It was with great sadness that Lauren and I had to say goodbye to our dear Bandit early in September, 2010. He was 15 years old.
We adopted Bandit when he was not quite 2 yrs old; Lauren was not quite 6.
She earned her CD when she was 8 yrs old, most scores in the mid 190s.
Also earned NA and NAJ when she was 8 yrs old.
In 2000, Bandit and Lauren ranked:
After a rocky start of sniffing, wandering off and generally being not the least bit interested in staying on course, Bandit did turn out to be a fun agility dog. A little over 10 inches tall, he jumped 12 under the "old" rules. (He would be an 8" jumper today). He earned AX MXJ AXP MJP. It was so fun to watch him weave, and we have at least one picture of him weaving where none of his feet are on the ground. He just loved flying around the course with his girl, and sometimes me too. We had stopped doing standard with him when his knee became and issue, and eventually we stopped doing agility altogether because of it.
Bandit was working on a blissful retirement when Lauren got Adrenalyn, which did not please him one bit. Retirement was one thing, but sharing his girl with another dog was entirely another and not the least bit acceptable to our little man. To give him a job and feed his ego, I started bringing him along when I came to train Willow and Flash. Lauren had put a CDX on Bandit when she was 10 yrs old and had him mostly trained for utility at one point. It didn't take much to dust him off, and I ended up putting an RE and a UD on him after several years of retirement. He was still quite the heeling machine and was always such a happy working dog no matter what the game.
Although Bandit kept his pack in line, he was very friendly and playful to both people and other animals. His favorite toys were some our largest stuffed toys, some bigger than him. He loved to shake and throw them. He was good with strangers, both people and animals too. I'm not sure I ever remember seeing him act fearfully towards anyone ever. I used to worry he'd get himself attacked because he was outgoing, not having any clue that not all dogs were as friendly as he was.
I can see why Bandit didn't work out in a pet home. Spunky, full of energy and with more attitude than any dog I've ever had, Bandit would not allow himself be ignored in any fashion. I loved when Roger Caras of Westminster used to call the Papillons "delightful little tyrants". That description fit Bandit well. He definitely ruled our roost and all of our larger breed dogs knew that. He barked to come in, barked to be fed, barked for attention, barked to announce his arrival wherever he went, and sometimes just when he was happy, occassionally even in the obedience ring, which I suspect cost him a point or two. What I wouldn't give to have him throw his head back and "woo woo woo" at me one more time.
Bandit did not like to be picked up, snuggled, kissed or fussed over in any way, unless he was scared (thunderstorms) or sick. Otherwise he was just too manly for that stuff. He would turn his face if you tried to kiss him, and it always made us laugh. If you tried to hold him for any length of time he'd start to struggle free. Even when he was so sick, he would only snuggle for so long before he got fidgety. He must have thought God played a joke on him by placing his macho self into that cute cuddly-looking body. There was one independent and fearless dude under all that fluff.
In more ways than I can say he was truly irreplaceable in our hearts. We are so fortunate that God brought him to live with us and I feel truly blessed to have known him.
We sure are going to miss our "delightful little tyrant".
Rest in Peace little Bandit, UD RE AX MXJ AXP MJP CGC