Last week we began the story of Bandit, an elderly border collie cross, who lived with his mistress in a house in the city. Mary was my friend and I lived with her for a while and got to know Bandit pretty well. This is part 2 of the end of his story…and perhaps the beginning.
The Passing of Bandit
All the time I lived in that house, Bandit had a great life. He was never sick, never indisposed, always up and ready to play. One day, however, Mary and I noticed he wasn’t eating. We took him to the vet, who diagnosed throat cancer. The disease spread rapidly within a few weeks to the point where he was soon unable to breathe without help. Mary took him to the vet on that last day to have him put down, so that he would not have to suffer anymore. He fell asleep in Mary’s arms, peacefully.
Afterwards, we brought Bandit home and buried him in the backyard that he loved so much, secure in his little basket, with all his squeakies around him. Atop his grave, we planted a small pine tree to mark the spot where such a lively little dog now lay asleep.
Mary was devastated. Her friend and companion of fourteen years had left her, and the house echoed emptily without the sounds of his happy yelps or sleepy growls. Mary swore that she would never have another dog…it hurt too much when he departed.
Can People Come Back?
I had studied the field of parapsychology and reincarnation for a several years. Although I wasn’t 100% sure, it just seemed logical to me that, if humans reincarnated in order to learn at different levels of consciousness, so then must animals. And if that were true, then I was positive that animals evolved, same as people did – on a different level.
Can Animals Come Back?
Otherwise how could we explain such anomalies as my beautiful cat Devil Child, who was dumber than dirt, and her littermate Alice, who was as sharp as a claw, with personality to spare. (This, of course, is another story.) Then, there was the extra-clever, intelligent Bandit, who communicated better than many humans I have known.
Mary wasn’t certain she bought this theory, but it didn’t matter to her. She insisted that she would never have another pet. I threw out a different thought: “What if the dog was Bandit reincarnated, and he came back to help you once again enjoy life and to learn more life lessons.” She didn’t know.
A few months went by. Mary rarely spoke of Bandit. I bided my time, letting the grieving process play out to its conclusion.
An Unexpected Announcement
Then one day, after reading the pets for sale column in the newspaper (which she never usually did), Mary announced unexpectedly, “I have a feeling to go to this place advertised here and have a look at the puppies.”
Surprised, but feeling hopeful, I nodded. Off we went to take a peek at the puppies. They were kept in a cold garage…nine of them altogether – a cross between Airedale terriers and highland collies. They were barely 5 weeks old.
One Sweet Puppy
Immediately upon our entering the shelter, a brown-and-white puppy, inarguably the runt of the litter, waddled over to Mary, plumped himself down, and gazed up at her with large, brown, soulful eyes. She didn’t bend down to him just yet but watched him carefully. While the other puppies gamboled and played all over the garage, the little runt sat quietly, waiting for Mary to make up her mind.
Two Sweet Puppies
I noticed another puppy that I really liked. It hadn’t been my intention to get a pup, but Mary was adamant that she wanted the little brown-and-white one, so I took the little black-and-white pup. We brought them both home – full brothers from the same litter, growing up in the same household, with the same two handlers.
Rocky and Bullwinkle
We named the pups Rocky (Mary’s dog) and Bullwinkle (Wink, for short) (my dog) from one of my favorite cartoons when I was young. The two dogs were great friends, sleeping, playing, and eating together, inseparable in their affection for each other.
An Amazing Fact
As they grew, they developed distinct personalities, quite different from each other, despite the fact that they were not only littermates but housemates as well. The most amazing fact soon became clear: Rocky’s habits and personality traits were much more similar to Bandit’s, a dog he had never known, than to those of his own brother, Bullwinkle.
Next week’s third and final installment of “The Reincarnation of Bandit” will discuss these similar traits. (Note that this is a true story, with the names changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved.)
You are welcome to share anything about this subject;
for instance, if you have witnessed remarkable similarities
between two dogs (or cats) where one
predeceased the other before it was born.
If you would like to share, please just
enter a comment at the bottom of this post
where it obligingly says, “Leave a Comment.”
(Next week watch for “The Reincarnation of Bandit – Part 3”)
Text copyright © 2004;
photos copyright © 1995
except where otherwise stated,
by Sandra Bell Kirchman.
All rights reserved.
(Volume 14.8-2, August 24, 2014)