Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bandit Leroy

Our family has suffered a lot of loss this past year. I've lost my grandmother, a cousin, a nephew, and a few extended family members.

We've always been very open and honest with the girls about death and going to Heaven but it wasn't until recently that they truly understood the grief that comes with death.

On November 3rd we lost our dog, Bandit. He was hit and killed by a vehicle while the girls were at school that afternoon.

Now, I've known grief. I've felt the pain and despair of losing a close family member and in my thirty-one years of life, I've lost my fair share of family pets. Losing Bandit however has thrown me into a downward spiral. Daniel and I found him and had to remove his body from the side of the road.

Everything happened so quickly that my mind still hasn't come to terms with things. He had literally just been let out in the backyard to use the bathroom and in just a few short minutes he was gone. He was trained to stay away from the road and for whatever reason on that day, he decided to go near it. We don't know who hit him, as they left him on the side of the road without stopping.

In the moments of realizing what happened, all I can say is that my body just went into hysterical mode. There was screaming, crying, I may have thrown things around. It was a drop to my knees in the front yard kind of hysteria.

This dog was my baby when I didn't think I could have babies and I can honestly say he was the most well behaved dog I've ever had the privilege of knowing, let alone owning.

In the weeks since his passing I've suffered with terrible nightmares, insomnia, and I've even lost weight. My anxiety which was already becoming unmanageable without medication went through the roof and now I'm back on three different anxiety medications. My Crohns is back, my dog is dead, my anxiety is crazy. For anyone wanting to say I'm being over dramatic over the loss of my animal can kiss my butt. Grief after the death of a beloved animal is real people!

The girls took his passing very hard and were so confused. Addison had a break down after about two days and she couldn't grasp why Bandit had been alive when she left for school on that Monday but why he wasn't when she returned home. She expressed anger and blamed Daniel and I for not watching him properly and then even blamed herself for not staying home from school that day to watch him. His loss was terrible for me but seeing the pain in my babies was even more heartbreaking.

We had his body cremated and he now safely resides on the bookshelf along with our Great Dane, Wagner. We lost Wagner back in 2012 and I don't think Bandit was ever the same. They were the best of buddies and it's reassuring to know that they are together again at the Rainbow Bridge.

Many people do not understand how the passing of a family pet can be so difficult but it can be. The girls almost immediately started talking about getting a puppy and after a few months of having been wanting a puppy myself, I baited the hook and hoped Daniel would bite.

The Friday after Bandit's passing we welcomed the newest member of our family, Axle Zebidiah. Zebidiah is the name given to him by his breeder so we kept it as his middle name. He's a pure bred Great Dane who was born this past August. Daniel loves his Danes but has never had one as a puppy. I knew once I mentioned one he wouldn't say no.

Daniel was apprehensive about getting a dog so soon after Bandit passed, but he's fallen madly in love with his boy. Just as I knew he would. They are cuddle buddies and the best of friends already. Before long I'm going to need to move to the guest room because I won't fit in the bed anymore.

Axle joined our remaining dog, Sam. Sam came to us this past summer in hopes that his companionship would help Bandit. His previous owner was moving out of the country and was concerned that moving with Sam, who is eight, would not be safe. He was free to a good home so I jumped on the chance to adopt him. Never in a million years did we think we would lose Bandit so soon after and that Sam would become the only dog for a short time but God has a funny way of doing things and having Sam in those days after losing Bandit was so helpful in our grieving process.

We are a pet family and while I know many people think we welcomed Axle to soon after losing Bandit, it's how my family has always done things. With a beloved pets passing comes space to save and welcome another.

We are still suffering from the loss of Bandit but having Axle and Sam has made his passing a little more tolerable. I won't lie in saying though, I would do just about anything to have my boy back.

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