One Year

One year ago today, Bandit came to live with us. It’s been occasionally exciting, and not always in a good way, but life has settled down recently. He is doing well in agility class.  His missing eye doesn’t seem to interfere with doing courses: his main issue has been getting overly excited by the other dogs. However, he is doing much better now at staying calm.

He has learned to sit politely and wait for an invitation before jumping up in my lap. He had some minor housebreaking issues when he arrived, but I am starting to trust him almost as much as Rion finally.

I hardly ever feel like I am trying to walk a small, uncooperative tank on the leash now.  I don’t know if we will ever break him of his counter-surfing habit, but Jack and I have learned that we absolutely cannot trust him with food when we leave the room for more than thirty seconds.

Autumn Valley

Autumn Valley

I took the dogs for a walk yesterday, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. (The downside of the lovely weather is that we are under a Fire Weather warning today.) It’s cute to watch the dogs struggle to contain their enthusiasm since they are learning that I won’t attach their leashes until all four paws are on the ground.

Basking

Basking

Today we achieved a milestone: I took Bandit and Rion for a walk together. When Bandit first came to us he pulled so badly that I felt I had a sled dog on the other end of the leash: a big sled dog. He has learned not to pull nearly so hard, and sometimes even walks on a loose leash.

Every morning I make the bed, and every morning Bandit rearranges the pillows afterward. Rion never rearranges pillows, but he will take advantage of the nest that Bandit makes.

Bandit

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Or as I affectionately call him El Bandido. Unfortunately, he does his best to live up to his name, and gets into everything, not just rattlesnakes. I like the way he seems to be winking in this photo.

“I wonder where…

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…that rattlesnake went.”

Four weeks ago, Bandit was bitten by a large rattlesnake when Jack was walking him in the late afternoon. With a lot of superb, and expensive, veterinary care, he made a complete recovery. Last night, I took him for his first walk since he was injured. We stayed far away from any areas that might harbor rattlesnakes. This the the first time that I had ever taken him for a walk, and he behaved better than I expected. He is a thirty pound dog with sixty pounds of pull when he gets excited, but he was calm except when a runner went by practicing uphill sprints. Bandit thought running with the guy would be a lot more exciting than the brisk walk I was trying to maintain.

Rion and Bandit

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Rion and Bandit are taking a break after a play session. They are now playing about thirty minutes to sixty minutes a day. I think Bandit would be willing to play more, but Rion is older and doesn’t have Bandit’s energy levels.

Bandit

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Bandit is a three and half year old, twenty-seven pound Boston Terrier who has had a bit of a rough start to life. His first family dumped him in the backyard and paid very little attention to him for a couple of years before surrendering him to his second family. His second family didn’t have him long before he damaged his left eye, which became badly infected. They couldn’t afford to have it treated and surrendered him to a Boston Terrier rescue group. They paid to have the eye (which could not be salvaged) removed, treated him for tape worms, and made sure he had all of his vaccinations up to date.

A friend of mine was fostering him for the rescue group and decided that he would be the perfect dog for us. He has been living with us since Tuesday. Rion is starting to grudgingly come around on the topic, especially since we have been working to convince Rion that Bandit is JACK’s dog, and not MY dog.

It is hard to get a good photo of Bandit, since he nearly always flattens his ears as soon as he makes eye contact. He is also quite active, and starts moving towards me any time he thinks I am paying attention to him.  We are working on “sit”, “stay”, “come”, “wait” and “off”.  He is very quick to learn and willing to please.

Although he is quite deferential to Rion his deference seems to be more a matter of good nature than submissiveness or fear.  He is very good about being crated, which is invaluable when anyone in the household (including Bandit) needs a time out.  In this photo, he is wearing his harness as well as a collar because evidently a harness is recommended in this breed so they won’t damage themselves pulling. Loose leash walking is going to be a real challenge with this guy.

Despite his lack of one eye, I am hoping to do agility with him. He has the energy levels, and is as agile as a cat. The first day he was here I watched him jump from the floor to the dining room table from a standstill.