley, who are all waiting for her in those forever snowy fields north of the Rainbow Bridge. But...if I know my BeeBee, she may not go directly to the north snowy fields to meet her family, she probably will take a sharp detour if a butterfly, buzzing bee, squirrel, opossum, bird, cat, or other dogs at the Bridge catch her attention! But my resilient Siberian Husky will eventually find her way to her furfamily.
Run free our beautiful Bandit...let your amazing Siberian spirit fly high. Don't take too long to meet your family--Harley, Gibson, and sis Chloe, are waiting for you.
We will love and miss you (and your kissing and silly antics) forever, our beloved BandaBear.
I will continue to share photos of Bandit with Wolfie in the future, for there are many new ones to enjoy. But first, I'll be once again taking a blogging break to mourn our loss and help my boy Wolf as he grieves. Thank you all for your love, support, and understanding.