by Jane Rawlings
Bandit moved into our home when he was 4 - he'd already been through rescue kennels twice. And we soon found out why - he was a compulsive food thief, opening fridges, cupboards, doors. etc. with no problem. He was bright too - and easily bored. We threatened to return him, knowing it was impossible...
That was 10 years ago. On May 31 2011, I asked the vet to peacefully put him to sleep at 14 years of age. He'd lived with heart disease and arthritis without complaint for several years, but then I felt a lump in his tummy and realised why he'd stopped following me around. My husband doesn't like dogs (he claims), but couldn't speak to me without arguing after I'd made that decision.
The long walks ended a while ago, but making cake is heart-breaking. He used to sit by the door waiting for a taste of mixture on my finger. He was a very good judge of cake mixture. My baking improved a lot after he arrived.
Although it's getting better, it's hard to sleep when you can't hear the dog snoring peacefully the other side of the bedroom door.
Will we have another? Oh yes - the last ten years were so much fun, I'd love to give it another go.
As for Bandit - he's young again now, chasing pheasants, making frogs squeak and raiding God's fridge for sausages.
With much love, Jane