Thursday, December 31, 2009

Waiting for a sweater in 2009

OK, you know that on Monday, I ate a hole in Mommy's new sweater. Mommy says that yarn that went into me has to come out of me, otherwise it'll clog up my insides and I'll have to go to the hospital again and have xrays taken of my guts to see what's inside there, like that time I ate the cat toy and was sick all over.

So for the past few days, Mommy has been following me around when I go potty to see if there's any yarn in there.

Mommy keeps saying, Bandit, do you have to go potty? Maybe you can poop out that sweater so I can stop worrying.

I'm doing my best, Mommy, but so far no sweater.

I started to wonder if I actually even ate the sweater, so I looked at her sleeve - yup, that hole looks like my work. Gee, I don't feel like I have a sweater in my belly, but if it went in and hasn't come out it must be in there somewhere.

So that's how me and Mommy are ending 2009, just waiting for the sweater to show up.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Guess who?? Snow puppies!!!

OK, can you guess who this is?

It's me, Bandit! Did I fool you?

Hahaha, it's snowing a lot and me and Scout have been outside playing!! I got covered in so much snow I looked like a snowball with a tail!

Me and Scout are having tons of fun in the snow. Mommy says it is definitely not fun. But since Scout is having more fun than he has had in a very long time she said she will suffer and go outside and play Snow Momster until we have to go to the vet to get our shots.

But then Mommy made us come in because I was shivering so much that even my whiskers shivered.

Look at Scout! He's making Snow Puppy Angels!

You should go outside and play Snow Momster with your puppy today. Your puppy will love you for it.

In fact, if your puppies are good at the vet getting shots in their behinds, like me and Scout were today, you should take them to our friend Tim Hortons for a Tim Bit, like Mommy did for us today.

So go play in the snow and then go get coffee and donuts with your puppies! Happy Snow Day!

Love, Bandit

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas! Happy Snow Day!

Merry Christmas, everyone!! I know you've been wondering what me and Scout have been up to the last week.

On Christmas eve, Mommy and Daddy left us alone again - I was not happy at all because Mommy left me alone in the afternoon! When they came home I was so excited I couldn't calm down. I was jumping on Mommy for about twenty hundred minutes and I had to take a break and drink a whole bowl of water before I started jumping on her again.

In fact, after a few hours when we were all tucked into bed, I was still panting and my heart was beating really fast - even while I was sleeping - that Daddy and Mommy were worried. So I went back to see my friends at the animal hospital.

Really, I was happy because I was hoping to see Santa again because I forgot to tell him that me and Scout needed new beds.

I got to see my new friend, Dr .... rats, I forgot her name. But guess what? She can't hear with her ears! She told Mommy she had to read her lips, but since I can talk with my mind - Ta da! Super Electro Dog! - she and I had a great conversation. She made me do some tricks and walk around the room; she told me she wanted to make sure I wasn't hurting somewhere and that's why I was panting.

She said I was fine, that I was just way too overexcited. Unless I had something called a seizure when I was in the crate but there was no way to know. So she said go home and call her if we had a problem. So we went home and snuggled and fell asleep.

The bad thing was that Santa wasn't at the hospital. The good thing was that he knew we needed beds because when we got up in the morning? NEW BEDS!! AND TOYS!!!

So we stayed home all day on Christmas Day and Mommy and Daddy watched movies and ate food and relaxed the whole day. Cassie came over and then her boyfriend came over later.

So that was our Christmas.

Since then, Mommy has worked almost not at all, which is great! The chickens are out of their coop when it's nice, and that's fun. They're goofy to watch. Mommy took video of them.

Yesterday, I ate the sleeve on Mommy's new sweater so now she has to watch me to make sure it all comes out, if you know what I mean. We have to got to the vet tomorrow anyway to get shots so I can go play at Camp Bow Wow and we have to get flu shots. So I figured since we were going anyway, I might as well give them another surprise.

Oh, and guess what? I wrote Mommy's column for the Christian Voice Magazine! It'll be in the February magazine. Mommy was taking a nap and I figured I'd help her out and give her a rest. I'm nice like that.

So anyway, that's about it. Now we get ready for the new year!

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas letter to Grandma

Dear Grandma!!!! Thank you for the toys!!!!

Santa is coming tonight and me and Scout have been good. Well, mostly good. I have been eating a lot of poop this week so Mommy isn't very happy with me.

Well, you know what? I'm not very happy with her either. She keeps leaving me alone and I Do. Not. Like. That. So I have been getting in her car and not getting out. We'll see who gets left alone now!!! Hahaha!!

By the way, Mommy took me to the post office today, which was fun. I got to get up and see inside where the mailpeople play with our letters before they bring them to our house. Did you know that there is a dog that works at the post office?

Also, just in case you didn't know, you are NOT supposed to open all of the presents under the Christmas tree and throw the paper around the living room until Christmas morning. I learned that the hard way. You are not even supposed to sniff the presents because you might be tempted to open them and Mommy does not have enough tape to wrap everything up again.

Anyway, I have to go help Murphy rearrange the presents under the tree so Santa has more room to leave more stuff!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We love you A WHOLE LOT!!!!!
Love Bandit (and Scout and Murphy!)

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Friday, December 18, 2009

VIDEO: Tricky Bandit plays with the cat's toy

Bandit here! Mommy said that our readers might like a peek at what it's like to live all day with two border collies and a cat. Even if it is only a two-minute peek:

If Mommy would just go outside and play with us, she wouldn't have to think up tricky things for us to play with all day. But she said 10 degrees is too cold for any Mommy to be outside (Really, Mommy? Too cold even for an Eskimo Mommy?).

She also said she should have had her head examined for getting another dog. I don't know what that means, unless maybe she's starting to go crazy and me and Scout have to watch to make sure she doesn't start walking into the walls?

Anyway, hahaha! Isn't this a funny video? Mommy thought she was being tricky letting me play with the cat toy, but I tricked her, didn't I? You can't out trick a trickster! If she wants to keep us busy in the house she's going to have to come up with something better than that!

Love, Bandit

PS: do you like Mommy's new slippers? When she took a nap the other day me and Scout went shopping and got them for her.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Snow! Snow!! Snow!!!!

Bandit here! IT SNOWED!!

It snowed yesterday morning and it snowed yesterday during naptime and it snowed during dinner and it snowed while we slept.


There is snow up to my ankles. Mommy played Incredible Snow Momster with us last night. It's a fun game. Mommy throws snow balls and we try to get the snowball in our mouth and then bite really hard and snow flies everywhere.


Mommy said she is too darned cold to keep playing Snow Momster and is staying inside. But me and Scout are outside playing. Mommy will come out later to see what we're up to and then we'll make her play Snow Momster again by herding her into the back yard.

Or sometimes we sit at the door and stare at her, sending her thinking thoughts that say, Mommy. Come here right now Mommy. Play with your puppies right now Mommy. This is your brain telling you to go outside right now Mommy.

Sometimes it pays to be a border collie.


Anyway, I hope it SNOWED where you are and you have a Mommy who will play Incredible Snow Momster with you!!


Love, Bandit

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Me and Mommy play Mystery Barf

Bandit here!

Last night me and Mommy played a game I like to call Mystery Barf. Here's how it works:

During the day, I eat something that I know will make me sick. Then, during the night, I throw up what I ate. The trick is for Mommy to find out what I barfed up before I eat the evidence.

Last night was even trickier because Mommy was wearing new earplugs. I was afraid she wasn't going to hear me and that I would be throwing up for nothing.

But ta da! The earplugs might drown out the sound of a daddy snoring but they do not drown out the sound of a doggy barfing!

When she heard me, Mommy yanked her earplugs out of her ears, jumped out of bed, and ran to my crate. Too late. The mystery barf was already gone.

Round 1 goes to Bandit!

Mommy got me out so she could wipe up the leftover mess. I got into her bed to wait and then when she was done I got back into my crate.

Then we both waited to see if there would be a Round 2 of the game.

But I didn't need to throw up again because Mommy thought that while I was in her bed I had eaten her earplugs because she couldn't find them.

They look like little pink marshmallows, and if I had seen them you know I would have eaten them. But I must have missed them. Rats. That would have been fun to eat the earplugs and have Mommy find them when I threw up.

But it didn't even matter! Because Mommy was so worried about a) what I had already barfed and b) that I had eaten something else to barf, that she spent the rest of the night watching me and checking on me.

Which is exactly what I wanted her to do.

Game over! Bandit is the big winner again!

In the morning, Mommy found her earplugs, I ate breakfast and didn't throw up anything else, and Scout was a good boy like always.

And that's how me and Mommy played games all night.


PS: Bandit here! Guess what? I just pooped out another cat toy! I forgot I even ate that. More bonus points for me!!!

At least I didn't have to go to the hospital like I did the last time I ate a cat toy and had to go to the emergency room. That was my first trip to the emergency room, not the time I ate Mommy's inhaler. Here, you can read what Mommy wrote and even see pictures of my inside guts! This was before I learned how to use her computer:

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Dear Scout and Bandit: Should we get another puppy?

Dear Scout,

We have a dog named Buster. He's a good dog and he's been with us for 4 years. Our friend's dog just had puppies and we thought we would bring one home as a playmate for Buster! Since you got a new brother this year, we thought you could tell us what you think about that idea.

Buster's mommy and daddy

* * * * *

Dear Buster's mommy and daddy,

Gee, you must not like Buster very much. Or he's been a really bad dog and you're giving him the worst punishment you can think of.

Don't get another puppy! A puppy brother will bite Buster and eat his food and sleep in his bed and steal all of his toys. A new puppy brother will take all of the attention away from Buster because the new puppy will be soooo cuuuute! (barf) and Buster will just be the same old Buster.

Of course, you probably already have the new puppy picked out and named, so I don't know why you bothered to ask my advice. Tell Buster to write to me and I'll help him figure out what to do when the new puppy takes over his life and makes him want to pack up his Milk Bones and head for the hills.


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Christmas trees and six degrees of Bandit

Bandit here! You are not going to believe what happened this weekend. Two really spooky things.

First, Mommy and Daddy went to a party on Saturday and did not take us. I am still mad about that. But when they got home they took me and Scout for an adventure. We went to Mr. Tim Swaglers' house, where he had a bazillion gazillion trees all for sale. We sniffed around for a while and then Daddy and Mommy found one they said they liked a lot. (Look at this picture of Mommy and me and Scout at Mr. Swaglers. Look at how big the trees are!)

Then they bought it! I didn't know why. We have some trees in our yard already and we don't have a lot of room for more.

Well, while Mr. Swagler was tying up the tree, he and Mommy started talking about his Border collie that is having puppies in January. And you are NOT going to believe this. Do you know who the daddy doggie of those puppies is?

My doggie daddy!

I know you think I'm kidding but I am not.

My doggie daddy is Sam, from Gentle Shepherd Farms, where I lived with my good friend Kim before my Mommy fell in love with me and brought me home.

And we already know that me and Scout are related.

So I have some more half brothers and sisters being born right up the road. Family everywhere! Mommy says we should play a game called Six Degrees of Bandit and see who else I'm related to.

OK, then the second thing that happened was that when we got home, Daddy brought the tree right into the house. Right into the living room! And Mommy didn't even get mad.

Scout said the tree is so that Santa can leave us presents under it on Christmas Eve. He also said I am not to potty on that tree. Even though we peed on a few trees at Mr. Swaglers.

I helped Daddy set up the tree on Saturday. Look, what a big help I am:

Yesterday, while Daddy went hunting, Mommy put a whole bunch of twinkly lights on the tree and then some sparkly balls that I am not supposed to play with. Murphy plays with them, though. He better watch out because Santa is still making his naughty list.

Doesn't the tree look pretty?

So anyway, Daddy brought a tree right into the house this weekend and I found out that I am related to almost everyone in the world.

Love, Bandit

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Dear Santa - for Mommy

Dear Santa,

Please bring Mommy the Chipmunk's Christmas CD. She's been singing Christmas carols all day and we think the Chipmunks would be an improvement.

Love, Scout and Bandit

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Chat with Santa: Is Santa in financial trouble?

Bandit here.

Mommy read a press release today about a website where you can chat with Santa, right from the North Pole. You call a phone number and watch Santa answer the phone and talk to your kids (or dogs) on your computer.

But it costs money to do it.

So I have a question: is Santa having financial troubles?

It must cost a lot to make toys for all the girls and boys and dogs. Does he get paid for those appearances he makes at the department stores and animal hospitals? Does Santa have an off season job?

Maybe we need to have a fundraiser for Santa. Maybe he needs money and that's why all of his helpers wear stockings. Maybe they don't like having cold legs. Maybe they just don't have enough money to buy pants.

Wait, Mommy just told me that part of the money kids pay to talk to Santa goes to help the SPCA, which is a thing that helps animals. Oh, that's nice! Our cat brother Murphy came from Lollypop Farm, which is part of the Humane Society. So it's nice that Santa is helping animals!

And Mommy says it costs money to set up the special space age telephone system from the North Pole to your computer, so some of the money pays for that.

OK, it all makes sense now!

I don't need to call Santa, because I already saw him when he was in town. He's a personal friend. But if you want to talk to Santa, here's the info (Mommy, can you write this part for me?):

Visit this website to Chat with Santa: You can get a daily pass for $2.95 24 hours, or a season pass for $9.95 that lets you can talk to Santa all you want until December 23.

Thanks, Mommy!

But I still have a question: Where exactly does Santa get the money to run the North Pole anyway?

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Other posts you might want to read:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bandit becomes Statue Dog The Bed Hog and tricks Mommy and Daddy

The man on the TV said that we were going to get some cold and snow, and boy was he right! Since yesterday it's been cold and snowy and stormy.

Last night, me and Scout slept with Mommy and Daddy to stay warm. It was great. We made a big dog pile and everyone was warm and toasty.

Except that Daddy snores really loud. Mommy usually just pokes him and he rolls over and stops for a while. So in the middle of last night when he was snoring, Mommy poked Daddy and said, "You're snoring. Roll over."

And Daddy woke up and said, "I don't have anywhere to go. I'm on the edge of the bed. These dogs are hogging all the space!"

I don't know what his problem was. Scout had enough space. I had enough space. Mommy seemed to have enough space.

Daddy said Scout was OK at the bottom of the bed near his feet but that I was taking up way too much room and that Mommy needed to move me. So she tried to push me to wake up and move.

But haha! I was playing a trick on Mommy! When I go to bed, I am NOT moving for anyone. So I play a game called Statue Dog. I turn myself into a statue and I don't move at all, not even a little bit.

First Mommy shook me. Sorry Mommy! Statue Dog can't move!

Then she told me to move over. Sorry Mommy! Statue Dog can't hear you!

Then she tried to push me from behind to move me. Sorry Mommy! Statue Dog stays right where he is!

Finally Daddy told her to just pick me up and move me. So that's what she did. She picked up my whole entire body and turned me right around upside down. Daddy was directing her - Move him a little more that way, move his head up here - and finally I was lying right next to Mommy, with my head on Mommy's pillow and all snuggled up in her personal space. I hadn't moved at all on my own, not one whisker! I am Statue Dog!

Daddy said, Thank you Bandit! And he reached over to pet me. And then I tricked him! I rolled over to let him rub my belly, and then I rolled over again to lick his face, because he really likes that.

And then, haha! I was right back to where I started, on his side of the bed!

Ta da! Bandit strikes again!

Right then Scout decided that since we were all awake he and I should probably go outside and potty, so we jumped up and ran downstairs and barked.

It was cccccold outside and snowing and windy. Even though it was 3:00 in the morning, Mommy put on her snow boots and coat and came out with us - because we don't potty unless she's there to witness it. She also checked the chickens, who she said were snug as bugs in a rug.

Then Mommy called, "Who wants a nite-nite biscuit?" and me and Scout ran inside.

And that's how Mommy tricked me back. I ran right upstairs and got in my crate, which is where I always get my nite-nite biscuit. And when Mommy gave me my biscuit, she closed the door on the crate and locked me in.

Rats. Foiled again.

I had to sleep the rest of the night in my crate while Scout slept in the bed with Mommy and Daddy.

So that's how I tricked Mommy and Daddy and they tricked me back.

Love, Bandit

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dear Scout and Bandit: Getting Mommy's attention

Dear Scout and Bandit,

Sometimes when my Mommy is working I think she has forgotten all about me. I get bored. What can I do to get her attention?

Love, Rex

Dear Rex,

We have a lot of great ideas to help you get your Mommy's attention! These are things we have tried and we know they work really good.

I start by going up to Mommy and staring at her. Don't move and don't do anything. Just stare.

If that doesn't work then you should act like there is a big, huge emergency, and whine and bark and, if you can, spin in a circle. Something like, "Mommy! Timmy fell down a well!!" or "Mommy! Come quick! The cat is in the washing machine!" Usually that will get her to pay attention to you and then you can tell her what you really want, which is to go outside to play catch.

My first idea is to find something Mommy really loves - shoes, oven mitts, something from her purse - and grab it and then RUN! If she doesn't see you right away, run up to her until she looks at you, and then RUN!

That usually works. But pretty soon Mommy will get wise to that trick and put her shoes in the closet and you'll have eaten all the oven mitts and she'll learn to zip her purse.

The next trick is to go in another room and make a lot of noise. Tip things over, scratch the carpet, chase the cat. Mommy will get up to see what you're doing.

My last idea - and this is probably the most fun because it's so tricky - is to go somewhere in the house and be very quiet. Don't make any noise at all. I'll bet your Mommy is more afraid of what you're doing when you're not making any noise than when you're taking silverware out of the kitchen sink.

One tip: If you're going to steal stuff and run, don't steal stuff like medicine. While it will get your Mommy's attention, it might make you have to go to the hospital where they will hook you up to machines and experiment on your blood to see if your electros will light. I learned that the hard way.

Hopefully those idea will help, Rex! Have fun!

Love, Scout and Bandit

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Scout and Bandit answer readers' questions: Who is Santa Claws?

Dear Scout and Bandit,

The girl who lives with me told me that in a few weeks, someone named Santa Claws is going to come into our house when we are asleep and eat our cookies.

I am scared! What do you know about this Santa Claws?

Love, Rover

Dear Rover,

Don't be scared! It's not Santa Claws, it's Santa Claus!

Santa lives at the North Pole, which is a very cold place. He must live near Governer Sarah Palin (Border Collies for Sarah Palin!). I've heard that he knows if you've been naughty or nice, so he must also be friends with God.

Santa is a really nice guy. Me and Scout have met him, actually. Here are the pictures to prove it. So we would know. Santa has biscuits.

He also has helpers who wear green stockings and no pants. Even the men. I don't know if he makes them wear dresses or if they just like having cold legs.

Mommy says Santa comes and brings presents to the good boys and girls, but dogs always get something even if they have been bad. So I don't know if he's going to eat your cookies, but he'll probably leave you biscuits and a toy instead.

So don't worry about Santa! He's a good guy!

Merry Christmas!
Love, Bandit

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Birthday turkey with Grandma!

Bandit here! Me and Scout went with Mommy to Grandma's house for turkey today. Aunt Jackie and Uncle Eric were there, and Dali was there, Cassie and her boyfriend came over later after Cassie got out of work. Daddy went hunting all day. He needed a break from us.

Grandma is the best. She makes cut out cookies with frosting that are delicious. I know. I ate a whole bag of them!

Scout didn't like to be at Grandmas. He used to like to go when he was the only dog around but now that it's Dali's house he just wanted to go home. He's like that. He likes people but he doesn't really want to hang with other dogs.

I can see why! Dali was climbing on me and then climbing on Scout. She doesn't get a lot of dog company so she reeeaally wanted to play but Scout didn't want to play at all. And I didn't like that she was climbing on my brother so I tried to protect him.

Plus, she was all kissy face with Mommy! MY MOMMY! I didn't like that either. I gave Dali some scary growls and showed her all of my teeth and she got the message. Hands off my Mommy.

But actually I love Dali a lot. We have lots and lots of good fun when it's warm outside and we can run and play and wrestle. I like to play in her pool in the summer but she always pees in it so we stopped that game.

Anyway, Grandma cooked a lot of good food and even though I wasn't able to steal any from the stove - I was good, Santa! I only stole Dali's dog food! - it smelled really yummy in there and Mommy and Aunt Jackie let me have some tastes. I tried turkey and stuffing and corn.

I had to wear my leash the whole time and stay hooked to Mommy's ankle so she could remind me when I forgot and started to eat from the table. Scout stayed right by the front door the whole time saying, Anytime you're ready to go, I'm ready to go, Mommy! Are you ready? I'm ready!

So here's something I learned about my Aunt Jackie: I think she is magic. I was in the kitchen looking at the turkey. She said to me, Don't do what I know you're thinking about doing, Bandit!

How did she know what I was thinking?? And how did she know I was thinking about something that I shouldn't do?? I was afraid to think about anything after that. It's not easy to think about nothing when there is a whole turkey right in front of your nose.

Aunt Jackie has a dog named Goliath. Scout loves him and said I would love him too, but Aunt Jackie won't bring him to visit. She said it's too much chaos with all the dogs. Darn. I have another cousin that I've never met. Scout says Surprise! Goliath is not a giant dog but a little dog who is smaller than our cat. But he's got sharp teeth and he can chase Dali and Scout around! I can't wait to meet him.

Want to hear something funny? Aunt Jackie wants Uncle Eric to buy her a stroller for her dog. Like he's a baby! Isn't that hilarious? I wonder if Goliath wears diapers? HAHAHA Just kidding. Anyway, Uncle Eric just rolled his eyes and said, No. I think what he meant was, You're crazy, Aunt Jackie.

When we got home from Grandma's, Daddy told us about how he shot TWO does today! One time, he had to run and shoot really far with his last bullet and it sounded like a wild west movie and he was John Wayne. He's the coolest Daddy in the whole world. I hope he makes us some dog jerky from that deer.

So anyway, that's what we did for my birthday.

Love, Bandit

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bandit: I'm home from the hospital and I met SANTA!

Hi, it's Bandit! I"m home from the hospital!

You do not want to go to the hospital. They stick you with needles and they give you funny medicine and they make you wear a lampshade on your head and sleep in a cage. It is not fun.

There were a lot of people there but none of them were Mommy. I had a nice doctor and helpers and they took very good care of me. But I wanted Mommy.

Here's what happened: yesterday I opened Mommy's purse to see if I could find her cell phone to call Dali and say hello. But instead I found Mommy's medicine. And I ate it.

It made me feel really shaky and made my heart go BOOMBOOMBOOMBOOM really really fast. So Mommy took me to the doctor and by then my ears and whiskers were shaking and I was talking really fast.

So they made me go to the hospital. They gave me medicine to make my heart beat not so fast and other medicine to make me sleepy and they took out all of my blood and did experiments on it. Then I had to stay overnight.

Mommy came to get me today. Dr. Simon Kirk said I am back to normal - Hahaha, Mommy said. Normal for him, Dr. Kirk said. They both laughed. I think they were joking about me.

But I don't even care because here's the best part. When they brought me to Mommy, guess who else was in the room?


I am not kidding. He was there with his helpers. So Mommy got my picture taken and then she went home and got Scout and he got his picture taken, too! See, I am telling the truth:

The best part was that Santa had biscuits. I found the jar and jumped on the counter and got tangled in the lights and knocked them down. And Santa didn't even yell at me!

So I had to go to the hospital and get stuck with needles and have experiments done on my blood but I also got to meet Santa. So it was all good in the end.

Love, Bandit

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Bandit's coming home

Scout here. I got up this morning and ate breakfast without being pestered by Bandit. I barked around the house looking for him.

Then I remembered that he's in the hospital. I heard Mommy on the phone with the doctor and she said Bandit is coming home this morning.

I'm glad he's OK! And I do miss him. But I like being the only dog on the house.

Maybe the doctor should keep Bandit for a few more days just to make sure he's OK? Or maybe a few weeks?

Love Scout

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Scout updates on Bandit

Scout here. Mommy went to see Bandit at the doggie hospital tonight. She said he looks terrible but that's probably because he's on some medicine to make him calm. She said his eyes are all glassy and he's just acting funny.

I know how he feels. I was acting funny this week when Dr. Hawkins gave me funny medicine.

Mommy said she laid right down on the floor with Bandit and snuggled for a little bit. He was excited to see her but then he curled up with her and started to go to sleep. She said Bandit's stomach was gurgling and gurgling. The nice vet helper, Beth, said they gave him some dinner - nice squishy canned food - and Mommy said that sometimes new food gives Bandit diarrhea. And that he chews up his blankies. So they might want to watch and make sure he doesn't poop all over or eat his blankie. Last time Bandit was at the vet hospital he chewed through the leash and made a big, big fuss.

Dr. Kirk said that Bandit could come home tonight if Mommy wanted, but that he would prefer to keep him till tomorrow to make sure Bandit's heart was all goofy because he was excited and not because there was something wrong with it. Mommy said that was OK with her as long as she could call anytime. They told her call all night, Mommy! We're here 24/7.

It's very, very quiet here without Bandit. I like being alone. I admit it. I get to sleep on my own dog bed and there's no one biting my legs and chasing me around. I played tree ball with Mommy and Murphy. And I'm getting to rest my paw from Bandit biting me all the time.

But I miss Bandit. It's fun to get all-Mommy-time sometimes, but I want my brother to come home soon and to be all better. Mommy is fun, but I need Bandit. I am used to my brother and he's getting better. You know he'll be one year old on Sunday? I hope he's well enough to have a party.

Anyway, pray for my brother Bandit to get better quick and not to get into Mommy's purse any more and eat stuff!

Love, Scout

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Bandit's in the doggie hospital

Mommy here. It's been a very busy dog day at the Brokaw Funny Farm.

While I was getting my shoes on this morning to take Scout to the vet's to have his bandages removed, Bandit came upstairs and coughed a few times. That's not unusual; he's often coughing up hair and dirt and leaves and whatever other thing he's eaten.

When I went downstairs, I saw money on the floor under my purse. I assumed Bandit had nosed in there and grabbed it but I didn't notice anything else missing.

I put him in his crate and took Scout to the vet. We were home in about 20 mins. Before I let Bandit out of his crate, I noticed that my rescue inhaler - albuterol - was on the couch, and that a hole had been punctured in the now-empty canister.

Apparently, Bandit had stolen it out of my purse and I assume that's why he had been coughing.

I called the vet (where I had been just 10 minutes earlier) and Dr. Hawkins said that albuterol can be dangerous for a dog, and wanted me to see if I could get a heart rate on him. Oddly enough, Bandit wouldn't come near me, even for hamburger. Dr. Hawkins said it was best to bring him in.

She wasn't available but Dr. Herrema saw Bandit and said he was "clinical" for albuterol overdose and sent us to the animal hospital.

There, they took his vitals - his heart rate was up to 260 - and started him on the antidote as well as IV fluids.

Albuterol can affect the dog's heart and also potassium levels, hence the antidote, EKG, and fluids. The doctor, Dr. Kirk, said that fortunately the medicine's effect is short lived and will wear off after 6 or 8 hours.

When I left, Bandit was sedated and his heart rate was down to 160. Dr. Kirk said he didn't forsee any long term affects and that barring any complications, Bandit might be able to come home tonight.

PS I found this from a vet website about animal toxicology- I am SOO glad I took him in right away!:

Albuterol is a synthetic sympathomimetic amine that primarily has beta-2 adrenergic agonist activity. Albuterol inhalers are used for relief of bronchospasm in humans with obstructive airway disease, and they generally contain approximately 15-20 g of albuterol that is designed to be released in 90 microgram increments. When small animals puncture inhalers with their teeth, some or all of the contents may be propelled into the oral cavity, where it is rapidly absorbed.

Signs of albuterol toxicosis may develop within minutes of exposure to the inhaler. The most common signs associated with albuterol toxicosis are tachycardia, vomiting, depression, tachypnea, hyperactivity, muscle tremors, and weakness. A not infrequent comment regarding symptomatic dogs is that one can see their heart beating through the chest wall “from across the room,” signifying severe increase in the force of myocardial contraction. In addition, agitation, arrhythmia, nervousness, hypertension or hypotension, collapse, weakness, seizures, and death may occur. Some animals may experience an initial phase of hyperactivity, hypertension, and tachycardia that gives way to a “collapse” phase of depression, hypotension, bradycardia and, possibly, circulatory failure. Clinical laboratory abnormalities that have been associated with albuterol include profound hypokalemia (can be life-threatening), hypoglycemia, and hyperglycemia. In experimental exposures in dogs, doses of albuterol in excess of 0.28 mg/kg have been associated with myocardial fibrosis.

Because of the rapidity of absorption of albuterol from inhalers, decontamination is generally not feasible. Animals that have bitten into inhalers should be examined for evidence of tachycardia or other signs; if more than an hour has passed and the animal is asymptomatic, it is unlikely that signs will develop. Treatment for foreign body ingestion may be required in cases where parts of the inhaler have been ingested. Symptomatic animals often require prompt and aggressive care. Seizures, hyperactivity, tremors and agitation will generally respond to diazepam. Propranolol (preferred) or other beta-blocker should be used to manage severe tachycardia and/or arrhythmias. Fluid therapy should be initiated and maintained while the animal is symptomatic. Potassium and glucose levels should be closely monitored, and abnormalities, particularly hypokalemia, should be treated as needed. In dogs, signs generally resolve within 12 hours, although in some individuals, signs may persist up to 48 hours. The prognosis is generally good for cases where veterinary intervention is prompt and appropriate. Animals with pre-existing cardiac disease may be at increased risk for severe cardiac complications or death.

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Updated photos: December 2009

Mommy here! (Isn't it nice that the dogs let me have a chance to write?) I was taking some pictures of Scout and Bandit this week and was struck by how big Bandit has gotten since he came to live with us! Take a look:

April 14, 2009

April. 27, 2009

November 9, 2009

December 2, 2009

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Scout's hurt paw

Bandit here! Mommy took this picture of me and Scout and his hurt paw.

I laid down with Scout for a while to keep him company. He's a lot better today, but he was tired so we both took a break. It's quiet in the house today. Mommy is baking bread and making Rice Krispie treats. I ate a marshmallow. It was squishy.

Scout has been chewing the bandage, so I thought I would help him a little, too. It's yucky tasting. But Scout really wants to get it off so we figured if we both chewed for a while, it would come off faster. Mommy said DO NOT chew the bandage. Then she sprayed some really icky tasting stuff on it. So we ate peanut butter in our Kong toys instead.

Love, Bandit

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Yeah! Scout's better!

Bandit here! Mommy was right! Scout was acting funny last night because he had a lot of funny medicine in him!

Last night, he went potty in the house, which is definitely not something Scout does. I think he felt really bad about that. But Mommy took good care of him. She said his medicine is making him feel really goofy and he couldn't figure out how to let Mommy know he had to go out. He seemed a little confused last night.

This morning, he is pretty much normal. He is still being a little funny; he just wants to lie down on his bed, which I usually kick him out of and then chew up. Today I think I should let him lie on his own bed. He does get up and try to run but Mommy makes him go lie back down, and I think he's happy to do that.

Mommy said that today Scout has to take some more medicine that will make him sleepy but will make his paw not hurt so much, so I am not supposed to bug him or make him run or wrestle with him. That is going to be very hard to do. I guess I'll have to wrestle with Murphy.

Mommy said that Scout's paw will feel a lot better, even better than it did before Dr. Hawkins cut his bad nail, so Scout will want to go for walks again. He hasn't wanted to walk much this week.

But yeah!! Scout isn't sick!! He just has to wait until tomorrow when Dr. Hawkins takes the bandages off his paw and then he can play with me!!

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Scout is hurt, Bandit is confused

Bandit here. Something is wrong with my brother Scout.

After dinner tonight, Mommy saw that Scout was chewing on his paw. She noticed yesterday that he was limping and she checked his paws to see if he stepped on something. But tonight she called Dr. Hawkins right away and took Scout to see her.

They were gone for a while, and when they got home, something was very wrong with Scout. His front paw was all wrapped up in something and he couldn't stand up. And he couldn't stay awake. He just fell down and was asleep, and so I sniffed him all over, really gentle. He smelled funny, like medicine or something.

Something is not right! Mommy, what's wrong with Scout?

Mommy said that I am not to bother Scout, but when she went to make tea, I snuck over to him and nudged him. He didn't move, so I barked. And he still didn't move!

Mommy! Come quick! Something is wrong with Scout!

Mommy came running and checked Scout. She said that Scout had something called a sedative and it made him very sleepy. And that his toenail was split bad and had to get cut to a very painful part of his paw and that it bled a lot and hurts a whole lot.

Then she pet Scout and she started crying. She said his bandage reminds her of when he broke his leg when he was just a puppy and he's lying so quiet just like Natasha did before she died.

I don't want Scout to die! I don't want Mommy to cry! I don't know what to do!

Mommy hugged me and said Scout will be fine when his medicine wears off, but for the next day or so I cannot play with him. She said she is just sad because she hates to see her puppies in pain.

If there's one thing I know, if you are sick you definitely want Mommy to take care of you. She will stay up all night to make sure you're breathing and she'll clean up if you get sick and she'll pet you and love you.

When it was time for bed, Daddy tucked me in and said that Scout would seem more like normal in the morning. I think Mommy is sleeping with Scout downstairs, but Daddy wouldn't tell me because he thinks I will bark all night.

But I want Scout to get better really fast, so I went to bed like a good puppy. I got right in my crate and went to sleep and said a prayer and asked God to make Scout better really fast. It's scary when someone you love gets hurt!

Love, Bandit

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Scout and Bandit: IT'S SNOWING!!

Bandit: Bandit here! So we woke up this morning and there was all of this cold white stuff on the ground. So I ate it. Is that like the stuff Mommy read about in the Bible? Manna? It tastes like something God would send.

Scout: No, silly. It's snow!!

Bandit: Oh, snow! What's snow? A new treat?

Scout: No, stupid. Snow is something fun to play with!

Bandit: And it tastes good, too!

Scout: Well, don't eat too much. It's really to play in. Just wait till there is so much snow in the backyard that when you go out to potty, the snow is over your head. That's really fun!

Bandit: Over my head? Will I disappear?

Scout: For a minute. Then you pop out and snow flies everywhere! It's the greatest. Mommy doesn't even like being out in the cold, but when there is that much snow, she'll come outside a lot and play with us.

Bandit: I can't wait!

Scout: And do you know what else happens when it snows? SANTA COMES!!

Bandit: YEAH!! Wait, what happens when Santa comes?

Scout: He brings presents to all of the good puppies!

Bandit: Sigh. I haven't been a very good puppy.

Scout: It's OK. Since you are still a puppy, he still brings presents. Once, I drank a bottle of wine and he still brought me presents.

Bandit: YOU drank a bottle of wine? I thought you were always good!

Scout: HAHAHAHA!! That's funny! I used to be a bad dog, too! I ate shoes and books and oven mitts and movies and lots of other stuff. Even a Christmas ornament. Then I barfed all over the house. One time, I was at Nana's and I threw up a big giant leaf and a piece of wood. I don't even remember eating them!

Bandit: Hey, I eat that stuff too! We really are brothers!

Scout: But listen. Someday you have to stop doing that and become a big dog. But until then, Santa still brings presents!

Bandit: YEAH! Santa's coming! Snow! Snow! Snow!

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Scout's letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

As you know, I got a new puppy brother this year. I have tried to be a good big brother but we fight a lot. Mommy has to yell a lot more than she used to.

But we've had a lot of fun, too, and I am very glad that I have a puppy brother. So I hope you can just forget the times when we've knocked stuff over in the living room or chased Murphy or knocked Mommy over in the backyard or crawled into bed with our muddy paws. We're just having fun.

I did a really good thing this year: I finally passed my therapy dog test! Mommy was so happy she cried. Now I go to school once a week to read books with Timmy. Maybe you could bring him a new book? Something about dogs?

I hope Bandit's not on your naughty list. He didn't mean to eat all of Mommy's books. Or drink Mommy's tea. Or chew her quilt or shoes or cell phone or ... well, you probably already have a list. He was just a puppy. Remember when I drank that bottle of wine? Sometimes we do bad things while we learn how to be good.

Bandit doesn't hardly poop in the house at all anymore! See, he's learning!

So if you and your helpers aren't too busy, maybe you could bring us some new glow balls? We have a lot of fun with them and Mommy loses them a lot. And we could always use some biscuits!

Thanks, Santa!! Say hi to the elves for us!! See you on Christmas eve!!


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Bandit's letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I've been a very, very good boy this year.

I've been a pretty good boy this year.

I tried.


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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Scout and Bandit's Guide to Life: Be thankful

Scout here - and Bandit, too!!

Scout: Mommy says that today is the day set aside for us to give thanks to God for the blessings we have.

Bandit: She says we're supposed to be thankful every day because God is so good to us. But on this day we are supposed be extra thankful, in case we have forgotten the rest of the time.

Scout: Right! So me and Bandit decided we would tell you what we're thankful for!

Bandit: You go first.

Scout: OK. Well, I'm thankful for Mommy and Daddy, because they love us and take good care of us. I'm thankful that we have a warm house and good food. I'm thankful for all of my family, including Cassie, my cousin Dali, and Grandma. And our friends. We have a lot of friends, like Kona, Killian, Hera, and Bandit's girlfriend, Abby.

Bandit: Oh, me too! Me too! I'm thankful for all of that, too!

Scout: I'm thankful that we got to go to school this year, and that I passed my therapy dog test!

Bandit: Me too. You worked really hard to pass that test.

Scout: I know. And you worked hard in school, too!

Bandit: Thanks! I'm thankful for Mommy and Daddy, too. And for our house and our food and my toys and that Mommy and Daddy let me stay, even though I'm such a bad dog sometimes.

Scout: I'm thankful for you and Murphy, too.

Bandit: Really? You're thankful for me? Even though I'm a pest?

Scout: Actually, yup. You are a pest, but it's also a lot more fun to have a brother than I thought it would be. And we both know that God wanted you here, so I'm thankful Mommy and Daddy obeyed.

Bandit: Isn't that great? We have a such a great family. I wonder what the chickens are thankful for? I'll go ask!

Scout: While you do that, Murphy wants to tell what he's thankful for. If you readers have never met him, Murphy is our cat brother.

Murphy: I used to live on the streets and Mommy came and got me at the shelter. So I'm thankful for a warm bed and food and a family.

Scout: That's so awesome. And you're such a great cat. You're almost like a dog!

Murphy: Err ... thanks?

Bandit: I'm back! The girls said they are thankful they're not Thanksgiving dinner! Hahahaha! Isn't that funny?

Scout: That's hilarious! Anyway, we just wanted to say that we have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. And we're also thankful for you! Thanks for reading about our adventures, and for supporting Mommy!

Bandit: Our Mommy is so grateful for you. And when you write to her, she gets really happy. So leave comments!

Scout: Have a great thanksgiving! And on Friday, it'll be time to start getting ready for Santa to come! Make sure you're not on his naughty list!

Bandit: What's a Santa? Why does he have a naughty list??

Scout: I'll tell you all about it later. After we have Thanksgiving dinner.

Love, Scout and Bandit (& Mommy & Murphy & the chickens)

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Therapy Dog update: today's session 11/25/09

Scout here! I had reading today with Timmy! Timmy isn't his real name. Mommy thought we should give his real name on the internt.

Last week, my friend Noel had to fill in for me because Mommy was coughing so much. I think Timmy missed me.

Today, we played more than we read, which Mommy thought was OK. She called it "bonding time," and said I needed that so I would understand why I'm at school.

Oh, I know why I'm at school. I'm there to play! To say hello to all of the kids! And then to go to Tim Horton's on the way home!

I like going to school for a couple of reasons.

First, I like Timmy a lot. He plays fun games with me. And he really likes dogs.

Second, I like that I'm the only dog there. Because when Bandit is around, everyone ignores me. But today a lot of people told me I was a good dog.

When we were walking to our car, one lady even rolled down her window and asked why I was at school. When Mommy said we go to read with one of the students, she said I was so beautiful and that it was so fantastic that I got to go to school and do such a good thing.

Another lady ran right into the library when she saw me and Timmy because she has a Border collie, too! When she asked why I was in school, Mommy told her that I was working, but the lady was so excited she just kept hugging me. I don't think Timmy minded.

It's very nice to feel special sometimes. I think that's how Timmy feels when I go to school. He's the only one who's allowed to play with me, and today he asked if I come for other kids, too. "Nope," Mommy said. "Scout only comes to school for you." I know he felt super special when he heard that.

So I did my job really well today!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Scout and Bandit's Guide To Life: Your Mommy is your Mommy because that's how God wanted it

Scout here! Bandit it way too excited to write (stop jumping on the keyboard, Bandit! I can't type!) so I'll tell you the exciting news myself!

Mommy got something in the mail today called a pedigree. It's a paper that lists all of Bandit's parents and their parents and their parents. When Mommy read it she got really excited! Then she went and found my pedigree and guess what?

Me and Bandit are related!! Isn't that exciting?

Both of our dog mommies have the same great grandparents, Joyful Prince and Shaloam Joy. What are the chances of that? We have different parents and came from different farms and everything.

And do you know what? Bandit wasn't even supposed to come to live with us!

Mommy said that some other Daddy was supposed to take Bandit after he was born. The man put down money and everything for Kim to hold the dog. But then the man's job changed and he couldn't have a dog. So when Mommy called Kim to see about getting a baby girl puppy, Kim told Mommy about Bandit. And Mommy decided to take Bandit instead! Even though he was not a baby and he was a boy. She said she saw his picture and fell in love right away.

And you know what else? That's sorta how I came to live here! Mommy and Daddy were looking for a baby girl puppy, and they found one. But Mommy said she wasn't sure she was supposed to bring that puppy home. She said she just felt like she needed to come and check me out at the Miller's house. I was older and a boy and not at all what they were looking for, and besides, someone else was already planning to come and probably get me.

But Mommy said she just knew. So she bought my dog bed and my food and a leash - before she even saw what I looked like! - and sure enough, those people called the Millers and cancelled their appointment to see me. So Mommy came instead. I remember she cried. I kissed her. We loved each other right away.

So here me and Bandit are, two dogs who were supposed to go home with other families but instead we're here with Mommy and Daddy and Murphy and the chickens and Cassie and Dali and Grandma. The best doggone family in the whole world. And we're almost like real brothers!

Mommy said it's exactly like God wanted it. Which means that the Mommy you have is exactly the Mommy God wanted you to have.

Isn't it great how that works out? God is so smart. He must be a Border collie.

Love, Scout

PS: Bandit here! Scout forgot to tell you something else about our pedigrees. His dog daddy and my dog mommy are both related to a dog named O'Brae's Coach! And do you know who owned O'Brae's Coach? My breeder mom, Kim, who I lived with for 15 weeks before Mommy came and got me! Isn't that so cool?

And you know what else I found out? Most of my dog daddy's relatives are from Texas! No wonder I'm such a conservative Republican dog!

Love, Bandit

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Scout and Bandit's Guide To Life: Friends or Food?

Scout here! Mommy and Bandit both told me about the adventure that they had this week going to meet former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Mommy told me about the people she and Aunt Rene met, and the new friends they made, and how much fun it was to talk to everyone and get to know them.

Bandit told me about the stuff he ate, including Aunt Rene's bagel, Tim Bits from Tim Hortons, a cupcake wrapper, and some horse poop.

Mommy said she felt bad that she didn't bring me with her. She said that it might have scared me a little bit at the beginning, but that I would have gotten it over very fast and had a super great time with all of the people.

But since she could only bring one dog, and since she didn't trust Bandit alone with Cassie because he causes so much trouble, she had to bring him, instead of me.

I don't mind. Too much. I'm glad that I'm such a good boy Mommy can trust me. I just feel bad that Bandit didn't get to enjoy the best part of the adventure: meeting people!

He likes food, so the first thing he does when he meets someone is sniff them for treats. If they don't have any, he moves on.

I, on the other hand, don't really care about the treats. I want to kiss everyone and make them feel special.

Mommy says that's because I'm a bigger dog and I've learned the importance of being a good friend. She said Bandit is still a little puppy and so he's only interested in stuff like biscuits and what he can steal from your plate.

She said that I've learned the difference between getting and giving.

I've been thinking about that and you know what? She's right! Sure, I love to get treats. But I like to give love more.

I like friends. I like to see them smile when I come to visit, and feel how happy they are when they pet my fur. I like to find the people who are sad - maybe they haven't told anyone about their sadness but I can tell - and give them a special kiss.

Mommy said that as he gets older, Bandit will learn to give more and want less.

That's a lesson I sure learned when he came to live with us! Bandit was a big pain in the tail. I had to share my toys and my food and my dog bed. And my Mommy. I didn't always like that.

But now I can see how much Bandit loves Mommy and how much he needs my Mommy. Another Mommy might not be as patient with him when he chews books and stuff, and might be a Mommy who goes to work and leaves her dog in a crate all day. Which would be very bad for Bandit. So I wouldn't want him to have to try and find another Mommy. Mine is perfect for him.

And once I got over being mad, I could see how much Mommy loves us both. Plus Murphy! And Daddy! And Cassie and Dali! There is enough love for all of us, plus some left over to give away!

I think that even though I would have loved to go on the Sarah Palin adventure on Saturday, Bandit needed a chance to go with Mommy and learn about friends.

When you meet someone, do you want to get treats from them or give them love? I think that's important to think about.

Love, Scout

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Border Collies for Sarah Palin!

Bandit here!! I had the most exciting adventure yesterday: I went with Mommy and Aunt Rene to wait in line to get wristbands so they could meet Sarah Palin when she was in Rochester for a book signing!

If you don't know who Sarah Palin is, she's a Mommy who used to be the Governor of Alaska. Yup, she has a husband and kids (and probably some pets; she seems like that kind of Mommy) and she was in charge of running the whole state! It's a big state, way up near Russia, in the cold. That's a pretty big job, don't you think?

She is also the lady who ran for Vice President! Of the United States!! Mommy and Aunt Rene like her a lot because they say she's a lot like them, except she lives in a really neat place where they go fishing and snowmobiling and hunting all year round. I wish I lived in Alaska.

Anyway, Mommy and Aunt Rene wanted to make sure they would get a chance to meet Sarah Palin so we got up at 3:00 AM - that's in the morning! - and went to wait in line. When we got there, there were already almost 400 people in line! Some had even slept there overnight!

OK, you need to know that I didn't get to go because I was good boy. I got to go because I've been so bad. Hahaha, isn't that funny? Poor Scout. He had to stay home. Mommy felt really bad about that because he would have loved it. But she said one dog was enough to handle and Scout would be good while she was gone.

See, Cassie came and slept over Friday night. Daddy was going hunting yesterday while Mommy and Aunt Rene were gone. That would mean that Cassie would have to take care of me when she got up. Except she doesn't like me very much, so she ignores me. While she's ignoring me, I'm usually taking medicine out of her purse and eating from the garbage and chewing her shoes. Mommy said it was easier just to take me with her.

Hahaha! It was so great! I ate Aunt Rene's bagel and we went to Tim Horton's three times.

Plus, I met some police horses! I already told you about police men and police dogs, and now I learned that horses can be police, too. (I wonder if there are police cats?)

We also met a lot of very nice people. Some came all the way from New York City to see Sarah Palin! One man even decided not to get get in his tree stand to hunt in the morning so he could wait in line. And it was opening day of shotgun season!

Anyway, we waited for a long time and then came the best part: Mommy took me into the bookstore to get her wristband. Yup, the people at Borders let me inside with the people. Everyone was so nice to us.

We came home and Mommy and me took a long nap. Then she and Aunt Rene went back to wait in line again to actually meet Sarah Palin. I wanted Mommy to take me but she said that she didn't want to take a chance that the nice people at Borders wouldn't let me in again.

So I stayed home with Scout. When Mommy got back, she said it was a good thing I stayed home. There were a lot of people and even some people protesting (I would have bit them) but mostly they were in the store longer this time and she didn't think they would have let me in. But she said some people asked where I was. I'm a star! (Here's what Mommy said happened later that night.)

Anyway, I like Sarah Palin! She left a nice smell on Mommy and on the books. I think I will start a club, Border Collies for Sarah Palin.

I'm glad me and Mommy and Aunt Rene went to wait for Sarah Palin. We have a great adventure!

Love, Bandit

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Scout and Bandit's Guide To Life: Bandit (almost) meets another Bandit and learns an important lesson about being useful

Bandit here! Guess what?

The other night, a man came to the door. He was very tall and was wearing a blue suit with shiny stuff on it. Scout and I sniffed and sniffed and we could smell that he had a dog. We decided that he was a nice man and since Daddy knew him, we let him in the house.

It turns out that his name is Cuyler and he is one of Daddy's best friends. And he is a policeman!

At first, I thought maybe Mommy called the police to come and take me away, because I haven't necessarily been a good boy all the time lately.

But he wasn't there to get me. He and his partner had to come and look for a bad guy in town. But guess what? His partner isn't another man. Or even a lady. His partner is a dog!

And do you know what the dog's name is? BANDIT!

Hahaha, isn't that funny? The policeman has a dog named Bandit!

Mommy said that it was probably not a good idea for me to go and meet the other Bandit, because he was working. So I sniffed Officer Cuyler for a while, and I introduced him to my chickens.

Then Mommy and Daddy went out to meet the other Bandit. Then Kona and Killian's mommy Flow came over to make sure that we were all OK since there was a police car in front of our house. (Isn't she a good friend?)

Mommy showed me this picture that she took of Bandit:

I think I am glad I didn't go out and meet him.
Isn't this picture of Flow and Officer Cuyler scary?

No, Officer Cuyler! Don't arrest Flow!! Don't take her away!! She's a nice lady! She has dogs, too! (Hahaha, just kidding. He wasn't going to arrest her!)

After Officer Cuyler and Bandit left, I felt sad. The other Bandit has a very imporant job. He helps save people and put bad guys in jail. He had to have special training and go to police school and everything!

And my brother Scout has a very important job, reading with Timmy every week at school. He had to go to special school and pass a test to do that.

But I don't have a job. Maybe Mommy will get tired of me being bad and find another dog who is smarter and more useful and doesn't eat her cell phone.

But Mommy said, "Of course you have a job, silly. Your job is to take care of the chickens!" She said that the girls aren't afraid of me and I'm not afraid of them, and we get along really good.

When they're out in their coop in a few weeks someone will need to make sure no one bothers them, like other dogs and cats and racoons and that big hawk. That is my job and no one else can do my job. Scout can't do it because he's afraid of the chickens. Murphy can't do it because he wants to eat the chickens. And he's not allowed outside, anyway.
Mommy says that when she has me come with her to feed the chickens, and when she says, "Here Bandit, come and see Mrs. Beasley," she is actually teaching me how to take care of the chickens.

Yeah! I have a job! Mommy needs me! I didn't even know it!

So I learned this week that first, Daddy has some very interesting friends, and second, that even if you don't know it, you have a very important job that only you can do.

How about that?
Love Bandit

UPDATE: May 2010. Guess what? Me and Scout have a new job! We are spokesdogs for Faceless International. We're going to help them tell people about slavery and human trafficking and how they can help people escape from it!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Missing school with the flu

Hi, everyone!

Mommy and I were supposed to go to school today to read with Timmy. But Mommy has had a really bad cough for weeks now, and then yesterday Cassie found out she has the swine flu.

I don't know what the swine flu is. Cassie didn't oink at all. She just lay on the couch and slept and said, "Mommy, will you make me something to eat?" and "Mommy, will you make me some tea?" and "MOMMY! Get stupid Bandit away from me!!"

Mommy called the doctor because she thought it was probably time to get her cough checked out - Cassie and Daddy have been telling her she's coughing too much, but she didn't think she was. Duh, Mommy!

The nurse at the doctor's office said Mommy should not go to the elementary school today. She said that maybe she has the swine flu or maybe there are germs at the elementary school that she will bring home to Cassie or maybe her cough isn't just a cough and she's spreading something to everyone.

So until she sees the doctor, Mommy thought it would be better if we didn't go to school.

I'm very sad about that. I didn't get to Timmy last week because there was no school on Veteran's Day. I don't want Timmy to miss another reading session.

But Noel to the rescue!! Noel and her Mommy do reading at the school, too, and she said they would go so Timmy could have his reading time. Yippee for Noel!

Noel is a very experienced reading dog. She knows exactly what to do. So I'll bet she lays down nice while Timmy reads. I hope he's not disappointed when Mommy and I come back since I'm still trying to figure it all out.

So today, Noel will read with Timmy, Mommy will go to the doctor, and I'll stay home and watch Bandit chew Mommy's slippers.

Love Scout

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

How to get a free dog ID tag for only $48.81

1. Purchase two boxes of dog biscuits offering a free engraved dog ID tag. Cost: $5.98

2. Clip two proofs of purchase from biscuit boxes and mail to dog biscuit company, along with order form and a check for $1.99 to cover shipping and handling. Be sure to write the check from an account that you rarely use. Cost: $0.42 postage; $1.99 check for shipping and handling

3. Realize that you have money in a checking account that you rarely use! Immediately go shopping, making purchases with your debit card. Do not keep track of your purchases. When finished shopping, put the checkbook away and forget about it.

4. Wait a 4-6 weeks.

5. Receive a notice from your bank that a check has been returned for insufficient funds. The check total: $1.99. Balance at the time the check was presented: $1.95. Cost of insufficient funds fee: $15.00

6. Receive a notice from the dog biscuit company that your check has been returned. Cost: $25.00

7. Remit bounced check fee to dog biscuit company, along with bank check to cover the original $1.99. Be grateful your credit union does not charge for bank checks. Cost: $0.42 postage

8. Receive your free engraved dog ID tag, valued at approximatedly $1.99.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Scout and Bandit's Guide To Life: You're so special

Bandit here. Mommy is letting me write on the computer again because my poop breath is all gone.

Mommy was sleeping in her bed this morning and I was just waiting for Daddy to come and let me out before he went to work.

It's the most exciting part of my day, because Scout and I get to wake Mommy up!

I can see Mommy's bed when I am in my crate. I had been sending her "Mommy wake up RIGHT NOW" stares for a while but she must not have felt them.

So as soon as Daddy opened the door to my crate, I burst out and jumped on the bed. I dove under the covers and under Mommy and rolled on her and wiggled and wiggled and wiggled and I even bit her once, I was so excited to see her. (Oops, that was an accident.) While I did that, Scout licked her whole face.

Mommy likes it when we wake her up like that. But today she said, "Why are you so excited to see me? I'm nobody special. I'm just Mommy."

Nobody special?! Is she kidding?! She's Mommy!

Then I thought about it. Maybe you're like Mommy and you don't think you're special because you're not on TV commericials and you don't have a fancy job that means you have to leave your puppy in the crate all day. Maybe you don't wear fancy clothes. Maybe you drive a car that makes a lot of noise. Maybe you spend your whole day at home taking care of kids or dogs or cats or chickens and you think no one notices you.

Maybe even someone who loves you bit you on accident and made you feel not special.

But trust me. You are so special and you make someone so happy that they want to wiggle. Maybe they don't wiggle in front of you, but I promise you they want to. Mommy tells us God made us all special, so I'll bet He wiggles all the time thinking about us!

Maybe today you should tell someone how happy they make you and how special they are. They probably need to hear it!

Love, Bandit

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Scout and Bandit's Guide to Life: Don't be a poopy mouth

Hi everyone! Scout here!

Bandit wanted to do another update but Mommy won't let him near the computer. Here's why:

Last night we all went for a walk in the dark. Well, it wasn't dark when we left but it was dark when we were almost home

On the way, me and Bandit were playing in the leaf piles. There is a lot of stinky stuff in there to sniff. Well, on our street, Joe had a reeeally stinky, ginourmous pile of leaves. Bandit jumped right in up over his head and Mommy couldn't pull him out.

I was a good boy and came right to Mommy when she said to. Just so you know.

When she finally was able to get Bandit out of the leaf pile, we could see he was eating something. She thought it was a chicken bone or some Halloween candy or something and she didn't want him to choke. So Mommy did what she always does - she pried Bandit's mouth open and reached in to get what he was eating.

But nope, it wasn't a chicken bone or candy. It was POOP! A really big, gross, disgusting pile of poop and leaves!

Only Mommy didn't see that right away because it was so dark. By the time she figured it out, she had her fingers almost down Bandit's throat, and she and Bandit, and the flashlight and the leashes and the house keys and her coat, were all covered in poop. Exceptionally smelly, gross poop.

She got us home and did her best to clean everything off, but she wouldn't go near Bandit all night. She said he had poop breath and no matter how many "I'm so cute!" looks he gave her she was definitely not going to kiss his poop face. Bandit didn't even get to sleep in the big bed with Mommy last night. She made him sleep in his crate!

I got Mommy all to myself! Eat more poop, Bandit!

So I guess the moral of the story is that if you want to be a poopy mouth, that's fine. But no matter how cute you are, you'll be a lonely poopy mouth.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Bandit does this week's chicken update

Mommy is very busy working today so she let me do the chicken update. You can read it on the chicken's blog,

By the way, I ate all of Mommy's slippers yesterday. That's what she gets for leaving me home alone.

Love Bandit

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bandit chimes in

I am very mad that Mommy took Scout out today without me. I don't know why Scout gets to go out and do something fun without me. Why did Mommy leave me home? Doesn't she understand that she is not allowed to go anywhere without me, including to the bathroom?

I do not like being left home alone. While they were gone I laid down in my crate and plotted my revenge. I have already eaten one of Mommy's slippers today, so I decided I would finish off the pair when she let me out of the crate.

But after Mommy brought Scout home, she went back out. And when she came home, she brough both of us Tim Bits! Yeah! Mommy is the greatest!

I have decided that I will not eat her other slipper. Today.

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Scout shares about today's reading dog session

Hi, everyone! I just came back from school and boy, did I have fun today! Timmy and I played a little bit today. We put treats under the books and I had to find them. There were not as many kids in the library today, which really helped. I was very confused last week!

I think that I know what I'm supposed to do now! I'm supposed to lie down on the blanket while Timmy reads his books! I am still learning how to lie down for a long time. Plus, whenever the kids come into the library they want to pet me so I still get a little distracted.

I showed Timmy all of my tricks. He thought I should know how to roll over, but I don't know how. So he showed me how! I'll have to work on that.

There isn't any school next week so I won't get to go back until the week after. I hope I don't forget what I learned today!

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A message from Scout

Dear friends, this is Scout.
I'm getting ready to go to school today to meet with my little boy. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do at school. There are so many kids and I want to play with them all. It's very exciting. And after school, Mommy takes me to Tim's to get coffee and a Tim Bit. They love me at Tim's. I love school days.

The one thing that I hate is that they expect me to be clean all the time. Today, I had a lot of fun running around in the leaves and mud while I was playing with my friends Kona and Killian through the fence.

When I came in the house, Mommy wasn't very happy with me. First, she tried to use some wet paper towels to clean my paws. Then she made me get in the bathtub so she could wash off my paws. I hate the bathtub. I tried to hide but she caught me. Bandit is lucky. He didn't have to have a bath last week and he didn't have to get his paws washed today. That's not fair.

I like having mud up to my knees. I think it's fun. But I guess when you go to school you're supposed to be clean. I don't know why. Do you learn better if your feet are clean? I have a lot to learn about elementary school, I guess.

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bandit tussles with a stray cat and to the vet we go!

I took the dogs for a walk today, and as we rounded a corner I saw a cat curled up under a shrub, right at the edge of the sidewalk. As we walked by, the cat didn't even flinch, which made me wonder if there was something wrong with it.

I stopped, the dogs ahead of me, leashes taut, and said, "Hi, kitty, are you OK?" Just as the words left my mouth, Bandit came over to sniff the cat, who leapt from under the shrub with claws bared and scratched Bandit right in the face. Then the cat went right back to where it was curled up.

We got the heck out of there. But back at home, I realized that Bandit's eye was all red, and there was some blood on his nose. I could see actual bloody scratches on the white part of his eye.

Off the vet we went.

After a good look, Dr. B said that Bandit didn't seem to have any scratches on his cornea but he did have scratches on the rest of his eye. He gave Bandit some antibiotic eye ointment to help ward off infection.

I asked if I could come and sweep floors in exchange for vet services.

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