Saturday, October 24, 2020

Goodbye To Our #FiveSibes Beautiful Bandit ~ Love You Always, Sweet Bee



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. 



A recent portrait I love of Bandit and Wolfie in our backyard my daughter took.

 

Buddies...Bandit & my grandson!
 
Today, a glorious Autumn day filled with falling leaves and a crispness to the air, Bandit and Wolf were watching my toddler grandson--the pupsters' very best and favorite human--play with his trains out on the deck. But our day suddenly took a fast and heartbreaking turn before the sun set.

Our sweet Bee (one of our many nicknames for our girl, Bandit!), who along with her brother Wolf, would be turning 13 this January so while our Pupsters have always acted like puppies, and although I have them on a senior diet with supplements, I hate to admit that they are senior dogs. And naturally,  along with age comes some of those issues elderly dogs deal with. While she has had some arthritis, it has not slowed her down one bit! Then in recent months she has had several bouts of ear infections, and most recently a UTI. All of which had been treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication prescribed by our vet. And each time, she was back to good health, enjoying walks, Husky play with Wolfie, participating in this summer's virtual #StepsForStrays, getting treats from my grandson, and going for walks where the neighboring deer, dogs, and squirrels always put her into sled dog overdrive!

If you have been following us here at FiveSibes, you know Bandit and Wolfie are two of three littermates we brought home at two months old and I dubbed them the "Pupsters." (We lost sweet sister Chloe suddenly and shockingly last summer to acute liver failure, and three months later, our alpha queen (unrelated by blood) and momma dog, Harley earned her wings at 14-and-a-half). 

The Pupsters were always a Husky handful of fun and mayhem! I was so thrilled we were able to bring home three puppies and raise them together forever. And they were so bonded, as a brother and sisters could be! 

Bandit the "Thief" in her glory!
Bandit was always the alpha of the three and the bossy one! Her name fit her to the B! It's amazing how she grew to fill her moniker pefectly. If they had toys, they would all wind up being "stolen" by Bandit and found under her on her bed or in her favorite hiding place (under our kitchen nook bench)! If you ever saw the movie, "Finding Nemo" and recall the scene with the seagulls going, "Mine. Mine. Mine," that was our Bandit! 

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.

Walking around the new neighborhood.
 
Enjoying campfires with the family. 

Bandit on deer alert!

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.

Bandit posing in all of her pupster alpha glory, circa 2018

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. 

Siblings. Littermates. Best Friends.

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?

Wrong.

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).

 

Bandit loved my grandson, and especially giving him her kisses!

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.

 Bandit in her snowy glory, Winter 2019
 
FiveSibes heyday: Bandit enjoying ice cream birthday cake time with all of the FiveSibes family.
 

Forever immortalized as FiveSibes cartoons in my children's books.


Me and Bee enjoying a quiet moment this summer on our back deck.

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.

 

 

Dear Readers:

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. 

~FiveSibes(Forever) Mom


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13 comments:

  1. What a beautiful tribute. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

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  2. Dorothy, we are all so very sorry for your tragic and sudden loss of Bandit. We never know what life is going to throw our way. We hope that all the wonderful memories of your pack of Five Sibes will help you get through this. Soft woos and gentle hugs from all of us.

    Hugs and Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

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  3. My heart breaks for you. I'm so very sorry for your great loss.

    Hugs,
    Kim

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  4. My heart breaks for you. I'm so very sorry for your great loss.

    Hugs,
    Kim

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  5. Layla and I are so sorry for your loss. This was a very beautiful tribute to Bandit. Layla as you know my Epi. pup is coming up on her 15th birthday and is doing fine. When you wrote the book with Gibson and all of the other Epi. pups it was a great honour to be in that book. Run free Bandit and say hi to all of the pups you have missed.

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  6. My heart breaks for you and Wolf. Our furbabies are in our lives so briefly, and it will never be long enough. Bandit will be greatly missed. Give Wolf a hug for me, and I pray you find some comfort in knowing just how deeply your Five have touched others.

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  7. That sure made us cry and we're so, so sorry to hear about dear Bandit. Hugs and love from all of us.

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  8. Oh Dorothy, I'm so very sorry for your loss. May all those precious kisses and adventures provide some measure of comfort. Thinking of you and sending 'pawsitive' energy your way. 💔

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  9. Oh Dorothy, my heart is breaking with yours. Your pupster are so special to me, being littermates and 2 weeks younger than our four. I can not believe what you have been through these last few years. I'm so saddened with the loss of Bandit. For it won't be long and we will be heading down the same journey.

    Take care of yourself and Wolf as you grieve the loss of your special girl. We will be right here when you need us.

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  10. My heart is broken. There are really no words.I am so sorry.

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  11. Dorothy, this is such heartbreaking news. My most heartfelt sympathy to you and your family and to all who knew and loved Bandit. I'm hoping that she had a brief visit with Amber at the Bridge before moving north. Try and take comfort in knowing that your four beautiful babies are all together again and running young and free in the snows north of the Rainbow Bridge. Hugs.....

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  12. I'm so sorry for your loss of Bandit. What a crazy several months. Sending you a big hug. I really feel your pain and understand. Bandit had the best family ever. It's heartbreaking to think you have more time but life has other plans. Run free Bandit. May Chloe, Harley and Gibson be there to great Bandit on the other side. They are still playing together and watching over you and the family. Prayers for comfort and healing during this time. Take care of yourself.🙏

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  13. We are so sorry to hear this sad news, safe travels my furry friend, peace to those that love you,

    Nuk & Timber

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