My Little Buddy and Bandit

My Little Buddy and Bandit

by Brad Cohn
(Liberty Township, OH)

Bandit when we first got Lily from the SPCA in Cincinnati

Bandit when we first got Lily from the SPCA in Cincinnati

In 1999 we adopted a beautiful little puppy we named Buddy. He was a beagle/German shepherd mix. We got him when he was about 8 weeks old. I remember going to the shelter and seeing a family leaving with a cute puppy and I asked them if they had anymore from that litter. They told me they did, so I literally ran into the shelter to see. In the first building I went into I saw a young man holding one of those puppies and talking to a lady about him. I waited very impatiently and when I saw she wasn't going to get him, I just said I'll take him and swooped him up and took him back to the front to adopt him. We loved him so much and my wife, who was not a huge dog lover at the time, starting becoming one. This was the first time she had her own dog from the start as a puppy.

She and Buddy formed a great loving relationship over the next 8 years. She worked at night and came home in the morning to take him out and spend time with him. I saw him during early evening till bed during the week after work.

I have had animals in my life since I was born. They included dogs, cats, chickens, hamsters, ducks, horses, ponies, goats, guinea pigs, guinea hens, a skunk, and a monkey (squirrel monkey). My favorite pet has always been a dog. I had Bonnie (a beagle mix), Sam (a yorkie), Bridgette (a long-haired dachshund), Queenie (a terrier mix), and then we got Buddy when Queenie had to be put to sleep (she was 20 years old).

Buddy developed bone cancer at 8 years old and had previously had leg tear repair surgery on both rear legs. So now he had three bad legs and all four doctors (2 from my vet hospital and 2 from a specialized CARE facility) agreed that putting him to sleep was best. I sat there with him on my lap while a tech and the doctor came in and administered the medication. I broke out crying so hard that I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head and my chest was going to explode. They told me I could stay with him as long as I needed. I lay on the floor with him for about an hour or so, I fell asleep with him in my arms. When I got up, I felt like I weighed a thousand pounds. It was so hard to get up and move.

Buddy and Bandit had been together for 6 years. I got Bandit at a farm from a private breeder. He was a small beagle mix and he loved Buddy a lot. The day after Buddy was put to sleep and Bandit was in the basement (they had a big 24 x 13 room with their own doggy beds - we kept them in there only when we were at work). I got home and Bandit had shredded the door from three feet up all the way to the floor. We didn't realize the impact that Buddy dying had on Bandit. So, until we got another dog, we kept Bandit upstairs with us and even when we were out.

Now, today, I just found that Bandit has cancer. The doctor said he has a tumor about 3-4 pounds. The options were exploratory surgery or keep him alive as long as he can be comfortable. I have maxed out my credit card for the health care of my dogs and even if I had money, the doctor said a 12 year old dog in this condition would only have a 20% chance of making it through the surgery and then the cancer could always come back. I just spent $700 on Lily (our 5 year old dalmatian/Jack Russell mix for swallowing one of our medications that had fallen on the floor. She is just fine. But times are very hard right now.

It is breaking my heart and I have been crying while writing this. I know that Bandit has been such a good little pal and I have loved him so much for every bit of these past 12 years. I know what I have to do and people often ask how you go through something like that several times. All I can say is that dogs have always been the best friends I've ever had and got me through the rough times in my life - my parents' divorce, family deaths, loneliness, heartbreak, and generally just make every day easier with their love. I have never been able to release love so easily and accept it like I have for/from my best friends.

Bandit is one of the special lights in my life and I will sorely miss him. I will have to keep to one dog at a time now due to financial reasons, but Lily is a wonderful friend and will comfort us during this tough time.

Thank you for sharing in my life and love for animals, and for reading. God bless all of you out there caring for your wonderful family members. No matter how hard it is to go through this, it would be worse for me never having them in my life.

Sincerely and lovingly,
Brad Cohn
(submitted Wednesday, Jan. 02, 2013)

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Jan 15, 2013
by: Anonymous

I just wanted to thank Jackie, Mary Ellen, djhixson, and Patricia for responding so caringly to my plight as I keep with one day at a time with Bandit. He is still eating, with some difficulty and he is making it up and down stairs, slowly, but he is still managing. Each day I wake up and see him is a great day! Whatever comes tomorrow is tomorrow. Our friends (our babies) really help us understand unconditional love and just how wonderful one day at a time can be.

Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart.


Jan 08, 2013
by: Patricia

I am so sorry for your loss of your Little Buddy and Bandit. Losing our sweet babies is one of the hardest things a human who loves them has to endure in life.

I too have lost my 2 precious boys 6 months apart last year. It will be 9 months January 15th since we lost our last one and I still grieve every day just as if it were yesterday; they were 12 years and 9.5 years old. We had to put them both to sleep. We lost our very best friends in the world last year. We don't have any more animals yet we want to get another white lab like our Kolbi because he was the most loving and faithful companion anyone could ever have.

Just remember they are at Rainbow bridge waiting to be reunited with us someday and we will all be together again. May God Bless you and help you through these very tough days ahead.


Jan 04, 2013
Our beloved animals
by: djhixson

Brad, I am so sorry for your loss.

I too have lost 3 in less than 1 year and now have a 4th that has cancer. The cost of the surgery is close to $4000. My dog Cocoa is now 16 yrs old. I am a retiree living on a fixed income and I have had to decide to just keep her comfortable until it time to let her go to the Bridge. I adopted her when she was about 2 yrs old - someone threw her out to defend for herself. She had been shot all over her body with a bb gun. She is a small terrier mix dog and has been a perfect dog. She was house trained, loved to ride in the car. Why anyone would throw her away is beyond me.

I too have a hard time expressing my love to humans, but none at all to animals. I have given her a good life, and she loves us too. It is so hard to make that decision.

Remember the good times and the good life you gave them. God bless you all.

Jan 03, 2013
by: Mary Ellen

I am very saddened by your story of your beloved pet. I too have lost my most loved and beautiful pet Coco, a chocolate lab.

One year ago last October Coco was taken by cancer. He will never be forgotten, always in our hearts. He was only 9 years when we put him to sleep no more suffering.

They live such a short time with us and when they leave us it is so heart breaking. All we have are those beautiful memories that they left with us and will be with us forever.

Jan 03, 2013
Made me cry
by: Jackie

Our beautiful canine friends/companions/mates just aren't with us long enough, are they? I so feel your pain and I'm so sorry that you're hurting so much. I cried and cried when I read your post. I lost one of my little mates about 6 months ago, also to cancer (very sudden), and my other 2 puppies are nearly 12 and I treasure every moment with them because I know they're entering their most tender years.

I'm really thinking of you and I wish you strength through these dark days. God bless you and your beautiful mate and those previously gone. We can only pray that one day we will be reunited with these beautiful creatures.

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