After just reading Marie Gentle's March 19 letter about losing her 11-year-old pug, Pugsley, I burst into tears once again. We recently lost our 17-year-old rescue Bandit.
Those of us who truly love our furry family members really struggle to make that final decision when their time has come to leave us.
On March 4, our most wonderful beloved, kind, smart, polite beautiful border collie Bandit was put to rest.
Our veterinarian, Mike Mossler, DVM, of Bayshore Animal Hospital, and his incredible caring staff (and wife Terry) helped us to make the right decision.
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I was so not ready to let him go, but I knew in my heart it was time.
I rescued Bandit from Animal Services in Palmetto on March 30, 2000. He was on death row at age 2-3, and it was his final day.
In one of the best choices I ever made, I adopted our Bandit for $61 for my son's 12th birthday.
I wouldn't take a million dollars in return for all of the happiness he brought to us and so many people he met over the next 14 years.
Bandit participated in the MCOLA (Manatee Citizens for Off Leash Areas) Animal Network Canine Christmas to help people realize what truly wonderful pets are available at the shelters.
He assisted me with the Creaky Bones, Jingle Bell Run, and arthritis walks, (ARF-ritis) for the Arthritis Foundation.
In November, Bandit was a fashion model for the "Tea & Tails" fundraiser at Waters Edge of Bradenton to benefit the Humane Society of Manatee County, and in years past he participated in many walks with proceeds benefitting rescue organizations.
He traveled everywhere with us, and he helped us to train our soon-to-be 4-year-old lab rescue Rosco.
We completely understand what Marie Gentle meant when she said "there will only be one Pugsley as we know there will never be another Bandit.
He was the perfect canine and we will forever miss him, but we are so blessed for the many years he shared with us.
Terri & Tim Dickey