Ode to Bandit the Dog

I’ve grown accustomed to his face… He almost makes the day begin…

Most of my mornings begin with getting up, and stumbling to the door to let Bandit out. That bouncing bundle of Chocolate Lab, jots out the door and in a few minutes, back again. He munches down his crunchy breakfast, and shoves his whole snout into his water bowl to wash it down. Next stop, my face. He is different from any other dog we’ve ever had. His whiskers touch my cheek as he sniff, sniff, sniff, sniffle sniff, sniffs my whole face. Sometimes he lays a big lick on my cheek, and I hide under the covers. And he tromps off. 

I’ve grown accustomed to the tune…He whistles night and noon…

Pretty soon I’m making breakfast, we go outside with my large companion, to play a little catch. This is his most favorite game in the world. The next door neighbor comes outside. Bandit is captivated by her, because she doesn’t see him. “Ruff, Ruff!” Doesn’t she hear him? “Ruff, Ruff!” Here she comes. Yes she is giving him a pat now over the fence, and talking to him. His face responds, as if he knows what she is saying. What a smart dog. He wags his tail, while standing on his back feet. His big brown front paws, on top of the fence. Say good-bye to Rose and come inside. He gallops in. He’s more of a horse, than a dog really. Sometimes he huffs like a horse. And he likes carrots.

His smiles, his frowns, his ups, his downs… Are second nature to me now…Like breathing out and breathing in…

This dog just about has his own communication. If the dog jumps up, he wants to play. If he whines, he needs outside. If he nudges, it’s time to eat. If he whines like he is talking, he wants to go to bed. (Sigh) you can tell who really gets the attention in this household. And I am sorry to say, I have my own communication with this canine as well. I don’t really call him Bandit very often. I have given him the nick name of Bubby, which he answers to. And sometimes I say, “Hey Bubalicous!” That silly dog gets excited, and wags his tail like crazy, and is ready to play.

I’m so grateful he’s a doggie and so easy to forget…Rather like a habit you can always break and yet…I’ve grown accustomed to the trace of something in the air…

Several weeks ago, Bandit got really sick. We kept taking him to the Vet, and getting X-rays taken. He was throwing up all day, and couldn’t keep anything down. We got so worried, Ed had to pick him up and take him outside. He lost about 15 pounds, and was getting thin. We were breaking all of the rules, and feeding him anything he could keep down. We begged him to eat. When he grew weak, we forced a little bit of gravy down his throat. We tried baby food, and anything we could buy or make. Poor dear, he wouldn’t even raise his head. We put him in our room to sleep next to our bed. He would get better, and then worse again. We don’t really know what was wrong. But we were so relieved when he started getting better for good. Yes he is truly a member of our family. And we like him…we really like him.

Accustomed to his face…( Jazz Interlude )

So last week his little buddy, Stanley came over. His owner went to Germany for a vacation. He is a miniature German Shepherd, and is a foot-and a-half, of optimistic energy. They had a lot of fun running around together. They wrestled, which was really funny to watch. Bandit would put his mouth over part of Stanley’s body, and shake him a little. Stanley would grab Bandit’s ear and tug on it. Then Bandit would stand up, and Stanley would go for a shin. Ed and I really call Stanley “Sam,” it’s easier to say. Bubby and Sam, played and had a great time. And we were glad to watch these creatures, that God has placed in our care. They brought a little happiness to our hearts, and to our home. 

“I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face” written for the musical, “My Fair Lady”   Music by Frederick Loewe and Words by Alan Jay Lerner  

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