The Reincarnation of Bandit – Part 3

In Parts 1 and 2, we met Bandit, the elderly border collie cross, with distinctive personality traits and preferences.  These were listed in Part 1.  After Bandit passed on, we were introduced to the puppy brothers, Rocky and Bullwinkle.  In this part, we will view the personality habits and traits of Rocky.  It will help you understand more, if you review Bandit’s traits in Part 1 before reading the following.


(Bandit) herding geese.  (Photo credit:  Rosemary Ratcliff |

(Bandit) herding geese. (Photo credit: Rosemary Ratcliff |


Rocky’s habits and personality traits were much more similar to Bandit’, a dog he had never known, than to those of his own brother, Bullwinkle:


Rocky (left) and Bullwinkle (right) at play.  (Photo credit:  Sandra Bell Kirchman)

Rocky (left) and Bullwinkle (right) at play. (Photo credit: Sandra Bell Kirchman)



  • Rocky loved playing with his squeakies (as well as teddy bears, which we introduced to them when they were both young). Bullwinkle didn’t actually like the sound of the squeakies and played exclusively with his teddies.


  • Although Rocky wasn’t quite as grumpy as Bandit had been after he went to bed, he didn’t like being disturbed and usually went away from you if you bothered him after he retired for the night, usually settling somewhere where it was difficult to find him. Bullwinkle, on the other hand, actually enjoyed being wakened because it meant more petting and more attention.


"I wanted a squeakie, not a hat!"  (Photo credit:  Mister GC |

“I wanted a squeakie, not a hat!” (Photo credit: Mister GC |

  • Although both Rocky and Bullwinkle enjoyed getting Christmas presents, only Rocky would lie with his nose touching the packages and would quickly open them up when given permission. Bullwinkle had trouble opening them, needed help, and ultimately lost interest in the Christmas thing.  Rocky never did lose interest.


  • We figured Bandit got smart when he chose his next incarnation. Rocky was just big enough to put his paws on the back door window and look out.  He loved looking out that window and spent a lot of time at that spot.  Bullwinkle didn’t care much about looking out that window and much preferred to sit on the couch in the living room and look out the large window in that room, which overlooked the front yard.


  • The most telling thing of all, however, were the eyes. Rocky didn’t look much like Bandit, other than the fact that both dogs had some collie in their background.  The  Rockster looked more like a highland collie with the gold, tan and white coat, whereas Bandit had more closely resembled a border collie with a dark brown and black coat with sparse touches of white.  Rocky was also slightly bigger than Bandit, although considerably smaller than Bullwinkle.  Rocky’s eyes, although larger and lighter in color than Bandit, had the exact same sparkle, the same look of glee, in them.  When I looked into Charlie’s eyes, I saw Bandit.  Mary agreed.  She said it was what first drew her to Rocky the day we went to look at the new pups.


At first, Mary thought it was just because she had missed Bandit so much that Rocky seemed so much like him.  As time passed, Mary became quite convinced that Rocky was the reincarnation of Bandit.  Too many similarities couldn’t be explained any other way – i.e., if it was the household or the people that influenced the two dogs to behave in similar ways, then Bullwinkle should have been the same as Bandit/Rocky.  But he was not – he was a totally different character, with different likes, dislikes and characteristics.  The list goes on.


  • "Ohboyohboy!  Gonna go for a car ride!" (Photo credit: bandrat |

    “Ohboyohboy! Gonna go for a car ride!” (Photo credit: bandrat |

    Rocky loved going for car rides with Mary, same as Bandit had when the two went exploring together. Bullwinkle hated the car and would only enter a vehicle under extreme protest.


  • Rocky was quick-witted and clever, same as Bandit. Bullwinkle was slow to learn and slow to discern.


  • Both Rocky and Bandit were nimble and trim, in appearance and in action. Bullwinkle was large, ungainly, and clumsy.  His only moment of grace was when he galloped across the yard.


  • Rocky was social and enjoyed the company of other dogs in the neighbourhood, same as Bandit, who made friends with other dogs easily. Bullwinkle was shy and aloof.


It’s hard to remember all the similarities between Rocky and Bandit now – that was so long ago – and to recall the many differences between Rocky and Bullwinkle.  The three personalities made a mark in my life, however, and I won’t forget them soon.

In addition, it was an excellent way to study the dogs and the situations.  The conclusion seemed inevitable to me: Bandit came back in the form of Rocky – and he came back to his beloved mistress Mary and spent another satisfying life with her.  What do you think?

Rocky passed on at the age of twelve, having fulfilled his contract with love and compassion.  Bullwinkle continued to enjoy a respectable and peaceful old age, then went quietly in his sleep at the large-dog old age of fourteen.

If nothing else, this true story certainly makes you think.


This is definitely THE END...or is it?  (Photo credit:  Sandra Bell Kirchman)

This is definitely THE END…or is it? (Photo credit: Sandra Bell Kirchman)


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 comment, please just
enter it
at the bottom of this post
where it obligingly says, “Leave a Comment.”


(Next week watch for “Adorable or Annoying Pets – Part 1”)


Text copyright © 2004;
photos copyright © 1995
by Sandra Bell Kirchman.
All rights reserved.
(Volume 14.8-3, August 31, 2014)



  1. I haven’t seen the similarities that you share here but my current alpha cat has a personality similar to one of my dear cats that passed before she was born. They are/were both very sweet and kind cats with big personalities. (I know that’s saying a lot for a cat.)


    • Yeah, “sweet and kind” aren’t the words I normally associate with cats. I understand what you are saying though. I have had a few dogs that had similar personalities actually, and I always wondered if reincarnation was a factor, but it wasn’t as conclusive, for me anyhow, as the Rocky – Bandit scenario.

      I have another story about cats that is somewhat along these lines. Unfortunately, I lost it when my computer crashed a month or so ago. If I get ambitious, I will try to rewrite it, since, although heart-breaking in part, it was also a heart-warming and fascinating experience.


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